Archive for October 2011

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween to all! I’m pretty pleased with how Owen’s first Halloween costume turned out. Beth knit the vest and pants, and I did the hat. I think it looks especially hilarious when we put the hat on backwards so it looks like we’re carrying a little sock monkey around:

It was really  fun to take Owen to a high school Halloween dance where we could bounce him in his costume to the tunes of “The tale of Captain Jack Sparrow” and” Party Rock Anthem“, among others. I realized during that one that I can’t shuffle or running man while holding a baby…

I hadn’t improvised a pattern in a while–it was fun. It’s a combination of knit and crochet, mostly knit. Here’s the “pattern.” I took gauge on some knit picks interchangeable tip 8’s because they were handy, then measured the circumference of Owen’s head and multiplied my my stitches per inch then rounded down to a multiple of four for my k2p2 ribbing. I think I ended up casting on 72 stitches. After about 3.5cm  of ribbing I switched to stockinette for another 5 cm, then decreased every 8th stitch, then a row of knitting, decreased every 7th stitch then a row of knitting, every decreased every sixth stitch,  etc down to where I was decreasing every 4th stitch, and at that point I left out the non-decreasing rows and just decreased til I had four stitches, which I pulled the tail through.

For the monkey nose, I knit a sock toe, beginning with a figure 8 cast on of 10 stitches per needle on a 40″ circ. For this toe method see, for example, Silver’s Sock Class. I don’t know what it’s called when you crochet a piece of knitting onto other knitting, nor can I really describe how I did it. Basically I held the sock toe against the hat, and crocheted around the toe, treating the hat as if it were the previous row of crochet.  The ear’s are crochet’s semi-circles, which I crocheted on the same way I attached the nose. The black mouth line and two nostrils were added with duplicate stitch.

I think a whole family’s worth of sock monkey hats may be in order.

Owen rolled over for the first time tonight! He repeated the feat three times, but wouldn’t do it for the camera.

More Aurora

October 25, 2011



We got quite a show in the sky  last night here in Limestone, Maine. I’ll post some more photos of it (and videos) soon, but I wanted to post one photo in the meantime while I’m working on the others. I filled up two memory cards during the evening.

Paper Trebuchet

October 8, 2011

No kitties were harmed during the production of this video. The trebuchet requires a bit more tuning. I need to lengthen the sling and adjust the ratio of projectile mass to counterweight mass. The projectile is a wadded up ball of aluminum foil, whose mass is less than one gram. The counterweight basket is holding 77 grams of quarters, ball bearings and other tchotchke. I’ll post more on this including some slow motion footage once the siege engine is better adjusted. I’m guessing a 20-30 foot range will be possible with this machine.

This project is a warm up in preparation for building something a bit (or more than a bit) larger at school. Look out pumpkins…


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