Monday, December 31, 2012

And we’ll take a right good-will draught, for auld lang syne.

Only 4 posts in 2012. How sad. This will make #5 so that it at least fits in with numerology.

I'm not here to make any promises to do better in 2013, but I will certainly try to post more than 6 times, LOL.

My knitting has come along quite well over this past year. My understanding and comprehension of knitted stitches as grown. I can now pick up stitches without losing my mind and tink back without creating a big mess. I'm more brave and less likely to skip a project just because it's charted, though I still prefer them written out over charted.

I'm finally getting my knee repaired and by April or May I should be sitting at my wheel and trying to, once again, learn to spin beyond the basics and slubby yarn. I have hopes of getting an Ashford Kiwi 2, it's suppose to be much easier for beginners than my Kromski Minstrel.

We have about 1/3rd of our floor replaced with laminate. Whoever said that was an easy task needs to be smacked in the head. We bought "Switf-lock" brand and trust me there's nothing "Swift" or "lock" about it. It's the biggest PITA we've ever encountered and will be happy when it's done. We also have a few walls painted but need to do the wall that is part of the great room in orange, a slim wall between the great room and living room in a deep red and then the livingroom in a vibrant yellow.

2012 was the year of the purge and we've hit all the rooms pretty hard except my craft room which is currently the storage room for all the stuff that we had to move to work on the floors and paint. I'm super motivated to get that done so that I can purge that last room and redecorate. I plan on setting up my serger and sewing machine, putting in a small TV w/BlueRay player, a chair and better lighting.

2013 is "With Health we are Prosperous". Husband has high blood pressure and has started taking medication for that and earlier this month I was diagnosed with diabetes and started medication for that. Our plan has been since the beginning of the month to start focusing on "purging" our poor health and extending our life expectancy beyond what it is now. With that, I also started the ball rolling to getting my knee repaired so that I can use the stationary bike again (and of course spin). I have meniscus torn completely in half with a cyst growing as well. I see the orthopedic surgeon Jan. 3rd so should find out when surgery will actually be. We've been taking other steps for better health, but nothing is going to happen overnight, so it's simply a theme for the year.

We were supposed to celebrate Christmas with family at our house but due to renovations not being done, we had to cancel it. Christmas 2013 is our new goal.

Sadly, we had to let our oldest canine go December 29th. It still fresh so hard to type about, but she was 15 years and 3 months old. She had chronic kidney failure diagnosed in March 2011 and neuron degradation that made it difficult for her to get up and down and walk. We knew that when the light from the joy of living went out, then it was time. The past couple of weeks there was almost nothing left of the Cheyenne we knew, her mind was pretty gone, after the 2nd night of not wanting to eat (her favorite thing to do), the light gone from her eyes, and not able to get up to move around more than a few times a day we knew the time had come. We miss her deeply. I've had her since she was 12 weeks old. Cheyenne was a mid-content wolf dog and a great testament to just how wonderful the mixed breed truly can be. I love you Cheyenne, I miss you with every breath I take.

With that I say a fond farewell to 2012 and open my heart and mind to 2013. May it bring us all the happiness and joy we all deserve and challenges that strengthen us.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards all.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Knitting & Technology

I've been busy!  Between the spring yard work and the prep inside to replace our flooring I've been working on organizing and preserving my knitting patterns.  I had a few 3 ring binders full of patterns as well as patterns scattered throughout my work spaces.  About a year ago I started on a quest to save these patterns electronically and portable! 

I started with the Barnes & Noble Nook.  After having living a nightmare of freezing up and deplorable customer service I bought an Amazon Kindle with free 3G and wifi.  Both were capable of saving my patterns and with the Kindle I had more books available for free and a fee than I did with the Nook.  My Kindle also had a beta of a web-browser that was clunky and difficult to navigate, but I could see where Amazon was going.

So on the day of its release we purchased 2 Kindle Fires (KF) for my husband and myself.  I was able to "side load" the patterns I had on my computer into the KF and I was relatively pleased with the venture.  Unfortunately, in order to purchase a new book I had to be somewhere with wifi, because it's Android driven with apps and a web browser, so no more free 3G.  With Acrobat, I was able to turn any pattern that was a jpg or Word document into a PDF for the KF.  But I still had many patterns in the 3 ring binders that were not on the computer that I had been collecting since about 2005. Enter, the iPad.

Our Android phones and the Kindle Fires were supposed to make it so that we didn't need/want iPads.  It didn't work.  We bit the bullet and invested in iPads, which carries with it additional $$ to our phone bill, but I'm convinced it's worth it.  The husband plans to drop his android phone when its time to "upgrade", that's a year and a half away.  For now I think I'll keep mine.

While we were waiting for our iPads to arrive my printer went belly up.  I'd had it for close to 10 years so I guess I should have not been surprised.  It was still usable for text but any graphics left an inky disaster.  Thankfully, NewEgg had a sale on a nice Canon (I love Canon) for about $70.  We rarely used the color print ability so elected to get this monochrome deal.   It also scans and copies.  Little did I know this was going to become an important feature.

