All kinds of honesty

I do not promise quality knitting content in this one. But I just had a few things to get out of the way :).

First, thank you all for your concern about my safety. I should tell you that walking to and from work at odd hours, especially in the middle of the night, is not unusual for me or other science graduate students. We work a lot, we work late, and our lives are scheduled by our experiments (as opposed to our experiments being scheduled by our lives). After all, they don’t hand out PhDs for working 9-5, M-F. Trust me.

The point of my last post was that lately I’ve had to make multiple trips to lab every day. Now that’s annoying. Of course I could spend all my awake time in lab and never go home except to sleep, but that’s even more annoying. So, faced with 40 minutes of walking time at least twice a day, I decided to try knitting while walking! I did it in the dark last night, and in bright sunlight this morning, and will do it in the dark again tonight :). Knitting makes walking to lab much more bearable, even if the humidity is oppressing. And as always I will be very careful, that’s not new to me :).

And now, a moment of honesty. An exchange between the Bloglines CEO, Mark Fletcher (you can personally e-mail him at, and yours truly:

E-mail #1 from me: (summary) Dear Mark, what is going on over there? Are cows flying? Has all hell broken loose?

E-mail #2 from Mark: I apologize for the problem. One of our crawlers was stuck this weekend, and we didn’t detect it until Monday morning. I believe your feed has been updated.

E-mails #3 and #4 below:

Well, at least the response is honest, he has a good sense of humor and a little self-depreciation. I can work with that ;). We are still in e-mail contact because the problems are not over. Get this! My 200+ atom.xml Bloglines subscribers have all been shuffled to my index.rdf feed. I don’t really understand how this can possibly happen, so Mark and I are trying to figure it out. At least now you’ll be updated about my new posts (I think), even if you’re subscribed to a different feed than you originally chose.

So, Bloglines talk is really boring. I totally agree. My eyes would have glazed over 10 lines of text ago.

Next post: some pictures of my Adrienne Vittadini sleeves, and possibly an outline of how I plan to go about steeking. By the way, I have no fear of cutting the fabric, which seems to be a major hurdle for a lot of people. I’m more worried about using my sewing machine on knit fabric. First, I am still nearly clueless about my sewing machine. It’s got the bobbin and the foot pedal and the manual when tells me how to thread it. There you go. That’s about the extent of my knowledge. Second, I always feel the presser foot really squishes the knit fabric and artificially stretches it out. But that may not be a problem in this case. Third, those feeder zigzag thingies are worse than Velcro! They just grab onto the fabric and move it along, exactly as they’re supposed to do, but it’s all so sticky and if I need to adjust something and move the fabric, they are like the jaws of death!

So, yeah, just slightly apprehensive about using my sewing machine ;).


15 thoughts on “All kinds of honesty

  1. Emily

    Practice using the sewing machine a bit before you sew your sleeves. First try it out on regular fabric, then on a swatch. It isn’t as bad as you think it will be.

  2. jody

    you might want to try putting something between the sweater and the feed dogs — a thin piece of paper, maybe. you could sew thru the sweater and the paper all together, and then rip the paper away once you’re done.

  3. caro

    I agree with the suggestion of a piece of paper between the knitted fabric and the feeddogs of your machine (the feeder zigzag thingies). I’d try it out with some tissue paper and and old gauge swatch to see how it all goes. Some machines allow you to lower the feed dogs so that they’re not actually pulling on the fabric at all. You’ll have to feed the fabric through manually, but just try not to stretch it and you’ll be ok.

  4. Agnes

    I agree with you that this Blogline CEO guy has a sense of humor … which is very precious, in my opinion.

    So, I finally figured out what you mean by “steeking” … LOL! Really, good luck, lots of it, to you!

  5. Rosa

    I’d use a regular copy paper under and pin your fabric to the paper. The machine will sew through the paper fine, and the paper is heavy enough to help keep the fabric from stretching. After you sew it the paper will tear right off at the seam line. Also, us a slight zig-zag if you can–it will make you seem a bit wider, but will allow it to strech with the fabric when you wear the sweater. Good Luck.

  6. Kat

    Hoo boy… one summer of midnight walks to the lab to squeeze eggs out of recalcitrant frogs, and I changed to linguistics…

  7. Laura

    What is the difference between the different blogline feeds? Why do some bloggers have more than one feed? Does it make any difference which feed I subscribe to? (I always pick the first one on the list.) Maybe I shouldn’t be asking you all this, but these questions have been bugging me since I entered the world of bloglines.

    I can’t help you with the sewing machine stuff. I’m just happy when I sew a straight seam.

  8. Dani

    I didn’t realize you were a grad. student! What are you getting your degree in? I just got my Masters in Env. Science (basically Aquatic Chemistry/Ecology) last year, so totally understand late night trips to and from the lab! There are so many science knitters out there πŸ™‚

  9. Stephanie

    I bought a foot for my sewing machine that is designed for quilters (and for the life of me I can’t remember what they called it). Anyway, the foot feeds the fabric from the top and the bottom so there isn’t any pulling on the fabric. This might work for knitting as well. By the way, I’d walk back and forth too. Staying at the lab would be yucky (yep, that’s a technical term)!

  10. Cursingmama

    I was going to chime in about the presser foot, practicing and protecting the knitted fabric but can see I’ve been beaten to the punch. Hope you’re going to take photos along the way so we can all see the process.

  11. Vicki

    I’ve been scared stiff for over a year with a knit vest that needs buttonholes. You see, I forgot them when I was knitting. My LYS owner said that it was a good thing, my forgetting. She told me that I want to make them by machine, anyway (they’re so much nicer that way), using grosgrain ribbon on the wrong side to stabilize for both the button side and the buttonhole side. She said that she “has a lady” who can do that for me, if I want. I thought, heck, if “the lady” can do it, so can I! I can sew!! That’s about as far as it’s gone… My biggest fear is making a mistake and having to somehow rip thread out of the knitting.

  12. Laura

    Just wanted to say Hello! Love the Tivoli-T. You know how great your design is when people want to start a knit-along. Yep I’ve heard talk about a knit-along. Very cool! I have my yarn and look forward to starting a Tivoli of my own. Thanks for the great design!

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