April 11th, 2006

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Thinking and musing

School started last night again. I'm taking Satellite (Space) Communications. First class was filled with equations and I do mean filled. We were covering orbital mechanics, of which I have a basic understanding, but not the math understanding. It's been several years since I've done this much math. Found out that there are two tests, plus several quizzes that will make up 70 percent of my grade. The tests are in-class. I haven't had an exam with math on it in a long time. I haven't had an in-class exam in nearly as long. I hope I do okay in this class.

I read the new Knitty yesterday. It shouldn't come as a surprise that my favorite pattern was Nautie (The stuffed nautiloids). I've put that pattern on my to-do list. Another pattern that I've put there is Mr. Stegs, a pattern that Grumperina recently did. I think my to-do list has stretched out way to far by now. :) I'm going to have to start keeping a list, especially of where I come across patterns so that I can find them later.

I keep looking at the chickens in a line picture that is in the previous entry. The chick in the middle keeps striking me as very frog like. I wonder how hard it would be to modify the pattern to create a frog. I'd have to find some way to add front legs, but the wing looks like it could be modified to create back legs. Unfortunately, I think I could more easily mod the chicken into a frog at mini-scale than at an easy to assemble scale. (I only have 4 stuffed frogs floating around my house, what's one more?) I'll have to think some on that idea.

I was playing with my drop spindle again last night. I really, really enjoy the creation of the single from the roving. I figured out that I don't like the plying nearly so much - it seems too fiddly. And I have no clue about what I would make from the plied yarn. Is it wasteful if I just spin and spin and spin singles and never do anything with them?
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If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

That was my mantra for tonight. I cast on for Nautie tonight and began trying it as written with a striped shell and in worsted weight yarn. I kept dropping my needles and I couldn't get decent the alternating yarns. So I ripped that one out and just tried for a solid shell. Still had problems with it - tension-wise and losing my place-wise. So, then I cast on with a handpainted fingering weight yarn.

Yes, I know I said shoot me if I did any more mini-stuffed animals, but I must have gotten used to tiny needles as I got much further with the fingering weight yarn than I did with the other tries. I actually had something to stuff by row 3, whereas with the other tries I really couldn't stuff anything until row 9 or 10, it just didn't form right. I'm now up to row 25 (out of about 130 for the shell) and am liking how it is coming out. I think I'll be past the hard part soon - no matter what the yarn size, the hard part will be the first couple of coils as there isn't much to hold on to and so few stitches actually on the DPNs, that there is little control. The yarn is Christy's Crazy Monkey Yarn again. (And here I had been trying to figure out what to do with it - thinking that solid colors are best for stuffed toys. I was wrong.)

I've school tomorrow night, so I don't know if I'll finish Nautie before the weekend, but I'll let you know. After I figure this one out, I hope I'll have the basics down, so that I can attempt a larger or striped version.