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Scarves are needed!

November 25, 2009

I follow a bunch of blogs. One of the more enjoyable is Anne’s of Knitspot fame.

Today she posted that the Red Scarf Project needs scarves! They are short by about 2,200 scarfs. And by the way, they need not be red.

In an effort to get a bunch more scarfs for this very cool cause, Anne posted this on her blog today:

Here’s what we’ll do: we’ll create a stickied thread in the the knitspot ravelry group where you can post a photo of your completed red scarf project and chat with other participants. everyone who commits to making a scarf can participate there, but only those that post a photo of a completed scarf will be eligible for a drawing to be held at the end.

On december 16th, we’ll pull one name from the ravelry thread (it MUST be someone who posted a completed scarf) and send that person a wonderful surprise package.

I’m sure any surprise package from Anne will be stunning!

If you follow the first link, the Red Scarf Project one, there’s also a contest there for monetary contributions. No need to break your Holiday knitting mojo if you got one going. Just send cash.

If you are of a mind to knit a scarf or two or three by the December something deadline, here are the detailed specs directly from Norma’s blog:

If you are able to eke out a scarf, or another scarf, before the December 15 deadline, (or even somewhere close to the deadline will be acceptable) I hope you will consider it. Remember the guidelines, but please don’t be paralyzed into inaction by the guidelines. The goal is a nice, unisex scarf, and the preferred color is red BUT there are hundreds of shades that are unisex… just stay away from pink and lilac. And there are dozens of unisex designs… just stay away from the lace.

Here they are again: 5 to 8 inches wide, 60ish inches long. Unisex. Sport, DK, or worsted weight. (bulky or super-bulky will not fit into the shipping boxes)

Mail completed scarves to:

Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166

So, tell a friend, or two, or a dozen! I just made my contribution. How about you?

I have a tiny office

November 5, 2009

made even smaller by the fact that it includes three dog beds. Two for the dogs; one for the cat.

In spite of that, Opal seems to find my chair a more comfortable spot:

opalinmychair

Today, I managed to squeeze her far enough back that I do have a small ledge to perch on. Comfortable? No!

Jakob is more accommodating. He sleeps in one of the dog beds:

jakobreclining

Is he comfortable? Apparently. This is his preferred sleeping posture. It offers a great glimpse of his gap-tooth smile:

jakobsmile

There has been knitting. I’m trying my first felting project, a pair of house slippers. Freaky!

slippers1

Yes, that is a 12 inch (30.5 cm) ruler inbetween the pair. Can they possibly felt down that much? Not yet. But I’m still working on it. It’s harder since my washer is a front loader and it doesn’t work well with a single-item load.

Does anyone have some alternative felting method suggestions for me?

The connection is tenuous

January 16, 2009

I never know if the internet connection will be working these days. It’s so abysmal that I called up the ISP and rudely asked, “Do I really have to pay for this?”

Apparently, I’m not the only one who has called. The gentleman on the phone, in spite of my horrid tone of voice, politely said, “Give me a second to pull up your account.” There was dead silence for a moment or two. Then he said, “Well, I can see you have had some difficulty,” and offered to credit me for the last three weeks of nonservice.

If I would have had my wits about me, I would have pointed out that the service has been tenuous for much longer than three weeks. But, being in a state of shock that they were really willing to do something, I simply thanked him and hung up. Perhaps this was the more noble action anyway.

Meanwhile, posts are few are far between and work drives me crazy. I start on an article, go to research a topic, get a few bits of information under my belt, then the connection stalls. And stalls. And maybe it unstalls or maybe it doesn’t. E-mails get messed up. Attachments are a horror.

Not to mention that you don’t get to see the lovely Peruvian baby silk Bird’s Nest Smoke Ring I finished or the sweater I started for the resident non-knitter — against my better judgment I might add. I have never seen him wear a sweater, not once in 6 years. He does own one. It’s a gorgeous manly-grey V-neck cashmere sweater I bought him four years ago and he finally JUST tried on last week to appease me and to assure me that he REALLY does want a sweater and yes, he does know how to put them on. But I digress.

