The Dorky Craft-Goddess Within

I’ve been working my way mechanically through my skein of sportweight grey yarn, making gloves for various yet-to-be-named folk.  However, instead of just moving randomly along to the next project in the beginners knitting book, I’m going to be taking a gift request and making a scarf (and a hat, actually, if I don’t pussyfoot around about it), for my Grandmother-in-law.

Being the sort of person that amasses patterns like a shelf collects dust, it was a good thing that I’d organized most of them– by type– earlier this year. Choosing between the various patterns that had caught my fancy was slightly limited by the types of yarn available to me on short notice, but it was still kind of a trial. It was a fun trial, at least.  I settled on an octagon motif pattern that had a matching hat, although I have the perfect yarn for a chain-style scarf I think I’ll make after that (More garter-stitch practice, yay!).

On a similarly geeky, but so late in coming I feel stupid, revelation track, I realized I could take the .pdf files (or create .pdf files from the other files I have) and load them on my Documents2 app on my iPod Touch and have the patterns I’m currently using or shopping for at my fingertips in a wee-small package.  I’d mostly been using that for notes and scanned books/comics and emergency writing, but now I’m all thrilled with this ‘new’ idea.  In case you’re new, I am rather deeply in love with that little gadget.  Far too in love, probably.  The things you can do for free, though, are outrageously fantastic.

Not at all free, is the new laptop that my husband got for his birthday/Christmas, but it was pretty cheap, especially when I split with my parents. That leaves his all-but-useless old one to me to play with.  The screen is shot, but I’m hoping to use it as a partial media center.  Yes, yes, my experiments in this with other ‘found’ items have been so far a failure, but… this isn’t stopping me from trying again.  Our still-new-to-us TV is just so shiny that I can’t not try again.  It’s a dream I’ve had for years (okay, year, it’s a dream I’ve had for year).  So, next week, along with putting up the Christmas Tree and trying to think of other ways to decorate, I’ll be playing mad sciencist (not real science, so not mad scientist) with that little piece of fun… and getting the corner of the living room set back where there is now an old CRT monitor on an end table dragged in to save what usefullness was left of the old laptop.

It’s a win all around, and the conclusions (if any) have been lost in a quick debate with my husband over dinner.  Solution: Mexican.  I am still thinking about starting a ‘trivial decisions’ blog– about the really trivial choices we make every day…

This Post Should Be A Vivid Silver

I really need to take some classes in design.

The thing is, I don’t know if I think that I (or anyone, I should use the ‘one’ pronoun in this) can ‘learn’ too make things aesthetically pleasing. Maybe that’s my problem.  I think there’s some ‘inspiration’ that people get, and when I don’t get it, then I feel like I’ve failed.

This (most recently) is spawning from the gallery project in my web design/javascript class.  The way I envisioned the project,  was along a minimalist CSS Zen Garden thing (without custom graphics) and I have the skills to do almost anything with the code, including fancier design elements, but I just don’t think of them.   I often don’t get the picture in my head with the idea of the fancy thing X.

I sound like I’m whining, there.  I’m not.  I’m proud of my skills, but I feel like I need to find some really good classes or books on design theory.  More examples and stuffl

This is all just this big, random theory of mine.  Maybe I just need a boss/muse telling me what it is I should be making and then I make the ‘dream’ real.  That sounds kind of like an abdication of responsibilit, but I like the making more than the attempt to have a unique design idea.  Alone, I might endlessly ‘play’ with ideas and second guess myself.

My point, and I don’t have one:  I’ve been so much the swan this week.  Lots of activity where no one can see and it won’t make a TON of difference that’s just for myself and to keep me going.   Result: I’ve got an excellently clean house and more gloves and more little code-bits that I might use again… or not.

What I HAVE Been Doing This Week

Maybe I haven’t been coding (constantly) this week, but I have been doing something.  I got back onto the yarncraft bandwagon and I’m all but done with my first completed knit project– a scarf.  I’m also starting to crank out gloves for gifting to people.

I’ve also been cleaning and to-do listing like a maniac.  The AutoFocus system had started to get stale, just pointing me to the daily grind, but while I was waiting for the car’s oil to be changed (Another task completed!) I went over the things I really need to get done before/around Christmas (one example: I have a box of stuff I was supposed to mail off, but keep putting off, bad me), and have a slick new action-list of items that will disappear once accomplished.  Next week that snaps into focus.

While I’m talking about things ‘to do’ I guess I’ll own up.  I am NOT doing NaNoWriMo this year.  I planned to, and had a small project on deck, but this is not the month to do it, this year.  I feel sort of bad about it, but I think I’ll just push myself in January and use the arbitrary solar cycle to insist that I reboot my creative energies and focus.  Between class, election stuff, and general life/travel issues, I just haven’t felt it.  Yeah, excuses, excuses– at least I recognize it.

Still, this week has had plenty of ‘did’ stuff, too.  I heard about a deal at Best Buy, and snagged my husband’s Birthday/Christmas present (A laptop to replace the one that the monitor went out on, and [according to him] the touchpad and keyboard aren’t far behind), and I got it all loaded up with the right vital programs.  It will be really nice to have the blocky end-table with the old 19″ CRT Monitor sitting on it out of the living room, and I might end up sticking some feet on the old laptop for airflow and using it with the TV to stream videos and stuff.  I’m looking forward to trying that again. If it works out as well as I hope, I’ll have to renew my DVD-ripping plans.

I have way too many ‘small’ projects that I anticipate doing.

Taking my class out of the classroom

Lately, I’ve been playing tinker-toys with code in my javascript class.  I realized I didn’t know quite as much as I thought I did about it, and am enjoying a deeper level of understanding from my own research inspired by the class.   I’ve always been kind of a sucker for coding and programs.  I’m not quite dexterous enough to be a mechanic, but getting under the hood of a function is something I can completely handle.

So far nothing I’ve ‘finished’ with is terribly impressive, but I have been enjoying the tinkering.

I’m very much reinventing the wheel every time with this stuff, but I like going from the ground up on all this.  It makes me feel like I’m learning it inside out.

I’ve also been working on the layout of my husband’s campaign site, to move it from the very basic and table-based template I threw up to a nicer CSS one.  I really just need to insert the content– the fact that I’m the only one that seems to care has slowed me down.  Not sure exactly where this week has gone, but it hasn’t gone into hardcore codefests.