Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 7:46 AM

afternoon view
afternoon view

I really thought that the week was going to calm down a little bit.

That was before #1 Son’s computer started having what we in the vaguely techie business like to call issues. When in need, #1 Son always calls Mom’s Tech Support. This particular incident ended up requiring a complete wipe of the hard drive and reinstall of XP, and there were driver issues and… I won’t bore you with the details. But it took time.

And then there was the little incident where the nice officer on the lovely motorcycle stopped me as I was on my way home from dropping the fur kids off at the Cat B&B. He informed me that I’d just been doing 30 in a school zone. I’m usually very, very careful about that. In my defense, it was a high school that sits way back from the main street. It was the middle of the morning and no children were anywhere to be seen. And I admit to a bit of distraction as I tried to figure out how to cram 3 days of activities into about 8 hours.

I banged my head against my fortunately knit cozy clad steering wheel while the nice officer wrote out a ticket.

And then I ended up sort of needing a second root canal. The good news is that now the pain is all gone. But it took time. Actually, more time than usual.

I have a very tiny mouth. (No comments from you out there in the peanut gallery.) But it turns out that I have deep roots and a lot of nerve. So it takes a bit of doing to make sure I don’t feel anything while the whole root canal procedure is being performed. And that takes time. But with that finally accomplished, Dr. P was happily reaming out my tooth, and I was happily ignoring the whole thing as I lay there with what feels like a balloon pressed against my mouth and drool running down my chin, when the light went out.

You know. That light that the dentist shines in your face so that the inside of your mouth is lit up? That light. It went out. The. Light. Went. Out.

After a stunned silence, a mad flurry of activity ensued as everyone in the office tried to change the light bulb. (I just know there’s a really good joke in there.) It turns out that those light thingies are quite complicated mechanisms and you have to practically take the whole thing apart just to change this itsy bitsy light bulb. And the person in the office who used to change all of the light bulbs because she just loooooved doing it so much had retired the month before. And nobody was really sure of the best approach.

It was suggested that I be moved to the next room. But the room wasn’t ready and it was announced that in that room the brain wouldn’t boot up. I have no idea what that meant. But I really had no desire to be in a room where the brain wouldn’t boot while my mouth was under construction.

As the mad flurry whirled around, Dr. P (love this man) calmly continued with his business, mostly by feel and with the help of a little hand held fiber optic spot light. I lay in the chair, drool dripping from my chin and laughing at the absurdity. Because, really, what else could I do?

Eventually Dr. P reached the point in the whole operation where more light became necessary. What are you doing? he asked the light bulb changers.

It’s difficult to do and you have to use this spreader and it’s hard to get it in the right place. was the reply, in a tone that said you obviously have no idea how to do this or you would understand.

Dr. P stood up. Give me the screwdriver. And he started in trying to take the thing apart.

I have been taking things apart and putting them back together since I could hold a screwdriver, and I desperately wanted to get up and get in on the fun. But, all things considered, I decided it was safer to stay where I was and watch from the sidelines. Eventually the old bulb was removed, the new bulb was inserted and the light fixture was returned to a fairly usable state. Dr. P finished up his business, my tooth was reconstructed in a temporary sort of way, drool was wiped off my chin and I was off back to the races.

I ran home, threw a few more driver disks at #1 Son, threw a load of laundry in the washer, and headed out the door to Westside Wednesday Sip ‘N’ Stitch because I really felt that, all things considered, I deserved at least a short bit of knitting with my peeps. I had decided that I would just plead guilty to the traffic ticket (remember the ticket? – that was before the root canal) and make it go away. So, carefully following instructions, I signed the ticket, wrote out a check, tucked both inside an envelope addressed to the correct location. And just as I stuffed it into the slot in the mail box and it left my grasp never to be recovered, I realized that I’d sort of forgotten to put a stamp on it.

Yeah. It was just that kind of week.

But today is ever so much better. The pic is of the view out my back door yesterday afternoon. I am at Cat Bordhi’s annual visionary retreat, where I am surrounded by amazing people in this gorgeous setting and my creative juices are flowing. And I may even get some work done on the book. But blogging, I’m afraid, may be sporadic for the next few days. I could tell you all about the retreat and who’s here and all, but then I’d have to kill you or something because it’s all a deep, dark secret and very mysterious and blah, blah, blah. (It’s actually a lot of hard work.) But I will try to blog more from Madrona, where I will attempt to Kennear all kinds of famous people — maybe even the Yarn Harlot!

Techie Talk by Judy @ 2:11 PM
tags:

PI will be down for hosting service maintenance starting Saturday, January 31, 2009, at 6:00 AM EST.

