Saturday, January 12, 2008

Can this Year be Different?

I've never been big on formal New Year's resolutions, but there's a part of me that can't resist the urge to effect change in my existence starting with the change over to a new year. This year I'm going to admit that there are definitely changes that need to be made and I will risk public failure by admitting them here. You can be witness to how well I do.

1. I want to pick up the fight again to improve my daily existence. Even though I feel much better than I did in the months following my stem cell transplant for multiple myeloma, I definitely do not feel good. The doctors I'm working with aren't interested in my current problems. (In their defense their area of concern is cancer. They're satisfied with my blood work and expect me to talk to someone else about my new problems.) I need to find a doctor who'll help me live a more comfortable life and I need to take better care of myself.

2. I need to pull myself together as far as the tasks that we must do to survive in this world. That means getting work done on the house as needed, taking care of nasty paperwork (flex spending forms and medical billing problems), finding someone to do my taxes professionally, and even making time to enjoy my social relationships. I haven't always been good at getting all of that done, but working through it while feeling unwell all the time has been a hike up Mt. Everest barefoot.

3. I want to enjoy more of the technology of the on-line knitting world. My Ravelry account languishes with the only visible proof of my existence being the list of blog entries. I haven't gotten things going with Flickr either, which has to precede Ravelry. Susan's help has allowed me to add the buttons that you see to the right, but I'd like to add more and would like to personalize the blog with a logo. I'd like to learn more about html and maybe even set up a website to play with, but that might really be setting sights too high.

4. In addition to growth in software competency, I know that I must replace and upgrade my computer. My ancient machine and Windows 98 just don't cut it anymore, plus I need to be able to do mechanical design work at home with my employer's new 3D CAD program. (Maybe I should resolve to do less work at home, but we won't even go there!) Anyways, I've already bought a new camera and am in the process of learning to use it. Can I be a techno-wizard by the end of '08? Doubtful, but I might be able to have more fun with tech tools.

That's a pretty intimidating set of goals for someone who doesn't do New Year's resolutions, isn't it? No guts, no glory.

Here's my new camera. I absolutely love it, by the way. It's a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX55. It requires a little more interaction to get some of the weirder shots my Olympus would take easily, but it also takes some pictures that the Olympus refused to. Overall a very satisfactory trade-off.

I've got it snapped onto a Joby Gorillapod stand from Best Buy for these pictures. The Gorillapod's been a blast to play with as well. My Dad got this same camera for Christmas and says that the addition of the Gorillapod also helps him hold and steady the camera.

Check out the generous size of the LCD!
Here's where I have to admit that none of the pictures you see here come from this wonderful camera yet. My tried and true Olympus D-450 captured all those presented here. I still haven't figured out how to download the pics from my new FX55! (See item 4 above!)

My immediate knitting goals are fortunately much more modest; finish up my 2007 RSC socks and plan the most amazing sweater ever for my Fiesta Boomerang Surf yarn. Last night I finished the RSC Summer Socks except for blocking. (These require that the lace cuff be blocked, and yes, it is needed.) The right hand sock has its cuff blocked.

I also swatched one of the amazing color effects that my PaintKnits spreadsheet discovered. Here's the PaintKnits patterning.
Here's my swatch.
Pretty cool, huh? I still need to swatch and measure the other stitches I want to use in this project so I can model them too, but the design is firming up. I want to set up this sweater design so that the color effect that comes from the multi yarn serves as a design element, not just a random, fun, let's-see-what-happens afterthought.

My Knit Nest sofa continues to be inhabited by the C & G cardigan and Pyramids. I guess my resolutions should include finishing those up. Unfortunately neither one is inspiring enthusiasm right now, so they'll probably wait for a bit. This month the Rockin' Socks are on a roll!


CurlyToot said...

WOW, that software is AWESOME! You designed that yourself right... you could make a fortune off of that, i know i'd love to be able to predict how colours will work up without having to test knit!!

Linda said...

I found your blog via Ravelry. Your resolutions are good ones! I'm in the market for a new camera--you'll have to keep me posted on how you like your new one. Your yarn patterning program is soooo cool. I'd love to have a copy of it. Are you going to sell it? I hope you're going to blog about your before/after camp trip through Washington! I want to see pictures and hear about the yarn shops you visited.