Knitting: nice subtlety
Let's start with the knitting. I'm making the vest from Ann McCauley's new book—the one that I mentioned being tempted by. Ann's version is in white Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride (85% wool/15% mohair). Mine is the same yarn, which I'm quite fond of, in color M-02 Brown Heather.
When I wrote the post about the book, I mentioned enjoying Ann's sense of detail and the pleasant surprises I find in her patterns.
Here's a surprising detail from the vest pattern.
From the front side, along the top edge of the ribbing it looks like nothing special is going on:
From the back side, though, you can see an interesting row of stitches that doesn't follow the ribbing pattern:
That row is not just reverse stockinette, either. That wrong-side row involves a carefully planned sequence of knits and purls, set up to offer just a touch of waistline stabilization and, in places, extra pattern definition at the transition from the ribbing at the lower edge to the more diverse patterning in the main body. That single row also subtly counteracts what might be a rolling-in tendency of the ribbing that continues up the vest's front edges.
Mac: Surface changes
Here's what my new MacBook looks like now:
I indulged in a Gelaskin for it.
Gelaskins are protective covers for the top of the computer. There are all sorts of protective cases and covers for MacBooks (Gelaskins can also be obtained for PCs). Several of them would have increased both weight and external dimensions enough that one of my primary reasons for choosing this machine—portability—would have been compromised. Even though folks I know love their cases. I also like to have something on my notebook that helps me remember to return it to the backpack when I go through airport security. I've used bumper stickers in the past, and considered that again, but the Gelaskins do two jobs in one, without measurably increasing weight or girth. Less expensive than a hard case, too. For another situation, the full case would be the right answer.
This is the one I got. It's even more enjoyable in person—some of the amusing details require a magnifying glass to discover. Others are more obvious. I was pretty tempted by this one, too. Intriguing to me that both are by the same artist.
Mac: More switching-to-Mac resources
I'm still working on getting to know this new computer. Friends have sent links and suggestions. I'll list a few here.
Apple has its own "switching to the Mac" information:
- Apple's resources, which are excellent
From Donna Druchunas, here are more links to basic move-to-Mac commentary:
And a "best practices" link:
- Tao of Mac, which I found the most interesting of all
Here's a useful link on figuring out which Mac to buy—I don't remember whether I found it myself or was referred to it (the input blurs) [added comment: I found it through a link from the Tao of Mac page]:
- MacWorld: New rules for buying a Mac
That's in addition to Apple's help system for determining which Mac is right.
Mac software progress?
I'm still working on figuring out keychain (the password keeper). Best practices is what I want. There's some info in the Tao of Mac article above. I'll get there.
I'll be processing the photos for this post on the PC, because I don't have Photoshop or the GIMP over here on the Mac yet, and iPhoto looks great for organizing and general photo work, but I don't see ways to do the things I like to do to my photos before posting them. . . .
Meanwhile, back in the PC world. . . .
Some programs run on PC only. That includes the software that manages the publishing inventory and royalties. (The Mac can run PC programs, but after the troubles I want to keep the Mac isolated from PC-land, if possible.) This week, that program lost its inventory counts, which means . . . well, more troubleshooting. I think I've almost got the fix, although I've needed to dig back into the records and find end-of-2007 inventory and valuation numbers, including counts of books that were at consignment houses. I think I've got the data. Now I need to enter it and see if the reports look right.
I'm still working on getting Ethnic Knitting Exploration on press (supposed to have been released in October 2008). There's no way, at this point, that it will be out before early 2009, because once it's on press there's a four-week production turnaround (for North American printers, and that's who we use). And it's not quite on press yet, although it keeps getting closer. It was supposed to go on press in early August. I was on the phone with tech support.
2008 has not been my favorite year in several regards, although it had several high points (family and travel) as well as lots of annoyances (many of them electronic).
1. We're getting ready to make the projects from Donna Druchunas' Ethnic Knitting Discovery (the first book in the EK series) available as downloadable PDFs. These won't contain all of the information in the book, but they will have the worksheets and sample patterns. They'll be a good standalone introduction to the methods of the projects, and handy printable worksheet versions. They need to be re-edited for this new format, and I'm re-doing the layout to make economical use of standard letter-sized paper. We'll have them as sets (by country) and singles. The Netherlands will be up first, with Denmark not far behind. I'm still working on Norway and The Andes.
2. I'm starting to work with a new accountant who has ideas about rearranging the way we track our financial information. In the long run, this is excellent (which is why I'm doing it). In the short run. . . . I try to think about only one piece of it at a time, so my brain doesn't threaten to explode.
3. The major project I'm working on that involves large quantities of wool and learning more about the world of rare-breed sheep again continues apace. I can talk about it more later. Quite a bit later.
Oh. The freelance work.
4. I've been doing or negotiating
a whole lot of freelance work, which keeps this boat afloat.
Fortunately, it's been interesting stuff to work on lately.
And finally. . . .
It's a rough life for a red dog in winter.
She stole the blanket from me. I've got it back now.