Packaging vs. packaged

Sep. 20th, 2014 10:09 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
I bought an iPad Air and some accessories the other day. Although I bought them all at the same time from the same company, they arrived in five separate LARGE boxes, all of which contained a smaller box.

The first photo shows the packaging.
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The second photo shows the packaging together with the accessorized iPad Air, and a curious cat.
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equinox linkspam

Sep. 20th, 2014 09:52 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
If you have 33 minutes or some subset thereof, Stef-Bob sez sit back with your favorite mind altering substance, or not, and check out this animated video score of Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring." Definitely right up there with the best laser light shows I've seen.

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Happenings of the day

Sep. 21st, 2014 12:15 am
umadoshi: (hands full of books)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Six things that happened today (and one that didn't):

I finished proofreading a novel for Sparkler Monthly and got that turned in--a day later than I'd hoped, but two days ahead of deadline, so we'll call that a win. ^_^ Tomorrow I can get back to rewriting My Love Story!!

I ate most of a pint of raspberries! ("Most of" meaning I shared with [personal profile] scruloose, but he's very kind about letting me hog raspberries shamelessly, because I love them SO MUCH.) I always forget about fall raspberries, but this morning I was briefly talking with Kas, who'd already made his morning market run with [personal profile] wildpear, and he told me there were raspberries and that they were awesome and to tell [personal profile] scruloose to pick some up. *^^*

[personal profile] scruloose and I had a bit of takeout dim sum for lunch when he got back, because it turns out (!!!) we have a Cantonese bakery downtown. With some dim sum options. I don't know why I didn't know this until late last night, and I don't know how long it's been open, but this is AMAZING. (And Google Maps claims it's a seven-minute walk from Casual Job. Dangerous knowledge, perhaps.)

Happy came over to hang out for a few hours! We didn't know she was going to be in town, and I hadn't seen her since...May? Maybe June? She's been hitchhiking and visiting all across the country for the entire summer (including going to the Eclipse festival outside Montreal with [personal profile] scruloose in July), and it sounds like now she'll be back in New Brunswick for at least a little while once she heads back tomorrow, but she detoured here for the weekend. ^_^

[personal profile] wildpear sent me a quick email about something she's writing that I'm excited to see, and also mentioned that she's done a first read-through on some smut I sent her for beta (not the hopefully-funny piece) and that it's looking good. That's a relief. Usually I feel fine about my "quilting" writing process, but I'd revised and tweaked and shuffled and restitched so many things in this fic that I couldn't see anything but the seams anymore.

(We're both trying to get through some things before Unmade arrives--it shipped already!--because it's probably going to swallow her whole for a while, and while it probably won't take over my brain the way it will hers, it'll certainly occupy my head effectively for a bit...and then I'll be back to work.)

And tonight I curled up on the couch with Jinksy at my feet and reread Unspoken in one gulp. Tomorrow, in between doing some rewriting and having Kas and [personal profile] seolh over to watch the Into the Woods Broadway DVD, I'll hopefully manage to at least get started on my Untold reread.

As for the thing that didn't happen...I didn't manage to watch this week's Haven, despite good intentions. And given everything I just wrote about tomorrow (and given that [personal profile] wildpear is coming over Monday evening, and Unmade is coming, and I need to prep for work), I now don't know when I will. Oops? And The Good Wife is coming back tomorrow, I think...and much as I enjoy Haven, The Good Wife gets watching precedence, no question.
cahwyguy: (Default)
[personal profile] cahwyguy

Observation StewIt’s Saturday, and you know what that means: Time to see what sort of a tasty stew we can make of the articles that I’ve saved over the week. Let’s see how flavorful this one is:


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Rose City Comic Con Report #1

Sep. 20th, 2014 03:32 pm
sinanju: The Shadow (Default)
[personal profile] sinanju
Well, my phone takes sucky photos. I was going to post some pics here, but now I won't.

Mind you, it's a hand-me-down smartphone that is far superior to my old smart phone, but it still takes sucky pictures. Which is too bad, because I took some photos of some really nifty costumes at Rose City Comic Con today. A small kid dressed as baby dancing groot, complete with flower pot. A couple of AIM agents (in bright yellow jumpsuits with cylindrical helmets). The entire cast of Game of Thrones PLUS George R. R. Martin*. And a really terrific Weeping Angel (tm) from Doctor Who. A Ghostbusters team. Plus there were plenty more folks I'd like to get photos of, but I won't try because my camera phone sucks.

