The Linux Only Challenge – Round 1

The Linux Only Challenge is a personal, self-imposed challenge to see how long I can go using Linux (Ubuntu Mate 16.04 specifically) without requiring me to use my Mac for something that could not be done in Linux.

Started: March 19, 2017. Ended: March 28, 2017.

My mouse did me in!!

My first attempt lasted a whole 9 days! It was all due to the death of the Logitech mouse I was using on my Dell XPS17. After 4+ years, and numerous dives off tables, desks, and such, it had the right to die.  I had an extra mouse without a transmitter and the unifying transmitter from my dead mouse. I really did not want to go out and buy a new mouse when I had two parts, that if I could get them to work together, I would have a usable mouse again.

I checked Logitech’s Web site for unifying transmitter software. I found it only for MacOS, Windows, and Chrome OS. So, I broke down, got out my Mac, and downloaded the software. I followed the instructions in the unifying software.  Lo and behold, I had a working mouse! Unfortunately, that meant I ended my Linux Only Challenge.

It was only later, after posting a message about my mortal mouse to the Destination Linux chat group, that I found out there is a Linux solution. The solution is Solaar, the Linux devices manager for the Logitech Unifying Receiver.  Yes, that is Solaar, with 2 “a”s. It is easy to use. Just follow the directions and you will have your Logitech mouse, keyboard, or whatever uses the unifying transmitter, up and running in a matter of seconds. Now I know.

So that just made be double down and restart my Linux Only Challenge after I had a working mouse again. My challenge restarted on March 28, 2017.

I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes.


TGV Scarf – Ribbing Started

I finally finished the garter section of the TGV shawl, finished the increase row, and started the ribbing section.  I worked 8″ of garter stitch which was actually the halfway point of the yarn I am using.  That was just a fluke because I had planned on working 8″ of garter stitch anyway.

Now for the increase row.  I had to redo it after I thought I was done with the increase round.  It turned out that I had significant sections where I did not do any increases.  So frogging (ripping out:  rip it, rip it) the increase round was a must.

Okay, so when I finished redoing the increase row, there were 564 stitches that will become ribbing.  ACK!  If you think it sounds like a lot, it is. At this point, working the K2P2 ribbing section will be much slower going.

Sc-01 increase row

Sc-01 TGV scarf increase row. The rectangle highlights a portion of the Knit in the front & back of each stitch increase that used. 3-26-17.

One of the nice things about using the specified increase results in an increase round that is almost invisible.  It also looks the same on each side.  If you look at the area highlighted by the purple rectangle, you will see that the increases are almost invisible.

I worked the first five rows of K2P2 rib, increasing one stitch per row.  By the time I finished the fifth row, I was done for the night.  The orange marker shows where I finished for the day.

Sc-01 TGV scarf. 3-26-17.

Sc-01 TGV scarf. 3-26-17.

I have finished of total of nine rows of K2P2 ribbing so far.  I figure I will complete a total of about 24 rows of K2P2 ribbing when I am ready to bind off.  That’s an estimation based on the three other TGV scarves I have already finished using the same weight yarn.

I just enjoy working on this scarf, especially in sock yarn.  You get a lot of knitting for one 100g ball of yarn.  It’s also very easy and is very good as a travelling knitting project.  I recommend it to anyone who wants an easy to work, almost mindless knitting that results in a stunning scarf.



The TGV Scarf Continues

I am still working on the TGV scarf but have not had time the last few days to update my progress.  I hate it when real life gets in the way of my knitting.  Progress has been moving along, although as I get more rows finished, it takes longer to finish a row.

7.5" of Sc-01 scarf completed.

7.5″ of Sc-01 TGV scarf completed as of 3-23-17

Anyway, I had finally worked 7.5″ worth of garter stitch when I noticed I had dropped a stitch a number of rows back.

Looking at where the dropped stitch was and how many rows I would have to work through to fix it, I had two choices for fixing the dropped stitch.  I could rip back to the dropped stitch, pick it up and then reknit the rows.  Alternatively, I could just work the stitch up the finished rows.  I decided on the latter option.

Sc-01 Dropped Stitch 170323-wp

Sc-01 scarf.  Green plastic marker holds the woe-begone dropped stitch.  3-23-17

One word of warning…. Do not try to fix your knitting when you are tired and really should be going to sleep.  I started working the stitch back in, using my trusty crochet hook, then realized I was too tired to continue.  I had made a few bizarre mistakes.  I ended up taking out the fix and redoing it the next day.


I finally fixed the woe-begone stitch.  Once the scarf is blocked, any indication that the stitch was picked up and fixed, or even where it was.

