Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Empty Gestures

Thank you Lisa for putting into words the EXACT thing I despise...Empty Gestures.

I blame it all on laziness.

It comes in many forms. My initial rage against empty gestures came in the form of the Newcomer Rules. I didn't put the "empty gesture" label on it, but that was exactly what I was trying to describe with commenters adding no value in their comments. Adding a comment so they can feel they belong to something is an empty gesture.

Forwarding electronic petitions, or web sites or pleas for action are oftentimes empty gestures.

And of course, readers completely understand the lazy, hypocritical concept of magnetic car ribbons. Based on a cheesey song, no less.

My favorite comments were the folks that called on readers to do something. To contribute. To add value in some way.

Folks that have been reading this blog for a while know that I'm not a big self-promoter when it comes to charitable contributions. I think charity should be personal, and that the act of charity should be the reward. The concept of a Random Act of Kindness is a wonderful thing, until bastardized by the folks who do it for recognition.

In my mind, looking for acceptance from others in any way is a statement that you don't think you're sufficient. My advice to folks like that would be to work on understanding your own self worth, and then your need for recognition will be diminished.

Blog Pictures
I left the friggin' battery for my digital camera in the charger at home, so I won't be able to take any new pictures this week....argh!

I have made feeble attempts with PaintShopPro to mock up pictures of my progress.

I made my way up to the collar shapping on the front of the Wool/Hemp sweater. I have to admit, I'm worrying I won't have enough yarn to do the sleeves.

I also started working on a hat (which will possibly be the first of many for Christmas gifts).

I'm doing a simple Fair Isle design of alternating colors every stitch and then changing one of the colors every fourth row and the other color on the following fourth row (or in other words, changing the background color and the foreground color every eight rows).

I'm using the 7" double-pointed surina wood needles and they work great with all this leftover Shetland wool.

After I finished the Jacob Select, my hands were itching to get a hold of the merino I bought in 10 different colors. I chose the most interesting color of them all and started spinning.

I'm spinning a very fine single that will hopefully double-ply into sock yarn. It took me a few tries to get the feel for this short-staple fiber, but now it's spinning along like a dream.

I'm trying to figure out if I can successfully make this into self-striping sock yarn when I ply it. It will mean spinning singles with all of the colors and moving them off the bobbins before plying. I'm not sure how best to do that, or if I'll do it at all.

Knitters Review
I mentioned that the most recent issue of Knitters wasn't as awful as the web previews would have made it seem.

There were a total of 23 designs in this issue for a newstand prices of US$5.50.

Bad Designs
Wobbly Ribs by Kathy Zimmerman - Awful shaping and design...a family of horrors
Holiday Wrap by Linda Pratt - Simply bad...with help from Irene Washington??? She needed help?
Gold Rush by Sally Mellville - Some might like this, I thought it looked like a rag.
Peacock Plumes by Denise Powell - A one shoulder strap nightmare in royal blue faux fur.
Peppermint Swirl by Julie Gaddy - A waste of bad yarn.
Tassles and Triangles by Suzanne Atkinson - A ridiculous scarf with a more ridiculous hat.
Sock Scarf by Robyn Hamilton - This has already been discussed way too much.
Argyle For All Seasons by Joanne Yordanou - Picture Rodney Dangerfield trying to look garish in Caddy Shack.

Good Designs
Hats by Gerdine Strong - Great colors and interesting design.
cranberry Squares Hat by Janis Witkins - I like this.
Victorian Ruby by Jane Sowerby - Quite beautiful looking even with a difficult color.
Kindred Spirits by Elizabeth Lavold - Classic Lavold, gorgeous.
Snowdrift Aran by Heather Lodinsky - Simple and beautiful.
Tea Rose by Jean Frost - Another simple, classic design.
Asian Garden by Jo Sharp - The nicest looking sweater in Knitters in a LONG time.

The magazine is worth getting for the Lavold and Sharp designs alone. If you're interested in hats, you should definitely pick this issue up.

The articles are uninspiring and easy to skip.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

God Bless America

Are "Support Our Troops" magnetic ribbons for cars multipying?

I first started seeing the yellow ribbon (shaped like the red AIDS ribbon, by the way) up where I'm working in the Albany area. Then it spread and I see them everywhere. For those of you not in this country, they look like this.