Next year I need a better phone for Comic Con. Or an actual digital camera. There are lots of great costumes to see.

On the other hand, we saw a great panel with Greg Rucka, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Matt Fraction. It was very entertaining. We walked around the floor for a while, and all of us (myself, Snippy, and Twoson) all bought some swag. Lots to see, lots to buy.

Alas, the HVAC was inadequate to the task of cooling the place adequately. Granted, it is unseasonably, un-climately hot in Portland today (in the 90s), but'd think a convention center would be up to the task. But while there were definitely cooler areas, a lot of the space was warm and little humid. We retreated to the Quiet Room, a space set aside for people to sit quietly and read, or just rest away from the noise and activity, or--in the case of one woman who came into the room while we were there--to lay out your prayer rug facing Mecca and pray (silently). But even that room was a little warmer than we'd have liked.

So we left to return home (a convenient 10-15 minute drive) to rest in some real AC before we head back for another panel at 5 this afternoon. This is in keeping with the basic rule propounded by Snippy for years, to leave an event while you're still having fun. If you wait until you're no longer having fun, it can color your memory of the event negatively. If you remember it as being fun right up until you left, you'll remember it more happily.

Then dinner at a local chinese restaurant we really like downtown. And we'll be going back tomorrow for another panel and to see more of the convention floor. Booths full of artists and writers and hucksters and swag, all aswarm with con-goers, many of whom will be wearing elaborate costumes.

*Someone cosplaying as George, just to be clear.

Madam Satan in: Vampire panic!

Sep. 20th, 2014 06:06 pm
alicemacher: Lisa Winklemeyer from the webcomic Penny and Aggie, c2004-2011 G. Lagacé, T Campbell (Default)
[personal profile] alicemacher posting in [community profile] scans_daily

In this two-parter from Pep #18 and #19 (Aug-Sept 1941; public domain), our villain learns to change up her strategy a bit from merely seducing men and trying to give them the death-kiss. Does it work? Let's find out!

She's an unholy creature, I tell you! )

Flocking might be too strong

Sep. 20th, 2014 05:45 pm
[syndicated profile] dubious_prospects_feed

Posted by Graydon

Adult Great Blue Heron

There were five in the marsh at the mouth of the Rouge; two adults and three immature.  Definite sign that the summer is coming to an end, beyond silly things like the temperature shift and the earlier and earlier hours of evening as the equinox creeps up.

New verses in "Pitfalls"

Sep. 20th, 2014 04:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Paranormal detective Brenda in a wheelchair (PIE)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Thanks to a donation from LJ user Kestrels_nest, there are 5 new verses in "Pitfalls."  See what resources Brenda finds.

Crowdfunding Creative Jam

Sep. 20th, 2014 02:48 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The September Crowdfunding Creative Jam is open on Dreamwidth and on LiveJournal.  This month's theme is "new ideas in old problems."  Come give us prompts, or claim ideas for your own inspiration!

From My Prompts

[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written to my prompt about an alien helping an injured man.  Click to read an excerpt now, and watch for more to appear on her website later.  So far this looks like pretty awesome science fiction.

Roughing it in the wild outdoors

Sep. 20th, 2014 02:47 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Sort of.

Yesterday I was taken on a delightful excursion in Gatineau Park, courtesy of [personal profile] commodorified.

There was a voyage by canoe along a lake (I wasn't paddling, I was sitting amidships like Cleopatra in her barge), a hike through the woods, arrival at a cave (which turned out to be unseasonably full of water, so not very approachable without more gear than I had about me), several pauses for tasty refreshment, and return via the lake.

Wildlife spotted: ravens, gulls, hawk, loon, dragonfly, chipmunk, and some sort of water-edge plover (?). Also, 2 beaver lodges though no beavers.

Plus trees, rocks, water, etc.

A lovely day.

