Friday, April 24, 2015

Astrology - Truth or Nonsense?

It's hard for me to believe that the date and time of a person's birth can really foretell their personality, so while I enjoy reading a good astrology prediction, I usually don't put much faith in it.

Facebook Birthdays

However, if you've friended a bunch of people on Facebook and you get notified about their birthdays, it's sometimes uncanny how four people born on the same day can have very similar personality traits.

It doesn't always happen, but once in a while, I find myself amazed at how similar two or more people with the same birthday can be.  I mean, Lucy Neatby and I share the same birthday and we both are quirky in similar ways, no?

I've also found it fascinating to see how two similar personalities can use their idiosyncrasies in positive ways of less than positive ways.  A recent display of four birthdays on Facebook showed that all four of the people shared strong convictions...I mean REALLY strong convictions...but some of them used their powers of conviction to support and build up people and others used them to tear down and critique people...and both were unflinching in their pursuit of support or tearing down.

All that being said, I still think astrology is bunk.

Current Knitting

I know it's only been two days since my last blog post, but I sewed in all the ends from the socks I displayed on Wednesday, I got a few more rows finished on the latest blanket and I started another edging for the baby alpaca blanket that I've been working on for over 10 years.

 I'm thinking I may need 2 more balls of yarn for the top blanket and I'm actually starting to believe I might finish the second blanket before I die.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day 2015

So...what are you planning on doing for Earth Day this year?\

Do You Celebrate?

Focusing one day a year on trying to repair the devastation we've done to this planet just doesn't seem sufficient.

The fact that we've pretty much ignored climate change and making any efforts to make changes that will affect the lives of our youth saddens me more than I can say.

I read a comment somewhere that the U.S. is looking for some leadership in this area, and I think I actually snorted derisively.  I think about how Al Gore tried to take a leadership role and expended enormous money and energy trying to bring awareness to this critical issue, and more than ignore, he was belittled.

And then you have morons like Ted Cruz calling himself the Galileo of his time...really?!?!

Sad, to say, but I've kind of given no, I don't celebrate Earth Day.

I have replaced all my light bulbs with LED bulbs, and while it's a miniscule way of helping, I will encourage others to do so anyway.  One of the BEST benefits of putting an LED bulb in my outside fixtures is that they don't attract bugs!  Did you know that?  It's quite amazing that I don't have to incessantly clean out spider webs, and dead bug carcasses from my outside lighting fixtures...almost miraculous, in fact.

There, I've done my part.  What have you got?

Current Knitting

Finished my latest pair of QueerJoe's Socks, and I couldn't be more pleased.

First of all, I highly recommend Trekking XXL sock yarn.  It's durable, has decent yardage and works with my gauge better than any other sock yarn.  These socks fit me like they were made for my foot and leg and I will definitely be using this pair as the model for the toe-up sock pattern I put up on Ravelry a couple months ago.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Carol's Latest Masterpiece

Has anyone gotten their copy of Carol's latest book - Lace Yarn Studio: Garments, Hats, and Fresh Ideas for Lace Yarn

For the Finer Gauge Folks

I have always loved working with fine yarns...both in gauge and in fiber content, so I just ordered my copy of Carol's latest book.  Her work is always wonderfully inspiring , so I'm looking forward to seeing what she's done with lace-weight yarns.

I'm honestly amazed that all that goes into a book can be sold  on Amazon for a mere $12...I mean, 25 patterns, photographs and all the amazing work that goes into any book...and this one's from Carol!  Seems like quite a bargain to me.

 Plus, I have a ton of lace-weight in my stash.

Current Knitting

I couldn't be more pleased that I restarted the latest niece blanket.

The fabric is spongy now, so I'm thrilled I switched to the larger needle and the cable down the center is still completely reversible and doesn't bulge out and ruffle out like the old design did.

I may have trouble giving this blanket away when it's finished.

Friday, April 17, 2015

We All Know CPR, Right?

I used to train every year in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, or CPR when I was an employee in an office setting.  It's been years, since I had any training, and I noticed things have changed since then.

Selfish Reasons

For two very selfish reasons, I want as many people to know CPR and basic first aid, like the Heimlich maneuver as possible.

The first is obvious...I'm old and have a a large family history of heart disease.  I try to stay fit with diet and exercise and I don't smoke or drink, but I'm still likely to have heart disease.

The second reason is a situation that happened to me a few years ago.  I was in a steak house with 5 other co-workers and started to choke on a piece of steak that I hadn't chewed properly, and I realized pretty quickly that I wasn't going to be able to swallow or expel the meat in my throat.  One of my co-workers noticed I was struggling and asked if I was okay and I shook my head "no" and it soon became clear that not one of the five people at the table knew how to do the Heimlich maneuver.

Fortunately, when I stood up, I was able to dislodge the steak from my throat myself and I was all took less than 30 seconds.  But I was amazed to confirm that not one of the five adults at the table knew what to do.

Be prepared to save a life...especially if you hang out with me a lot.  Thanks!

Current Knitting

Work was progressing just fine on the latest niece's blanket.

But I was being nagged by two issues with the design of the blanket.  First off, I was thinking the fabric was too dense and not drapey enough.  I usually have a rule of thumb that if I consider ripping out a design 3 times because of the same issue, it's time to rip.  But my decision was really make for me when my two-sided cable wasn't matching the row gauge for the rest of the blanket.

See how it blistered out at the bottom and also at various points along the cabling.  With both these issues, I decide to start again.  This time on larger needles and changing my two-sided cable to a double-knitting version of the cable which matches the row gauge perfectly.

It will take a bit longer to finish the blanket now that I've restarted it, but I will sleep better at night.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Post-Birthday Festivities

While my birthday was 11 days ago, I had a couple of very nice gifts after that.

Happy Birthday To Me!

First of all, instead of a birthday cake on my birthday (since we had cake for dessert in the restaurant on my birthday), Thaddeus made me birthday PIE the day after.

If you can try and imagine the tart cherry sweetness mixed with the butter, flaky crust, you might just have a sense about the heaven I was in eating this pie for the week.

Thaddeus also went ahead and ordered this baby for me.

It's a new coffee grinder...a Rancillio grinder which has significantly increased my ability to make amazing lattes.

I think I can now consider my birthday celebrations complete for 2015.

Current Knitting

I haven't done a huge amount of knitting since my last blog entry.

I'm almost finished with the first sock and I've made quite a bit of progress on the second one.  I already love this pair of socks and can't wait to wear them.  It always amazes me how long it takes to split the yarn into two close-to-equal balls.