Friday, February 29, 2008

Booking Through Thursday on Friday (again)

Booking Through Thursday on Heriones

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)

I love Stephanie Plum in the Plum series by Janet Evanovich. She makes me laugh and forget my troubles.

I also like Claire from the Outlander series. As far as a fictional character goes she just seems to have a good head on her shoulders. I'd like to be her when I grow up. Although, I don't want to be a doctor or live in the 18th century.

After skimming through my have read list on librarything. I recall more heroines:

Hermione Granger from Harry Potter for being both brave and smart.

Wicked Witch of the West from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The character he created was so complex and liked how he made her 3 dimensional.

Leisel from the Book Thief for her courage and growth in the story and for rescuing books.

Cimorene from the Dealing with Dragons Series by Patricia Wrede because she a princess with some tude! If you can hangout out with dragons and NOT get scorched you have to be pretty cool.

Alanna from the Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce. I love her for being strong but compassionate.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Booking Through Thursday on Friday

All other things (like price and storage space) being equal, given a choice in a perfect world, would you rather have paperbacks in your library? Or hardcovers? And why?

I rarely purchase fiction books anymore. I use the library lots. So for a library book I prefer hard back as those tend to be in better shape than the paper backs. Although I love a good book, I enjoy audio books too.

I do purchase reference books especially if it has to do with my fiber addiction: crocheting, knitting, spinning etc. Those I like something that stays open more easily but can take some wear an tear too. So usually a heavy duty paper back. Hardback pattern books get heavy in my project bag.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Calculating Decreases in Crochet

Calculating Decreases! - I've meant to post this for a while now. I'm surprised this info is not in any crochet book I have read. Maybe I am making this harder than it needs to be but this makes sense to me. Does it to you? If not let me know and I can try to explain better.

This works for all stitches stitches: sc, dc, etc. but will make a bit more sense if you understand what a crochet decrease is. So check this out here and look for single crochet, double crochet and more decreases. This works for all patterns that use a basic stitch like single crochet, double crochet etc. but breaks down with patterns that use a combinations of sts and/or are pattern sts like a shell stitch. So that's for another tutorial.

The formula(s):

Step 1:
number of stitches – the number of decreases = the number of stitches after the decreases (This is good to know to make sure decreased enough)

Some patterns might give you the number of stitches after the decrease so you need to know the number of decreases.

Number of stitches - number of stitches after the decreases = the number of decreases

Step 2:
(Number of stitches) divided by (number of decreases) = (stitch interval) – 2(the number sts you are crocheting together to remove one sts)=(the # of stitches you make before you dec)

Or look at it this way:

(Number of stitches) divided by (number of decreases) = (stitch interval)

(stitch interval)– 2(the number sts you are crocheting together to remove one sts)=(the # of stitches you make before you dec)

Example A:
If you have 42sc and the pattern says decreases evenly by 6 stitches

Number of stitches=42
Number of decreases = 6

42-6=36 (Number of stitches after the decreases)

Step 2:
42 Divided by 6 = 7
7-2 = 5

Stitch interval = 7

Number of stitches you make before you dec = 5

You need to do (5sc, dec) 6 times to get 36sc

Example B:

What if the decreases aren’t even?

Let’s say you have 75sc stitches and the pattern says decrease evenly by 10 stitches

Number of stitches=75
Number of decreases= 10

Step 1
75-10= 65 stitches

number of number of stitches after the decreases = 65

Step 2:

75 divided by 10 = 7 with a remainder of 5

Stitch interval = 7

Still take the 7-2 = 5

Number of stitches before the dec= 5

Since there was a reminder go to Step 3

Step 3:

Since you need 10 decreases and the pattern says evenly and you got a remainder. You will have 5 xtra stitches at the end if you only use 5 stitches before each dec. So your decreases will not be as evenly spaced as possible. So in reality you can do (6sc before each dec) 5 times and (5 sc before each dec 5) 5 times and get the total number of decreases you need.

So then you need to decide how you want to distribute the decreases. I think this really depends on what you are making and the shaping you are trying to create. As well as the stitch you are using. Most likely you want to do it in such away that the decrease do not show.

So for this one alternate the decreases (5sc, dec, 6sc, dec) 5 times should get you the stitch count wanted at the end.

Or you could do (5sc, dec) 3 times, (6sc, dec) 5 times, (5sc, dec) 2 times.

This has been edited 2/4/2008 hopefully to make more sense.