It seems to be an easy way for Americans to demonstrate their patriotism without doing much of anything. Very reminiscent of all the flag waving that occurred directly after 9/11. Some places are selling them and donating the proceeds to some patriotic causes.

The height of hypocrisy was a red, white and blue ribbon I saw on a car in front of Thaddeus and I that said "Proud To Be An American". Thaddeus pointed out to me that it was stuck to the back of a Toyota.

One last thing before I finish this rant. The expression "God Bless America" on some of these car decorations is one of the most anti-spiritual sentiment I could imagine. How about "God Bless Everyone"?

My knitting has been a very nice respite from the hectic times of the holiday here in the states and my current workload. I've finished the back of the body and now I'm working on finishing the front. Then just sleeves to go.

I have also been doing a lot with my spinning and I am loving it more and more each time I sit down at my spinning wheel.

I plied both bobbins of singles from the Jacob select wool which ended up making over 600 yards of yarn (that's the two larger hanks in the picture). Then I finished spinning the remainder of the fiber which resulted in 142 more yards. Add that to the 800 yards I had spun up previously, I've got a sufficient amount of wonderfully soft yarn to make myself a nice warm sweater.

How cool is that?

Movie Weekend
I got a chance to see two wonderful movies in the theaters this weekend.

First we went to see "Kinsey". Wonderful performance by Liam Neeson. I also loved the performances of Laura Linney, Chris O'Donnell, and Peter Sarsgaard. A very well done movie that was worth paying for.

Then I went to see "Finding Neverland" last night and was even more impressed. Johnny Depp was the best I've ever seen him. Kate Winslet was incredible. But the young actor that played Peter, Freddie Highmore, stole the show. The movie purposefully tugs on heartstrings, but they do it extremely well.

I did end up buying Knitters at my local yarn store, and I'll provide a critique later this week. There were some awful things in there, but there were also some excellent items.

More to come in the next installment.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Six Fewer Red State Voters

Partly because of the passing of the ban on automatic weapons (thank you Mr. President), Wisconsin has six fewer voters.

A Sign of the Times
I always assumed that Rebumblicans would take things so far that they would put themselves out of business again (remember Newt Gingrich?), but I didn't think it would be by killing themselves.

If you haven't read/heard/seen about it, a hunter in Wisconsin refused to leave a deer blind that was on private property, and after a "scuffle" ended up shooting and killing six hunters and wounding three others. He did it quite quickly and efficiently with his semi-automatic weapon.

Can you imagine the families of those six folks? Days before Thanksgiving? Makes me cry just thinking about it. An enjoyable family tradition on the first day of deer hunting season turns into amazing tragedy.

If that wasn't bad enough, take a look at the omnibus spending bill that just passed congress. Did you realize that both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Appropriations Committee can look at your IRS tax returns without a warrant or without you even knowing about it? Don't get on their bad side if you have any skeletons in your IRS closet.

Check out some of the exciting pork products (the other white meat, indeed) that were included in this lovely bill (my home state of PA did pretty well). Just so that you know, this spending bill brings federal spending to about $20,000 to the average household.

Of course, the first order of business was protecting the much-maligned Tom Delay from losing his chairmanship as a result of an expected felony indictment.

I'm zipping right along on the wool and hemp sweater. The picture below represents approximately 12 inches of body done on the sweater. Soon enough I'll be starting arm hole decreases and switching to flat knitting.

The subtlety of the pattern stitch will look very nice on the anticipated recipient (I think). Let's just hope I can guestimate the sizing well enough.

Busy Weekend
This past weekend was very busy. In addition to working on the wool/hemp sweater, I also pulled out the spinning wheel to put some of my prior weekend's training inot practice.

I started out by trying to prepare my pre-prepared fiber a little better. It didn't seem to help much with this fiber.

Then I tried doing a long-draw. The tension is too strong on the Louet for this.

So, I tried looping the yarn back and forth on the flyer hooks. Tension was very low, I could do the long-draw, but winding onto the bobbin was painfully slow.

Finally, I went back to my old ways of spinning which turned out to be much more efficient and effective on this wheel.

Don't get me wrong. If I ever get the opportunity to spin on a great wheel again, I'll go back to the techniques I learned.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Jackie expresses her thanks for my admitting difficulty navigating the Knitters web site.

