Fantastic Birthday Weekend

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What a great weekend. It was really wonderful of the US government to make my birthday a national holiday, this year.

My birthday, itself, isn't much to talk about, unless you think it's fascinating that our washing machine is oozing some sort of oil and we went to Home Depot and bought a replacement. Also, there was some grocery shopping. But Friday and Saturday were many shades of good times.

It started with my dear friends throwing me a birthday party. There was homemade chili and guacamole....oooooh guacamole. I could write poetry about that treat, but it couldn't compare to the delight itself. Why more food isn't accompanied by guacamole, is beyond me.

What was I talking about?

Oh and there was a giant chocolate cake. Oh boy. Yah, it was a good party.

As the fete was coming to a close, my friends mentioned that they were going to the beach the next day and invited us to join.

After conferring with Panda, it was unanimous

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We'd jump at the chance to go.

We arrived at the coast, a while before the rest of the crew, so we hiked and played a bit, in hopes the girls might be a bit more manageable, when the rest of the folks arrived.

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Panda is a super star!

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When our friends arrived, they were looking no worse for the wear, despite the fact that half of them were subjected to my amateur salsa lessons, the night before.

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Thea greeted the group, as she does best, cooter displayed for all to see.

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Larry and Thea had a little game of "catch me if you can."

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And then it was back to the business of walking around the beach.

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And walk we did. For hours, we explored tide pools and rocky outcropping, and, at one point, a local bakery.

We walked so much, we did this...

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We wore out a herding dog. Someone please alert the media.

Those Canadians are good.

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Also, apropos nothing, I decided to learn how to tat

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It was a little tough for me to get the technique to start, but now I'm finding it really enjoyable, and delightfully portable.

Anyway, see all the pictures of the beach trip here.

Bye bye Chicago

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I'm sad to have to go so soon. I wish I had more time to explore the city. But, lucky me, I did have some time to take in a few sights.

After bundling up...

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I took the bus to Loopy Yarns. Well, I took the bus a couple blocks past Loopy Yarns, but that's OK because the view was just fine.

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Loopy Yarns was everything people said; friendly, inviting, filled with yummy yarns. I'll definitely swing in again if I'm in the area. And of course, I picked up some souvenirs while I was there.

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Luckily, the good folks at Loopy Yarns were having a 40% off sale on a lot of their yarns, including the assortment of yarns I picked out Eeeeeexcellent.

I used the rest of the morning to slowly meander back to my hotel.

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Here's hoping there's some need for me to return soon, perhaps when it's a bit warmer.

Excel for Charting Simple Cables

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While on Ravelry, the other day, the topic of charting cables came up and it occurred to me that I've covered using Excel for; colorwork, pattern writing, simple lace charts, and complex lace charts. But what's this? No cables? Have I been smokin' the wacky tobacky?

Now, cables can get pretty complicated, and there will be times when your design, just can't be visualized with the tools built into a spreadsheet program, but for pretty standard cables, I think I can cover what you need here.

As always, I start by formatting my page.

I've covered this in previous episodes, so browse those, if you aren't sure how to change the size of cells to be more knit stitch shaped.


Our first cable is going to look like this.

This chart would read, if written out:

  • Row 1: P2, *k4, p2* repeat from * to * to end of row
  • Row 2: Knit the knits and purl the purls
  • Row 3: P2, *slip next 2 stitches on cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle, p2* repeat from * to * to end of row
  • Rows 4&5: Repeat row 2
  • Row 6: P2, *slip next 2 stitches on cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle, p2* repeat from * to * to end of row

So those diagonal lines simply represent the stitches being crossed. They may not look exactly like other charted cables, but they convey the intention and the approximate look of the cable.

Phew

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Thank you for your well wishes. I think you all warmed the runways for me, because I made it to Chicago safe and sound and slightly earlier than my original flight itinerary.

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Now, my low blood sugar is dictating that I get some grub in me before I turn into a werewolf and go on some sort of blood lust rampage. That'd be normal, right?

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I've actually been knitting, quite a bit, so hopefully, I'll be able to photograph and blog something crafty soon.

Well, Astoria and I are hanging out at JFK airport.

Luckily, we got here early, because my 6:20 PM flight to Chicago was canceled. I called Orbitz who said they thought they could get me on the 3:40PM flight instead. Awesome. Only, they accidentally scheduled me for tomorrow's 3:40PM flight. Oops. Ok, one more time and we have it. SWEET.

But, you see, there's this powdery white stuff everywhere, and my 3:40 flight is now scheduled to take off sometime around 5:20.


I'm totally fine with that, since it's still about an hour earlier than my originally scheduled flight, but I"m skeptical that waiting longer to take off will improve the situation.

P.S. It's damned cold here. Brrr.

P.P.S. Photos taken live from my laptop's built in camera and Photobooth software

P.P.P.S. That was Leo's idea.

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