rock out with your socks out

Posted in knit on May 31st, 2007 by fabienne

the red is for sockapalooooooza

what happens when you have 1002 knitters from 26 countries all knit socks over the summer and blog about it? sockapalooza 4! substitute double pointed needles for drum sticks and yarn choice over set lists and you have got yourself a rocking festival of socky goodness. all the knitters knit for someone, and that someone doesn’t know from whom their socks will come, but they did specify what colors they like and sizes and yarn allergies. my sock pal left things quite open but i am going to be knitting with that red skein shown above, wollmeise of course, and it will probably be something of my own design. so there you have it, i have officially started my sockapalooza-blogging, may the best socka-PAL be the recipient!

update 3 billion and 57: workshop not cancelled

Posted in berlin, conferences, hardware hacking on May 23rd, 2007 by fabienne

up close

so because of so many wonderful people who have written me in the past two days with names and model numbers of devices they are going to bring (oh yes it is going to be a crazy mix of interesting dsl modems, routers, ethernet switches, and even some rare gadgets), we are going to have a solder fest on sunday. see you at ph!

in celebration of all the people that wrote me here is a little contest: if you are the first person who writes me (my email is fabienne at this website) and correctly identifies the circuit that is on the breadboard in the photo above (no not the type of microcontroller, that’s too easy), you win a wifi backpack strap kit.

giving you the run around

Posted in running on May 20th, 2007 by fabienne

beach peace

if you had known me in high school, you probably would have described me as the loner geek classical music girl who ran on the cross country team. i “starred” at counties my junior year, which means i came in the top seven (i was seventh) in the women’s division during the county meet. everything was pretty much downhill from there, not an easy run but a sort of degenerate spiral of non-achievement as far as running was concerned. what with the veritable fatblogging fiesta going on, (major shout outs to J-Dawg, Scott, and C.K.), i think it’s high time i share a few tips with all those who think running is hellish and a really awful way to get fit. [let me just take a second here to say that: a. i do not have any license to practice sports science, b. i have never coached an individual in any sport, c. nor do i guarantee you won’t hurt yourself, proceed at your own risk]

that said, i have been running for a long time (since i was 11 or 12), and when i started out i was the slowest on my junior high team, and since then i managed to run in the “point counting” part of my team for five years. besides all of those speed things, what i love about running is the zen aspect, you get out there, you feel crappy, your day isn’t going well, a great pair of shoes puts a spring back in your step and you groggily sneak your way to your favorite place to run. the pavement or the dirt fuels your pace and you start to forget the less savory thoughts you were thinking minutes earlier. you zone out and start to forget the people staring at you and you really don’t give a flying freak what that guy in the suit thinks about your jiggly thighs. the hill that you make your way up forces you to concentrate on your stride — you keep your foot fall length consistent even as the slope veers quickly from molehill to mountain. you reach the top too soon and realize you completely lost track of time and you concentrate on your breathing as you start the descent. a river of relief flows over you and you hit the running zone.

ok wait wait wait, rewind, before that fairytale of a run, there are a few preliminaries to keep in mind. first of all, shoes are your friend. i know it sounds basic, but if you want to enjoy running, your feet and knees and shins need to enjoy running as well. my number one tip about running shoes? you never need to break in a pair of running shoes. in other words, a pair of running shoes should be comfortable from the first moment you try them on in the store, if not then they aren’t for you. if you are in doubt, many reputable running stores (not huge sports shoe outlets, a dedicated running store) have free fitting services whereby the specialist will find out if you pronate, supinate, have a wide foot, your general stride, and suggest some shoes that will be best for you. if you are nervous, go to more than one of these places and get a second opinion. secondly, just because the shoe is more expensive (or a more palatable color) does not make it a better shoe for you. trust the fit not the appearance nor the brand name. if you do find a brand that consistently works for you, then that’s fine, but don’t just go for the priciest pair on the rack thinking they will be the most comfortable to run in. thirdly, i always grab running shoes with removable insoles (the foam insert inside the shoe) that aren’t glued down. this is for multiple reasons, first it will make adding custom foam under the insert possible (which i do in a DIY fashion because otherwise my toes curl when i run). secondly it will allow you to more easily wash your shoes with the inserts separated in a washing machine (note that laundering running shoes should only be done on a cold gentle cycle, they should always be air dried and washing shoes repeatedly will cause the foam and rubber to wear out more quickly).

