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After I finished my own knit hat, I still had plenty of yarn leftover so I decided to make a matching one for Griffin. That will be cute for Thanksgiving1 and I can call it a learning experience after he’s grown out of it.
Now it’s done!
It’s a bit lumpy due to my inexperience working with double point needles. The “corners” where I transferred from one needle to the other are obvious. Also, it doesn’t quite fit Griffin’s head. I measured his head circumference and compared it to mine, based on the first had I knit. Using that reference, I knit him a hat that will be good for about another month or so.
I’m happy with how this came out. Again, as a third effort, it’s perfectly acceptable, although it won’t be winning any contests.
Here is a link to the ravelry page, but as you have to have an account to view that, I’ll also place the pattern I used below.
Hat for Griffin
I borrowed this pattern from the site listed, but I had to make some modifications once I’d got it put together. For one thing, I feel the pattern is ambiguously described, so you’ll have to make your own decisions about it anyway. For another, it only works if you cast on a multiple of 11 stitches. Otherwise, you have to modify it.
So, my pattern ended up being:
Cast on 50 stitches for a 16” round hat
Work 1×1 rib for 6 rounds with size 8 needles
Work stockinette for 1 3/4”
Row 1: *k8 k2tog*
Row 2 (and all even rows): k around
Row 3: *k7 k2tog*
Row 5: *k6 k2tog*
Row 7: *k5 k2tog*
Row 9: *k4 k2tog*
Row 10-14: k around 5 times
Row15: *k3 k2tog*
Row 16-20: k around 5 times
Row 21: *k2 ktog*
Row 22-33: k around 12 times
Row 34: *k1 ktog*
Row 35-46: k around 12 times
Row 47: *k2tog*
Row 48: k2tog k2tog k
icord to the length you desire
- It is! I waited too long for this post and Thanksgiving was yesterday [↩]
Some of you may have wondered what that last post was all about. After all, it just doesn’t sound like me. And you’d be right! It’s a paid advertisement is what it is!
I’m happy to accept an amount of money that pays for the Eyebrow’s yearly server costs to host a sponsored posting. It’s blatantly commercial but it’s also not stupid like a lot of banner advertisements are. I’m happy to sell out in this little way.
I’ve contemplated doing ads on The Eyebrow off and on over the years. At the moment, there’s insufficient traffic to justify putting up banner ads or other click-through-model payout advertisements. And in all honestly, the costs for hosting we pay are not that bad when you buy the longest-range package from Dreamhost.
But if someone comes and asks to pay me, I’ll certainly seriously consider it.
So, enjoy my first paid advertisement. I’m officially a professional blogger now, just like my one photo sale makes me an official professional photographer.
A quick drive around your neighborhood before leaving for the holidays is sure to get everyone in the spirit of the holidays
The holidays are just around the corner, and the streets will soon be jam-packed with people rushing to the stores, scrambling to get their Christmas gifts in order. It can be very frustrating to get out there as the days make way for Christmas, and traffic in cities like New York gets so bad that often times, it’s better to simply take public transportation to your Christmas parties. Christmas Time in New York even claims that public transportation is considered to be the smartest and most efficient way to get around the city during the holidays.
But it’s not just New York. The Washington Post also regularly warns of crowding on the streets, and recommends taking the Metro when moving across cities. An estimated 10 million families take a drive home for the holidays, causing people to leave for vacation earlier and earlier each year, cutting back on the amount of time they have for preparing their Christmas gifts.
What people often neglect to do, however, is spread the Christmas cheer in their own neighborhood. Before heading out to brave the holiday traffic and drive home, take a quick drive around your neighborhood and give out Christmas treats or Christmas cards. You may not have time to create a custom card for each of your neighbors (after all, you might not even know all of them), but they’re sure to appreciate the gesture.
Surprisingly, Americans purchase 6.5 billion greeting cards a year, and according to the Greeting Card Association, 1.6 billion of those cards are Christmas cards. Taking the time out of your busy holiday schedule to pop by for a visit to the neighbors will surely serve to help build relationships in the future.
If you’re worried about the environmental impact of giving out Christmas cards, you can deal with that through another drive around the neighborhood once you get back from your holiday vacation. Many stores now offer card recycling bins, and last year, the Woodland Trust, having partnered with M&S, was able to plant 10,000 trees in the UK thanks to recycling efforts. Taking the trip around your neighborhood to collect any unwanted cards for recycling should prove to be a good deal. Just make sure you give them time to appreciate the cards, and wait until a few days after New Year to do so.
