Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The man from the Tate is coming on Monday. So my job this week – I’ve done it several times before, in the last few years – is to translate the absolutely latest version of my husband’s work into a 21st century form, so that the man can take it away with him if he wants to.

My husband works on a DOS-based machine in an old version of Word Perfect. There are hundreds of separate files, one for each picture ??????? painted, and some extras. I feel, like Winnie-the-Pooh coming downstairs with Christopher Robin, that there must be an easier way to do this, but what I do is load each file separately one-by-one into a modern Word Perfect on my machine – thank goodness that is still possible -- and then save it as a Microsoft Word file.

On my husband’s old machine, I can write little macros (in DOS, or Word Perfect itself) to help with repetitive jobs. But I think modern macro-writing is beyond me.

And then what? My desktop machine is pretty antique, and for some years has refused to write CD-ROM’s, although it can still read them. Will there be room for the whole thing on a memory stick? Cloud storage, which James has been pressing on me, is another possible solution.

And the other thing is that I had better get Big Thomas’s Brownstone blocked today, if possible. It goes on the dining room floor, you will remember. It’s got to be dry and up and away by Monday (at the latest) so that they can work in there without stepping on it.

I finished the first sleeve of the little Brownstone last night, and am well forward with the ribbing on the second. I think we’ll achieve Christmas without stress. I’m going to leave out the two short-row passages with which Jared lifts the back. The shaping from the point where sleeves are joined to body may involve an uncomfortable amount of thinking – the very point at which, on the big sweater, I could stop thinking and leave everything to Jared.

Maybe it won’t be as bad as I anticipate.

Miscellaneous, knit- and non-

Little Thomas is seven today.

Queer Joe has posted a most interesting video about that hexi-puff quilt which appears to be the pattern-du-jour. I always knew he was handsome, and am now struck with how nice he is.

Roobeedoo, thanks – your blog – for the pointer to Skein Queen and the push towards Weekend Hats. There’s something about it in Zite this very morning. I don’t really need another hat book (just another few hours in the day) – but I’m tempted.

I was interested in your remark (comment, Saturday) about not buying yarn from the US because one lives in Scotland. The awfulness of having to pay for it a second time on the doorstep is disincentive enough, but my feeling is that too many (from a knitter’s point of view) Scottish sheep are there to provide (delicious) lamb chops, and stand about with coarse wool on their backs which is scarcely worth sheering. Merino sheep, I believe, won’t even “do” in England; it’s too much for their delicate chests. I’m going to go on gathering yarn from everywhere. If I can tempt you to buy some of Jared's "Loft" I won't have written in vain.


  1. Hello again! I definitely urge you to explore Skein Queen - her colours and yarn bases are beautiful. The importing-wool-guilt-trip is mine and not yours! But I am finding more British yarns to buy these days: dyed if not actually "grown" in the UK. If you don't already know these, I recommend them to you: Old Maiden Aunt; Shilasdair; AlbaYarn (from The Wool Shed in Oyne). Lovely, lovely stuff!

  2. Can you see if your husband's WordPerfect will do the conversion? Some versions of WP could even do a batch conversion. It might be old enough not to be aware of other formats, however.

    Depending on your Word version, you could also record a macro that might at least help. You may not have to write anything. See if there is a Macro-> Record New Macro… under the ‘Tools’ menu.

    As far as size, unless your files have images, they should be fairly small. Text is pretty compact. But DropBox is an easy way to share a file - with limited access as well.

    The sweaters I have made that incorporate the short-rows for the back of the neck have been fabulous - it is a feature I love and I would not leave it out myself.

  3. I can agree with Roo on the loveliness of Alba, and Blacker yarns and John Arbon too. But I love to buy yarn from all over the place. Some of the nicest I've had my hands on this last year was Quince & Co Tern, which I ordered from the US before anyone here stocked it. Sure I had to pay duty but I'm sure it was worth it. But for those who want to buy interesting yarns not readily available here I highly recommend EU suppliers like Laine et Tricot ... easy peasy to buy from, ships in five minutes, and no duty :D

  4. =Tamar7:26 PM

    Regarding local wool, I believe Liz Lovick has pointed out several rare-breed Shetland yarns that are not at all coarse.

    Regarding an older comment: the artist who burned the sun path into wood is Charles Ross and he has a website - charlesrossstudio - that has photos of the original burns in various installations. He did get it printed in a now-rare art book which I saw at the Library of Congress in Washington DC years ago; a drawn version of the full double spiral path (an artifact of how he put the paths together, I suspect) is in Uriel's Machine on p.227, but it is shortened to get it onto a small page and still be visible. The original is very long and narrow.

  5. =Tamar3:55 AM

    P.S. By "artifact" I meant only the multiple turns around at the solstice points; the burns are real and the reverse curve of the path (on the two sides of the plane of the ecliptic, if I have that term right) is definitely natural.