Sc-01 Dropped Stitch Fixed 170324-wp

Sc-01 scarf.  Dropped stitch fixed.  The ellipse shows where the stitch was.


I have only 6 rows to go before I increase for the ribbed portion.

Thanks for stopping by.










Sign of the Times

MacArthur Elementary School - Error Sign

MacArthur Elementary School, Binghamton, New York 3-23-17.

Last night, when driving home after Zen meditation, I saw the message on the MacArthur Elementary School digital sign.  It made me chuckle.  I think it speaks volumes.  ‘Nough said.

Barbara. sheep-icon-03





The TGV Scarf

The TGV (Tricot Grande Vitesse – high speed knitting) scarf, designed by Susan Ashcroft, is one of my favorite scarves to make, especially with self-striping yarn that has long spans of each color.  I have made three of them.  Although it looks like it might be complicated, it is very easy and quick to knit.  Basically, the first half is garter stitch and the last half is just K2P2 rib.  It is also a great way to use up sock yarn which is way too pretty to use for socks that will be hidden in your shoes.  Another thing, if you don’t want to use skinny yarn, you can use heavier yarn.  According to the pattern instructions, you can use up to bulky yarn with this pattern.

Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock-#968-wp

Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock, Color #968/ Narnia.

I am using Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock yarn.  It is a superwash wool/nylon (75/25%) blend.  The colorway I used this time is #968, Narnia; 100 g/3.5 oz; 420 m/459 yds.  I bought the yarn in December 2016 at The Glitter Ninja, in Kirkwood, NY.

I have four more skeins of this yarn in other colorways.  I have plans for them, that’s for sure.

I started the scarf late Monday night.  All I wanted to do was get it started.

Sc-01, TVG scarf, as of 3-20-17.

Sc-01, TGV scarf, as of 3-20-17.

I am using Clover bamboo circular needles, 48″, size US 6/4.0 mm.  If you can’t find these needles locally, you can order them directly from Clover, which is where I bought mine.

You may be wondering what those green stitch markers are for.  I use them for two reasons.  1) I put them on  the “right side” or in this case, the odd-numbered row side; and 2) to see my progress. At the start of each day I work on the scarf, I place a marker on the last row worked.  Then, by the end of the day, I can see how far I’ve gotten.  As the scarf gets longer and wider, this helps me realize how much I have knitted on it.

Sc-01, TGV scarf, as of 3-21-17.

Sc-01, TGV scarf, as of 3-21-17.

I worked on the scarf again last night.  This scarf is great to work on while watching television or a movie.  I guess I’ve made a bit of progress.

Unlike other colorways of Poems Sock, this colorway has more subtle color changes than some other colorways, but they still are noticeable.  I like how it is working out.

This is another cold sheep project.  Thanks for stopping by.


Cold Sheeping – Start – The Long-Forgotten Cardigan

C-01 Cardigan, Finished-wp

Cardigan C-01

Sometimes projects just have to completely ripen before they are finished.  This sweater was started in January 2013 but lay around, stuffed in a knitting bag for four years.  It was finally finished in January of this year.  It is fitting that I start my yarn stash decreasing with this sweater.

I included this sweater as my first cold sheep project for 2017.  I considered any project that is completed and wearable in 2017 as part of this year’s finished projects.

As I mentioned above, this sweater was started in January of 2013.  Due to real life getting in the way, I never completely finished it.  I had finished the body in stocking stitch,  button bands, pockets, and neck ribbing.  I just never did the finishing.  This poor sweater would be moved from my office to the bedroom and back numerous times until I finally took a good look at it and realized it was almost done.

After two evenings of finishing work, which included mattress stitching the button bands on, weaving in all stray ends, and attaching buttons, I finally washed and blocked it.

C-01 - Yarn-wp

Yarn for cardigan C-01 and socks S-01

When I wore it for the first time, I realized that it is one of the most comfortable sweaters I have knit.  I am wearing it now as I write this entry.

Now for the interesting part.  I bought all 8 skeins of this yarn from Rose Spring Farm at Rhinebeck (also known as the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival) in 2007 or 2008.  It sat, ripening and aging nicely in my stash until Early 2013.  It is a blend of border leceister, finn, and mohair.  It knits up easily.  The yarn is a worsted weight.  Each 4 ounce skein contains 218 yards.  I used US 7 (4.5 mm) needles to get 5 stitches per inch.  The color is called Hot Nights.

S-01 - Finished Socks-wp

Socks S-01

After completing the sweater, I still had 3+ skeins of yarn.  That meant I had enough for a pair of matching socks.  I love to have socks match my sweaters.  I normally buy enough yarn so I can make a pair of matching socks once the sweater is completed.

