Monday, 29 September 2008

Aero Pr0n Monday

While not all of it has happened today, the news are full of aero pr0n today!
So, in the last bunch of days, China have successfully launched a manned capsule, the Falcon 1 has successfully reached orbital flight and two different research teams seem to have solved the unsteady 3D boundary layer problem, and can now predict the separation point.

Isn't this all full of awesome?

(Also, Alex and I now have a Wii.)

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Links of the week, 28/09/08

What do you know, it's that time of the week again!

Tubular Cast-On for 2x2 rib
After the Sizzle fiasco, I got a fit fed up and cast on for something else: Emerald, solving all my dilemmas about starting Emerald or Wisteria (I'm still working on Sizzle, though). Wanting to do it properly, I decided to do a tubular cast on to make the edges nice, and this is the one I followed (the second method).
Yarn fibres (jpg)
Ever wondered how yarn looks amplified? Wonder no more! This picture compares how different yarn fibres look under the microscope, which in turn sheds some light about, say, why some fibres are slippery while others aren't.
Real Jayne Hat for auction
Adam Baldwin is auctioning on eBay the real Jayne Hat, with all proceeding going to charity (the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation). I don't have enough shiny pennies, certainly not for what it's going, but it is an awesome idea.
Oooh, the little dragon
I have a kitten named Dragon. Once I was reading a book, which featured a dragon named Kitten. I might have squeed.
Container homes
Hiro Protagonist, the main character of Snow Crash (which you should totally go and read, although beware that Neal Stephenson, while an amazing writer, does not believe in endings per se), lives in a shipping container, as do his entire neighbourhood. This company would make that possible. A small place, sure, but it doesn't look too horrible.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

The attack of the unwanted frog

Yesterday I finished the neck decreases of Sizzle, and was very happy and proud. I only needed to continue until shoulders, and then I could seam it!
This is a rendition (super high-tech, as you can see), of how much I had knitted.


I counted the shoulder stitches, and noticed I had one extra per side. Thinking it was odd, I picked up the back and checked the stitches. Then I noticed the problem.
The back has seven darts from hip to waist. Guess how many mine has.


This six darts render my front quite a lot shorter and completely mismatched with respect to the back. I couldn't even cut through the middle, knit a strip and graft it to both ends, as the extra dart meant one less stitch throughout the rest of the top.

The following picture is a rendition of how much knitting I have now, with the darts marked for clarity.

I am not a happy kitten.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Links of the week, 21/09/08

Soooo much Spore progress, all lost! Stupid computer :(

Talking of Spore...
A blog I read as a good post about its silly DRM, and about consumer ethics. Worth a read!
Baby tigers!
What more do you expect? Baby tigers!
Lost in translation
I find that online translators are ok to get the idea of, say, blog posts in a foreign language. They are not good, and they do sound funny, but they get the point across. However, when you put something back and forth through babel fish... well, funny things happen.
The family trunk project
The creator of the Family Trunk project is designing one knitting pattern in honour of each of her ancestors (to great-grandparents). It is a beautiful project. You can buy some of the patterns with real money, or by sending her certain number of pages with your own family story!
Blog tools
A list of different blog tools. I haven't checked them all, by far, but it has some, in case someone wants stuff for their blog.
Icon Buffet
Icon Buffet is a site to get free icons. It has a "catch", though! You have to trade them! You get certain tokens a month, and then trade your sets of icons with other users. It's quite fun, and the little icons are cute (note that this is the site where a bunch of the ravelry pretty icons come from!). If you join, I'm pocketsize there, so friend me! (if you are super nice, let me know and I can send you an invite, to get me some points!)
Architectural photoshop
Sadly, this structures are not real, but were that we could bend the laws of physics!

Back to Spore, hopefully it won't crash and loose my progress this time.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Not passing out!

Today, I have finally manage to:
1) not pass out of exhaustion on the sofa for over an hour as soon as I get home
2) take pictures of my knitting
2 is very strongly related to 1, and they are both an achievement.

