about the essentials of life...knitting, designing knitting, yarn for knitting...you get the idea...

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I'm a knitter, knitting pattern designer, and spinner. I also dye yarn with both acid and natural dyes.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

New Pattern Samples Finished

Like many knitters, finishing is my nemesis. Somehow, it just isn't as exciting as the actual knitting. Once the knitting is finished, my projects seem to enter a kind of limbo where they exist in their semi-completed state until I finally guilt myself into sewing/blocking/trimming/end-running-in them.
So, I am proud to declare two projects 'finished' - both the knitting and the finishing!
First, the second Taos Chullo. The first was in grey Ecological Wool (see photo in sidebar). I wanted to proof the pattern before posting it and I had a Christmas present in mind, so I made another. The Ecological Wool is not-so-soft and since the second model was for a gift, I wanted something super soft. I ended up with Loft by Zitron and I love this yarn. It is sturdy yet so, so, soft, as expected from a merino. It worked up really easily and was such a pleasure to knit. The whole hat took only one skein, so it's a bargain. In addition, the colorwork with the Katia mohair left the inside of the hat feeling like a cloud. I think she'll like it, don't you?

Next, I made an everyday version of the Holiday Shawl. The original is made of Fiesta's LaBoheme, which for me is a luxury yarn. I wanted to test the pattern with a more reasonably priced yarn to show an example for those who don't necessarily want to spend the Fiesta's price. This version is out of Camelia from Jo-Ann's. I used 4 balls for the main body and ran out of yellow. My local store had some blue, so I bought out their supply and used it for contrast. Two and 1/2 balls later, I had finished the neck, trimmed the sides and done a slightly different ruffle for the bottom. I see this one with jeans and a white T-shirt. Quite a contrast, don't you think?

This morning, I cast on for the second Waving Hands in my hand-painted blue/green yarn for my sons' stepsister. I'm also processing Christmas sock designs/yarns in my head as I go about my daily routine. Must finish the glove first!

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Big Pattern News!

I did it! Or, at least I think I did.
I've navigated my way through the pages and links and more links and passwords and usernames and more and more and more of the above and...
They're Up!
Three new knitting patterns are available! I started with Temptation Recycled Sari Yarn Purse, Waving Hands Half-Fingered Gloves and the Holiday Shawl, because these are prime gift-giving patterns and/or timely knitting projects for you.
They're available in PDF format for instant gratification. Like Amazon, I put in a link to the cover, so you can check out what you're getting. The cover is designed to give you enough information about construction and materials to help you make your purchasing decision.
I hope to start an Angels' Gallery to show off the pictures you send me of your fabulous work. I can't wait to see what you do with these patterns - what fun!

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Monday, November 27, 2006


What Thanksgiving?
Not that I'm not thankful - just not particularly thankful for this particular holiday this year.
A week ago, The Man Of The House came home with food poisoning. An especially virulent and nasty variety. Life As We Know It came to a screeching halt for two days.
Then I got it. Huh? Unless there is some food-borne pathogen contagion that I don't know about, it must have been some ugly stomach virus (we hadn't eaten any of the same things).
Thanksgiving, I was prostrate on the bathroom floor. The Man, feeling better, went to spend the holiday with his mother. He did call to sympathize and offer to drive the 3 hours back in an emergency. I wouldn't have been much company, anyway.
Here it is, Monday, and I'm just starting to be able to look at food. The head is still pounding, and... I haven't knit a thing! I must be sick or something!
Hope your Holiday was much better.
Oh, yes, and I'm thankful that the Aggies won! (the Texas Aggies over UT!!!) Yay!


Friday, November 17, 2006

Searching for Camelia

Well, it's official; I must be suffering from OCD. I spent last evening working on the Holiday shawl in yellow Camelia even though it was obvious I didn't have nearly enough yarn to finish it. First, let me refresh your memory:

The amount of fabric produced by one ball. Remember, 4 balls are available.

