Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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Ever since the tools arrived, I've been craning to see if a box is sitting on the porch as I pull into our driveway. Today:

It's here!

A box! A big box! A heavy box. I underestimated what 64 lb shipping weight means. I could barely lift it, and when I did, I nearly fell over trying to get it down again.

After removing a bevy of heavy duty staples, and more staples, and yet more staples, I finally got a peak inside. First words out of my mouth: Oh my god.

Patrick Green Supercard

It's a lot bigger than I expected (roll of masking tape for scale). And it's heavy. The packaging doesn't weigh much. I couldn't get it out of the box.

I disassembled the knitting machine while I waited, and when Scott got home, he heaved it onto the table in my yarn room (well... "placed". I would have heaved.). It has to live in the yarn room. No way Scott would survive the fluff flying off of it.

It's big. Really big. And shiny. A real piece of work. Intimidating. What's that running through my head? Oh yeah. "What the hell were you thinking???"

It's a Patrick Green SuperCard. I originally ordered the Fancicard, but a 6 week wait turned into a 3 month wait turned into a potentially many months more wait. As it happened, the SuperCard was available NOW. There were a lot more reasons involved, which I won't go into. Suffice it to say, I'm a bit overwhelmed that I am now the proud owner of an amazing piece of machinery that I have no idea how to use. I am not worthy.

I would go have a drink and play, but there's something on the bottle about operating heavy machinery...

I'll get there.

I hope.

Thanks for the well wishes on the Anniversary, your nice comments on the mostly green handspun, and your feedback on the limey shawl/wrap!

A small package arrived in the mail on Saturday:

A package for me

What could it possibly contain??

containing...

Look at that! Could they be tools for a ... dare I say it ... drum carder???

...some tools

Is my carder on its way???

Edited to add: I know, what is up with the lock??? I can only guess it will lock the carder to the table via the clamps...

My older scale got jealous. Though she'll never be used to weigh crack, she's served me well and deserves some air time, too.

This is my Soehnle 67060 Bretagne, bought on Amazon.com after a LOT of research. (Hmm. Sound familiar?)

Sohnle scale

My concerns when choosing a scale were: accuracy to 1g, and ability to weigh both yarn and packages for mailing. Therefore, I needed something that could hold a lot, both in terms of fitting a lot of yarn, and handling a good bit of weight.

Whenever you choose a scale, unless you're shelling out the bucks, you're either getting accuracy or capacity. The cute Palmscale from yesterday is accurate to .1g, but can only measure up to 250g. Not good for much more than a couple of skeins of yarn, but perfect for dyes and small stuff.

This Soehnle is accurate to 1g, but can measure items weighing up to 11 lb (5kg). It's sleek, it's sturdy, and really, it does a good job.

In researching, I compared capacities and prices of different scales, as well as their design, in terms of being able to hold, say a big package, or a big bowl of yarn, as well as looking cool. This scale met all requirements. The only negative (and a slight one at that): because the surface area of the scale is not very big, if you put big things on it, it can be hard to see the readout. Using a bowl of some kind helps.

I also read a lot of reviews to see what people thought and did other research online. The other factors in choosing this scale were:

  • ability to "tare" or "zero out" the scale; ie, put a bowl on the scale, tare so it's "reset" to zero, then add stuff
  • ability to measure in both grams and ounces, and easily change via a switch on the bottom (some models you have to unscrew something)
  • stabilizes pretty quickly when on or when measuring
  • auto-off
  • easy to store

I've had this scale for about a year and a half and have been very happy with it.

(Now go play nice with the Palmscale!)

We're off for a quick trip to Jersey to see friends and the Family Values concert. Should be fun. Have a great long weekend!

Get acid. Check. Get a precision scale. Check. Wonder what kind of google hits I'll get. Check.

