Monday, September 29, 2014


I have been hired to teach an eight week knitting seminar for ACTUAL adults!  I know, the reality of conversation may kill me.

Anyway, last week I went through my pattern hoard and weeded out the kitty hats and pencil cases and cutie backpacks in mini-sizes.  I added some prayer shawls and coffee cup cozies and a couple of shawls.  I should be good.

First class is on the dishrag.  They all want to do the dishrag.  We talked about how you can extrapolate the dishrag to a shawl (actually a hap) by knitting it looser, and bigger and stopping in the middle.  I used the word  extrapolate!  Actually, I used the word extrapolate with my kids, then I explained the word "extrapolate".  Never pass up an opportunity to increase vocabulary!  I'm taking a sample of a poncho using the dishrag (which we found while cleaning "Herself's" Room this weekend) to class tonight.  We shall see what they make of that!

Kind of nervous!  Working with adults is a different set of challenges.  It's a great group, and they are all motivated (something which is occasionally lacking in kids).  Adults are actually less easy than kids, because they do not necessarily believe that you are the ultimate authority. They question different things. They also do not take no for an answer. 

I actually wrote down the Simply Spiffy Hat Pattern today.  I usually just give oral instructions, because I want to encourage thinking, but adults like things on paper, in front of them.  They do not "fly by the seat of their pants" as easily as kids.  Also, they do not yet believe that I have Knitting Magic like the kid-knitters do.  They will in time!

On another front, I posted 7 Circular Dishrags and 7 Circular Baby Washcloths on Etsy today.  They are the same pattern, and I am taking bets on which sells first.  No telling.  Watch this space for developments!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Adventures in Linear Thinking

Adventures in Linear Thinking

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my phone.  My phone connects me to the world, my friends, my business.  It provides me with the name, address, hours of operation and directions to the nearest Vietnamese/Ethiopian/Barbecue restaurant no matter where I roam.  My Smartphone and I have a wonderful relationship.

However, like all relationships, it has its problems.  One of these is my
ToDo list.  I am a list maker.  I have friends who swear I have a list for everything, and somewhere (they are sure) is a list of lists.  Here is where my smartphone and I have relationship problems.

I have downloaded probably fifteen “ToDo” apps.  None of them are quite right.  I finally found a British one which works okay, but is less than ideal.  At least it understands when I spell things funny.  I have a memo app, a sticky-note app and a “reminder” app that dings incessantly for 15 minutes prior to any appointment (it’s like having an electronic mom).  I thought I could adjust.  I have tried.

I think the problem stems from the way the designers of apps brains work.  They think linearly.  “If A then B” is hardwired into the app writing process.  Theoretically, this should make those list apps work like silk.  Until they run up against my system.  My lists are many and varied.  They encompass subjects as diverse as knitting patterns in progress and garden plans.  They are cross-referenced (“See Garden List - item 14” in the middle of the Shopping list).  It doesn’t work with the app writer brain.

For years and years in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I carried a small book.  It was slightly bigger than a brick, and only slightly less heavy, bound in leather with a zipper closure.  It had a calendar in it, and lots of lists.  Cross-referenced and vaguely coordinated lists for various tasks, as well as graph paper for sketching out ideas… I called it “THE BRAIN”.  But when smart phones arrived, I put The Brain away.  I was embracing technology.  I would adapt even if it killed me.

I tried.  I did.  I worked with the list apps, I deleted the list apps, I downloaded a new and better list app every other month, looking for the random access list app of my dreams.  No dice.  I now make lists on the backs of envelopes and find them in my purse months later.  Irrelevant. 

So, smartphone, I love you, but I went upstairs and dug through my office.  I found “The Brain”, its last calendar dated 2006.  It was dusty and needed some leather balm, but I found it.  I’m going back to the Cathy System of lists (there is a list of lists… it’s in the front).  The random, seemingly disconnected paper-trail that I have missed.  And the graph paper.  It’s still in there, it’s been waiting for me to come back.