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, June 28, 2008

Chat Back for June 28

Answering questions from comments and email.

Peggy commented . . .
I concur that it looks like a BHC (Brown-headed Cowbird). Young grosbeaks have distinct barring on the wings and near the eye. Young cowbirds have heavy streaking on the breast and pale edgings on its feathers giving it a scaled look (from Birds of North America, 3rd ed.).

In Wednesday's post I wasn't sure if this young bird was a female Rose-breasted or a Cowbird. Peggy explains how to tell the difference and she's right on. This is a young Cowbird demanding to be fed.

Shortly after posting on Wednesday, a Rose-breasted Grosbeak dad showed up with his young daughter. The barring on the wings and over the eye can't be missed. Also, she was more polite, passive, and appreciative than the obnoxious Cowbird.

Jean asked . . .
I will be taking on a vest soon and would love some pointers on blocking, as I've never blocked before.

How to block or if blocking is even necessary depends on the fiber content of the yarn. I'm a lazy blocker, following these simple steps when blocking is necessary:
  • Wash the knitting the same way you plan on always washing the piece.
  • Spin it as dry as possible in the washing machine.
  • For small items, I sometimes skip the spinning, roll the knitting up in a towel, and twist the ends of the towel in opposite directions to extract as much wetness as possible.
  • Lay the knitting out flat to dry, shaping by hand for the desired measurements.
  • Some items are a bit of work. Don't be afraid to yank and pull.

A last word from me on the biasing yarn, Queensland Tahiti (49% cotton, 36% acrylic, 12% microfiber, 3% polyester) . . .
Look at this pattern Elann featured with the Tahiti yarn. Biasing doesn't show in the body because it's a crop top. And we don't need to wonder why there's a ruffle on one side of the neck and not the other, do we?

If I hadn't been blinded by the pretty colors, I would have noticed this before buying the yarn.

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