Wednesday, January 10, 2007

From Analog To Digital


I'm not really sure what "analog" and "digital" really mean, but my household finally converted to digital cable.

A Whole New World
We've always had basic cable service, and of course internet service through our local cable company. Recently, they (Comcast) offered a deal to us that would allow us to upgrade from basic to digital and get HBO for $10 a month extra.

A phone call, a brief visit to my local Comcast office, a little bit of rewiring, and now we have lots more channels (mostly bad), HBO (mostly bad) and on-demand. I honestly had no idea how much free stuff was available through on-demand. I could teach myself how to play guitar, take a video kickboxing class or watch the entire last season of "Extras" from HBO/BBC.

Plus, the new digital cable boxes are now very small...about the size of a VHS video cassette.

Overall, I'm very pleased.

Current Knitting
In addition to the dark tweed pullover, I have continued to put some time in on the latest colorblock sweater.



You'll note I've added a little more to the sweater, and I also positioned the knitting with the butterfly bobbins showing, for those who've never done intarsia before.

I have also finished about 14 inches of the back of the dark tweed sweater, but I don't have a picture.

Back Spinning Again
Up until recently, almost every time I'd sit down to spin, Gage would arrive shortly thereafter to take a prominent place in my lap, and then "help" by trying to bite the spinning single. Despite how difficult he made it to spin, now that he's not here, spinning turned into a sad occasion for me, and I wasn't spending much time doing it.

This past weekend, I resolved to finish the final spool of the to-be, 3-ply, multi-colored, Merino yarn.



You'll notice I didnt' quite meet that goal, but I did make more progress this past weekend than I have in a while. Eventually, I know spinning will be a more joyous activity for me again.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding my list of must-have knitting books, Ted asks, "Yes, Joe, but why do you prefer the BW Treasuries to the Harmony Guides? What's the difference that makes the difference?"

It's really a very subjective reason. I like the size and layout of the book, and I think the printing and photography is clearer. I have both sets of books, but I almost always refer to the BW Treasuries.

Gail noted, "I would probably including a finishing book in my list, like Nancie Wiseman's "The Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques". I find its really handy, and it improved my finished garments immensely."

Thanks Gail, that looks like an excellent book. I like that it's spiral bound, and I will have to order a copy to add to my library.

Nancyneverswept writes (and Marilyn seconds), "I'm surprised you don't include any of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books, especially Knitting Without Tears!"

This was a purposeful ommission. I consider EZ's books to be more about philosophy of knitting, rather than any other category, and I don't find philosophy books useful. Books like Stephanie's books, and tomes like "The Tao of Knitting" don't resonate much with me, so I didn't include them as must-haves.

9 comments:

Carol said...

Another thing that is especially helpful with Barbara Walker's books is the way she includes a description of the stitch and how it behaves -- if it pulls in tightly, if you need to pay extra attention to gauge, etc.

kbsalazar said...

To be absolutely simple - Analog = data transmitted by waveforms. Think sound or over the air radio. Digital = data transmitted in little numeric value packets that need to be processed or translated back into waveforms before they can be appreciated by humans. You can pack lots more goodies into a unit of transmission time/space/invested energy if you send little bundles of bits than you can if you send lovely waveforms. You can also scramble them easier and more thoroughly, and make lots more money by supplying proprietary decoders to your customers. -kim

Cynthia said...

I love some of the old silly cartoons available free from On-demand. Strange stuff indeed.

I thought I would put my two cents in on must have books. For basic techniques, I will not that Sally Melville's "Knit Stitch" is terrific. I don't love the patterns, but the instructions are good. I would have preferred Knit Stitch and Purl to be combined, but life isn't perfect. Still, your pick from Vogue is probably the best--I use it constantly.

mary lou said...

I second Carol's emotion on BW - I really appreciate the description of the stitch and it's behavior. My other must have: The Big Book of Knitting by Katharina Buss. I've been knitting a long time and I continue to learn tons from this book.

M-H said...

BW's books turned me into the knitter that I am - not afraid to try anything. I found Vol 2 in a shop around 20 years ago, and had no idea what a treasure it was going to be.

hollyeqq said...

Wow - you do beautiful work. I am amazed.
I also have to say, if there was a knitting spectrum, I would be at the polar opposite end. I just look at the little tiny bobbins of different colors of intersaria and I get sick to my stomach. I love the finished product, but ekkkkhhh!

I am sorry about your loss, but I am glad you are back to spinning. I broke my wheel last week and I am going nuts.
Happy Wednesday.
Holly

Marilyn said...

My copies of BW's Treasuries are so bedraggled, especially #2, that I wouldn't show 'em off in public. I also always go to them first, then Mon Tricot's 1500 Stitches, then Harmony. I would like to get VK's Stitch Dictionaries too. You can never have enough of those, even if you don't need more than one set of directions for seed stitch. In fact, if you need directions for that, you need the BW Treasuries. Or something.

Geraldine said...

May I ask, how are you going to ply the 3ply merino, three singles or Navajo-ply? I love the muted sort of colours you are using on the colourblock sweater, it should look gorgeous when it is finished.

Does anyone know where one can get Nancy Wiseman's finishing techniques book? I have been looking for a good book on finishing and haven't been able to find one that was comprehensive enough to suit me. Finishing is one of the hardest things to get right I find and it is sad to see a garment let down by poor making-up.

Spinneret said...

A much more elegant use of bobbins than I was able to manage, here, and to much more beautiful effect.