Wednesday, February 27, 2008


For the Geek at heart, there is LOLCode.  Thanks Marilyn for telling us about it.

Here's a sample from



Coders will recognize the ubiquitous "Hello World" program that is the first program you write in any language just to see if it will run on your machine.  This one has an opening "HAI" and a closing "KTHXBYE".  The stuff in between wakes up the input/output device for the program and then says "HAI WORLD".


The LOLCode idea came from Adam Lindsay.  This is one of the FAQs:

Who is this for?

This is a love letter to very clever people who are slightly bored. I had no idea there were so many of us out there.

There have been several implementations of an interpreter for LOLCode ... must be lots of slightly bored and clever people out there!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stitches West 2008

Opening day, classes, and of course, the market... it was all good.  No pictures here. 

Opening day was about socks

Cat Bordhi, Lucy Neatby, and Sandi Rosner were the speakers.  If you follow this blog you know I am a Cat Bordhi fan.  She covered the sockitecture in her book New Pathways for Sock Knitters, introducing the various top down and toe up socks.  Lucy Neatby talked about her sock philosophy, using the Fiesta Sock as her model.  It's a cool idea - you knit a garter stitch band sideways around the top and then pick up and work down from that.  Lucy is a big believer in colorSandi Rosner is the author of some sock books I have but have never used.  She presented an entrelac sock she made out of faux fair isle patterned sock yarn.  It was kind of cool.  (Lunch after the talk was fine and people at my table were pleasant.)  Cost = $75.  Worth it?  Probably yes for sock knitters like me.

At the opening day a sock contest was announced.  It runs through Jan. 1, 2009, and results will be announced next year at Stitches West 2009.


Sleeves from the top down - Lorna Miser (Thursday afternoon)

She talked about various arm hole shaping (dropped shoulder, modified drop shoulder, and set in sleeves), and how to put sleeves in them.  She spent most of the time on set in sleeves, which is what I wanted.  There was math, a little, and knitting, a little.  It was only a 3 hour class, but good for sleeve-phobes like me.

Vintage Socks - Nancy Bush (Friday all day)

Nancy Bush is the original Sock Goddess.  I learned to knit socks from Folk Socks, and I have all of her sock books.  I love Nancy Bush.  This was the first class I have taken from her and it was good.  Poor Nancy had a terrible cold and kept leaving the room to blow, cough, and wash hands.  In spite of the cold she taught a good class based on her Knitting Vintage Socks book, which was based on the old Weldon's Practical Needlework publications.  We got to knit a little sample sock with new-to-me cast on, heel and toe.  It was interesting to travel back in time and knit socks as they were knit in the past.  For example, most of their decreases were k2tog - no mirroring ssk, just all k2tog - which works, but isn't as balanced as we are used to.  They went for function over form. 

Magical Moebius - Cat Bordhi (Saturday...)

Cat, another one of my knitting goddesses, taught us how to cast on for a moebius ring, and then led us through one of two patterns she handed out in class - a little bowl (to be felted later), or a cowl scarf thing.  She spent some time talking about the moebius ring, it's properties, design possibilities, and the magic of moebius.  I have done a couple of moebius things from Cat's books, so I fiddled with a self-designed scarf that required diagonal ribs to slant in different directions on each half of the scarf... so that they would appear to slant all in the same direction.  If I finish it, I'll post pictures.

This was my last class.  Unfortunately I left at lunch break because bad weather was predicted and I didn't want to drive in wind and rain in the dark.

Cost = $315 for 15 class hours.  $360 for lodging. Worth it?  Yes, but I can't do it too often!

The Market

I went to the market preview on Thursday night, but didn't go again.  The market is huge, huge I tell you.  It fills two gigantic convention floor sized areas.  It took me an hour and a half to walk through it and I'm sure I didn't walk by every single vendor.  There was a line half a block long to buy Blue Moon yarn, and I'm told they sell out quickly.  I didn't stop in too many booths, but I did stop.  I bought a book (Best of Interweave Knits), a pattern (Fiesta Socks by Lucy Neatby), and a couple of Ravelry pins.  Ravelry was there meeting and greeting.  What warriors they are!  I found a new needle maker and I like their needles a lot - Signature Needle Arts.  As soon as they make circular needles, or DPNs in size 0 I'll buy some!

Cost = not so much.

The 4-hour drive home wasn't so bad in the daylight and I managed to stay awake the entire time ($3.45 / US Gallon of gas!!!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Knitting Here and There

Well, it's that time of year - Stitches West 2008 starts tomorrow.  If you are there and you see a large 60-something blonde with a Diane nametag, please say hi.  I'll be taking classes from Nancy Bush (Vintage Socks), Cat Bordhi (Magical Moebius), and Lorna Miser (Top Down Sleeves).  Whoopee!

On a more interesting note, KnitML is in its first release.  Thanks Jonathan!  It's an open source project so anybody can download the source and contribute.  Oh, it's so tempting!  For non-software types, you can download and play with the application to create your own patterns in KnitML format.

KnitML 0.1 Released!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008, 08:49 AM

Ladies and gentleman, we have a release!  I have put it up on SourceForge. Please download it and let me know what you think. Choose your download format (tar.gz or .zip) and unpack it to the directory of your choice.  [more...]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wendy's Kitty Pi (aka Another Cat Bed)

This cat bed was finished a couple of weeks ago.  It's super quick and super easy, and the payoff in my cats' pleasure is high.  All three cats like this one - it doesn't hurt that it has a view of the patio and there is a warming pad between the chair cushion and the cat bed :-)  They like the raised sides.

The felted cat bed is by Wendy Johnson, who is a cat lover (to put it mildly), knitter and designer.  I used Cascade 220 and carried two strands of yarn together to get bulky weight on US10.5 (? I think) needles.  The felting was pretty quick.

An empty cat bed is not very exciting, so I woke up Persimmon and asked her to pose in the bed.  First she must bathe, then she sat for a picture (half asleep and not enthusiastic).  Finally she went back to sleep.

20080219 Cat Bed Empty  20080219 Cat Bed Bath  20080219 Cat Bed with Persy  20080219 Cat Bed Recliner

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sock Wars III

This will be my first Sock War.  I plan to be the last warrior standing, even though I'm a slow knitter.  Here's a link to the Yahoo group for Sock Wars - want to challenge?



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The yarn sponsor this time is TOFUtsies from SWTC.  This Sock Wars III web site explains everything.