Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interruption: Fraud and Moving

To all my Yale friends and to anyone living in CT and thinking of hiring movers: do NOT hire Connecticut Movers, run by Joshua Banks with the telephone 203.516.1010.  They are a FRAUD.

I called to hire movers and was told, by Josh, that they would be available on-call for me when I was ready to unload my truck.  The day of the move, with full truck on its way to the house I was unloading at, I called Josh.  He told me that the movers were on their way and he would call to check their ETA.

That was the last I heard from him.

No movers EVER showed up.

Josh turned off his cell phone so that I went straight to voice mail.

This is the web site so you can identify them:


 I intend to contact the Better Business Bureau and the CT Department of Consumer Protection, but I'm posting this here in hopes that google searchers looking for a mover will see this and be warned.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Making: Greenleaf Baby Blanket

This is the chalice lace pattern on the baby blanket I knit for J's sister, who's going to pop with her second boy any day now.  To me the pattern doesn't so much look like chalices as much as leaves.  I like the effect it has pinned against the white mattress, sort of like jacquard fabric:

Samples of jacquard from Fibre Designs 

The blanket was my second lace pattern, a much easier experience than knitting the Forest Canopy Shawl.  For one thing, there are no increases and, therefore, no infernal counting of stitches to make sure I hadn't screwed up.  

This one took a bit longer to get finished, since I've been zipping from Germany to the SF Bay Area and North Carolina.  I delivered the blanket yesterday - hopefully it'll be big enough!  The baby is already 8 lbs and not due for another three weeks! Labor induction is in order, I think, if the baby doesn't come very soon.  Maybe while we're here!  Since I've never been around for all the hustle and bustle of a birth before that would be pretty exciting.

Raveled here.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Travel, Travel, Travel

Habaneros and corn at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich.

So, blogging is a bit erratic at the moment - again.  I think I'm overdoing the travel bit... but it has been oh so wonderful these last couple of weeks.

Carousing at the Englischer Garten in Munich.

 Cream tea in Teignmouth, a coastal village in Devon, England.

Dipping my feet in the English Channel.

 Lots of lovely train rides.

Next up: two lovely weeks in the San Francisco Bay Area with my family and North Carolina with John's.  It's a very fond farewell I'm saying to Germany, but I'll be back.  And I'm looking very much forward to the future.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Making: Birthday Present...

So, I said that I was going to make a Kindle cover for my sister for her birthday.  It sounded simple enough to design: two rectangles, sewn together, with some sort of flap.  No problem.  But... then there were problems.  I was trying to use up some stash yarn that had been discontinued at the local yarn store: it was 50% merino wool and 50% acrylic.  Well, no problem.  I'd find something with a similar gauge and feel.  But here are the lessons I've learned:

1) Use the same material throughout a project, with the same fiber content.  I used a 100% merino yarn for the cover front (in white) and it just didn't have the same feel.  It was a bit floppier than the grey backing.

2) BLOCK gauge swatches!!!  Especially if you have to have both rectangle shapes line up exactly to be sewn!  I can't emphasize this enough.  I just wasn't thinking, knit my swatches, measured, calculated, and then went on to knit two fine rectangles.  Then I wet blocked them.  Lo and behold, the white merino grew waaay to much.  I had to force it a bit back down to size.

3) Learn a proper seaming technique rather than just fudging it with crochet.  Although, I think the crochet trim isn't too bad in this project, it could be better.  And it sort of exacerbated the fact that the two rectangles weren't perfectly aligned in size.

You can really tell the difference in size between the white and the grey sides by looking at the frills formed by the crochet stitches on the bottom edging.  I did manage to block that back down a bit - phew!  Still, it's not perfect and that irks me.

Still, I like my overall design - especially the stitches I contrived for the two sides: seed (or moss) stitch for the grey side, to form a kind of egg-carton cushioning, and contrasting white garter stitch, which is also very cushy.  And I like my colors and button.

Kindle Cover Pattern:
Kindle DX Dimensions: 10.4" x 7.2" x 0.38"
Yarn: 1 skein Millefine, Lana Grossa, 50g, 100m, 50% Merino 50% Acrylic – back and flap; 1.5 skeins Siena Big, Wolle Rödel, 50g, 80m, 100% Merino – front, with button
Needle: 3.0mm / 3 US
Gauge (blocked!) : 4.5 stitches / inch in seed stitch (Millefine); 5.25 stitches / inch in garter stitch (Siena Big)

Back of Cover and Flap:
Cast on 34 stitches of back and flap color yarn. 
Work in seed stitch until 10.7 inches long.
Purl an entire row.
Knit the entire next row.  This will form a stockinette stitch ridge which will form the fold for the envelope flap.
Work in seed stitch for next 10 rows.
Begin decrease to form triangle of the envelope flap:
ssk first two stitches, seed stitch (knit every purl stitch, purl every knit sticht), k2tog last two stitches until only 12 stitches left.
Bind off in pattern loosely.

Work on Cover Front:
Cast on 40 stitches in cover front color and work in garter stitch until 10.7" long, bind off loosely.

Wash and block both pieces to size.
Crochet sides closed using single crochet stitch and an alternate color of yarn (if desired).  Crochet envelope flap edging also using single crotchet stitches.
Sew on button.
Crochet button loop on envelope flap.