And on the wildlife front, think I spotted a groundhog today.

cahwyguy: (Default)
[personal profile] cahwyguy

Bat Boy (CSUN)userpic=ucla-csunWhen I told people that I was going to go see “Bat Boy: The Musical“, most thought I was going to see a musical about Batman. After all, there have been musicals about Superman and Spiderman, so a musical about  the caped crusader as a boy isn’t that farfetched. Farfetched, after all, would be a musical drawn from the pages of the Weekly World News, that crusading paper that is more accurate than Fox News, brings you headlines such as “Saturn is a Giant UFO“, “Chicago to be Renamed Obama City“, and, yes, “Bat Boy: Going Mutant“.  But it is just that paper — and in fact, that last story — that was the inspiration for the musical “Bat Boy: The Musical“, drawn from the pages of the Weekly World News, that we saw last night at the CSUN Experimental Theatre.

For those not familiar with the Bat Boy, he was a creation of the Weekly World News — a news source much like the Onion of today, only weirder. Half-man, half-bat, he was discovered in a cave in West Virginia. Constantly hunted by the government, he is regularly captured but escapes. The story first appeared in the pages of the WWN in 1992; by 1997, the Actors Gang had created a musical based on his story. This musical, with story and book by Keythe Farley (FB) and Brian Flemming, and music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe, made it to an off-Broadway production (which was recorded, permitting me to learn about it) and a London production. This fall, Janet Miller (FB) [who has done a great job with Good People Theatre Co (FB) productions of "A Man of No Importance" and "The Fantastiks"] selected “Bat Boy” as a production of the CSUN Theatre Arts Department. I learned about this production when I saw a poster for it while attending the Operaworks Advanced Artist production this summer. Having heard the music (which is great), loving the story (which has a great message), and knowing the quality of the director made this a must see. As soon as the ticket office opened in late August, I purchased my tickets for opening night.

[I'll note an odd coincidence: Last night, I added yet another album to my iPod: the cast album for Heathers: The Musical, which just closed on Broadway. It turns out that Laurence O'Keefe did the music for that show, as well as for the Legally Blonde: The Musical. You'll like the music to Bat Boy, especially the main song ("Hold Me, Bat Boy") which is a definite ear worm.]

Bat Boy: The Musical” takes place in Hope Falls, WV. As the production opens, Rick, Ron, and Ruthie Taylor are exploring some deep caves near the town. In one cavern, they discover the Bay Boy; as Ruthie tries to make friends with it, he bites her on the neck. They kick and capture the Bat Boy and take him to the Sheriff and Ruthie to the hospital. The Sheriff decides to take the Bat Boy to the local veterinarian, who will know what to do with him. The vet, Dr. Thomas Parker, isn’t home so they leave the boy with his wife, Meredith and their daughter, Shelly. Although Meredith wants to take care of the boy and make him part of the family, the daughter wants nothing to do with him. Mom wins out, and slowly starts educating the boy (who is a fast learner). When Dr. Parker comes home, he wants to put the boy down, but Meredith dissuades him from doing so with the promise of sex with her (which hasn’t been happening for a while). Meanwhile, the town is becoming agitated: not only is Ruthie Taylor not getting better, the coal mine has closed, and all of the cattle around the town are getting sicker and thinner. The town, naturally, blames the Bat Boy and believes that killing him will solve all their problems. Back at the Parkers, the Bat Boy (now renamed Edgar) and Shelly are growing closer, and Edgar is learning fast — he already has his high school equvalency diploma. He wants to attend the big revival meeting but the town doesn’t want him to. When Meredith and Shelly take him anyway, he wins the town over. But when Rick Taylor attacks Shelly, Edgar goes crazy and bites Rick. This starts the hunt for the boy, based on some turn of events and resulting in some disclosures which I won’t reveal (as they are spoilers)… but you can find them in the Wiki synopsis.

The story is a good one, and quite time. At its heart, it explores xeonphobia in a funny and touching way. The Bat Boy is the stranger in our midst — an uglier reflection of ourselves. Seemingly uncivilized, yet some can see beyond that to discover the civilized person underneath. Are they human? Are they animals? Do we blame the stranger for our problems, or are our problems often created by our own actions (after all, you can’t feed cows on a coal mine). Take this musical, which was written in 1997, and look at it through 2014. Muslims in our community are the Bat Boys of today — misunderstood aliens, seen by some as civilized members of society, but seen through ill-informed and ignorant eyes as all evils, prone to attack when provoked. I think this musical is much more timely today than when it was first performed.

