Katharina’s Armande

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Armande‘s seamless construction is what makes it an interesting sweater, but the overall look of the finished piece is pretty simple. The simplicity is what makes it the perfect match for an interesting yarn, and Katharina‘s version stood out to me because of her beautiful yarn choice. Her variegated blue yarn works really well with the construction method, and I’m always in awe of knitters who are talented at matching variegated yarn with the right patterns. Variegated yarn kind of intimidates me.

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I asked Katharina about her sweater and she said, “About Armande I can say that it was fun to knit, even if it took me some time… Bodice and sleeves were easy to adjust in length and the fit is perfect :) Plus, I already got some compliments on my new cardigan!” Katharina originally blogged about her Armande in German, and her project page on Ravelry includes her notes in English.

Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

MHM
I really felt like this list could use some 80s cheese, but I had a surprisingly hard time coming up with something that wasn’t a classic. Does anyone really need to be told that Ghostbusters and Poltergeist are fun ghost movies? I think not. In the end I decided to go with a classic character, Freddy Krueger, in a not-so-classic movie, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

In the first Nightmare on Elm Street, we find out that Freddy Krueger is the spirit of a dead murder, and that’s how his dream powers are explained, but it’s not until the third installment that we get a proper ghost story. In Dream Warriors we find out more of Freddy’s origin story, and we get told that his spirit isn’t at rest because his body hasn’t been given a proper burial. His spirit is busy terrorizing a group of kids who all end up in the same hospital ward for their “sleep disorders.” Nancy, the main character from the first Nightmare on Elm Street, happens to work at that hospital and immediately recognizes what is happening. Nancy manages to convince the kids’ doctor that Freddy is a real threat, and while Nancy teaches the kids how to fight back in the dream world, the doctor tries to find a way to put Freddy to rest. This movie is so cheesey and goofy. Everything is completely over the top, and I’m not sure it’s even really trying to be scary.

Choosing Buttons for Knits

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Unlike with buttonholes in woven fabrics, choosing a button for a knit project isn’t as straight forward as measuring the hole length and picking a button with the right diameter. There are other factors to consider like the stretch of the buttonhole technique used and the elasticity of the yarn itself. Stretchier buttonholes mean that you might need to use bigger buttons than you’d expect, unless you plan on adding a woven backing to reinforce the holes. You can use the recommended button size in the pattern, but it might not be quite the right size for the yarn you chose or the variations caused by different techniques.

All of that sounds frustrating, but choosing a button for knit buttonholes is pretty straight forward. You just need to use the finished buttonhole to find the right size. I often wait until my sweater is completed before I start looking for buttons. I use a button from my stash to figure out what diameter I need, note it down, and then I start shopping. That system works well for a procrastinator like me, but I’m guessing it sounds frustrating for crafters who like to get everything sorted out in advance. There’s an easy solution for that, though. All you need to do is include a buttonhole on your gauge swatch. Not only does that give you a way to test out button sizes, but it’s also nice and portable, so you can carry it with you while you shop.

Converting Flat Stitch Patterns to Round

If you’re knitting Marion, you might have noticed that the pattern only includes written instructions for the working the cable stitch pattern flat. Or maybe you didn’t notice and you’re wondering how other people did. The key thing is that the instructions are written as rows, not rounds, and there is a clearly labelled WS row. Stitch patterns for working in the round should never have WS rows or be written as rows.

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If you only have flat written instructions and have to work in the round, that leaves you with two options. You can follow the chart, or you can convert all the WS rows to RS rounds. To convert them, you’ll need to translate the instructions so they’re written as you look at the knitting from the RS, swapping out stitch instructions for their opposite. With a stitch pattern like the one in Marion, that’s easy enough. You just swap out the instructions to purl four with knit four.

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For more complex stitch patterns, you’ll have to do a bit more work because the order in which you work the stitches also needs to change if they’re not all the same. Let’s say that the WS row we’re translating to a RS round is “K4, p2, k1.” In order to convert it, we have to adjust the order in which the stitches are worked as well as the stitches themselves. As a RS round, the instructions would be, “P1, k2, p4.” Because WS rows are worked in the opposite direction as RS rounds, we have to make our changes starting with the last stitch, moving to the first, translating stitch by stitch.

The Innkeepers

MHM
Who doesn’t love a haunted hotel? They’re right up there with haunted ships when it comes to ghost movies, and The Innkeepers fits nicely into that category. It’s about two hotel employees who are working the last few nights before the hotel closes. They’re both interested in ghosts, and this is their last opportunity to search for the ghosts that are rumored to haunt the building. At first there’s a whole lot of nothing, just the two employees accidentally scaring each other, but the main character persists in her search, and eventually things start to happen.

Don’t let the trailer fool you, though. The movie doesn’t have a lot of scary moments, and the pacing is pretty slow but not in a bad way. The movie starts out kind of light and is a bit silly at first, but then it has a big shift in tone at the end. I’m still undecided if it’s a good movie with a bad ending or just an enjoyably horrible movie. It does some things well in the beginning, and I’m not entirely sure if they’re accidental or deliberate. For example, the way the beginning is shot and the way pacing works in the first act creates a sensation of what it would be like working the night shift at this hotel, and it lets you feel like you know the characters, but was that intentional? I don’t know! I might be looking for depth where there is none. It’s a good movie to watch while knitting, none the less.