Saturday, February 24, 2007

Getting Techie With Your Knitting

A new blog I just discovered, TECHknitting, is excellent for the finer points of knitting techniques. If you go right back to the beginning (Nov 2006) she will even define “knitting” for you. The illustrations are very clear and done in Adobe Illustrator. I like this quote too, “I don't advocate that every sweater you ever make ought to be in the same yarn as you used for the first one, but you will get an increasingly professional-looking result with each project for which you use the same yarn and needles.” I’m feeling like that about my sock knitting. I’ve certainly knit enough of the darn things.

And Marnie MacLean has a great tutorial for charting knitting with Excel. Even though she’s using a Mac it’s quite transferable to Windows. I didn’t use Excel but played with charting a free doily pattern using my Knit Visualizer program. I hope I got it correctly, but I need to wait for a day or so before I look at it again. I can’t see my own mistakes unless I have the perspective of time. KV works pretty well as long as I can type in the right stuff in the first place. Though for some reason Sl2 K1 P2SSO doesn’t parse so I have to add those symbols with the stitch paintbrush. This doily took some manipulating of each row to make the wedge shape of the chart come out right. Lots and lots of "No Stitches"! This is one of those patterns where you occasionally have to move the marker at the beginning of the repeat and start it in a slightly different place. It was quite a challenge! Unfortunately I’m not planning to knit this pattern but used it as an exercise in charting.

In crafty news, I’m almost at the toe of the Regia 6-ply socks but I’m running out of yarn. Maybe I should have made these for my MIL’s teeny feet instead of my more normal sized ones? Oh well, if I have to add something funky at the end of the toes, it won’t matter. I’m planning to overdye the darn things anyway because they are butt-ugly as they are. Notice I haven’t posted a photo of them yet? There is a reason.

I’m a mere breath away from winding my Cherry yarn into a ball to start the Cherry Leaf shawl. I’m trying not to start it yet until I at least finish the P-whatzit socks. But I need some spring colour around here! Even though the crocuses are out, it was snowing this morning. Didn’t stick at all but it makes for a rather dreary weekend. Well, that and housecleaning. Bleh.

What else? Oh yeah, for fun I got the spring issue of a magazine I hadn’t noticed before. Probably because they formerly had it hiding in the computer instead of the crafts section of the racks. Just what I need, eh? Another magazine to buy? Heh. This one is called Creative TECHniques (yes, there’s a theme in this ol’ blog post) and it has basically two kinds of articles referred to as “Make Stuff” and “Learn Stuff”. In this issue the Make Stuff includes decoupaging and rubber-stamping your computer’s mouse (too cool!) and the Learn Stuff includes how to get your old vinyl records into MP3 digital files. Oh yes, I want to do that. There are a lot of the type of crafts that include manipulating images in your computer. Photoshop is the program of choice here but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with Paint Shop Pro or the like. Altered books, shrink jewelry and appliquéd pillows interspersed with articles on setting up a wireless home network and comparing digital cameras. Kind of “Martha Stewart meets Bill Gates”. Don’t know if I’ll buy every issue but I might check it out again. Do check out the mouse though:

Isn't it wonderful? Trying to figure out how to take the mouse that comes with my Wacom tablet apart. I need a screwdriver…

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