This production — like many CSUN theatre productions — was excellent (I still have fond memories of an excellent production of Hair many years ago). Director and Choreographer Janet Miller (FB) worked with the students to bring out excellent dramatic performances — you could see that were intensely into each character they played. That’s not to say the production was 100% perfect, but it was very very good. Let’s look at the players.

In the lead position was Skylar Keck/FB as Edgar, the Bat Boy. Keck nailed the dramatic side of the performance, from his movement as the uncivilized Bat Boy to his maturation as the civilized Edgar. In the beginning you see Keck on all fours, running around and screaming gibberish. As the story progresses you see him grow into an Oxford-English speaking young man (BBC language tapes). He was really spectacular to watch. He also moved well during the dance numbers. If he had one drawback, it was that his singing voice was a little off on some of the numbers; I believe that will improve with time and practice. I look forward to seeing him in future professional productions.

In the other lead positions were Aubrie Alexander (FB) as Meredith Parker, Jessica Patterson/FB as Shelly Parker, and Jared Tkocz/FB as Dr. Thomas Parker. All three had strong characterizations of their characters — I was particularly taken by both Alexander and Patterson in their characters. Tkocz had the evil side down well as well. All three were also strong in their singing and dancing numbers.

Much of the remainder of the cast doubled or tripled roles, some going cross-gender. This initially confused me; my wife thought it had to do with the diversity statement in the program. It turns out neither was the case: it appears to be intentional double casting from the original production. In any case, given the multiple casting it is difficult to single out many performances. Some, however, are worthy of special note. I was very taken by Nick Bruno/FB‘s performance as Pan during “Children, Children”. He had a very strong singing voice combined with a winner personality that shone through the character. Bruno also doubled as Bud, one of the ranchers whose cattle were dying. Also strong was Matthew Kesner/FB as Reverend Bill Hightower in the “Joyful Noise” number — again, a strong singing voice combined with good movement and the ability to be humorous worked well. Kesner also doubled as Daisy, a schoolteacher, with a very incongruous look (I’d say you could guess why she was a spinster, but then again, this is West Virginia). Lastly, I liked Benjamin Schwartz/FB‘s portrayal of Sheriff Reynolds. My wife felt that Mrs. Taylor (Logan Allison/FB) deserved an award for overacting, but I think the character was intentionally written that way to play up the nature of the Bat Boy threat. Allison also doubled as Roy, a rancher.  Rounding out the townsfolk and remaining cast were: Steve Brogan/FB (Rick Taylor, spelunker; Mr. Dillon, a rancher); Rachael Johnson/FB (Ron Taylor, spelunker; Maggie, senior Town Council rep); Julia Alix Ober/FB (Ruthie Taylor, spelunker; Ned, a rancher); Sarah Kline/FB (Lorraine, a rancher’s wife; Clem, a townsman); Hyungwood Jang/FB (a doctor, ensemble/townfolk); Jessamyn Arnstein (FB) (a doctor, ensemble/townfolk); Chelsea DiBlasi/FB (Institute Man, ensemble/townsfolk); and Alexander Cody Phaphol/FB (ensemble/townfolk).

The actors were supported by an on-stage band behind the main set. This band consisted of Philip Matthew Park (Musical Director, Keyboard I), Paul Duffy (Keyboard II), Andi Moresi (FB) (Guitar), Dustin Morgan/FB (Bass), and Wayne Hildenbrand/FB (Drums). The band had a great sound quality, and about the only quibble was the reflection of the “Exit” light in the plexiglass surrounding the drummer.

Turning to technical side, where my main quibble with this production lies. Let’s start with the problem, and then move on to what worked. What didn’t work was the sound design by Kenji Kang/FB. When the microphones worked there was an odd echo quality to them; later on in the show there were numerous static and glitch problems. This could just be opening night problems — I see that Kang was a Van Nuys HS graduate, meaning he should have learned from the best (Marque Coy (FB)). Hopefully, they will get things tuned for subsequent productions. In contrast to the sound, the lighting design of Kevin Vasquez/FB worked quite well, creating a mood, illuminating scenic queues, and making good use of moving lights and LED lights. The costume design of Bich Vu worked well and appeared suitably West Virginia-y to me, although my wife had some problems with the footware on some of the actors. The costuming for the Bat Boy was particularly good. The scenic design of Christopher Scott Murillo (FB) was simple but effective, and made good use of the CSUN Experimental theatre black box space. Heidi Dippold was the dialect coach; her work was particularly notable in the Bat Boy’s gibberish and later BBC accent (I can’t speak to WV accents). Shad Willingham (FB) was the Fight Choreographer. Lindsey Martin/FB (as opposed to Lindsay Martens/FB) was the stage manager (yes, I did a double take for a minute).

