Thursday, October 12, 2006

Going, going, gone.

For all the talk of terminal velocity and the "event horizon" (which as we all know is a boundary in spacetime), no-one is really sure of what a black hole looks like. Why would they be? I would have thought it was very, very black and not much else.

However, there are pictures out there. Here's one from a press release from the Marshall Space Center(sic):

It's supposed to be a picture of a black hole ripping a star apart and consuming part of it. Ridiculous!

It's obviously a kidsilk haze shawl in the "blushes" colour being swallowed up.

Here is what they say is an "artist's impression of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a galaxy":

but is obviously a kidsilk haze shawl in the swish colour slipping quietly into the maw of the black hole.

Artist's impression??

Here's the real deal:

This is a photograph, never before seen, of a kidsilk haze shawl in the "heavenly" colour - how much more appropriate? - being sucked into the whirling vortex.

Even though I have knitted two whole balls of the heavenly stuff, and even though the rows are becoming perceptibly longer, my overall impression is that it is not one inch bigger.

This is obviously a paradox, possibly the Black Hole Information Paradox - it sounds very like it.

An anonymous commenter asks if the pattern for all these shawls will be made available. I can honestly say it hadn't entered my head. If I can wrestle this one out of the black hole and make any sense of all the squiggles (technical term) on the many bits of paper scattered round the house and learn how to use Excel to make charts and learn how to make a pdf file and learn how to put it all together and get it in the sidebar? It might just be a maybe.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Haven't I been here before?

I feel as if I am knitting my way out of a black hole. Remember the "Twisty Wrap"? Remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth that ensued when it turned out I had knitted my way so far out of the black hole that the thing fell right off my body and landed in a green circle round my feet?

I'm in the same boat. I am not alone in this boat - Stephanie, aka the Yarn Harlot, and now it turns out, also Mrs Joe (so no longer a Harlot. I want my money back.) Stephanie has also found herself in this boat. She was knitting Birch at the time. Maybe it's something to do with the Kid Silk Haze.

I have knitted this pile of shawls:

or, put another way, this pile of shawls:

That's three down, three to go.

The fourth one is on the needles now and this is the "Black Hole Shawl". I knitted all day long yesterday, I have knitted for a good part of this morning and the BHS is no bigger. No bigger at all.

I still have his pile of KSH:

to make into yet another pile of shawls.

Wailing and gnashing of teeth can't be far away.

To try and cheer myself up I started a sock for 'im indoors:

Very cheerful yarn, no? It's that Regia mini-ringel I bought the other day, 2mm steel needles from the boutique - the sharp pointy ones that attacked me when I was knitting Amber's sock, so that's something to watch out for.

I'm sort of using this pattern, but with various modifications. I found that Lucia has a great deal of information on her site about sock knitting, in particular a very nice explanation of the paired "knit into the stitch below" increase to use on toe-up sock toes. An explanation which also includes pictures and which has inexplicably disappeared and is nowhere to be found. You might have more luck than me. Do let me know if you find it or if another effect of knitting in a black hole is hallucinations.

Anyway, it was there because I saw it. I used it to help me produce these lovely increases on said sock:

I think they look very neat.

Uploading those pictures has taken over an hour - I don't know if it's this new "improved" (Hah!) Beta-Blogger, my computer being like treacle, or the phase of the moon, but I'm very fed up with it. I still haven't managed to make the sidebar look like I want it to. I managed to put buttons linking to one or two of the on-line knitting magazines but can I replicate this feat with the buttons to link to the various blogs I read? No, of course not. I don't know how anyone else is getting on with it but "I'm (not) loving it!"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Does Everybody Know?

I ordered some new shoes the other day. Crocs, since you ask, and yes, all the hype is true - they really are the most comfortable things I have ever had on my feet. They are very light, weighing 135g each (which in old money is about 4 and three-quarter ounces). The place where I got them is called "Look at my Crazy Shoes" and they can't be faulted for the speed of their service. It just so happens that the packaging material is the same distinctive, dark purple plastic as that used by Texere, and naturally there have, in the past, been one or two packages from them.

What did the postman say, as he handed the package to me? He said, "Bit light for wool, isn't it?" So while maybe it's an exaggeration to say that "everybody" knows, it's certainly true that the postman is well aware of my addiction.

Speaking of addiction, all those who are interested in these things will know that the new Knitty is out. I am very drawn to "Tamarah" and investigated the possibility of using the recommended.yarn, which is Artyarns Regal Silk and Silk Mohair. Lovely stuff. Available from Get Knitted in the UK (and possibly other places as well) but talk about expensive! It would cost almost £50 for the yarn to make what is, after all, a glorified scarf. I really don't know if I can justify the extravagence. Surely this means that there is hope for me? That the addiction hasn't got so much of a hold over me that I have taken leave of my senses?

Yes, the blue haze continues, so no change there. I have bought some yarn (surprised?) and it's still Kid Silk, though in the "night" version. I got some of the black with sparkly bits (technical term) to make an "evening" edition of the Frost and Ice shawl. I was a very naughty girl and took time out from the blue fuzz to see what it would look like. I didn't really start it. Honest.

I am very surprised at the feel of this yarn. Kid Silk Haze is 70% kid mohair and 30% silk. The night version is 67% kid mohair, 18% silk, 10% polyester and 5% nylon. The composition is therefore similar but the night yarn feels much coarser, almost scratchy. I'm hoping that it might soften up a bit when it is washed. We shall see.

Here's a close-up of the bottom point - you can sort of see the sparkly bits here. I hope they are not so obvious that I will end up looking like a Christmas Tree.

Many thanks to all who wrote to express their condolences. All your kind thoughts are truly appreciated.

You Want The Real Me?

This is always a difficult time of the year for me - it's getting chillier, it's getting darker at night (and if you have been following, you will know that this doesn't suit me at all) and there's something else, too.

Jane-at-work (a new addition to the Bell's team) looked at this blog and was disappointed by the fact that "there's not a lot of you in there." Well, I didn't start this blog to talk about me - I started it to talk about knitting. I hope that I have held true to that wish. (Jane-at-work said bits of it were too technical for her, so that gives me hope.)

This really is a bad time for me and the reason why I have been so slack at everything lately.

In 1990, our firstborn son, Aidan, died at the age of seven days. It was a cot death (but it wasn't because I was feeding him at the time). I don't know how I lived through it.

He had red hair.

He was beautiful.

He would have been 16.

I miss him so much.