I was really curious about the discrepency in the yardage used by this yarn compared to the Fiesta. Just to see what difference it would make, I took another ball and the next larger size needle and knit up 1 skein. I wanted to see how much farther I could get.
Answer: see the photos? I finished on the same row of the pattern, just a few stitches farther down the row. Not enough to make a difference.
But I liked the fabric on the first, smaller needles better. So, back I went to the original model and here is where I stopped (2 balls used).

I'd guess it measures about 7 inches.
There are petite shawls, I know, but to me they are more like pregnant scarves. Scarves, to me, are for warmth. I guess I'm a pretty casual dresser - I don't really like to appear too studied. I don't wear pins, hats for effect, or scarves for purely decorative purposes. Just not me.
So I really don't have an affinity for a cotton pregnant scarf. I want a shawl! I want a casual, keep the cool AC breezes off my always chilly shoulders shawl. The 4 balls of yellow Camelia, I'm guessing, would give me about 16 inches, maybe. I guess that could do, but...still, not what I have in mind.
So, today I went searching. I found some on-line, but then there's that shipping charge and I'm not patient enough to wait. On to my local Jo-Ann's. Where I hunted around and...
The good news:
  1. I found some.
  2. It was on sale for only $3.00/ball.

The bad news:

It's blue.

Well. The blue and yellow each have spots of the other color, so they go together. I like blue and yellow together - that's the color scheme of my kitchen.
Now I need to decide how to marry them. I have the bottom part of the shawl done in yellow (twice!). But, since the blue has more visual weight, I'm not at all sure that I'd like it on the top part of the shawl.
My choices (that I've though of so far):
  1. Go as far as I can in yellow, then switch to blue.
  2. Knit yellow until the shoulder decrease row then switch.
  3. Finish in yellow, then do edgings all around in blue to get the length I want.
  4. Start over, switching colors every row.

I'm mulling it over.

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Loving Loft

Look what I made last night!

It's the Taos Chullo (see original in sidebar) in Loft by Zitron .

I wanted to make it again to:

1. check the pattern

2. see how it worked in a different yarn. The original is in Ecological Wool that comes in a huge skein - I've made a large turtleneck collar, a pair of French cuffs and the hat out of one and I still have 96 yards. It occurred to me that knitters probably want a yarn choice that is more in line with the yardage requirements of the pattern.

3. Ecological Wool seems kind of scratchy to me. Not so much in the hat - the mohair in the color work forms a nice, soft lining, but I noticed it in the collar. I'm not sensitive to such but I know that many people are, so I wanted to find an alternative.

4. Most importantly, I have it in mind for a Christmas gift for a certain blonde I know.

Detail of colorwork

I love this yarn! It's 100% merino, so I expected it to be soft, but this is incredible. The flow of the yarn through my hands while knitting was almost sensual. I've tried it on, of course, and it feels like a soft hug. I'm more than pleased, so I hope the lady for whom it's destined enjoys it, too.

The knitting good news: it only took 1 evening and 1 skein of Loft.

Just needs the ties and blocking and it's finished!

Next up - second version of the Holiday Shawl. First one is in Fiesta's LaBoheme. It's quite expensive; in fact, much more than I usually spend on yarn. I was unbelievably lucky and found this on sale. Once again, I wanted to try it in a second, more affordable yarn. This is from Joann's. I rarely shop at Joann's here in ABQ because the local store is a disaster, but in Houston it was my go-to place for anything sewing. I'm not particularly enamored of novelty yarns, either, or, for that matter, yellow. Given all that, I'm not sure just why this yarn called my name, but it did and so here it is.

It's called Camelia and I think it's the store brand - the label says Sensations Bellezza Collection. I had it in my stash and it should have been enough for the shawl without the ruffle. I have 4 balls and this little bit used 1. So I'm now back in my familiar predicament of not having enough yarn for my project. I'm going to have to figure this one out - why should the yardage be so different for the same pattern in the same gauge on the same size needles?

I guess I'll go rummage through the clearance bins tomorrow - one thing about a messy store is that they just might have a random ball misplace somewhere - I know that this summer yarn in not going to be part of the regular inventory now.

