22 Jan

How Creme Eggs have changed

Photo by LemonDrizzleCake.

It’s not quite Eastertime yet, but there are already Cadbury Creme Eggs to be found at some shops. Have you noticed that they’ve been getting smaller and smaller? LemonDrizzleCake, on Flickr, has. Her grandma has knitted chicken-shaped egg covers for them for 20 years, to give as gifts to children. She’s gradually had to change the pattern to make the covers smaller, and has ended up with enough leftover yarn to make wings for the chickens!

It’s sad that the eggs have gotten smaller, but in a way I don’t mind, because they are so darned sweet that one egg is really too much sweetness anyway. I’ve also noticed they don’t taste as good as they used to, but I’m not sure if the egg recipe has changed or if it’s just my taste that has.

19 Jan

The Three Hour Sweater Project: almost completed

I’ve been working on a Three Hour Sweater, from this 1930s vintage pattern, found via this knitalong at Craftster. It promises “three hours” because it’s made on big needles (US 15/10mm for the bulk of it). But it’s not bulky yarn. It’s worsted, probably light worsted at that. It’s only just over 100 stitches around at the chest — usually if you are knitting something that is 100 stitches on worsted yarn, it’s a hat, not a sweater! The pattern sounded kind of unbelievable. But a couple of people tried it and said that it not only works, it runs a bit large! So I thought, what the heck, I’d try it.

The pattern called for a yarn that is no longer made, Germantown Zephyr. Supposedly Cascade 220 is an exact modern equivalent. I had a bag full of vintage yarn I got at Goodwill, and I figured I’d try it for the pattern. It wasn’t until I was already swatching that I noticed that the yarn was Brunswick Germantown, which is pretty much the same thing as Germantown Zephyr or Cascade 220. Clearly I was fated to knit this sweater. The color is “Tornado,” a gray blue.

So here it is, 8 days after I started. I didn’t keep track of the time I spent, but it was way more than 3 hours. I think 12 is closer to it. I’m a slow knitter and also read while knitting, which doesn’t help. It’s not finished yet — I need to crochet edging around the neckline, and probably rip out the sleeves and put them back in as I don’t think I did it right. But it’s pretty close to finished and you can see what it looks like.

It does run large, which is pretty darned shocking for a sweater made up of so few stitches, and less than 600 yards of yarn. It’s very comfortable, but awfully loose around the waist.

I might make another, and if I do I will probably make it a bit smaller and shape the sides. And I will stand up straighter when photographing it.

12 Jan

The end of For Better or For Worse

The long-running daily comic strip For Better or For Worse is supposedly coming to an end soon. Or maybe not. Now she says she’s going to freeze the characters in time — they’ll no longer age in real time, which was one of the things that made the strip interesting. Probably it’s just going to be reprints of old strips with wraparound new art and characters reminiscing. “Remember when Farley died to save April? I sure miss that dog. Too bad the kid’s still around.” Is it just me or is that possibly the worst idea ever? While normally I hate it when comics get passed to a new writer or artist, in the case of FBoFW I think the best option would be to hand it off to someone else to continue. (LJ’s plotting has gotten worse and worse in the last few years, so another writer might do the strip a lot of good.) But since Lynn Johnston refuses to do that, she should just kill it off. Nuke Milborough, or something. Or if they are going to start printing reprints, just do it this way.

02 Jan

From Altair to Google: Microsoft’s evolution, in keywords

“April 1975: altair computer
January 1984: graphical interface macintosh
May 1991: patents windows
1993: computing highway
1997: computer differently macintosh
August 1998: linux oss
November 2002: judgment middleware plaintiffs windows
October 2006: google advertising hardware competition”

Tood Bishop at the Seattle P-I collected speeches, interviews, e-mails, and other items from Microsoft’s history, then processed them with a tag cloud generator to show the words used most commonly in each document. Above, I’ve listed the 2-4 most common in a few of the them, but there are lots more, and each one in the P-I’s tag clouds includes 64 words. It’s a fascinating glimpse at the evolution of the company and the things that they have focused on over the years.

02 Jan

Knitpost: Boye needles with KnitPicks cables

I have a couple of sets of interchangeable circular knitting needles — the Denise set and the Boye Needlemaster set. Neither is perfect. The Denise needles are plastic which is not my preference (usually), and the Boye set has great colorful metal needles but possibly the worst cables ever, stiff cables with bumpy joins. Then along came KnitPicks with a new kind of interchangeable needles, the Options set, which are slick and great to knit with, and the cables are perfect. But. I don’t want to buy another set of interchangeable needles for $60. And the KnitPicks cables aren’t compatible with the Boye needles, even though they are designed similarly.

The problem has been solved. Apparently you just have to go to a gunsmith, who can retap the Boye needles and make them fit the KnitPicks cables. On the other hand, for $3.75 per tip, you might as well buy the KnitPicks needles, I think. But if you know someone who can do this fix for free, or if you like the Boye needle surface much more than the KnitPicks one, it would be worth it. Now the question is — do I know anyone with the equipment and skill to do this for me? 😉

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