PhinisheD Knits!

Sunday, February 27, 2005


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

10,000 Words!

I've finally posted my photos to flickr -- current incarnation of the DNA scarf.

Here's a photo of when it was a wee baby scarf, back on Valentine's day.

The poor abandoned fingerless mitten is here. It got a bunch of work done one it at the beginning of the scarf, before I got into the rhythm of the cabling.

Roma, how is the shawl coming? I don't think I could bear to frog an entire shawl -- you are very brave. Pseudo, any photos (or at least descriptions) of the scarf? Anyone else knitting?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tectonics scarf!

A big welcome to Pseudotachylite! In more geologic news, the charts for the tectonics scarf are now online, here and here. Even better, R. has charted more geologic ages than she used in her scarf, so if we chose different times we can still have unique scarves. I am really wanting to do these in a rich, rust-orange brown and deep medium blue, with the continents purled instead of knitted to stand out a bit more.

Also, R. shared with me how she did the charts: imported tectonics charts off the web into adobe illustrator, changed to two contrasting colors, and then pixelated the result to get the charts (the ones online have been converted to jpeg, which is why they are slightly wonky). This seems like a great way to make charts in general -- though these are not among my current AI skills, I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard to figure out.

Monday, February 21, 2005

End of Row?

Hi Folks,

I'm a new knitter (I'm just 2/3 of the way through my very first scarf) and having lots of fun. I have a quick question for any experienced knitters out there. When I get to the end of each row, the stitches seem to be really big and loose. No matter what I do, the first/last stich always seems to be a bit ugly looking. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Are there any ways to avoid this problem?


Mr. Snow / Pseudotachylite

Wednesday, February 16, 2005



thomasina, glad to hear the DNA scarf is taking shape. Do find that camera cable! I am making some progress on the rectangular wrap, and have exhausted the leftover wool I had, so it's time to unravel the shawl. Snif ...

In the meantime, I seem to have learned how to cable, from the Dummy instructions! I made a red scarf for my 5yo's Snoopy, with just a single (very crooked :-) cable down the center ... I'm pretty proud of myself. And now my 15yo wants a Moebius capelet. So that's next.

Happy knitting!


Monday, February 14, 2005

DNA scarf first impressions

Someday I will find my camera cable and I will post some pictures! I've done 1.5 reps, and it is exciting to watch it take shape.

I started the DNA scarf on circular needles, and then discovered that I hate knitting on circulars for such small needles. I like to hold my needles at about a 120 degree angle, and the cable just jerked the needles around too much for me. So I'm doing it on straight needles now. All of the pictures of the DNA scarf in progress online have been on circular needles, so I must be a Luddite or something.

The yarn is a bit thinner than I would like. Even though it is a close match for the yarn in the original scarf (weight vs. length), it is ending up a bit "lacy." I would rather have a bit bulkier yarn that didn't show any holes. I think it would be a bit easier for me to knit, too, since the stitches are loose and keep wanting to twist on the needles. I will be curious to see, though, whether washing and blocking at the end will make the finished product more like the oringinal scarf.

My mini-cables on the side are backwards, but as long as I am consistant I don't think it matters!

I really want the scarf in green - I was afraid the cables wouldn't show up well, but this one in green makes me want to go for it. The one I'm working on now will be a gift -- since it is for someone a little over 5 feet, I will likely only do four repeats instead of five (ah, laziness!).

Thursday, February 10, 2005


OK, I hope this works. You should be able to get to four photos at this link:

Let me know,


Cast on ...


I cast on my wrap this morning (80 stitches), and got a bit carried away and did 8 rows ... :-)

Hope everyone's projects are going well.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Online cabling help (for Dummies, no less!)

I finished the first 8 rows of the DNA scarf, in seed stitch. I am really glad now that I knit that k1 p2 ribbed scarf out of S'n'B, since it made doing the seed stitch a lot easier -- at first I had trouble telling the knits from the purls, since the bumps move around more! For some reason I thought the borders were much larger, but now it is on to the dual challenge of reading a pattern and cabling. Or perhaps I should say triple challenge, since I've just realized that I've never knit in stockinette or any other non-reversible stitch, and I have a sneaking suspicion grading to horrible fear that my tension will be off and it will look crappy. Well, I suppose I shouldn't go borrowing trouble.

