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2016-12-07 03:00 pm

Complete Cardigan!

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 this cardigan I started back in March? I almost made the Cardipalooza deadline in May, but abandoned it a bit shy of the deadline when I ran into problems and decided it would be better to take a break than to try to push for a deadline. I picked it up again now that it’s finally getting cool again, and I finally finished it last weekend.


Acorn Trail Sweater


Acorn Trail Sweater


The pattern is Acorn Trail. It’s a beautiful sweater, and I’ve found Amy Herzog’s sweater fitting books really interesting, so I was eager to try one of her patterns. With judicious use of a highlighter I didn’t even find the pattern too hard to follow despite the many possible adjustments. I did somehow make the body section longer than I intended and had to do a run for more yarn, but to be honest it’s a nice length and while you can spot that the last skein is slightly more grey if you look a the sleeve joins at the shoulder or in the button band, it’s not as bad as I first feared.


Acorn Trail Sweater


I thought I would prefer to do a pieced sweater because most of my knitting is on the go, and doing pieces meant I could still easily carry it around. But it turns out I’m not great at seaming and I don’t much enjoy it, and even while I was knitting I spent time wondering why I was making seams when I could just put things together in 3d in the first place. In the end, I *did* convert the sleeves to be knit in the round rather than flat because I couldn’t honestly think of any reason not to do so, but I did the rest of the pattern as written. Still, I found I was constantly sad I couldn’t try it on as I went and adjust it all more precisely, so I think next sweater I try may be a more seamless affair and probably top-down. The current leading candidate is Lush, but something else may well catch my eye before I get to making it. I’m guessing right now it’ll be after the 2017 Rose City Yarn Crawl before I’ll have time for a sweater again.


Acorn Trail Sweater


The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Bobby Blue, which I picked up from For Yarn’s Sake. That was the first yarn store I visited when I moved here, I think! It’s very conveniently located next to the woodworking store in the same mall as the chocolate shop.


The yarn is soft and lovely and washable. I would totally use this again, although maybe not for a sweater since getting enough in one dye lot was hard even with For Yarn’s Sake’s fairly large collection. I did stripe it to even out the dye lots, but that last skein is still noticeable to my eye. The colour did bleed a bit when I washed and blocked it, but nothing dramatic, just enough that I’ll be careful if I decide to use the remainder in some colourwork.


Acorn Trail sweater detail


The buttons I picked up at Black Sheep at Orenco, and aren’t they cute? They’re probably a bit impractical since star buttons can be kind of finicky in knitting, but I liked the look of them and honestly, I mostly wear my cardigans open since work is pretty warm for sweaters. Although it did snow this week, so it’s cool outside!


Acorn Trail Sweater


Many of my knitwear photos are self portraits since my husband’s photographic passions are more about architecture and landscape than people. (I on the other hand, am mostly about people and flowers.) But he was kind enough to help with these and as always, the two of us working together results in much funnier expressions. He did a really nice job, although I cheated and gave him a 50mm prime lens so he had no choice but to be a bit more close up than he normally would be.


Acorn Trail Sweater


So that’s it! I’d guess that the sweater was under 2 months of work in total, but with a 6 month gap in the middle. Honestly, I thought it would take me longer! I’m pretty proud of my first me-sized sweater, and I’m sure it’ll be the first of many.


Acorn Trail Sweater

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2016-11-26 03:05 pm

Triangle Hat

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.

I bought some mini skeins from Knitted Wit to make a hat, but then the pattern that I was sure I had didn’t seem to exist in my pattern collection, so I made it up as I went and this is the result. (I suspect in hindsight that I might have been thinking of the triangle mitts from the Knitpicks 2015 spring accessories and not a hat at all.)


Triangle hat


I’m calling this Triangle Hat, but you have to think of this song when you say it to get the full effect of what’s inside my head. Or perhaps you’d rather not.


If you prefer, there is also a printable Triangle Hat pdf, and it’s on ravelry as well.


Triangle hat


Needle size: 6

Yarn: Knitted Wit Superwash Worsted. I am utterly in love with this yarn and immediately made two more hats after this one and will likely buy more at the next available opportunity.

1 ball main colour, 3 “gobstoppers” in contrasting colours

(This gets you two hats with leftovers)

Gauge: 21 sts per 4 inches

Sizing:

This pattern was designed to fit my head, which measures just under 24 inches. If you need something larger or smaller, the pattern happens in groups of 8, and you can scale up or down to fit your needs. For example, for a 1 year old child with a head circumference of 18 inches, you’d want 6 inches less, and the closest multiple of 8 would be 32, so you should cast on 80 stitches.


Not sure how big your intended recipient’s head might be? Here’s a head size chart. I am amused to discover that I have a “large” head as I know quite a few people with heads much larger than mine!


Brim


For “one size fits most” adult hat: CO 112 in the round.

The brim is around 1 inch of ribbing. I did the k2 through the back loop to make the stitches pop a bit more.


Rows 1-13: k2 through the back loop, p2 repeat around


Pattern


trianglehat-chart


Apologies for the chart having been done in a spreadsheet program so the numbers don’t match, but start at the bottom (with the two main colour rows) and work your way up (or make your triangles upside-down relative to mine, that’s cool too).


Row 14-15: knit all stitches in main colour

First triangle section:

16: k7 in colour1, k1 in main colour repeat around

17: k1 in main colour, k5 in colour1, k2 in main colour repeat around

18: k2 in main colour, k3 in colour1, k3 in main colour repeat around

19: k3 in main colour, k1 in colour1, k4 in main colour repeat around

Second triangle section:

20: k3 in colour2, k1 in main colour, k4 in colour2 repeat around

21: k2 in colour2, k3 in main colour, k3 in colour2 repeat around

22: k1 in colour2, k5 in main colour, k2 in colour2 repeat around

23: k7 in main colour, k1 in colour2 repeat around

Third triangle section:

24-27: repeat first triangle section but using 3rd colour instead of first


Rows 28-37: Continue to knit all stitches in main colour for another 9 rows (or desired height)


Decreasing


38: k14, k2tog repeat around

39: k around

40: k13, k2tog repeat around

41: k around

42: k12, k2tog repeat around

43: k around

44: k11, k2tog repeat around

45: k around

46: k10, k2tog repeat around

47: k9, k2tog repeat around

48: k8, k2tog repeat around

49: k7, k2tog repeat around

50: k6, k2tog repeat around

51: k5, k2tog repeat around

52: k4, k2tog repeat around

53: k3, k2tog repeat around

54: k2, k2tog repeat around

55: k1, k2tog repeat around

56: k2tog repeat around.

Cut yarn and thread through remaining stitches to close the top of the hat then tie off.


Triangle hat


Triangle hat

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2016-11-24 03:01 pm

Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag - November 2016

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.

This November Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag marks one of the few times I’ve gotten the colourway as shown in the project photo!


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: November 2016


There’s a lot of yarn in this one, although it doesn’t poof up quite as much as October’s mega bag it’s pretty close. Beyond the yarn, there’s a knitting ruler/needle sizer (I think this is my 3rd, but again, this is one of those tools where I don’t mind a few duplicates), some “metallic measuring temporary tattoos” that I find kind of inexplicable but pretty, the typical moisturizer sample (again, I prefer the wool wash samples but I guess it’s a nice way to learn the scents available). This month’s bag is also cute with the turkey and the advice. I’ve had to opt out of thanksgiving with J’s family this year, so I’ll be doing less eating and more knitting, personally!


