Monday, January 30, 2012

Problem solving.

Everyone seemed to think video of themselves knitting was a clever idea, for identifying problems. I thought I'd outline the two secrets to coming up with this kind of stuff.

First, look at it a different way. I learned this one doing bookkeeping. Won't add up? Add from bottom to top. Or left to right. Turn the page sideways. Something. Or, have someone stand in front of you with a video camera and record you, knitting.

Second, for some problems, it works better to make a list of exactly what you need. What's the priority here? About ten Thanksgivings ago, I was trying to figure out the Gravy Problem. You know, the gravy boat isn't big enough, and it always gets cold. I determined I needed something 1. larger, and 2. with a lid. Eureka. Since then we've served gravy in the tea pot. Works beautifully.


In other news, we were finishing up the Goob's winter nine-week period, scanning things and uploading them to the school. Since it was RIGHT THERE in the scanner, I got this for all of you:

Good times.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A knitting exercise.

I've been having increasing problems with my hands... and the big problem is problems with my LEFT hand. Which is Really Bad, because that's supposed to be my 'good' hand. It was especially painful after knitting. I couldn't quite figure out what in hell was going on. What to do?

I had the hub take video of me while I was knitting.

Pretend there's a video of me knitting here. I'd love to post it, but Blogger AND Flickr are both refusing to accept it. Buggering fucks.

Here. Have a photo instead. Me knitting:
It looks pretty good. Nothing's twisted around horribly, doing unnatural motion, or anything like that. Fingers are in natural, half-curved positions. However.

Pay close attention to my left hand and wrist. See how it's sort of twisted outward? For no apparent reason (it doesn't help my grip, motion, yarn management, anything), it's just bent. Backward. Wrist bent backward. Yeah, THAT sounds like a problem.

Imagine your ligaments and tendons are rubber bands. Some of them stretch from your elbow down to your fingers. Many more run from your upper arm down through your wrist. Any bending of your wrist (especially backward) stretches those tissues. See?
Not good. It's squishing your radial and ulnar nerves. Gee, that might MAKE IT HURT.

My new assignment: Quit twisting my wrist out while I'm knitting.

Now it's your turn. Get someone to video you, while you're knitting. Take a good, unbiased look at it. Are you twisting around, or bending at bad angles? Fix it. Your hands will thank you.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mom is another word for sucker.

This is "Purple", the unicorn Pillow Pet. At Christmas, my kid informed me that Purple needed a mini Pillow Pet of her own. With everything going on, I didn't order it right away, but look at that. Like an idiot, I got my kid's Pillow Pet its own Pillow Pet. The Goob's calling it "Baby Purple". I'm calling it "Purpette".

Call me an idiot.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What I've been doing.

Really, it comes down to this:
Mario Kart 7. For the Wii.

I got it as a family present at Christmas, figuring we would all enjoy playing it. I was so, so right. These days we're playing a couple-five rounds before bed nearly every night (because the best way to get a six year old to sleep is wind them up with flashing lights and loud noises). It is a great family thing. All three of us line up on the couch together and race. We've even made a new rule - what gets said on the couch, stays on the couch. The Husbeast and I are known to cuss a blue streak. The Goober thinks we're a riot, but is surprisingly good with her own language. "Darn it!" is about the worst I've heard.

When I'm not frying my nervous system swerving around Koopas and fucking blue shells (FUCKERS), I've been at this:
Knitting the Half a Washcloth shawl (which I still need to turn into a .pdf and upload to the free pattern database on Ravelery) and reading. I'm reading a LOT. Now that my meds have been shifted, I can actually concentrate again, most of the time.

I've also been having a few technical difficulties with my latest obsession.
See the rainbow 'flash' on my nails? That's an effect known as "linear holographic" among nail polish geeks. (Yes, they are out there. Thanks to the internet, I've found some of them.) The linear holo is from a pigment that was originally developed for automobile paint, called spectraflair. These polishes are relatively hard to find, as these things go. Long story shorter, I was logged onto a Brazilian web site earlier tonight, trying to buy a couple bottles of it. Those people who say Spanish and Portuguese are similar? THEY LIE. I'm not sure whether I bought some or not; I'm waiting to see what goes through on the credit card at the start of business tomorrow. As for what it cost? Um, I don't know because it was in Rials instead of US dollars.

Explaining this to the Husbeast was, um, interesting. (His opening statement: "You're fired.") He's being remarkably patient about it, all things considered. But, really? I can't help but think: Strange international shipments with exchange rates I don't know, in languages I don't speak... feels like things are getting back to what we call normal around here.

Hee hee hee.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blacking out.

(Image from here.)

January 18 is designated as an internet-wide day of protest. Websites everywhere, including biggies such as Wikipedia and Reddit are joining in. I'm a small fish, but I'm definitely supportive.

The issue - in case you hadn't heard - are two bills being debated in congress right now. The "Stop On-line Piracy Act" (SOPA) is in the House. The "Protect IP Act" (PIPA) is in the Senate. Both are being pushed by the recording industry, Hollywood, and other big-dollar lobbyists. The laws are too vague, too powerful, and have no policies spelled out for implementation. It gives content owners (lobbyists, essentially) the ability to BLACK OUT ENTIRE WEB SITES, without any appeal, any procedure, nothing. Just click and it's gone.

For instance: Say you're YouTube. Someone posts a recording they made of a Loony Toons cartoon. Instead of pulling or blocking the single cartoon recording (which is how it's handled now, fairly, IMHO), these laws would make it possible to completely black out the entire web site.

Technically, Ravelry could be shut down for copyright violation if someone posted a video of content they didn't own. Whole web site, poof. Because one twit on a message board violated copyright law.