Got started!


I got going yesterday. I took out my needles and some yarn, and knit a small piece which will become a blanket for my daughter's bunny, per her request. I remembered how to purl (yes, that's how much of a beginner I am ...) looking at the illustrations in a Vogue Knitting book I have. I also remembered how much fun knitting is, I don't know why I stopped!

I would love to make a Probability anything, but I don't know how to cable ... And eventually, I'll make a DNA something for my sister, who is a geneticist, but again, no cabling knowledge, so that will have to wait. For now, I'm going to stick with my original plan of transforming that huge and unusable shawl I made (photos coming up soon ...) into a rectangular wrap. And next, I need to learn how to cable. Any tips welcome ...

I remembered that my mother has a friend who is an expert knitter, so I'm also planning to get in touch with her because it is so much easier to learn when you actually see someone *doing,* than from trying to decipher illustrations ...

Happy knitting!


More geekiness

On the moebius front, there is a lacy moebius scarf, that can also be used as a head fitting, designed by Mary J. Saunders. And someone (namely Isaksen and Petrofsky) designed a whole new moebius stitch, to have symmetry on both the horizontal and vertical axes. Another file on creating a moebius scarf and klein bottle hat, and a crocheted moebius scarf.

Those of you looking for cushions, there are tons of mathematically inspired ones at Woolly Thoughts. Check out the other designs, too -- I especially like the Double Vision scarf and the Square Deal afgan. The Roman Mosaic jacket is incredible, also... too many potential projects! Many of the projects can be crocheted, if that is more to your taste.

Just for inspiration, Eleanor Kent is a textile artist who knits fractal designs and mathematical formulae.

This is made into math problem for students, but it shows that people in Antarctica knit, too. Cool -- we are taking over the world!

For those of you who are fans... a mathematical derivation to create a perfectly proportioned quidditch scarf.

And last but not least, Mathematical Aphrodisiac. A fictional story with math, knitting, and romance... what more could one want?

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I'm definitely in for the DNA scarf

Though I have to find some yarn! Have you seen these kinds of cable needles? (check out the top two; one's U-shaped) They make cabling much easier, since the stitches don't slip off the needle as easily. Still looking for inexpensive online yarn stores... %-O

I must finish a scarf I'm working on before the DNA project. Really.

Then I'd like to do the Kyoto sweater and one of the dinosaurs. :-)

Have fun knitting!

I'm on board for the DNA scarf!

I'm betting following the pattern and the cables will be the difficult part -- the "background" in the pillow and scarf should be relatively easy. So we should still be able to help each other. I need to rip out the last two rows in the mittens (sigh) -- the knit2 purl2 is off on the last 6 stitches. Then a quarter inch more of ribbing. If I get through with that, I will switch to doing a swatch for the DNA scarf.

Apparently you can use double-pointed needles to hold the cables... my only set of double-points is the right size, but the mittens are on them! So I bought another set! The dangers of starting more than one project (though I might have enough double-points now to start knitting the other mitten immediately from the other end of the yarn -- I hate the thought of starting "all over again").

DNA project

If other folks are game, I'd like to try the DNA pattern. I will probably go for a pillow modification so that I can use the time I finish it, it won't be winter anymore :-)

Plus, I can use it as my chance to learn cables and not freak out about mistakes because I will start with less yarn and can take my time. If it turns out well, I will then try the scarf for next winter.

I will get the pillow pattern from my Interweave issue and see if this is do-able.

Anyone else want to try the pillow version?

Fun with felting!

Hi Pholks! Yipee -- more procrastination! I am currently working on a baby bunting from The Yarn Girls' Guide to Kid Knits. I just finished one side of the split front and realized I mismeasured and it is an inch too short -- I hope that this thing is finished before she is old enough to go to college! I also have my first sweater still in pieces but plan on taking a finishing class to help me out since I have no idea what to do (I was purely a scarf person prior to this endeavour). I am also working on a poncho (two rectangles that are sewn together and I am going to add a split button up turtleneck thing to it -- more than likely this will be done when the weather is too warm to wear it as I am making it with chunky wool and an interesting koigu wool for contrast). Also working on a shawl out of rowan silk haze mohair. The pattern has some lacework at the edge which I scewed up a bit at the beginning but that stuff is a bear to rip out so I am hoping that it won't be so noticeable. Also working on a scarf with a sort-of basket weave type yarn-over pattern (also using that Plymouth baby alpaca -- so yummy!).