Now you obviously don’t want to take your car on every drive around the neighborhood. This is when whipping out the old bicycle is ideal. Not only do you get to say hello to all your neighbors and collect Christmas cards for recycling, you also get the chance to burn off some of those calories you gained from the Christmas feast.
Getting around during the holidays is always a problem, but with a bit of innovation, you can turn your Christmas trips into meaningful parts of the holiday season.
The Atlanta Braves are moving to Cobb County, away from their long-time residence in Downtown Atlanta. There are many reasons given for this move, but one of them is shown in the picture which is the concentration of ticket sales to the north of Atlanta. The new stadium location is approximately central on this map, which their website describes as “…situated in the heart of Braves Country. Each red dot on this map represents a ticket sold to a Braves game in 2012.”
On the face of it, this seems like a reasonable conclusion. After all, just look at that map and all the red dots to the north of Atlanta. Seems obvious.
But is it?
There’s a book out there for anyone to read called “How to Lie with Maps.” It’s a very good primer on the ways geographic information can be misrepresented or represented poorly. I’m curious if the GIS (Geographical Information Systems) specialist who put this map together made any further inquiries into the data, or if this was the sum total of it. For example, I would ask these questions:
- How many dots show repeat purchases from the same address? I’d like to see a heat map showing frequency of purchase and how those data are geographically located.1 Did someone in Dunwoody buy a dozen tickets to one game, but somebody down in Grant Park get twelve individual tickets to twelve games? Which one of those has a greater impact on the Braves’ bottom line?
- How many dots are private residences vs. business?
- How does the average value of a ticket get reflected geographically? How about some metric which looks at average household expenditure (8 tickets at field level vs. 1 ticket in the nosebleeds)?
- The most important question that’s not addressed is comparing those dots to the density of the population in the area. For a good lampoon of the problem not looking at population density causes, see this xkcd comic.
That last point is the one I think is the most interesting. But there are also some artifacts in that graphic the Braves produced that are worth pointing out (Click through to the larger version for better clarity). Note how the map is broke out by zip code. It appears to me that the “address points” aren’t actual addresses, but points randomly placed within a zip code block. This is obvious on the southwest side where densely packed zip codes are immediately next to nearly empty ones. There are also locations where, if you happen to know the area, you know there aren’t any residences present because it’s undeveloped. A good example of this is the northwest portion of the block containing Peachtree City (Big Dense Red Blotch south of the city; zip code 30269).
What does all this mean? Maybe nothing. Maybe everything. The point is to watch out for these sorts of mapping shenanigans/errors/simplifications. I try to be an informed information consumer. It’s best if we’re all an informed populace. Even when it comes to sports teams moving to the money.
Answering these types of questions is the most important part of a GIS graphic. Blindly throwing up a frequency map doesn’t tell nearly the whole story. ((Note that I don’t necessarily think that producing map products to answer my questions would shift the new stadium centroid back toward downtown. In fact, I would bet money that if you did the metric of average expenditure by address, it would shift further to the north. But that’s just my butt talking. Somebody would have to run the numbers.)
- By the way. The name of that image on the Braves site is “heat-map.jpg” but it’s not a heat map. Just locating a bunch of dots is a frequency map. [↩]
I’m very excited and proud that I produced a hat. I started it a few days ago and finished last night.
I know that this is simple and easy, but I’m just a knit-beginner and I’m delighted to produce something that I can use.
I was excited because this is a step up in complexity from the very simple garter-stitch scarf I made last spring. I wanted to do something that taught me new things, but didn’t stress my skills too much and I feel that this hat was just about perfect. I’m happy that it’s wearable because I thought for the whole time it was going to be too small. As you can see from the picture, it’s just about right.
I learned/practiced several things on this project:
- How to move back and forth between knit and purl stitches easily
- How to make a slip-slip-knit stitch (ssk) which is used for reducing the number of stitches in your row (with a left lean!)
- How to (and how not to) knit in the round on a circular needle and double-pointed needles
- How to really lose track of your stitch count and ways to keep track after the fact
- How to fix some big problems that I didn’t notice when I was doing them
- How to recognize knit and purl stitches when they’re mixed in with each other
One of the important pattern-related things I learned was to not accidentally turn inside-out the project and start knitting the other way. You’ll notice in the picture that the texture of the hat changes from top to bottom. That’s not supposed to be like that. Somehow I managed to turn the work inside out about halfway done and I didn’t notice until I was a few rows further along. I decided not to worry about it and you can see it doesn’t deleteriously affect the aesthetic of my hat. It adds some additional texture. Nevertheless, that wasn’t supposed to happen.
