Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Bananas look good today

Ok, so I enjoy the 'cartoon' function on my photo editor. Too bad!

Finally, I have something substantial to share!

Last night I stayed up late to finish the sleeves on my vintage cabled sweater.

I always do both sleeves at the same time; if I didn't, I'm sure they would come out wildly different in both size and gauge. I let things go too long between picking them up. The two balls in the photo are what was left of each of the single balls of Naturespun I used on the sleeves.

I also don't understand the popular complaint against knitting sleeves. One part of a sweater is just as good as another, I'd say. And by doing them first, and both at the same time, you've suddenly got a significant portion of your sweater done -- two whole pieces.

I'm going to try and do this sweater properly -- I'll block the pieces before seaming, and try to figure out a decent way to seam the sleeve caps (a task that Mom used to get). I think I'll do the back next.

I also finished one of the Embossed Leaves socks a few days ago. I made some changes; most importantly I changed the toe to something more simple. The star toe would have made the sock too short for my foot, and I need a broad, not pointy, toe.

Haven't started the second one yet, but I needed a break from knitting after powering through those sleeves.

Last but not least, today I went to a fully robotic dairy farm at Hope Acres. These are Jersey dairy cattle, and they are small and cute and smell like cows.

The robotic milking machines are freaky. They were imported from Holland, and allow the cows to be milked at will. A cow who wishes to be milked walks into the machine, where a computer reads the radio transmitter on its collar. If the cow is supposed to be milked (it won't be if it was too soon since its last milking or if there is a problem) the machine spits out a chocolate-flavored cookie (and doesn't if the cow isn't supposed to be milked, and then the cow leaves the machine). The cow gets to eat the cookie while a brush cleans its udders, and then an apparatus swings under its legs to shine a laser on its teats to line up the 4 milking suction thingys, which suck onto the teats. Then the cow is milked, and the milk is measured and sent to be processed. When the process is done the cow walks out of the machine. Freaky.

The cows seemed to be pretty relaxed and indifferent to visitors. We also got to see some baby calves and heifers, and have ice cream for free at the end of the tour. Very interesting, although I'd be worried that the machines would break down and something awful would happen.

Well, back to knitting. Have to get more project parts back on the needles!

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