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Revamp of Knitting Fever Phoenix Fermette

May 19, 2018

A knitting project in its rough, unfinished stage: It’s a modification of a 1984 pattern, Knitting Fever Phoenix Lace Top, but needed revamping. There was openwork on the bodice that I got rid PhoenixFermette2wpof (dislike wearing cami in summer or revealing belly skin) by substituting a similar decoration that does not result in holes (vines worked with cable needle). The neck of the original was four panels sewn together at mitered edges; working it on a circular needle maintains everything but eliminates extra seams. I changed the gauge to accommodate my yarn choice (sport weight mercerized cotton vs worsted), plus am working a size not covered in the original pattern, so there’s a lot of math involved.


Can you help . . . ?

January 25, 2018

This woman’s husband is my friend and ministry partner at church. My heart breaks for the family and what is happening to them. The children are young, Mom is now in a wheelchair, and the medical bills are frightening.

Official Photo Shoot of Completed Bogstad Knockoff

December 27, 2017

Because my daughter wanted a hand knitted version of Dale of Norway’s Peace sweater, I designed a hand knitting construction accordingly and knitted her a Peace knockoff. She loves it, as do my two DILs, so I told them I’d knit each one a custom knockoff of their choice. This DIL chose Bogstad, so I adapted the color-work and construction to our unique specifications, making some changes to the color-work, so it would be exclusive to her, like extending the dominant horizontal bar into the sleeves, which more effectively ties them into the motif pattern. I completed this sweater months ago, but DIL lives far away, so I blocked it as best I could without her and mailed it. Well, it didn’t quite work. She’s visiting now, and brought the sweater. I reblocked it, and now it’s perfect for her.

Moth Metamorphosis

May 25, 2017

24May17poplar4wpOn 3 Sept. 2016, as I was driving along a country lane, I spotted a huge caterpillar lumbering along directly in front of my vehicle, so I stood on the brakes, parked where I had stopped, got out and checked the specimen, and decided it was worth keeping. I brought it home.

First thing I did was identify the caterpillar: a big poplar sphinx. I’m familiar enough with caterpillar behavior to know that this one was wanting to pupate, so I set up a container for a burrowing caterpillar and left it alone to do its thing. It created a circular space in the material I had put in the container and pupated. When it was appropriate, I packaged the pupa up and put it in the fridge for winter storage.

It was still very much alive when I took it out of the fridge at the end of April. I just left it sitting around in its packaging for a couple weeks, but finally created a shallow burrow for it in a flower pot and covered it with a few layers of paper toweling. I put all that in a wire cage, because I did not want a messy moth flying around my house. They are very messy when they’re fresh!

The photo shows the results, an impressive big poplar sphinx moth, a female. Poplar sphinx coloration is mostly earthy, but then there’s the striking crimson underwings. She’s huge. Below her is her discarded pupa skin in a pot of dirt.

Beating Samsung Smart TV/ATT Incompatibility

May 23, 2017

Have you ever tried connecting a Samsung Smart TV to an AT&T internet connection and failed miserably, no matter what you tried? Did you call customer support only to have them fail with you? Did they finally tell you to buy a service contract, and then they would come over and fix it for you? I’ve been through it, recently, when I switched to ATT because my experiences with TWC/Spectrum had been endlessly dismal (mostly having to do with fees), and it was past time to end it.

My TV is a series 6300, and maybe the problem is peculiar to that series. Or not. The internet connection is a type that allows automatic detection, and the TV did that, and the network numbers it detected matched those of every other device in the house that we had successfully connected, which was all of them except the TV. Only thing that changed was the IP number, which has to be unique to every device.

I tried different IPs, and I tried using an IP some other device was using, and I rebooted, and I reset, and I manually entered. I tried wired, wireless — nothing worked. And customer support had me repeat everything, endlessly.

One guy said to me, “Might you have tried DNS”

To which I said, “I don’t understand. It automatically detects, and the DNS entry is the same on everything else in this house, and it’s all working!”

He didn’t explain further but routed me to the next tier, and that guy wanted to sell me a year’s worth of service contract for $180, to which I said, “No! I NEVER use customer support! I’ll live without the internet connection on the TV if I have to!” We only use it for Netflix anyway. Big deal!

He then offered me a one time visit for $50, to which I said, “No! Someone’s going to come here, change one little number setting on the TV, because I can’t figure it out, and I’ll have paid $50 for that! No!” We parted company.

The next day I was still in fail mode. I decided to spend some time in the Lord’s presence, not to whine about the TV but just to be with Him. And so I did, and He dropped in the obvious: “Do a web search.”

Oh! Duh! Why didn’t I think of that??? I searched, and I found the solution immediately. It seems the Samsung thing is a common problem, and the fix is to override the auto detect for the DNS entry and manually set it for instead. I did that, and the TV has worked perfectly ever since.

If that ATT support guy hadn’t just alluded to it but explained that it’s a Samsung quirk, I would have done it promptly. It just didn’t make sense to me, so I was questioning. The online forum, by contrast, included that little bit of info. Besides, the Lord had just told me to do a search, and He ALWAYS knows what He’s doing. (-:

Settings for Three Gemstones

April 14, 2017

12Apr17gemsettingswpI decided to set/wire-wrap three stones from my gem collection, clockwise from upper left: Labradorite, Lake Superior agate, Australian opal. Settings are gold filled wire.

Hand Painted Cap

March 11, 2017

BryanHat1wpJust finished painting this cecropia moth today. It’s for my business partner; we sell these moths. I figure a guy who’s so good at raising such creatures ought to have some sort of advertisement, so this is it. It’s painted with acrylic paints on a generic cotton baseball cap for “Moth Guy Extraordinaire.”