Monday, October 28, 2013

Catching Up

My life is a bit fuller than it usually is at the moment, and I'm sad to note that I let an entire week go by without blogging last week.


So, now as I catch my breath, I can tell you that I haven't forsaken the blogosphere completely.  I'm still here.

I'm noted it before, but I often find knit-blogging to be twice as hard as blogging about other topics, since I want to be able to show some progress in my fiber pursuits as well as wax poetic on an issue of importance to me.  Doing both requires more time than I had last week.

But...I'm back.

Current Knitting/Crocheting/Spinning

Three things going on in my fiber-world these days:

  1. Trying to finish a current WIP and cross off a New Year's goal for 2013
  2. Continuing work on the Koigu Granny Squares blanket
  3. Working on a secret project that I can't blog about or mention publicly...kind of like the Fight Club of fiber pursuits, whereas the first rule about this project is that you don't discuss it.
The Kid Alpaca Blanket/Coffin Cover
Yes, believe it or not, I've been doing quite a bit of work on this blanket.  If I am to even attempt to get this thing done by year-end, it will require a lot of my knitting time.

I still have a couple of feet more to knit and it takes FOREVER to do just an inch of knitting on this project.  And I can't carry it with me (it's getting way too unwieldy).  And, the minute I start working on it, Nico is in my lap.

Koigu Granny Square Blanket
I've done a few more squares for the blanket.

I'm thinking I'm going to need about 60 total squares for this blanket, so I may be doing about 43 more of these squares before I'm finished.  Fortunately, this project travels easily...just need to make time to crochet while I'm away.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Preachers One and All

Recalling every Sunday, how the priest got up to sermonize, I realize now that sermons were probably the original blogging before blogging came about.

Spark of an Idea

Every once in a while I'll be driving or daydreaming (or both) and I'll think of some idea that would make a good blog topic.

I'm sure that's exactly what many of the preachers did for their weekly sermon ideas, and then tried somehow to relate them to the specific scripture reading for that week's service.  And now, blogging has given anyone who wants it, their own pulpit to be able to sermonize on any topic they choose.

Fortunately, as blog readers, you get the opportunity to choose which ones your read.  You didn't really get that opportunity as a church or temple-goer.  You kind of got stuck listening to the sermonizer attached to your flavor of religion.  The only choice we ever had was, which mass to go to to...hoping against hope that you got Father Gene and not Monsignor Endebrock...both were boring, but at least one wasn't grumpy and boring.

Current Knitting

I had the incredible opportunity to go to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival (SAFF) this past weekend.  Since the festival is in the same town where we hold the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat each may, I also am fortunate to be able to stay at the retreat center where we hold the men's knitting retreat.  This year, friends Jeff, Dave and Aaron attended the festival.

In order of preference, what I love about SAFF, is:
  1. The addition to my retreat friends, I also got the chance to hang out and chat with Mindy (Puff the Magic Rabbit)...and the folks I don't know (or do know and forgot to mention...sorry!) who go to this event are always pleasant and nice to be around.
  2. The size of the festival...compared to Rhinebeck or MDS&W, SAFF is rather small, but it continues to attract some of the most amazing vendors each year.  It's much more manageable than either of the big fiber festivals, but it's bigger than the NJ Sheep & Wool.  Food is good, without having ridiculous lines to wait on.
  3. Cost of the event...not overly important, but it only cost $5 and $1 off coupons are incredibly easy to find either on-line before the event or from very nice locals you meet on the line to get in (also very short).
Here are some of my photos...
Aaron knitting so fast it's a blur (at Easton Mountain)

One of my purchases - beautiful silk

My Puff The Magic Rabbit purchases - romney/mohair boucle and roving

Jeff and Karen at Ensign Brook Farms booth

My purchase of Romney and Merino yarn from Ensign Brook Farms

Three hanks Holiday Yarns sock yarn

Jeff buying a beautiful woven rug
Mindy and Mr. Mindy at Puff The Magic Rabbit's booth (see her beautiful yarns!)

Hand made skein winders/swifts (some motorized, some not...beautiful!)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Beauty of Fall in Upstate NY

I'm not a big fan of Autumn...mostly because it indicates Winter will soon be here and I just think Winter is awful.  That being said, I had one of the most beautiful stays at Easton Mountain and the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival this past weekend.

Just Photos

This will be a two-part blog entry...that first one being just photos around Easton Mountain...I think they make it clear why it's such a great place to have the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat.

Path from the guest house to the main lodge with part of the driveway
Driveway with the mountain in the background

Temple, pond and mountain
Pond and trees at the base of the mountain
Pathway to the garden cabins and wood burning sauna
Some of the newer residents of Easton
A source of fresh eggs for the residents of Easton
Geese giving the mountain some perspective
One of the many walking paths

Rosie running free outside the guest house rooms
My first morning view before yoga
The backyard at Easton
A mature and a young specimen for Thaddeus to identify

Backyard, pool and mountain
Next blog entry will contain much fewer photos from the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival, since that's really what I went there for.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Another Shameful Secret

As an idealistic, Catholic-raised teenager, I was a fervent supporter of the right-to-life movement and even marched on Washington one year and ambushed my Senator on the issue.

My Views Have Evolved Significantly

As a teenager, things were black and white and there was no room for grays.  Abortion was murder and it needed to be outlawed just like murder is outlawed.

As I now realize the gray area that a fetus is...legally, physically, morally etc., I realize that there are many valid reasons for terminating a pregnancy.

I have to admit, even today, I'm never thrilled to hear about a woman having an abortion.  I can't imagine it's an easy decision for most women and/or couples to make, and we know it's not a good thing for the life-form inside the womb, even if it's not a viable human being at the time of the abortion.

But I also realize, a woman's right to determine what happens with her body (and all of it's contents), is much more important than any other factor.

This issue came up because of the recent kerfuffle surrounding the so-called Christian who owns the Hobby Lobby chain, who is incensed he has to provide prescription coverage under Obamacare for the "Day After Pill".  A few of their stores also got all uppity with some in the Jewish community who questioned why they couldn't find Hanukkah-related items in HL stores (btw, I feel self-determining store merchandise is a store owner's prerogative, rude, anti-Semitic customer service is inexcusable and a bad business practice).

Besides...what I will NEVER understand, is why would people who believe that life begins at conception ever be against contraception?  And the so-called "Day After Pill" is a pill that prevents a woman from fully ovulating and getting does NOT terminate a pregnancy.  Since you can "shut that whole thing down" the day after before conception actually happens, you'd think hateful pricks like the owner of Hobby Lobby would be thrilled Obamacare pays for it.  It actually reduces abortions.

But of course, haters like him would much prefer to delude themselves into believing it's terminating a pregnancy, so they can hide their women-hating ways behind the light of Christ.

Glad to get that all off my chest.

Current Knitting/Crocheting

Pathetically lame amounts of fiber work this week.  I did a little on the Summit Shawl and I crocheted a total of ONE new granny square.

Firstly, I apologize for the blurriness...perhaps my auto-focus has been turned off again.  Second, you'll perhaps notice that  the solid color has switched from green in the first twelve squares, to blue in the thirteenth.

I'm thinking about doing a multiple of 12 squares to make a blanket (perhaps 60 squares??) and each dozen squares will have a different colored solid.  We'll see how that goes.