more in the next installment of running with fabienne. until then, get outside and go for a run.

[pictured above is shell beach in inverness, california. running the johnstone trail down to this beach in the early morning is in my top five favorite runs of all time.]

ph-neutral custom serial and j-tag cables workshop

Posted in berlin, conferences, hardware hacking on May 17th, 2007 by fabienne


if you are planning to come to ph-neutral and you want to make a serial and/or jtag cable to interface with your dsl modem or other device in my workshop, please let me know as soon as possible so i know how many participants there might be. i am purchasing parts on my own and it would be nice to know if, say, fifty people versus fifteen will be interested. i will probably start a few hours earlier than 14:00 on sunday, so show up earlier to get a head start. no there will be no charge (to stay within the everything-is-free-at-ph spirit), but you do need to bring the device for which you want serial or jtag cables and documentation and probably a laptop and a usb-to-serial converter. the full workshop description including what to bring is here. if you have any questions whatsoever, send me an email: fbz at this website.

take me there: the outer hebrides

Posted in knit, take me there, travel on May 16th, 2007 by fabienne

Soay sheep on Hirta

[photo of soay sheep on the outer hebrides by Commonorgarden under a creative commons attribution-nonCommercial 2.0 license]

i’m posting this since it has been a while since i did my last take me there post, and since bobbi is running an sp10 contest as to the best travel destination for some knitting. personally i don’t mind knitting in an urban environment but because of my love for all that is insular, i nominate the outer hebrides. i’ve never been to scotland and the outer hebrides has some very interesting local ecology (beyond even the rare sheep) as well as some fantastic islands to chill out on. oh yeah and the knitting rockstar starmores hail from there, minor detail. now for the contest questions:

1) what do you pack to knit?

i would definitely pack plenty of sock knitting including knee highs and probably a larger piece like a blanket or heavy wrap or a large sweater to work on to keep my lap warm in the local climate of the hebrides.

2) what do you hope to shop for?

starmore yarn, locally spun wool, and local patterns.

netscape: one year, ftw!

Posted in blawging on May 16th, 2007 by fabienne

ichat background

yesterday was my one year anniversary hire date for the new Netscape project. on monday, on the penultimate day to my hire date, we launched a new blog called NewsQuake! which is a blog for those of us at Netscape to write about news-related topics, create commentary, and create original content. an article i wrote about how it feels to be in France is up on NewsQuake! for your perusal.

[the photo above is from our launch in june of last year and was one of the rare awesome moments where our whole editorial team was in the same place as we are all work-from-homies or on-assignment-peeps]

teal angelica sweater

Posted in knit on May 15th, 2007 by fabienne

done and done

well well well what have we here? oh yes, i finished my first sweater today. no i have never made a sweater before, but now i really don’t see what i was so worried about. i guess the plethora of sock knitting helped my pattern reading skillz. the sweater is extremely soft and oh so lovely to wear. i bought this pashmina yarn on a whim at a lys and then had no clue what i was going to make with it. while surfing one day i happened upon this lovely finished object and thought, oh yes my yarn wants to be that.

the yarn i used is a bit lighter than the one called for in the pattern so it took a bit of tweaking to get it to work (i ended up going up two sizes and changing some of the reduction and increase rows and i omitted the first set of purl stripes at the bottom because they weren’t flattering on me at all). i ripped and reknit sections of the sweater and probably knit the equivalent of two sweaters. what is fantastic about this sweater is that it is knit top-down in one piece and then the sleeves are knit right off of the live held stiches at the short sleeve mark. i completed this sweater and the weather has cooled down so i can even wear it. now back to my regularly scheduled programming: socks and circuitry.


