Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thank you, Google Reader!

This will be a quick post, and it will not be of interest to anyone who doesn't use google reader.

My biggest gripe with google reader (well, my biggest gripe since they've installed the search bar) is that the "mark all read" button is so close to the "refresh" button, and that there was no way to disable the button or undo a "mark all read." Many many many a time I've been sleepy and trying to refresh, when instead I've clicked mark all read and hundreds (in one case thousands) of posts I'd had marked as "unread" for one reason or another were gone.

As of today, a few minutes ago, when I accidentally clicked "mark all read" a popup window came up: "are you SURE you want to mark all 115 posts as read?" I told it nope, and went along my merry way.

Googlereader is the one webap I use more than any other, and it's become an important part of my day. This one little minor change by google has made the product infiniately more enjoyable for me, and much less stressful - never again will I be too afraid to use Reader at night! Or when I'm tired! Or when i'm forgetful! Thank you, google!

Friday, January 25, 2008

New Year, New Hat!

All right, so it's been a little longer than I anticipated...the good news is, I have even more to share with you! I'll start with my first FO of the year.

New Year's Urchin[R]:
Pattern: Urchin[R] by
Materials: Del Sur by Aslan Trends [R]; 80m/100g; 100% Merino wool; color: 2979 (Scarlet) dyelot: 1200
Purchased at: Natural Stitches in Pittsburgh, PA
Amount: a little over 1 skein
Needles: 7mm (NOT US 7s, this is not a US needle size) Addi Turbos
Gauge: what's that? (aka, never checked)
Size: L
Cost: $16.80 but I still have a bunch leftover

Started: 1.02.08
Finished: 1.03.08
Total time: 1 day!

I wanted to knit this hat in the first place because Anna J's mother knit her an Urchin and I fell in love with it and ended up wearing it all New Year's Eve. I know trying to recreate someone else's finished product is a bad idea, but I loved the hat so much that as I was leaving Pittsburgh, I picked up some yarn to make myself a hat. I got the Del Sur after much deliberation. Anna J's hat was (I found out later) knit in Lamb's Pride bulky with size 11 needles. (Yeah, I got her to check with her mom.) AnnaJ is also a fellow knitter, and we both thought the hat might look nice in a thick/thin yarn, which is what led me to chose the Del Sur.

A few notes on the hat: I was a little disappointed in how small my final hat was. AnnaJ's hat was nice and floppy, a proper beret. My hat ended up much more tightly knit, and while it fits on my head, it's a pretty tight fit. I've been debating taking out the seam and adding another wedge (which makes sense if you've done the pattern) but the yarn would not be easy to undo, and I'm not eager to go back to working on this hat.

I've worn my hat quite regularly and it is warm, and it's received complements, but I'm still not thrilled. Hopefully one of these days I can bring myself to go back (I still haven't woven in the ends) and add another wedge or half wedge.

A few notes on the pattern: Before knitting, I checked Ravelry (of course) and saw most people considered this an easy fun knit. My first attempt at a wedge left me utterly perplexed. This is partly because, instead of knitting in relation to the last wrapped stitch, I attempted to do the math to count how many stitches I should leave. This did not work. I asked for help on the Rav boards, and people pointed out the directions were in relation to the last wrapped stitch. On my second attempt, I places a stitch marker every time I wrapped a stitch (yeah, you end up with TONS of them; I used the removable markers so I could reuse them) and just worked in relation to the marker. This made the knitting much more pleasant and much easier. Though it took me longer than few hours, it was still a quick knit.

Urchin back

Urchin side

And, here's a picture of the yarn, all wound up.
Del Sur

I do have more knits-in-progress, more sewing projects, and a 101 in 1001 post I owe you, so keep reading. =]