The Knitting Developer

A knitting, development, and general geekery blog.

The Knitting Developer - A knitting, development, and general geekery blog.

Craft Night: A Tad Bit of Ennui

It’s when I don’t have time to craft, that I realize how much I miss it. I often think about it in the moments I’m waiting for a video to load, or waiting for code to compile. When I’m driving, I think about the two new arms I need to grow so I can complete the projects I want to complete. I love to craft, but lately my days have seemed long and I don’t feel I’ve had the time I want to just sit down and work on the things I love.

I’m also entirely too distracted in my crafting. While working on my Rainbow socks, I can’t help but think about the miniatures I want to paint and the next knitting project I want to work on. I’ve done more focused knitting in the past few weeks while working on this blog/vlog than I have in almost a year. I missed the creative outlet, and now I just want more and more time to do it all.

Maybe if I woke up earlier, took the bus to work. That’d get me a good solid 3 hours a day to work on knitting, write on the blog, listen to podcasts, and work on personal programming projects. But why would I want to extend my commute by 300%? I don’t know, writing it down seems crazy, but my brain still thinks this might be a solid idea.

What I really ought to do is take a few hours and go to knit night. I’ve not been to that in…at least a year (if not longer, oh no!). I need to be around fellow crafters. Feed of their energy and passion for the craft. Crafting is both personal and communal. And the communal part of crafting for me has been lacking. It has always been such a personal, spiritual tool for when I was depressed, that I forgot to nurture the communal portion.

The only question is when do I do this. I suppose, for now, it’s just one step at a time. Get Ravelry up to date, get back into the forums, reintegrate with the local yarn shop, and honestly just have fun. In the end, that’s what matter’s the most, right?

Code Camp: Origin Story Pt. 2

Coming from architecture, I didn’t have very big dreams as a software developer. Honestly outside of some bad movies with hackers in them, I had NO CLUE about how this whole software development thing went. I had dabbled in what I liked to call “web modification”, or in other words I copied the HTML of pages I liked and fiddled with certain properties till the colors were the way I liked them.

When I took my first computer science class I felt lost. I was attempting to decode a language and it’s grammar. I was just repeating what the book told me to do, and hoping I didn’t forget a semicolon, parenthesis or curly brace. I really pity my first TA, as he helped all the newbie computer science kids figure out why the code wouldn’t compile. How many times did he have to read our poorly written code and find every place we missed our punctuation or didn’t declare a variable correctly?

Every day for several weeks, the class would keep shrinking, and every day for several weeks I’d pound code away in the dark trying to understand. Copying examples, stepping through them with the IDE trying to crack the meaning. When the light bulb finally turned on in my head, I’d never felt so accomplished in my life.

I became addicted to the challenge. Every new prompt provided opportunity to improve my new skill. I was programming, writing code, developing software. Sure it was crappy, inefficient code, but it was mine. I created it, and it solved the problems given. I would express my creativity in variable names and how I outputted answers. ASCII tables and stylized text, everything had to be just so and I loved every minute of it.

To this day, I’m not sure how or why it started clicking. I also am convinced that the first classes you take for computer science are meant to weed out those who are just there to build games but aren’t willing to put in the time and effort. At my school, Computer Science was the degree you got when you couldn’t hack it as an engineer, but they also didn’t want the kids who weren’t willing to put in the effort either.

I am in awe of the people who go to developer bootcamps and come out a competent developer, or those who were able to just hack it and self learn. I’m so glad I went the degree route. I learned so much, and it provided me the tools I needed to understand software development.

Sure, I could have continued down the path of self-taught developer, but I don’t think I would have developed the passion for it. School gave me the opportunity to learn passion. School also gave me the chance to start at the same level as everyone else. My classes, teachers, TA didn’t assume I knew anything, and it didn’t shame me when I didn’t know something.

I’m forever appreciative of that experience.

Craft Night: My Goals

My goals when I started knitting were humble. Well, as humble as a knee length red dress knit in 2×2 ribbing can be. I wanted to learn how to knit, and just be able to use some of my leisure time as productive time. The dress that originally inspired me to knit was very quickly forgotten as I actually got into knitting.

As I advanced in abilities, my goals became loftier. I wanted to learn everything that knitting had to offer. I did intricate lace, and cables. Learned how to make sweaters, mittens, socks and hats. I even looked into doing the Masters program with The Knitting Guild Association.

Soon, it wasn’t good enough to just be good at knitting. I wanted to learn how to crochet and spin. I chased after those dreams with the same fervor as knitting. I bought hand spindles, crochet hook sets, piles of books and eventually a spinning wheel.

The only parts of yarn crafting I haven’t tried in some capacity are dying and shearing. Honestly, the only reason I never picked up dying yarn is because I don’t think I have enough open space in the apartment to dye without poisoning myself.

I still have a long way to mastery, but currently my main focus is not in my yarn crafting. The energy I used to put into knitting is now spent on my career and development as a software developer. With that said, I still have plenty of goals I’d like to accomplish as a crafter and I’m going to put them here for now:

Short Term (1-6 months)

  • Make a Plan to Finish or Frog all current
  • Get Ravelry Up to Date
  • Knit a weeks worth of socks for myself (working on 2 out of seven)

Medium Term (6-12 months)

  • Spin and Knit a shawl
  • Knit a fair isle hat
  • Knit Andy a sweater
  • Finish Webs Knit-a-long

Long Term (1 year or greater)

  • Become a certified Knitting Master
  • Spin and knit a sweater
  • Buy wool from a wool auction
  • Work through the Principles of Knitting Book

Saturday Morning Geekery: Tribute to Monty Oum

I’ll never forget the day I first saw Dead Fantasy Part 1. I had been referred by a friend to watch this video, and I was enthralled. Every time Yuna would shoot, I’d hold up my finger pistols and shoot with her. Every time Tifa punched, I had to shadow box the enemies away. (Please keep in mind, I still have never played the Dead or Alive series).

I was obsessed. I watched it over and over like a child does her favorite film. I imagined the work it took to get the character skins, and then manipulate them in such a way that the fight scenes look physically possible (as long as you ignore a bit of gravity). Monty Oum was a master at cross over, and his attention to detail in his fight scenes were incredible.

Time passed, I was working through school and one day my friend came up to me and said, “Have you heard about RWBY? It’s by the same guy that did that Final Fantasy mash up!”. With the first trailer, I was hooked. The weapons, the art style, everything was polished and amazing. It was through RWBY that I also learned about Rooster Teeth, and my YouTube passion was ignited.

Monty’s imagination and ability to produce such high quality and well thought out animation couldn’t be matched. Even more than his craftsmanship, he brought a kindness and inspiration to the community of creative people. He was the key that unlocked so many dreams. For cosplayers, amazing costumes and weapons. For anime (and general animation) fans, great story, amazing humour, and the most epic of fight scenes.

Monty if part of the reason I want to be a creator. He’s why I want to try cosplay, animation, CG. He inspires me to work hard now, because if you have the dream you might as well try to create it.

My heartfelt sympathies go out to Monty’s family and friends and everyone at Rooster Teeth. I know personally that a tragedy like this rips a whole into your existence, and it will get better. Much Love, Mary.