pattern: angelica sweater by stephanie japel

yarn: Lana Grossa Pashmina in color 18 (a deep teal), six 50g balls exactly, almost four balls for the body, one ball for each sleeve and the leftover from the body for the picked up edge on the keyhole neckline. this yarn is so incredibly soft, it is ever so slightly splitty but heck this is cashmere and baby merino, who cares about that?

size: knit per the instructions for size 42, but finished bust size of the sweater (not worn) is 35 inches due to the yarn substitution

needles: 5mm circular addi turbo, 4mm circular addi turbo for finishing

mods: tons, in the raglan shaping on the shoulders used M1R, k1, M1L instead of yarn overs because they were a bit too hole-tastic for my taste, only reduced 5 repeats on the back in the bust shaping, 7 as written for the front, omitted first set of purl stripes at the bottom of the body, increased every other row instead of every row for the hip shaping and placed the increases to line up with the bust shaping, knit the sleeves in the round (after all why knit them flat?) using magic loop, did seven reduction rounds for each sleeve and placed the reductions under the sleeves not on top as per the pattern, did not increase at the end of each sleeve and made the sleeves extra long.

My First Sweater

[the gorgeous quilt in the background was made by my mother, photos taken by my significant other]

ugly ads

Posted in blawging on May 15th, 2007 by fabienne

i want to see the picture

multimedia is great and everything, but wired can you please not allow popover flash ads on what is essentially an annotated slideshow? not only was the ad long (and yes i own more than one mac, but no i don’t want a popover mac ad), it refused to disappear. i had to click back and then forward again on the clunky “next image” navigation to see the picture of the awesomely cool robot in image number eleven. it’s a shame that wired allows this sort of ad, i tend to freak out if we have anything that pops over content at netscape. the sad thing about all of this is that wired’s content is about BLDGBLOG‘s science fiction and the city panel (and it was covered by annalee [whom i interviewed]), so you know it has to be great content. why do you have to plaster that with ugly ads wired?

p.s.: wired i’m not so sure i like your new homepage either.

happy mother's day socks

Posted in knit on May 14th, 2007 by fabienne

sock two in progress

another pair of secret socks can come out of hiding since yesterday was mother’s day. they fit her since we share genes and our feet are almost exactly the same. she even took a self portrait with the socks on her feet!

Pattern: Jaywalker by Grumperina

Yarn: H.L. Miller hand dyed superwash in colorway Lily Petal — great yarn, very soft, i even grabbed more after knitting these

Needles: Addi Turbo 2.5mm circular (approx. US size 1)

Mods: Magic loop and ended the toe at 9 stitches per needle instead of 7, and made a mistake in the stitch pattern’s reduction stitches but i kept it consistent for the second sock.

completed pair

summer knit top inspiration

Posted in fashion, knit on May 12th, 2007 by fabienne

pringle spring 2007 inspiration

[above: pringle spring 2007 ready to wear, photo: marcio madeira]

though i’m not a big fan of the yellow+gray trend for the spring/summer, i am a big fan of gray on its own. i am not sure if i will just try to make a very drapey tank top out of the bamboo i bought at la droguerie or if i will try to pair a drapey knit with a satiny or organza fabric lining. in any case gray is a great trend and it feels very summery to me especially paired with an airy, crisp pair of light colored pants or a skirt. i tend to wear black all year round, but sometimes i do like to bust out some light colors and play glinda the good witch.

bamboo in blue and khaki

[above: 100% bamboo from la droguerie, below: calvin klein spring 2007 ready to wear, photo: marcio madeira]

calvin klein spring 2007 inspiration