Help For Haiti


From January 15 - January 31, 50% of sales of the following patterns will be donated to Doctors Without Borders.

Find out more about Doctors Without Borders here.
Find other patterns on Ravelry, tagged Help For Haiti.

It's been a long time, but I've finally added another installment to my Illustrator for Charts series.

Standard caveats: This tutorial is shown on a Mac using Adobe Illustrator CS3. If you are on a different platform or a different version of Illustrator, some steps may be different. I do not offer Illustrator support. If you have any questions beyond what is shown in this tutorial, you will need to refer to your user guide. But, if you have any tips, suggestions, or corrections, feel free to leave them in the comments.

For those who haven't had a chance to view them, there are three very detailed introductory tutorials for colorwork charts. These will give you a strong foundation for building charts in Illustrator and the skills learned there will be applied to this and any subsequent tutorials I do. You can view Parts 1, 2, and 3 if you haven't already.

This next tutorial expands on those skills to create your standard, non-cable stitch patterns charts, including knit and purl, and lace patterns. We'll learn how to make some commonly used stitch symbols using shapes, and the pen tool.

If you would like to download the file I created in the tutorial, I have saved it to be compatible with versions of Illustrator as old as version 10. Download it here. You are welcome to use this file for any commercial or non-commercial purpose.

At some point, I want to conclude this series with a tutorial on cable charts. They are not hard but have a few additional considerations we haven't had in these previous tutorials. If you have any other requests, don't hesitate to let me know, in the comments.

The mother of invention


I have freakishly small ears that reject all ear buds. I've used in-ear models that work like ear plugs, and models with little hooks that go over the ear. The former cause me endless pain and the latter fall off when I move at a pace faster than a gentle stroll. All this makes running while listening to my ipod, an exercise in frustration. The solution seems to be to combine the hook on models with a comfortably snug hat, to hold the ear buds in place.

All my hats are warm wool or fleece so I decided to knit a hat. And heck, while I'm coming up with my own design, why not make something that would actually allow for a ponytail or two.

These dark and blurry pictures are just a sneak peak of the dead simple design I came up with. The yarn is Elann Esprit (nearly identical to Cascade Fixation) and the colors are leftover from my Assets Of Evo project.

Hair Apparent mosaic

I plan to put together a very inexpensive little pattern for this, that I hope to release in the next few weeks, time permitting.

Also, an obligatory doggy fix.

Lazy Sunday Morning Snuggles

Last little bit of 2009


Christmas was blissfully mellow here in the new home; no obligations, no worries, plenty of quality time with each other. It was chilly, as evidenced by these gorgeous spider webs, encrusted in ice, on our porch.

Icy morning Icy morning

I love the way the drops of water froze like little glass beads. You should have seen how they glistened in the sunlight. If you go to flickr, you can embiggen them and see more of the detail.

I tried my hand at sushi making, which turned out to be way easier than I expected.


That's my "hot and sour tuna" roll. Recipe, inasmuch as anyone would need one, can be had if you click the pic.

I manage to get all my deadline knitting done, thanks to some morale support from the pooches

Panda and Thea Snuggling

I mailed off both garments today and emailed the digital files as well. It feels so good to have those off the plate. Now, do I start something new or finish something already started? Yes, I know which is the RIGHT answer, that doesn't mean I'll do it.

As I was falling asleep I had inspiration of another kind resulting in this, my first venn diagram.


I'm sure this will improve your lives exponentially.

And, in a last bit of late breaking news, we have us some snow. SNOW!

More snow

It's not slated to last very long but the girls sure do love it while it's here.

9 or 63


It's approximately, more or less, to the best of our knowledge, somewhere around the date of Panda's birth. She 9 now-ish. Leo called off all birthdays a couple of years ago, because they simply mark the passage of time after a certain age, but she's my little girl, I can't help it. Panda is, for all intents and purposes, my first dog, a ray of sunshine and the reason I'm a dog person. I think every year with her is my good fortune.

So, mostly because it's been a few week but partially because it's her birthday, we went to the beach. It's foggy, a little rainy, horrible photography weather and all around perfect, nonetheless.

Manzanita -- December 19, 2009 Manzanita -- December 19, 2009
Pretty much the definition of doggy joy.

See all the pictures here.

And as a side note, to those who inquired about my going back to school, I'm just going to finish the degree I wasn't able to complete the first go around. I'm majoring in...nothing, they call it "general arts and letters." Given time and money I think I'd like to, some day, figure out what I want to be when I grow up and pick a course of study for a masters. At the rate I'm going, I'll finish that in my 60s.

Double side note, um, even with a calculator, I can't figure out what 7x9 is equal to. I think I've got it now.

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