Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chat Back for April 26

Answering questions from comments and email.

Shirley asked . . .
Do you knit the "2 socks on 2 circular" method or "Magic Loop"?

I like to knit both socks at the same time - knit some on one sock, catch up on the second sock - because I have serious Second Sock Syndrome if they're not both done at approximately the same time.

Each sock has its own two 24" circulars. I use four circulars a pair with a fifth extra circular for the gussets.

Sharon asked . . .
I was wondering if there's a particular reason why you seam up the sweater as you go along?

There are many reasons I like to sew up as I go along. I've been known to throw pieces of a completed sweater in a bag and not sew them up for months. Especially if it's the wrong season to wear the sweater.

I have short arms and don't like sleeves that dangle down on my hands, so I'm shortening the sleeves on almost any sweater I knit. I find the best way to get the sleeves the right length is to seam the shoulder seams, finish the neck, wash and block the partial sweater, and then knit the sleeves from the top down.

That's how the She Said Aran ended up with a blocked body and an unblocked sleeve, and how I know I'm going to like the fit of the sweater when it's done.

For the She Said Aran, I decided to knit the sleeves top down in the round, so I needed to stitch up the side seams as well as the shoulders.

I can't count the number of sweaters I've knit in my life that didn't fit. It's turned me into a swatcher and a top down sleeve knitter whenever possible. Then, when there's a problem with fit, I know it early enough to do something about it.

Peggy commented . . .
A few years ago, the American Ornithologists' Union split the rufous into two different species--

Pipilo erythrophthalmus (Eastern Towhee)
Pipilo maculatus (Spotted Towhee)

I didn't know this and thank you for the information. It may save me from sounding old-fashioned when I communicate with other bird folks.

Privately at home, I'll go on called our Eastern Towhees their old name, Roufous-Sided Towhee. Or, as we usually say, "I see Rouffie".

I'm a lumper, not a splitter.

These two species interbreed and I can't imagine why they needed to be separated because some have a few more white spots than others. Does it make sense that a nest might contain two different species coming from the same parents?

Elaine asked . . .
We called those Marsh Marigolds "cowslips" and cooked the leaves as greens in the spring. A little bitter, but good. Sort of a rite of spring. You had to pick them before they flowered - why?

Curious, I looked this up on Google. To summarize, in general the plant is moderately toxic and sometimes intoxicating especially the flowers and the "older parts".

There are varied cautions on how it needs to be prepared for safe eating depending on the source of the information.

My conclusion: Eating Marsh Marigold is not something one should try if feeling healthy and clear headed is important.

Vickie asked . . .
I read your blog daily and confess that I come for the bird pictures as much as the knitting. Are you willing to share what kind of camera and lenses you use to achieve such clear close up shots?

I have a Canon Powershot S3 IS, 6.0 megapixels, 12 x 15 zoom lens, and image stabilizer - all standard with the camera.

Mine is over a year old. I see they're selling for under $300 now.

I take lots of pictures, select the best and delete the rest.

And I admit to not knowing how to use many of the camera options because I get such good results with the point and click. I do use the zoom, of course.

Here are some previous blog posts where I talk about the camera:

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