bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
This is based on several articles I've read about dyeing wool-based yarns, and is an Experiment! to see what I can do.

There follow adventures! in dyeing. )
bouteillebleu: (Eye (rainbow))
Work: What I've been doing recently is working on saving Endo, just under two years after the relevant ICFP contest was over. I've been teaching myself more Java this way. Also, working on a Perl program to do markov chain-based text generation from IRC logs.

In actual-paid-work news, I have a new job and start on Monday. :)

Knitting: Socks. Also a nightgaunt that's half done and I need to finish. Also two dolls to finish for next Friday.

Roleplaying: DnD on Tuesdays was briefly replaced by Shadowrun while one of our players is away for the Easter holiday; the Shadowrun setting is cool, but the system is a bit more "crunchy" (dice-roll-intensive, in this case) than we'd like. Next two sessions will be a segue back into DnD 4E system, still in Shadowrun setting, set somewhere in an Aztlan temple.

No CUTT for a few more weeks, but Maelstrom event 1 is coming up next weekend.
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
Because as well as all the computer-related stuff you can find on it, you can also discover that there are people out there making crochet patterns for your own toy Cerberus or doing the same for anglerfish or Rabbids.
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
So tonight I taught myself:

1) How to knit Continental-style, with yarn in left hand and needle moving around it (rather than English-style, with yarn in right hand and right hand moving yarn around needle, the way I currently knit). So far, Continental is possible but a lot slower, and it's tricky to keep the yarn on the right needle when pulling it through the loop.

Actually, I thought while trying it that it'd be much easier with a crochet hook. I remembered the brief tutorial [livejournal.com profile] rjw76 had given me on how to crochet, and what that looked like, which was a lot like Continental. So, I also learned to:

2) Crochet, in single crochet (I think that's the British term - the American and British terms for crochet stitches are humorously entirely different), somewhat badly, but I'm getting something more of a feel for how the hook moves. I also have bright red cotton yarn to try with which is keeping me entertained. Next step is to haul out the Stitch 'n' Bitch Happy Hooker book (it's a "teach yourself crochet and make cool stuff" book) and learn (a) if I'm doing this stitch right, and (b) other interesting stitches.

I want to try to crochet myself a hat. Then stick all sorts of stupid stuff to it.

But first, off to have shower.
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
One of the nice things about our speech practical is that it involves a lot of "give computer your HMM and data, let it reestimate stuff", which takes a while.

This is nice because it means I can knit in the lab and it's okay because I am also working. Or, rather, my workstation is working. :)

I need an icon that combines "knit geek" and "computer geek". Hmm.
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
I'm planning to go home to Watford for Christmas as usual, and (unlike last year) go to York with family for New Year.

I'm also planning to look in shops that we don't have in Cambridge for stuff. :)

So, does anyone know of any yarn shops in Watford or York?
Also, does anyone know of any shops in Watford or York that sell sourcebooks for tabletop RPGs? I will probably be looking for Ars Magica books and anything else that catches my eye.

I'm keeping a list for comparison here. More will be added as I find them.

Cambridge )

Watford )

York )

And since I'm visiting Florence for a few days next week, I'm planning to look at yarn shops there (no RPG shops, they'd all be in Italian anyway).

Florence )
bouteillebleu: (Yarn)
Mostly for the benefit of any knitting types who read my LJ, and for my future reference.

Sock tutorial with photos - this explains how to knit a top-down sock, accompanying it with photos of each stage. It doesn't give any stitch counts...

...but that's what the Basic Sock Chart [PDF] is for. This gives a good summary of how many stitches to cast on, how many rows, and also how to arrange stitches on your needles.

Good references for when the pattern you got with your sock kit assumes that you want to use stitch markers that you have to shift every row rather than just using where you change needles as a reference.

I can understand why the markers - you could be knitting on circular needles rather than double-pointed ones, right?

Right. Except the pattern is in a kit that comes with double-pointed needles. Mutter mutter.
bouteillebleu: (Knitting)
I'm working on possible cable charts for TB's Saxon Braid scarf, and it struck me while I was knitting the second that cable charts bear a remarkable resemblence to the change-ringing charts I've seen (mainly when reading The Nine Tailors).

A few other people have looked at this idea - the Tsock Tsarina has a post about using it as a basis for colour knitting, with links to some very impressive Finnish mittens that use a similar strategy.

I, on the other hand, like knitting with cables. And I'm wondering if I can find a complete peal that would make an interesting cabled scarf...

Possibly not, as with change ringing, unlike with knitting, you only cross two cables / bells over at once, whereas the Saxon Braid pattern I'm working on regularly has lines with two or three cable crossings at once.

Still, it's worth a try...

ETA: A brief look at a site explaining Plain Bob Doubles informs me I am wrong - the restriction in change ringing is that you can only change two adjacent bells, not that you can only do one swap at a time (as Plain Bob Doubles often appears to have two swaps at once in adjacent pairs).
bouteillebleu: (Knitting)
Short version: The first thing I knit was an Irish Hiking Scarf for myself. [livejournal.com profile] theblunderbuss has admired it. I have offered to make him a scarf too. :)

I've chosen a yarn for it: I'm planning to use the Cashsoft Aran I got on sale this week, in Thunder/Grey (I have lots of it, more than enough for one scarf). It asks for 4.5mm needles but I don't have any, so I'm thinking 5mm needles for now - I did 5mm and 4mm swatches, and the 4mm swatch was obviously smaller, but the fabric was also harder and rougher than the nice soft result from the 5mm one.

Second, the pattern. The middle's going to be a Saxon braid, which is a six-stranded braided cable. I've found several links for patterns, and they all seem to have two-stitch-wide cables for the braid.

I'm not sure about this. I like the look of the three-stitch-wide cables in the Irish Hiking Scarf, and I'm wondering if the Saxon braid would look good with those.

So I played around with Photoshop and one of the charts of the Saxon braid, and came up with a possible modification to give three-stitch-wide cables. The modified version is the blue outline on the chart.

I'm not sure how the crossing points will work, or if they'll work at all, and it may need a little more length in the non-crossing parts. So my next plan is to convert the chart into a written pattern, then knit one repeat of the original and of the modified version to see which looks best. I may even include photos if I can get my phone or its miniSD card to play nicely with my computer.

ETA: Ah ha! A look for articles on reading knitting charts netted me a chart for a three-stitch wide Saxon braid.

Links. )
bouteillebleu: (Knitting)
Robert Sayle (the branch of John Lewis in Cambridge) is moving back from Burleigh Street to the centre of town on Thursday this week.

As a result, they are selling off most of their yarn stock for £1. The expensive hand-dyed stuff and the expensive Debbie Bliss stuff are still full price, but most of the rest of it is on offer - by which I mean it's been bought by [livejournal.com profile] rjw76 and me. :)

So, here is my yarn haul for the perusal of other TT knitters who may want to swap bits of stash afterwards. This is the result of my trip on Monday lunch and another trip on Tuesday morning.

Long yarn list is loooong, thus behind a cut. )

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