Sunday, November 27, 2005

The OddBall is Ruffled

Four thousand, seven hundred and thirty rows later...

While faithful readers of this ‘Blog might have reason to fear that the Odd Ball has tossed in the knitted towel and taken up tatting as a means of preserving her (in)sanity, fear not. The OddBall still knits.

Some time tonight, when I get off my ass and do the Donebuts, I’ll post the hand knitting I’ve been labouring at but in the meanwhile, I wish to crow about the machine. I’m going to have to send said machine into the shop because I don’t think the memory drum is working right. I decided this after the second crack at this felted, ruffled scarf that I’ve been working on for a week. My machine is supposed to be able to do slip stitch patterns with a punch card but it was not working. It wasn’t knitting it; it was just eating the yarn. Originally, I blamed me and sat down and very carefully repunched the card. Nothing doing, it was still eating the yarn.

Fortified by several cans of Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, the OddBall cried, "What the hell?" and threw herself at the machine. I know how to do short row knitting on the machine without a damn card and so I did. Four thousand, seven hundred and thirty some rows of it, to be exact. Now, it’s merely a matter of putting the scarf together and then having it not felt in the washing machine like everything else I’ve ever tried to felt.

I do have incentive to get it done today. Liz and I are scheduled for coffee tomorrow morning and I want to show off. She’s up to her ass in alligators getting ready for a Christmas craft show next week and I’ve been busy saving the world, training others to save the world and torturing small bits of yarn.

Talk to you’se all laters when I get this damn thing out of the washing machine. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tie it on and run

More scarves and a very friendly model.

I’ve been in hand-knitting scarf mode for the last while. I have quite a pile of them now. It’s a good project for me. I finish them before I get bored. And it's a great way to relax after spending an hour cursing that kniting machine. I’m again in fight mode with the knitting machine. I know, hardly news, is it?

Tonight I’m going to re-punch the card. I took last week’s unmitigated disaster down to the Christmas at the Market where I ran it past the machine knitters in attendance at the craft show. Opinions vary from the drums have crap in them to the native stickiness of wool. I’ve been working with Briggs & Little singles.

I did take Lucia, the Knitting Fiend’s advice and carefully checked my needles. I did have one that was wonky and replaced it but I think that couldn’t have been all the problem. Logically, if it was a needle causing the problems, it would have been consistently the same stitch. I cleaned out some fuzz from the drums and with luck, I’ve got the problem sorted.

I’m back to having problem with the machine. This time, I’m trying to use a punch card to do short row partial knitting and this time, I really do think it’s the punch card. I’m going to re-punch it tonight and be a little more careful. I think I’ve spotted the two holes that are causing the hang up on this one.

In any event, I’m back to working straight nights. Things are a little nuts at work with trying to train 6 new dispatchers and we’ve expanded our 9-1-1 coverage area. Last week, I actually worked my regularly scheduled shift and that was by total accident. By the way, the blonde model in the picture is my co-worker Becky aka Princess… and yes, she answers to Princess. Becky just finished her first knitting project, one of those Bohemian scarves with the twisted fringe down the side. She did a great job and is starting on dishcloths. Now if we only convince Craig to pick up the needles. I’m going to tell him his performance assessment depends on it, or is that considered blackmail? I’ll call my union rep in the morning.

I hope all you folks out there in Blog land are doing well. I know with this time of year and Christmas around the corner, none of us seem to have a lot of time to update the Blogs. And since I know I’m in perfect half-arsed mode these days and probably won’t update this again for yet another week, Happy Thanksgiving to our American cousins.

Tonight, I’m going to bead that fuzzy pink scarf and re-punch the slip knitting card. And clean my studio. And find a cure for cellulite. And invent a cocktail for Diana. Talk at you’se all laters; thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I've had better days

Nice idea but...

After several hours and countless attempts, the final score for the weekend is:

The Machine - 6
The OddBall - 0

Piss poor execution

Today’s exercise in frustration was trying to do a Fairisle scarf. It's listed in the damn kniting book as 'advanced beginner'. That would be the beginner with 30 years of experience kind of beginner.

Damned if I can figure out what in the name of ever loving blue blazes is wrong with this ever-blessed, utterly fornicated pile of unspeakable crap. It’s putting stitches in the wrong places. My theory is … well, this is supposed to be a family friendly column, so let’s leave it with the Possessed by Aliens Theory. It’s the only reasonable explanation I can come up with other that than the operator of said pile of crap is not nearly liquored up enough to operate it. I really don’t think knitting and sobriety were meant for each other. Yes, Diana, I'm going to name a cocktail after you yet...

I've had a multitude of go-arounds with this thing today and yesterday. At the end of it, I can say I'm down two skeins of Briggs & Little yarn and I managed to ruin the finish on the dining room table marking the punch cards. Don't involved a Sharpie marker and a moron who forgot that the little punchie card blanks have little holes in them.

So, I’m grabbing my sticks, my string, and a bottle of vodka. I’m putting my feet on the coffee table, I’m going to go knit something that won’t make me swear. And I’m going to watch death, chaos, destruction and murders and other wholesome diversions. And if the OddBall IT and Technical Support Division doesn’t like it, he can just go do laundry or something equally useful.

Talk at you’se all laters, possibly after Detox; thanks for reading.

PS: That new Cranberry Sparkle 7 Up…excellent with vodka. Beats Fruitopia by a mile.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm back at it

New scarf

I’ve tried writing this ‘Blog several times this week but my life is so boring, I fell asleep at the keyboard each time. Work, it seems, is conspiring to interfere with my ability to screw around and just do what I want all day. The nerve of them there bastards!

Okay, I’ve been on a major hand knitting binge, having been humbled once again by The Machine. Last night, having slept for the first time in what feels like months, I’m all ready to have at the Universe. Today, I’m feeling like I can take on the world so I’m tackling The Machine again. The real incentive: Machine Knitters guild meeting is on Monday and I have nothing for show and tell. I can’t very well show up there on Monday and announce “Hi, I’m Kate and I’m a total loser.” Nothing like having your pride on the line to get you off your ass.

Details, details...

In any event, here’s the latest scarf offering. I’ve got about another 6 inches to do on it. It’s done in Paton’s Galaxy, a yarn I was so prepared to utterly hate but fell in love with last year. Just to give it a little textural interest, I’ve randomly inserted a row of elongated stitches, roughly every 4-6 rows.

In any event, I’m off to stare down The Machine. Talk at you’se all laters; thanks for reading.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Oh what the hell...

OddBall Bling-bling

Apparently, your OddBall correspondent is having flashbacks to the ‘80s and that evening soap opera, Dynasty. But, I’m liking it anyway. I’m going to make some more just for the hell of it. I actually like it, but as the Bird Flu scarf shows, I have absolutely no taste whatsoever.

Speaking of tasteless, I found out about this contest too late to enter. The Bird Flu scarf would have been a contender, I’m sure.

Well, I’m back to the needles. Something a little more subtle this time, not that it will be accused of being tasteful.

Talk at you’se all laters; thanks for reading.