I have NEVER been able to find the thumbnails for upcoming issues by myself. Someone has always had to send me the direct link. A recent e-mail told me the path of clicks (I think it was six total clicks), but with the incentive provided by the resulting page, it's not worth it anyway.

Stephanie mentions that there were some nice items in the preview.

Agreed...I don't agree with all of the pieces she likes, and when I get the magazine (which I must), I will give my as-always-arrogant opinions.

Finally, Kristi mentions that the socknitters list is discussing the sock scarf as a viable project.

I was thinking about joining that list to see if I could surreptitiously hawk my surina wood double-pointed sock needles. Now I know I can't. Thanks Kristi.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Knitters Sucks

Blog friend, Selma, mentioned I should check out something on the Knitters' web site. Do they PURPOSEFULLY make that site hard to navigate?

What Do They Do Well?
I am so over the Knitters organization (or lack thereof).

There magazine has sucked for years now. The style of the garments has constantly pandered to the lowest form of knitter and/or the yarn manufacturers.

I wouldn't blame them if they pandered mostly to the advertisers, but for god's sake, at least have designers that can make their yarns look good. How about just a little bit of style? How about just a speck of sophistication? How about just a whisper of creativity?

For an organization that claims to represent the world of knitters, they do a lousy job.

If you can find the preview of the upcoming issue, you MUST check out the Sock Scarf. It's a tube with a toe at each end and heels inserted intermittently along the way. WTF?

Surina Wood Needles
It still amazes me how many knitters are out there looking for fine quality products. I figured after the first round of orders, that there wouldn't be a lot of folks ordering the double pointed needles.

I was mistaken. I've place almost as many orders this round as I did last time. I can't tell you how gratifying it is to fill a need in the knitting community. I certainly don't make a boatload of money selling these things, but it is far more satisfying than my career in consulting.

Thank you to all of the folks that bought needles. One reader e-mailed me directly saying that he didn't realize I was working on socks at the moment. I've stopped including status on socks unless I have absolutely nothing else to write about, but here is my current sock project.

I've made some good progress on the wool and hemp sweater. You can't really see the patterning, as it's very subtle and virtually impossible to photograph unless it's the perfect lighting.

The yarn is a little hard on my hands...somewhat like knitting with cotton, but a little better than that.

Knitted Bargains
Some of the readers' suggestions that I felt the $2 Fair Isle sweater were something I thought of as well, but I honestly think this sweater is nice enough to wear.

I just finished washing and blocking it, and it looks as if it will be a very nice sweater.

Perhaps after I've gotten some use out of it, it can make a nice pair of felted mittens or perhaps some other felted object.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

DHL Sucks

I've had an order of Surina Wood, doublepointed knitting needles sitting at some DHL office for a week now.

The Virtue of Patience...
...is a virtue I don't possess.

And that's after they were a week late in sending out the order from India, and they got delayed for a few days in Germany.

The good news is that I have all the sizes of 5" needles and all of the sizes for 7" needles. Most of the smaller sizes sold out early last time because I guess most folks knit their socks on US0's and US1's. I was also surprised that folks wanted the interim size between US1 and US2. I'm glad it's filling a need.

Spinning Workshop
Thaddeus let me know that my enthusiasm and excitement for the time I spent over this past weekend wasn't conveyed very well in my blog entry about it.

Usually, I'm a little better at expressing my feelings in writing. I don't know what happened this time.

Two additional exciting moments to share:

1. I got to actually enjoy working with cotton on this little charkha from India. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to work with the resulting yarn, but it was fun spinning on it.

2. The host of the workshop shared part of his stash of FoxFiber cotton. This "cake" of cotton top was almost twice this size before we all took some for our own stash. He also insinuated that he had much more than just this one cake. God, it's nice being around folks as obsessed as I am!

The finishing and blocking of the red baby blanket came out extremely well. I am so pleased to be able to send this off to the new parents and hope the baby enjoys it as much as I enjoyed working on it.

I've also finished the bottom ribbing on either a vest or a sweater from the wool/hemp cone yarn.

I'm planning on doing a simple slip stitch pattern for the lower body and then switching to a different patterned slip stitch at around the chest area.

Knitted Bargains
I have to admit that I'm a hopeless addict to shopping at dollar stores, and the Albany area is chock full of them.

