Sunday, June 05, 2016

Faffing & Futzing

It's very warm here today! Everything is starting to dry out again and we're back to watering the garden. The plants already think it's July! Me too.It's very warm here today! Everything is starting to dry out again and we're back to watering the garden. The plants already think it's July! Me too.
So instead of accomplishing anything more useful (like repairing the curtain and the bug nets for the van) I've just been faffing around. Spinning:
This is only about 1/3 of the yarn spun up so far - nearly 900 yards of 2/ply fingering (@1700 ypp). It's so pleasant to spin that I just can't stop! And no, of course it isn't going to remain white.
OK. Technology Alert! Those without an iPad or iPhone might want to move along.
In an ongoing effort to avoid printing my knitting patterns out I finally broke down and purchased a new app: GoodReader. Not to be confused with the similarly-named Goodreads (which I use to keep track of the books I read), this one is a substitute for iBooks, the PDF reader app that comes with the iPad. Unlike iBooks you have many more options available in GoodReader including multiple folders to keep everything organised, coloured stars for your favourite files and folders, renaming files, importing images and text documents and other file formats and more. But the best thing of all is markup! Lines, arrows, boxes, highlighters, sticky notes, text, and drawing/handwriting all over the pages! It's glorious. Now I can highlight my size, adjust the pattern to fit, make notes on the pages as I go and bookmark the page I'm working on. Even more fabulous, I can have moveable lines in any colour to mark my place in a chart. Unlike magnets or stickies the lines can't be moved accidentally or fall off. I can also enlarge the chart to fill my screen or scroll around it if I make it even larger. And all of the markups are editable, moveable and deletable (is that a word?). 
The only thing missing is one or more counters but I don't like them on the iPad anyway. Otherwise I could get a separate app because there are many out there. But I don't want to leave the iPad on while I'm knitting and I can't be bothered to turn it on every time I need to click it. In a pinch I could always use hash marks on the pattern page. My usual method is just to count my increases, decreases, rows or whatever by looking at my knitting. Unless the yarn is particularly wild and fuzzy (or it's particularly dark in the room!) I can read my stitches. Gotta have some skills after 60 years of knitting. Erm...
So I spent a couple of hours getting up close and personal with GoodReader. It's a bit of a learning curve since it's really quite powerful. It has a fairly comprehensive Help though it does tend to get a mite more technical than necessary for some people (including possibly me). Experimenting I found two ways to get my PDFs into the app: download them in Safari and tap the Open in... at the top of the page and choose GoodReader from the app list or use iTunes to move files over from my computer when syncing. GoodReader has a rudimentary browser but it doesn't work well enough to get past my Ravelry login unless you have the exact URL of the PDF. Too fiddly to be useful. Screen captures or photos are easy to import internally though, as are other files if you have iCloud Drive, which I don't. Final conclusion? Me likey! I may never use iBooks again. So there, Apple, who somehow think it's just fine to not update their app since 2013. 
Sadly however there's still an iPad reading issue. I can't get my library ebooks with either iBooks or GoodReader. I need to either read them online in Safari (the interface is very nice!) or download them to Adobe Digital Editions (of which I am not so fond). There is an Overdrive library app but not all the library books are available for it yet. I'll wait. Just like I'm still waiting for a truly functional app to write these blog posts!
OK. Technology Alert Off!
My wee brains are toasting. It's nearly 30C outside and not a whole lot cooler in my studio! The wool is sticking to my sweaty fingers. Time to have a cool drink and make a salad for supper. I have plenty of greens and reds from the garden.


Melanie said...

Yes, what's with this HEAT?! It's only early June. Faffing and spinning and fingering your yarn sound like excellent ways of coping. (Have you ever had a margarita popsicle? Me neither.)
Your yarn looks so neat and soft. I'm impressed.
I'm glad you found some good tech there. It makes life so much easier.

Anonymous said...

Your yarn is amazing. So beautiful. I hope you are very proud of your skills and what you have created.
Vancouver Barbara

Sharon in Surrey said...

Yup, it's waaaay too early for this stuff!! I'm glad I don't have to commute daily in the heat, that's for sure. Even in my basement cave, it got so hot I turned the computer off yesterday. I DID manage to dry TWO loads of laundry outside on the rack between noon & 4:30 though!!!! That's including towels.
WOW Your yarn is lovely, what plans do you have for it???? No spinning going on here but plenty of summer sock knitting!!

Tobie said...

I also have kindle on my ipad and I read my library books on kindle--plus every once in a while I will purchase a book from Amazon and it's on my kindle as well.
I have pdfs/knitting patterns on both ibooks and kindle and that works out well but really I like my patterns in paper so I can mark them up. I once downloaded the free part of Goodreader but it was too steep of a learning curve for me so I deleted it.
Maybe some day!........

Louisa said...

Thanks for the kind comments about my yarn. As I say I'm obsessed with spinning it! And not to worry, you'll hear plenty about its purpose.

Tobie, it all depends on where you live! Different libraries support different apps and we don't have the same books in Canada to purchase from Amazon as they have in the US due to licensing restrictions. If I buy ebooks (rare) it's usually from Chapters/indigo where the app is Kobo. Everyone finds their own solutions I guess.

Heather said...

Ooooh, so pretty! You have inspired me!