Monday, July 23, 2012

On Being Thankful and Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

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The past week is one I do not want to see repeated, but considering the laundry list of health issues I have... it will happen again.

The fibro fog seems to have cleared up, but was followed by a kidney stone crisis on Friday which I'm still dealing with. It's now out of my kidney but making it's way out of my bladder which seems to be having issues. I guess it's a bigger one than usual...

Ok, so On Being Thankful
We all have days, weeks, months, years where it feels like the devil himself has decided to use us as his personal toilet paper and you all know what I mean by that. So on the days when he finally quits using me, I'm thankful for what I have because I know that others are in as much or worse straits than I am.

With having fibromyalgia, as I explained last week, it affects my brain on the bad days which affects my life since I can't put two thoughts together while it's ongoing. Also means that I come up empty for subjects to post about on my blog!

So a couple of days ago, I am subscribed to this lady's blog Taking Time to Smell the Roses; as I'm checking my emails, I see she has a new post up. The title was the answer to a question I'd been plagued with for a long time! The Mathematics of Long Tail Cast On! This is my favorite method to teach any new knitter in my group and sometimes old knitters as well when they express interest in the technique. But I'd never been able to answer the question of How long do I have to have the tail be to cast on XX stitches? But now I can confidently answer the question because of Jackie's blog post! This works really well. I just experimented with the method and it comes out perfect time after time as long as you use the same long tail cast on method that she uses. 

Following in the comments to her post is another lady's method of figuring out the amount of yarn needed and unless it's for a super stretchy cast on, that method works as well. Her method is to wind the yarn around the needle you're going to use as many times as the requested cast on. For example, if the pattern says cast on 24 stitches; leaving a 4 inch tail, wind the yarn around your needle 24 times and that should be the length you need to cast on 24 stitches.

Another method that was devised by my best friend who shared it with me today is to cast on 10 stitches, take them off the needle and use that length of yarn to measure off the rest of the yarn needed. So if you need to cast on 50 stitches, then you know you will need 5 lengths of the yarn to have enough for the cast on. 

And today, Jackie posted another zinger! This time, it's about measuring bead size for knitting and I would add crochet as well. This is so simple it's laughable but I'd never thought of using this method before. She uses a tool we all have in our knitting and crochet bag of tricks, a needle sizing ruler!!! Check out her post on the subject and tell me that didn't just blow your mind!!! Since I've been wanting to knit/crochet something with beads, this is a great way of figuring out what size beads you have on hand.

So even though my brain was blank, I was supplied with material that I could share with my readers. And also this goes right along with my firm belief in "You're never too old to learn something new", "Teach an Old Dog New Tricks" and "Learn something new every day!" Thank you Jackie E from KnitHeartstrings. She also has an FB page you can like, found here.

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