I'm deep into workshop prep for NCFF (link to the right)- I'm ready for two of my classes, and today I'll write up the handout for the new class (All Day Nordic Christmas Stocking- we'll work on yarn wrangling, stranded knitting, and, if all goes well, get past the afterthought heel on a Christmas Stocking). I also have to prepare my entries for the competition. I'm entering Cassy's Wedding Shawl, and my hooked seat cushion. The shawl has some mistakes in it (which the judges will certainly spot), but it's still pretty enough to show off, even though it won't win anything. The seat cushion is just plain goofy, but I made it with all handspun yarns, and I learned the technique at last year's Fiber Fair.
I searched around the Interwebz yesterday, and I found a freebie Counted Cross Stitch Design program that seems comparable to the one that I can no longer use with the new computer. It's called KG- Chart for Cross Stitch, and it looks like it'll do everything I need for charting Fair Isle, cable, and lace designs. And if I ever get in the mood to do Hardanger work again, I think it can chart those designs as well. Download it here.
I also found a freebie graphic manipulator that has a clone function, which is something that I use frequently (for paper dolls, and just for playing around). GIMP has a fairly intuitive interface, and it's not a vector program- it works with pixels, which is what I need (I already have Adobe Illustrator, but sometimes, I want a simpler program for photo manipulation). You can find info on GIMP here.
Another freebie photo manipulator is PAINT.net. It doesn't have the clone feature, but it does have several other handy tools. You can find out about it here, but be careful of the ads- they look like the program download but they're not (they're not harmful, I don't think, but they're probably not what you're looking for.) Here's the page with the download link- it's not the big ad at the top of the page, it's under the line that says: if you want to download Paint.net, use one of these download buttons.
All three of the above programs are free, but they will all take donations through PayPal.
I've had absolutely no luck finding a Windows 7 compatible version of MJWIN, the old Mahjongg program that I fell in love with back in the days of Windows 3.1 and floppy discs. I suspect I'm out of luck on that one.
Well, I'd best get back to work. I'll leave you with what I saw outside my back door this morning.