I'm supposed to be working my way through 27 pages of acronyms and further information links to try to get my patterns up for sale. It occurred to me in the shower this morning (why are showers so conducive to creativity - or am I just weird?) that I want to do some Christmas socks. My head is just buzzing with ideas - not one of which is an acronym or contains one bit of HTML. Maybe I can do just one step and then reward myself with some charting?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One time only -

a meme. I so don't do memes, but this morning I read Scout's blog and it's stayed in my mind all day. So, just this once...
Scout is missing her mother and reminiscing about the knitting that they shared and that continues to unite her with her mom. She asks for tales of learning to knit and tributes to particular knitters important to her readers.
So, Scout, here you are.
My aunt taught me to knit when I was about 8, I think. I grew up in NY, but every summer I spent time in Providence, RI, where my father's family lived. All of the adult women in my family were knitters with the exception of my mother. I have great memories of the excitement and anticipation my family had for the expeditions we took to the great New England wool mills, now sadly gone. We would all pet and gather and compare, figure pattern needs and enjoy ourselves thoroughly. My aunts and grandmother would make their careful selections and then we'd go home to display our purchases and plan our projects. Even though I was just an observer, I loved these excursions.
My mother, though, did not. She occasionally would try to knit, resulting in strangely shaped, usually unfinished garments which fit no one. Either nobody explained gauge to her or she was too impatient to bother. Anyway, knitting was a trial to her, and I think that the yarn trips just made her feel excluded. Even her best friend was an expert knitter!
But one summer, in addition to spending time with the usual aunt, I spent a week with a second one. There was some uncomfortable history between this relative and my mother. They had been close friends in high school, but things became very different when my mother began dating her friend's older brother. The marriage was despaired of by both families - different religions, different heritages, even different languages. Probably my parents were unaware of my vacation with this second aunt.
The aunt in question was noted for her fashion sense. She had waited to marry and been a career girl. I remember her glamorous wardrobe and I thought she had an exciting life. She was also a knitter. That week, I watched her work. No one had ever offered to teach me, probably scared off by the fact that I was left handed. She just taught me to knit the way she did - not backwards or face to face or any of that nonsense. I made a shrug for my doll - white with navy stripes on either end. I remember being perplexed because I'd knit during the day and my shrug would have lumps and bumps and holes. Magically, they'd disappeared by the next morning. I wondered if I was losing my mind - had I imagined the mistakes? It never occurred to me that my aunt was fixing my work.
When the summer was over, I showed my new skill to my parents. They didn't seem particularly impressed. Imagine that.
The next time I remember knitting was when President Kennedy was shot. Our school shut down and we were send home in the middle of the day. I asked my mother what 'assassination' meant and was shocked that there was a special word for murdering an important person. The whole country spent the next days in front of the TV watching the tragedy unfold. In my family, I was the only one thus occupied. I spent days on the couch - knitting. I made a very wide, very long navy blue scarf on blue and white needles. I was already doing my own thing - scarves were supposed to be narrow and just long enough to wrap around the neck. I was also already reaching for fiber as a means of consolation. Just a kid, but already an inheritor of the long female tradition of working with our hands in times of stress.
As a new wife, surprised when my husband seemed to turn from me to advancing his career, I knit. I remember an intricate Aran afghan and bolster set in particular. No one had shown me any knitting techniques since that first shrug, but I was a great believer in 'if I can read, I can do anything' and I had a pattern and figured it out.
When my kids were little, I knit and crocheted like mad. I actually wore out my crochet hooks - they'd get so sharp in the end that they'd cut me. One Christmas, I sat up late finishing the last present and then got up early in the morning for surgery on my wrist. The surgeon told me that I should not have been able to move my hand, that the tendon was completely shredded. He didn't know about mothers and presents for their children.
I've gotten way off the meme, here. Scout started me off on knitting and remembrance and it seems what I remember is how knitting got me through difficult times. I hope it can do it again.