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: November 2016


The theme for the wool was favourite yarns, but surprisingly, I’m not sure I’ve even heard of Tahki Zara, I’ve only used Noro Kureyon once (in a YOTM sample), and I’d have to check my archives to see when I last used Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted or Berroco Vintage or even if I have (I think I’ve sampled them both, though). So obviously they’re not my staple yarns, which kind of makes this bag more fun for me. Noro is the multicoloured sample, for those of you not familiar with the brand. The pink is the Zara and it feels super soft (merino!). The deep purple is the lamb’s pride and it’s a neat mohair blend that feels dense — I doubt it’ll be my favourite but it should be warm. The brown is the Berocco Vintage which is a soft acrylic/wool/nylon blend.


The pattern is a cute hat and wristlets pattern. I like the lacing, but I don’t think I’d use wristlets, so I’ll either put a thumbhole in there or save the rest of the yarn for something else, I think!

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2016-11-21 03:50 am

Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag - October 2016

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.

Bit of a photo-taking spree today, mostly of things that will be gifts so I can’t share them for a while. But I also photographed two Big Beanie Bags that I haven’t started knitting yet, so here’s one of them! I’ll probably save these for travel projects, so you won’t see them knit up for a while.


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: October 2016


When this bag arrived, I was shocked at how big it was even before I opened the package. It’s got two balls worth of Rowan Pure Wool in there! That is a lot more yarn than I expect in a bag, to be honest. It’s usually $10.95 on JBW’s website, so 2 balls makes up most of the subscription price of $25, not even counting everything else. (Admittedly, that’s on the high end from what the internet tells me this yarn costs, but it’s still nice to see that


Also in this package: a “handitool” (which is awesome, since my last one is missing somewhere in the house and I like having something like this in my project bags), a packet of soak handmade (meh, I’d rather the wool wash, as I have many little moisturizers in much more convenient packaging), jeweled stitch markers (a cute, cheap addition), and a legwarmer pattern. This isn’t the 80s, but honestly, since I walk around in damp winter all the time, I’m thinking warm woolen legwarmers might actually be awesome, so I might give the pattern a try.


The total standout this month is the bag itself, though, which might be my new favourite from them. The older ones have tips on the bags, which is handy, but doesn’t make them nearly as fun for knitting in public unless you’re around other knitters. This bag is fun for everyone!


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: October 2016


I have a “mystery” bag which means I don’t put any restrictions on the yarn (the other options are “neutrals” “cool” and “warm”). I got purples this month, which is really lovely. It’s the kind of colours my grandmother loves, and she has great taste.


This Rowan isn’t an ooh ahh so soft yarn, but it feels like it’ll be warm and hardwearing, so I’ll bet it’ll be perfect for the included pattern.


Overall, this subscription continues to live up to my expectations, and my only concern is that I won’t be able to keep up with my bags alongside all the other projects I want to do!

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2016-11-07 03:00 pm

Neapolitan Scarflette - Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: August 2016

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.

I’ve been really enjoying Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bags, but I haven’t been so good about photographing my projects for both happy and sad reasons I won’t go into right now. But despite my lack of documentation, these are great! These are like the grown-up cousin to their little yarn sample bags: more yarn, projects that are more wearable (think shawls, hats, cowls) and less trinket-like (think coasters, finger puppets). What really seals it for me is that these are a perfect “fits in the purse and keeps me entertained for hours” project when I’m running off in a hurry and need something that doesn’t require planning or fancy swatches and already has yarn measured out so I’m not carrying multiple full-sized balls in my bag. I had no idea I needed grab and go kits until I had a little stash of them!


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: August 2016


There’s the August kit: nice drawstring bag, glossy printed pattern, 4 balls of yarn, a packet of hand lotion (sometimes it’s wool wash, which I prefer), and a little notions box. The notion changes every month, and sometimes the yarn isn’t 4 balls, but it’s similar most months.


I like the little notions box, although I haven’t quite figured out what to put in all its little teensy compartments, and I should have taken a picture with it open for you to see them all!


If you’re curious, here’s the Jimmy Beans (small) beanie bag and the Yarn of the Month bag for August 2016, since this was an overlap month before I decided to drop the smaller subscriptions.


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: August 2016


August’s yarn came from Koigu, a brand I’d heard of but didn’t realize they were from Ontario. So I learned something new! The yarn very easy to knit with, maybe a bit less fuzzy/haloed than I like for my shawls, but that makes it easier to wear when it’s not really *that* cold in the office.


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: August 2016


The pattern for August is Neapolitan Scarflette by Rachel Roden. I think she’s RachelUnraveled on Ravelry, but this design doesn’t seem to be up so it might be someone else. This is a pattern that is simple to knit but annoying to count, since there’s a lot of sections that are almost but not quite the same. I assume a lot of this was just in trying to make good use of the 4 same-sized balls of yarn, but it did have me thinking a lot about how to optimize pattern writing to make the changed sections easier to notice. I suspect my next more complicated patterns are going to have a lot of colours or something as a result of this. Or possibly just be more simplified in memory of all the times I’ve cruised past the directions because I’m in a rhythm.


One thing I really liked about this pattern was the fact that it calls out a useful skill to learn: knitting the ends in as you go. Definitely this shawl encourages you to learn that one with all the colour changes! Knitting in ends as I go is not something I did all the time before and I think I’ll find myself doing it automatically now after all that practice, so I’m pretty pleased that they put that in. I’m leveling up in fibercraft in leaps and bounds lately!


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: August 2016


Here it is all balled up more like I’d wear it as a scarf, and you can see that there’s still some yarn leftover! I love the colours, so hopefully I’ll find a nice time to use these in a spot of colourwork. Doing colourwork remains one of the reasons I was willing to get so many small balls of yarn after all!


Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bag: August 2016


Overall I was very pleased with this kit. I actually started my subscription up again right after the initial 3 months finished because I heard they had a few of these left and I could get one, and I’m pretty pleased that I did.

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2016-11-03 02:01 pm

Taking No for an Answer (Open Source Bridge 2016 talk)

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.

I gave one talk and ran one tutorial at Open Source Bridge 2016 back in June. For those of you not familiar with it, Open Source Bridge is an open source conference with a focus on “open source citizenship” that leads to a great combination of technical and social thought from people who are part of the open source community. My favourite part is actually the super chill hacker lounge, where it’s quiet enough to actually talk, and it’s totally cool to meet new friends around the lego table or bring my knitting. I don’t mind a few alcoholic conference mixers, but I have to say I meet and remember way more people at open source bridge than many other conferences.


Talk I gave this year, entitled “Taking No For an Answer,” isn’t entirely open source specific, since it’s really about a bad community behaviour you see in many other communities, but the focus and my examples come from my work in open source. I can’t seem to find the audio recording they made, so this is reconstructed from my slide notes. You can find the whole slide deck here: Taking No For An Answer (Open Source Bridge 2016) slides.


Taking No for an Answer: a talk by Terri Oda at Open Source Bridge 2016

[Title Slide] Taking No for an Answer: a talk by Terri Oda at Open Source Bridge 2016


Open source (like many fields) rewards people who are confident and even a bit pushy. Those of us who go furthest are often those who offered to fix bugs and followed through, who were ready to argue about their architectural ideas on a mailing list or irc channel. In many ways, open source is do-ocracy, where those with the time and the confidence to do things become leaders. In volunteer led communities, it can often be the case that the quality or merit of the work isn’t the big focus: it’s whether it’s getting done by anyone at all.


