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I haven't really kept up on reviewing much of anything lately, even though I still read lots of books and try makeup and stuff, but life is busy and I'm pretty sure I'm less likely to regret missed reviews than I will other things, so I don't feel that guilty.

That said, here's a book review:

Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One) by Jay…
Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One)
by Jay Kristoff

It was a snippet describing this book as "Japanese Steampunk" that made me curious enough to request this from the library. I'd personally describe it more as "feudal Japanese dystopia" than steampunk, but I seem to have a penchant dystopian young adult stuff, so that works out ok for me. There are some robot-suits and flying machines so it fits the bill if you're looking for steampunk rooted in something other than victorian England culture. Frankly, it's worth a read just for that cultural quirk, although the technical-cultural aspects are barely touched upon in this volume.

Stormdance is mostly the tale of Yukiko, daughter of the famed "Black Fox" -- a hunter whom the shogun has sent on what seems a fool's errand: he is to find and bring back a "thunder tiger" (griffon) in a land that is so polluted and poisoned that there are barely any animals left. As Yukiko accompanies the hunters on their quest, the way she sees her father, other people, and the world winds up irrevocably changed, and she soon finds herself on a quest of her own...

I admit, I found this one a bit hard to get into: it starts with lengthy descriptions and more Japanese-style pacing than I'm used to in my young adult novels, and I found having to learn terminology sent me on enough tangential trips to the glossary that I had trouble immersing myself. But once I did, it's a great story with a few great characters and a fascinating world.
terriko: (Default)
Back from defcon. Almost recovered from con crud.

Defcon is a con that doesn't have a great rep among women, so I'd given it a miss despite being curious until I'd collected a posse. It worked out well.

I was expecting the exhaustion, the chaos, but I wasn't expecting to feel artistically inspired.

I spent hours searching for a robot army and, when I found it, the robots danced with me.

I went to an elevator talk which wasn't about pitching to CEOs but was rather about hacking elevators. All other elevator talks are going to be disappointing now, but elevators are going to be more interesting.

I played a game that started with soldering a badge and meeting strangers that somehow plunged me into a little augmented reality that I was desperate to see more of.

I designed a t-shirt that a whole bunch of people wore, and more people asked me where to buy one.

I discovered that casinos are pretty much all the migraine triggers at once and that as a result it was sometimes more relaxing being on the con floor than leaving it.

I talked about teaching and learning through games. I learned a few things through a game, including that there are still times where my desire to make games is much greater than my desire to play them.

I wish I'd gone sooner, but suspect I also made the right choice by waiting until I had backup.

I came home with a head full of things I wanted to build... and also full of congestion and mucus so it hurt too much to do anything.

... but I got back to building a game today, so maybe I'll get some of these other grand plans in motion too.

WAT

Jul. 14th, 2014 04:00 pm
terriko: (Default)
I can't tell if this is a real message or some sort of spam trolling...


Hello Ms.Terri

My name is $NAME,

i just start to learn linux and i visit ur website http://terri.toybox.ca/me/resume/

could please help me to learn and improve myself about sysadmin

Thank you

$DIFFERENT_NAME


What's up at that url is a modern, fairly recent version of my resume, one that includes no mention whatsoever of my sordid sysadmin past. I guess I mention Linux in there, but that's about it.

Also, if you read my resume and still address me as Ms. instead of Dr., you get an automatic -10 points. Just saying.

I'm probably just jetlagged and tired and cranky, but I don't think I'll bother answering that one. What would I have to say, anyhow? "Run now, sysadminning is rapidly becoming the unpleasant janitorial work of the tech world?"
terriko: (Default)
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Here’s a project that’s been sitting in my queue of things-to-post for a while!


Cabled Hat


This is a hat I made for my grandmother. It was a post-Christmas present, a project that I brought up so I’d have something to do over the holidays.


Pattern


The pattern is the Cup of Tea Cabled Touque by Jessica Dekker. It’s a pretty neat little pattern with a bunch of different types of cables. You can see the cables in slightly more detail here:


Cable Knit Hat


Incidentally, SLR selfies are silly, as you can see.


