Friday, January 21, 2011

The Internet (or Maybe Comcast) Hates Me!

Actually, all communication with the outside world is having a big problem here.

My phone, my cell phone, and my computer all started having problems the other day. I've been trying to fix my phone, my cell phone, and my computer, and then it struck me that all of those three have one thing in common. They're all plugged into the internet.

Since Comcast has created nothing but problems for me with my TV connection, Occam's razor says it's probably them.

I am so fed up with Comcast! And they've made it practically impossible to even report the problem since all my communication seems to depend on them. I really have to find some other way to contact others! I've set my cell phone to not connect to the internet over WiFi, and it seems to be acting a bit better.

Holly says there's a way to reset everything on my phone to factory settings, but I can't find it anywhere or I would have tried it already.


So, after spending a little time trying to get to my email today, I found a link to this in my inbox! If you click the link, you'll find that Craig Charles spilled the beans, and that there will be another six episodes of Red Dwarf! All I really know is what's on the web page, so I can't really comment except to say that it's the funniest thing I've ever seen on TV, even funnier than The Middleman, and that's saying something!

In with the same email, there was a link to a story about a new show called 17th Precinct, which will be a new science fiction show. Once more, I don't know anything except what's on the page from the link.

I saw a trailer for Medium on last night, and they said to tune in tonight for the series finale. I'm really sorry to see it go!


Usually, the knitting content comes first, but this time it's last. Sorry, I'm struggling just to get something up here, and it's not easy.

I went to the library on Wednesday, and picked up a fairly new knitting book, Modern Top-down Knitting.

Modern Top-Down Knitting: Sweaters, Dresses, Skirts & Accessories Inspired by the Techniques of Barbara G. Walker

 It's got some really interesting things in it, and it's a must-have if you want to knit dresses from the top down. There are seven slim, pretty dresses in this volume, including the dress on the cover. There are a couple of cardigans and a few pullover sweaters, too.

All these things make sense for knitting from the top down. You can try on the dresses and sweaters and make changes as you go to make the garment truly fit you. That's the whole point of top-down knitting.

But there are a batch of other projects in here that don't make sense to be knitted from the top down, and some that aren't knitted from the top down at all. They're mostly accessories, and while some of them are nice, and I even love a few of them, I feel they should have been saved for another book, and the space they're taking up should have had some more top-down designs.

There's some knitted jewelry, including a ring, plus a belt and a wrap (which obviously can't be knitted from the top down) that are wonderful and innovative, but not top-down. There are some interesting hats, which don't benefit at all from being knitted from the top down. There's one hat which I'm not too enthusiastic about knitting, but would love to own in several colors! She uses pipe cleaners to stiffen the brim.

That's the Annie Hat from the book, the one with the pipe cleaners in the brim.

She also has a beautiful wrap, which is, once more, not top-down. I was going to show you a photo, but can't, due to computer problems.

The author, Kristina McGowan, obviously comes from a sewing background, and applies lots of designer detailing to her patterns. Some of it is useful and welcome, but some is just extra work for nothing. For instance, if you sew a skirt or dress, the hem is a raw edge unless you finish it with something. Hem tape or stretchy lace is great for this. It's really completely unneeded for the same purpose when finishing a skirt or dress that's knitted, though. Yes, it can be a pretty trim that nobody will ever see, but why bother?

She is also really big on binding off, adding a bit of crochet, and then picking up stitches and continuing. Once again, what is the point, except for make-work? Then again, you needn't do any of these except the ones that are actually needed for the design.

One thing I've noticed, is that some of the directions are shown right-handed, but a lot of the photos of sewing and crochet are shown and described for a left-handed person. I'm not sure why they're mixed up like that or if it was intentional, but that's the way it is.

 I'll try to keep posting, but if you don't hear from me for a while, it's because of the communication problems.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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