Sunday, November 27, 2011

FO: Binary Scarf

I'm going to let you mull over the title of this post for a minute.

Yup. It's done.

Pattern: Binary (on Ravelry)
Yarn: Cascade 220. Black (8555) 2.85 skeins/627 yards. Green (8910) 1.67 skeins/367.4 yards.
Needles: US size 8 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Timeline: 1.1.10 - 11.27.11


Opinions: Oh, man. What to say? My first stranded-colorwork project. My first project using Continental and English style knitting. My first time knitting with charts. It was an ambitious project, but I managed to finish it.

The pattern is pretty well-written. I had difficulty on the first section (cutting the yarn every few rows -- not sure why I couldn't have kept stranding it?) and the fringe. There really weren't directions for the fringe, and her math and my math didn't agree, so I just did my own thing. Also, I wanted it to be authentic, so I put in an actual message using binary instead of just doing random digits, and did more repeats than she called for so it would fit evenly.

This is a very long, warm scarf. I used smaller needles than the pattern called for. Next time, I'll use the recommended needle size, even though I'm a loose knitter. The stranding really tightens it up. My version is 114" x 5", which makes it 9.5 feet long. Whoa!


Random Thoughts: Happy Valentine's Day 2009, honey! This yarn was purchased 1.27.09, even though I didn't start the scarf until almost a year later.

I like doing stranded colorwork. Who knew?

I don't like doing fringe.

He wants a matching hat now. We'll see.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Here's what I'm thankful for today: my husband.

If he hadn't asked for it, I never would have learned how to do two-handed stranded colorwork for the binary scarf.

He waited almost a year for me to start it and almost two years for me to finish it.

He offered to help me with the fringe.

He said it was okay that I made mistakes I couldn't fix (even the ones that screwed up the message).

He wanted to wear it before I even blocked it.

He threaded the blocking wires for me so I didn't have a panic attack.

Thanks, honey. You'll have your scarf real soon. <3

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 5-Minute Rule

A few months ago, I was reading the Knitter's Review, which mentioned the 10-minute rule. It is basically like it sounds -- work on things for 10 minutes a day until they're done. Well, I have a bad attention span, so I made it the 5-minute rule. I began by applying it to the binary scarf (done knitting!), as well as some personal projects. It's funny, but I seem to work on things for more than 5 minutes once I get started! (I guess that's part of the point.)

Since I need a few hours to block the scarf, which I won't have until the weekend, I've been working on a few other things in the meantime. I pulled out a loom hat that's been languishing and did 5+ rows last night. I found my loom sock and gave it some much-needed attention. But since these are fun things, I've also tried to balance them with not-fun things.

Example: I have a craft room. Most of the stuff from my craft room is on my desk in the office. So every time I finish a row on the sock, I have to put 3 things away. So far I've managed to organize most of my needles, actually find (and keep together) darning needles, and put away balls of yarn I haven't used in months. Ultimately I'd like to find my flexible measuring tape, but one step at a time, you know?

The 5-minute rule has definitely helped me make progress on things, even though I haven't applied it to all my UFOs. Have you given this rule a try? How has it benefited you?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I'm Finished Knitting

No worries, I'm not giving up the craft. Nope, I just finished knitting & binding off ... the binary scarf.

Wow. I think I need a moment's reflection there.

I have a few spots where I want to try and duplicate-stitch some errors, and I need to add the fringe, wash & block it, but ... that's it. I'm done knitting it. The rest is a piece of cake, comparatively speaking.

I have no idea where I'm going to block it, though. Sucker's long.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Happy Binary Day!

Well, okay, first of all, happy Veterans Day if you're in the US.

Secondly, happy Binary Day!

What's a binary day? No, I haven't finished the scarf. I wish! A binary day is where you write out the date and it's got only ones and zeroes -- today is 11/11/11, so it's a binary day.

I'll celebrate, even though the binary I'm using for the scarf has 8 digits per piece of information, not 6. After all, I wasn't alive on 11/11/1111.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Like Finding Couch Money

I knew I kept my husband around for some reason.

He asked for a percentage complete on his scarf, and I told him it was at 70%, because I had done 10/14 message repeats. Then I found the halfway point on the scarf, folded it over, and said "I have that much left".

But looking at where I had stopped knitting versus how long the other half of the scarf was, it was clear I didn't have 4 repeats left. Uh-oh!

This is where good note-taking comes in handy. I'd written down 5 tally marks for each letter, and then on the LEFT of each letter, I'd made two more. I assumed this meant I'd done 7 repeats. Apparently it meant I did 5, and I'm weird? I don't really know.

I had my husband tally each letter as I rattled it off to him, and the first half of the scarf does, in fact, have 5 repeats instead of 7. I have no idea why I wrote down those extra two tally marks. Even though I'd been pretty good at keeping track on this half of the scarf, I was afraid I'd done two repeats, and then changed to a new page in my notebook and done several more, so we had to confirm how many repeats were on the second half (I was hoping I was up to 4).

After reading off a bunch of ones and zeroes the first time, my husband says "oh, why don't you just count off how many rows of letters there are?" (60 letters in 4 repeats/2 letters a row = 30 rows). Yep, I had 30 rows.

Why didn't he come up with that earlier?

Why did I make extra tally marks?

Why is zero such a weird word?

Can you believe I have 90% of this scarf knitted? It's like finding money in the couch! I mean, sure, I knew I knitted it, I just didn't realize how close to done I was.

(And how glad am I that I have one repeat left, not 3. Sweet!)