[Slide 1] This slide shows a collage of book covers and articles related to confidence: "How to overcome impostor syndrome" "Women don't ask" "Lean in" "Closing the confidence gap" "The impostor syndrome"

[Slide 1] This slide shows a collage of book covers and articles related to confidence: “How to overcome impostor syndrome” “Women don’t ask” “Lean in” “Closing the confidence gap” “The impostor syndrome”


So because of this, In the tech world, there’s been a lot of focus on getting people to step forwards, negotiate, lean in, DO. This can be super valuable — sometimes people do need a reminder, need some tips, need an invitation to speak, need to evaluate their internal censor and not let it stop them. There’s a reason my google image search pulled up a bunch of stuff aimed at women: there’s been a lot of push to encourage folk who are under-represented or socialized not to step forwards.


[Slide 2] Slide shows the phrase "But what about the men?" in a bold, playful font

[Slide 2] Slide shows the phrase “But what about the men?” in a bold, playful font


So clearly, as in all discussions about women and minorities, it’s time to consider what about the men? (room laughs)


[Slide 3] reads "What about self-improvement for leaders?" and shows Superman and The Hulk action figures, apparently in the middle of an argument

[Slide 3] reads “What about self-improvement for leaders?” and shows Superman and The Hulk action figures, apparently in the middle of an argument


Okay, just kidding. But surely self-improvement isn’t just for folk who haven’t stepped up yet. What about self-improvement for people who are already leaders in our communities? What about training confident people to be better? So this talk is aimed not at our most vulnerable but at some of our more powerful, as well as those who want to become more powerful and effective community members.


[Slide 4] reads "So let's talk about NO" and has a picture of a sign with a person holding up a hand to indicate no.

[Slide 4] reads “So let’s talk about NO” and has a picture of a sign with a person holding up a hand to indicate no.


So, it looks like I have a great audience of existing and future community leaders. Let’s talk about no.


[Slide 5] reads "No is a powerful tool" and has a picture of a circular saw

[Slide 5] reads “No is a powerful tool” and has a picture of a circular saw


No is a powerful tool with many uses. In my professional life, I do open source security, and a lot of my job involves saying no: No, this code isn’t right. No, you can’t skip validation. In my volunteer life, one of the things I do is coordinate a large summer mentoring program for the python software foundation. No, you can’t have more students than you have mentors. No, you can’t sign up even though it’s past the deadline. And as a minority in tech, I say a lot of no. No, I’m not available to help you with more diverse hiring. No, I don’t have time to educate you on issues facing minorities in tech. No helps me do my job, manage my time, make my volunteer program better, and so much more.


[Slide 6] reads "Now, I'm a NO professional... But lots of folk are not." there is no image on this slide, only stark text.

[Slide 6] reads “Now, I’m a NO professional… But lots of folk are not.” there is no image on this slide, only stark text.


I get paid to say no: it’s a huge part of my job, and I’ve learned a lot about when to say no, how to say no, techniques to make it easier for people to accept no, when I need backup on saying no, etc. But while I’m a professional naysayer, that’s not true of a lot of other folk in our communities.


[Slide 7] reads "Saying no can be exhausting" with emphasis on the word exhausting.  There is a picture of a tired looking kitty on the slide.

[Slide 7] reads “Saying no can be exhausting” with emphasis on the word exhausting. There is a picture of a tired looking kitty on the slide.


And frankly, saying no can get pretty exhausting. It’s not at all helped by all those “but you should put yourself forwards!” self-help books, let me tell you. I had some dude give me a unsolicited pep talk at work about imposter syndrome and seriously, some people need to learn the difference between a lack of confidence and a knowledgable evaluation of personal skill. No is hard, especially if you’ve been socialized to be agreeable, and some people take advantage of that.. There’s a whole talk to be had about how to say no effectively, and maybe some day I’ll give it, but I feel like the people who might need some help saying no are mostly the same people who needed help saying yes, and I want to talk to the other people. The people who make saying no so exhausting, whether they mean to or not.


[Slide 8] reads "That's not really a security bug" and has a picture of a box that has a label that says "enjoy denial" in the style of a coke advertisement, and a "hello my name is denial" sticker in the style of a name sticker

[Slide 8] has a title of “1. denial” and a quote that reads “That’s not really a security bug” and has a picture of a box that has a label that says “enjoy denial” in the style of a coke advertisement, and a “hello my name is denial” sticker in the style of a name sticker


Let’s talk about some common anti-patterns you get when you say no. The first one is denial. I hear this a lot in my professional life: That’s not really a security bug. That’s not exploitable. No one would ever do that.


[Slide 2] has a title that reads "2. Anger" and a quote that says "Failing this will destroy my future career!" over a picture of a young man making weird face that could be interpreted as anger

[Slide 2] has a title that reads “2. Anger” and a quote that says “Failing this will destroy my future career!” over a picture of a young man making weird face that could be interpreted as anger


The second reaction to no is anger. I hit this one a lot when teaching and mentoring: students sometimes have been effortlessly at the top of their class and don’t know how to handle having to work for results. Or they just have no way to handle failure and dust themselves off to try again. So they yell at me. They yell at people who they think have power over me. They blame anyone but themselves for the fact that I’m telling them something they don’t want to hear, and let me tell you they *really* don’t want to hear that I’m not destroying their life, their poor performance is destroying their life. And I wish I could say it’s just students, but try telling a project that they’re going to miss their shipping deadline due to a late breaking security issue or their failure to do due diligence. This is totally an understandable response, but it’s not a productive response.


[Slide 10] has a title of "3. Bargaining" and a quote that says "can't you just do this one thing?" and a picture of an advertisement with a cartoon farmer saying "you'd be crazy to miss this bargains"

[Slide 10] has a title of “3. Bargaining” and a quote that says “can’t you just do this one thing?” and a picture of an advertisement with a cartoon farmer saying “you’d be crazy to miss this bargains”


Next is bargaining. The worst experience I have ever had saying no was to someone who exhibited both the denial and bargaining anti-patterns. She wanted me to run a program that I’d run in previous years, which is a totally reasonable thing to ask, but when I said I wasn’t available because of a more impactful commitment, she would repeatedly come to me with things and it was always “couldn’t you just” — “couldn’t you just look over the wiki?” “couldn’t you just help with this one part of the project” “couldn’t you just help this one person get set up” “couldn’t you just answer this question.” It was exhausting and awful, because I absolutely did not have the time to do these things, and I’d actually made it clear that I didn’t even have time to keep telling her no. And yet, the questions still came.


But bargaining can also be a useful and productive pattern. In my professional life, when I say no, it’s pretty normal to negotiate a solution together with the dev team. Even in that dreadful volunteer experience, my final out came by begging a friend to work with her — negotiating it so that there was a buffer of no between me and her so she had a resource willing to help her and I had the ability to do the other thing I had committed to do.


[Slide 11] has a title of "4. Depression" and a quote that reads "Well, if you can't help me, then this program will die" and a picture of a young woman sitting at a picnic table with her face in her hands

[Slide 11] has a title of “4. Depression” and a quote that reads “Well, if you can’t help me, then this program will die” and a picture of a young woman sitting at a picnic table with her face in her hands


And then there’s depression, which honestly can be both emotional manipulation as well true dismay.


[Slide 12] has a title of "5. Acceptance" and contains an artistic photo of a cheerful looking T Rex toy

[Slide 12] has a title of “5. Acceptance” and contains an artistic photo of a cheerful looking T Rex toy


And finally, of course, acceptance. If you haven’t already recognized them, as well as the 5 stages of no, that was also the 5 stages of grieving. It’s sort of disturbing how much they line up. But why do we need to think about no anti-patterns?


[Slide 13] reads "So few experts, so many asks" and contains no picture

[Slide 13] reads “So few experts, so many asks” and contains no picture


And the answer is that these anti-patterns harm our communities. In a situation where you have very few experts and many people asking, anti-patterns surrounding no contribute to communities denial-of-servicing our few experts. This happens to me as a security expert sometimes: I’ve had weeks where I wind up arguing with people about lousy decisions endlessly, so much so that I then don’t have enough time to do advanced secure code review, or help other groups triage security issues well. It happens to me a lot more than I would like.

