...and 'S' stands for swatches. Taking stock during the stash flash, and looking back at planned projects, there was a common theme on those that were completed. No, it had nothing to do with size - it had to do with that other s-word, swatching. I pretty much only did projects where I could just blithely cast on. The two categories, fitted garments and self-designed projects, languished.
Some of the anti-swatching sentiment admittedly likely stems from laziness. But another part is fear of running out of yarn. Since I usually buy a bit extra, this is pretty irrational, I admit. Usually extra yarn in the same dyelot is available. If worst came to worst, I could likely rip out (oh, but more ends to weave in!).
I am trying to overcome this aversion. With my first socks, I needed to know the sts/in before I could start on the pattern, so I eased into it with a Trekking XXL and a Cherry Tree Hill swatch. This weekend, I knit up a storm of swatches - for clapotis, felted bag, afghan square, and Anatolian socks. I have the beginnings of a detailed swatch set on flickr, with all relevant information. The Anatolian sock swatch is shown here, in Socks That Rock and Twisted Sisters Jazz. The varigated Fluorite colorway ended up being too busy, and parts of it blend in to the raspberry background. I am going to do the actual socks in Citrine, which is a light yellow, dark yellow, light peach colorway.
Understandably enough, most of the entries in the geeky knitting section come from people in STEM careers (Government-speak for science, technology, engineering, mathematics). I can't even begin to express how exciting it is to find such creativity coming from the extended geek pool.
Here we present the beginning of the Redhead Genome Project scarf from She Dances in Dragon. She researched the mutations in the MRC1 gene thought to cause red hair, and charted the alleles as shown in the top part of the photo. G is black, C is blue, T red and A green, as per standard coloring for DNA bases. The DNA is charted 30 bases across a row, so it is even possible that the codons are together.
Knitting is my recent obsession, and eminently bloggable, but my lifetime love affair is with books. So it is not surprising that my "stash" of knitting books has grown faster than the actual yarn. I stumbled across a great new online library cataloging system, LibraryThing. Books are easy to enter - type in part of the title, or author, and select from the results. You can also tag books, and see which books are "fraternal twins" to the ones you already own. I envision other uses for the tags, like cataloging location (I already have a whole standardized matrix notation planned out for the bookshelves), and books on loan. Or, scary thought, even books to trade.
In other book news, I broke down and purchased the Alice Starmore Fair Isle and Aran Knitting books off of eBay. Both from the same seller, and both a bit below what they typically go for, but still ouch. I would still like the Charted Designs book, but am not going to purchase the pattern books. Some of the patterns I would most like to knit are available as kits (with updated patterns) anyway.
Borealis Yarns keeps me well-satisfied with their book selection - and given the low profit margin on books (and the undercutting from the bargain bin market), it is a much larger stock than is really profitable. But sometimes I want something well off the beaten path - and I found a great online bookseller Knitter's Bookshelf, for the books Borealis doesn't carry. A great selection of books, and even better, extensive reviews. There are small discounts scattered throughout the site, which offset shipping for a large order. Great communication, and fast shipping. They notified me immediately that one of the books I had ordered had gone out of print, and suggested an alternate seller. (Yeah, the high cost of some of the out-of-print knitting books has partly spurred the book buying frenzy. I am trying to get my most-desired books, and keep tabs on which ones are going out of print.)
It is surprising how different everything looks after an airing out - and apparently a blog is no exception. I couldn't figure out how to salvage my old template, which had me stalled pretty much forever. I finally decided to revamp completely, and love the new green look. Too bad I didn't clean house before the stash flash. I got rid of almost all the blog bling, except for my beloved weatherpixie. I am on the fence about the FO flash flickr badge; I would likely switch to the typepad gallery pages if uploading to them weren't so annoying. At least I've sacrificed my rock and string flash flickr badges, though you can still see them on the about me page. The flash badges satisfy my general indecisiveness, but become annoying in aggregate. The other satisfying thing was removing the WIP section - as I got faster, it didn't get updated enough. Ironically, the two projects in that category became my only UFOs, ever.
Designed by Rachel Bishop at Math Scarves. The pattern is based on a "perfect shuffle", a shuffle that perfectly interleaves the cards. Do it enough times, and the cards will return to the original configuration - the "enough times" is represented by the number of caston stitches in the scarf. Certain cards will group together, and are represented by the same color - modular arithmetic provides the logic behind the groupings. Rachel provides the full explanation under What is a perfect shuffle?.
I think this is very exciting, since I love the underlying pattern behind the Fibonacci sequence, but this is really only a means to grade two colors. I do not find the practice of rotating different colors within the Fibonacci sequence to use more colors to be emotionally satisfying (or a true Fibonacci sequence - and it is not based on modular arithmetic, either). I have a lot of green yarn in worsted and DK weight with different shades and textures, that I think would work well in a scarf like this. Instructions to knit your own perfect scarf. Alas, *.exe files will not run on the mac, so I will be using old fashioned pencil and paper.
It is also exciting since Rachel's was the first request to be added to the geeky knitting section. So she gets the first geeky knitting update - several more in (hopefully) the near future. The good news is that geeky knitting is burgeoning on the web; the bad is that it might not be possible to archive it all. When I first started a year ago, I did extensive searches and felt pretty confident that I got nearly all the available material. Now I feel that I am barely scratching the surface. But, overall that is a good thing - better too much geek knitting than not enough.
I like having the stash flash, since it is a great way to take inventory and compare with previous years. So, the entire photo acts as a nice mnemonic for me. But, I know you all are in it for the pr0n, so enjoy: