Saturday, September 20, 2008


When I got the Wii, I knew I should also get the Wii Fit. I figured it would make a good Xmas present, so I put it on my wishlist. About a week ago, I realized that that was just a lame excuse to put off exercising until the end of the year.

The Wii Fit wonders why I don't fall down when I walk. I'm not kidding.

It calculates your Wii age based on your actual age, your BMI, and (at least in my case) your score in a couple balance tests. I'm terrible at the balance tests. I can't stop over-correcting when my balance indicator shifts out of the target position the game wants it to be. Yesterday I got lucky, and the random tests didn't ask me to shift my weight: only to stand perfectly still and to walk in place. My Wii age is 25, but I know it will spring back up to the mid-40's when I test it again.

Others have complained that the Fit's principle measurement of success is weight. My weight is pretty good; my BMI score is a click or two above ideal, but still within normal. Fit suggests I drop 15 pounds to get my BMI down to 22. After a couple days of resisting, I started actually trying, cutting out desserts, snacks, extra carbs.
Actual conversation that just happened: Mike walked into the room and said he was going to go pick up some donuts. "Do you want anything?"

"No, thanks. Well, maybe I should eat something."

"I'm going to Donut Kitchen."

"Oh, well, then nothing, thanks."

"Want me to stop at Krogers?"


"Tim Horton's?"


"Dodger," Mike says, addressing the cat who is waiting for his morning dose of butter, "Daddy's being cranky."
Weightloss and domestic tranquility: it's going to be a tough balancing act.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Wash's Sweater Pattern

It's been quiet here because I've spent the weeks since the Olympics creating the pattern for Wash's Sweater.

Initially, I used Excel to create my adaptations of the cable pattern originally drafted by Maggs. I found great instructions for charting cables by Marnie MacLean. Results were satisfactory, but I wanted something better. I played with a few knitting fonts, and then shelled out the money for Knit Visualizer.

This program is awesome. Every stitch I needed was right there in the library. It took me almost no time at all to translate my work into Knit Visualizer. And the program can automatically generate a chart legend and text translation of each row.

I made my prototype sweater in the round, because that's what I do. But I could tell from screen caps that the actual sweater in the Firefly episodes was knit flat and seamed together, like Aran sweaters traditionally are. So working from my copy of Aran Knitting, I started drafting the pattern in Alice Starmore style, later revising toward a more style. Jeremy told me I should write up the pattern exactly as I did it, so when I was done with the flat version, I worked on a circular version. It's not exactly what I did: more like what I would do if I did it again.

I've spent the last week hammering away at the layout. This morning, I used PDF Online to convert my documents, and slapped together a quick homepage for the patterns.

I'd love to know what you think. Any suggestions for improving the instructions, charts, and layout, or offers to improve the graphics I've slapped together for the pattern and website are welcome.