Friday, April 29, 2016

Who's To Blame?

With all the political bickering going on in social media lately, I always try to see as many sides to an argument as I can.  I find it useful, even if I've already decided which side I fall on.

Blaming Corporations and the Rich

A big part of the outsider movement in U.S. politics today is about demonizing how unpatriotic our rich and powerful can be, and how much the deck can be stacked in their favor.

In general, I agree with that sentiment.

I just listened to a shareholder meeting for a very large corporation, and I was shocked to hear shareholders who spoke about injustices at that meeting.  They called for ousting the CEO.  They spoke about the betrayal of having inferred promises of benefits to retirees taken away.  They spoke about the ravages to the Amazon River and it's inhabitants that the companies efforts were causing.  They called the CEO a liar, heartless and a snake.

Most of what they said I think was true, and I was glad they had the opportunity to express their views.

But I also realized that the CEO was legally bound to many other stakeholders in the company who only care about the price of the company's stock, dividends and quarterly earnings.

So, when this company takes away retiree benefits to the devastation of some of it's longtime employees and retirees, he's got a lot of incentive for doing that.  When this company arranges its business so that it pays no taxes to the U.S. government (in fact, it gets subsidies from the government), the CEO is doing the job he's been installed to do.

When companies lose their social conscience, it requires the people and the government to step in and impose regulations that require them to be good citizens.

I think it's time that that happens in this country.

Current Knitting

During the time I was deciding on whether to rip out the Niece Blanket, I cast on a new sock project in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn.

Believe it or not, I ended up having to pull out most of this work as well...I thought the sock was too big and needed to reduce it by 4 stitches around.  I've almost gotten it back to where I started to rip it out.

I also got some additional work done on the Niece Blanket and I'll have a progress photo next blog entry.

Again, I'll leave you with a photo of my beautiful Finn.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Daunting or No?

Every time I find a mistake in my knitting, I always think that fixing it will be painful and impossible.

To Fix or Not to Fix

Indeed, that is the question.

Recently, I realized I had mad a mistake in the linen stitch blanket I'm making for my niece.

Here's a closer photo.

See those elongated row of pink loops?

My first thought was I'm not ripping out 10 or 12 rows of knitting and keeping two colorways of yarn untangled while I do it, and then picking up 146 stitches in linen stitch.  The task seemed insurmountable...completely daunting.  It took a long time to knit those rows!  It's hardly noticeable...right?  I continued to knit another couple of rows, realizing I was only postponing the inevitable.

I couldn't stand to have that mistaken row left in this as you can see from the needle-less blanket, I did end up ripping out the rows.

As usual, it took me very little time to rip out the rows, pick up the stitches and re-coup all the work I had done.

Why do I agonize over this every time it happens?

Current Knitting

So here's where I am now with the niece blanket.

And here's the closer shot, so you can verify I did, in fact, go back and correct the mistaken row.

All is right in my world now.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Outdoor Eating

Anyone that has ever eaten with me at a restaurant with outdoor seating knows that I HATE outdoor dining...the wind blows away the napkins, the salt and pepper shakers have usually been left out in the rain once too many times, there are bugs and some noxious odor is almost sure to be worse than the perfume someone bathed in sitting inside.

Eating The Outdoors

When it comes to eating food that has been foraged in the outdoors, now that's a different story.

Many of you know that Thaddeus is an amateur mycologist and loves foraging for wild mushrooms.  Some of you may also know that this area will soon be Morel season and Thaddeus will be out looking for some of these luscious fungi.

But in the mean time, he's started picking a delicious onion-y delicacy called "ramps."

They're known as wild leeks in this area as well, and the entire plant, including the greens, are delicious.  They have a taste that seems like a cross between onion and garlic, but with a gamier taste, if vegetation can be gamey.

Thaddeus made some morel risotto with ramps for dinner yesterday, and it was a sublime meal.

Thaddeus makes an amazing risotto anyway, and the ramps just added a depth of flavor that was incredible.

Current Knitting

Fully recovered from my mistaken row, and I've actually added a few rows more than where I was when I ripped out ten or 12 rows.

I'll leave you with this lovely photo of Finn enjoying the luxury of Thaddeus' mushroom basket.

I think he slept here all night last night...he might actually have a slight onion/garlic scent this morning.

Double Pointed Storage

My collection of double-pointed needles was starting to get out of hand, and I was constantly forgetting where various sets of the needles were.


More so than that, whenever I'd find my favored brand of needles at a yarn store, I'd have no idea which ones I might need an extra set of...or more extra sets of.

I used to keep some of my six inch sets in a DPN case that I think was created as either a pencil case, or a make-up brush case and some others in a larger knitting neeedle case with other straight needles and then even more in an old Ghiradelli chocolate can.

Then I realized I had a bunch of 8" long, clear plastic containers that would perfectly hold DPN's (at least most of them.

I tried fitting them into the Ghiradelli can, but it didn't hold enough of them, and it made it difficult taking out one size, so I ended up just putting a rubber band around 10 of the containers and sorted almost all of my DPN's.

The remainder will stay in the Ghiradelli can next to it, so I will always have one central spot for my DPNs.

Current Knitting

Added a few more rows on the Niece Blanket in Linen Stitch.  The progress wasn't worthy of a blog photo.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Pinterest - Analog Style

I love's a great way of keeping a list of things that inspire means I'm never at a lost for something creative to try next.

Old School Style

Years ago, a couple of master colorists (Kaffe being one of them) said that they used to try out various color combinations and just pin the test swatch up on a wall that they looked at often.

First impressions aren't always the most accurate way of assessing creative endeavors, so having it in a place I can look at often and continue to assess how much I like it can be very useful.

Here's my meager swatch board (with the Noro swatch I posted on Monday in the mix).

Most of my decisions on swatching are related to mixing variegated colorways, or seeing how they might pool or work with various stitches.

Just like my Pinterest board on knitting, I use my swatch board to see how well I get used to various textures, colors, ideas and I also use it for posting future project ideas.

Current Knitting

I had to take my mom in for an MRI yesterday and was lead to believe I'd be sitting waiting for a long time.  I brought along DPN's and some Noro Silk Garden Sock and started to cast on when my mom went back for the scan.

Two failed attempts at the figure-eight, toe-up cast-on...I gave up and started chatting with my sister instead.  My mom was out shortly thereafter anyway.

I have done some addition rows on the Niece Blanket.

The colors in this blanket make me happy no matter how much I look at them.  And with the amount of time Linen Stitch takes for me to execute, I look at the colors a LOT.