Why yes, I do know how to use a ruler. Do you??

WARNING! I’ve been told that this post is highly boring. Don’t read it if you get bored easily. Thank you.

Knitters measure a lot before knitting and while knitting. We have to measure our swatches to make sure our gauge is spot on; we measure to see how far we’ve knit and to see how far we have to go; and we measure sometimes to see if we have enough yarn left to finish a project (this is especially true when we begin to fear that we’ve not bought enough yarn for a project).

4 rulers

A small sampling of different types of rulers.

I believe there are two things that are very important to people who measure things a lot:

  1. Knowing how to use a ruler.
  2. Knowing how to buy a ruler.

You may ask why I place less importance on how to buy a ruler than on how to use one. The answer is simple: a lot of the times, you won’t be using your own ruler to do a needed measurement. You’ll be using someone else’s ruler.

So, how do we use a ruler?? Look at where the actual left edge of the ruler is before measuring anything. Make sure that it’s actually visible, too and is easy to use. The ruler shouldn’t have round corners near or on it’s starting edge. The left edge on cheap rulers, over time, slowly disappear or fade out with use. If the starting edge (aka the left edge) on a ruler is off, the ruler will become totally useless when it has faded.  The following pictures are of what I like to call problem rulers. There is only one ruler in this grouping that I consider worth keeping.

faded measuring edge ok ruler

measuring edge is off

The black ruler’s starting edge is off by nearly 3/16 of an inch and has rounded corners which will not help you take accurate measurements. The white ruler is spot on, but is fading considerably and has rounded corners which will make measuring smaller things more difficult down the road. Can you imagine having everything you measure be 3/16  or 1/8 of an inch longer than is needed because of hastiness or using a worn out ruler?? I can’t and I refuse to. A good number of people don’t know the difference, nor do they care. They just pick up a ruler and start measuring. The clear ruler’s starting edge is off by nearly 1/8 of an inch, but the starting measuring line is in far enough from the edge that this ruler is a keeper.

A 'perfect' ruler for precision measuring.

A ‘perfect’ ruler for precision measuring.

Now we’ll go on to how to buy a ruler. Purchase a good, sturdy metal ruler like the one in the above picture that I’ve called ‘perfect’. This ruler is nearly 10 years old, but is spot on accurate. It has been dropped and otherwise abused, but there is no wear on it (that white spot was caused by my flash) and it has no rounded corners.

I agree that it’s quite acceptable to purchase a ‘cheap’ ruler for the kids to take to school because they’re going to lose it, abuse it and/or make it unusable by the end of the school year, but I would still pay the extra $1 to get one like the clear ruler because it’s the easiest to use once they’ve learned where the actual measuring edge is.

Now, go out and upgrade all of your rulers, yard sticks and tape measures!



Facebook can lead to fun and simple lace knitting….

It always starts like this: I do my morning prayers, log onto my laptop and let it do its thing, get a cup of coffee, review my orders that need to be shipped/created for the day, then I venture onto Facebook. This is where it takes me awhile to drag myself away to the work that needs doing (yes, this can include housework, too). Sometimes, I have to set a timer and only allow myself 15 minutes of perusal time. Sometimes I’m able to walk away without the timer because I have TONS of work that needs doing. Sometimes I find things worth reading and end up digging around for more info. That’s when I need the timer.

Last week, I found a picture on Facebook that led me to some random photos on Pinterest, that led me to ravelry, where I found a link to this pattern written by tin can knits, called Vivid. While mine isn’t so very vivid, I love how it turned out and will be making quite a few of these to piece together into a nice shawl or wrap (I’ll add pictures to this post when I’ve got that part figured out.).

Here is the result of me seeing, liking and hunting it all down:

unblockedfirstsquare1 unblockedfirstsquare2

I love this quick, easy and very well written pattern so much that I started a second one right away. I’m using U.S. size 2 circular knitting needles with my hand dyed (Debra Ahrens Suffolk fleece and lime Kool-Aid), hand spun yarn.

Here is what the first square looks like when it’s blocked:

firstsquareblocked1 A pink one

Get on over to Ravelry and buy this pattern quickly before it disappears!

Go read her blog, too!! http://tincanknits.com/pattern-HUK-vivid.html

Oh! and don’t forget her nifty, neato tutorial for doing a pinhole cast-on (yes, it was my first time and I loved learning something new).


A case of mysterious yarn!


My dear loving husband, Mark, bought me a skein of fantastic yarn for Christmas. I removed its label, hid the label so I wouldn’t be tempted by it and wound the yarn into a nice ball. I set it aside until I knew (or thought I knew) what I was going to create from it.


I cast on 3 stitches and started what I imagined might become a felted hot pad. As I knit up the yarn, I discovered I liked handle of it and how it felt as it worked through my fingers. I fell in LOVE with all of the bright colors and muted color blends in it. I knew I was in trouble. I had to find the label. The label is long-lost in the mess I call my office.

I posted it on facebook, but no one seemed to know what it was so I went online and searched and searched. I thought I’d found it a few nights ago at yarn.com. I believed it was Berroco Boboli yarn in the dappled shade colorway. Wonderful! 5 skeins remaining and it’s being closed out. Click add to cart, click to pay, login to paypal to pay, paypal failed due to an unknown cause. I learned that the unknown cause was caused by another party buying up the last 5 skeins I could acquire for the great price of $7.99 per skein!

It turns out that I was wrong about it being Berroco. I’m glad I have a lot of friends with really good eyes and told me to go hang out at Craftsy for a while (it also helps that I found the missing Plymouth Yarn label). I bought 5 skeins of Plymouth Europa yarn in colorway Multi. I will now take what looks like a nice start to a good, warm babushka and set it aside until the yarn arrives.


If it turns out I’m mistaken, I’ll simply and carefull frog what I’ve knit up and start over with the matching skeins working what I have into it for a nice, subtle striped effect. It will still be a good babushka!