The vest proceeds, as does converting some book-layout files

Progress on the vest

Again, I'm starting with the fiber. Fiber is keeping my navigational aids working while I sail through the Sargasso Sea of computer preoccupations. This photo was taken shortly before I began the shaping for the armholes.


The vest is bigger than it looks. Oh, a modification: I get bored with seaming, and I like everything to
match up perfectly without more counting than is absolutely necessary,
so I'm working the body all in one piece. I'm knitting back and forth on a circular needle. I shifted from bamboo (which I owned) to Addi Turbo (had to go buy another one) in order to make quicker progress. The vest is folded over on itself to fit on the drawing board that I used for a background.

And it occurred to me, as I caught sight of some Coopworth samples hanging on the doorknob in the bathroom, that the singles Coopworth closely resembles the Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride I'm knitting with. (Coopworth isn't a rare breed. I play with it anyway.)


No reason for that. Just an amusement. And an excuse to take a snapshot of some more yarn. Yarn is good. I think the browns are lovely—the Coopworth and the Brown Sheep version, too.

Converting book-layout files

If you don't keep your book files current in your software and on your computer, you can lose the work: lose access to fonts, misplace images, replace a computer and then discover that the files for an old title were on it. Converting files isn't something I have time to do unless I have a compelling reason. I have several right now, including the imminent shift to a different platform (PC to Mac). The completed books will stay on the PC platform, at least until I can afford to replace all the PC-specific fonts with their Mac equivalents (which may not happen), so I need to know that I have complete, updated files for all of them.

Converting is not a no-brainer. For example, here's a page from Knitting in the Old Way after conversion:


I've added the red circles. Those represent bits of type that were perfectly fine in the original files and that disappeared when I just OPENED the file in a later version of the software. I have to go locate and fix every one of them. (One of the features in later versions of InDesign makes it easier to locate these instances, which are called "overset type," because the words "overset" the frame that holds them. I don't have that feature yet.)

When I'm done, the page looks like it should again:


That's better.

By the way, the blue lines are guides that I use to lay out the pages. They obviously don't show in the finished books. It was interesting to see how I put the older books together. I have learned some things since then and now build my books differently, although for a neophyte I did pretty well. As I did the conversions, I had to simply observe and keep going, because completely revamping the books was neither necessary nor appropriate.

I had to do this sort of checking-up and fixing on:

  • 176 pages of Ethnic Knitting Discovery: The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, and The Andes, by Donna Druchunas
  • 112 pages of Simple Socks, Plain and Fancy, by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts
  • 192 pages of Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters, by Donna Druchunas
  • 312 pages of Knitting in the Old Way: Designs and Techniques from Ethnic Sweaters, by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson

I'd already done Spinning in the Old Way, by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts, a few months ago.

Knitting in the Old Way needed the most adjusting, because it's the longest of the books and has the most complex layout. It was also (go figure) the first book on which I ever did production all by myself, start to finish.

I read this book as soon as it was released, when I was in the middle of that job:


It's Real World Adobe InDesign 2: Industrial-Strength Page-Layout Techniques, by Olav Martin Kvern and David Blatner. The release was delayed slightly, and I counted every day until it arrived on my doorstep (I pre-ordered). It contains much more information than I have mastered, of course, although it gave me an idea of what types of questions to ask and what types of solutions to look for.

It weighs 2 pounds 5 ounces (1.04kg) for its 650 pages. Comparing paperback to paperback, Knitting in the Old Way came in at 1 pound 11 ounces (765g) for its 312 pages. They're both a lot of book. And there's still a whole heap I don't know about the layout software, which is even more complex now, three versions later (that was InDesign 2, which has been followed by CS, CS2, CS3, and, a very short while ago, CS4).

As soon as the CS4 edition of the same book comes out, I'll be hunting it down (I see it's scheduled for early February 2009). I get every other upgrade of the software, enough to keep me current with the technological requirements of the people I work with, so I've been using CS2 for a couple of years and I'm due for CS4, which will also involve the cross-platform transfer to Mac. CS4 has a number of features intended to make working with long documents easier. I inhabit a world of long documents.

I also like, and buy, Sandee Cohen's Visual Quickstart guides to InDesign. They get out into the wild a little faster than the Real World tomes; the CS4 version is already available.

It's been a long day

I think I've worn out this day. And although I meant to save this post as a draft and publish it tomorrow, after I'd have time to do some revising, I seem to have hit the wrong button and published it already. So I'll hit the button again in order to get the full post out there, and call it a night.

All of this, of course, is just diversion from the scheduled jobs that are going on around here: interruptions on the way from point A to point B. In fact, I think the general flow of the river consists of interruptions.


4 thoughts on “The vest proceeds, as does converting some book-layout files”

  1. Wow. What a lot of editing work you’ve had to do. I hope in the long run this conversion pays off for you. So far it just sounds like a heck of a lot of work!

  2. It’s when the interruptions get interrupted by interruptions that you really need to worry.
    I love watching the progress on your vest. Can’t wait to see the finished project! (Oh, but, no pressure. Really.)

  3. Neophyte? Pretty well? Excuse me, but as the adoring owner of several books you’ve previously edited/written/secretly gotten out there, I have to say that I’m madly in love with the consistentcy of the graphs , ease of reading instructions even when the technique is complicated, and the general joy that what I start turns out looking like the picture I had at least in my mind!

    The above, to me, is a huge step forward from having patterns that look great, yet create knitting chaos/dog blankets/llama socks.

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