Entries to Win Afghan

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Ready to Start the Heel

I did manage to get a little more knitting done today. I'm ready to start the heel tomorrow!

knee socks

It looks like a really simple section, but I had to take several rows out twice. Once I started doing ribbing, I limited my choices of pattern things I could do. And I had a goofy number of stitches. And I learned that it's quite a feat to turn ribbing into cables, despite the fact that it looks like a natural progression.

knit cable

Tomorrow is my early work day, so I'm headed to bed.

I took the project to work, and the friend says they will fit fine. Also, I took it by the yarn shop because I was hoping to get some longer double-pointed needles in this size. No luck on that, but they were kind of impressed which made my ego feel good.

See It's Still Socks
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Monday, January 30, 2017

It's Still Socks

Technically, I guess I should say sock, since I'm still on the first one, and my friend does have two legs and feet.

fancy socks

Anyway, today I'll 'fess up to my two major mistakes. I'll call them learning experiences, but even so... One may be "fatal." We shall see.

First of all, I am creating these by looking at a couple of pictures and having knit a lot of socks in the past. My first big mistake was in thinking they were knit from sock yarn. The ones she showed me were almost certainly made with sport yarn which is a little heavier than sock yarn, but not as heavy as worsted weight (4-ply, the "normal" yarn you make all kinds of things from). This mistake only matters in that there are more stitches required and the designs will look more delicate/detailed. No big deal, just a little more work.

The second mistake may mean that I'll have to give this pair to someone else and make another. Since they are to be over the knee, I began with a plenty-wide top based on measuring my friend's leg. However, I decreased a bit too soon below the knee. I only have my own legs to try them on. I can get them on just fine, but the section with the white vertical ribs becomes more stretched out than I'd like. We'll have to see how they fit the person who wants them.

At any rate, I'm approaching the ankle so I'm doing a long section of ribbing to help them hold their shape. And I'm still having fun.

Tomorrow it's back to work, so the knitting time will be curtailed. And hopefully no manic knitting insomnia.

Sorry, no outside pictures. There's not a lot to see. Too little snow, gray skies, too cold to work on the trailer. I'll stick with brightly colored yarn.

See Manic Knitting
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Manic Knitting

Missed a blog post yesterday. Missed almost everything except one surprising mania yesterday. And I'll solve the riddle of what I'm working on now. These are over the knee socks that I'm making for a friend. She's paying for the yarn, and I get to play.

That's right. I have no pattern. I'm making it up as I go based on some similar ones for sale on Etsy. I said I'd make one pair just for the fun of it.

Apparently, my brain decided that what it wanted to do was knit and figure out designs. I knit for 20 straight hours. Yes, you read that right. I've done other things that long at a stretch when an obsession hit, but never knitting, so this was a new one on me. I continually surprise myself. Anyway, I knit from noon yesterday till 8:30 this morning when I was shaky and blurry and dropping stitches. So I gave up and went to bed.

Have been working on this a little less frenetically today, but what fun!

knitted sock

See Now What?
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Friday, January 27, 2017

Now What?


I'll leave you to ponder what project I've started now. I'm off to work.


See Windowpane Afghan
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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Windowpane Promotional Afghan Done!

I'm afraid I imposed on the winner of this afghan because she is a friend. I didn't get it done as quickly as I might have. On the other hand, It's either the first or second fastest I've ever finished a project of this size, so I get maybe half a brownie point.

I REALLY like it, but am not at all sorry to give it away. I just like making stuff.

windowpane afghan

Here is is in progress, nine months ago.

windowpane afghan

Want to see a closer view of the finished edge?

windowpane afghan

And for those who like to see the back of handmade things, here you go.

windowpane afghan

OK. I crocheted for five straight hours to get this done. It took an hour each time I went around the outside edge. Now I'm going to bed.

See Author Promotion
See Afghans
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Upside Down Season

Where is our snow? It's just nasty out. Is it like November or March? Neither one works for me- this is January.

I went for a short walk anyway and finally caught a neat raindrop picture. You can see the far landscape upside down and backwards in the droplet. Came back quite wet.

reflection in raindrop

It's snowing now. Wet, sloppy stuff, but maybe we'll get some decent winter playtime yet.

