Saturday, December 10, 2011

Today's Lunar Eclipse

I had intended to blog about this before the event, but didn't realize it was this morning instead of tonight. But since it was best viewed from Asia, most people one the East coast wouldn't get a great view of it anyway.

You can see some spectacular photos of the event here, along with information about the eclipse including links to other sites. NASA's Lunar Eclipse page has more information about this and other eclipses as well as general eclipse information.


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Most of my time has been taken up lately by two things: Finishing the last three Christmas stockings for the commission I'm working on, and finishing the cover of the third Steve Canyon on DVD, plus the slipcover for all three DVDs for people who bought all three. You can see the art, and simulations of the art at the link.

But. I have been doing a little knitting for a new design. I showed this photo in my last post.


I have since finished the whole scarf, and even darned in the myriad ends, but haven't taken a photo yet. It turned out beautifully, though, and I'm reknitting it in a better yarn with a few small modifications, mostly in relationships of sizes and spaces of various parts of the scarf. It has a braided section near each end, making it look rich and gloriously understated. This cries out for cashmere or mohair for a luxurious scarf. It's not what you usually think of as a Celtic Braid, but it really is. And, being a scarf, it's reversible! I hate it when scarves aren't reversible!

And I finally got together the money for a newer computer, which is a nice little laptop iBook (G4). It's not new, but is a big upgrade from the computer I have. I also obtained the software I need to lay out and make PDF files of knitting patterns, so this pattern may be available soon. It's possible I'll also redo my free patterns as PDFs, too.

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Some people have been bemoaning the fact that the Home and Garden and the DIY Networks have pretty much stopped showing craft shows and are only showing home improvement. I can understand it for HGTV, but for DIY, it's inexcusable!

I recently discovered that one of the local PBS stations has more than their original UHF broadcast station and on one of the new, HD stations they broadcast, they show Knitting Daily and Beads, Baubles and Jewels.

A lot of Knitting Daily is stuff I already know, but there are some unexpected gems thrown in there, even for experienced, skilled knitters. One of those gems taught me to do a twisted German cast-on, which is a much stretchier cast on, and almost makes a small rolled edge that I think is very pretty, and so I'm using it for a lot of things. If you want to learn that, you'll have to record all the shows until it comes around again, and then play that part of the show, back and forth until you catch on to what they're doing. At least I did.

The other show, Beads, Baubles and Jewels, has reawakened my desire to make silver jewelry. I used to have a business (Maxwell's Silver Hammer) and made a meager living making silver jewelry. The show is great because although it shows the usual beading techniques, it also shows some very advanced and sophisticated silver work involving torches and other advanced equipment!

I want to buy some silver and a torch!

I've been restraining myself, but I have bought some jewelry pliers and some charms to make stitch markers from. They've been mailed to me and should arrive any day now. In fact, they could be downstairs waiting for me to pick them up on Monday. Packages can be delivered to my apartment building, but we can't pick them up except during office hours.

Anyway, I bought some good quality jewelry pliers at a highly discounted price. They're especially engineered to be ergonomic, and especially designed to fit women's hands, although I think they'd work fine for guys, too. The handles are longer to give you more leverage (like the really expensive ones), and therefore stress your hands less, and the handles are shaped to make the business end at a more ergonomic, comfortable angle to work with. And, on top of that, they're even pretty! I love good tools! They can make or break your work.

Here are photos of three that I ordered: First the round nose pliers .


And needlenose pliers . These also have a cutter in them!

And a pair of longnose pliers .


And if these turn out as great as I hope they do, I want to order the three-in-one pliers . This looks like it would be very handy. Sort of an improvement on rosary pliers.

They also have two different cutters that I can't decide between.

Supplies are important, and they wind up being the finished product, so if you skimp on them, you don't have as good a project as you otherwise might, but tools are forever. You'll use them over and over again and they have the power to make your projects shine, or make them look like they were made by someone who didn't know what they were doing.

I also ordered some charms, and some knitters I know may get some stitch markers for Christmas. If I can part with any of them. I'm even thinking about checking out the jewelry making magazines.

Well, all this hasn't even arrived yet, so there will be a lot more to write about.

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In the meantime, The Holiday is on, and it may be my favorite Christmas movie. I'm recording it, but I have so much to do that I haven't been doing that I need to stop writing and get something done so I can watch it again. It will be on again between now and Christmas if you want to catch it. Just check your local listings, and the 21st keeps running through my head as a date that it will be on. No guarantees, but you could start looking there.

Only 15 days until Christmas!

If you're making presents, better get moving!

Have a wonderful weekend!



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