Bat Boy: The Musical” continues at CSUN (CSUN Theatre Arts Department (FB) through September 28, 2014, with performances today (9/20), tomorrow (9/21), and next weekend (9/24-9/28).  Tickets are available through A.S. CSUN at 818/677-2488. You might be able to get them online through Ticketmaster, but the fees will be less through the phone. Tickets are not available on Goldstar. You’ll have a great time if you go.

[Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience. I've been attending live theatre in Los Angeles since 1972; I've been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I'm a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.]

Upcoming Theatre and Concerts:  Next weekend brings  “What I Learned in Paris” at The Colony Theatre (FB) on Sat 9/27, and “The Great Gatsby” at Repertory East (FB) on Sun 9/29. October currently has two shows (three if you count Yom Kippur on 10/4): “Don’t Hug Me, We’re Married” at the Group Rep (FB) on Sat 10/18 (when Karen is at PIQF), and “Pippin” at the Pantages (FB) on 10/25. November is back to busy, with “Big Fish” at Musical Theatre West (FB) on Sat 11/1, “Handle with Care” at The Colony Theatre (FB) on Sun 11/9 (shifting to avoid ACSAC and opening night), a trip out to Orange Empire Railway Museum to see my buddy Thomas on 11/11,  “Sherlock Holmes and the Suicide Club” at REP East (FB) on Sat 11/15, the Nottingham Festival on Sun 11/16, and “Kinky Boots” at the Pantages (FB) on Sat 11/29. I may also see some theatre when I visit my daughter Erin in Berkeley between 11/20 and 11/26. Right now, I’m looking at The Immigrant at Tabard Theatre (FB) in San Jose, “Harvey” at Palo Alto Players (FB) in Palo Alto, or “Rhinocerous” at the UC Berkeley Theatre Department (FB). As for December, right now I’m just holding one date: “She Loves Me” at Chance Theatre (FB) in Anaheim on 12/20. As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, and Musicals in LA, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411.

This entry was originally posted on Observations Along The Road (on as this entry by cahwyguy. Although you can comment on DW, please make comments on original post at the Wordpress blog using the link below; you can sign in with your LJ, FB, or a myriad of other accounts. There are currently comments on the Wordpress blog. PS: If you see share buttons above, note that they do not work outside of the Wordpress blog.

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Sep. 20th, 2014 01:38 pm
starwolf_oakley: (Default)
[personal profile] starwolf_oakley posting in [community profile] scans_daily
BATMAN CHRONICLES #6 were flashback stories. The first was about Ra's al Ghul in the 1500s. The last was about the founding of Gotham City. The middle story was about the "education" of Bruce Wayne.
After the cut, some thoughts about the "education" of Bruce Wayne.

4 pages of a 10 page story. )
[syndicated profile] techknitting_feed

Posted by TECHknitter

(Here's another post, half-written for years, which has kicked around my hard drive long enough.)
* * *
This post tackles the three most basic crochet stitches: chain stitch (ch. st), slip stitch (sl. st) and single crochet (sc).  All of these are of good use to knitters for edgings, drawstrings, fabric stabilization, seaming, attaching patch pockets and so on. If this subject interests you, sit tight, we're going for a ride--it's a long post with lots of illustrations.

Crocheted chain (chain stitch, abbreviated as "ch. st.")
A crocheted chain forms the basis of much crocheting.  On its own, it's useful too: crocheting the chain stitch is wonderful way to make a strong little cord, very good for drawstrings in knitted garments.  From the front, chain stitch looks just like a column of knitting.

