Space Age


Iris made and launched this today at the LA kickoff event. Each kid decorated and named their own rocket. The guy reading the launch manifest couldn’t believe that someone would name a rocket ‘Rosy Hearts’ and read ‘Rosy Heat’ instead. Iris was not as upset about that as the fact that the rocket went suborbital.

She said that it was a fake rocket because it didn’t go into outer space. And the rocket was so small, it could only lift an ant. She thought she was going to make and launch a real rocket. Mark said her rocket attained an altitude of ~100 ft at the apex of the trajectory.

I let her go to preschool late one day last week so that we could watch the Space Shuttle launch. I guess the really big rocket made quite an impression on her 4 year old mind.

Why does Barbie always reminded me of rockets? Could it be the missile-like boobs? Iris picked out the fat quarter of pink batik and the Burda pattern for the dress.


Maribeth and I attended the Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane workshop at Machine Project last Sunday. We met Daina Taimina in person and learned how to make some hyperbolic planes. I, of course, went for the most crenulated one for which I increased in EVERY stitch. This took forever. When Iris asked me when I was going to be done, I said it would take a while. So she went and got a teeny, tiny one from the shelf and said, ‘See how cute this is? You could make yours cute and be done.’

Side view

Top View

Yummy Enough to Eat

Can a yarn be yummy enough to eat? I snagged the last skein of this berry silk/merino mix in Nancy Finn’s booth at Fabulous Fiber Fest 2004. It knits up like a dream. I have never knit with such an enjoyable yarn before. I hope Nancy will be there again this year.

I mixed the berry yarn with 2 skeins of its green/teal sibling and 3 skeins of Cascade 220. I started this sweater at family camp last month. Of course, I had to spend an afternoon at the nearby yarn store that arranges their yarn like a color palette. I made considerable progress on the sweater despite the long hours I have been putting in at work. I am using Jill Vosburg’s crystal cove sweater pattern. As usual, I couldn’t resist making a few changes.

On the sewing front, I made Iris’ Barbie an evening dress from some cotton batik that she picked out. I will post the pix next weekend.

Needle Sets Comparison

In answer to the question, which set do I like better? There is no good answer.

I bought the plymouth bamboo set from for ~$100. It contains US equiv 5,6,7,8,9,10 needles. But the us 6 is really a 4.25 mm instead of the 4.00 mm that most other manufacturers use. I use the 4.25 mm alot in order to achieve the popular 18/24 gauge in a variety of yarns. There are 4 cables, including a super short one that makes 12″ circulars for knitting sleeves.

The knit denise set is more versatile and half as much $. The set has 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11, 13, 15 needles plus 6 cables. The cables can be joined to make longer cables. But, the cables get sticky. I need to wash the cables occasionally in warm soapy water to remove the sticky buildup. But, in hot weather, the plastic cables soften and grab the yarn no matter how often I wash them. I don’t have that problem with the plymouth set.

OTOH, the denise set has a smoother join between the needle and the cable. Iris pulled the plastic cable out of the steel shank on two of the plymouth cables. A little bit of epoxy fixed that problem. In addition, I need to periodically rotate the bamboo needles to retighten the internal screw that joins the needle and cable. I prefer knitting with bamboo needles instead of plastic ones.

Size Matters

Why are american things so large? Is all that bulk necessary? I give you the example of the two needle sets–one american, the other japanese.

Ok, the american set has a few more needles and cables, but does the case need to be so large?

And why does my neighbor have to park this in front of my house?
Here’s a close-up. What do you think he’s compensating for?

Now for the knitting content.
I made Iris a shadow heart sweater from Vivian Hoxbro’s recent book. I used the same number of stitches as the pattern in the book, but sized it up by using bigger yarn. Iris picked out the two colors of cotton fleece which has a gauge of 5 sts/in. The shetland recommended in the book should give a gauge of 6 sts/in. Iris will have plenty of room to grow.

I didn’t make the redundant heart on the back, preferring some diagonal stripes. I actually like the back better than the front. Can you see the (literally!) hearts on the sleeves?