[Silde 14] has a title "Causes of burnout" and then a copy of a slide by Cate Huston that has a picture of an owl and reads 1. lack of control 2. insufficient reward 3. lack of community 4. absence of fairness 5. conflict in values 6. work overload"

[Silde 14] has a title “Causes of burnout” and then a copy of a slide by Cate Huston that has a picture of an owl and reads 1. lack of control 2. insufficient reward 3. lack of community 4. absence of fairness 5. conflict in values 6. work overload”


My friend Cate has been giving a great talk on burnout and I just wanted to share this slide, which talks about the fact that burnout isn’t just caused by high workload. No is a great tool for avoiding high workload, but it’s also a great tool for avoiding being put in situations where you’ll be hit by the other 5 things on this list. That’s one of the reasons that it’s absolutely essential that leaders need to learn to take no for an answer so that their communities can actually be *healthy* and not burnout factories.


[Side 15] has a picture of a ballerina in a practice outfit holding a pose that requires strength and below the words "How do I accept a no with strength and grace?"

[Side 15] has a picture of a ballerina in a practice outfit holding a pose that requires strength and below the words “How do I accept a no with strength and grace?”


So how can I learn to accept no with strength and grace?


[Slide 16] has only large text that reads "Step 1: Accept"

[Slide 16] has only large text that reads “Step 1: Accept”


The first step to accepting gracefully is to actually accept that no was in fact the answer given. If you catch yourself doing any of the anti-pattern things, you aren’t really doing a good job at this. Consider the lady who wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept asking me “couldn’t you just…” — if she’d been able to accept the no, we could have had time to help her find a better solution. But instead, the whole experience left me frustrated, exhausted, and telling my friends cautionary tales about the experience. This was a bad outcome for both of us, and for the people she wanted to help.


[Slide 17] has only large text that reads "Step 2: Listen:

[Slide 17] has only large text that reads “Step 2: Listen:


The second step is to listen. If you’re convinced this was the right choice, take time to find out why the answer was no. Be prepared to have that answer challenge your assumptions. One of the things I do at work sometimes is review open source libraries to see if they have good enough security hygiene for inclusion in our products, and I get a lot of push back when I tell people they need to choose a better library. They’ve made assumptions that don’t match up with my metrics, and the only way for them to learn to make better choices and thus get products to market faster is to learn what assumptions are leading them to poor decisions.


[Slide 18] has only large text that reads "Step 3: Plan"

[Slide 18] has only large text that reads “Step 3: Plan”


The last step is to form a new plan. You might be able to do this with the help of the person who said no, but you shouldn’t assume that — No means no, folk. If you want to be a great leader, you need to take responsibility for finding a new plan if you want the thing to be done.


[Slide 19] reads "But I don't want to get a no" with emphasis on the words "don't want"

[Slide 19] reads “But I don’t want to get a no” with emphasis on the words “don’t want”


But I don’t want to get a no.


[Slide 20] reads "But I can't afford to get a no" with emphasis on the words "can't afford"

[Slide 20] reads “But I can’t afford to get a no” with emphasis on the words “can’t afford”


But I can’t afford to get a no.


[Slide 21] says "How do I turn no into a yes?" with no emphasized in red to evoke a "stop" and yes emphasized in green to evoke a "go"

[Slide 21] says “How do I turn no into a yes?” with no emphasized in red to evoke a “stop” and yes emphasized in green to evoke a “go”


How do I turn no into a yes?


[Slide 22] reads "If you want to turn no into yes, first consider: Am I being an asshole?" The phrase "Am I being an asshole?" is emphasized.

[Slide 22] reads “If you want to turn no into yes, first consider: Am I being an asshole?” The phrase “Am I being an asshole?” is emphasized.


If you want to turn a no into yes, first consider: Am I being an asshole? (audience at OSB laughs, pulls out smart phones to take pictures of the slide). This is a legit thing you should ask yourself pretty regularly as a community leader, actually. For example, sometimes you’ll be asking for things to be done in a way that makes them easier for you at the cost of others. Sometimes you’re just demanding that things be done the first way you thought of when that’s not the important part of the request.


[Slide 23] reads "If you want to turn no into yes, first consider: What do I really need?" The phrase "What do I really need?" is emphasized.

[Slide 23] reads “If you want to turn no into yes, first consider: What do I really need?” The phrase “What do I really need?” is emphasized.


But perhaps more usefully, ask yourself what you really need. The answer is almost certainly not “I need to irritate my valuable volunteers” but what is the answer?


[Slide 24] has an image of a hand raised as if to ask a question and reads "How do I improve my ask?"

[Slide 24] has an image of a hand raised as if to ask a question and reads “How do I improve my ask?”


So, if you’re getting a no and you want a yes, clearly you are doing something wrong in the way you ask. How can you improve your ask to get better results for your community even if you have to get a no sometimes?


[Slide 25] has a picture of a woman looking into a microscope in a scientific lab and reads "Step 1: do your research"

[Slide 25] has a picture of a woman looking into a microscope in a scientific lab and reads “Step 1: do your research”


Step 1: do your research.


[Slide 26] repeats the title from the previous slide "Step 1: do your research" and follows it with a list of questions: What do you really need? Who else can you ask? Where else can you get more information? How long will what you’re asking for actually take?  How stressful is it?

[Slide 26] repeats the title from the previous slide “Step 1: do your research” and follows it with a list of questions: What do you really need?
Who else can you ask?
Where else can you get more information?
How long will what you’re asking for actually take?
How stressful is it?



  • What do you really need?

  • Who else can you ask?

  • Where else can you get more information?

  • How long will what you’re asking for actually take?

  • How stressful is it?


[Slide 27] has a picture of two kids sharing and reads "Step 2: use your empathy"

[Slide 27] has a picture of two kids sharing and reads “Step 2: use your empathy”


Step 2: Use your empathy


[Slide 28] repeats the title from the previous slide "Step 2: use your empathy" and asks a range of questions (will appear in text below this caption) The emphasis is on the final sentence, which reads "Empathy is not about what you want, but what they want."

[Slide 28] repeats the title from the previous slide “Step 2: use your empathy” and asks a range of questions (will appear in text below this caption) The emphasis is on the final sentence, which reads “Empathy is not about what you want, but what they want.”



  • How can you make saying yes more beneficial to the person you’re asking?


    • Can you pay them?

    • Can you provide other rewards?

    • Can you make it align better with their career or life goals?

    • Can you make sure they get more thanks, recognition?


  • How can you make it easier for them to say yes?


    • Do they need childcare?

    • Do they need a better schedule?

    • Does the task need to be better-defined?

    • Could they help with something smaller?


  • Should you just leave them alone if they say no?

  • Empathy is not about what you want, but what they want.


If you don’t know how to empathize, you’re going to end up with asks that are utterly unappealing or outright insulting to the people whose help you want.


[Slide 29] has a picture of a snowy scene with my mom and her dog Buster and reads, "I'm Canadian.  People die of exposure"

[Slide 29] has a picture of a snowy scene with my mom and her dog Buster and reads, “I’m Canadian. People die of exposure”


And in a striking example of that, one thing I and many others often get offered for my time is “exposure” — I’m from Canada. My people DIE of exposure. But jokes aside, exposure is often a double-edged sword for people in your community, and you need your empathy and knowledge of your community of volunteers to know when that’s something they might want and when it’s something they want to avoid at all costs.