Because there's nothing laid out in terms of logistics, requirements for a take-down, these bills could be used to black out or shut down anything the lobbyists don't like the looks of.

Censorship, in a word.

I've nothing whatsoever against copyright protecting peoples intellectual property. But shutting down whole sites based on the behavior of a single user who isn't even on staff? That's just insane.

You can read an excellent summary of the laws, HERE.

Don't like it? Good. Neither do I. The house has sort of backed down on SOPA, saying they would shelve it indefinitely. However, that still allows them to revive it at any time. And PIPA is still up for a vote in the Senate. You can track down your representatives, see where they stand on these bills, and e-mail their sorry asses. Here's a great web site for keeping track of congress.

Overseas? E-mail anyway. These bills would allow blacking-out of overseas sites, too, and certainly sites whose servers are in this country, that you use, to be shut down. Start with the guy in the senate who is sponsoring PIPA, Patrick Leahy.

The really alarming thing about this whole thing is reading the comments of the jerks sponsoring these bills, and realizing they're clueless about internet infrastructure and how the whole thing works. Really, really alarming.

Like most of the other political issues I blog about, I see this as a civil rights issue. It doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, atheist or religious. You should have the right to say what you want, when you want, without Big Brother blocking your web site. So happy knitting, and I'll see you on the 19th.

ETA: Just found THIS WEBSITE, which is what's going on, all in one handy place. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

I'm normal.

I don't know why I find it so hysterically funny when I get a clean bill of health from a shrink, but I do.

With the new med switch-up, my pain doc wanted to be sure she wasn't masking symptoms of other problems, and sent me off to the shrink they've got attached to the chronic pain clinic. (Depression and chronic pain can look a lot alike.) That was this morning. Now my pain doc will be reassured and I'll build up a rep for being cooperative, and it's all good.

As I told the shrink, I didn't really WANT to do the appointment, but there's no good way to frame the "I don't need a shrink!" argument and sound sane. So, fine, Hi.

Besides, it was the responsible thing for my pain doc to do, and I should always support the responsible stuff, not just when it's convenient. Right?

Bah. Pain in the butt.



I seem to have dyed the ugliest yarn in the history of the world. No, really. I've got this earth-tones thing going on in my living room, and I wanted some variegated yarn to knit this afghan with. And I wanted practice dyeing darker colors.

I wound up with fug.
It should look better knit up, but how could it look worse? (Don't answer that.)

Of course who knows when I'll get to it with the ten thousand other things I've got on the needles. At least it's starting to sound like me again, huh? Before you know it, I'll be setting myself ridiculous, arbitrary deadlines for no good reason.

Monday, January 09, 2012

A dilemma. Or three.


My ability to concentrate is coming back. Which does very good things for the knitting. I've spent the weekend zoned out with a migraine, knitting another Half-A-Washcloth shawl.
...that's a ruler in there for scale. It's getting big. Many, many, glorious rows of garter stitch, perfect for this sort of thing. I started with 880 yards of yarn, and I doubt it's half gone yet, so this thing's gonna be even bigger than the last one, and it's about four feet long across the top.

Three months ago, I'd have stared at the walls or, at most, played Bejeweled.

When I don't have a migraine, I'm still slowly knitting on the PT Project.
I'm up to round 45 and slowly plugging away. I've discovered that if I wear my distance glasses AND my cheaters at the same time, I can focus on the TV, the knitting, and in the space where the two sets of lenses overlap, my pattern. Of course, then my nose gets sore. Of course.

Mind you, I haven't forgotten about that poor, poking-along KAL I'm supposed to be writing up, and I'm hoping to get my hand working well enough to get back to it before someone sneaks over here late one night and bonks me on the head with a #50. Which I richly deserve.

So, needless to say, I've got enough to do, especially since I'm still trying to get my hand working again after a year and a half of staring at walls.

But I've got this.
That's the yarn to knit a Watson Scarf from the newest Sherlock Holmes movie. (If you haven't seen it, the scarf actually has a role in the movie; Mary knit it for Watson, and at one point someone tries to take it from him and he punches them in the face. At that point, I knew I needed one.) I'd like to have it to wear this winter. And it'd be nice to upload it to the free pattern database sometime before the movie comes out on DVD.

The Husbeast got me a set of Signature needles for Christmas. He accidentally ordered the wrong ones and they had to be exchanged. (He still gets mad props because he ordered them without so much as batting an eye at the cost.) The new ones got here today. Which means I SHOULD REALLY CAST ON A PAIR OF SOCKS RIGHT THIS INSTANT NOW NOW NOW. (May I add, the folks at Signature were super cool about the exchange and it was done as quickly as the Post Office could make it happen. Good customer service there. I say this because I bitch enough about the bad, so I feel obligated to mention the good.)

Except there's all this other stuff.

Weather being what it is, I'll probably wind up zoned and knitting on the shawl again. But... damn!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A spot of PT.

Due to spending the last year and a half asleep, my hand is screwy again. Still. Whatever. So I thought I'd start the year with some PT. (I also need to make an appointment for formal hand PT. Bah.)
No, really. It only looks like knitting. It's PT. I swear.

It's on quad-zero needles, with tatting thread. I think I was on round twenty, in that picture. See, lace is the way to do this, because there's no weight to lift. It's all about finger strength and dexterity. And without any weight, it actually makes my arm hurt less. Though it does make my fingers sore.


In other news? The Goob is perfecting passive resistance.
This is me, making the Goob eat an apple. The Goob informs me the M on my shirt stands for 'mean', not 'Mom'.

I'm mean. Rawr. EAT YOUR APPLE!