"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, January 28, 2008

TwinsFest '08

Saturday marked TBL's annual pilgrimage to TwinsFest. Since attendance is usually right in line with the prior season's team performance, it was possible to wander about more or less freely for the first time in several years. (There are benefits to stinking up the joint, however small and fleeting.)

The main goals of the day were:
1) Introduce a certain dedicated Twins fan to TwinsFest
2) Meet up with the blogger behind Lipgloss and Baseball
3) Go through the free minor-league autograph line every session
4) See the exhibits
5) Sign up to win free stuff

TBL is happy to report that all goals were satisfactorily accomplished. And now, bits and bobs of the day, in photos.

Boof Bonser, newly trim and ready to pitch.

Mike Redmond helps the Twins Wives' Club sell sparkly shirts.

Mystery player and Nick Punto

What with the new ballpark finally going up, one exhibit showed some of the old ones. TBL suspects that taking photos of photos qualifies as geeky.

And, what we're all eagerly waiting for...the new ballpark! Only teensy!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Back in the Yarn Stash Again

Greetings, dear readers! TBL is back!

The novel is done, the severance package has not run out, and there will be an interesting announcement regarding cubicle-type stuff just as soon as the paperwork is done and it's all official.

TBL is working on her annual Twinsfest report, which will appear here soon, but for tonight, a knitting pattern.

Over the weekend, TBL learned that one of her friends (who has gone over and above the call of duty in the emotional-and-practical-support-for-the-unemployed-friend game these last two months) recently lost his only winter hat. Well, what's a knitter to do? TBL cracked open the stash, unearthed her very best skein of alpaca, and cast on.

But this couldn't be just any hat, oh, no. This occasion deserved a brand new pattern, made up on the spot. TBL based it on the super-stretchy, extra-insulating "waffle stitch", and here, without further ado, presents:

Aaron's Hat

This is a "gaugeless" pattern. Take your own gauge with whatever needles and yarn you like and figure out how many stitches you'll need for the circumference you desire. Waffle stitch is VERY stretchy; no need to do a gauge swatch in pattern. Taking your gauge from stockinette stitch will work perfectly.

Go down a size or two from the needle recommended for your yarn to make this hat nice and toasty warm.

Mine was worked over 80 stitches with Misti Alpaca Chunky on size 8 (US) needles.


Cast on a multiple of 8 stitches, join into a round.

Work in waffle stitch until piece measures about 3 pattern repeats short of the total desired length.

Waffle Stitch in the round:
1 & 2: (K2, P2) around
3: K around
4: P around

(closeup of waffle stitch pattern)

1: (K2, P2tog, K2, P2) around
2: (K2, P1, K2, P2) around
3: (K5, K2tog) around
4: P around
5: (K2tog, P1, K2, P1) around
6: (K1, P1, K2, P1) around
7: (K2, K2tog, K1) around
8: P around
9: (K2tog, K1, P1) around
10: (K2, P1) around
11: (K1, K2tog) around
12: P around
13: K2tog around

If more than 10 stitches remain, repeat round 13.

Cut yarn and thread tail through live stitches. Pull tight. Weave in ends. Stay warm!

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