Knit Flix

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Brain matter

When I was at Joann's buying a button yesterday, I also picked up this.


If you haven't seen one before, it's a gizmo that makes a 4st i-cord with the turn of a crank.

I don't have the need for i-cord now (or in the near future), but I had a 40% off coupon in my hand, and it seemed like a better deal to save $6 off this than $1 off the button. A true shopper, eh?

What you get is the "automatic spool knitter", a weighted clothes pin, a cheapo plastic tapestry needle (actually I need one--my other cheapo plastic needle fell into the recliner, never to be seen again), some pink-pink acrylic yarn, and the instructions.

After a few minutes of cranking, I had a little over 6 feet of i-cord.

And after a few more minutes--longer than it took me to make the i-cord--I had a "Celtic Stonework Knot". Looks more like brain matter to me.

As you might suspect, the Embellish-knit isn't that versatile. It only handles sport weight yarns or thinner yarn, and the gauge is fixed. But, it's infinitely faster than the DPN drill.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

FO 2005-17: Hot Lava Cardi

Hot Lava Cardigan

Yarn: Austermann Candy Color, Bumbleberry. 499yds.
Needles: Denise #10-1/2 & #15
Pattern: Blue Alvarez Designs Hot Lava Cardigan

Taking photos at night is tough! It's the lighting--or lack of lighting.

Today I found some time to go to Joann's and found this funky asymmetric mondo button for the cardi.

I didn't modify the pattern much--I just added a few rows here and there to adjust the fit.

Starting with the small size, I knit 10 rows for the cuff because I didn't want the cuffs to be down to my knuckles. But after working the cuff-to-elbow section, it didn't quite reach the elbow so I added 4 more rows of stst.

From the bicep to underarm, I added one more row.

I found that the back was going to be too wide if I knit 105 rows. So I narrowed it a bit by knitting 45 rows, then knitting rows 46-48 in double seed stitch at the center back, followed by another ~45 rows.

Because there were fewer rows knit for the back, there were fewer stitches to pick up and knit for the bolero. I followed the instructions and picked up every other stitch all the way around.

The back decreases were spaced as instructed for the Medium size.

The bust shaping started out as described in the pattern, but then I kept adding rows until the fronts almost met at the point where the button would be. I don't know how many additional rows that was, but it felt like another ~25-50 yds of yarn. That widened the collar and lengthened the back.

I started the border rounds in the center back and made a buttonhole on the right front.

A size 15 needle was used to bind off, as you need a lot of stretch in order for the sweater to fit correctly. You'll get the idea of how much the edge will need to stretch when you try it on.

Speaking of trying it on, I'd suggest transferring the live stitches to a lifeline before trying it on. Here's a tip that describes how to do that quickly using Denise needles.

Spinnity suggested using short rows to reduce some of the bunching behind the neck, but I was pretty far along when we discussed it so I didn't try it. But it's a good idea and would also reduce the amount of yarn needed.

Related posts:


Wednesday, July 27, 2005

3.8 miles

Have I lost my mind? No, not yet. I'm saving that for when I'm knitting 1.9 miles of this:

and 1.9 miles of this:

If you don't recognize the photos, it's 8/2 Tencel in Hunter & Variegated 8/2 Tencel in Mountain Stream from Webs.

Do you get the feeling that there's more lace in my future?

Monday, July 25, 2005


I met Spinnity and knuknitter at the FiberArts Market in Oakland on Saturday. knuknitter wasn't able to stay long before she had to head to work, but we all took a good look at the Habu Textiles booth and the wonderful silk, soy, bamboo, stainless steel, and linen yarn for sale.

Spinnity and I spent the rest of the afternoon lunching, chatting, and shopping. I was browsing a lot more than shopping--although it was enjoyable looking at all the pretty fiber, most of the yarn that I was interested in could be purchased at my LYS for the same price so I didn't feel compelled to buy.

Booths where I exercised restraint were:

But I couldn't resist this:

If you can't read the label, it says,

It's almost 1500yds of bamboo yarn, and it's incredibly soft. I'll be amazed if I can wind it without turning it into a tangled mess. For now, I'll admire it in the hank.

The FiberArts Market wasn't as big (or overwhelming) as Stitches West, but I was in good company and that's what made it an enjoyable afternoon.

Caution, hot lava ahead

It's not officially an FO yet. There are plenty of ends to be sewn in and a big ol' button to be purchased and sewn on, but it's almost there.

Hot Lava Cardigan

I followed the pattern, but changed things up as needed.

It's very close fitting, so trying it on regularly before moving on to the next section was key. Trying on the shrug portion wasn't difficult because it stayed on the needles. I knit this on Denise needles, so when it came to trying on the bolero, I started out by adding extensions to the cable to make it long enough to wear. Unfortunately, the cable had too much body so it distorted the shape--that's when I resorted to a lifeline.

But, here's the coolest part--I figured out a lickity split way of transferring stitches to a lifeline using the Denise needles.

Take a coupler that's used to connect 2 Denise cables and thread a thin piece of yarn or cotton line through the 2 holes on one end. Tie a knot to secure the lifeline. Attach the coupler to the cable that's holding your live stitches. Now pull the opposite end of the cable, and Voila! the stitches will be transferred to the lifeline.

I don't have a short cut for putting the stitches back on the needles, but if anyone knows of one, let me know.

Back to the cardi--I used 499 yards, can you believe it? I added a number of rows to the bolero in order for the front to overlap instead of just meet as shown in the pattern. That probably took an addition 50 yds or so.

I like how it turned out, but it's so warm, it'll be a while before I can even consider wearing it.

Ending on a good note

The weekend was mostly up and a little down, but it ended on a good note--I sold my truck! The guy who bought it got an extremely good deal, but the transaction was fast (CASH) and trouble-free. Can't ask for much more than that--other than more money.

