September 18, 2006


Allegra came home from school the other day wanting to do the 5-point extra-credit assignment for her science class. The prompt went like this: Design an experiment to test which of 5 different brands of bubble gum is the best for blowing the biggest bubble. Well, there's designing an experiment - - and then there's Designing an Experiment.

At the store, Allegra chose 5 different kinds of bubble gum from the 7 (only 7?) that the store had for sale. Here are the gum pieces, after being weighed on the Two Swans postage scale and trimmed so that all samples were .2 ounces (part of her Design being that all pieces should weigh the same in order to have the best basis for comparison):


Experiment in progress:

Subject A measures the size of the bubble blown by Subject B.

BubbleGum 005.jpg
Subject B measures the size of the bubble blown by Subject A.

Allegra spent over three hours designing this experiment, running it, and recording her results. Running it -- did I mention that each Subject chewed and blew 3 samples of each of those 5 kinds of gum? You should'a heard them complaining about sore teeth and tired jaws, as the evening wore on. (I remember from my days as a teacher how some kids would bust their butts for the extra credit. And I'd think, Why can't they put that much energy into their regular classwork? Fortunately, she also got her regular homework done that evening, too.) The science teacher was suitably impressed, and awarded her 8 points. Whew!

Allegra applying what she has learned. Hubba Bubba brand was the clear winner.

In Two Swans Yarns news, I've been busting my butt (inelegant phrase as that is) to get the Two Swans Yarns line of knitting patterns off the ground. I've always meant to get around to publishing patterns, but this month I have an excellent motivation -- I'm to be the speaker at the Seattle Knitters Guild this Wednesday evening. What better time to launch these patterns?

Yes, I'll be publishing the pattern for my Fair Isle vest, and for a pair of cabled socks . . . soon. Very soon. But first off the press will be the Fair Isle tea cozy designed by my friend and fellow Feralite, June Dickinson:


Taking the photos, laying out the pattern, checking and double-checking everything -- these tasks consumed my time last week. Laying out the knitting charts, in color, was the most complicated layout I've ever done -- and I've prepared a lot of things for printing. But, once I've figured it out for this first pattern, future charts should come together more quickly. I hope.

I delivered the files to the print shop at the proverbial crack o' dawn this morning. And . . . keeping fingers crossed . . . they will be printed in time for me to bring them to sell at the Guild meeting.

And I leave you with this, Dear Readers: One of the most fun parts of my job is getting e-mails and pictures from customers showing off their FOs. Last night, late last night, while putting the finishing touches on the above-mentioned pattern layout, I received an e-mail from Kathryn, directing me to her blog to see her finished herd of hedgies. It was only, like, 10 days ago that I mailed the pattern to her . . . take off two days' time in the mail . . . and it must be that the hedgies are a quick-to-knit project and that Kathryn is a fast knitter.

Posted by Karen at September 18, 2006 10:28 AM

After reading your blog today I thought maybe you'd like to see my hedgehog that I ordered from you. He has now been carted off to live in a college dorm with my Baby Girl. What a fun knit! I have to make a few more, everyone seems to love this guy.
Can't wait till you are selling your patterns, I just love your vest and really want to try out the Fair Isle knitting.
Sheri in GA - a very happy customer!

Posted by: Sheri at September 18, 2006 01:36 PM

Hubba Bubba was my favorite as a kid. Thanks Allegra and Jenny for your contribution to science. I'm sure my jaw thanks you too!

Those Hedgies are so cute. I think my Hedgie needs a companion and I need to get my squirrel pattern out to get it done.

I'm looking forward to knitting a cozy, too!

Posted by: Jewel at September 18, 2006 01:37 PM

Sheri - I really enjoyed your hedgie photos -- and the confirmation that the hedgie really is a one-day project.

Note to everyone: Check out Sheri's "pug meets hog" photos for a laugh.

Pattern writing for the vest is in progress. I think it will be a simpler pattern to prepare for printing, since its chart is smaller than the tea cozy's. But, no, it'll probably be more complicated, since I want to grade it for sizes S, M, L . . . . Ah, stay tuned . . . .

Posted by: Karen at September 18, 2006 10:53 PM

I'm really looking forward to your presentation at the SKG meeting. I hope you bring lots of goodies for us to buy! :)

Posted by: Lizbeth at September 19, 2006 08:35 AM

sorry, didn't realise there was a question :-) I just found your blog. I knit in isolation so it didn't occur to me that people who actually KNIT might want the technical information.

I don't time my knitting or really pay much attention, just knit 'til done. sometimes a day sometimes a couple of years. So the hedgehogs in retrospect took 4 hours to knit, an hour to felt, a day to dry and about an hour to finish. I put pellets in the bottom to give them some weight and stability.

The heads up here is that it is easy, as in straight forward and elegantly written, but not really a beginners pattern. It uses some really slick short row shaping and requires careful row counting. It uses just short of one skein of the novelty yarn and 165 yards of the worsted weight.

best, kate

Posted by: Kate Carlyle at September 20, 2006 12:20 AM