[Slide 31] has a title of "Step 3: make a backup plan (or several)" and a Foxtrot comic about the need to make computer backups *before* doing something on the computer

[Slide 31] has a title of “Step 3: make a backup plan (or several)” and a Foxtrot comic about the need to make computer backups *before* doing something on the computer


Make a backup plan (hopefully this will be easier with the research!) If getting a yes is really important to you, you should try to do all of these things in advance.


[Slide 32] is a summary slide described in detail below.

[Slide 32] is a summary slide described in detail below.


Refusing to take no for an answer is damaging behaviour: it contributes to burnout, denial of service, assholism.


Steps to graceful acceptance of no:



  1. Accept

  2. Listen

  3. Plan


If you really need a yes



  1. Do your research

  2. Use your empathy

  3. Make a backup plan


And do all of this before you ask if you want the best results and the happiest community. If you’re asking for something, the onus is upon you to figure out who might want to do this and find a way to make them feel great about saying yes.


Learning to accept no well and productively will make you a more effective leader.


nopetopus

Nopetopus source


Photo credits:

“Superman vs Hulk (131/365)” by JD Hancock https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdhancock/4600608792

“Talk to the hand” by Bridget McKenzie https://www.flickr.com/photos/bridgetmckenz/7822818160/

“Power tool” by Helen Cook https://www.flickr.com/photos/hvc/2681974174/

“Sleepy” by Sera Photography https://www.flickr.com/photos/seraphing/15305580251/

“Denial pack” by andres musta https://www.flickr.com/photos/andresmusta/6175939561/

“Anger” by kunkelstein https://www.flickr.com/photos/21370407@N08/2091127037

“You’d be crazy to miss these bargains” by Christian Heilmann https://www.flickr.com/photos/codepo8/1309725237

“Acceptance” by Kitty Mao https://www.flickr.com/photos/kwseah/21683299393

“Beautiful Ballerina” by Grace Trivino https://www.flickr.com/photos/graceyheartphotography/4741052547

“Raised hand” by usdagov https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/22484527807/

“Sharing” by Binny V A https://www.flickr.com/photos/binnyva/8600465534

“Out for a walk in the woods” by Terriko https://www.flickr.com/photos/terrio/8304718546/

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2016-10-27 02:00 pm

Spinning continued

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.

My class has been done for a couple of weeks, but I’m still spinning! It’s actually kind of killing me to leave my wheel behind for my upcoming trip, but I haven’t even tried a spindle yet so there will be no spinning for a little while. So to tide me over, I’m posting some pictures of my almost-finished skeins today. Hopefully I’ll have some comparison photos with them after washing and finishing later when I have time for more photos.


First plied yarn


Before washing:

First skein of handspun yarn


This is two different PCC fleeces. At least I’m pretty sure it was: the label on the bag of the white is definitely PCC but I didn’t check the bag of the brown since that was what we were using in class. That brown skein is my very first thing off the wheel, from the very first class! (It was also done on a wheel that we decided didn’t quite suit me, so I switched out for the rest of my class rental.) Both colours are natural and undyed.


Second plied yarn


Second handspun yarn


This is the same white from the two-toned first skein, out of the same bag. I found the white way easier to spin than the brown since it wasn’t as “sticky” and all of a sudden I could keep it consistent and smaller. Of course, it could have just been that I’d had more practice!


My second handspun yarn!


I was focused on spinning so I didn’t stop quite often enough for bits of grass and stuff stuck in there, making this a little extra-rustic. Can you spot any in the photos?


Third plied yarn


In progress:

My third handspun yarn, during plying


This is a super beautiful hand-dyed fiber braid from Kashmaier Creations. I decided after the success of my second yarn, I wanted to treat myself by trying out some of her beautiful fiber, and I’m really pleased by how it came out!


Looking dramatic:

My third handspun yarn


The fiber is a corrie cross that was recommended to me as suitable for beginners, and I think I agree. I was intentionally making it thicker than the 2nd yarn because I wanted it squooshy, and the plied yarn turned out almost exactly how I envisioned.


Yarn having a bath:

Yarn having a bath


Look at those colours! I’m not sure what this yarn will be yet, but I definitely want to make it into something I can show off.


Next up, one more hand-dyed extravagance with a different sheep breed as base, then I might try to do something a little more slippery to see how that works out.


I’m really enjoying the process: running the double treadle wheel I’m using is like a little moving meditation, and since I had a hard week of sore leg and sore head, I was sorely in need of that. I didn’t think I needed a new hobby, but I definitely don’t mind having one. If you want a little spin-spiration, check out enfiber‘s great spinning series and fascinating guide to understanding different fiber types. They’re part of why I was willing to stretch my horizons with a new fiber craft, so I was ready to sign up when the right class came along!

terriko: (Default)
2016-10-13 02:03 pm

Starry Stole

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.

Starry Stole


This was actually my first beaded knitting project, and it’s a miracle it wasn’t my last, as it called for threading hundreds of beads (700 the pattern said!) on beautiful laceweight wool.


It took me 5 years to finish.


Well, okay, I can’t be sure it was 5 years, because I didn’t actually put this project in Ravelry with a start date, but it was pretty early on in my knitting career, and was started when I lived in Albuquerque, so that only really gives me a possible 2 year window. It’s at least 4 years, anyhow. It felt like forever.


Pattern: Starry Stole

Yarn: I believe it was the discontinued Knitpicks Shimmer Hand Dyed Lace

Ravelry Link: My Starry Stole


I can definitely tell you that I wouldn’t try to string beads on that yarn again — it felted little rings as you slid the beads along, the beads wrapped around each other making terrible almost-knots. I’m more experienced now, and I know that fighting with yarn and beads like this is unnecessary now thanks to nice tools like my bead-aid. Stringing them on meant I could slip-stitch them to float on one side, though, and that is actually pretty nice in the final feel of the piece.


Starry Stole


Despite many frustrating moments and the huge number of times I set it down in favour of some less irritating project, the final piece is beautiful. The soft lace yarn floats over my skin with the beads providing sparkle and just enough weight. I wish the yarn wasn’t discontinued! It feels like something out of a fairy tale, and it looks like it too.


Starry Stole


Because this was a very early project for me, it’s pretty easy for me to spot the mistakes: here’s where I had too heavy a stitch marker and it pulled on the yarn, here’s a place where I botched the lace edging and guessed at a fix, here’s a section where the tension isn’t quite even. But blocking smoothed most of that out and the result is beautiful even with some signs of my inexperience knit in to the piece. Maybe that tangible record of how far I’ve come is part of the magic of this shawl.


Starry Stole


I learned a lot from this one, and I’m glad I finally finished it, because it really is lovely.


Starry Stole

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2016-10-10 02:01 pm

Craftsman Shawl

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.

This shawl is another part of my fall finishing spree, which was inspired by someone in one of my online groups asking how many WIPs I had. I took stock, then finished this one before posting my answer (which is probably cheating) and then started in on the gloves and another one I’ll post soon.


Craftsman Shawl


I saw this in the shop at Twisted and it’s very striking with those square holes, and I love the inspiration from Craftsman homes. Combine that with a local yarn, and you get a pleasantly local pattern. I suspect those are always an easier sell around here, since “buy local” is something that people really commit to in the PNW. I know I’m quickly becoming a sucker for pacific-northwest themed stuff, and I’ve only lived here 3 years. (But oh, when I step out into that misty fall rain, sometimes it feels like my heart’s been here forever.)


Craftsman Shawl


Pattern: Craftsman Shawl. While this pattern looks pretty ornate, it’s surprisingly simple, and has lots of straight-up knit rows which were very pleasant while I was on conference calls or watching videos or whatever. I don’t think it’d be a great beginner project, but it’s probably only a few steps up from beginner level.