I adjusted the pattern to add a crocheted faux-fur edging, in part because I thought it would look cute, and in part because I’d made my grandmother a scarf with the same yarn and thought they’d make a pretty matching set that way. I believe my pattern for that went something like this:


0: Take finished hat brim and fluffy eyelash yarn, sc around picking up stitches as you go.

1: triple-crochet around to make something very fluffy.

2: wrap the crocheted brim up on the front of the hat, and single crochet around pausing every few stichtes to crochet through the hat so that the brim will stay up.


Cable Knit Hat and with fluffy crochet edging


More Photos


So you’ve seen me wearing the hat… what about the other two generations of women?


Here’s my mom, who graciously agreed to pose since I wasn’t sure I’d be able to convince my grandmother to do so:

Cable Knit Hat and with fluffy crochet edging


And my grandmother, who was kind enough to pose with the hat and scarf:

Cable Knit Hat and Scarf


She loves the colour purple, and it certainly complements her nicely! I kind of wish I’d inherited or learned her apparently innate sense of colour and style; she often finds these beautiful jewel-toned jackets and things that are amazing.


And here’s one more photo:

Cable Knit Hat and Scarf


I’m not great with flash photography, but I like how the flash picked up the shininess of the scarf!


While I may not have my grandmother’s sense of style, one thing we do have in common is a penchant for altering existing patterns and creating new ones. She used to make so many stuffed animals for me, including ones based on characters in shows that I loved as a kid (Muffy the mouse!). I grew up wearing winter tuques and scarves she crocheted for us grandkids every winter to match the snowsuit we fit into that year, so it’s been fun to return the favour with knitted gifts myself!

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This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Remember my post about pictures of knitting in sunlight? I think it’s about time I post a few finished photos to go with that, isn’t it?


The project was a baby sweater, again for baby V, who probably qualifies as a toddler now that she’s, well, toddling!


Pretty Purple Baby Cardigan


My pattern is based off Eyelet Baby Cardigan pattern from Looking Glass Knits.


Which was in turn based off this baby cardigan pattern from DROPS Design


I’d originally intended to just do the Eyelet Baby Cardigan pattern as written, but I thought it was too busy to have the eyelets with the self-striping yarn, and then on top of that I found the way the pattern was written had me doing too much math as I knit which broke my flow of creating. I must have knit and unknit this 3 times before I gave up and just wrote out my own pattern:


Pattern


Size: 9 months

Gauge: 8 st = 1 inch


inc – k front and back?


In my case, that was knitpicks felici and size 3 needles.


Yarn:


Main colour: One ball of knitpicks felici (sock yarn). If I’d had more, though, I would have used one-and-a-bit-more.

Edging colour: some fluffy baby yarn that I’ve long since lost the label for. It is probably sport weight, not sock yarn weight.


0: CO 84 st.

1-3: k across (garter stitch)

4: make buttonhole (k2, yo, k2tog), k to end

5-8: k across (garter stitch)

9: k4, p to last 4 stitches, then k4

(We’ll do this for all odd rows, really)

10: k, increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [92]

eg: k4 (border), k3, inc (k10, inc) * 7, k3, k4 (border)

12: k, increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [100]

eg: k4 (border), k4, inc (k11, inc) * 7, k3, k4 (border)

14: k, increasing by SEVEN spaced evenly [107]

eg: k4, k1, inc (k15, inc) * 6, k1, k4

** In original, pattern row was here **

(See “additional lace details” below if you want to know my embellishments)