And now the Partial Zero Emmisions Vehicle gets to live in the garage. Gotta love that.

Speaking of PZEV, tomorrow's a Spare the Air day in the SF Bay Area and since telecommuting isn't an option for me, I'm feeling pretty good about driving the ol' Prius

More about the weekend once I'm able to snap a few photos.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

I prefer "cardigan"

I think I have it.

I bought 8 balls of Austermann Candy Color in May, but didn't have a project in mind. I thought perhaps it could be another Clapotis, but after swatching a bit, decided against it.

For the past couple of days, I've been on the lookout for a project for bulky weight yarn. I think I have it--it's the Hot Lava Cardigan.

Yes, it resembles a shrug, but I prefer "cardigan".

Mini-swatch. 3 sts & 5 rows/inch on US 10-1/2 needles

Friday, July 15, 2005

Netflix Policy continued

I've heard from a number of you who are experiencing similar frustrations with the Netflix slowdown and I encourage you to write Netflix and let them know how you feel. Perhaps if enough of us speak up, someone of authority will notice and take action.

Since the last post about Netflix's policy on establishing priority for shipments, I have sent a few more emails to Netflix, each exchange more maddening than the last.

I replied to their email with the following:

Why should a "balanced experience" for all Netflix members be a goal for Netflix? Clearly not all members use Netflix in the same way, so artificially balancing the experience across all members makes little sense.

A first come, first served approach is the fairest for all. Taking into account how long a DVD has been in a member's queue as well as where it is in the queue should be the criteria for who gets priority.

Clearly Netflix is quietly increasing profits by limiting the number of DVDs that a member can rent. With that business model in place, Netflix should revise the marketing pitch, "members rent as many DVDs as they want" because it is blatently untrue. I cannot rent as many DVDs as I want because Netflix has made the business decision to put me lower in priority for shipping.

If customer satisfaction is important, I would suggest that Netflix re-examine this policy.


To which they responded with the exact same paragraph from their original email that described the "balanced experience" concept.

As a rule, I'm not opposed to form letters. I've been known to use them on occasion. But the form letter should address the the question/concern at hand, otherwise it's just plain annoying.

So picture this--the email above was a reply to their email. A reply which included their email. So if the person had actually taken the time to scroll down, they would have seen that I had already received the "balanced experience" canned response. Aaargh.

Of course, I couldn't let it go.

Danielle A,

Thank you for your reply. However, I already received the exact same response from Scott at Netflix Customer Service. If you scroll down in the email you'll see it.

If you read my email, you might notice that I was responding to the notion of the "balanced experience" that you and Scott refer to in your form letter responses.

Your email does not provide any enlightenment.


Here's the response that stopped me cold:

Hello Janice,

Thanks for your inquiry.

We really do appreciate your feedback and comments and we will definitely take them into consideration but that is not going to change how we prioritize movies. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may have caused you.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.

Netflix Customer Service


My first thought was, what feedback and comments of mine are they going to take into consideration? And since when does a Customer Service representative set company policy?

And then the lightbulb came on. Wouldn't those be good questions to ask the COO, the VP of Marketing, and the VP of Customer Service?

Saturday, July 09, 2005


This hits the spot tonight. Cookies warm from the oven and a cup of tea. Yum!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cranberry

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A time to pause

Whoever you are, wherever you are...

In this world of extreme hatrid, extreme polarization, and extreme extremes, I wish you and yours the best and hope you are safe.

Netflix policy

Has anyone else noticed a slow down in Netflix shipping turnaround? When I first subscribed, the average turnaround time was 2-3 days. If I dropped a movie in the mail on Monday, Netflix would receive it on Tuesday and mail out a new movie that day. Typically it would be in my hands by Wednesday.

These days if I return a movie on Monday, I'm lucky to get a replacement by Friday. A couple of days might not sound like much, but it adds up. It seems like this all started with Blockbuster coming on the scene and Netflix lowering their monthly fee to stay competitive.

So, I wrote Netflix a note asking if their policy or process had changed. Their response was a letter explaining their process for shipping DVD's, along with this enlightening nugget of information:
In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service. As a result, those members who receive the most movies may experience next-day shipping and receive movies lower in their Queue more often than our other members. By prioritizing in this way, we help assure a balanced experience for all our members. Those that rent a lot of movies get a great value and those with lighter viewing habits are able to count on our service to meet their limited needs.

Is giving their members a balanced experience the goal? Or is it to quietly increase profits? Clearly their business model results in higher profits as turnaround times increase.

Apparently the marketing pitch "members rent as many DVDs as they want" doesn't apply to those who want to rent as many DVDs as possible.


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Lorna's Camo

What trip would be complete without a trip to a LYS?

Tahoe City is the home of Three Dog Knit. It's a small, cozy shop that carries Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Cascade, Manos del Uruguay, Noro, recycled silk, a lot of novelty yarns, and much more. They also had a healthy selection of bamboo & rosewood needles. I went bobbing in the sock tub and pulled these out.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Camouflage

Again, perfect Tahoe colors.

They followed me home.

Tahoe Socks

We just got back from a few days in Lake Tahoe, and it was wonderful. The lake was a beautiful blue and the pine trees (and golf courses) were deep shades of green. Not so wonderful was the yellow pine pollen which was everywhere. It was as if all the trees were letting go at once--with the right light, you could see the air was thick with it. Aaaachooo!

As I was working the cuffs of the Broadripple Socks, I thought they captured Tahoe perfectly, right down to the yellow pollen spores.

I dub thee, Tahoe Socks.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

That's better


The CTH yarn is finer gauge than what's called for in the pattern, so I'm going to add 4 sts to each pattern repeat to get the right circumference.