I know, this is crocheted. I thought I was going to go somewhere else with this post, so I'd already loaded this photo. Hate to 'waste' it! It's the topper for my shower curtain. No, I don't have any knitted/crochet toilet roll covers!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The Wind is Howling

and winter is definitely on its way. But I'm ready!

This is the first time I've worn gloves in the house (remember, I lived in Houston for centuries). I have to admit, though, these are pretty cool, er, rather warm.

This is the Waving Hands pattern made in that yarn I dyed last week. I had thought I'd wait a little before knitting them, but I just couldn't resist. Also, I had tweaked the left hand pattern and wanted to test knit it again. It's written up, both for men and women, just needs formatting - I'm working on that today. I know that there's an easier way than the way I'm doing this formatting, but I just can't seem to get it. So, since I want to get this up soon, I've chosen to concentrate on the pattern writing rather than the technology for now.

I also finished the Fiesta shawl. It's a Faroese style shawl worked from the bottom up. When I first started this shawl, I was thinking about our then up-coming trip to California and the cool evening breezes on the coast. Think cream linen slacks and shell. This time of year, how about a black turtleneck and those new-again skinny black pants? Perfect for those is it dressy or is it casual occasions.

And it only took 3 evenings to knit!

I'm calling it the Holiday Shawl. I've already picked out some less expensive stash yarn to make it again.

I'd been saving a pile of gorgeous leaves in my backyard just to photograph this shawl. For a backdrop, I mean. With the wind today, there's no way to photograph outdoors. I keep going to the window to check on my leaf pile. How weird - usually I'd be hoping they'd blow away - I hate to rake! Not the raking, exactly, the scooping up and putting in the trash bag part. I always end up with spiders crawling on me after that task and I'm allergic to spider bites. Today, I'm checking to see that they've stayed put - I want that photo!

Monday, November 13, 2006

More Great Stuff Online

Online newsletters tend to come and go. Some are interesting and it's too bad that they don't make it. (What's up with SpunMag, by the way? Anyone know?) Some that last are simply promotional devices for some manufacturer or distributer or other. Nothing against these - they can be quite useful, but I really enjoy those that are written/edited by real knitters. People that I can identify with, whose interests also interest me.
One of these is Fiber Femmes. This is the third issue and it just gets better. I'm a big skimmer, especially on the computer. Reading from a monitor is just not conducive to concentration, at least not for me. It's a good thing I finished school before the technology wave hit big - I'd be in trouble if all I had was an e-book to study from. But the other day, when I opened the November/December issue of FF, I'd lost a couple of hours before I knew it. Not that I'm complaining, don't get me wrong.
The catch phrase on each page is "Great Women Building a Gracious World" and that's just a perfect description of what's going on here. The newsletter truly gives a sense of community, of a world community in fiber. The articles range from focusing on events in NM, to a travel review ofRomania and a class description of felting in Spain. It's so refreshing to get outside our US-centric comfort zone.
There is also a focus on the small fiber business - those family/farm based firms founded on passion and determination. I have a particular fondness for these and try to support the small enterprises whenever possible. Each issue of Fiber Femmes has profiles of some of these independents. I love how they come to life - that sense of community again.
Visually, I find this magazine to be a feast. I'm kind of weird that way - I'll describe a movie in terms of the colors the set designer focused on, the beauty of the photography, the fabrics of the costumes. I miss the plot line in TV shows because I'm appreciating the decor of the 'room' in which the action is happening. Or the sweaters the actors wearing! I always find something interesting to look at in FF. This month, it was the pictures of Romania. Just luscious! Go look!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Cool Stuff