Craftsman Shawl


I love the aesthetics of the pattern, but once I got it finished, I was surprised to find that it wasn’t nearly as warm as I expected because the blocking opened up those big holes so it no longer trapped air as well as it did while I was knitting it. So don’t plan for this to be a great warmth piece. But it’s actually kind of nice as a mid-weight piece, and it’s more or less earned a place on my favourite chair for when the sun goes down and the living room starts to cool off.


Craftsman Shawl


Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Silky Victoria. I picked this up also at Twisted, I think maybe using a coupon intended to get people to come back after the Rose City Yarn Crawl. Smart marketing, although the store is kind of picked over at that point. Twisted is one of the first shops I visited in Portland, and it’s still one I take yarn-loving visitors to because it’s got a nice selection of local dyers for your tourist yarn needs and gives me an excuse to drive across the city.


Craftsman Shawl


This was a *giant* ball of yarn. It’s soft, but still wooly, and doesn’t feel super silky to me (compared to my fancier blends) but it shines with that silky almost-sparkle. that’s really highlighted by the tonal reds. I’m a big fan of the Blue Moon colourways, and this is a pleasant base that really shows the rich colours at their best. It’s not one of those yarns that makes me immediately want to run out and buy more just because it feels so amazing, but their colours (and their hilarious names) always tempt me.


Craftsman Shawl


My project on ravelry, in case you want to queue up your own.


How am I doing on that finishing spree? I had 8 works in progress if you count this one, 4 are done, and I started and finished a 5th that’s currently blocking.


Two WIPs you know about are the abandoned cardipalooza cardigan and the dreaded second glove from the catch a falling star MKAL. I’ve got two more WIPs that I don’t intend to finish right now because there’s pattern rework to be done.


But then I started a hat this morning because I needed a purse-sized project that wouldn’t poke holes in things (the needles for those fingerless gloves are deadly) and the new yarn from the <a href="http://flockandfiberfestival.com/>flock and fiber festival</a> was calling to me. So I&#8217;m currently at 3 in progress, two stalled. Good thing I&#8217;m not *too* worried about having a few things on the needles at once!</p>

terriko: (Default)
2016-10-06 02:00 pm

Cadfael Shawlette

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.

I did a lot of crochet in August, mostly amigrumi for ABQ Maker Faire, but there was also this pretty little thing for myself:


Cadfael Shawl


Pattern: Cadfael Shawlette by Kat Strieby


I really loved the Rimsky-Korsakoffee-Cake Shawl that was the crochet mystery-a-long for the Rose City Yarn Crawl 2016. I’d only chosen to do that one because I met Kat at my local yarn shop, but I particularly like Kat’s crochet charts, which are exceptionally pleasant to use, and will rave about them to anyone who asks.


I don’t know if I ever posted pictures of me in that shawl here, so here’s one:


Rose City Yarn Crawl - Day 3 - Mystery Crochet-a-Long


That shawl remains one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever made, as well as a great experience to make. So when my friend M suggested that we do another of her patterns and a knit-a-long together, I took her up on it. It became an excuse to send her ridiculous photos of the shawl in progress for a while:


img_20160905_192934


The new shawl isn’t quite as striking as the coloured layers of my old one, but it’s certainly going to become a favourite piece for me to wear:


Cadfael Shawl


Yarn: Teresa Ruch Designs Tencel 5/2. I don’t know the name of the colourway (It had just come in the day I bought it and I’m not sure any name had stuck yet at the time that I bought it), but it’s a special shop colour exclusive to Black Sheep at Orenco, so you should order from them if you love it.


Cadfael Shawl


This tencel is quickly becoming my favourite thing to crochet with, especially for shawls, because it’s light and drapey and the colours come through as saturated and shiny. Since it’s a very smooth synthetic, it doesn’t stick to itself which means you can slide things around easily during blocking. It’s also quite nice for beads. I’d guess you could even string them on in advance since this yarn doesn’t felt, but I used a Bead Aid because it’s so much easier.


This shawl is a somewhat unusual shape, which becomes more striking during blocking.


Before blocking:

Cadfael Shawl (pre blocking)


During blocking:


Cadfael Shawl (during blocking)


Although to be honest, you don’t see it much the way I’ve been wearing it as a scarf lately:


Cadfael Shawl


It’s a really lovely piece and I’m glad M convinced me it was time to try this pattern!


My project on Ravelry in case you want to see more pictures or queue it up yourself.

terriko: (Default)
2016-10-02 11:14 pm

Learning to spin!

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.

I really don’t need new hobbies, especially not ones that require a bunch of equipment. But sometimes you get an opportunity and you just have to go for it: in this case, it was a class taught by an instructor who I was sure would be great for the way I learn. So I’m learning to spin yarn this week and next.


I’ve got to say, I’m not exactly a natural at this, but it’s still kind of a relaxing set of motions, and I’m quite enjoying it. Here’s my first attempt (the fluff on the right is just some unspun stuff at the end):


My first attempt at spinning!


And my second, which is still on my borrowed wheel waiting for me to continue practice. (The class sensibly includes a wheel rental for practice, although I need to switch wheels tomorrow when the new rental wheel comes in).


My second attempt at spinning


Both of these are, I believe, from fleece from the flock at the Portland Community College. Undyed, just different sheep.

terriko: (Default)
2016-10-01 05:54 am

Grey gloves (Phase 1)

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.

Grey gloves for J


I’ve been on a bit of a finishing spree, pulling out older projects. This one technically isn’t finished yet, since I’ll be putting a finger cover to make them convertible gloves, but since I gave them to J to try out in case it’s cool while he’s traveling east I figure they’re finished for now!


These were started in the spring, but abandoned when it got too warm for them to be useful. It’s still too warm, but I wanted to make sure they were done before it actually got cold.


Pattern: Line by Line mittens. This is a bit of a silly pattern to use with a solid grey yarn, but I had a copy (I think maybe it was a giveaway once?) and it has a size that’s suitable for J. Since this wasn’t a surprise, I got J to choose how long to make the fingers, so it’s not exactly to pattern.


Yarn: Misti Tui from Misti Alpaca. Sport weight, chains of thin alpaca. This is the same type of yarn I used for my Easy Kitty Hat. It’s probably not ideal for gloves, but it’s so soft and easy to stuff in a pocket that I thought J might enjoy some gloves out of it and offered to make them.


I don’t know if I’d recommend it for gloves in general because I doubt it’s super hardy, but so soft, and if they got worn out it’s not too hard to patch them up or make more.

terriko: (Default)
2016-09-28 09:30 pm
Entry tags:

September as start to a new year

Probably because I have three academic degrees and then worked in a university as a postdoc, I still center my life around September as beginning of the year. This year doing so that way feels especially odd because September is the one month where no one in my household is traveling so it's less busy rather than the usual school year of more busy, but it also feels apt because I'm settling into new stuff at work.

But let it not be said that because I'm out of school I'm not learning. I'm actually even signed up for two classes:


1. I signed up for a two-session spinning course at my local yarn shop. The instructor is a friend from the Saturday knit group and I'm super excited because I've watched and listen to her teach so I know she'll be great. I absolutely positively do not need a new hobby, but learning new things is fun!

2. I also signed up for a free online course in a subject I know nearly nothing about: "Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones". Why? Because Kathy Reichs novels and crime shows have no doubt left me with a jumbled impression of how bone identification works and I like random real biology and science in my life (a hazard of being raised by biochemists). I plan to watch the first few lectures and decide whether to stick to it, which is something a friend taught me to do with courses when I was an undergrad and it's the one thing I wish everyone knew to do because it lets you try a broader range of things.

