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Sunday, 26 June 2016

Looking rad in red

Dear Diary,

Jesse:  It was about time that I knitted something for Adam.  I bought a pattern on Etsy for this reversible cardigan.  Interestingly, I had knitted this pattern in a size for babies as well as for the 8" Hitty doll.  I am well acquainted with it.


"I think red suits me!"

For you knitters, I'll give the run-down details.  This was knitted with a 5-ply knitting wool.  Ordinarily, that size wouldn't be my choice because 5-ply is slow to knit with; extreme care and attention must be paid to avoid splitting the strands. I had a skein of this wool and I didn't want to waste it.  I have several more skeins in different colours so there's more to come.

He's very handsome in these clothes.

I used 2.75 mm needles for the ribbing and 3.50 mm needles for the body.  These needles gave me the exact gauge (28 stitches/10 cm) in the final blocked garment.  I did learn that I need new eye glasses, however!

Back to front view.

The pattern has a couple of issues which I want to point out. They are not errors but funny things that I think could be improved. I contacted the author to enquire about them but, based on her reply, I'd say she's not one to think outside the box. I'll just point them out here.  My experience with the pattern gave me the knowledge to evaluate it critically as I went along.  And, I'm not a novice knitter. First, there are no buttonholes in the pattern.  At the end, it recommends using snaps under the buttons.  I disagree with this as button holes are easy to make and add a level of sophistication to the garment; in other words, it's not a plaything but a serious piece of clothing.  Unfortunately, I didn't notice that the button holes were missing until I was half-way through knitting.  Next time I'll add them in.  But, I did not use snaps as I can still button it if necessary.  Second, the pattern calls to knit the sleeves before the body (remember, this is knitted in one piece).  Trying to knit the sleeves after the body has pulled together would be very difficult.  The versions of this pattern I've seen and used in the past call for the sleeves to be worked first and then the body.  This is how I did it and I know it made it easier.

You might be able to see that I did an invisible rib bind-off which gives a fantastic finish to a ribbed edge.

The pattern is versatile; one minute a cardigan, the next a jumper.

I'll add something here about these cords from Carpatina.  I removed the nasty velcro from the waist and replaced it with snaps.  Now they have a less bulky waistline and  it allows some room to tuck in a shirt or the like.  Velcro has its place, like for children and for those with handicaps, but it has no place in fashion.  I cringe when I see it used on otherwise lovely doll clothes.  A zipper and button or clip fastener at the waist would be preferred but I don't have a zipper sized properly for Adam.

I'm about to cast-on for another cardie, using another skein of 5-ply.  You can expect to see three more colours in the next little while.





Saturday, 18 June 2016

True colors are beautiful

Dear Diary,
Jesse: We are in pain at the suffering inflicted on the people at the Pulse in Orlando.  The majority of those who were shot were LGBT - members of my own tribe.  Let there be no mistake: this was a hate crime against gay people.

I can't stop the song True Colors, sung by Cyndi Lauper, which keeps running through my head.  I want to share the lyrics here.


You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
Its hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small

But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

True colours, like a rainbow

Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

(Can't remember when I last saw you laughing)
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there

And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show

Your true colors
True colors
True colors
Shining through

I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow
Songwriters: STEINBERG, BILLY / KELLY, TOM
True Colors lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Proudly showing true colours.

Keep your "thoughts and prayers"; they're killing us.  Do something tangible to effect change!  We will continue to speak out; our lives depend on it.



Friday, 3 June 2016

New letter - minneapolis mail call

Dear Diary,

Adam: Yeah!  Another letter from the USA!  We enjoy hearing from our friends.

Dear Angelo & Adam –
When we read your blog, one of the things we notice is how helpful you guys are to your papa.  You are such thoughtful boys!  You’re always busy collecting eggs, picking vegetables and berries, and tending the goats.  Being urban dolls, many of these chores are unfamiliar to us.  However we do try to help Steve around the house whenever we can.  We pick up our clothes and books and generally tidy up. 

 One of our favorite jobs is getting the daily mail.  Every afternoon when we hear the clank of the mail slot, we know it's time to go collect all of the fun and exciting things that we have received.

Of course some things are more interesting than others. We get a fair number of bills.  We save these for Steve and he does something with them – we’re not exactly sure what.

We also receive quite a few magazines and catalogs.  Steve’s husband is a big Doctor Who fan, and we like to look through his latest Doctor Who Magazine.  Tony and I enjoy it a lot, but sometimes the monsters and aliens are a little too intense for Sasha.

The best days are when we receive packages because quite often they are for us.  All of our clothes come via mail. Come to think of it, except for Sasha, we all arrived by mail too.  Most of our parcels are padded envelopes that fit through the slot with no trouble.  Occasionally though our letter carrier doesn’t give them a good enough shove and they get hung up in the slot.  This can be very frustrating, and it often calls for a little ingenuity.  Fortunately we can count on our good friend Tyler to help us out.  He’s really quite fearless.  Tony doesn’t always approve of our methods.  He tells us to be more careful and generally clucks around like an old mother hen.  I usually tell him, “Oh dear Antonio, why do you worry so?  You must learn to relax.”  

But we’ve never had a mishap yet (knock on wood), and with our mission accomplished we get to examine all of the wonderful new things for us.  I’m sure you guys will agree that nothing can make a boy doll’s day like a great new outfit or pair of shoes!  
Distinti saluti,
Giancarlo

Angelo:  Cari amici, Siamo molti contenti di avere ricevutto una letter da voi.  Per piacere, ci scrivete di nuovo!