As you can see, I pick up projects before I finish them (also reflective of my attitude towards the diss!) and thus I am striken by an insatiable desire to learn how to felt because I want to make this (sorry -- don't know how to make the link pretty). Has anyone felted before? I have no idea whatsoever about how to do this but, man, does that bag look neat!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Online yarnstores

My favorite yarn store in Berkeley, Straw Into Gold, lists some online yarn sites. I'm checking out Yarn Market right now. Danger, Will Robinson, high faffing potential. :-) I'm hoping for some inexpensive yarns, since the local small knitting stores have gorgeous but way-too-expensive yarns.

I'd like to knit the DNA scarf and also conduct a human subject experiment: not tell dh what I'm working on and see when (if?) he notices the DNA pattern. I'll have to work on my facial expression, though, just to make sure it's controlled. ;-)

Oh, I'm already in waaay over my head--Textures (in Yarn Finder) include slub and eyelash. ???! I get ribbon and chenille, but slub? got a lot to learn, I can see...

Calling all geeks!

Oddly enough, knitting and geekiness are like chocolate and peanut butter -- what at first seems like an odd combination is very complimentary. The mathematics that underlies knitting probably helps...

I thought I would start collecting some of the great geeky patterns out there:
botanicallyhip has suggested the following: Geek Chic from the Fall 2003 back issue of Interweave Knits, and from Priscilla at Fuzzy Galore there is the Probability Sweater, which involves randomization through rolling a die, and Fibonacci Socks.

Mr. Snow (earning my undying gratitude at finally finding geologic knitting) suggested a tectonics scarf (now, 65 Ma, 190 Ma, 220 Ma, 280 Ma, and 350 Ma. Unfortunately, there is no pattern, but it does get the creative juices flowing. From the same knitter: a "Terry Dactyl" doll; the pattern is listed as 'Alan Dart.'

One of my personal favorites is the DNA scarf. This is also very popular amongst knitters, as googling "DNA scarf" brings up a multitude of scarves knit on this pattern. I also really like the moebius scarves and klein bottle hats; there are multiple patterns for these. Going back to Priscilla at Fuzzy Galore, I particularly like her Moebius Capelet, which solves the problem I had with the scarves, which is that they are too droopy. My favorite Klein Bottle Hat, at sarah-marie's mathematical knitting pages; there are lots of other interesting mathematical shapes (warning, sarah-marie's patterns are written for left-handed knitters).

Okay, this is not knitting, but there is a beautiful crocheted Lorenz manifold. Also, the AMS Special Session on Mathematics and Mathematics Education in Fiber Arts has some interesting abstracts relating to knitting and other fibers, and here is a list of articles, mostly on weaving.

Navigating blogger (and buying yarn!)

Has anyone tried their own post? (Rather than just commenting on the first post.) I don't know what browsers y'all are using, but here is a foolproof method: click on your username (top left), then hit the "home" link on the next screen (bottom left), and hit the green plus beside the Phinished Knits! on the next screen (top left).

Both html and the shortcuts (I forget what they are called -- they are common on message boards) are enabled.

Blogger also has information on how to post pictures. You need to upload your pictures to the web first (there are free services like flickr), and then link to them.

I bought the yarn (and needles) for the DNA scarf today! I've gotten to the point where I will need a lot of help for the fingerless gloves (as I'm sure I will need with the scarf also), but hopefully I will not be stalled on both at the same time. I am very excited about the scarf, I have wanted to do this since I found the pattern, but was seduced by the pretty colors available for the fingerless gloves (River Run Supersock from Cherry Tree Hill Yarns). I've gotten an off-white alpaca wool from Plymouth Yarn (the lightest color in the color chart).

I will try to post pictures tomorrow.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

First post...

To activate yet another knitting blog. The goal is to set up a group knitting blog for PhinisheD denizens, and perhaps host knit-a-longs.

Just to confuse everyone, I am using my current nom-de-plume, thomasina (my heroine in Tom Stoppard's Arcadia). My phinished posting name, which is ancient and I would change if it didn't break continuity, is Geo.