If anyone else wants to watch lectures and chat with me about them, I find I stick with these things more if I talk about them with someone, so hit me up for class gossip!

Other than that, I've been doing some more new-years-resolution type stuff:

a. I've been finishing up some work-in-progress knitting things that got shelved for various reasons, and it's strangely satisfying. Hopefully I'll get some time to do some pictures soon and write those up.

b. I bought a new band for my fitbit and am trying to be more serious about using the data it gives me to walk more and sleep more. It's not going super well because my schedule is so random right now, but I'm working on it.

c. I changed up all my subscription boxes, stopping Birchbox, Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags and trying to stop Yarn of the Month (although apparently I didn't get the email out correctly because I got a shipping notice). They're all great subscriptions, but they all piled up over the summer and I think I'll let myself enjoy what I have for a bit.

I did, however, sign back up for the Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bags, which turned out to be a sanity saver for me several times because it meant I had small kits on hand when I was going somewhere without much notice and needed an easy thing to do. So the plan is to do that up to when the Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery-a-longs start in January and then decide if I need more or I need a break. :)

d. I'm back in work choir and am looking for some better ways to do vocal training, because Christmas music has a lot of high soprano parts and I'm a mezzo soprano with a lousy range that I know I can improve if I work at it. Advice and technological learning help much appreciated! I'll probably start with some Rock Band sessions, since I'm way out of practice from the summer.

It's a good start to a new year, even if it isn't a new year exactly!
terriko: (Default)
2016-09-04 11:00 am
Entry tags:

Library books returned and read

Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy:…
Welcome to Shadowhunter Academy: Shadowhunter Academy, Book 1
by Cassandra Clare, Devon Bostick (Narrator), Simon & Schuster Audio (Publisher)


This one was a cute short about Simon trying to live up to his own legacy (see previous many books) by going to Shadowhunter Academy. It's mostly funny almost a mockery of an anime high school heroes drama, but clearly setting up for a more serious tale about what it means to be a hero. Pointless to read without having read the other series, I expect, but an enjoyable lighter follow-up if you have.


Burned (An Alex Verus Novel) by Benedict…
Burned (An Alex Verus Novel)
by Benedict Jacka

Still enjoying this series, surprisingly, because this is around the point where the political drama and awful things happening to characters I love starts to wear on me. Still enough light in the dark, and it was nice to see some of the characters come to terms with each other.

Prez Vol. 1: Corndog in Chief by Mark…
Prez Vol. 1: Corndog in Chief
by Mark Russell, Sean Parsons (Illustrator), Ben Caldwell (Illustrator), Mark Morales (Illustrator), Dominike"domo"stanton (Illustrator)

In a not-so-distant future, corporate personhood and attention economy has led us to the point where a teenaged girl gets elected as president of the united states after she starred in a crappy video and a hacker group decided to push her as a viable 3rd candidate. This book chronicles her rise and her attempts to make something out of her figurehead presidency after all. This one jumps around a lot (likely an intentional choice) but is an interesting story at its core.


Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling by…
Delilah Dirk and the King's Shilling
by Tony Cliff

Book 2 in this series is a bit less swashbuckling with a touch of Jane Austen, but still fun. Love the denouement with her relatives.


The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Spirit Ring
by Lois McMaster Bujold

Apparently I'd never read this Lois Mcmaster Bujold? This tale could be cast in the mold of "plucky girl hero saves the world" but with our young heroine's rage and willingness to bend the rules to get what she needs, it's a strangely strong story that quietly breaks many of the rules we quietly have about stories told about young heroes and women. Here is a heroine who doesn't feel guilt or uncertainty about her power and intelligence and rages against having to hide it, who gets angry, who doesn't follow the rules and this doesn't lead to downfall and repentance but rather to success. This is a quietly subversive story wrapped in a traditional fantasy mold. Sure, it's maybe not the epics and maybe isn't as full-package clever as her later works, but it's a surprising gem for its genre.
terriko: (Default)
2016-08-22 01:25 am

Crochet Pokéball Postcard Pattern

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.

My favourite local yarn store, Black Sheep at Orenco, got turned into a pokémon gym with the advent of Pokémon Go, and I was so pleased by this that I thought I’d make a pattern! Now, pokéball patterns are a dime a dozen, but what I wanted was something that would be easy to print up nicely and give away, so that’s what I made. I’ll have a batch to give away at Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire on Aug 27-28, and hopefully the lovely folk at Black Sheep at Orenco will let me give away some there too.


Here’s the pages as images, but if you’d like to print it yourself or save it in your collection, I recommend the Pokeball postcard pattern pdf. It’s intended for a 4×6 postcard, or both sides will print onto a single 8.5×11″ sheet of paper.


Pokeball-pattern-1


Pokeball-pattern-2


(The text version of the pattern is at the bottom of this post)


Need help? There are lots of great tutorials out there, including video tutorials on youtube. If the first one you find doesn’t work for you, there’s many more options!


Here’s a few tutorials you might need for this pattern:


Still confused? You can probably also find an expert or a class at your local yarn store.


Love the pattern and want to thank me? Here’s a few things you can do:


  1. I don’t take tips, but I love seeing photos of what people have done with my patterns, so feel free to drop me an email at terri (at) toybox.ca.

  2. Make a pokeball and leave it for someone to find at your local pokestop or gym!

  3. Buy something at Black Sheep at Orenco so my favourite yarn store stays in business. (If you’re a crocheter and haven’t tried Teresa Ruch’s tencel, I recommend splurging on a ball and making a shawl or scarf. Such saturated colours with beautiful shine; the pictures hardly do it justice!)


Feel free to print this pattern out for friends or strangers and do whatever you’d like with your pokeballs! (Although please don’t hurt anyone with them!)


Crochet PoKéBall


A free amigurumi pattern by Terri Oda


Materials: Yarn in red, white, black. Crochet hook appropriate for yarn or smaller to avoid holes.

Yarn needle. Stuffing (polyfill and/or beans work well)

Picture uses worsted weight and size I or 5.5mm hook.

sc single crochet

inc increase by doing two single crochet in a single crochet stitch

dec “invisible” decrease: pull up loop in outside-of-ball half of next stitch, then full following stitch. Finish by pulling though all 3 loops on hook.

When starting your next stitch, be careful not to re-use the 2nd stitch in the decrease by accident.


Button:

0 (white): 6 sc in a magic circle loop

There are great tutorials for magic circles online!

1 (black): Switch colours to black, 2sc in each stitch (for total of 12 stitches)

Cut yarn, leaving a long black tail for sewing

Ball:

0 (red): 6 sc in a magic circle loop (6 stitches)

1 (red): increase (inc) 6 times (12 stitches)

2 (red): inc in next stitch, sc in following one repeat 6 times (18 stitches total)

3 (red): inc, sc, sc 6 times (24 stitches)

4 (red): inc, sc 3 times 6 times (30 stitches)

5-7 (red): sc around (30 stitches)

8 (black): change to black, sc around (30 stitches)

Don’t worry if your colour change looks obvious, it will be covered by the button.

9-11 (white): change to white, sc around (30 stitches)

12 (white): dec, sc 3 times 6 times (24 stitches)

13 (white): dec, sc, sc 6 times (18 stitches)

Start filling ball. You may need to stuff more as you go

14 (white): dec, sc 6 times (12 stitches)

15 (white): dec 6 times (6 stitches). Last chance to stuff!

Cut thread and pull through to close circle.