I am making socks for Alex, using the pattern An American in China, although in my case they are An Englishman in England. I like making things for him, but socks is what he wants, so I'll just keep making socks! (I have another ball of sock yarn to make him another pair, and plenty of man-socks queued up!).

IMG_5832       IMG_5833

Inspired by this comic (and the next one!), I am making myself a Worry Hat, using a generic hat pattern from Last minute knitted gifts. I am worrying quite a lot about how it's turning out, so hopefully it will be finished soon and I can activate it.

Finally, I have been working on Sizzle, because I want to have it ready before it's too cold to wear, although I guess I could also wear it as a vest. I have already split the neckline, although I think I will have to go to the back again and make the armpits a bit longer. I was surprised when I took the picture of how squat it looked, but it's even longer than my Green Tea, so it must be an illusion created by the fact that it's not yet finished.

I also can't start any new big project until I finish Sizzle. I have a bit of a dilemma on that, as now I want to make Wisteria (for which I have the pattern but not the yarn, although I know which one I want to use) instead of Emerald (for which I do have the yarn). But, if I get the yarn and make Wisteria first, I will feel guilty for not making Emerald. But I want the pretty cables. Etcetera. At least I still have some days to decide!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Liquid gold in my cup,
sweet and warm.
Not enough.
Sleep now.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Links of the week, 14/09/08

Better later than never, I would like to say to all of you a bit THANK YOU for all the lovely comments in my wedding accessories post. They were so nice!

I have been trying to catch up with the internet from the days I was away, as I did not check my email at all while on holidays. This clearly proves that I am not an addict!

ATLAS (LHC) assembly montage
As you are probably aware, the Large Hadron Collider was turned on on the 10th September. The world, of course, didn't end (teeny black hole would have been teeny). Here is a video of the assembly of the ATLAS experiment.
Nanoships in medicine
One of the problems with tumors is that some of them are very difficult to access, and medication cannot be delivered to them directly, arriving in very dilute quantities. This nano-ships, coated in chocolate (well, a compatible lipid) so that the inmune system doesn't notice them, can travel in your blood stream and deliver the drugs straight to where they are needed! For now, this has only been tested in mice. We are, however, one step closer to the nanogenes from The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances. You know the ones I mean.
Road safety, Mars style
Like good drivers, the Mars Rovers can't talk to Earth and drive at the same time!
National Geographic Photography Contest
The images from the contest have been turned into walpapers. Like a lot of "extreme" pictures of the Earth, they look alien and beautiful, and I will totally use one of them when I get tired of my current yarn walpaper.
Bears like chocolate too!
The oldest known polar bear is ill, and has lost lots of weight. At the moment, she is on a diet of chocolate and cupcakes, because it's one of the few things she can eat and is helping her put some fat on for the winter ahead. Mmm, chocolate.
Invisible skyscraper
is invisible!

Friday, 12 September 2008


We were really here!

I am finally back from my holidays in Italy. Well, I have been back for a couple of days now, although I wish I wasn't! I have been trying to write up something coherent about my trip, but I am really not managing, and that is making me a bit sad. It was a great holiday, and nothing I write seems to be able to covey the awesomeness of it. I'm afraid you are just going to have to imagine that. I do have, however, some pictures, and I am hoping they will help pass the message across.

We were in the Tuscany, based in Pisa. We did the obligatory visit to the Piazza dei Miracoli, checking that the tower was, in fact, leaning, and then we went to the two lesser-trodden sights there: the Museo dell'Opera and the Museo della Sinopie. The sinopie are the preliminary drawings/sketches for the frescoes, only discovered after WW2, when everything got bombed and they had to take away the frescoes. They are now housed in their own museum and are amazing, capturing the art of the painters without all the colourful distraction. The Museo dell'Opera is a museum of cool old stuff. I would certainly recommend a visit to both of them (they are also a lot emptier!).Pisa

Most of our time of holidays, however, was spent ambling around the little streets, seeing pretty things and looking for small local restaurants. Life in Italy goes slightly slower than here in England, and it was very nice to slow down to that speed and see the sights. In our quest for tasty food to bring back, we found one of the most awesomestest shops evar, run by a little old lady. We bought some saffron from her.Awesome little shop

