Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Very Pleasant Evening

The next few posts will be all about SXSWi, or South by Southwest Interactive 2009. I would have posted every day since Friday, March 13, but I couldn't get any connectivity at the Convention Center with the exception of the connection stations scattered around the building. I don't know why this happened, I saw many others using the wi-fi. Since I didn't get that done, I will blog about my experiences, beginning with the last very pleasant hour, and working back to the beginning, however long it takes.

What made this a very pleasant evening was not the barbeque at The Iron Works, as good as that was. No, it was a very serendipitous happenstance that placed me in the presence of a man whose writings have been entertaining and enlightening me for many years in the pages of the Linux Journal. I had dinner with Doc Searls and a friend of his, Joe Andrieu.

Doc and Joe are working together on a project to enable Vendor Relationship Management using open software and a web-based service. Sounds very interesting. This concept is to give the customer control over their relationships with the many vendors they do business with, in much the same way companies manage their relationships with their many customers. An idea whose time has come.

Doc was very interested in my story, as I was in his. We are one month apart in age, so we had a lot in common. We touched on topics as diverse as genealogy, geography, geology, social media, the Web, and Linux. He even asked me the identity of the loud obnoxious birds outside his hotel, which I recognized from his description as Grackles.

Tomorrow, I'll post some photos from SXSW, and share some of my other experiences.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Monday, Feb. 23 Dedication Ed Werland Room

Cindy Werland, son-in-law Louis, and daughter Vanessa

Monday, February 23rd, was Frankie's and my 39th wedding anniversary. It was also the day the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department named and dedicated a training room to the memory of Ed Werland. (Photo: Cindy Werland, son-in-law Louis, and daughter Vanessa)

The party was well attended, and everyone had a great time.
(Photo: Julia visits with Richard Roberts)
(Photo: Frankie visits with Carol Ann and Bobby Werland)

We carpooled over to the building at Airport Commerce Park. Frankie and I took Julia Gregory, Dyanne Cortez, and Karen Pianka.

Monday, February 23, 2009


We had fun on Feb. 14-16. First, there was the Texas Loves Ravelry pary at The Knitting Nest in Austin. Frankie and I met Marguerite and Geoff, Julia, and Julia's neighbor Anna. We all had lunch at The Texas Roadhouse. Mmmmmm steaks. After that, we picked up Emily at her dance class.

On the way back to Lockhart, we stopped at the Airport Pulga, and Emily got to see some chickens, rabbits, pigeons, burros, etc.

Back home, we had bike-riding lessons. My brother-in-law, Paul, had found some bikes in a thrift shop for $5 each, and one was just Emily's size, so I adjusted the handlebar and seat for her, and we took turns pushing her around the yard. Then we discovered a ramp off the driveway, and she could get a start off that and head (slightly) downhill. She got to going about 30 yards at a stretch. We had another old bike (a Walmart special, got free), which I adjusted and sprayed with WD-40, and we took turns riding that one along with her.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday in Austin

I'm spending the day bumming around Austin, Texas. I have been at The Knitting Nest for about an hour, knitting with the regular Saturday crowd. Next, I'm going to an open house at one or two of Austin's new train stations (light rail).

The trip up to MLK, Jr. and Airport was nice. There are some really nice neighborhoods in Austin along the Pleasant Valley Blvd. corridor.

The plan was to do some more editing at the two train stations, but instead I spent the time talking to folks, taking pictures, and asking questions. It was very exciting. I finished up at the Crestview Station, Airport and N. Lamar, at 2:00, then drove out to Pflugerville, where my daughter's family lives.

We ate pizza at Conan's, then I started home at about 5:30.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recent Activities

Recently, I've been thinking about trying to get my granddaughter interested in yarn crafts, and I asked her mother if she had tried out loom knitting. No, she hadn't but was interested in it. So I did some research, and decided to buy a set of 4 circle looms to start. So last Friday, I went to Hobby Lobby to get the looms, and planned to stop at the library and get some books.

I am in a Ravelry group called "A Good Yarn", which is composed of fans of Debbie Macomber. Well, I've read many of Debbie's books, but not the one everyone in the group seems to be reading, which is Twenty Wishes. While I was at the library, I picked up Twenty Wishes, Where Angels Go, The Big Book of Knitting, and Kids Knitting.

I was casually skimming the Kids Knitting book, and it talks about kids making their own knitting needles, which, as it turns out, is not very difficult at all, and something that any child could do. Since I had some old dowels out in the garage, I decided to make a few, which I did. I now have everything from a 3.25 mm (bamboo skewer), about 5 mm (chopsticks), 3/16" (4.76 mm), 1/4" (6.35 mm), 3/8" (9.5 mm), 1/2" (12.7 mm), and 5/8" (15.8 mm) wooden knitting needles. It is fun to do, and they can be given away along with an article made on them. One of the interesting things about making your own wooden needles, is creating interesting end caps for them.

I am currently knitting a second pair of fingerless mitts, and have a hat on the circle loom.

Shameless Self-Promotion

I've never been one to build myself up to others. I always figured if people got to know me and wanted me to be their friend, so be it. However, it always feels good for someone to brag on you once in a while. My friend Julia Gregory Poirier, a.k.a.Yarnmaven, recently put in a plug for me, and it felt really good. See My Friend Frank on her blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pattern for Felted Netbook Bag

Felted Bag for 10" ASUS computer

Finished size 11 1/2 in. x 8 1/2 in.
1 skein of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool
Size US 15, 10mm needles

This project is knit with two strands of yarn. Pull the inner and outer ends, and knit with them held together.
A test patch is recommended, about 8" x 8", then felted. On mine, the row shrunk about 6%, but the length across rows shrunk 23%.

Using the two strands of yarn, cast on 37 stitches (about 12 1/3 inch). Knit garter stitch until the block is 24-25 inches long, then taper.

Row 1: k 2, ssk, k until 4 sts remain, k2tog, k 2.
Row 2: k across.
Repeat rows until 5 sts remain, bind off.

Fold 12" up from beginning and seam the sides to make a pocket.

Wash in a top-loading machine, in a bag, 15 min. on high agitation.
Allow to air dry 2-3 days. You may want to pull it into the shape you want.
Using pointed scissors, cut a buttonhole vertically in the end of the flap. Finish buttonhole.
Place button (1 1/2 in. button) on the body of the bag.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Long Time Coming

Wow! It's been a long time since I said anything here. I started knitting back in August, and shortly thereafter joined Ravelry. Since then, most of my online activity has been posting projects on Ravelry. I've also been knitting and reading a lot. I read just about everything I can get my hands on by Debbie Macomber, even some of her old stuff that has been republished.

I have knit 6 scarves, one hat, and a pair of fingerless mitts so far. Oh, I also knit and felted a slipcover for my 10" ASUS netbook (twice, since it didn't felt right the first time), and washcloth.

I have joined a mitten knit-along for the month of January, and it's a lot of fun.