Do you get Knitter's Review? It's an weekly online newsletter that specializes, as the name suggests, in reviewing knitting related products. I've learned about all kinds of new yarns, needles, and books through Clara Park's articles. If the name is familiar, she also writes a column for one of the national knitting print magazines, but I can't remember which. Anyway, if you don't already suscribe, you should. Find it here.
This week was the first time since I've suscribed that the article was a how-to. I'm nutso about how-to's. Most of my reading material is provided by the public library and I never buy novels, even though I'm always reading a stack of them. How-to books are another matter altogether, though. I'll buy a how-to do something or other book just in case. You know, maybe someday I'll need to know something, and here, in this really nifty book, right here, are the directions. You just never know what might come in handy.
As a result, I have 8 (yes, eight) tall, wide, floor to almost ceiling bookcases in my house. Full. And more children's books packed away. My husband despairs. My kids give me Amazon gift certificates.
But I digress. The Knitter's Review how-to... how to make your own circular needles! Yes! Just what I needed. I joked this summer to a LYSO that I spin, dye, design and knit my own creations and I have 0 interest in weaving, so I do just about everything fiber related. She retorted that it was time I got some sheep. ABQ is kind of country, at least compared to Houston, but I think even ABQ would object to a flock of sheep in the middle of the city. Not to mention that there is not blade one of grass in our yard - the local thing here in the desert is landscaping with different colored rocks. I kid you not, our backyard is two tones of rock - pink and grey - separated by a serpentine marble rock border. Not conducive to livestock.
Oh yes, back to the circs - well, I just never thought of making my own knitting implements. However, after reading this, I just may have to. I wish the Man Of The House had not given away my drill. It was nice and slow and I could control it. His is so fast and has too many dials and things. To my mind, dials and adjustments do not belong on a drill. I may be ancient, or Luddite, but I grew up drilling with a hand drill. No power. Yes, there really was such a thing and I do know how to use one.
Here is the URL for the article with the directions:

You know you're going to have to try it!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oh what a tangled web...

er, mess I make when I try to take a shortcut.
If you've been paying attention, you remember that I wanted to re-skein my sons's sister's yarn. Thinking it to be a 10 minute project, I started it this morning while waiting for the computer to load. I had originally skeined this yarn using the edge of my warping board. To mix the colors, I wanted a different diameter for my skein. I could have used the pegs on the warping board - that's what they're for, after all.
But no, I decided that would take too long. (Remember, Mercury's retrograde!) Way back when, in the olden days, I would use my arm to skein. So I thought I'd sit at the computer to prompt it when necessary and wind around my forearm.
Well, back in said olden days, I must have had a less stressful life. I tried to wind loosely, really I did. However, I ended up with my thumb completely stretched out, bent back almost to my hand. I can take it, I told myself. It's only for a couple of minutes more.
Not. I gave in to the pain and pulled that thing right off my hand. Ouch!
Okay, Plan B. I had about 2/3 of the original skein wound into another quite short skein. Well, back to the dining room chair method, I decided. The result:

Did you know you can't wind from both ends? The first end was buried somewhere in that short and now falling apart skein, so I started from the other end.
At first I wound around the chairs and was perplexed to discover that I was now winding 2 strands. Where did that come from?
Then I gave up and started trying to unwind from the chairs and make a ball. Not the finished product I desired.

Also not easily achieved. The tangles were growing exponentially. My patience was not.
I gave up.

I took the first short no longer a skein and went back to my office chair. They're pretty tangles, though, aren't they?

Finally, I came up with a untangled ball. I didn't want a ball. I wanted a skein. This is very soft yarn, and I've become quite absorbed in the shawl I'm knitting, so this is a not-right-now project. Before Christmas, yes, but not just right now. The ball I'd been able to make was not even a center pull - I'd needed both hands for the detangling, so there was tension on the yarn (not to mention me). To preserve accurate gauge, I needed a skein. Still.

Back to the dining room. This time I used all the chair peg thingies. And walked around and around the table. There would be no snarling!

If you look closely, you can even see the little clamp I used (on the left chair rung) to fasten off the starting end. Not taking any chances here.

Remember how when you were a kid you'd spin around and around until you fell over? Well, it works for walking around and around a table, too. But even I knew better than to reverse direction.
At long last, and I do mean looong last, I had this:

There was one final problem - the skein I'd wound was longer than my armspan, so I had quite a time of twisting it! Door knobs can come in handy, you know.