I also learned that it can be difficult keeping track of your stitches when you’ve moved onto double-pointed needles. At least, it can be when you use three of them instead of four and end up with a different number of stitches on one needle and the (conveniently mod-8) stitch pattern starts making you keep track of ssk’s and other stitches while switching between needles. I totally lost the number of stitches I was supposed to have with about five rows left. Again, I decided not to worry about it and just finish up.
The last thing I learned was how depressing it can be when, after you’ve weaved the ends and snipped the threads, you find a dropped stitch that’s starting to unravel. I rescued it and moved it back to it’s position then tied it onto the rest of the hat with a spare piece of yarn, which works, but it’s still annoying and I wish I hadn’t dropped that.
I have about another 1.2 skeins of that same yarn. I may do a slightly different pattern and make a small hat for Griffin, so we can match!
Last spring I took up a knitting project. I made a simple, garter stitch scarf. Since then, I haven’t done much except screw around a bit with a couple practice squares. I’ve decided that it’s time to pick a new project and get going, learning knitting while doing.
Et voici! I’ve chosen a hat to make1. This project will teach me how to knit in the round, do ssk decreases, keep track of rounds and rows, and fix things I screw up. I’ll keep you posted with pictures.
Thanks to Annie for teaching me how to do this and for giving me as a birthday present a big bag full of knitting doo-dads and stuff that help with the various tasks2. I know what they are all for, but I don’t plan to get into some of them (the cable holder things!) anytime soon. I’ll pick them up as I increase the skills.
Hopefully I’ll have a nice hat I can wear when I visit the family in Tulsa for Thanksgiving.
- Interestingly, I can’t seem to fix the progress bar over there at Ravelry to say 0% complete. I accidentally changed it and now the lowest I seem to be able to set it is at 5%. So, I guess I’m at 5% complete by merely starting! [↩]
- Round markers, tape measure, scissors, stitch keepers, and other things whose names I can’t remember [↩]
Hi! If you’ve popped over here because of Apathetic Flesh at Pseudopod, welcome! If not, welcome, too! Please make yourself at home.
Also, if you’re here because of Pseudopod, you’ve helped out Escape Artists in their time of need, right? Please do. Otherwise you might not be able to listen to their stories for very much longer.
I narrated another story for Pseudopod and it’s up today. Go have a listen at its website.
Apathetic Flesh was written by Darren O. Godfrey and is a disturbing take on ennui.
Or at least, National Novel Writing Month is in the wrong month.
I tweeted this statement earlier today:
I think NaNoWriMo is silly (because of the month, not the concept) but who is participating?
— Bill Ruhsam (@bruhsam) October 30, 2013
I fully support the basic concept of NaNoWriMo which is to just bang out 50,000 words in 30 days, however November is a terrible month to do it. It’s like you’re being set up to fail. First off, it’s only 30 days. That extra 1 day in October or March would be nice. Last off, it’s got a crazy family nut-job holiday smack at the end, right where any god-fearing procrastinator is going to be trying to make up the lost numbers of words he or she needs to get to the 50,000. It’s all well and good to set up a daily word-count goal, but I think people forget that Thanksgiving and the days around it might be a total write-off (Ha! Get it?) when it comes to productivity. Sure, you might manage to get in your writing, and if so, good for you, but then again, you might not. Better figure that into your planning.
If I were doing this, I’d probably be thinking along these lines:
- November this year starts on a Friday.
- I’m a procrastinator, better write off that weekend.
- There’s four more weekends in the month, better assume at least two of them will be overwhelmed by something
- I’m a working professional with a child. Can’t conceivably write every day.
- Thanksgiving will involve packing and travel and family. Better not even bother assuming I’ll write.
Thirty days minus three weekends, minus Thanksgiving, minus random days during the week when I want to watch TV, carry the two equals…
I think that if I were dedicated, I might manage to peel off some time and accomplish a word-count goal in 18 out of 30 days. That’s 2,777.77 words per writing day. A much more reasonable goal than 1,666.66 which is what you’d have if you divided 50,000 words by 30 days. If you try and make 2,800 words per day, you’ll kill this 50,000 words by the end of the month.
Again, October or March would have been much better choices. They’re thirty-one days long, they don’t have big holidays smack in the middle, and they especially aren’t leading up to the crazy holiday season which just increases a lot of people’s stress anyway, no matter what else your goals are.
And that is my official opinion! I welcome discussion and people telling me I’m full of crap.