The socks were knitted from the toe up using my standard K2P2 rib toe-up sock pattern.  I used size US 3 (3.25 mm) needles.  Once the toe was completed, I had 44 stitches on the needles.  The socks were started on January 6th and finished on January 8th.  Worsted weight socks work up very quickly, that’s for sure.

Total yards used for both cardigan (1241 yards) and socks (218 yards) is 1449 yards

Thanks for reading and more cold sheep projects are coming.


Winter Snowstorm of March 14,2017 – Update

WooHoo!  It’s finally over.  According to the National Weather Service (NSW), Binghamton, NY received 31″ (78.7 cm) of snow.  That is a lot.  Fortunately, not that much fell at my house.  The final tally is 23″ (58.4 cm).  Why the discrepancy, you ask?  First, the NSW is at the Broome County Airport, which is on top of one of the highest points in the county.  Second, I do not live anywhere the airport.  In fact, I live at the diagonally opposite end of the county.  It’s all location, location, location.

Snowstrom 170314. 23

Snowfall:  23″ as measured on the trunk of my car.

So, here are the results.  23″ (58.4 cm) of snow landed at my house.  I couldn’t use my gas grill to measure the amount of snow because the wind started blowing and blew off that wonderful cone of snow that was growing.  I had to measure the snow depth on the trunk of my car.  The car was not visible this morning.  It was just a mound of white.  It took a while to excavate my car, but I finally found it under that mound of snow.

The barn was totally surrounded by a nice drift that wasn’t there yesterday.

Snowstorm 170314.  The barn.

The barn adrift in snow.

My bird feeder was more like an igloo than the all seed bird buffet.

All seed bird buffet.

All seed bird buffet.

Squirrel …oops… bird feeder in summer.

Last photo in the series will also provide a good perspective of the amount of snow that fell.  The bridge is a small footbridge that is over a ditch that diverts water from the hill above.

Snow buried bridge.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my record of the Blizzard of 2017.


Winter Snowstorm of March 14, 2017

After a winter with wild temperature fluctuations, why shouldn’t winter end with a blizzard.  Winter is making up for last year when hardly any snow fell.  I guess all those students wishing for a snow day  put multiple pairs of socks on inside out before going to bed last night.  I guess they got their wish.

As I do with most major snowstorms, I like to keep track of how it progresses.  So, here goes.

First of all, the snow didn’t start until around 1:00am this morning.  Don’t ask me how I know other than I was up then.

When I took the dog out this morning at about 8:20am, it was obvious that a significant amount of snow had fallen, 11″ (28 cm) to be exact.  My dog,  Mindy, was not happy about it at all.  Three hours later, when I went back out at 11:30am, another 5.5″ (14 cm) had fallen.  The snowfall rate was 1.83″/hr (6.5 cm/hr).  I would agree that would be considered and significant snowfall rate.

11" (28 cm) snow

11″ (28 cm) at 8:23am as measured on my grill.

16.5" (41.9 cm) snow

16.5″ (41.9 cm) of snow at 11:30am.









My car under 16.5" of snow.

My car under 16.5″ (41.9 cm) of snow. View from porch.

My car is somewhere under 16.5″ of snow.  You can make out the left front wheel, left side view mirror, and left tail light.  I was standing on my porch when I took this photo.





18.75" of snow

18.75″ (47.6 cm) of snow at 1:10pm

At about 1:10pm I went back out for another measurement.  I had to use an old-fashioned yardstick because my 18″ steel ruler was just a bit too short.  In less than two hours, another 2.75″ (7 cm) piled up for at total of 18.75″ (47.6″).

Bird feeder on my porch.

… And the snow keeps





My car under 18.75″ (47.6 cm) of snow.



Less and less of my car is visible.  Pretty soon it will be nothing but a snow-encrusted blob.



Latest snowfall check at about 5:40pm. 21″ (53.3 cm) of snow has falling and it has no intention of slowing down.   I actually thought it was slowing up a bit.  It’s started up again.  The wind has picked up as well.  Oh, well.  Sigh.  Let the blizzard continue.

21″ and still falling.


My car under 21″ of snow. Not much visible.









Moose Metal

Today, on a road trip to Ithaca, New York with a friend, I saw these two metal moose on the side of the road on NY Rte 96 in Candor, New York.  On the way back home, we stopped and I was able to photograph these guys.

These metal moose are actually made of iron sheet metal.  There is one on each side of the driveway.  They just made me chuckle.

Metal Moose One - 170311-cr

Heavy Metal Moose

Metal Moose Two - 170311-cr

Hey George!  Wanna go first?

All photographs are copyright 2017, Barbara M. Harris, all rights reserved.  Please do not copy, use, nor share these photos without my explicit permission.  Thanks, Barbara.