Friday, April 16, 2010

Serious Nerd Mode, Booties, and the Celtic Braid socks

Bleh! I am so down! But I know it comes from going full-tilt at learning to code webapps for iPhones and the iPad. For a Windows girl, making the trasition is hard, but ultimately rewarding. I watched myself tackle it this time. First I tried coding a version of the corporate website in Dashcode, Apple's web development tool. It's awesome for designing the screen and for almost nothing else. I tried designing the screen in Dashcode, importing it into Visual Studio and coding it there.  Eventually, I might could have made it work, but it certainly didn't want to at first. I got on the internet, looking for help. Wow! If I Google something about .NET code problems, I get pages of answers. If I search for an Apple-related code problem, I get ads for DVD tutorials. I suppose the developer base just isn't out there. Finally, I ran across a book by a developer who 1) knows what he's doing and 2) has a good sense of humor about it. As of this afternoon, after a hard week of work, I have a viable iPhone/iPad website developed on the Mac... sort of. It was developed on the Mac, but the .Net code builds the page fragments which are volatile. It's probably a strange way to work, but it does work and works very well.  I, however, am not working all that well. I'm tired, drained, depressed, cranky and the whole bit. I think the term is "burned out."

When I'm going full-tilt like this, I don't balance anything well.  I don't take care of myself, the family, the house, nothing.  Everything tends to go to rack and ruin. I should probably work on that, although George is wonderful at picking up the slack. The up side is that I do learn and learn quickly so I have a viable skill pretty much at my fingertips. No, I don't learn quickly. I probably take as long as anybody else - I just do it all at once and get it over with!

But whether all this work will pay off is another matter. Is what I'm doing all that vital to the company? I don't know. Sometimes I think so. Sometimes not.  I guess we'll see.

Christine Bourquin's Stay-On Booties
I did manage to get a pair of booties knitted for some dear friends who are expecting their first. I adore this pattern. It was sent to Threads magazine in the late 80's by Christine Bourquin, 95-years-old at the time. She didn't want her pattern to die with her, so she freely shared it with the Threads community. I've made booties from it for years, but have always been afraid I'd lose the pattern.  I have two photocopies and the original cut from the magazine, but... I thought that I'd post it on Ravelry, just to be safe.  When I entered the project I thought, what the heck, I'd search for the pattern in their database.  Only a thousand other folks have made this pattern! Duh!  I guess I don't need to be afraid of losing it! I think Christine Bourquin is living on! I have made a few changes in the pattern.  I do a provisional cast-on and then pick up the provisional stitches when I'm picking up around the sole to knit in the round. I still knit these booties on 5 double-point needles.  One of these days, I'm going to try knitting them Magic Loop.  Today wasn't the day.

I'm not totally in love with the yarn as it snags too easily, but it is soft and pretty for little footies. In looking for more information about the booties, I ran across a blog where the knitter chose to make i-cord ties instead of the crocheted ties suggested in the pattern.  Much better!  Also, since the horizontal ribs on the foot hold the bootie on, the cuffs above the ties can be anything. I've seen them done in ribbing, but I didn't like it much. I think I'll try doing them in lace.  It should be pretty. Oooooo, or maybe cables and braid for Celtic babies! (Or maybe I'll just leave the pattern alone.)

Celtic Braid Socks
I'm making some progress on the Celtic Braid socks, but they're still boring.  The foot section is pretty much ribbing on the instep and plain on the sole. The fun doesn't start until after the heel.  Of course, the pattern was originally written cuff-down.  I'm knitting them toe-up so I'm having to re-engineer them a bit. I have great faith in them, though. I'll choose one of the arch expansions in Cat Bordhi's book, do the heel and then get to start the braid on the legs.

Maybe I'll spend some time this weekend warping the 4-harness loom. I'd like to get finished with it, so I can start the weaving. Handwoven has great articles on double-weave this month.  Oh no!  More projects!!

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