All the patterns on my computer that were already PDFs were moved to my iPad.  I liked this better than the KF because there was an actual color picture of the project displayed on the "book shelf".  On the KF was only a white sheet of paper with the file name.  Workable, but the iPad does it better. 

As I looked through 3 ring binders for patterns that I may be able to find again online I was struck with a thought and asked my graphics artist husband, "Hey, if I scan these can I turn them into PDFs."  The answer was yes I could.  As soon as I hit the "toolbox" icon on my desktop to start scanning a familiar program opened up.  Oh my, I use this program every night at work when I scan patient files into the computer!  Which are scanned immediately into PDFs!  Easy-peasy!  In no time I had all my patterns loaded into my iPad.

If I walk into a yarn store I will have my patterns with me.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Just keep knitting, just keep knitting.

Tried again last night.  Ended up ripping it out, yet again.

*big sigh*

What is wrong with me?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Dropped Stitches and The Knitting Dead.

*growl* I have cast on the Tudor Grace pattern 6 times, it has a lot of K2togs, YOs and SSKs and I kept dropping a stitch in the first row.  Last night I got 6 rows done and today I dropped 2 stitches on the 7th row that I could NOT find and ended up ripping it all out.  I've been working with some lovely Madelinetosh sock yarn and I'm totally mad for the pattern, but I'm at the crossroad.  Do I try again or move on?  I'm already frustrated because I got the point where I was ready to put the buttons on my Central Park Hoodie, only to find I need to redo the button band.  It got itself shoved into the closet for a time out.  I'm a very frustrated knitter at this time. 

I'm a member of the Ravelry group The Knitting Dead, dedicated to one of my favorite TV series, The Walking Dead" (tWD).  We're currently in a Knit Along (KAL) that has a list of possible patterns that can be knit for the KAL between now and October 1st.  The series returns in October and the KAL is to keep up our spirits until it returns.  My scarf choice is the Tudor Grace but I have other things to knit in my KAL queue, so I'm tempted to start it later. 

However, I have yarn coming from BohemiaFibers who have made some gorgeous yarns inspired by certain scenes of tWD.  I'm also a member of the Knitting Dead Yarn club (a part of the Ravelry Knitting Dead group) which means I'll be getting a skein of yarn for the next 3 months also inspired by tWD.  I have projects earmarked for all of these yarns, so I'm stymied.  Do I shelf the Tudor Grace?  Do I start one of the projects I have already gotten from BohemiaFibers?  Do I wait until one of the colorways I'm impatiently waiting for to arrive and start that project?  ARGH!!  I'm not ripping out the CPH button band and redoing it for at least a month, so that isn't one of the options. 

Maybe I should just go paint for a while. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Important Discoveries

Ok.  Important to me anyway.  LOL  Not really discoveries as much as they are realizations.

As I was doing a little knitting during my break at work, a simple stockinette stitch wrist warmer to cover my new tattoo on the job, I found myself grousing about how the colors of the skein make for a really crappy striped design.  I thought of my first pair of socks and the fact that I hate them.  Then I thought of my favorite pair of socks, I love them.  I looked at my current little project.  Mud.  To me.  A light started to flicker and I jumped up to log into my Ravelry account.  AH-HA!!!  That's it!

I hate stripes.  I own nothing with stripes, none of my favorite projects on Ravelry have stripes.  Holy crap, that must be why I couldn't commit to the yarn that my husband flippantly said, "you want it, get it."  Never mind, that it was $50 a skein.  It was yak.  Yum.  But the colorway I wanted was this really cool twisted skein of variegated browns.  I LIKE THE WAY THE SKEINS look, but I don't like what happens when you knit with them!  I'll still get some yak, but it will be a solid color, NOT striped.

When I got home I dug through my stash, yea, mostly solids or heathers.  Great.  The few skeins of stripes will be socks for gifts.  LOL  I am so  happy that I've figured this out.  But I'm left to wonder why it's taken this long and why on earth it wasn't obvious from the start.  *shrug*  Oh well, better late...

The other realization was that I have failed at my commitment to spend more time creating.  I started out good, then the tired, overworked, graveyard shift worker blues took over.   I need to focus more on creating and less on sleeping.  haha

With that, I ordered another pair of Signature Arts straights and a set of 2.5US dpns.  I'm so excited, I can hardly wait.  I decided to save my nickels and buy a whole darn set of Signatures when I found my arthritis flaring when I had to switch over to a set of bamboos.  Thankfully, I'm almost done with the section I needed to use the 6US bamboos and can get back to my 7US Signatures.  A whole set is $310 but worth it save my hands.  I figure I'll get the 14" set, then supplement with 10".  When I first started knitting I thought the 14" were too long, but the more I knit the more I realize I'm cramming projects onto a set of needles too short.  The 6US that I just ordered are 14" but you can never have too many needles, right? 

Sock dpns only need to be 5" for me, but I use 4 needles instead of the 3 that a lot of folks use.  I've used 4", 5", 6" and 7" to knit socks and the 5" are the most comfortable for me.

Well, there's my BiMonthly post.  LOL ;-)