See After the Rain
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My Little Patty Pony

Hey, nobody said extra hours at work couldn't be fun.

pallet jack pulling gaylord

pallet jack pulling gaylord

Well, somebody had to keep all those paper shreds from popping out.

Thanks for the ride, Patty.

See Mail Room Jewelery
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Monday, January 23, 2017

My Trailer - Redo Day 3 - I Bought the Loo

It was a day full of activity, although there isn't a lot to show for it, and certainly not a lovely nature picture. I went shopping in the morning and did come home with the Campa-Potti. In the way I anticipate using the trailer there may be times when I can neither access a public restroom or find a patch of woods, so this is necessary even if it won't be used too much. And I needed to have it in order to plan the space it will occupy. It was awesome to find it locally.

marine toilet

Then I shopped for the tool I need to cut fiberglass. Can't get what I want locally, and finally ordered one. I'll show you more when that comes.

I also double checked the floor size and looked at vinyl flooring. The best way to go is find a roll end remnant because you can often get 6x12 foot pieces at a great discount, and that is large enough. I'll have to frequent flooring places and maybe I can find one I like better than the ones I saw today. Nothing was awful, but looking is cheap and maybe I can find something I really like. There's no rush since I can't use the glue until it's warmer out.

Took all the things I've separated from the trailer outside and divided them into junk, not sure, and definitely re-use. The trailer was getting really full of loose boards and foil. Managed to stuff the good pieces in a weather-proof building that was already full. Now there's room to continue ripping things out.

Then I wrote a chapter of Dead Mule Swamp Druggist, and went to a meeting for book promotion.

As I said, a full day. That's good. I'm happy that I seem to have high energy and motivation at the same time for a few days.

Index for Trailer Refurbish
Day 2 - More Destruction
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

My Trailer- Redo Day 2- More Destruction

Did I say any fool can take things apart? I may have been mistaken.

Today I tackled removing the air conditioner. After disconnecting a few more wires, I easily slipped it out of its housing, and then pulled off the vent ducts. (this picture taken after the fact.. after dark, in fact!)

air conditioner housing

Then there were four bolts that went through the trailer floor. That took some scootching (is that a word) under the trailer, and figuring a way to jury rig a screwdriver and vicegrips above to keep the bolt from turning in the hole (I'm working alone, you know). After I got them out I thought I could just pull that unit away from the wall and carry it out.


It won't budge at all. It's been firmly fiberglassed right to the side of the trailer. This shows the edge of the hole behind the air conditioner with the ventilation cover removed. This could be a challenge. I don't even know how to start dealing with that except to cut out an even bigger hole in the side of the trailer (and I don't like that solution). Will be looking at youtube videos tonight!

air conditioner housing

So, I turned my attentions to getting the water tank out from below the left side (right side of the picture) of the seating/bed. The previous owner may not have made a plan that I like, but he sure didn't do shoddy work. In fact, he really overbuilt things for use in a flexible trailer. What a job to remove that bench top! And that seating will be re-usable, so I don't want to destroy it. I did have to break the paneling on the back wall to get it down but that was just cheap stuff I don't want. No big deal except for the slivers I got when it broke.

trailer bench

I did get that side completely out. Lots of wires to sort out and eventually fasten somewhere instead of just running them loose behind paneling. I'll have to cut the wires to the trailer lights to get the air conditioner housing out anyway since they are run through the legs. Not an issue- they could be joined better anyway, but I'll wait till it's necessary to cut them.

gutted fiberglass trailer

Those few things took almost two hours if you can believe it. I screwed the ventilation cover back on and temporarily plugged the vent holes to keep critters out. Clean up and close up finished my allotted time. With no garage or any inside place to work I have to close up the trailer each day.

air conditioner housing

Now, I need a place in the house to store all the cushions and other goodies the trailer has accumulated since I bought it. I stowed them under the dining room table, but they may not be able to live there for 4 months or so. Then again, why not?

