The computer is still not up to 100%, but most of the laundry list is cleared up. Did you know that Photoshop Elements 5.0 doesn’t fully cooperate with Windows Vista Home Premium? Well, just don’t try to use the organizer side of the thing and so far so good. At least I can use the editing part, which is what I want 90% of the time. Also, I seem to have lost pretty much every e-mail anyone has sent me in the last….forever. Yep. For now, at least, I can’t recover my backup file. It sucks, but Outlook 2003 locks up every time I ask it to open the damned thing. I’m also going to have to figure out how to synch my Sidekick contacts back to Outlook without accidentally losing that whole mess. But anyway, if you sent me an e-mail recently and haven’t heard back yet, best send it to me again, please! Barf. Enough of that boring stuff! The good news is that I have saved up all kinds of fun goodies to share with you, and here we go!
In the order that they came off the camera:
A finished object! My first pair of self-striping socks from my own hand dyed yarn. It’s KnitPicks with Wilton food dyes, my own toe-up sock pattern. I am pleased.
Here’s Julie being shy and reluctant when we first got to the bowling alley the other night. You should have seen her at the end – she was running down to the lane grabbing the ball – the pink one – the moment it was her turn.
Of course, one pair of socks finished, another pair of socks had to start. I cast on for a little pair for Julie out of the small skeins I dyed at class last week. I’m glad I’m doing toe-up, because it’s going to be barely enough and the cuffs are either going to be very short or I am going to have to add some other yarn in at the top. Julie did a good job letting me try it on her foot, and of course Sophie wanted to be involved.
Julie was having a little party with her friends at home the other day. I have a fun little video of it to share with you, but I am so sick of looking at the computer it’s going to have to wait for another night. I’ve been thinking of designating a certain day of the week home video day. I’m thinking maybe Sunday nights so those of you who go to bed early can get up on Monday morning and have a nice start to your work week. That’s a homemade magic want Julie’s holding. She made the star in school and the teachers had her put it on as a necklace, but the moment she got home she had us snip it off and asked me to help her make a wand for it to go on. More about that when I introduce the video.
Sophie was stuffing her face with strawberries the other day, and it was just so cute. I take way too many highchair photos, I know. But look at the happy face and the chipmunk cheeks!
Here’s a picture of the computer. Look! A new mouse! It’s a Microsoft wireless model, and so far I’m loving it. It works really well, and I don’t have that giant wire to drag around when I move the computer. Also, one of the first things I did when I got the thing up and running again was change the desktop wallpaper. Toshiba has some butt-ugly default wallpaper.
I got a schweet little package in the mail today from Suzanne in Pennsylvania. Suzanne, I would link to you if I had your URL, but my stupidity ate all my e-mail history. Please comment with it and I will edit the post to reflect your lovely self. I’ll have you know, it’s not reflected in tonight’s pictures, but I’ve already knit two of your yarns into the blankie, and may add the glittery one next, as soon as I look up whether it’s superwash or not. The cotton ones are also beautiful, and I’ve added them to that stash. Thanks.
And speaking of the blankie, here are your long-awaited pictures! I am so sorry it’s been so long. I’m counting 35 new squares in the two weeks since I posted a picture. That’s 2.5 squares a day, and not too shabby considering that I have a busy life. I’m still within a reasonable schedule. I’m just another row or so away from having a square blankie, which will make me 2/3 done. Yay for milestones! Click on the picture for the full-res version.
Hey look! See the turquoise and blue square right between the two big ones? That’s yarn that my dyeing teacher gave me!
Hey look! See the blue, burgundy and brown square second from the right in this picture? That’s from those socks I just showed you.
Oh, and did I mention that I got my Sidekick 3 back in the mail? I am so happy! I missed my little buddy. I am so addicted to constant e-mail connection. It’s sad, really. But I just realized that some of the recent e-mails are on there, and therefore I can respond to a few comments.
Emily, yes, I did try all kinds of software for the DVD player before resorting to wiping the hard drive. It was an issue with the DVD driver, and even after uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers it was still doing this thing. The Toshiba tech thought it had something to do with the version of Quicktime I had installed, and so I’m going to be very leery about installing Quicktime again any time soon. DVDs are working just fine right now. I’ve had Sesame Street A Musical Celebration! in there about 20 times over the last two days, checking to make sure that it still works after every new install, and I’ve been setting restore points out the wazoo in the hopes that if something I do does screw it up I’ll be able to fix it this time. I’m also considering buying some imaging software for whole-system backups just to avoid these headaches again.
About those cookies – where did I get the idea for the cayenne? Well, cayenne and chocolate have always gone really well together since the ancient South Americans started using chocolate. Putting it in the cookies was not a very big leap. It goes really well in brownies, too. As for how much, that’s up to you and your taste buds. If you like spicy, put in a bunch. If you don’t like spicy, put in a tiny pinch. Just mix it in with the flour mixture before it goes into the dough mix. Use a wire whisk so it gets spread throughout. I just shake a little sprinkle in – maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon – and it ends up making just a nice little afterburn of pleasure.
Oh, and Ruth – it’s only the new Nestle DARK chocolate chips that are soy-free. Always check the ingredients list carefully, and save the package to show to your friend as well because sometimes allergen ingredients hide under confusing names. Also, I bet they’re all made in the same facility, so if your friend is highly allergic to soy, she may still decline eating them. Enjoy Life brand of foods makes allergen-free chocolate chips, which I’m pretty sure are made in a separate facility because the whole company is aimed at allergic customers. I’ve tried them, and they are good too.
Oh, and about the yarn dyeing – I’m sorry, but the Rainbow barf yarn is a one-of-a kind skein. I’ll never make that one up again! 40 colors – I’d have to charge $50 if I were going to make another skein of that!
Someone asked about Yarnover and how to get notice of the event and to sign up. It’s open to the public, but you have to join the guild to sign up for classes. I’m a member of the guild, but I rarely make it to meetings any more because of my schedule with the kids and with teaching. I hate missing bed time. If you join the guild and pay dues by the end of a calendar year, you will get the Yarnover signup information and priority access to classes for the following calendar year (like if you paid your 2007 dues by 12/31/06, you were eligible for this year’s Yarnover early signups). If you’re not a member, you still have to pay membership dues before you can sign up for classes, I think. There is no fee to simply attend the marketplace, though. All the information is available on the guild website.
Meg asked why I don’t weave in ends as I go on the blankie. I personally don’t care for the technique where you weave the ends back and forth as you knit the next little bit on – I’ve tried it in this and several other projects, and it never looks as neat and lovely to me as I’d like. Also, I just don’t think it’s as secure as the method that I use (described ad nauseum in the tutorial for which you can find a link over there on the right somewhere). I do weave in ends every couple few weeks or so – when they start driving me crazy, or when I’m planning to take it somewhere. I don’t do it square-by-square because I don’t want to have to move off the couch to grab a needle and scissors, and I don’t trust myself to keep needles or scissors with the blankie stuff because the kids might get ahold of them.
Alright, it’s way past time for me to Back. Away. From. The. Computer.