Nor do you get to see the lovely Koigu that found it’s way into my stash. Or the Cascade 220, or the gorgeous hand-dyed yarn from Kim or the magnificent number of wonderful knitting books and DVD’s that have come my way. I’ve been on a spree.

Suffice it to say, that you, my dear reader, are missing out on much of the glory of my knitting life.

It works!

January 6, 2009

After a few rough patches this morning, it appears that the internet connection has stabilized for now. You would think — well I would think — that a company that provides internet service in Colorado would understand the importance of installing systems that work even when it snows or when the wind blows. Not so. Not so here in the San Luis Valley anyway.

First, they decided my wireless radio antenna had gone bad. I told the technician who came out to repair it that I was concerned that the exceptional high winds we had could have blown the antenna out of position. This was my diagnosis.

“Nope,” he said. “Bad antenna.” He replaced it and weirdly enough, failed to tighten it down properly. The moderately high winds we had over the next few days easily blew the antenna out of position. Of course, I didn’t realize this at the time. I had to wait until they could fit me back into the repair schedule.

Finally, the same technician who installed the new antenna came back to make the repair. He admitted the newest problem was due to his failure to secure the antenna properly. He wasn’t even gone an hour when I realized the connection no longer worked, AGAIN!! This time, they just turned him around and he returned within the hour. He repointed the antenna to a tower on top of San Antone Mountain.

Snow causes this tower to fail. It’s on top of a mountain for pete’s sake! Of course it snows up there in winter. They had me pointed this direction last winter until I threw a fit and asked them to come out and change it because I was down at least one day a week every week all winter.

We’ll see how it goes. Typically spring brings our most severe storms.

Meanwhile, knitting and life progress. Unlike many knitters, I didn’t make stash busting resolutions, completing UFO resolutions, etc. For one, I am building stash like crazy in preparation for a yarn drought in my future. For another, I don’t have UFO’s. If I start it, I try to finish it. If I don’t finish it, I frog it. I like my knitting to be under control, in contrast to my work which seems to be perpetually out of control.

I don’t make many resolutions in life either. Usually only one per year. Let me give you some examples. About 10 years ago, my standing resolution for several years running: work less, earn more. This suggestion came out of my company’s employee suggestion box. I promptly adopted it as the best employee suggestion ever, without question, praised the wonders of an employee who could come up with such a brilliant idea and immediately adopted it for all future resolution purposes. [To clarify for those who don’t know my work situation, I work for myself, by myself.]

About five years ago, my resolution for a two years running was “drink more beer.” The first year I went from one or two six packs a year to about ten or 15. The next year, this resolution blossomed. I no longer need to keep this on my list. [interject coughing noise]

Three years ago, I made a resolution to “have more fun.” I did pretty good on this one. It’s still kind of on the list, although it has transmogrified into “enjoy life more.” This includes eating lots of chocolate, drinking better wine, taking more vacations and other similar challenging tasks. I’m working on it. I think I may keep this one for another year.

Last year, I had a resolution to write in a journal every day. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Quit that one — quite consciously, I might add — after about four months. I tried the “morning pages” approach recommended by Julia Cameron and Natalie Goldberg and other writers. The idea is to write in a journal first thing in the morning, every morning.

For me, this is a doomed proposition. I don’t properly wake up for about an hour. Crawling out of a perfectly comfortable, warm bed is so deplorable to me that I am normally in a horrible mood until I’ve gotten at least one giant cup of tea in my system. So, my journal consisted of grumbling, bitching, complaining, and being irritated with life in general. I do not recommend starting a day with this focus. And, I certainly do not recommend starting every day with this focus.

I’ve kicked around the idea of adding “knit more” to this year’s list. I may just have to ponder that one to see how it feels before I add it. Might be next year’s resolution.

Meanwhile, I did finish the Shibui Knits sweater. Blocking transformed it from an object fit only for the burn pile to a sweater worth wearing.