Took a walk at dusk. Love the light on this tree.

light on tree at dusk

Index for Trailer Refurbish
My Trailer- Redo Day 1
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

My Trailer - Redo Day 1 - Let the Gutting Begin

The weather is mild this weekend and I decided I might as well get started. Plugged in a small ceramic heater I bought at half price, and it works great to take the chill off. Spent two hours and made minimal headway. I wanted to make videos of the project, and that still could happen, but not today.

So here's a straight on view of the homemade cabinet that needs to be removed. It doesn't actually look too bad from this angle, but as I said, it's too big, too wide, too heavy, is positioned so that it's very difficult to get into the table seating (even for me and I'm not big), and has sharp corners that tear your clothes.

trailer cabinet

Step one, remove the counter top. Just four brackets holding it down. Ah... now we can see what we have to deal with. That black thing is a housing for the air conditioner. And the gray blob- wasp nest.

trailer cabinet

The counter top and sink were easily gotten out of the way. Here is the piece just temporarily hanging out across the way.

trailer cabinet

Several electrical boxes and outlets were installed in the cabinet. Those were all removed without damage, so they can be reused. One 120V and one 12V plug. Also the air conditioner switch and a couple of other junction boxes.

trailer electric outlets

With the first section of paneling off the wall, I learned that there was some minimal insulation put behind the panels. Wood strips were bonded to the fiberglass to support the panels and to provide a place to fasten the cupboards. The green splotches are the fiberglass patches.

stripping fiberglass trailer

And, guess what? More wasp nests. A really good reason to eliminate the gaps between surfaces.

wasp nests

With the entire cabinet frame removed you can see just how much real estate is occupied by the air conditioner and all its accoutrements. It's gotta go. I'll be addressing the philosophy of my low-tech and low-weight plan in another post.

trailer air conditioner

While you are looking at the above photo, please notice the translucent hose coming through the wall and going to the left. That is where you would fill the water tank (pictured below with hose removed) from the outside of the trailer. The tank is located below one of the seats. It's also leaving. Takes up too much room. Don't argue, just wait for my philosophy post. The previous owner never got it attached to the sink, so it hasn't been functional. And the sink drain wasn't hooked up either. All the sink was good for was storage.

trailer water tank

Here's the paneling off the entire left wall. There is damp wood on one side of the window, so I'll have to figure out if there is some leakage, or just more condensation. It's causing me to consider new windows. But I really want to keep the cost within my budget. New windows would not only be expensive, but I'd have to do serious fiberglass work to resize the holes. I want to take the trailer to the NCTA Celebration in July, so it has to be at least usable, if not finished, by then.

Pretty ugly, eh?

trailer wall stripped

And the mystery of the day? A 12V wire that goes nowhere.

trailer wiring

I'm going to try to get the air conditioner out tomorrow.

Even though it's mild now, I can't be doing things that leave serious openings through the shell in midwinter when wet weather is a given. I have no inside place to work and keep the trailer.

I also opened up the door lock panel and learned that the hole for the latch is not the standard size, so unless I can find one like this one with a key, I'll HAVE to do fiberglass work. Probably will anyway, to close some of those holes- exterior water fill, furnace vent, etc.

It's not much, but it's a start, and I won't know what I'm up against till it's gutted. Then again, any fool can take things apart. We'll see what happens after that!

Index for Trailer Refurbish
My Trailer- Assessing the Needs
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Friday, January 20, 2017

Intersecting Curves

One morning earlier this week it was frosty outside and I thought this was an intriguing pattern. Notice how all three lines intersect at the same point in the lower corners.

intersecting curves

Have you figured out what this is?

If you have, your mind correctly interpreted that although the lines appear to touch and be in the same plane, it really has three dimensions.

It's my ordinary old-fashioned clothesline. The lines don't really intersect because we know there is a third dimension. If we move to a different location in that third dimension, depth, the lines are actually pretty much parallel (and not nearly so interesting).


Gives a person something to think about, eh? We live in three dimensions and are sure we know what things look like. But what if there is a fourth spatial dimension that we don't know about? If we could move just one step in that direction things might be quite different. Maybe we shouldn't be so sure we know it all.

By the way... if you are wondering why those corners in the first picture line up so nicely, it's not a trick of where I was standing. It's math. X^2 - y^2 = -1 to be exact. Some of you will understand.

See Fluid Geometry
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