Last night, I went to one to pick up some tissue paper for sending off the baby blanket, and I saw a pile of sweaters from Old Navy on a shelf in their plastic wrap and everything. Cheap sweaters are one thing, but for a dollar?!?! And then I spot this one:

How could I resist?

Well, it turns out, the sweater wasn't XL in size as advertised...it's more like a medium/large. Second, there was a small hole in the bottom ribbing. And finally, the sweater was one of the few items in the store that isn't a dollar. It was two dollars.

However, the sweater is 100% wool, pretty soft and machine-knit Fair Isle. Even if the sweater only provides blogging material, it was worth the $2.

Monday, November 15, 2004

In the Presence of Genius

I could never have even guessed what an amazing resource Nelda Davis is when it comes to spinning.

Ways of Learning
I know there are volumes of data on how people learn. I work best with demonstration and praise when I do things well. Nelda is definitely the kind of instructor that I learn best from.

Nelda knows an enormous amount about the history and the workings of great wheels. She is also an amazingly accomplished spinner with proficiency in every stage of fiber preparation from sheep breeds to finishing a newly spun yarn.

Since I knew next to nothing about spinning, I definitely go my money's worth from this past weekend.

Spinning Workshop
For those who didn't know, I took a two day workshop, led by Nelda Davis on spinning on antique great wheels.

First of all, the workshop was hosted by the Princeton Weaver's Guild at the home of long-time members, Deborah and Michael Holcomb. Deborah and Michael own more spinning and weaving equipment than you could possibly imagine, and their collection of antique great wheels is museum-like in both quality and quantity.

And you should see their basement.

Suffice it to say, I got to try out multiple types of wheels and I can't say enough about how amazing it was.

I don't plan on owning a great wheel anytime soon, but I learned many drafting and spinning techniques that I will be able to transfer to my Louet spinning. I also learned how easy it is to prepare some raw fibers. All-in-all, it was a weekend well spent.

Now that I've finished the red baby blanket (I still haven't woven in all the ends, or blocked it), I needed a new project for my hotel time.

I brought the cone of wool and hemp to Albany with me, and I'll play around with a design this week. As soon as it starts looking like something, I'll post about it with pictures.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Thanks again for keeping yourselves occupied while I learned new spinning stuff this weekend.

Gail V. mentions that she's glad to have found an oasis of interesting knitters with taste.

I'm glad she reminded me. I remember searching through bad patterns and awful yarn stores before I found Tomato Factory and their unique style of knitting design. That great style transformed into Simply Knit and I was able to find a haven of like-minded knitters there (including reader Kathy as one-time part owner/designer). Then they closed, and the only places I know with similar sensibilities are Rosie's and Sophie's in Philadelphia and Habu Textiles in New York City. I am very glad to provide even a fraction of that kind of respite from the tedious knit world most everywhere else.

I also wanted to give special mention to Carol S.'s great link, Kim Salazar's thoughtful comment about the yarn meatballs ad and Liz's comparison of atrributing homosexuality to good looking, famous guys to a teenage girl's puppy love of a teen heart throb. That's exactly what I think it is too.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Comment Crazed

You folks are funny as hell. Work has been hell, but not in the funny way, so your comments have helped ease the stress. Thank you.

KnitDweeb Dilemna
No one takes more of their self identity from knitting as I do, but I will never understand how knitters would allow themselves to be insulted by an advertisement.

Now here's the dilemma. The advertisement was for a lesser-known chain of Italian restaurants. The restaurant's claim to fame is that they serve enormous portions of pathetically mediocre Italian food (and their meatballs really are about the size of those yarn balls).

So what's a KnitDweeb to do? Protest an inexpensive, huge portions restaurant that they've raved about for years, or maybe consider taking themselves a little less seriously.

Heterosexist Behaviors
One comment had me do some self examination. Before I discuss my thoughts, I thought for the sake of full disclosure, I should admit that I have an amazing capacity for denial and lying. That being said, I wanted to comment on Gary's comment.

Gary asks, "...isn't (the concept of) gay guys attributing gay-ness to the afore-mentioned cute guys any different than breeders stupidly assuming everyone in the world is straight?"

Perhaps in some way it is. It all boils down to labeling and pigeon-holing people.

However, it's also different in a big way. Breeders assuming all folks are straight is a matter of ignorance. The same kind of ignorance that doesn't let them understand how going to a different country might expand their understanding of humanity. The same ignorance that compares different-ness to something fearful.

