An Untapped Market

Someone on Ravelry posted about having bought legwarmers.  These are the sleeves from a store-bought cashmere sweater, cut off, hemmed and repurposed.

I had no idea.  I think it’s off to Goodwill for me, because it’ll take way less time than making endless little 20-yard skeins…

Playing With Cards

OK.  How to adapt Bruce Scheiner’s Solitaire for use with a Tarot deck¹?

The easy way to do it is to make the Tarot deck into a deck of playing cards.  Take the page out of each of the Minor Suits, and read clubs/wands, diamonds/pentacles, hearts/cups, spades/swords; use Majors for the jokers (I’d go with the Fool and the World for simplicity, but you could pick whatever you liked).  Simple, but not really what I want to do.

Instead, I’d like a way to integrate the extraneous cards.  There are a few ways I can think of that might work, but I welcome additional ideas.

First idea: The pages and the Majors are included in the deck, but they’re nulls except for the two Majors doing duty as jokers.  When you land on one, at any step, you disregard it and keep going till you hit a non-null.  This adds a bit of complexity to the deck because you have to specify in your deck setup where the nulls go; I think that’s good.

Second idea: For this version, the kings get pulled from the alphabetical symbolism rather than the pages.  If you land on a king or a Major when determining a letter, treat it as above and keep going till you hit a card that isn’t.  But if you land on one during a non-letter step, use its numerical value as normal: kings are 14, the Majors go by their numbers (and I strongly suggest using the Fool as a joker in this setup to avoid problems with zero).  Again, it makes the deck more complex, which is good.

Third idea: Pull the pages, use the Fool as one of your jokers.  Any card hit during a numerical step uses its numerical value; Minors hit on a letter step are determined as in vanilla Solitaire, and a Major hit on a letter step gives a letter by its number–which, yes, means that there’s a third, truncated run of the alphabet that leaves out V-Z and one other letter for the second joker (or you could use one of the pages as the second joker).  I don’t know nearly enough about cryptology to know if having a truncated third alphabet would skew the encryption in a good or a bad way, and if bad whether the increased complexity makes up for it.

1: Solitaire keys the 52 regular cards of a standard deck to two run-throughs of the alphabet, with the two jokers as important markers.  Tarot has four suits of 14 cards each, the Minor Arcana, plus a fifth “suit” that’s numbered 0-21 as the Major Arcana.  That’s 24 extra cards.

Gearing Up

There’s this thing that happens.  I’ll see or think of a project, and it’ll sit in the back of my head.  And sometimes that’s all it does, but other times this thing happens that I think of as “gearing up”.  I don’t necessarily decide that I’m going to start working on whatever-it-is now, but I’ll realize that I’m browsing around for materials, thinking about colors, deciding if I have the tools necessary, whatever.

I am in the gearing-up phase of a completely impractical, SCA-oriented project¹; I can tell because I ordered a book from Amazon yesterday on the technique I want to use, and I have been looking around at how to make a band loom with small enough dents.

I wish my subconscious wouldn’t mug me like this.  It’s not as if I have a dearth of projects that need finishing.  For one thing, I just got the party-trick socks back on the needles correctly after taking them apart to do the heels because the third time I had to rip back was just too much.

1: And heck, if I get started in the next few weeks it might actually be done by next Pennsic!

Design Oddities

What I don’t get is why so many people choose blog styles that make their own entries the least important part of the layout.  You get two sidebars with buttons and links and implements of destruction, and background outside the sidebars, and the blog entires themselves take up maaaaybe a quarter of the width of the browser.  And everything’s all colorful and bright and blinking, except the actual content of the blog–though sometimes they pick weird fonts.

Why do this?  I assume that people who come to my blog are doing it so they can read, you know, my blog.  I supply links and things because I’m not the one-stop shop for all things entertaining, sure, but I would think that if you wanted to read the Yarn Harlot‘s blog and not mine, you’d just go straight there.


OK, Pennsic.

I wore my cotehardie for intercamp dinner Monday evening, and discovered that a skin tight dress one makes before losing 40 pounds does not provide the necessary support after the loss.  So Tuesday morning I put it on inside-out and Morgana marked it for me.  Ladies and gentlemen, that dress lost 6 inches of circumference easily, and could probably stand to lose a bit more.  But I don’t care, because I can wear it now.  I’m told it looks good, too, which is always a bonus.

I went to the audition for Anne of the Thousand Days after all; it may be a classic, but I don’t like it.  If I get a role, we’ll see whether I actually want to get back into theater for real.  Sadly, I suspect I’m shallow enough that the decision will largely rest on what part I get.

I attended one class, which was not even roughly as advertised and kind of put me off classes–it claimed to be Fabric Wall Hangings, and the description talked about getting period effects with modern materials.  What it actually was, was “Here are brands of fabric paint I use”.  Hi: I can’t draw, so your fabric paint does me no good.  I left when she pulled out the stencils.

The problem is, I love Pennsic, and I love my camp, but Shauna has so much shit it’s unbelievable.  Last night, after two days of instantly doing whatever she told me, and most of three hours slinging lumber into the trailer, with the moon rising and the sun well down, I basically walked out of camp without saying goodbye because if I tried to talk to her I was going to fucking strangle her, I was so tired.  We got back from the trailer and I was like, hey, time for me to go get Liam so we can go home–I should note that the entirety of La Familia had decamped for dinner because unlike Shauna, Ajax is not completely insane, and thus she and I were the only people around.  But no, we had to move her bed out of the toolshed.  Fine, did that.  Then stuff from the toolshed needed to go into the rental truck.  OK, so we did that and I’m all ready to go get in the car and get Liam when she starts taking the toolshed down.  So we did that.  She tried to get me to help her figure out how to collapse it, and at that point I simply started being stupid at her.  It got worked out in the end, and I stuffed the cover bits in the bag and said I was leaving and that was as civil as I could manage.  Made it to Clovenshield, greeted friends I hadn’t seen in months by bursting into tears out of sheer fatigue, and we finally got home at about 10:30.  But at least Clovenshield gave me bacon.