27 January 2008

Knit Map - and Open Street Map

Maps are wondrous things, aren't they? 
Today I discovered a map for knitters, and it is International! Never be left wondering if there is a knit store near you, wherever you are.

Knit Map - look for stores in your area, and add 'em if they aren't on the map. The screenshot below is Tokyo, Japan yarn stores. What I wouldn't have given for that info in 2006!

Want to annotate your universe? Have GPS, will edit: Open Street Map
My son, Brandon has been involved in a map making project that is a map wiki. He wrote some original software and contributed it to the Open Street Map (OSM) project. Unlike the US, the folks in the UK don't have easily accessible non-proprietary street maps. The project was initially focused on the UK. However, on Thursday, after seven months and six days of constant grinding on the United States dataset* the import to the Open Street Map project was completed. The OSM is here (all data is in the database but not all tiles are rendered: that'll take a little longer). If you wish to edit the map, zoom in to your favorite region and click the "edit" tab.


*every street in the US 

25 January 2008

Seattle-to-Portland Yarn Crawl - oh so much fun

Last weekend I led a train car FULL of knitters to Portland for the day. It was delightful, it was bawdy, it was economical. I want to tell you more about it, but work has gotten in the way. So, in the short term, I will let the knitters themselves tell you of this adventure:


I promise to process photos and tell you about breaking my yarn diet in my next post. But, I'll close with one word that decribes the day last Saturday: magical.

08 January 2008

Seattle to Portland Yarn Train -- Order your VooDoo Maple Bacon Bars Now

The line for a Portland Voodoo donut is usually a block long, but due to our incredible connections, you can order your Maple Bacon Bar now and have it waiting for you at the train station! The Maple Bacon Bar is their specialty and we are taking orders for only that flavor. A little luxury that makes Portland Portland!

Note: the option to purchase a Maple Bacon Bar is available only to the folks that will be in the Portland Train Station to pick their orders up on 16 Jan 2010. Cost includes paypal fees and your purchases are non-refundable. Deadline to order your Maple Bacon Bar is Tuesday 12 January 2010, midnight.

To pick up your doughnuts at the train station, print your order confirmation from PayPal! Note: we'll be handing out your doughnuts when we arrive, around 11am. If you are coming on a later train, please don't order, we won't be there to give you your doughnut.

[Sorry, we are no longer taking orders for the doughnuts.]

06 January 2008

First Look: Pixie Driving Gloves

Eloquent Communication with the Wave of a Hand
Designed for a pixie, so that with a wave of her hand, she can eloquently communicate her opinion. Included in the package, the ability to easily make one positive, and one negative gesture.

                                Pixie Driving Gloves

Method: Top down, of course! In the round, using two circular needles.
Yarn: Rowan very-thin-really-meant-for-two-colorwork wool
Needle: Size 1US
Quick and dirty instructions:
Inspired by Meg Swanson's I-cord gloves from her book Handknitting. Although I did not use I-cord to knit the fingers, I followed her method for the rest of the glove.
Cast on for each digit using Emily Ocker's cast on, 4 stitches.
Increased every couple of rows until the tube fit the digit. Knit plain in-the-round until the tube reached the connection point. When all 10 digits were knit, I put the index, middle, and ring finger on two needles, hold 1 stitch from the inside of the digit out of the work. Knit a few rows, then added the pinkie digit. Knit until I hit the thumb space, added the thumb (hold 3 stitches out of work.) The held-out stitches are then grafted together to close the hole. (Meg describes this in detail.)

Edit: 8 Jan
Forgot to mention, I added a gusset (really, just increases) to accomodate the width of the palm. Refer to Meg's description in her book, she really walks you through the process. The only thing I changed was knitting tubes for the digits instead of Icords. For an eloquent description of creating Meg's Icord gloves, see Nona's blog entries about it.

When I had knit it long enough, I knit a cable cuff, K 4 stitches, P2, Twisting the Knit stitches 2 over 2 in a consistent direction (not using a cable needle.)

Finalized with some embroidery to make the message easier to swallow, whatever hand-given message gets communicated.

7 Feb 2008 Update: If you are on Ravelry, you are welcome to join a Driving Gloves Knit Along.

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