Whereas gay men (and I include Lisa in this category) that assign gay-ness to others, are doing it for a very different reason. It's not out of ignorance. Is it that attributing gayness makes "our people" better because someone famous is? Is it irritation at the closeted person's hypocrisy? Is it fantasy-based lust that allows them to think perhaps they might be able to somehow have sex with them (even if only in their own mind)? Or maybe just simply trying to have some piece of a famous person they can share in.

I'm not really sure, but it smacks very much like the KnitDweebs that search for every famous person that Knits because they don't feel comfortable with their own desire. It sounds an awful lot like some Canadians I work with who are constantly mentioning that a particular star is Canadian because it somehow justifies that Canadians have important people too.

Current Knitting
I finished all of the knitting on the baby blanket and I'll start on the crochet edge tonight.

I'm not sure what edging I'll do, but it will be very simple. It also needs a good washing and blocking and then will be mailed out this weekend.

Readers' Comments/Questions
As I mentioned, I loved all your comments. Kim Salazar's description of the "sideways travesty" in IK had me laughing out loud for real.

Chandira takes offense to being called a breeder since she isn't a fan of children, and I assume she's straight (but not narrow).

Breeder is like "cracker". If someone you like calls you that, it's a term of affection. If they don't you probably really are a cracker.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Insult Immunity

A lot of readers (probably former readers) have sent insults my way. I just deal with them different than someone like Wendy.

Truth or Insanity
You know that I like strongly opinionated people. It's why I adore Marilyn and Kathy and Carol and Lisa and Selma and Janis and many other talented knitters.

So, whenever someone hurls an intended insult my way, I evaluate it.

Is there any truth to what the writer is saying? If so, I acknowledge it, thank them for pointing out something I did or didn't already know and move on. No big deal. No reason to get defensive.

Is the person clearly insane (e.g. Beth)? If so, I treat them like a crazy homeless person on the streets of New York City. I steer clear. Why should I give credence to a whacko?

That's why I think I get very few insults. It doesn't get a lot of desired reaction from me.

John Edwards - Closet Case?
Lisa, are you sure you're not really a gay man?

For the breeders in my reader population, gay men are incessantly assigning gay qualities to any good looking man in the public eye. Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, Joe Namath, Liberace, etc., regardless of any evidence as to whether the person actually is gay. It's wishful thinking in most cases.

John Edwards has some of the symptoms. He's either madly in love with his frumpy wife and sees her very differently than the rest of the planet, or she's his clever cover for slipping out and getting danked up the butt every once in a while.

Interweave Knit
I was finally able to find this magazine in one of the two local grocery stores (I got the last one). The cover sweater is great...excellent use of color. Overall, for about $7 U.S., I would say the magazine was worth the price. I would also agree with Selma that it's the only magazine that has shown much hope lately.

There are 23 designs. Beth Brown-Reinsel has two wonderful designs and a third that's good, but it wouldn't have elicited a comment from me under normal circumstances. Norah Gaughan has a simple and elegant jacket, and Veronik Avery has a lovely jacket as well. Veronik's jacket has a skirt with it that doesn't look bad, but hard to tell, and how practical is a handknit skirt?

There is a hideous sheep-inspired vest by Leslie Scanlon. And unfortunately, they haven't banned Mari Lynn Patrick from knitting magazines yet. If you have/get the new IK, you need to check out her Sideways Pullover. Dreadful color and design and even the finishing which is bad. There's a section of the side seam which is visibly bad.

Interesting article on short-rows which includes some of the same tips from my blog entry on the subject, but has other techniques as well.

Current Knitting
I'm on the last pattern repeat of the baby blanket, and then all I have to do is crochet a border on it, and weave in my securely knotted ends (most of them will be secured under the crocheted border).

I'm debating on mailing it without washing it or waiting till I get home to wash it and then mail it.

Knitting Quandry
Thanks for your ideas on what to knit for my friend out of the wool and hemp. I like both the vest idea and "man purse". Now I wish I had kept one of the scarf attempts to wash it and see if it got soft enough for a scarf.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Blog World Goes Crazy

If you're into noticing trends, has it surprised you how strange some of the knit blog readers are lately?

Knit Blog Readers Go Wild
Actually, I only have two examples.

First of all, there's the Dishcloth Queen making nasty comments about Wendy's cat. One of the things I love about Wendy, is that she doesn't take any shit. It looks like she's taken the gloves off. Go Wendy.

