Monday, April 14, 2014

The Best Organizational Tool Ever

Throughout all of my years at school and then into my worklife, I was terrible at having an organized way of keeping my notes in a place where I could access them when I needed them.

That Was Then

So now, someone at work introduces me to Microsoft's OneNote.


This is what I have been searching for all my life.

For those who have never used it it's available as part of the Microsoft Office Suite of softwares, and also free on Mac OS and IOS as an app (they two softwares have a slightly different interface in Windows vs. OS/iOS).

Think of this application as an easy-to-search three-subject notebook, that had unlimited subjects (not just three), and unlimited pages in those subjects.

And that you could easily create pages in these notebooks by copying and pasting, embedding links, taking screen prints, sending Outlook e-mail messages directly to the correct subject, or just typing in notes.

The next time you needed to access your list of birthdays, you could go directly to the page (if you could find it) or do a simple search on the word birthday to find the subject and page where you had stored it.  It can also store to-do lists and html tags, or dates of children's vaccinations or meeting notes...and on and on.

I love this new has FINALLY allowed me to store information that is relevant to me in a way that is easy to access when I need it.

Current Knitting and Crocheting

I've done some additional work on both the Henry Der sweater vest and also on the Crochet Basketweave blanket.

The blanket doesn't look different enough from the last photo, so I'll try to get some more work done on that project so I can show a proper progress picture, but here's where I am with the Henry Der sweater vest.

The back is almost complete and I've finished one side of the front (after I split for the head opening).

I'm honestly not sure this design idea is going to work well enough to actually wear this sweater...I don't know if you can notice it in the photo, but I did bias knitting on the sides of the sweater and it seems to be torquing in a way I'm not sure blocking will fix.

But I won't know until it's finished.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Openness To Inspiration

As much as I'd like to say how open I am to being inspired, I think my openness is a bit more limited than I'd like to believe.

Limited Openness

A quick scan of Pinterest is a perfect microcosm of how I can sometimes enthusiastically embrace an idea that I find fits my aesthetic views and how I can totally dismiss ideas outside my areas of interest.

Some call this throwing out the baby with the bath water.

I'm starting to believe that creative people are more open to seeing things in a way that they find inspiration.  While I might look at a crochet toilet paper cozy and dismiss the entire thing, a more creative person might see a fabric texture, or a color combination, or a kitsch factor that inspires them to take useful aspects and leave the parts they don't find appealing.

I'm going to try and see things differently.

Current Knitting

At least I am being very productive in my knitting.

I've finished the latest pair of Zauberball socks.

Readers thought these were rainbow socks, but they really aren't.  I love how bright the colorway is and I will enjoy wearing these socks.

I've also gotten past the arm-hole shaping on the Henry Der vest.

Until this vest is almost finished, it will be difficult to decide if this design idea is going to work very well and also difficult to get a decent photo that doesn't make this look like an Alien embryo.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Made In the U.S.A.

As a consumer, more and more, I'm looking to buy products and services that benefit my local community, my State community and/or my Federal community.

Best New Local Product

It's getting more and more difficult to find a wide variety of products manufactured in this country, never mind in my own State, and often, those products are either not exactly what I'm looking for or are more expensive than a foreign substitute.

I am thrilled to have found an amazing new product that's made right here in my own state of Pennsylvania.

Invisible Glass by Stoner, Inc. (great company name!) is by far the best glass cleaner I've ever used and it works phenomenally well on metal, plastic and ceramic as well.  With just one spray application and a swipe of a micro-fiber cloth, my cooking area was GLEAMING!

Thaddeus saw them using this at our local car wash, and he was kind of annoyed that they barely swiped at his windshield and windows, and yet they were sparkling clean.  He found the product in the car-cleaning products section of our grocery store, but Amazon sells it as an "Add-On" so that you can reach the amount of an order to get free shipping.

If you ever try this, you will never use Windex again.

Current Knitting

Only worked on the Zauberball sock this past weekend.

Almost finished with another pair of hand-knit socks.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Finn Again

It's amazing to me that it's only been about six weeks since we brought this lovely boy into our home.

Here Comes Honey Boy Boy

I've started calling him my Honey Boy...he's just so sweet.

In a mere six weeks, he wants to hang out with us all day, he sleeps with us and loves to jump in our laps while we're watching television.

I can't tell you how comforting it is to have a loving kitty back in our home.

A couple of things that make Finn different than our other cats:

  1. He drinks from the far end of his drinking bowl.  So no matter what position he's standing in relation to his bowl, he will only lap up water from the far side away from where he is.
  2. He's not as talkative as our last two cats, but when he meows, they can hear him in NJ.
  3. He's dreadfully allergic to flea bites, and even though he'll always be an indoor cat, and we've never had fleas that we know of in our house, we'll do one of the monthly treatments for fleas and ticks so he never gets bitten again (he was bitten while in the shelter and it took a long time for his skin to heal from the resulting sores).
  4. He looks cross-eyed from certain vantage points (although Thaddeus insists he's never looked cross-eyed to him).
For his drinking, we weren't sure if he'd like it, but we got him one of those water-fountain bowls.

This one is the Teardrop design from Pioneer Pet Products and the water gurgles up on the upper-right-hand side of the bowl and streams down to the upper-left.

The pump both keeps the water flowing, and also filters it.  Fortunately, he likes it.

Don't tell me you still need knitting content after all that!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Craft Ranking - Survey Results

Thank you to everyone that took the time to rank their preferred fiber-crafts.  It's no surprise that readers here preferred knitting over other fiber-crafts.  Here are the results in order of preference.

Survey Results

Total Survey Respondents:  40

Fiber Craft Average Rating Lowest Ranking Highest Ranking
Knitting 9.4 4 10
Crochet 4.4 0 10
Spinning 3.83 0 10
Quilting 3.8 0 10
Weaving 3.35 0 10
Dyeing 3.2 0 8
Fiber preparation 1.98 0 10
Rug Hooking 1.75 0 10
Machine Knitting 1.23 0 8
Tatting .93 0 5

Current Knitting

Latest Zauberball pair of socks coming along nicely

First one finished, and I'm moving along on the second one.  These bright crayon colors are fun to work with.

I've also finally got a photo of progress on the Henry Der Vest.

All crumpled up, it doesn't look like much, but I think I'm going to really like the final result.