I am not sure I made gauge on the crochet pattern.

My afghan is trundling along, and I am on the third of the four skeins.  Looking at it, I’m not sure I’m going to achieve the desired measurements.  I mean, ideally it should be almost half the full length at this point, if not more …and I’m not sure it’s over two feet.

Oh well. The advantage to using the mottled yarn is that if it doesn’t matter if I fail to match dye lots perfectly, so I can just throw more yarn at the problem to get the length I want. It is coming out thick and plush, the kind of afghan that it will be wonderful to snuggle under on a cold, rainy day. (Except for the fact that CA never gets them anymore, sigh.)  And there’s enough texture in the piece to keep it interesting, despite it being easy enough for beginner-me to figure out the pattern reading.


I have gotten some stitching in on the Great Wave piece.  Filling in the white isn’t very exciting, but it’s at least mindnumbingly easy? I’m trying to find some things to do while I’m working on it, but I’ve been unsettled recently and so the normal technique of audiobooks hasn’t been effective. I watched a few livestreams of tornado chasers this weekend while I got a little bit of stitching in, and that helped some. Maybe I will try to sneak in a little more today between bits of housework and planning.

Thursday saw a major bugfix done for StashCache; the app is now substantially less likely to crash if you (say) edit the quantity of the thread in the thread info page (so that it’s not in the stash anymore, for example) and then hit the back button to return to the stash list. Also, your changes will now be displayed on the list. I think that should fix the crash reported on Wednesday night, but since I wasn’t able to replicate it exactly, I can’t be 100% sure. I’m keeping an eye on the crash reports to see if it shows up again.

I’m seeing enough tablet users that getting a tablet layout designed is moving up on the list of goals, along with the sorting changes I talked about earlier. This is probably a bit off in the distance though, depending on how other life events are happening. The app, as much as I love it, pays no bills. Writing might. Something has to.

Switching gears, for a bit.

In search of my mojo, I’m tackling a different project for a bit. I bought some of the Bernat Blanket yarn a few months ago – several different colors, but two skeins in the variegated grays. I’m not a great crocheter, but I have a little bit of experience, and I’ve been teaching myself to read crochet patterns. I went by Michael’s on Monday and picked up two more of the same color (it’s variegated, so the dye lot isn’t as important) and I’m crocheting my first afghan.

It’s actually a reasonably fast project, so far – I’ve finished the first skein and am working on the second – and because it’s such a thick yarn it’s nice and cushy and should be plenty warm when I am done. I’m going to be thrilled when it’s done because I’ve never finished anything larger than a scarf, but this definitely feels achievable.

Just like the change in projects for the past few days, I’ve also been focusing on work other than StashCache, although I always check the bug reports first thing when I get up. Fixing bugs is a top priority! Today I aired out all the bedding though, and cleaned off my desk. Tomorrow I’m going to work on getting our trailer into shape for a trip again, and also the garage. If I end up with extra time, there’s the linen closet that needs to be sorted through and my end table in the living room.

Housework never does stop, does it?

I’ll try to have a few photos for the next update, both of where the current project is and the one I should be stitching, and just life in general. Also, maybe a few of the recent stash additions. There’s been a few, there will probably be a few more. Whoops.

Can a routine be disrupted if I don’t really have one?

My other half – whether he is the better or worse half I leave for you to debate – had knee surgery on Friday. On both knees. Needless to say (haha, see what I did there?), this has been a huge disruption to even the small routine that exists here. From the 4am wake-up on Friday to make it to the surgery center to the fact that movement is difficult (although thankfully not impossible), I have been picking up a lot of what he normally does.

Of course, there has been time spent hanging out on the couch with him as well, browsing Pinterest on the iPad. There’s some good to Pinterest but there’s definitely the bad side of it too, as many cross stitchers know. Or heck, most anyone interested in copyright. I admit I find it useful to pull together what I am interested in for things like decorating or house building (for the future when we get to do that) and sometimes even cross stitch items (but I will never, ever pin a chart unless it is a freebie).

I don’t know how other folks like to use Pinterest but I prefer to pin everything to a temporary board (creatively named “Temp”) where I can then sort through and change the captions to reflect why I found it interesting/wanted to pin it/etc. It’s a little more work but it means the words that end up on my board are mine.

Maybe today I will look at food and recipes on Pinterest. There’s still laundry to be done, and dinner to cook this evening, and any number of other small things. I have to try and find some sort of routine again…

Proofed and up.

Ooof. Well, I meant to get this a little more together (and post) before we had the whirlwind cross-country trip to see family and a wedding, but time got away from me. We got home late Monday night to ants in the kitchen (they found the cat food – ugh ugh ugh ugh) so I have mopped the floor at least three times now.

Last night one of my favorite bands played up in the city, so of course we got tickets and went to that – and got home at 1am. Even with my normal hours, that hurt, especially since I’m still trying to stay vaguely on East Coast time until after the other half’s knee surgery on Friday. Hah. So the alarm slipped later this morning but will have to move back tomorrow make sure that happens.