Then, there's Beth who was giving Marilyn shit about critiquing sweaters at Stitches. One of the things I love about Marilyn, is that she doesn't take any shit, and neither do her faithful readers.

Now, if I could only get some obnoxious asshole to start giving me shit, then my readers could be entertained endlessly with very little effort on my part.

Current Knitting
A quick update on the baby blanket.

As hoped, I'm making excellent progress on the blanket. I don't know that I'll make my self-imposed deadline of sending it off on Monday, but I'm glad for the progess I'm making.

Knitting Quandary
Remember when I bought the big cone of wool and hemp in the off-white color? I was with a friend (Stephen) when I bought it, who expressed that he'd love something made with it.

I've started five times to make a scarf, and I hate the fabric that I'm getting, and I think it would be too scratchy anyway.

Any ideas on what I could use this stuff for to make for a good friend? It seems to be perfect for a sweater, but that seems excessive. Especially on US4 or US5 needles.

Readers' Comments Questions
May mentioned that I absolutely shouldn't miss an opportunity to get spinning instruction from Nelda Davis.

I've heard this from a few folks (including friend Janis, who I forgot to mention I ran into at Morehouse Merino when I was up in NY for Rhinebeck). One even suggested bringing some of my spinning with me to have her critique it. While that makes me a little nervous (both to ask her to do something outside the workshop, but also because she might trash it), I think I'll do it anyway.

I also wanted to mention that I love Meem's comment. Thanks for the high praise.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

A Defining Skill

There are two skills that very clearly define who I am as a person. My work and my knitting.

Knitting Emergency Services
I was with a group of friends the other night, and admiring a commercially made sweater that someone was wearing. When the wearer of the sweater turned towards me, I realized there was a run in the knitted fabric from the shoulder, to about halfway down the front.

I noted the run, and he groaned that he was so upset that this happened, since it was his favorite sweater, and he was afraid if/when it got worse, he would have to throw out the sweater.

I very eagerly told him I could fix it, and the entire group of folks that were listening couldn't imagine this could be fixed.

The sweater owner said it was fine if I could just stop the run from getting worse, and I assured him I could fix it to look like new. He clearly doubted my words, and was happy to hand over the sweater on just the hope it wouldn't get worse, or it would look even a little better.

Suffice it to say, I brought it back to my hotel. On closer examination, the shoulder seam had unraveled at the neck, and the run was going down both the front and the back of the sweater.

I picked up both runs and secured them at the shoulder seam and reinforced the corner where the collar and shoulder seams merged. After a little finagling with the picked up columns, the sweater looked as good as new.

As silly as this sounds, my ability to fix this sweater, was a source of immense pride for me. I felt so valued that I could use a simple skill to save someone's favorite sweater.

I can't wait to present it to him next week when I see him again. It feels almost as if I knitted the damn sweater myself. Not bad for a 30 minute allocation of time.

Current Knitting
I'm almost finished with the next pattern repeat of the third baby blanket.

I'm hopeful to make a lot of progress on this, and possibly even finish it this weekend. I'd love to be able to send it out by Monday, latest.

Spinning Workshop
The Princeton Weaver's Guild is putting on a two day workshop on November 13th and 14th, with instructor Nelda Davis on learning to spin on a great wheel.

Two local spinners (a married couple) are hosting the workshop in their home, as they have dozens of antique great wheels that will be used for the workshop.

I am very eager to have this opportunity to learn some classic ways of spinning. I'm hopeful that the techniques can be extrapolated into my day-to-day spinning.

Readers' Comments Questions
I brought this on myself. I put a cute baby picture on the blog and got some cute comments in exchange. Crystal's was my favorite. She gushed over pink cheeks, and then went on to talk about her hopes of having Kerry kick Bush's ass...lol.

While I'm usually not overly tolerant of cute comments, I figured they would end as soon as a new blog entry, sans baby picture, was posted. I'll look forward to not being disappointed.

Barb Brown asked about the charity knitting project for AIDS I discussed earlier this year.

I have the yarn and the pattern, and I will be organizing something after the beginning of the year. More details to come.

Thanks to Selma for the Interweave Knits comment.

I will have to look for it at Wegman's this evening.

Love Marilyn's succinct comments on Election 2004.

