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.