Caps for babies; and boxes instead of dingbats

Knitting small caps out of scraps

While I was traveling last week, I encountered a copy of the brand-new Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders, edited by Judith Durant (with whom I used to work at Interweave Press: good person). It's got 101 projects for small amounts of yarn. Obviously, they're designed for luxury yarns, but they work for leftovers of less fancy yarns, too.

Hats_1897

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm making a few caps for babies-at-risk again this year (Knit One, Save One; or Caps to the Capital . . . the last collection of caps occurred in 2006). Before heading for New Mexico a couple of weeks ago, I grabbed a couple of free crochet patterns off the web and didn't use them directly but interpreted the concepts using my yarns, hook sizes, and finished sizes. During the trip, I completed two caps (on the right above) and read half of one book for pleasure. (The dark cap is alpaca and very, very soft. I finished the book after I got home.)

Then, on the next trip, I picked up this new one-skein book. It contains a whole lot of great patterns—some by designers I recognize and admire, and some by designers I don't recognize and also admire. I wish the designers' names were on the table of contents, because I follow specific designers and am always interested in what new folks are doing, but given the number of patterns it's understandable why they aren't. The table of contents is full. The patterns themselves are clearly identified as to source, and it's fun to leaf through and discover whose brain was behind which concept.

A very useful attribute of the book: the information is organized by size of yarn, which is how I look for it.

For the hats I'm making now, I'm using a pattern created by Kathy Elkins (of Webs), although I've changed the yarn weight, gauge, size, and starting stitch count (thus, also, shaping intervals). The multicolored version at top left was a winging-it adaptation of my version. For the brown one on the lower left, I tweaked the pattern again for a different yarn weight and I'm liking my results better. I have a third cap in progress now in worsted-weight yarn (like top left) and I think I've got all of my alterations the way I want them. All the caps are usable, though; they're just getting more refined for use with different yarns and in smaller sizes.

My previous post contains all the necessary information to participate in this project; I added some of the details in the comments after folks inquired.

And there's a nifty and appropriate crochet pattern I just located on a blog called A Chelsea Morning.

There are lots more patterns worth exploring for other purposes in Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders. I'm grateful for the chance to explore it with needles in hand so quickly. That doesn't happen often. I usually have to wait until space clears in my life to try out ideas in a new book.

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Computer notes

There haven't been many computer comments lately in part because I've mostly been on the road and in part because not all that much has changed. I'm still paddling upstream on this project, with the file and the machine misbehaving for reasons no one can figure out well enough to fix.

Here's the good news: the book (Ethnic Knitting Exploration: Lithuania, Iceland, and Ireland, by Donna Druchunas) has an index! And the index is in the book file.

Index_1898

Only once did the layout program give me a random paragraph of dingbats (one of its bizarre symptoms of glitchiness). The new twist was that these dingbats were green. The rest of the dingbats it's given me have been blue. The quirks are getting more creative? (Computers are NOT creative. They follow specific rules of behavior, which are sometimes scrambled. But still specific.)

On the bad news side, and I'm ignoring this for the moment, some of the REAL dingbats that are supposed to be in the file have been replaced by blue boxes with Xs through them:

Dingbats-no_1899

Those two pages (one example of several affected spreads) are supposed to look like the next photo, which I am only able to show you because I generated a PDF of the working file a while ago when that font was working as it should:

Dingbats-yes_1900

It takes a lot of time to design, size, and position those symbols that are aids to the reader in using the diagrams, charts, and worksheets throughout the book. Having them get messed up is worse than having some other things mess up.

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Turning away from computers and toward civic responsibility

This afternoon I signed up to be an election judge on November 4.

I've already voted with a mail-in ballot.

Yes, I have a gazillion other things I "ought" to get done that day. However, I am not good on phones or at canvassing to encourage people to vote. What I
can do is show up at the county courthouse before 6 a.m. on election day and
work steadily as needed until 8 p.m. or later to facilitate the
orderly progress of the election for those who are voting then. (The vote centers are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

I'll be what's called a backup judge. That means I'll start my day at the courthouse and can be sent out to work at any of the thirty-three polling places in the county, as needed. The county consists of 2601 square miles (6737 km2) and about 277,000 people.

I'll be training next week as a ballot judge. It's a three-hour training session, because any resident of our county can vote at any of the centers (this is a very cool thing) and there are 130 different ballots that people may need to have access to, depending on where they live. It will be my job to help people vote the right ballot.

If you're in the U.S., remember to vote before the election closes on November 4.

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7 Responses

  1. Working as a polling official is something that has become necessary in my life — our recent election here in Canada was the second time I was a Central Poll Supervisor — if for no other reason that to be grateful for the chance to participate in democracy.

    I’ve observed a few U.S. elections when I lived in Virginia, and I find it fascinating how our two governments create themselves.

    Our registration and voting processes are rather different than yours, as we don’t have to pro-actively register, declare a party allegiance, or can vote anywhere we want on Election Day, and every polling place gets someone who has watched too much CNN and thinks the Canadian process is the same and has to accommodate what they want to do.

    But it’s mostly fun — it was pretty smooth where I was, although there’s always some sort of glitch where I get to cut through a Ghordian knot — although the money can’t compensate for the time and energy I put into it.

    Have fun, and remember that democracy beats the crap out of the alternatives…. 🙂

  2. Oh thank you so much for volunteering to be a judge. It’s a forgotten part of the election process and so important for having a fair and orderly election. As the voting process gets more and more complicated, we really need people with their wits about them, who are able to handle tasks with absolute consistency of detail. You’re just the kind of person I would hope would turn up in my precinct to lend a hand.

    As someone who has been an election judge for the past 10 years, I salute you. And hope that more of your readers will go “hmmm, maybe I should consider doing that.”

  3. I’m working as an election judge on November 4 too but I am assigned to a particular polling place. Since it’s not the one where I should vote, I’ve already sent in my absentee ballot. I’m not looking forward to the length of the day but I know working the polls is a necessary job in our society. Being there from 5 a.m. (our polls open at 6 and close at 7 p.m.) until who knows when is very wearing. At the last election in August, we were there until almost 8 p.m. I heard on the radio the other day that we might have to be there 20 hours for this election. That’s the real downside to the job.

  4. I hope you can get one perfect PDF soon and get that thing out to the printer. Sigh.

  5. 130 ballots?

    oi…

  6. Boxes with x’s? Ohhhhhh Nooooo! Don’t you feel like “Mr. Bill” these days?

    We went to DC this weekend. Stayed at a Red Roof Inn on the way there, where we had “free” T-Mobile access. I spent over an hour on the phone with T-Mobile, two different support people including an engineer. No dice. They said 5 others in the complex were surfing. I could see the local access point but not get on the internet.

    They extracted all my personal information to create me an account (never mind it was supposedly free with our “deluxe” room), no problem… but didn’t get me any access to any services. Figures.

    I was right, it seems. My laptop really stinks. And I’m sorry to say that yours sounds in even more despair than mine.

    I’m pulling for you.

    Lynn

  7. Thank you for agreeing to serve as an Election Judge! I worked as an Election Inspector in 2004, this year it’s my husband’s turn. Even with the long hours – in NY, the polls are open from 6 AM to 9 PM so you have to be there by 5:30 AM and don’t get out of the polling place until 10 PM – but even so, it isn’t as bad as it sounds, and it feels good to help make sure everyone gets to vote. Bravo to you!

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