I’m not sure how long the outage would occur. It’s expected to last an hour or two. But stuff happens.

Email will be down as well as the web site. I don’t think I will actually lose any email – I just won’t have access to it for awhile. But, just in case, if you send me email tomorrow and don’t hear back from me for a day or two, please resend.

by Judy @ 12:04 PM

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo

Please note: If you found your way here via Google, Ravelry, or other search engine, I appreciate you kind comments. I am not, however, affiliated with Knit Picks. I don’t know where the pattern is available. I will not copy the pattern or charts for your use, nor is my copy of the pattern for sale. Emails that ask me to violate copyright, ask me to sell the pattern, or ask for sourcing info will be deleted without response. Please contact Knit Picks to request information regarding the pattern, the kit, or the designer.

This is the Andean Chullo Hat Kit from Knit Picks.

It became the first finished object of 2009 because I was up until the wee hours weaving in little ends that I stupidly did not weave in as I went. And there were a @%#! bunch of them, gentle reader. After sleeping for a few hours, the hat got a very quick steam-block, which fortunately turned out to be all it needed. I sewed the tassels on in between dinner preparations and such. It was finished, photoed and wrapped about an hour before #1 Son showed up for dinner. Whew.

#1 Son’s take: star.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gifstar.gif Mom! you are really rockin’ this knitting stuff! This is the best hat ever, and it fits perfectly. Look at the little alpacas on the earflaps! Too cute! My friends are going to be so jealous. They couldn’t believe all the kitted stuff from you that I wore when it was cold and snowy. [ed. that warms the cockles of my heart! what more could a mom want to hear?] So you had to finish this and is that the reason I couldn’t come up on Christmas? [ed. No! that wasn’t it at all!] Haha… Oh, yeah… there was this snow thing, huh.

Andean Chullo
Andean Chullo closeup

Here’s a closeup of the main body of the hat. I’m using this picture as my iPhone wallpaper now. 😉

The Particulars:

  • Pattern: Knit Picks Andean Chullo Hat Kit
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Pallette included in the kit – 100% Peruvian Highland Wool, 231 yds/50 gr per ball – portions of 9 colorways: Sweet Potato, White, Bark, Semolina, Pimento, Blue, Clover, Masala and Pool. There’s plenty left over for another hat, or two, or three.
  • Modifications: none. Really. The pattern is a choose your own adventure. You pick one of two earflap charts, four of six pattern band charts, and one of two different hat top charts. Colors are suggested but not dictated and I did change one or two.

Andean Chullo inside
Andean Chullo inside

And for those of you just dying to see the inside (you know who you are), here you go.

I’m a two-handed fair-isle knitter — that is I hold one color in my left hand and pick it, and the other color in my right and throw it. Philosopher’s Wool has a wonderful video that shows this technique. Their technique recommends not having floats longer than two stitches. On this hat I have floats up to 5 stitches. Do watch their video if you have not done so before. Their weaving stitches are very cool.

I will probably knit another of these hats and be a bit more adventurous with the colors. The kit came with enough yarn to knit several.

modeling the goods
modeling the goods

Happy #1 Son with his hat and mittens. 😀 He wore the hat for a goodly portion of the time he was here, so I think it was very successful.

Knitting |Techie Talk by Judy @ 11:49 AM

I love tools
I love tools

Yesterday was an interesting day, gentle reader.

First, thank you to everyone who clicked through to Jack Bog’s Blog for Buck-A-Hit Day. $9,920 was raised for very deserving local groups. Thank you, thank you!

It was also interesting because it was the day that I decided, rather early in the morning, to upgrade to WordPress 2.7. I’d been playing around with 2.7 on my local computer, and everything looked OK. But, when I moved it up to the web server where y’all can see it… it was not a happy experience. 😳

I’m really sorry to anyone using IE who started getting can’t load this site messages. I know it was awhile before I noticed. There were some things not playing well together. I got out all of the tools at my disposal and fixed it as fast as I could.

You might have also noticed a few things coming and going, appearing and disappearing. That was caused by the need to upgrade a few plugins that I thought were OK. It should all be back in place now.

I think it’s done. If you find anything that’s broken, please let me know.

I love yarn, too
I love yarn, too

Because of all of that, I think it’s time for a contest. I haven’t had one for a really long time, and I’ve been meaning to. And now it’s the holidays and I’m snowed in and all. So it’s time.

I have three skeins of yarn to give away, so that means I will have three lucky winners.

Left-to-right, Zen Yarn Garden Bamboolicious in Creamsicle; Blue Moon Socks That Rock Medium in Calico; Schaefer Anne in Toni Morrison.

