End of the flurry

Hooray, the last day of Thingadailies 2017, which means the last snowflake (for the year).

Naturally it is chock full of picots and long skinny points and all the things I like the least.

There are, by the way, 99 total snowflakes in this book, so it is entirely possible I might be doing this one more year. WHO KNOWS!

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Deprived

This evening, while we were sitting at our computers, we heard skittering and thundering of little paws, and the distinctive cry of a cat who has caught some prey and is very, very proud of it.

I figured it was just Sherman doing his usual ‘time to burn off the crazy’ dash around the house, but when Richard went into the kitchen later, he started laughing.

Turns out the ‘prey’ Sherman had caught was a ball of yarn – a light fluffy mohair blend that apparently was extremely appealing to cats – and he was having SO much fun with it, throwing it into the air, batting it into a paper bag and then pouncing on it, smacking it across the floor.

I took the yarn away, and tucked it into my knitting bag while Sherman was otherwise distracted in a different room. Alas, that wasn’t enough to hide it because roughly ten minutes later, oh hey, is that skittering and sliding of paper and ‘I caught something I’m not supposed to have!’ vocalizations we hear again?

This time I hid the yarn better, so he couldn’t get to it. I was so tempted to let him keep it, because he was so happy playing with it, but I really have no desire to repeat the ‘extra tail’ experience of 2014, so he’ll just have to make do with the packing paper that’s still lying on the floor, and the collection of empty boxes, and the bazillion other, safer cat toys scattered all around the house.

*****

I could swear I have made a snowflake very similar to this one, but who knows. At this point they’re all starting to swim together.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Lighting

The downside to getting up at o-dark-thirty in the morning and driving down to spend all day in a brain-intensive class, followed by socializing with fellow knitters, combined with the fact that I always have a really hard time sleeping in unfamiliar places, is that today only happened through large amounts of caffeine and sheer will power.

Today’s class was only half the day, and was all about how to take better pictures (which I realize might not seem applicable to a fiber festival, but a lot of designers and yarn dyers and spinners have to do all their own photography, plus some of us just want our Ravelry pictures to maybe not suck quite so bad). The class was taught by the Shibaguyz, who were extremely energetic and witty for it being the morning of the last day of a four-day event (a fact that we all appreciated very, very much).

The awesome thing about this class is that it was specifically geared to everyone – from people with their fancy cameras with all those weird dials and gadgets, to people (like me) with their ‘point and shoot dummy’ cameras and mobile phones. It’s helpful that mobile phone cameras are way smarter we give them credit for, and have all kinds of useful settings that let people like me take better pictures than we have any right to, but now I know some extra tips that make me feel like I might actually have half a clue what I’m doing. Huzzah. Plus I came out of the class determined to build myself a light box (which means sorry cats, I may have to abscond with one of your boxes), and also make use of the Ott light that I keep forgetting I bought years ago specifically for lace knitting (the thinner the yarn, the higher the eyestrain).

Will my photography magically improve? Possibly not when it comes to the cats, but when it comes to things that don’t move on their own and can be posed and moved to get the right light, I’m feeling pretty confident.

*****

Speaking of better photography, you probably would expect today’s snowflake picture to be better, but here is where I confess that I did a bit of front-loading last week and finished out all the snowflakes for the rest of the month (because I knew I’d have very little time). So sorry – you’re stuck with crappy pictures for the next couple days.

And speaking of crappy pictures, here is what is quite likely the most boring snowflake in the book. Whee.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Numeric

Today I got up at wayyyy too early in the morning and drove down to the Santa Clara Convention Center because this weekend is Stitches West and I signed up to take a couple classes, the first of which started at 8:30 .

I usually don’t sign up for knitting classes because a lot of times I feel like there’s either nothing that really grabs my attention in the class list, or else the things that do seem interesting are the sorts of techniques that I could learn on my own, in a lot less time. But this year Franklin Habit was going to teach a class on tessellations (!!) and also there was a class on photographing your knits, which seemed rather appropriate considering that I now have to be photographing lace pieces for publication on a regular basis, so I signed up for both.

I got there in enough time to acquire coffee and a breakfast sandwich (mmm, coffee), and also to meet my co-editor so we could interview another designer for the newsletter, and then it was off to an all-day class on tessellations and how to work with them in designing.

I know a lot of people don’t like math, and a lot of knitters get super nervous when math is required, but one of the very big reasons why I love knitting so much is that it is entirely wrapped up in math. Every pattern is a bit like a software program, and you design by calculating out sections and percentages and working out rows and columns to create the final product. So the whole concept of tessellations, and how to put them all together, and all the math behind them, is absolutely fascinating for weird people like me. Plus we got to cut things out and put them together like puzzles, and really, it was an awesome class, and now I am just itching to sit down with my pattern charting software so I can play.

