Friday, February 22, 2008

KnitML knitting code

I have recently discovered the Craft:zine website and have been spending my downtime at work browsing past entries and feeling very inspired to get making stuff again (I began a part-time architecture course at Ryerson's Continuing Education school and it's been taking a fair bit of my spare time and focus). I came across somethingin one of the entries from December that I just had to pass on as something that could develope into a very useful tool for us knitters. It's the KnitML standardized pattern format. It promises to:
  • Render a pattern in either written directions or a chart, dependent on a preference setting
  • Render a pattern in any language, using conventions familiar to that language and dialect
  • Validate that a pattern is physically possible to knit (eliminating some types of errata)
  • Automatically convert English measurements to and from metric measurements
  • Size a pattern up or down to any size, not just the sizes that come with the pattern
  • Recalculate a pattern for your gauge rather than the one that came with the pattern
  • Explicitly write out mathematically complex directions (e.g., "increase 34 stitches evenly over 171 stiches")
  • Alter the pattern using an easy-to-use graphical editor (or create new KnitML-based pattern from scratch)
  • Preview the result of a pattern using graphics
  • Integrate into your favorite knitting software (such as Sweater Wizard)
  • Digitally sign the pattern to guarantee original authenticity

Pretty cool, eh? They've got a version 1.0 up on the website and ready for download and testing. I think I'll play around with it sometime this weekend.

Until next we knit!


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Up in smoke

This morning on my way to work, I could smell smoke on the subway. I wasn't terribly concerned, because occationally the gears or someone illegally smoking on TTC property has caused a smoky smell in the past and it wasn't thick enough indicate to indicate an immediate threat, like that the train was on fire. However, I still smelled it when I got off the subway at Union station and walked to work. It wasn't until I got in and mentioned it to some of my co-workers that I found out the full story. A building at Queen and Portland St. caught fire early this morning and the fire has quickly spread to the surrounding buildings, mostly small retail stores. My first thought was, Oh no! That's near Romni!

I have been told by Nyron that it's actually on the south side of the street, so as long as the fire doesn't jump 4 lanes of traffic, it shouldn't effect Romni, which is on the north side. It has, however, burned down Suspect Video. We didn't rent from Suspect often, but it's been a well-loved independent video rental place in Toronto for many years and we enjoyed browsing the Queen St store and looking at their cool movie toys and collectables. It was the kind of place where you can get films that the big box rental places like Blockbuster don't carry (like Six String Samurai). It's always sad to lose an indepentent store, of any variety, in a world that is quickly being Walmarted. There is another location on Markham St. so at least we haven't lost it entirely. But still, it's sad. When the smoke clears, we'll see what else has been lost from one of my favourite streets in the city.

Until next we knit.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Knit-less week

Ha ha! Did I say that I was going to get lots of knitting done on the weekend? I highly underestimated the pain involved in recovering from having 4 of your teeth surgically removed from you jaw. I'm feeling better now, but I haven't knit a stitch since Wednesday, which is just as well, since Lettuce Knit didn't have the yarn I need to finish those 2 sweaters. And that's what I really want to be working on. Not Nyron's sweater. Not Greg's snowboarding hat (which will be ready just in time for him to wear to the beach, at this rate). No, the only knitting that is really calling to me are those sweaters and I can't work on them. *sigh*

Until next we knit!


Monday, February 04, 2008

Meet Vicky!

This weekend, I got my spinning wheel. I ordered it from Lettuce Knit on Monday and wasn't expecting it to arrive until next week, but I got a call on Wednesday afternoon saying it had arrived! I picked it up on my lunch break so that I could bring it back to work and show my co-workers, who were at least feigning interest in all my crazy talk about spinning wheels (one of my co-workers thinks I'm a complete geek, which is true). So here she is in all her glory:

She's a Louet Victoria, which is a nice beginner model. I made a little video on my Mac to show my mom, since this was her birthday gift to me, afterall. I spent most of the weekend spinning the lovely roving that my Secret Pal sent me. I'm still over-spinning, but I'm getting better.

When I wasn't spinning, I was working on the Rocketry sweaters that I'm making for my two pregnant friends, Amy and Angela. I'd put them into hibernation while we waited to find out the sex of each baby. Amy's last ultrasound showed that her baby is a girl, so now I know which side to put the button holes. Angela's last ultrasound was inconclusive in terms of gender, so I'm giving it boy buttonholes since it's more interchangable than girl button holes (or so Nyron tells me). Here are the progress pics:

Angela's is just 1 more round of 2x1 ribbing and a few buttons away from being done.

I need to pick up some more purple and brown yarn from Lettuce Knit to finish Amy's. I'll likely do this on Wednesday, so I can work on these while I'm recovering from having all 4 wisdom teeth removed on Thursday. Yikes!
Until next we knit!