Despite all of that, the tutorial and FAQs and template pages are up! My sister (bless her) has proofed them for me and I figured out what was going on with the image caching after wasting an hour on it, so I’m pretty happy with where we’re at. I just need to decide on one or two more potential changes to the main page and settle the e-mail issue, and then it’s a final code/comment pass (and a little more testing – I’ve hammered out a few bugs so far!) before I commit and get this up on the Google Play Store. It’s so close! I’m thinking end of next week.

I did take the Great Wave piece with me while travelling and made a small dent in the giant sea of white but there is still so much more to go. It’ll go with me to the surgical center on Friday, for sure. In the meantime, I need to produce a grocery list, mop the floor (again), find an exterminator to call (seriously, these ants), all those pesky reality bits.

Now the testing (and the website work).

The app is done!  Barring, of course, a major bug cropping up in the testing I’ll do this week.  The difference between where it is now and where it started is amazing and I’m really pleased with how this has turned out. I can’t wait to send it out into the world and see what others think of it – I’m hoping at least one or two folks might find it useful!

In the meantime, the website will also get some attention this week. Now that the screens are set, I can redo all the screenshots and tweak the tutorial to take into account the changes that have been made since I wrote it up. I also need to put together a pass on the FAQs and write up the page about importing and exporting.  In perspective, though, it’s so close!

The sea of white is …not even close.  We travel at the end of this week too, so it’s not likely to see significant progress for a bit; I’ll stick to smaller kits while flying, thanks, and especially with all the white stitching that needs to be done. It’s a shame, because it’s a giant area of essentially filling in the blank spaces …I don’t know. Maybe. It’ll be nice to spend some time stitching again either way, even if it is because I am sitting on a plane at 7am (ugh) traveling 3 time zones the wrong direction (double ugh).

I admit, there are times I could really get behind the concept of abolishing time zones.

Break for the brain, or at least some different exercise.

Some days, you just kind of need to switch gears and focus on something else while things percolate in the background. I think I hit that wall yesterday. Working through some of the changes that I talked about for StashCache, I ran into the issue now of “what happens when you get rid of a pattern from your stash?”

Especially since not everyone is a packrat like me who holds onto things on the off-chance that maybe I will want to revisit it in another five years (or lifetime, you know).

Since I’m trying to preserve the list of completions, this is now a valid question – and that smacks at some of the assumptions I was going to make about how to handle patterns. Thinking about that yesterday didn’t go very far, either – I did the easy changes, but the harder changes may also depend on the answer to the above question, so …not much sense in working on that until those questions are answered. Website work is also somewhat on hold right now, until I get the code changes settled.

So today has been a little bit of a break – I have finished all the not-white stitching (except for the backstitching) on the Great Wave piece, and will probably start trying to put a dent into the white tonight. I’m thinking some about backup services – for photos, for music, for the general computer stuff.

There’s some more general to do list items – I’m feeling like updating that list would be a good idea at some point today, both for the mundane and the more out there. That’s probably what the purpose is of those daily check-in meetings for software developers, if I had to hazard a guess, but as it’s just me, it can be easy sometimes to get a little lost in the trees on what I want to accomplish and how to accomplish that.

I decided to put off the grocery store trips until tomorrow because supposedly there was supposed to be weather today, but the weather has mostly consisted of wind and the occasional 30 second bit of drizzle. Sigh. It’s still probably a fine day to stay at home and be thoughtful, making plans for moving forward.

Furry overlords of the mundane

I’ve been buried in Android development and web design lately (although to be accurate, the latter is more figuring out the WordPress theme I purchased and less the nuts and bolts of what I would consider active designing). Even much of my hobby time lately has gone into this project – today’s trip to the cross stitch store was aimed at getting feedback on StashCache, not shopping for more stash.  (I failed to get feedback and failed at buying nothing.  Sigh.  But new stash!)

So leave it to the furry overlords to remind me that there is still reality to deal with.

Of our three, Problem Child lives up to his name in more ways than one – eating hair, getting onto the kitchen counter, humping blankets (yes, he’s fixed) – but perhaps the most obnoxious is that he doesn’t like covering up his own business in the litterbox.

I read somewhere (on the Internet, so it must be true) that this is a way that cats assert dominance or some such something. I don’t know. I don’t especially care. I’d just like him to stop, because while most of the cats I’ve known aren’t particularly aromatic in that sense, Problem Child is special.

Extra special.

Special enough that his rear end should be classified as a chemical weapon.

And until it gets covered up, well, it’s potent. Thankfully, once covered, the odor tends to dissipate fairly rapidly. Sort of how babies smell fresh once you finally get the diaper dealt with.

That’s why a few warning bells should have rung when the smell hadn’t dissipated by the time we got back from a short walk around the block. But I’m tired and have been focused on this WordPress installation and the pile of tutorials I need to write, which is why it took another 15 minutes or so to notice the smear of poop across the linoleum.

Perhaps the only saving grace is that I’m fairly certain he didn’t do it deliberately, as opposed to what the parents of every small child must deal with at the point said small child decides to play with the contents of their diaper.  I’m fairly certain he probably produces less poop too. (On the flip side, you can train small children not to do that again, whereas I’m fairly certain it would be a lost cause with Problem Child.)

And that is why I was cleaning cat poop off my kitchen floor at 11:30 pm. My glamorous, exciting life-in-progress – reality checks provided by the furry overlords.

April 2024