*****

Meanwhile, here is a snowflake. I should probably do some kind of spiel about angles and geometry at this point, but I am so, so tired, so ‘yay. snowflake, ugh, picots’ is all you’re going to get.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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A thing I do

I realized I haven’t actually talked about this at all, either here, or anywhere else I’m online, so…hey. I do a new thing now (that is yarn-related, because of *course* it is).

Last year, the Lacy Knitters Guild was looking for a new editor for the quarterly newsletter, which is half articles and half patterns. I started to ponder it but while the pattern section sounded like it’d be a whole lot of fun, the thought of having to come up with enough text for the front section was extremely intimidating. So I checked in with my friend, who was feeling the same way, except that it was the articles she thought would be fun, and the pattern section she thought wouldn’t. Long story short, we decided what the heck, we’ll give it a go, so basically ever since then, in between work and rehearsals and test knits and all the other stuff I’ve got going on, three of us (my friend, me, and our webmaster) have been making plans and having the occasional planning conference call and firing stuff back and forth to each other for editing and discussion. And I’ve been doing a *lot* of work on the lace itself – either charting out patterns (which has been interesting because terminology has changed a LOT since some of these were written, plus some need to be translated to English), or knitting them, or figuring out how to photograph them quickly, before the cats move in and turn it all into another lounging area and cat hair collection spot (last part is sometimes more difficult than you might imagine).

We’ve now put out three newsletters (with only a couple minor hiccups, but it’s all part of the learning curve!) and so far I’ve been having just as much fun with it as I expected. I’ve gotten pretty good at Stichmastery, and it helps that I’m a pretty fast knitter to begin with, because the turn-around time for some of this has been a bit quick, but the pile of lace work based on vintage patterns is growing, and it’s possible that I may or may not have used this as an excuse to invest in a large quantity of laceweight cotton yarn, but hey, it was on sale and you get free shipping if you hit a certain amount in your shopping cart and yarn purchased for ‘work’ doesn’t technically violate the unofficial yarn diet I’ve been on for a while, cough, cough.

*****

Anyway. Enough about knitting. Look, it’s another snowflake!

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Keeping it real

I like today’s snowflake. I like that it’s not exactly the same all the way around (there’s bigger points and lesser points). I like it even though it’s chock full of picots.

I do not like so much that as I was doing the inner section, I didn’t discover that I’d skipped some stitches until I was nearly done with the outer section and then had to rip it out completely and start over again.

Fun times.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Mod

Today’s snowflake pattern (#51, for those of you who care) is the second one in the book (so far) that called for beads (I made the first one last year). As with the previous one, I just ignored the part about the beads, but this time I also adjusted the pattern accordingly by adding in picots (yes, really, on purpose, sigh) as I crocheted it.

If nothing else, making all these snowflakes has definitely improved my confidence with crochet (although not so much my gauge or speed, but shhh, let me have this moment).

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Averted

One would think, considering how long I have been knitting, that I would have accumulated a set of every size needle that I could ever need.

One would, alas, be wrong, which is why this evening I was sending out frantic ‘hey, does anyone have a set of DPNs in size 9?’ messages to my knitting friends.

Luckily a friend came through, because knitters are always good in a crisis. But I know what I need to add next time someone does a Knitpicks order.

*****

Remember what I said yesterday about picots?

I wasn’t lying. Look at them. Look at all those horrid little picots!

I like the center of this one but I am not so much a fan of the arms. See comment above re. picots if you are wondering why.

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Settled

Normally, it being a Monday, I would have rehearsal tonight, except that this past weekend was our latest concert set, and that means now I’ve got two Mondays off. Yay!

I celebrated by eating homemade pizza for dinner and working on some test knits. Do I know how to party or what.

*****

Here is today’s snowflake. After the last couple weeks of increasingly more complicated looking snowflakes, this one was a bit…well…boring.

No worries, though, I see oodles and OODLES of picots in my future (sigh).

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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Brake

Yesterday morning we were heading out of town and as we drove down I-5 through downtown, we saw flashing emergency lights on the other side of the freeway and then, bizarrely, a small white box truck perched precariously over the railing. This is on a section that’s up high, so if that truck had gone completely over, the occupants would have ended up in a world of hurt.

Shortly thereafter I spotted a heap of twisted metal, just barely visible over the dividing concrete barriers between the two sides of the freeway, and it took me a few moments to realize that that had once been a car, and another couple moments to realize that there was no way in the world anyone in that car could have survived.

It wasn’t until today that we found out what had happened. Some idiot was running from the police, and got onto the freeway going the wrong direction. The box truck just had the misfortune to be in their way. And I was right. The occupants of the car didn’t survive. The driver of the truck did, but is facing a long and difficult recovery.

That was a rather sobering reminder that no matter how careful a driver *you* might be, all it takes is one idiot doing something stupid, and you might be the one who ends up paying for it.

*****

And on *that* cheerful note, how about another snowflake? I know this won’t mean much to anyone else but me, likely, but this snowflake has 6 rows of directions (the most in the book so far).

Making a snowflake a day for Thingadailies.

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