Sunday, February 13, 2011

Catching Up

As you know, I've been having internet problems, which has been discouraging me from blogging as frequently. By the way, they're not over. There are so many things that could be wrong, and I've been working through them one by one, and haven't found a definitive fix yet. All that troubleshooting has been using up time that I could be blogging, too. Or doing other things.

So, I'm going to catch you up on all the stuff that's been happening. A lot of people have been commenting on a hat I made on another website, and I've referred them here, so there may be a lot more people reading this blog.

To them, I'd like to say "Hello!" and say again that I cover many topics in a typical post, and separate them with some asterisks, so if you're not interested in a topic, skip down to the next break.

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On Wednesday, Holly and I went over to the VA Hospital in DC, and picked up my new hearing aids. This sounds quick and simple, but wasn't. They had to be fitted, and I had to learn how to insert batteries, turn them on and off, clean them and take care of them, and use the bluetooth aspect. They can also be plugged in to things like my home phone so that I can make and get phone calls without having to hold the phone up to my ear.

I have a loop which uses bluetooth or can be plugged into something, but they didn't send the cord to connect it to something else that way. I bought a cord on Thursday, but the connector is big and chunky, and the jack in my phone is in a little dimple with a rubber cover, and I can't plug the cable in all the way because the end of the cable has that big, clunky plug, so I'll have to get something else.

First of all, they work so much better than the ones I had before! Some high sounds and sibilant sounds cause a tiny feedback squeal, but they make human speech so much more easy to understand. Part of this may be that I went through part of the learning curve with the earlier aids.

One of the neat things about these is the way they look. My old aids were skin-colored hard plastic, and if you happened to see them in my ear, looked more like a malignant growth.

The new ones look more like jewelry!






The aids themselves are a metallic navy blue, and are very pretty! They don't look as good in this photo as they do in real life. The connection between the aids and the earmolds, and the earmolds themselves is a translucent soft plastic.


Here's a photo of the earmolds in their soft, clear plastic. You can see a bit of how pretty the blue metallic finish is, just above the earmold.

Isn't that close up photo amazing? It's all thanks to the wonderful camera that my sister gave me for my birthday! Thanks, again, Lynn. I find the camera doing something wonderful that most cameras have trouble doing and it just amazes me almost every week.

The best part is that I can hear so much better, though. These are an amazing experience!

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And now, to the knitting content!

I put up a photo of the Mobius hat that I made for Kyle two Christmases ago on a knitting website connected with facebook, and I've been getting many comments on it.

Everyone wants the pattern, and I never wrote one out. I've decided that I'm going to do it, but since the original is in Wisconsin somewhere, and I don't have it to photograph, and I'll want more photos for the instructions, that I'm going to knit a new one and write up the instructions and report on my progress here.

Just so we're all on the same page, here's a photo of the hat I'm talking about.


I also did a simpler version of this hat for the daughter of a friend the same Christmas, and I think I made a similar one for Holly, too. I plan to write the directions for the simpler one as a different pattern, and I'll write a pattern for a scarf and cowl to go with each of them. Here's the other hat. Both had scarves, but I didn't take a photo of the scarf for the hat with the cable, so I'll have to make a new one in order to take photos and show the construction as I go.





This hat (unlike the other) has a cuff that's actually a true mobius strip. The one with the cable has a fake mobius.

I plan to have several lines of knitting patterns, and this second, easier, mobius hat will be part of my Screaming KnitFit patterns. These will be a group of patterns set up by a lazy knitter (me) to be really easy to knit. They'll have unconventional construction meant to minimize finishing (I don't like to have to sew things together), and, best of all, you'll be able to knit them using any weight yarn. Most of them will let you start knitting, and check a little while after starting for gauge. If it's good, you can just keep knitting. If not, you can consider it a gauge swatch and rip it out and start over again. And by gauge, I usually don't mean "16 stitches to 4 inches" I mean "Is it too stiff or too loose?" They will mostly let you ignore gauge and just start knitting, have minimal finishing, and will actually fit.

I chose the name because I used to love Screaming Yellow Zonkers, and loved the name even more. I also wanted to give the idea that these were easy knits that fit, and while I was in Basic Training, I had a barracks-mate who used to talk (all the time) about her mother having screaming knit fits, and I always thought that was an amusing way to express it.

I've already written three Screaming KnitFit patterns (although I didn't call them that then) that are available in printed form, but I plan to republish them as PDFs since I'm getting more and more requests for them. You can see the current printed patterns here. There's a listing for a Christmas stocking that I haven't taken down yet, and I'll write a pattern for that, too, soon.

The hat with the cable on the cuff will be one of my Unconventional Knits line. They'll be things that for one reason or another will actually need to be knitted in a particular weight yarn at a particular gauge. Sorry, guys. No getting around gauge swatches here!

They'll also be things that are knitted in a more conventional way, frequently with separate pieces knitted flat and sewn together, although this particular hat will need no sewing. When you're done knitting, you're done! That covers the "conventional" part of the name, but these will be special in some way, which is why I added the "un" at the beginning of conventional.

Stay tuned for more information!

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I went over to the library yesterday, and noticed that the ice on the lake is starting to break up. It looks like Spring may still be far off, but it's on it's way!


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There's a Burn Notice marathon on USA today! In honor of Valentine's Day (which is tomorrow, by the way, happy Valentine's Day!) they're calling it a Heart Burn marathon!

If you're into a Valentine frame of mind, there are a lot of that type of movie on today and tonight. Check your local listings.

Next Saturday, the original Being Human will be all new on BBC in America as part of their Supernatural Saturday.

I've got to go now, or this post will never get up on the internet.

I hope your weekend has been wonderful, and wish you a fabulous week!

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