You know what? This is pretty much the color effect I had in mind when I set out to dye this yarn. Kind of watercolor -y, you know?
And yes, I have heard of a swift. I just don't have one, for complicated reasons having to do with marriage and all that. I keep hoping one will show up on some gift-giving occasion.
There's always Christmas! (hope, hope)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sock Tutorial Now Up!

Yes, I finally found a way to fix that link!
Learn how to start your sock on one long circular needle How to Knit Socks on One Long Circular Needle.pdf'>here.
Next up, heel flap and gusset! Stay tuned.

Pictures First!

First, the yarn I dyed yesterday. It's actually looking better as it dries. I love the soft aqua in between the dyed sections. The 'sky blue' still looks too dark to me, but we'll see when it's reskeined and, the true test, when it's knitted up.

Since I'm in a mistake prone period, I decided to forget the lace pattern for my Fiesta shawl. All the stitch patterns I swatched looked like they were fighting with the yarn. Even simple yarnovers looked out of place. So, I did the math for a garter stitch Faroese shawl and have a luxurious edging in mind, pending finding the right yarn in the right texture and color.
I'm curious about the row gauge, however. I had some 12-15 inches worked before I frogged this the last time. The lace looked funny, but that wasn't all. Instead of a kind of a horseshoe shape, I had a boomerang.
Now, I'm about 1/4 through my available yarn and 1/3 through the mathmatically determined rows, and look at how short it is. My gauge swatch didn't indicate a problem, but as I knit and knit, this just doesn't seem to appear longer. I'm curious about how the yarn blocks out. It's Fiesta LaBoheme in the Coyote colorway, so it's an investment.

The women's version of my Waving Hands half-fingered gloves are finished except for the running in of the ends. I chose Jawoll Jacquard for this model because of the colors. I guess I didn't look closely enough at the dye pattern because the busy-ness was a surprise. Looking at the skein I have left (the pattern only took 50 g.!), I should have known.

Close-up of the tiny cables in the cuff You can kind of see the uncrossed
cables on the hand, even with the

busy yarn.

Still working on the sport weight short row beret. Looks like it'll be frogged again - those pesky technique mistakes again. Somehow I got a hole where there is no short row or wrap. Didn't drop a stitch - actually, there are too many! No idea how that happened.

Also still working on fixing the sock tutorial link. Tech support finally got back with me, telling me that files could not be shared on their file sharing site! Huh? So, I'm looking at other places. I'll post the new link as soon as I come up with one.

Now let's see if this will post. I'm so grateful that the pictures loaded!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Blame it on...

Mercury! Yes, as in the planet. Mercury is in retrograde. I'm a Virgo and Mercury is my ruling planet and every time, and I mean every time, it goes retrograde, my life goes to hell. In a handbasket.
Seriously. Lately, everything has been going wrong. Everything I've done has been a mistake. Don't ask about my knitting - I'm making silly technique errors - dropping stitches, splitting stitches, not moving stitches off my needle after wrapping them, silly, silly things that I don't usually do.
My life has been taking a beating as well. Little things - burning the toast, dealing with a possible mouse problem (they're next door for sure), Explorer going wonky and randomly shutting down, losing a stone out of my favorite turquoise ring. Bigger things - the kind that really hurt.
It's getting to where I'm afraid to drive my truck. Why tempt the universe?
So, today I decided that instead of driving to my LYS to look for the yarn I see in my head for my sons' stepsister's Christmas present, I would dye it myself. I had the proper yarn, I had the dyes, already mixed even. A matter of an hour or so of effort and I'd have just what I had in mind.
I should have known better. I spent about an hour measuring and skeining the yarn and setting up my 'studio' on the back porch. The weather was georgeous and I took that as an omen. Wrong again.
When everything was ready, I opened my container of sky blue, dipped my brush and began to paint. Oh, my, no. What was this forest green blob? Where did my sky blue go? How old is this dye mix, anyway? Should have thought about that first. Should have done a test. Should know better by now - I've had a couple of these wish I had a pallette moments before.
So, okay, forest green, not sky blue. There wasn't going to be any beautiful blue/blue-green-turquoise gradual color change. So much for the subtle but clear colors I envisioned for this very trendy 16 year old girl.
How could I rescue this? With the colors I had? Took a look at my pitiful selection. Didn't see anything that struck me as useful. Well, I had forest green, maybe if I mixed that green with some turquoise I'd get something that I could use for some fair isle type dots. So, lacking any better ideas, tried that.
Then remembered that I hadn't soaked the wool. Well, that wasn't necessarily fatal. I remembered reading about a technique that used dry wool, but I didn't remember the result or if you had to process it differently. Oh, well, too late to turn back now.
Cooked my mess up. Let it cool. Rinsed. Yep, just what I was afraid of. When the dye had turned color, the first thought through my head was, oh boy, what are the odds that it's too unstable to set? I kept pushing that thought out of my head. Maybe if I didn't acknowledge the possibility, it wouldn't happen.
But it did. Pale blue rinse water. Over and over. Not admitting defeat, I glugged a bunch of vinegar into my bowl, added some water, put the yarn back in and cooked it again.
Still blue. Quite pretty, in a tidy-bowl sort of way, but still blue.
All right, already, I give up. This was obviously not meant to be. I'll figure something else to do with this yarn - maybe overdye it? Maybe yellow? And handwash with more vinegar and salt. Not for a teenager.
Mercury doesn't go direct until November 15th. Maybe I should just sleep until then.
Of course, Blogger won't let me post a picture!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Technical Woes Ad Nauseum