I’m still not wild about the color pooling. I do like the color however:

Shibui Knits Textured Raglan

Shibui Knits Textured Raglan

I actually like the way the neck turned out:

shibuisweater2

It has a nice drape to it:

shibuisweater3

We had a lovely moonrise this month. I ran as fast as I could to snap a shot. I couldn’t get the red-tipped peaks without the pivot:

moonrise3

moornrise4

It’s just a little further and in the few extra seconds, I missed it. Amazing how fast the color changes.

What I did over Christmas vacation

December 31, 2008

Well for one, I didn’t post. The internet connection has been tenuous at best. Up, down, down, down, up for a little bit, down, down down.

On the other hand, I did knit. I finished and blocked the sweater. Someday, my connection will be stable enough to post a picture. I knitted a smoke ring. I bought tons of knitting books and I discovered the joys of buying yarn at elann.com.

Someday, you’ll see pictures.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year!!!

Note: Pattern row will be worked on the WS

December 8, 2008

texturedtest1

The Textured Raglan looked like a nice easy knit from the picture on the Shibui site. Heck, I had just finished the Refined Raglan (about halfway down the page) and how different could they be? Ahh, gentle readers. One little line in the pattern says it all:

Note: Pattern row will be worked on the WS except for this left side portion.

I pondered this. I even asked fellow knitters what it meant. Of course, they scoffed. Anyone who has followed a knitting pattern knows that more often than not, something has little or no meaning until you are actually doing it. In the doing, it comes together. In the reading, it does not.

I was doing and suddenly, this boring little 2 row repeat with the raglan decreases all happening every other row on a K row, and the pattern, a KKKPKP just going round and round and round . . . got turned on it’s ear.

Perhaps, there those of you with more knitting experience are having a little chuckle right now. You grasped the implications of that little “Note:” in the pattern right off.

For the rest of us, let me illustrate. The “different” stitch marker shows the start of the round. You can see the neck stitches bound off, creating that cute little scoop neckline that looks oh, so comfortable:

textured-top1

A schematic explains how the knitting shifts from round and round to back and forth:

mind-games

Oh, delight is mine!

The pattern has become new again. With a two-row pattern and the start of the round in the “middle” of the back and forth, not at an edge, this turns the pattern partially backwards, and partially in side out. For me, the decrease row on the left side of the sweater is now most easily accomplished by knitting backwards. On the right side of the sweater, the pattern KKKPKP becomes PPPKPK.

No big changes. It simply requires the knitter to start thinking. Try doing what you’ve been doing backwards for a while, then try it inside out. Too much fun!! I am easily amused.

None-the-less, this is especially exciting because the sweater has long been in Stage 4 (see prior post), the hating phase where I believe the most appropriate finishing touch will occur when I light the match. At least the knitting is fun.

All of this “new” stuff at the very last part of the pattern. It makes me want to look at other patterns designed by Kirsten Christianson.

In fact, I did. Isn’t this a cute little sweater? I think I might like it better in a longer length. Can you imagine the fun of taking a cable pattern, and then looking at it inside out and backwards? Do you suppose this happens at the start of that V-neck?

Such simple pleasures knitting brings.

Six Word Memoir

November 4, 2008

Apparently, it’s been in the back of my mind for a while. Several months ago, I stumbled upon Smith Magazine’s Six-Word Memoirs “Not quite what I was planning” web site. I couldn’t think of anything at the time and I surfed right on by.

But last night, I woke up at 2 something with weird election dreams filling my head and a rat terrier trapping my legs in the blankets. And there it was. The memoir.

Never grew up. Never settled down.

Could this have had anything to do with the fitful dreams?

A little possum followed me home

October 30, 2008

I have a thing about New Zealand possum. I haven’t seen a live one yet. But I know if I did, I would love it’s little furry body. I certainly love their fur.

Yesterday, I had to make a quick drive (i.e. 3 1/2 hours each way) up to Colorado Springs to interview some people for the newsletter I write. I got this shot.