What a crocheted chain looks like, as seen from the front

Chains traditionally begin with a slip knot. The easiest way to form one is to create a pretzel of yarn by lifting the ball end of the yarn over the tail end forming a loop, then draw the ball end under the entire loop just made, leaving the whole assembly very soft and loose, as shown below. Next, insert the crochet hook into the pretzel from upper R to lower L, so only the inner right leg of the pretzel is over the barrel of the hook.

set up to make a slip knot

Next, hold the yarn ends in one hand and the crochet hook in the other, then pull in opposite directions.  The left loop of the pretzel will snug up into a granny-knot made out of the tail end, and this knot will freely slide up and down the ball end of the yarn--voilà: a knot which slips, a slip-knot.  Leave the loop of the slip knot over the barrel of the hook.

finished slip knot over the barrel of the hook

Once you have a slip knot on your hook, trap the nub of the knot between your left thumb and left middle finger, then use your left forefinger to tension the running yarn in position above the loop (running yarn=yarn running out of the ball, ball end of the yarn) as shown below. Holding the hook in your right hand, reach up and grab the running yarn from UNDERNEATH, so that the running yarn winds around the crochet hook in the clockwise direction. With the lip of the hook facing you, slide the hook down along the running yarn until the lip of the hook is over the running yarn, then draw the loaded hook down, out of the slip knit, in the direction of the arrow, as shown.

set up to make the first chain

You will now find that the yarn you drew down out of the first loop has formed a new, second loop around your hook, as shown below.

first chain stitch made

Repeat the same yarn-winding action again and you will find a new loop is created each time you draw the hook through the loop.  This creates a chain of stitches--the chain stitch, shown below.  Note that when just about to work the chain stitch, there are two yarns over the hook: the just-made loop through which the hook is inserted (arrow #1) while the running yarn caught under the lip of the hook waiting to be drawn through (arrow #2) creates a second yarn over the hook-barrel.

crocheted chain closeup

The chain shown here is very loose.  In real life, however, you would snug up the loops as you make them, just as you would tension your yarn in knitting.

Slip stitch (sl. st.)
For knitters, chain stitch is handy for making cords.  However, its first cousin, slip stitch is much more versatile: imho it's the most useful crochet stitch a knitter can know. So useful and fundamental in fact, that even knitters who never held a crochet hook have almost certainly done the slip stitch. You see, structurally, the crocheted slip stitch is identical to the chain bind off. Yes, despite slip stitch being done with a hook and the chain bind off with knitting needle, they are the same exact stitch.

The slip stitch in crocheting differs from chain stitch in only one regard.  Whereas the chain is free-standing, slip stitch is worked attached to a previously created fabric. Like the chain stitch, slip stitch confers no particular height to the work. For height, more complicated crochet stitches such as single crochet, double crochet etc. must be used. Stated otherwise, although it is attached to a previously-made fabric, slip stitch more in the nature of a utility stitch: useful as an edging, fastening, or stabilizer.

Slip stitch always starts with a loop over the hook. In the illustration below, slip stitch is being made in a traditional manner: on a foundation row of chain stitch, and the existing loop comes from the last stitch of the previously-made chain (arrow #1). The hook is then inserted under the right (forward) arm of the second chain from the end (arrow #2).  Once you have these two yarns laying over over the barrel of the crochet hook, use the hook to catch the running yarn "up from under," so it lays as shown below (arrow #3).

set up for first slip stitch

From the above set up, the slip stitch is worked by pulling the third yarn, which is the running yarn, through both other loops on the hook.  This starts the cycle over again, as shown below: one loop remains on the hook (arrow #1) The hook is again inserted through the right (forward) arm of the next chain (arrow #2) then again catches the running yarn (arrow #3).  The second slip stitch is performed like the first, by pulling loop 3 through the other two.

first slip stitch made, set up for second one

After a making several stitches, you can see that the slip stitch looks very much like the chain stitch.  Aaaand, that's because it IS the chain stitch, with the added extra step of catching that attachment arm out of the fabric, before the running yarn is drawn through.  The "chainy" part is colored red.

slip stitch closeup

Here's the proof that the chain bind off and the slip stitch are identical: a closeup of the chain bind off at the top of a knitted fabric, also colored red, shows same structure as the slip stitch, above.  So, one immediate use of a crochet hook could be to speed up chain cast off by working with a crochet hook rather than knitting needles--the hook is substantially faster (so much faster that it's easy to get moving too fast and get too tight:  you have to really watch the tension). 

knitted chain bind off, closeup

Another common use for slip stitch is to stabilize a fabric.  So, when you slip stitch into a chain as shown in the slip stitch closeup, you get a double-sided, double thick chain (a good trick to thicken and strengthen a chain-stitch for high-use drawstrings).