Florence is only a train ride away from Pisa (about 1 hour), so we went there a couple of days. In our tourist mode, we saw Santa Maria del Fiore, Il Duomo. It was very pretty, inside and outside, and it featured a 24 hour counter-clockwise clock. I have one in my living room, but only 12 hours.24-hr counter-clockwise clock

We went up to the top, which gave us a beautiful view of the city and of the construction of the cathedral. The top does have, however, some very narrow passages, to the point that several people had to be turned back because they were too fat to fit through (and we are not talking about horribly fat, either). It was a rather narrow passage!Construction detail Il duomo

As we ambled through the city (our feet ended the holiday very tired, including blisters), We also saw a football ball, a random street argument and a pedestal held by four turtles! It wasn't quite four elephants atop a turtle, but it was fun nonetheless.
Football ball Random street argument On turtles!

We visited the town of Lucca, surrounded by a full wall. We happened to be there on the day of the 64th anniversary of the liberation of the city by the Americans, so we saw an army parade of the time, and on the day of the Wall Market, so we saw Prize Pumpkins. The Wall Market also had hand-dyed yarn, but it was made of sheep, so I had to let it go.
Lucca US army truck Price pumpkin

On our last full day, we decided to go to the beach for a couple of hours, to dip our toesis in the water, so we headed out to the town of Viareggio. We showed off our light tan on the beach (I've haven't had this much colour for a while!), while lots of other people were ugly shades of red. We then found huge park in the middle of town, and we strolled with the locals in the shade, cooling down from our escapade to the beach.Viareggio

Now, as I said, I am back. It is, of course, pouring down here, and many degrees lower (Italy was soo hot). I do wish I could still be away, but it was nice coming back home and, after all, I still had the rest of the week off.

I like holidays. Is it can be holidayz tiemz again nao, plees?

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Absence - Italy

Don't begrudge me the links! I am, at the moment, in Italy, enjoying my first holiday in a very long time. The excitement and the stress prior to the trip is too much!

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Wedding accessories (FOs)

You might remember that I had to attend my cousin's wedding, and I decided to knit my accessories (as well as use an old dress, which annoyed my mother no end).
The wedding was this past Saturday and, barring some disagreements about what time to come back, it wasn't so bad, given that it was an affair that involved my family. I came out with a clear thought: I'm not getting married. If I do, I will elope.

Click here for the full picture!

Hair Flower

Hair flower

Ravelry hair flower
Pattern: Main flower (rav) and Small flower (rav)
Yarn: Rowan Cotton Glace in black and maritime (discontinued)
Needles: 2.75 mm for main flower and 3.0 mm hook for small flower
Notes: I like how my hair turned up! I didn't know what do to with it, so I asked Ravelry for help. I loved the Chinese bun tutorial, so that's what I did. 10 minutes, 20 hairpins, 1 dpn and plenty of holding-spray later, I was the proud wearer of that bun, and mocked the people that had spent at least 2 hours that morning at the hairdressers. As the evening wore on, some of the hairs started to uncoil, but still remain in nice curls, so they looked on purpose. If you have long hair, I would certainly recommend this hair style!

Lace evening gloves

IMG_5587 IMG_5590

Ravelry project page
Pattern: Afternoon tea fingerless gloves (rav)
Yarn: Patons 100% cotton 4 ply, in black
Hook: 2.5 mm
Notes: My brother commented on the gloves, and said he thought they were very elegant.
I had a bit of trouble when I started making them, first having to check many sticthes (tr3tog explanation here), and then getting overconfident and doing it wrong. Worth it, though. They do stretch a lot when you block them, so don't be afraid if they look too small: I certainly thought I was going to have to redo them in a 2.75/3.0 hook (although continued with the first one to practice), and in the end it stretched plenty.

Gloves in action!

Sorry for the poor quality of this picture. There were actually very few pictures of me in my family's digital camera, so that was the best I could get.