Author Archive: meri
So, I have this skein of yarn.
Several years ago, I bought a skein of yarn at a shop in Worcester, Massachusetts.1 It’s made by Handmaiden Fine Yarns, the makers of one of my favorite yarns ever: Sea Silk (70% silk, 30% sea cell). As mentioned above, the yarn in question is Camelspin (70% silk, 30% camel). A dozen years or so ago, everyone was declaring that camel was going to be the Next Big Thing™ in the fiber world. To the best of my knowledge, that never really materialized.2 I remember finding some baby camel at a yarn shop in Delaware about a decade ago, and then have no recollection of seeing any more of it until I encountered a couple dozen skeins in Worcester. (more…)
Today is not a good day for security, it seems.
In addition to the Firefox 0-day exploit, it seems that Android users need to keep a close eye on the apps they’re downloading, particularly from third-party app stores. You can check out the detailed article from Check Point on the topic. The article contains two items in particular that you may find helpful:
- Scroll down to Appendix A at the bottom of the aforementioned Check Point article. This is a list of “fake” apps that are known to be infected with Gooligan.
- Check Point has put together a quick tool that allows users to check and see if their accounts have been infected with Gooligan. To use the tool, go to https://gooligan.checkpoint.com/ and enter the email address(es) associated with your Android device(s). Hopefully, you’ll get a pop-up informing you that your account has not been breached.
It’s sad to say, but the dose of paranoia one needs to stay safe on the net these days is no longer creeping upwards. Rather, it is growing in leaps and bounds. As are the number of internet-connected things we all have in our homes, each of which should be viewed with at least some degree of concern.1
In truth, if it is connected — or can connect — to the Internet (and maybe even if it can’t), it should be a security concern. Every time a home gets smarter, it most likely also gets less secure. It seems almost inevitable that someday soon, the sheer number of insecure devices is going to result in some sort of … something. I’m not sure what, but it’s not going to be good.
Stay alert! Trust no one! Keep your laser handy!
Sad (Red) Panda needs to be put in quarantine for a while.
Firefox (versions 41 – 50, which includes Tor Web Browser (Firefox 45 ESR)) currently has a 0-day exploit. This means there is a remotely-accessible and exploitable security concern with the application for which there is currently no fix, and the internet at large is actively taking advantage of the situation. This will undoubtedly be fixed, but until it is, you should switch browsers.
You can learn more about the situation from Wordfence (which is where I originally learned of it), Ars Technica, The Register, and any number of other web sites. Just, you know, use a non-Firefox browser when you start poking around looking for information.
TL; DR: I have knit the front of (what will be) a double-sided baby blanket. Please feel free to share your favorite blanket edgings with me!
Operational Parameters (or: Some Restrictions Apply)
I’m open to pretty much anything, but there are things that will definitely make me more or less inclined to jump with joy at your suggestion.
- At least a marginal level of interesting. The blanket’s original pattern provides an edge pattern. It is boring. Thus my search for a new edging. 1
- This is for a baby blanket. For some inexplicable reason, designers of baby blankets include a lot of lace or loops or the like. To me, that just screams “place to grab and hold onto a baby finger or toe.” 2
- Yarn: The blanket is knit using eight colors of Cascade Superwash Sport.
- Gauge: About 6 stitches per inch on US 7 needles. 3
- Construction Details: As mentioned, I have just completed the front side of the blanket.
- It is 164 stitches wide, and 397 rows tall.
- I used a provisional cast on.
- I have put the live stitches from the front onto waste yarn. This leaves both ends of the front and the back exposed in a manner ready to accept any matter of mayhem. 4
- Essentially, I will have two pieces of 164 stitch x 397 row stockinette. The goal is to end up with a single fabric comprised of those two pieces joined together with wrong sides facing one another.
“Sure!” says my brain. “The edging you’ve worked out in your head for this baby blanket will absolutely work!”
My brain starts using the voice of that one childhood friend. You know the one I’m talking about. Your parents can’t quite tell you not to be friends, because s/he never does anything wrong, exactly. But you do seem to get a statically significant larger amount of trouble whenever you spend time with him/her.
Got the voice? Let us continue.
My brain wheedles (in the voice of my own personal Eddie Haskell), “So what if you’re going to have to learn three separate new techniques in order to get this to work? You like to learn, you like to fiddle with things, you like to do semi-complex math where you can’t trust your solutions because you’re not quite sure if you even have the formulae correct. This will be awesome!”
And this is how I have come to this point. The point where I am crocheting a chain of 1,250 stitches for a provisional cast on.
What could possibly go wrong?
1If my math is correct, this past Saturday morning, we passed the tipping point between “days since last (2015) Christmas” and “days until this coming (2016) Christmas.”
Please don’t kill the messenger.
I’m not actually bringing this up to be cruel and annoying. I make this announcement because many of you are crafty people who give hand-made gifts for the holidays. For me, the mid-point of the year is my semi-official starting line. It’s when I really become aware of the holiday, and start putting serious thought into when I’ll need to start (and complete!) which projects in order to have everything ready in time for the appropriate gift-giving events. (As much as I strive to emulate Jordan in all things, I cannot actually knit a sweater in one night.2)