I was pretty happy with the scale I already had (measured to the nearest gram). Until it came to weighing small amounts of dye or yarn. Then, not so happy. In weighing 10g of dye:

  • I'd put a small amount on the scale and nothing would register.
  • I'd put a larger amount. It'd jump to 7, 8, 9 grams.
  • I'd add small amounts, trying to ease up to 10 grams. Nothing would register. Nothing would register. Nothing would register. Then BAM, 11 grams.
  • I'd remove some dye. 9 grams.

In general, it's not SO important. I mean, if I'm making a 1% dye solution and measuring 10g of dye to 990g of water, if the dye is really 9g or 11g, that would make it a .9% or 1.1% dye solution. Not the end of the world. But for someone going to the trouble of measuring mL of dye, who doesn't want to use an existing twist protractor because the lines aren't exact, who wants to dye triads on very small amounts of  yarn and dye, it matters. I'm anal like that.

(Oh, the google hits. The horror.)

So I did some research and found Scale Magazine, which seemed to be a good source for scale information. Once I narrowed down to the type of scale I might want (size: small; accuracy: .1g), I checked the recommended vendors to find what scales were available that fit. Then read up on them at Scale Magazine. And narrowed to: the Palmscale 6.0. Pocket sized and accurate to .1g. Of the three vendors I checked, SaveOnScales.com had the best prices. Still too high for me.

So I searched around some more, and found the same company on eBay, and the same Palmscale 6.0 for a bunch of bucks less (albeit only in silver). I read their ratings/reviews and saw a lot of happy customers. 99.8% positive feedback. Always a good sign. And I did a google search of the website name to see if there were complaints floating on the Web. Didn't find anything. So I bought it. And it arrived:

new Palmscale scale

Ooooh, carrying pouch and 100g recalibration weight.

Palmscale 6.0

Ain't she cute? Sleek, compact, light. Two small trays. Nifty.

Of course, as I'm writing this, I panicked and wondered if Scale Magazine was a dummy site set up to promote certain scales or vendors. So I searched around again, for "Scale Magazine" and "ScaleMagazine", for links to the domain name, etc. I didn't see any negatives, and rereading through the pages, I don't get "scammy" feelings.

<begin soapbox>

All this caution is not only because caution with new online vendors is a good thing, but also because we nearly got hoaxed BIG TIME when we bought our first digital camera. We encountered companies that claimed to have the lowest price, but when you called, they would only talk to you if you were willing to upsell to the package "deal". Or they'd claim to have the item in stock, but after ordering, you'd find out you were waitlisted. For weeks. And so on. And when we did a search on the company name, we found links to all sorts of complaints, about their upsell techniques and poor service, inability to get in touch with anyone when there were problems, etc. Long story short: when dealing with a new vendor, it pays to do some research. Google the company's name, their website URL, and find links to their website (use Google's advanced search).

<end soapbox>

Okay, glad we got that out of the way.

I charged up the scale last night (yep, rechargeable) and weighed small things like chapstick, a quarter, some screws. (Again with the google hits...) It was nice to see the decimal place accuracy.

The scale does not sit quite flush on the floor, though. There are foam pads on the bottom which may be adjustable, so I'll give that a try.

The scale arrived quickly and safely. It's cool looking and full-featured. I'm looking forward to measuring out yarn and dye for my triads!

I'm a geek.

Skirting the issue

For gray la gran and anyone else waiting to knit Sangria, here's what 2 skeins of Classic Silk will get you:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

I think it's purty. I cranked last night and knit a whole ball's worth. (Beavis: "Cranked. Hehe. She said cranked"...)

Tonight, I was ready to start the next set of instructions, but my numbers didn't match. And then I realized I had misread the instructions. It's NOT "Repeat ... 8 times more". It's "Repeat rnds 1 through 8 five times more". So let's see. I did 3 extra repeats, of 8 rows each, or 24 rows. Extra.

"DOH!"

I hear that one echoing.

So here's where that leaves me:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - post frog

Oh! and here's what the frogged portion weighs, +/- .1g:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - frogged portion

That would be half of last night's progress.

On the plus side, I tried it on before frogging and it fits great. Up to where I screwed up. :)