Thank you all for your ideas and mac-tabulous encouragement! I have the laptop back up and running...for now...with a bigger hard drive. I will be backing up more regularly...thank goodness for ravelry, facebook and flicker...some files and pictures are still in my life:)
I am looking further into your suggestions for retrieval from the old hard drive...and shopping around for a mac...so that I am ready for when the time is right. Sadly, a fridge trumps the mac...and a stove...and an ikea kitchen. I'll put it on my Christmas list.
There has been knitting...and fabulous knitting if I must say so myself.
Once complete...blocked and with buttons...I will have a more in depth talk with you about this pattern. I will say I love it. I love the construction, the short rows and the button holes. But mostly, I love the preliminary try on's...
Just need to sew in the ends, block it and apply buttons (which I have ordered from etsy...we'll see how they work when they arrive).
Jared, you are a genius.