I’d forgotten all about that Calico when I was searching for yarn to make fingerless gloves from. My forgetfulness will be your gain!

Here’s the contest: the first picture in this post is a bunch of tools. Name all of them – every single one – in the comments. I will draw from amongst those who name all of them to select the winner. If nobody names all, I will draw from those who have the most correct. Be sure to click on the picture to see the biggie size.

The rules: Tell me how many tools there are and name them. You can’t say something like a collection of widgets of varying sizes. You may say 9 widgets of various sizes.

All of the tools are in plain sight – none are hidden. There’s one there that may be obscure. But why should I make this too easy?

Contest will close Sunday night at midnight Pacific Time. Decision of the judge (that would be this intrepid reporter) are final. Blah, blah, blah.

Have fun!

Techie Talk by Judy @ 10:57 PM

This post is just for WordPress users who have found this blog by following a link from a more, shall we say, technically themed blog, and have been surprised (and even dismayed) to find a WP hack in amongst a discussion about stuff like hand-knit socks and yarn. This is a knitting blog. That’s what I talk about, more or less. But sometimes other things creep in. WordPress, for example. You can get the link to the hack here, without having to search through knitting stuff.

Although there is much to like about WP 2.5, the write panels suck. A great deal of scrolling up and down is required, disrupting the once smooth workflow. The width of the write area is limited, even on wide-screen monitors. The notification of pending posts and drafts has been removed. Usability is way, way down.

So I took matters into my own hands and fixed what I thought were the most egregious faults.

You can see a picture of the new panel here. If you are a self-hosted WP 2.5 user and would like to incorporate these changes, you can download them here. The files all go in /wp-admin/, except for global.css, which goes in /wp-admin/css/. Back up your files first. Use at your own risk. No implied warranty. Etc.

A ticket was opened in Trac requesting that this be made an enhancement in a future WP release. The ticket has been closed by TPTB as not being valid.

An idea has been posted in the WP Ideas Forum. Please go over and vote for it. This is the only way that we will get the developers to fix the write panel workflow. You will have to register in order to vote, but it’s easy and painless and you need not give away any personal information. Your email is used only to send your password.

Sorry, I can’t help you directly if you are on WordPress.com. But you can still go over and vote for the idea. Whatever changes are in the next release will impact you as much as me.

Knitting |Techie Talk by Judy @ 8:13 AM

clown-barf-socks
clown-barf-socks

OK. So can you tell that I’m happy that the clown barf stripy socks are finished? Oh, I cannot begin to express my joy at this event!

I don’t hate them. Really. But I want you to follow this link and then scroll down until you find High Desert. Then pop the bigger picture up.

That’s the yarn that I saw in the skein. Glorious, isn’t it? Whodda thunk it that it would knit up like this? The colors in the sock picture are brighter than they actually appear in real life. It’s early in the morning and raining again so the light was a little weird.

These socks had it in for me right up until the last. I finished up the ribbing, and leaned forward in my chair to fetch my needles from my knitting bag. As I sat back I heard crrruunnnchhh. Yep. Broke two harmony needles. One from each circular. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhh I’m not safe around wooden things, apparently. I’d best stick to metal.

The Particulars:

In completely non-knitting, techie news, I’ve been fighting with the new WP 2.5 admin panels. All I can say is ICK. The write panels were especially horrible, as all of the little check boxes and drop-down lists were moved under the post write area, making it necessary to scroll for a bazillion miles every time I posted. Which I realize has not been often lately, but let’s not digress.

A long, long, long thread started over in the WordPress.org support forum amongst those of us not happy with the new arrangement. The end result was that this intrepid reporter, along with a few others, made changes to the panels to make them more usable. You can see a picture of the new panel here

If you are a self-hosted WP 2.5 user and would like to incorporate these changes, you can download them here, although I think this is the version that has an extraneous comma in the draft list. Or, to get the very latest version, download directly from the WordPress bug report. The files all go in wp-admin/, except for global.css, which goes in wp-admin/css/. Sorry, I can’t help you if you are on WordPress.com.

Didn’t know I had such mad codr skilz, didja? 😆



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Stuff I Gotta Do

Follow The Leader shawl

30%

entrelac wrap

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Arabesque shawl

100%

Jubjub Bird Socks

15%

I Mog Di

15%

Peacock Feather Shawl

0%

Honeybee Stole

5%

Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl

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Lenore

20%

Fatigues henley sweater

10%

Jade Sapphire Scarf

15%

#1 Son's Blanket

2%

Cotton Bag

1%