25 men on a pole

This was taken in the afternoon after the opening festivities for the newest lineman school in Colorado. I’m not sure the young men in this program would approve of their photo being used on a blog devoted primarily to knitting. But, there are many things in life over which we have no control.

I kept this in mind as I listed to POTUS08 on the XM radio on the way there and back. I heard good news. I heard bad news. I decided I needed to do something to make me feel like I did SOMETHING to help so I called today to volunteer to drive people to the polls on Tuesday. A small gesture. But a small gesture is better than no gesture.

Anyway, while the linemen-to-be were taking a lunch break, I ran over to the Knitting Kove on Union and found some lovely Cherry Tree Hill Merino/Possum sock yarn. The store owner also has a rat terrier who was in typical ratty little mood so I didn’t get a chance to cuddle and pet her. However, it was entertaining to talk “dog” to the little rat’s owner who had, coincidentally, also owned a dachshund before the rat. We had a grand time swapping dog tales.

Meanwhile, a little possum followed me home so I will get my cuddles in. Gorgeous stuff.

I’m over it

October 27, 2008

The blah’s that is. I had a really nice weekend. The resident non-knitter and I have some friends who have a hot air balloon. They invited us to go to Taos to help out as their ground crew for the Taos Mountain Balloon Fiesta. “Our” balloon is in the center:

Hot air balloon festival in Taos

One might think that hot air ballooning is all about being in the balloon. Au contraire! It’s just as much fun to be in the chase vehicle, wondering where the balloon will come down, trecking back and forth down dirt roads, wondering if you’ll be able to reach the balloon when it touches down. Finally, you are sure you are in perfect position. Radio contact to balloon. “We’ve got you, no worries.”

Then, a wind shift. Everyone runs as fast as they can back to the vehicles, piles in and darts around to another spot. Opps. Dead end. Back up, turn around, (meanwhile all of this pulling a balloon trailer). Then, the guy in front of you realizes he’s going the wrong way for his balloon and he pulls a frantic U-turn right in front of you. Wait, no, he’s not even a balloon chase vehicle–just a lookie lou! What the . . . Lock wheels. Blare horn. Give dirty looks. Start rolling again.

Finally, you’re there, and they are almost down and the chase rig barely comes to a stop and once again, everyone jumps out, racing out as fast as they can to reach the balloon. Hands on, hold it to the ground, passenger switch, then off they go again. It is quite exhilarating!

Plus, you get views like these:

Head out car window-I see her now!

Only about half of the balloons in the air that morning!

There were close to 40 balloons at the event and I think every one of them was in view at one point in the morning. My photography just didn’t do the event justice.

Not only a balloon adventure this weekend, knitting and horseback riding too. Oscar was a complete angel on the ride, even when I approached the intersection of a busier road with our dirt road and a friend pulled up in her car to talk and then, on the other side of us, a pickup truck rolled up with a horse trailer behind. Yes, this did make Oscar nervous, I mean, he is an Arabian after all. But a brisk walk up and down the road and we were back in fine form again. We walked across the paved road, did a short trot and turned around to come back home. He is a lovely animal!

Meanwhile, the Sixth Sense socks progress. Maybe I’ll finish them by next weekend. I hope so. I’m chomping at the bit to start on another pair.

I am still alive

October 15, 2008

It’s just been next to impossible to find time to post. September was a bust. One week at the photography workshop, one week trying to get a full month of work done, two weeks in Tasmania. Yep. We traveled around the world to get a good look at that Australian state.

I really don’t have time today to post pictures from the trip. But I will. I’ll also post the latest and greatest house flyer (our house is for sale) for anyone who might be interested. Or not. Either way, it’s going to get posted. I spent from 1:30 a.m. to 5:00 a.m working on it last night and then a few more hours this morning. This, in spite of the fact that I have a newsletter deadline looming for the monthly newsletter I prepare for one of my clients.

So. Bad girl. No biscuit. You get in your cage.