My final comment on this kitty-slaughtering abomination of an election, is that I'll look forward to having the Clinton's back in the White House in 2008. I love Hillary, and I'm gonna start saving to start my own 527 group.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


With U.S. elections finally here, I feel like napping until it's all over. That could be an extended hibernation if it's close enough.

Last Minute Voting Advice
Carol sent this out to her friends...God, I'm glad she's a friend.

I'm surprised Carl Rove didn't think of this first.

New Knitting Magazines
Well, I'm not sure how new Knitters is, but it's new to me.

I picked up these two magazines at Borders yesterday.

Knitters - Fall, 2004

There are about 28 designs, mostly just ordinary stuff. Overall, the only good thing I can say is that there are some excellent colors in the designs.

There is one extremely bad man's pullover vest (embarrassingly bad, even for Knitters). There is one pretty nice woman's pullover in orange tweed, with orange lace at the bottom that I liked. Other than that, most of the designs are nothing special.

VOGUEKnitting's KNIT.1
If I had realized that this was just a big Lion Brand advertisement, I wouldn't have bought it. Here are some of the clues that I should have recognized before paying almost $6 (U.S.) for this piece of garbage:

- Faux fur on the cover
- Front cover subtitle of, "COLOR, the new Black"
- Fading ink ribbon/manual typewriter font

There are some extremely ugly designs in this magazine, and even the gorgeous Lion Brand yarns don't help to make the designs salvageable (that was sarcasm, in case you missed it).

By far, the most hideous piece of shit I've ever seen published are a pair of cropped pants by Teva Durham. Done in bulky acrylic, this is by far one of the most useless garments ever created on needles.

Readers' Comments Questions
Kathy expressed my feelings about RAOK and SP very well (I think she's my evil twin). I would add one more thing.

The concept of Random Acts of Kindness was an amazingly clever concept when it was first created, and I love the idea behind it. Formalizing the idea with Yahoo Groups and e-mail lists just seems to negate the whole "random" concept. RA'sOK should be like charity...only spoken about by the recipient.

Concerning Rhode Island. Much of my extended family was raised in and around Rhode Island, and to be truthful, I like that little state very much. I was just trying to justify the excessive act of making three baby blankets.

Mary F mentions that the baby must be a cutey (she adds the sycophantic, "just like you" to her comment).

Everyone that has seen her agrees, that Lily Bee is indeed a big cutey. Here's a picture to let you decide for yourselves.

Doesn't she look a little cold to you?...I think she needs a blanket.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Back To Basics

Now that the surprise project is over, I'm hunkering down, and working on W'sIP until they're done.

Current Knitting
As I mentioned in the last blog entry, I'm planning on finishing up the third of three baby blankets for my new little niece (she lives in Rhode Island, which is a large rock in the Northern area of the states, that neighboring Massachusetts was glad to grant independence, since who wants a large, cold rock?). As such, she can never have too many blankets.

I've finished three repeats, but I'm not sure how many I do for a complete blanket on this pattern...I'll have to look it up in my archives.

Next Knitting Project
I'm not sure what I'll pick up next. I know I have a few things lurking out there in WIP-land. There's an ugly fiesta sock that's almost done (and it's the second sock!). There's the handspun zippered cardigan with colored diamonds. Of course there's always the kid alpaca bedspread/coffin cover. Theres the machine knit soft boucle pullover that just needs sleeves. Plus innumerable awaiting projects.

Most recently, I was thinking about the nice orange-y Royal Tweed I got at Simply Knit during their final days. I was thinking my friend Charles might love a sweater with that color, since he works for Princeton University, and orange and black are their school colors (yes...as awful as that is). At least I can give him an orange sweater that would look nice, instead of the garish crap that usually parades around campus.

Readers' Comments Questions
Dana mentions RAOK or SP gifts.

RAOK = Random Acts of Kindness (I think) and I have no idea what SP is.

I have to agree with Kathy when it comes to the amazing folks that read this blog. They are very generous and thoughtful, in addition to being pretty great human beings. One of the things Kathy and James didn't mention, is that when James noted that he didn't have access to Koigu in New Zealand, Kathy generously sent him some from her MASSIVE stash. Thank you all for making my knitting world a pleasure to inhabit. For the highly observant among you, you might have noticed that I used one of the custom-made cable needles that Rosemary sent me from Colorado.