Tuesday, February 13, 2007

So I've Been Busy

If you’ve been wondering where the heck I’ve been for the last few days, I’ve been otherwise occupied. Saturday was Spectrum day so we made felt. We started with a puff of our dyed merino wool and wrapped it in more wool to make a ball. This got dipped in hot soapy water and then gently rolled either on bubble wrap or between our hands, working harder as the ball felted more until we had felt beads of varying sizes. I decided to make oblong beads by wrapping the wool around a skewer, popping it off and then felting as for the round beads. I didn’t like the pointy ends so I chopped them off with my scissors and felted it some more. When my hands got tired of that motion I made a wool “sandwich” on my bubble wrap, covered it in a layer of veiling and rubbed it until it started to stick together. Then I rolled the whole package around a piece of pipe insulation (the grey foam stuff) and secured with rubber bands. This was easier to roll back and forth with my forearms and gave my hands a rest. I got a small square of thin felt from which I cut leaf shapes and further felted them by rubbing on my bubble wrap. The pieces I’ve made will be the components in a necklace that we’ll work on next month. Sorry I don’t have any photos yet. I did bring my camera but my hands were too soapy to touch it!

Sunday T-Man and I went for the usual long walk. It was sprinkling rain but that didn’t deter us. We looked at portable hard drives (T-Man’s idea!) and found one on sale for $70 off. That with a $15 card brought the price down to $120 including taxes which isn’t bad for 250 GB. It’s not made by any company we’ve heard of but it works great and includes the back-up software which is very easy to use. It took 5.5 hours to copy the contents of my C drive over but now I feel much safer.

Of course, getting anything new for the computer means re-evaluating and reorganizing everything. Yes, I’m compulsive that way. I’ve decided to phase out my Zip drive since I don’t use it and it’s much too small capacity and too slow. Getting rid of it means more room on my desk and 2 electrical plugs free because the power supply blocks an extra one. Anybody want over 40 Zip100 disks with or without plastic cases? You can have ’em for postage. Come to think of it, you can even have the Zip drive if you want. No driver disks but if you have WinXP it should run ok with Plug and Play and drivers are available on the Iomega website if you need ’em. They want US$80 for the drive and US$90 for a 10-pack of disks!

So of course now I’m going through and sorting all our photos and taking them off the Zip disks we used to transfer them between our computers. Big Job! I’m also backing up to CD a bunch of small program files that I’ve got. Some used to come on floppy disks but I don’t have a floppy drive any more and some are purchased or free downloads that I’ve collected. These include DB-Bead for tubular bead crochet, PCW for weaving design, Turnstyler and Guntram’s Tabletweaving Thingy for tablet weaving design, Braid Runner and Cybraid for kumihimo design and GraphPaper for every different kind of graph paper you can imagine and then some. Some of these programs are no longer available so I can’t include a link and poor old Braid Runner has to run in Win98 mode. Plus I’ve just discovered there are some pretty good free online graph paper generators like this one. Most of my design programs are highly specific and not much use if you aren’t interested in that particular craft.

In FO news, I completed all 8 of my Knitted Beaded Wire Necklaces for the Complex Weavers swap. It wasn’t that bad as long as I was careful not to overdo it. I did it in assembly-line style: I crocheted all the cords first, then threaded all the beads onto the wire with a bright distinguishing bead between the repeats (so I’d know where to stop) and lastly I knit the wire and completed each necklace. Now I have to finish my write-up to accompany them.

I’m almost to the toes on my MIL’s Birthday Socks. I haven’t had much time to knit but this part is smooth sailing. As long as I don’t trip over the stacks of disks, whether zippy or floppy or cd/dvd-ish, that I left all over the floor.

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