Friday, September 30, 2011


Hello there, Vanna!

Yes, yes, I bought acrylic yarn. With good reason, too. I need a bulky yarn for a project, but I need it to be wearable indoors, without the wearer's head going up in flames from the heat. Supposedly acrylic fits the bill better than wool.  We'll see!

There are people out there in the internet land that will know exactly what I'm making just from looking at the colours. I don't know that they read my blog, though.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Doodling With Yarn

I've been practising with my needle and yarn to make cute little doodles on the hexipuffs. The following picture shows the evolution of my skills.

This gorgeous yarn is Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock in the colourway Starry Night. I kinda want to buy a bajillion more skeins of this yarn because it's delicious to see and touch.

It is included in honour of the Doctor Who episode, Vincent and the Doctor. It also reminds me of Vincent's famous lost painting, The Exploding TARDIS.

Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?

There's a herd of knitters out there, a really huge herd. And there are trends and themes and stories that circulate in the knitters. Now I might not be the kind of knitter who switches from coffee to tea because the Harlot posts about tea (but then, I was already there), but I did get seduced by the cute little new pattern that's all the rage: The Beekeeper's Quilt.

The Beekeeper's Quilt is a woolload of hexagons, tied together to make a quilt. The hexipuffs are knit in the round, so they're 2-sided, and they're lightly stuffed, making them quilt-like and squishy. To me, the appeal is making an epic-sized knitting project in tiny bits. Because you're making little hexagons, it's an extremely portable project. It's go-anywhere do-anything kinda knitting project. Other blankies have been popular for the same reason, but this is the one that sucked me in.

Some knitters jumped right in and made a bazillion without hesitation. Me, I've been dithering over this, in between other projects. This next photos is an example of much dithering:

From left to right,

  • column 1: knit as pattern directs on size 4 needles.
  • column 2 and 3: knit as pattern directs on size 6 needles
  • column 4: top, knit with casting on 24 stitches, bottom, knit with casting on 22.
I find myself favouring the size of the size-6 hexipuffs, but I worry that the fabric isn't dense enough to keep the stuffing in and the fabric neat. But every time I look at the size-4-hexipuffs, I'm displeased with the aesthetics of their tiny-ness.

Oh, and my blanket has a theme:  Every puff will be somehow related to Doctor Who. I'm planning a Spotter's Guide, to identify each puff's story.  Here's the first installment.

Computer Stuff

This is a knitting blog, but I've recently spent a lot of time solving problems with my desktop PC. I'm going to blog about the solutions here in case it manages to bubble to the top of some one's attention and maybe help them.

"chkdsk doesn't fix the problem"

Problem: My desktop PC has been automatically running the chkdsk routine on startup for over a year. The routine takes about 20 minutes, but fails to fix the problem. My attempts to get it to solve the error just ran the same routine and didn't change anything. It's a pain, because either I needed to start the computer 20 minutes before I needed it, or hover and stop the routine before it ran.

Solution: I tried to start the computer in "safe mode with networking". The start up paused with the message "please wait".  It didn't show that it was doing anything, but it made the same sounds as it makes when it runs chkdsk. 15 minutes later, the computer rebooted and the problem has gone away.

"After installing Norton Internet Security 2012, my PC won't read my Nikon Coolpix camera and won't read cards."

Problem: The computer won't recognize the camera. It makes a stuttering connect sound, but won't see the camera. When I removed the card from the camera and put it in the reader slot, nothing happened, though the card reader's light was lit.

Note: I actually found other people through google who had similarly lost access to their camera after a Norton install. One person said that Norton said it wasn't their fault, because if you uninstall Norton, the problem persists. But it seems suspicious that some how the install hoses the drivers.

Solution: In administrative mode, open the Control Panel and the Device Manager. My camera and card reader drivers both showed as damaged. I deleted them both. The next time I connected the camera, the computer downloaded new drivers and it worked.

"Installing Norton Internet Security 2012 made it so my Windows Vista PC couldn't connect to the internet."

Problem: Install NIS 2012, all connectivity disappears. Even NIS won't open, but just gives error messages.

Solution: There is no easy solution. I spent four hours with Norton customer service. After hours of going round in circles, I was escalated to a supervisor, who eventually requested to take control of my computer remotely. This was a terrifying thing to permit, but I went ahead and allowed it. After messing with my software and drivers, he finally fixed it.

Research carefully before upgrading to NIS 2012 on a Windows Vista computer.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Just in time for cooler weather

I had some good knitting time, and my Camp Loopy Third Project was finished in time.

I don't often knit with cotton, and really, I don't much want to very often, but this was pleasant enough. This is my first adult-sized garment, but possibly not my last!

Pattern: Tabitha
Yarn: Kollage Riveting
Needle size: US 6 for skirt, US 5 for bodice
Modifications: I had been pondering doing away with the button closure in front, and gained inspiration and confidence from this Tabitha. So I knit the bodice in the round, with a faux button-band in seed stitch, until I had to split for the arm holes and neckline.
What I wish I'd changed: The shoulders are a bit broad. A few more decreases for the arm holes might make them narrower.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Down to the wire

I am making steady progress on my Camp Loopy project.  I am also really running out of time.

This has to be completed in 5 days. I have to finish about 3 more inches of the back, and then knit edgings along the neckline and armholes.

It's possible, but to do so, I will need knitting time. Today, for example, I started driving kids about at 8am and pretty much was driving/running errands until I arrived home at 4:30pm and fell asleep. Tomorrow, I'm taking the kids out on an outing. I work all week, as always, and every evening has a parental-meeting scheduled.  Monday's meeting might allow for knitting time, but Tuesday's won't.

But I've made it this far in Camp Loopy, I'm not willing to fail now!! Off to knit....