Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm doing it an Anglo-Saxon way!

J.R. just finished his first pair of socks. I'm so proud of him. He learned so quickly and his socks are really good considering that he's a knitter novice. I'm so happy that I gave him Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook. It seems that it was a good Christmas present after all. Hannes was a bit doubtful when I was getting it for J.R. ("How gay you want him to be??!") but I had a really good feeling in my guts. And I guess right now J.R. likes knitting better than crocheting. He likes to make practical things, such as socks, and he likes to play with all the equipments (you need five knitting needles if you want to make basic socks). And he likes challenges and difficult patterns.

It's OK to keep your feet on the table if you're photographing your new socks.

I have started to knit too. I got inspired by Une Cabled Legwarmers by Vicky of Vickilicious Knits and I wanted to create something similar. According the original pattern you're supposed to knit the whole thing flat on straights. I don't have straight knitting needles, so I'm improvising and knitting my legwarmers closed like socks. I think that at least my first legwarmer is looking pretty nice:

If I ever finish these, I'm going to give them to Elina. I don't wear legwarmers but she does.

I have to admit that I like the simplicity of knitting. Knit and purl. Knit. And purl. But on the other hand, I find it boring. If you start knitting a sock, you probably end up with a sock. If you start to crochet an amigurumi pig, you might end up with... purple alien piglet, like this:

I like to crochet amigurumis because I can never tell beforehand how they are going to turn out. The end result is always a surprise. And I really like to create something unique, with a personality. That's what amigurumis are to me; unique items with lot's of personality.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Userscript for Blogger HTML Editor

I always code my blog layouts directly on Blogger's HTML editor. I like it because it allows me to see the changes as I make them (for some reason my Notepad doesn't have that same handy "Preview" button). But there is one notable flaw in the HTML editor: it's too narrow for my taste. I like space when I'm working on a code.

Luckily there is an easy way to make the HTML editor wider and higher: Simply install Greasemonkey add-on to your Firefox browser and then click the link below:

Large HTML Editor for Blogger - Userscript

It's really that easy. And if you need visual proof...

Here is the HTML Editor without Greasemonkey:

Click to enlarge!

And here is the same HTML editor with Greasemonkey on:

Click to enlarge!

Definitely wider and higher! Thanks J.R. for making this custom userscript for me!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Brainwashed in 60 °C

All my friends know that I love blogs and blogging, but the one who knows that best is J.R. He's my boyfriend, so he's obligated to listen to whatever I'm babbling about. And I'm often babbling about the beauty of blogging. Sometimes he says that it's funny how much he knows about the subject even though he doesn't even read any blogs beside mine or haven't blogged by himself.

But that thing is going to change. Apparently I have brainwashed J.R, because he has agreed to start a blog together with me. Clearly he's not reluctant to write on web anymore since I didn't even have to persuade him. Anyway. Our blog is going to be mainly about crocheting, but it will take time until we're ready to actually post something. I let you know as soon as we have something good to show.

We're still working on the layout. It has to please both of us, so it's not an easy job. We started our designing project by checking out some cool sites on Screenalicious to determine what kind of colors and elements we both like. Colorlovers helped us to choose color schemes. For some people choosing the colors and such is probably the best part of designing...

... But we're nerds and we're into coding. We spent yesterday night working on the layout code, though we didn't start from a scratch. Our design is build on Minima, which is one of Blogger's most popular default layouts. It can get confusing with Blogger tags so it's better to use a template. Of course our design won't resemble Minima when it's finished. Anyway. Coding is always so much fun, but it also makes me feel guilty for not practicing more. I have started to forget CSS and I'm definitely not learning anything new. Shame on me!

But today at school I learned some basics of Java and that was pretty neat. I haven't programmed anything before (I believe that VCR doesn't count). Alas, we don't have more Java lessons until the week 13. It kinda sucks.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Unhelpful girlfriend award goes to...

Yesterday I went shopping with J.R. He needed new pants. I wasn't as helpful shopping assistant as he was earlier when we were shopping new jeans for me. He let me stay in the fitting room and brought me new and new jeans to try on. I just had to put them on and say what I thought about them. His patience seems to be endless.

When J.R. was looking for the pants, I just kept dropping comments like "My dad would wear those", "My dad would wear those too" and "My dad wears those". And that's not particularly helpful. I didn't hunt the smaller/bigger sizes for him either, even though he kindly did that for me. But I did stay in the fitting room to keep an eye on his stuff.

J.R. is really skinny, so he has troubles with finding fitting pants. He tried on some nice velvet pants. They were too big. He asked for a smaller size but the sales woman said that the smaller size doesn't even exist. I feel a bit sorry for him. My size is very regular so it's almost always availabe. His size seems to be often sold out.

He was particularly looking for velvet pants, but it's not the velvet pants season right now. So after a while he decided to go for blue jeans, which feels weird to me. My J.R. has always wore nothing but black pants, but of course I would accept the change.

But he bought nothing. I didn't buy anything either. Pants and jeans are hard to buy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Less blogging, some new amigurumis

I have not been into blogging lately and I'm sorry for this week of quietness. I know that there are some who have been waiting me to update (Hannes and Elina). I have been enjoying my last days of holiday, that means crocheting amigurumis.

J.R. got an Amigurumi! Super Happy Cute Crochet book for Christmas, and I have already finished few smaller projects from it. I really like the book. The amigurumis are cute, the patterns are clear and I have even learned a few new tricks from it.

So here is my "Mighty L'il Mouse", though I call him "Fatty Mouse" instead. It was really quick and fun to crochet. It wasn't just single crochet after single crochet, but there was double crochets too.

J.R. is knitting socks for me!

I also made "Skellie Fish" from the book. It's a skeleton fish. I think it looks rather nice, but I know it's not OK. My stitches are all over the place. According to pattern I was supposed to join the rounds, but I suck at joining. I did it wrong, so the head is a bit misshaped. I'm going to crochet a new fish when I have nothing else to crochet. And I'm going to make it properly, with correctly joined rounds.

I love the tail. It makes me want to crochet mermaid amigurumis.

The little friend in the picture is a Tamagotchi charm. They sell them in a set of three, and you're supposed to attach them to your Tamagotchi (it's like a virtual pet), but they're perfect as stitch markers too. (If you're interested, I bought them from Anttila.)

I gave Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitting Handbook for J.R. as a Christmas present (among other things) and he's now learning to knit too. In theory I know how to knit, but I have never knitted anything beside legwarmers with circular needles. I have no idea how to knit socks, for example. And I don't like knitting because my stitches are always too loose. It doesn't look pretty. But I'm willing to give it second chance if J.R. teaches me how to knit something cool. Like amigurumis.