Slip stitch can stabilize knit fabric, too. When used on knit fabric, slip stitch does not required a foundation row.  In  other words, no need to make a chain, just start right in slip stitching through the knit fabric.  Below is a closeup of the slip stitch through the middle of a fabric--in this case, used to stabilize the neckline of a garment which would otherwise sag.

slip stitching through knit fabric to stabilize a sweater neck

When working the slip stitch through the middle of a fabric, begin by deciding on which fabric face of the garment you want the pretty-looking "chained" part of the slip stitch to appear.  We'll call this fabric face the "front," because it will be facing you when working the slip stitch.  Note, however, that sometimes the pretty side might be what you normally think of as the back or inside fabric face of the garment.

In the example above, the fabric being stabilized is the back of a stockinette sweater with a fold-over collar. The outside of the neck is hidden under the collar, so the purled fabric inside of the sweater neck (which you might see at certain angles if the sweater is worn unbuttoned) is the pretty ("front") fabric face in this example.

To start the slip stitching, hold the yarn on the not-pretty side--the back side.  Insert the hook from the front to the back and draw up a loop.  Keeping the loop over the barrel of the hook, move the hook one stitch over, then insert the hook through the fabric again and draw up a second loop from the back.  Finish the slip stitch by drawing this second loop through the first.  For each slip stitch wanted, repeat the process. Finish by cutting the running yarn then pull the resulting tail through the last loop. Work this tail in as you would for a cut-end in knitting--skim it in (with a sewing needle or with a knit-picker on the fabric-back, or weave it in).

Slip stitch can also be used to stabilize the long edge of a fabric. Because there is already a TECHknitting post on this, the instructions are not repeated here, but here's a photo to show the idea. (Both the post and the below photo show a stabilizing slip stitch on a garter stitch edge--the long edge of garter stitch is especially prone to flaring--but slip stitching can be worked through any sort of knit fabric.)
slip stitching to stabilize a garter stitch edge*

Yet another common use for slip stitch is in seaming, to attach two pieces of knitting together.  This is done exactly the same as slip stitching to stabilize a long edge, the only difference being that you would hold the two pieces of knitting one behind the other and slip stitch through both at the same time, matching stitch for stitch.  The below schematic shows the idea, however, you must decide for yourself which column edge to work along: the schematic shows the hook inserted 1/2 column in from the edge, yet a loose fabric might require an entire column.

Inserting the hook for slip stitch seaming (note that, in this diagram, the purl fabric faces are intended to be the "public" side of the garment, as would be the case with a cable sweater worked on a reverse stockinette background, for example.  If the smooth stockinette side of the garment is to be the public side, then the fabrics would be held smooth-face-to-smooth-face in seaming.)

If you have a slipped selvedge, a very pretty effect can be obtained if you insert the hook through the inner loops on each fabric edge.  Where the outer loops are forced to the fabric surface, you get a very pretty line of V's down the seam line.

a slip-stitched seam on a slipped knitted selvedge. The photo shows how very pretty this seam is, but not the equally pretty "valley" which opens in the middle of this seam when the seam is stretched. It's a subtle touch, very professional looking, but impossible (for me, anyhow!) to photograph.*

When used for seaming, slip stitch can be easily removed if you find you've gotten off your stitch-for-stitch count, or if you find your tension is wrong. This is a huge advantage over picking out sewing, especially easier than picking out mattress stitch. On the downside, a slip-stitched seam is bulkier than a sewn one, yet even this disadvantage can be minimized by working the seam in a color-matched thin (sock) yarn, instead of the bulkier main garment yarn.

Attaching patch pockets on sweater fronts is another great use of slip stitch. Worked vertically, the "knit column" look of the slip stitch makes this blend right in, worked horizontally, the slip stitch looks like a particularly lovely stitch pick up and bind off.

Eliminating gaps on cables is a good trick too. You know that gap that forms behind a giant cable where the cable arms twist over one another? A line of discreet slip stitching right between the arms of the outermost cable columns will seal that gap forever.  The stitching will show on the inside, sure, but on the outside the addition of an extra column will never show, the little V's of the slip stitch simply disappear amongst the stockinette columns of the cables themselves.