Sew button onto ball, covering the area with colour change. Toss at a pokémon to catch it!

terriko: (Default)
2016-08-19 10:41 pm
Entry tags:

Brief book reviews: poodle mysteries and sexy aliens

Been a while since I did book reviews, eh? Not going to bother to catch up, but here are the books going back to the library this weekend:

Alien Proliferation (Alien Novels) by Gini…
Alien Proliferation (Alien Novels)
by Gini Koch

Amusingly, this is from the same series of the last book reviews I did, back in March! That was book 1, I'm now on book 4.

Series is still full of sexy aliens and crazy terrorist plots. Loving the characters and the way the author doesn't feel a need to pry apart established relationships in order to feed the drama. That actually matters quite a bit to me -- I get tired of longer series when they keep doing that, and here instead our main characters are growing into their relationships while chaos swirls around them. Less loving how brutal the bad guys were in this one. Still love the characters, but I might have to move this series from my personal "fun romp that will cheer me up" pile to a "read when you're ready" one.

Hair of the Dog (A Melanie Travis Mystery)…
Hair of the Dog (A Melanie Travis Mystery)
by Laurien Berenson

Also a book 4! This is a poodle mystery series my mom recommended to me after she saw how often I post pictures of dog shows (one of my coworkers breeds champion wolfhounds and I try to go out to some of his local shows when I can). It's a cozy mystery series set against a backdrop of dog shows, and it's everything I wanted in such a series. Sure, by book 4 it's getting a bit ridiculous that this amateur keeps getting surrounded by murders... but on the other hand, I can sort of see how police wouldn't get all the nuance of dog-show-based motives so at least our amateur sleuth has a clear role. It's been a while since I read the previous book, but book 4 had me right back into the swing of things in no time. Very fun!
terriko: (Default)
2016-08-15 05:37 am

Yarn of the Month Club, July 2015

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.

Hello my poor neglected maker blog, long time no see! It’s been a busy few months, in good ways, in bad ways, in sad ways. But I have been making things, and maybe I’ll eventually take pictures of my wedding dress and maybe I’ll eventually frog that section of the cardi that wasn’t right and maybe I’ll take some better photos of the pokéball and get some cards printed to hand out. Or maybe I’ll get caught up in the new things I want to make for maker faire and disappear again. Such is life.


What I will do today is document July’s YOTM shipment, since I finished those swatches and finally got around to taking some photos of them.


Debbi Bliss yarn samples (YOTM)


These two yarns are pretty similar, with the black Cleo slightly thicker than the pink Loli, but both with a similar icord type structure.


Cleo by Debbi Bliss


4.75 sts/inch on US 8

62% cotton, 38% polyester

98 yards. Color: 60001


Front of swatch:

20160812-IMG_0865.jpg


Back of swatch:

20160812-IMG_0866.jpg


I really love this swatch: it’s pleasantly sproingy and black, which means it would make a lovely face scrubby for makeup removal. I may just adopt it for that rather than saving it for the swatch blanket.


Loli by Debbi Bliss


6 sts/inch on US 6

80% cotton, 20% polyester

120 yards. color: 61006


Loli by Debbi Bliss (YOTM Sample)

The colour pops are actually looser than the main yarn, which was a surprise!


Front of swatch:

20160812-IMG_0867.jpg


That’s definitely not the promised 5″ square, but I decided I wasn’t in the mood to re-knit it at the time because the needles I was using tended to snag.


Back of swatch:

20160812-IMG_0868.jpg


This blend is much more cotton-like than the Cleo, feeling more like a more stretchy cotton rather than like a lofty polyester.


Both of these yarns were pretty similar to knit: springy, liable to catch on the lousy needles I was using but no problem with good needles. I liked the swatch patterns (thankfully no mistakes in the swatch this time!) I gather from a bit of searching that they’re meant to be beginner-friendly yarns, which makes some sense.


They knit up quickly once I switched needles. I’d definitely consider using these yarns for kids toys or anything else where washability and durability was a priority. They’d probably be good for summer stuff or folk avoiding animal fibers, although they don’t feel particularly luxurious to me so I don’t think I’d make big projects out of them. Still, fun to try!

terriko: (Default)
2016-07-19 10:56 pm
Entry tags:

Wedding wrap-up

Wedding photo links here:
https://wedding.afront.org/

Yes, it went well, aside from one of our friends getting a sprained ankle walking in and having 3x the amount of food we needed I think.

No, there are no honeymoon plans, as I need my vacation for family this year. Perhaps another year.

Yes, I did make my own dress. Note the pocket I added the morning of my wedding day. It was invaluable as it meant I could carry my cell phone and give my parents and grandmother a bit of a personal tour of the site.

No, I am not becoming American at this time. Do you people even know how long that takes? (But I don't want to anyhow, so it's moot.) I got my green card some weeks before the wedding, so this does not affect my immigration status in any way.

Yes, I am still recovering.
terriko: (Default)
2016-06-17 11:48 pm
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Miscellaneous frequently asked questions

Do you still have a job?

Yup, so far! J too. But J's dad has had to switch companies. Thankfully, he got an interview and offer right away for a position that's up his alley, so that's cool. Sadly, he'll be moving for the new job shortly after our wedding.

How's that wedding planning going?

Actually pretty well. We're hardly done, but we spent time this week painting the stairway and reading stuff from the choose-your-own-adventure ceremony guide our most excellent officiant sent. Some of the options in the book were... hilariously not us. Much laughter ensued. :)

But yes, we've got a list and we're ticking things off it. Being internet generation that we are, the list is actually a Google spreadsheet and the closest thing we have to a wedding planner is a grumpy sysadmin in Denver who is determined that we won't run out of food. Okay, we also have a whole IRC channel full of folk who are also double and triple-checking our checklist. We are seriously lucky to know such great people.

Are you getting stressed out yet?

Not this week -- we've actually been relaxing a little again. We've got a great community of friends, as I said above. And especially lately, J and I have been especially in sync as we sort out tasks and try to finish the last house reno stuff. (I would never have thought looking at carpet could be so hilarious, but it was!) We were pretty worn out after Pycon and the cold we caught, but we've been kind to ourselves and each other, and it's been good. It probably helps that neither of us cares deeply about the details: there'll be food, and friends, and a legal tying of the knot, and everything else will work out or it'll be a hilarious story to tell people later. We're so very lucky that there aren't huge complicated wedding traditions on either side of the family, but also that both of us are quite happy to say no when we're told we just "must" do something. ("But there have to be flowers!" "There are, they're in the garden" "But couldn't you just buy..." "... buy more flowers and put them in the ground?")

Anyhow, life is good, but painting the guest bedrooms and dealing with lists *is* taking up a lot of my evenings, so you might not be hearing *that* much from me for the next few weeks. Wish me luck!
terriko: (Default)
2016-04-04 10:33 pm
Entry tags:

Preserving America's Freedom

A friend posted a screenshot of this impressive webkit issue:

12717998_10208687820094489_6961418503102908676_n

Which of course, inspired me to write this:

"Really, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to present the Yellow Sign in court. It was something of a miracle that more people hadn't tried to enter it into the public record. Still, she'd apparently gotten complacent about it in her old age. As voting expert Persily pulled out his maps, she didn't notice the sign tucked into the corner of the document until his voice started to change. Thankfully, while youth and speed had long since passed her by, age and cunning held well in their stead, and the glasses she'd had enchanted did their job leaving her mind clear despite the exposure to the symbol. She waited a moment as he continued the incanatation overlaid in some statement about voting in Texas, then began her own counter-charm. Justice Ginsberg wasn't about to let some cultist stand in the way of government accountability, not this day."

And to think I was just thinking, the other day, that it was a shame that I didn't write as much fiction as I used to. I'm not even sure how I feel about this now. ;)