16: k

**

18: buttonhole, increasing by SIXTEEN spaced evenly [123]

eg: (k2, yo, k2tog), k5, inc (k6, inc) * 15, k4, k4

20: k, increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [131]

eg: k4, k1, inc, (k16, inc) * 7, k2, k4

22: k, increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [139]

eg: k4, k2, inc, (k17, inc) * 7, k2, k4

24: k, increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [147]

eg: k4, k3, inc (k18, inc) *7, k2 k4

26: k, increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [155]

eg: k4, k4, inc (k19, inc) * 7, k2, k4

**

28: k

30: k

32: buttonhole (k2, yo, k2tog), k

***

34:k increasing by SIXTEEN spaced evenly [171]

eg k4, k6, inc, (k9, inc) * 15, k6, k4

36: k4, k increasing by SIXTEEN spaced evenly [187]

eg k4, k7, inc, (k10, inc) * 15, k6, k4

38: k4, k increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [195]

eg k4, k2, inc, (k25, inc) * 7 , k2, k4

40: k4, k increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [203]

eg k4, k3, inc, (k26, inc) * 7 , k2, k4

42: k4, k increasing by EIGHT spaced evenly [211]

eg k4, k4, inc, (k27, inc) * 7 , k2, k4

**

44: k

**

46: buttonhole, k increasing by TWENTY FOUR spaced evenly [235]

eg (k2, yo, k2tog), k10, inc, (k8, inc) * 23 , k9, k4

48: k4, k increasing by NINE spaced evenly [244]

eg k4, k1, inc, (k28, inc) * 8, k2, k4

50: k4, k increasing by NINE spaced evenly [253]

eg k4, k2, inc, (k29, inc) * 8, k2, k4


Buttonholes: continue every 14 rows (at 60, 74, 88, 102…)


Divide stitches for arms:

Row 52: k39, slip 51 st to holder, k 73 [back], slip 51 st to holder, k39.


Work body (151 st):


Work in stockinette until… well, in my case it was until I was almost out of yarn, but in theory the original pattern said 10″.


Work edging:


Swap to edging yarn. In my case, this was a white baby yarn that was actually a bit thicker than the sock yarn used for the main body.


Work feather and fan as per original pattern, repeating this three times:

Row 1: knit.

Row 2: k4, p to last 4 stitches, k4.

Row 3: k5, (yo, k1) three times, (k2tog 6 times), *(yo, k1) six times, (k2tog 6 times); rep from * until last 7 stitches, (yo, k1) three times, k4.

Row 4: knit.


Work two rows of garter stitch and bind off.


Work sleeves:


Pretty Purple Baby Cardigan: sleeve detail


Put 51 arm stitches on a needle.


Knit in stockinette until desired length is reach. I wanted short sleeves, so that was 4 rows for me. Note that this will make intentionally wide sleeves. I hear dressing babies is hard.


Swap to edging colour, and add an eyelet edging to suggest the lace of the feather and fan in the bottom:


1 (RS): k all the way across

2-3: k across

4: repeat (p2tog, yo)

5-7: k across

bind off


Additional lace details


And one final photo:

Pretty Purple Baby Cardigan


As you can see, I actually didn’t use the most basic pattern. I added in lace details in the sections marked with ** above.


In the two one-row sections (rows 18, 44), this was


repeat: (k2 tog, y0)


And in the larger section, I used the following pattern, with appropriate padding to make it line up nicely (i.e. a few extra k stitches at beginning/end).


28: repeat (k1, yo, sl1 k1 psso, k3, k2tog, yo)

30: repeat (k2, yo, sl1 k1 psso, k1, k2tog, yo, k1)

32: repeat (k3, yo, sl1, k2tog, psso, yo k2)


(purl on the odd rows as per rest of pattern).


To be honest, I wasn’t sure if the lace details were necessary on this particular self-striping yarn, but they do look cute enough.


Wrap-up


This one actually lasted for a couple of wearings, helped along no doubt by the fact that I chose colours that matched better with baby V’s existing wardrobe. (A lesson learned about trying for subversively non-pink clothes in the past… alas!) I even managed to see her wearing it when I was in town after PyCon!


I used one ball of felici because that’s what I had (I’d bought it when she was much tinier!) but I probably could have used a little bit more so it wouldn’t be so short. Even with the fluffier, larger lace edging, it was still a bit short. Not so bad since it wound up being a spring sweater, but not ideal!

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