Are we confused yet?

Help!  I’ve stepped into quicksand!

 I submitted Gauge Calculator to the Windows Phone Marketplace, then started putting my development time into an app I’ll probably call Craft Measure. In order to implement Craft Measure, I need to know how big a US size B crochet hook is — as opposed to, say, a size C crochet hook.  Hey, that should be easy!  There are lots of good references out on the web for such things, right?  Right?

I consulted the cheat sheets I’d printed off from the Craft Yarn Council of America website (a body trying to standardize knit and crochet related terms, sizing, and so forth). I learned … a US size 6 crochet hook is also known as a size G hook and measures 4.0 mm.  Oh — that is, unless it is a steel crochet hook, in which case it is still a US size 6 crochet hook but measures 1.6 mm.  Hmm … wierd, but I’ve done lace crochet and have a collection of lace crochet hooks ranging from size 14 down to size 7. A size 7 lace crochet hook is nowhere near a size 7 crochet hook for use with regular yarn. OK, I can deal with that in my application.

But then I went out on the web because I want to support English speakers world wide and I don’t know the sizing systems for other countries. What I found for the US was as bad as the rules for Fisben (if you’re not a Star Trek fan, that is a card game with rules that vary by day of week, phase of moon, who you’re sitting next to, and many other things).

According to knitbuddies, a US size 6 knitting needle is 4 mm if sold as an Addi Turbo, 4.25 mm if sold by US Clover, or 4.2 mm if sold by Fiddlestick.  Oh — and a size G crochet hook is 4.5 mm (not 4.0 mm).  Crochet World, on the other hand, says a G crochet hook is a US size 6 and either 4.25 or 4.5 mm in size if made from aluminum. A G crochet hook is a US size 7 when it is 4.5 mm.  Oh yes — and a US steel size 6 is 1.8 mm, not 1.6 mm.  Woolcrafting agrees that a size 6 steel hook is 1.8 mm but says that a G aluminum, plastic, or wood hook is also known as size 6 and is 4.0 mm.

Application snapshot for a 2.75 mm Crochet Hook labeling it as size B/1, B/2, C/2 or Steel 1
What Size is a 2.75 mm Crochet Hook in the US?

Help!  I’ve got a headache!  And my poor app sounds sooo confused when it tries to tell you what size your crochet hook is.

I’m going to go get an aspirin now. Extra strength.

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Canitag Apps N Crafts is a very small, very new business dedicated to developing and selling software for knitters, crocheters, weavers, and others into hand crafts related to yarn and fiber. We’ll be posting from time to time on our adventure into the world of Business.

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Diving into the Deep End

Orange cat tiptoeing past monitor and keyboard on a desk

Banned from the Desk

Whew! I’ve often read in the news that running a small business is a lot of work. Now I can tell you first hand: yes, there is a lot of work. Even a micro-business like Canitag Apps N Crafts is today has turned out to be a lot of work. And a lot of fun …

I know I’m weird – I was the geeky kid that loved diagramming sentences. I honestly thought I’d hate writing business plans, studying IRS pamphlets, reading layman’s explanations of the laws around small business, reading Board of Equalization rules, and all of the other “business” sides of the company. Oddly enough, I find I rather like it.
In a way, it is oddly reminiscent of software design — lots of quirky constraints, lots of puzzle solving to find a solution, lots of tedious work to get the details right, … The sensation of drinking from a firehose is also very familiar from the points in my software career where a job change meant coming up to speed quickly on unfamiliar software technologies.

Because I’ve still got a primary job, I decided to spend time up-front to build out as a self-serve website. I’ve done lightweight HTML/CSS, Javascript, SQL, and Perl programming in the past so I figured it wouldn’t be all that bad, right? (Yeah — bottomless optimism is a more or less necessary trait in a software developer. Only an optimist would start a project knowing that it is likely to take twice as long as predicted and that the extra hours will come out of your weekends and nights.) That was back at the beginning of October. I was hoping to have this website up around Thanksgiving. Now I’m shooting for it as a late Christmas present to myself.

At any rate, I’m clawing my way up out of the newbie swamps with PHP, MySQL, Paint.NET (that is a great tool for the lay artist!), and CSS. I’m still struggling with CSS positioning — I’m sure I’m missing some key concept.

Oddly enough, I keep finding every week or two that what I’ve learned working on Canitag Apps N Crafts lets me solve a problem at work that would have been a long struggle before. I’m a hands-on kind of learner and find that I intermittently need skills that aren’t something I can practice at my day job.

Oh — before I forget, I’ve got one tip. Touch-screen monitors are really nice for prototyping tablet and smartphone apps. But touch-screen monitors and cats are a bad combo. I’ve got one cat that gets rather lovey-dovey with anything I’m using when she gets hungry. This afternoon, she managed to select and delete about 500 lines of code by some combination of touching my monitor with her nose and rubbing against the screen. She is now Banned From My Desk. Fortunately, she didn’t save her edits.

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