Single crochet (sc)
In terms of progression and complication, slip stitch was "chain stitch plus:" chain stitch + attachment to fabric edge = slip stitch.  In this same way, single crochet is "slip stitch plus."  This time, the extra step involves making an extra loop with the hook before the final draw through: slip stitch + extra loop = single crochet. This extra loop adds height to the stitch. So, unlike (the very flat) slip stitch, it is perfectly possible to make a fabric in  single crochet.

Like slip stitch, single crochet traditionally begins on a chain foundation row. So, if this illustration looks familiar, that's because it's the exact same set up as for the slip stitch. However, this time, instead of pulling the running yarn (gray) through BOTH loops on the needle as for slip stitch, STOP when you've pulled the running yarn through only the FIRST loop, as shown below.

Set up for the sc.  This looks just like the set up for slip stitch, but to work the first step of the sc, STOP after pulling the running yarn through the first loop on the hook-barrel: the running yarn is not pulled through the second loop until the next step

The loop just made (gray) is over the barrel of the hook. Reload the hook: wrap the running yarn (which I've now colored red) around the barrel of the hook, slide the hook down along the running yarn until the running yarn is caught under the hook lip.  There will again be three yarns over the needle as shown below--the now-red running yarn, the gray loop previously made, and last on the needle, the loop from the original chain. Draw the red running yarn through both loops, in the direction of the blue arrow to make the first sc.

step 2 of the sc

The result (first finished sc) is as below.

first finished sc, worked on a chain stitch foundation

The cycle begins again by inserting the hook under the arm of the next foundation stitch and pulling a single loop through the arm only.

Work a several sc's and the structure becomes apparent--the top (red) loop looks just like a slip stitch (or a chain bind off, since those are the same thing) but the blue bar highlights the additional layer of (gray) loops.  These are the "extra step" loops--one per stitch--which make single crochet a taller (higher) fabric than slip stitch.

single crochet on a chain stitch foundation, closeup

Knitters commonly use single crochet as an edging on baby blankets, scarves and the like.   Below is a close-up of the look.

sc border worked on knitted (garter st) fabric

For this use, no need to have a foundation chain.  In other words, just as slip stitch can be worked directly through a knit fabric, so too with single crochet edging.  Begin by pulling the first loop through the knit fabric from back to front. * Retaining the loop on the hook, insert the hook into the next knit stitch and pull up a second loop. On these two loops, work the single crochet as shown above, second-to-last illustration. Repeat from * all the way around the blanket. A very neat finish can be worked the same way you'd bind off circular knits (the first method at the link would be the best one to use for sc).

Until the next post, good knitting (or should I say, crocheting?)

* The two photos with the asterisks (seam and stabilization photos) come from a TECHknitting Ravelry pattern for the Elizabeth Cap-- the slip stitch seam and edging help stabilize the cap's very stretchy garter stitch fabric.  If you go to the link, you'll see it works: some of caps shown with the pattern at the link had been regularly worn by the time they were photographed, but the slip stitching prevented stretching or sagging and kept them looking new.

This has been aTECHknitting blog post about crocheting for knitters, featuring chain stitch (ch. st.) slip stitch (sl st) and single crochet (sc).  Thanks for reading! 

Magneto #10

Sep. 20th, 2014 07:57 pm
[syndicated profile] seriouseats_recipes_feed

Posted by Jennifer Olvera

Slow Cooker Puerto Rican Pernil With Pique Criollo
Assertively seasoned with garlic, oregano, pepper, and enough salt to form a crust, pernil—a Puerto Rican mainstay—lingers in the slow cooker for 18 hours until browned and fork-tender. It's served with vinegar-based pique criollo, a hot sauce made with peppers, garlic, pineapple and herbs. Get Recipe!

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Sep. 20th, 2014 04:48 pm
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Cutest damn blissface in the world. Read more... )

Requiescat in Pace

Sep. 20th, 2014 09:55 am
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  • Jackie Cain, singer (Jackie and Roy; Roy died in 2002), who had a particularly fine version of "Lady Madonna" that I used to hear on the station I used to listen to back in the late '60s.

  • George Hamilton IV, singer (I'd heard of him before I'd heard of the actor, and confused the two well into my teen years)

Hippo Birdie Two Ewes

Sep. 20th, 2014 09:11 am
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 to [personal profile] serene !  See you later today, and best of luck with your Big Adventure!  And may your days be fantastic (unicorn optional).


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