I know, I know, I'm whining again. My sons think I'm tech savvy - and they're of the generation that grew up with computers! I can't figure out why I keep having such trouble, but trouble I have. Again.
I owe apologies to those who've tried to open my sock tutorial, Part One. I tested it and I can open it, so I thought everyone could. However, that is apparently not the case. I've e-mailed tech support for the site that is storing my PDF, but have not received a reply. Apparently the default is a private, non-sharing setting. I found the directions for changing the setting, but they don't correspond to the actual design of the site. So, the file is there - you just can't see it! I'm working on finding another place to host this thing, in case tech support never gets back to me. At least I've found one place that won't be hosting my website whenever I get to that point.
In the meantime, I've been working on Part Two - the heel flap and gusset. The model is finished, the pictures taken. Next up - editing the pics, writing the text, converting the file and...finding a place to put it up! There are too many pictures for blogger to handle, so I'm not posting it here.
Also in the works - I've been editing, re-editing, math checking, formatting and reformatting several of my patterns, getting ready for publication.
Here's where the tech thing rears its ugly head again. I worked really hard to format a template for my sock patterns. I liked the idea of a brochure format. In spite of past experience with the trials of designing publications in brochure form, I just insisted that this time would be different. Not. While I like the idea, the finished product just didn't seem user friendly, so it's a no go.
Okay, no brochure. How about a leaflet? Not quite as portable, but easier to read. So I did the layout, messed and messed with styles and graphics and finally arrived at a test version. Hit print. Uh, oh - no leaflet. Single pages printed on one half of the top side. Turns out only the most recent software is capable of printing the leaflet. Not including my own. I can set it up, but I can't print it. Well, if I can't, how many others can't either? Not the way to go. Anyway, two sided printing requires the purchaser to do too much work.
So, I'm back to plain old standard paper size, one side. I'm disappointed, because it's just not as special, but it's more important that it works, right?
I have learned from my travails. It occured to me that the fonts that I use may not be the fonts that are available on other's computers. I'm checking that one out now. The formatting also must be tested - does it actually arrive looking/reading the way it should? Are the pictures still pictures and not gobbledy gook? My sons each have different computer set-ups, so I'll be sending to them as tests, and perhaps I can ask some other knitters as well. No offense to the men, but as non-knitters, they might not spot some text problems.
In the meantime, on the knitting front, I've sized my Waving Hands Half-Gloves for women. The first sample left hand is almost finished. I need to knit these again in a solid so the pattern will photograph!
Arrrgggghhhh! Apparently blogger isn't going to let me add photos from any source today!
(runs screaming from the room)