Monthly Archives: September 2010

Baby hat for Cooper

Ripple baby hat #2

Ripple baby hat

I just finished blocking another ripple baby hat – this one is off to Oregon for baby Cooper. After trying out the pattern last winter, it’s now my go-to baby hat pattern. I love it. Not too boring. Not too frou-frou, and just right for those stashes of sockyarn too small to make another pair of socks.

Knitters: 1 *** Google: 0

Last week I was reminded of technology’s limitations. That’s rare. Usually it’s me with the limitation, as I realize that the computer or software is obviously and unequivocally capable of much more than what I’m able to ask of it. I feel this way pretty much every time I attempt something on Adobe design suite. But having a computer mess up is a relief. I interpret it as proof that we’re not hurtling towards that creepy sci-fi world where robots do everything for us and then suddenly develop consciousness and take over the planet. Or not hurtling as quickly anyway.

So last week I was performing my favorite pattern search on ravelry – cardigans – and I came across this beauty. Simple but clever construction. More torso coverage than most shrugs. Repeating radial lines and a reversible collar. YESSSS

copyright: Pitsikuduja

But then I saw the pattern only came in Finnish. I tried running it through Google Translator, thinking that it wouldn’t be perfect, but there’d be enough coherence that I could make it out. Here is an excerpt:

Always lift the right hand edge first layer of knit stitch.Note. when you knit 3 rows: ta, start with the condensed layers as follows: * Knit the next layer of the right side of chassis 34 (37) 38 (41) 42 (45) s of patients continue to pattern by. Turn the work, please yo needle and knit 34 (37) 38 (41) 42 (45) s of patients continue to pattern by.

Holy smokes, what a mess. Sometimes partial sense is even worse than an entirely different language. It’s a false promise of getting closer to making sense of the thing. On a whim, I wrote to one of the knitters who had posted her completed project on the pattern page. Her project notes were written in English, so I asked if she would be able to translate the pattern…or if she knew of an English translation anywhere. One hour and 59 minutes later I received this reply:

Hello!

I don’t know what got into me, but I started translating next minute after reading your message. Check this out :D Enjoy!

Cheers, Lilia

copyright: Lilia (aka the most generous, kind, and amazing ravelry user I've met)

I could not stop smiling all day. This random gesture of generosity from a stranger was just awesome. A few years and I’m sure Google Translator will branch out for specific sectors and their specialized jargon. But until then…KNITTERS: 1 *** GOOGLE: 0 !!!!!!

Sedum sweater cast-on

Before I left Oregon, I had to spend a yarn store gift certificate. They happened to be in the middle of a big inventory reduction sale (eee!), so I bought up seven or eight skeins of a squishy soft gray wool. Just this past week I cast on the Sedum sweater (ravelry link). So far I’m feeling good about it…

Sedum sweater WIP

Sedum sweater progress

Sedum sweater WIP

You're jealous of my bathroom, aren't you? Floor to ceiling pink tile baby.

I’m knitting at a slightly tighter gauge than the Sedum pattern – about 15 st./4in. on 10.5 needles. It’s been relatively easy to adjust the instructions if I keep a little pen and paper nearby for arithmetic. After the Snowbird Cardigan, I see the beauty in top-down raglan design since it allows for adjustments as you knit along.

How to not stress over your wedding

This post marks my return to the blog after a six-week hiatus. I tell you, it’s been a wild ride. Driving cross-country. Interrupting the drive for a flight to a job interview. Getting married. Changing my name. Starting a new job. When thinking of what to say about all of this, I came up with a few strategies that got me/us through the month of August.

If you don’t want to stress much over your wedding, always keep it in perspective. People thought we were nuts for getting married in the same month that we moved, changed jobs, and started up in a new city. But it kept me from making the wedding a gigantic vortex of time, worry, and energy because there was always something else in front of us that needed immediate attention. Some people end up balancing a wedding planning with other things out of chance, not choice, and that’s extra hard because you didn’t see it coming (i.e. my good friend suddenly got laid off a couple months before her wedding). I don’t wish that kind of blind-siding on anyone, but one benefit of either scenario is that it puts the wedding into perspective, and you don’t feel compelled to fuss over all the little details. A wedding is an incredible, life-changing, and powerful event…but none of that hinges on the table centerpieces or the groomsmens’ shoes or what kind of dressing is served with the salad.

Day 3

Nowheresville with Sam at the helm

As you keep the wedding in perspective, try to also generalize your expectations. If you’re like me, you tend to create very specific expectations in the planning of an event, but in doing so you run the risk of getting hung up on changes that have no real effect on your  core intentions. It rained all morning on the day of our wedding and showed no signs of letting up. When my dad told us they’d decided to move the outdoor ceremony to the reception barn, I was genuinely sad. I talked myself out of it with reminders that there was no reason our heartfelt, simple wedding ceremony couldn’t play out exactly the same way indoors. I was merely mourning the loss of my detailed expectation for how the ceremony would look: sunshine, puffy baby clouds, a little breeze. Let go of these details to make room for all the unexpected things that actually do happen. Right after saying our vows, the sunshine broke through the rainclouds and came through the barn windows in bright beams. Pretty cool. And definitely something I hadn’t imagined.

When trying to generalize your expectations, remember that guests will not miss something they never knew existed. For example, I wanted people to have copious amounts of good beer to drink at the wedding, so I envisioned some friends from Cleveland bringing kegs of a local microbrew. But with less than three days till the wedding, it just wasn’t working out. My uncle offered to call his friend-the-beer-distributor who could bring like a giant kegorator with taps right on the outside, but he didn’t have any microbrews available. I started to get hung up on the equation “good=microbrew” until Read pointed out that a”any beer was better than no beer and we’d better just go with it.” Thank goodness I married him. The kegorator was a huge hit, and I watched guests drink copious amounts of Blue Moon and Killians without ever hearing a wish for microbrew.

Take a few moments for just the two of you after the ceremony

Finally (and I think I read this on APW somewhere), at some point just cut loose and enjoy your party. We had a receiving line and we stood up at the start of the reception to welcome everyone, generally introduce the groups of people present, and publicly thank friends and family who donated their time and talents. I highly recommend  both. Some of my parents’ friends approached us after dinner and said they loved the fact that we introduced who was at the wedding and thanked everyone for coming…it made the event feel very personalized. Since we’d front-loaded our connecting with guests, we felt comfortable spending a lot of time on the dance floor. There were some soul trains, Read’s dad did the splits, and we ended it all with a big, swaying, group hug to “Piano Man.” Read and I agreed that while we knew the wedding would be fun, we had no idea it would be THAT MUCH fun.

Do you have any suggestions for how to keep wedding planning in perspective, not lose your cool, enjoy the day, etc.? Later this week I want to post a little on the “nuts and bolts” of putting together our event, but I also have some new knitting and apartment projects to share.

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