Monday, July 09, 2007

Mystery Solved


Well...I guess that means there was a mystery, and you may have never thought there was.

Hollow or Solid
My first knitting experience happened on a pair of green aluminum knitting needles.

I don't remember the brand, I don't know what size or length they were...they were just ugly dark green, lightweight and aluminum.

I'm sure many of you started knitting on the same kind of straight needles.

Did you assume those needles were made of solid aluminum, or a tube of aluminum?

I don't know why, but I always assumed that the needles were hollow tubes. I had seen a picture of an Addi Turbo that supposedly exploded or something, and that needle was hollow, so I guess I just assumed all of them were. So, the other day, Thaddeus was being all sorts of handy around the house, and needed a tube about the size of these knitting needles:



I told him I had dozens of needles like it, and he was more than welcome to hacksaw this pair into a tube.



And a closer look revealed:



SOLID!!! Who knew?

Current Knitting
In addition to starting three more scarves, I also finally got started in earnest on my Aran pullover design.

I ripped out the initial ribbing, because it was looking too ruffled...I don't mean unsettled...I mean like a bed ruffle. I re-did the ribbing in a way that I'm much more satisfied with, and then got about 3 inches of knitting done in the pattern stitches I decided to use.

It looks lovely, but you'll have to trust me on this one, since I'm in Delaware until Thursday night this week, and the cord for transferring pictures from my camera is sitting at home.

If you'd like to try and picture it in your mind, first start with a lovely deep sage/olive green color yarn, in 100% wool Aran weight.

The ribbing is short blocks of 1x1 ribbing, interspersed with a six-stitch section of a two-stitch cable on a reverse stockinette stitch background.

The main pattern has a latticework section in the middle, an open cable on each side, and a figure-eight cabling on the outside (with other minor cabling stitches in between).

Blog Contest
Fortunately, I have three folks that have made contributions to Year Up, so at least each of the prizes will be won.

Thank you to those who were able to contribute to this wonderful charity, and thanks for the others who contribute to education in this country in other ways. If anyone has already made a contribution directly to Year Up, please let me know. If you'd care to participated in the contest in time for the July 15th deadline, click here for the prizes, rules and links to contribute.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Jean writes, "Joe -- am I the first to tell you that there's a plug for your blog in the new issue of "Knitting", the British magazine?"

Yes, the first, and only. That is always incredibly flattering to be recognized in the media, thanks for letting me know.

Concerning for-profit health insurance, Diane writes, "...most issues I see are caused by people who get HMO type coverage because it's the cheapest and then decide not to follow any of the rules because it's not convenient."

Having also worked in the insurance industry for a number of years, I would have agreed with that assessment until about three years ago. Now I'm absolutely convinced that there is a purposeful intent on the insurance companies' part to try and dissallow as many claims as possible. I don't doubt that you still deal with folks that don't understand what they sign up for, but having been on the receiving end of dozens of denied claims in the last 2-3 years, that simply required me to re-submit the exact same claim to get payment, leads me to believe it's claims policy to start out with a denial, even if it's a valid claim.

One thing that I like about what Diane writes, is the fact that patients need to be more in charge of their health care, and demand accountability from their doctors. There was a day, when an insurance company would deny a claim, or only pay a "reasonable and customary" portion of the claim, and I could feel confident confronting my doctor with it, asking why they were prescribing something unnecessary, or overpriced. Now, I feel the insurance companies have no validity in those areas, and I have to do that without their advocacy.

8 comments:

Donna in VA said...

I just followed the link to Year Up and am very impressed with the organization. I hope more readers will contribute. BTW, I don't want to be included for the prize drawing -- it was good enough to learn about Year Up and contribute.

Fredda said...

Solid? I didn't know! You learn something everyday.

Have you decided to make a pullover instead of the vest? I must have missed something, but I love Aran pullovers. The boyfriend sweater curse is not true...not after receiving a hand-knitted, cabled, size L or XL!!!

Romi said...

Dude! They're solid?!?! Huh. I always thought they were hollow.

Lynne E. said...

I've finally given up on trying to take charge of my family's health care, because it seems like hospitals and insurers are determined to leave the health care consumer totally out of the loop. For example, bills for hospital stays are sent directly to insurers, so that the patient never gets a chance to review them for accuracy. (I used to review the bills, even though they sometimes ran for pages.)

One of the worst things about our broken system, is that you can't shop for health care services at all. No one can tell you in advance how much a procedure will cost, because everything depends on whether you have insurance, what your insurance will pay for, and what kind of negotiated rate applies. This can be extremely scary, when a family member needs treatment for a serious condition, such as a stroke. It also means that you may not be able to get treatment--even in the emergency room--until your insurer has approved the treatment.

Typesetter said...

To me they have always been solid. I mean: they were making them centuries ago, they would not have bothered with devising a way to make 2 mm needles as hollow tubes! 8-D

Meribeth said...

Joe, I have had the same experience in recent years as you. Having a medication suddenly denied that I had been taking for years. WTF? But what is a real laugh, is that I don't want what they are perscribing...I really want what the insurance company considers the alternative. Ah well.
And yes! The patient is treated as a commodity by the insurance and medical professions. Physicians tend to rarely take the few minutes to explain or answer questions..or actually listen. The insurance companies have written in so many loopholes and so much fine print, that it is very difficult for the patient to get a handle on things. Yes, we do need to be our own caretakers and take the responsibility, yet we don't speak medicin-ese nor can we easily spot and interpret the spin in insurance. BTW, that goes for all insurance, not just health care.
Your Aran sounds stunning and can't wait to see pics. Love, love Arans

Michelene said...

Hollow or solid? Joe at first I thought you were describing the presidential candidates. I know a lot of people think that Barack Obama doesn't have the necessary experience to become President--but I think he's intelligent and empathic enough to turn peoples' thinking in a new direction. He's a thought-provoking speaker, without being confrontational.
Hilary makes we want to turn around and see if a knife is sticking out of my back.
But both of them want to change health care. The frenetic pace and constant change employers have to make in their employees' health plans makes it nearly impossible to understand the particulars. It's like driving the same route every day, but the direction and the names of the streets change at random times.

Franklin said...

Interestingly, both "solid" and "tubular" have been used by American youth as adjectives of approbation.

Spooky, isn't it?