Monday, April 30, 2007

Knitting and Gift-Giving from Cheryl at YarnBee

With apologies to Cheryl at YarnBee, I have taken one of her posts and put it here, because it pretty much sums up how I feel about knitting and crocheting.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the connection between knitting and gift giving. As far as I can tell, hand-knitting is not a get-rich-quick scheme. The cost of the yarn alone is generally more than any machine knit sweater from the store, and that certainly doesn't account for the hours of labor put into any crafted item. And you know what? I like it that way. I like that fact that when you give away something you knit, you are giving away a priceless gift of knowledge and time. And I like to think about the lifespan of the knitted gift, giving warmth and joy long after you forgotten about it and are knitting the next gift.

We live in this crazy world with apparent immediate gratification. And it is an enormous blessing and a curse. We IM, email, call on cell phones and expect speedy replies. We can purchase almost anything we want online and have it shipped to our door with rush service. And sometimes all of this availability makes me feel a bit empty and lacking in some way. The best way I know to counteract this lack is to knit - preferably a gift.

One of the joys of giving knitting as a gift is that you are giving a gift of your scarce valuable time. The time you take to consider what the giftee would like, what color, what fiber. The actual time you spend knitting (and maybe ripping and knitting), time also to think about giftee, your relationship with them, and time to wish them well. If you are knitting for a charity or a new baby you can knit your hopes and dreams for this unknown giftee right into the piece...

...I really enjoy this on line knitting/crafting community. I am incredibly inspired by the beautiful and amazing things everyone is making. There is such an endless treasure trove of creativity posted on Flickr and so many blogs. Even the act of blogging and taking the time to share what you are making is a huge gift of time and I really appreciate it. Go take some time and make a gift for someone.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My visual ID


Monday, April 23, 2007

Mice, barbecues, and technicolor sheep

Well hello all!

The saga of the mouse continues.

Our first little friend met a quiet end in our garbage can. Approximately two days later, I come out to the kitchen in the morning to find a little tail sticking out of the trap, which had been placed on the floor rather than the counter this time. Swell. Since I am now accustomed to our rodentine (it's a word) visitors, I calmly inform WT of the task at hand, sans jumping, screaming, and hand flapping.

Until I go back in the kitchen and see that the damn tail has moved. Christ, not again! We need to buy better traps.

WT disposes of aforementioned mouse in aforementioned garbage can. About two hours later, he goes outside to dispose of some trash, and don't you know the damned thing is running in circles around the bottom of the can, complete with a groove across the back of his damn head where the highly ineffective trap had him pinned for what was likely hours.

Woo hoo!

So WT sets the poor little guy free on the lawn and thinks no more of it.

Approximately one hour after this incident, WT goes outside to hop in his car and go to the gym. He calls my name and asks me to come outside.

The damn mouse is hanging out next to the car.

Pray tell, Sally, you say. How did you know it was the same mouse as the very one you trapped and then set free? I'll tell you how I know. I know because it still had the groove across the back of his damn head.

After advising WT to check his brake lines for sabotage and the tires for leaks, he goes to the gym, and Mr. Mouse scampers off into the sunset.

I'm locking my doors.


Oh my God, how great is this weather?? I am sooooo loving it. I have barbecued for the past 3 nights in a row. The best thing about this? No dishes to speak of! Mostly everything goes in the dishwasher, and I made salmon, potatoes, and green beans on the grill tonight. Hose the grill down tomorrow, and voila! no more dirty dishes. Gotta love it.

The only thing I'm not loving is the fact that I got out my goddamn expensive IKEA patio furniture yesterday, and some squirrels ate through half of a leg on one of my chairs, and chewed about fifty eleven holes in my umbrella. They are probably in cahoots with the mouse. And at least one squirrel now has a wonderfully upholstered nest.

Damn rodents.


So my friends Aileen and Sharon totally kidnapped me at gunpoint and totally made me drive to Haverford to check out the liquidation sale at the Technicolor Sheep. Then they totally made me buy, like, stuff to knit with. They have some nerve. Making me buy yarn and needles and buttons and magazines at 50% off. Sheesh. WT told me that if I didn't take advantage of the sale, they would take away my woman card.

I think he was kidding, but I took his word anyways.

So here's what I was forced to purchase:
  • 4 skeins of Cotton Fleece in Barn Red
  • 3 skeins of Butterfly Mercerized Cotton in Dark Green
  • Many buttons, all of them cute or pretty or interesting
  • 2 sets each of size 1, 2, and 3 circular needles, just in case I ever decide to knit socks or gloves
  • 1 back issue of Interweave Knits
  • One set of dpn's
  • And one free tote bag! Woot!

Man, with enemies like Aileen and Sharon, who needs friends? ;o)

I'll post some pics soon. I don't feel like screwing with my camera right now. I do have to say I have some tantalizing photos for you. Yesterday, Banana decided it would be a good idea to paint her arms and legs with poster paint. Yeah. It was quite colorful. You'll get the photographic evidence soon enough.

As usual, thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well chez vous. Ciao!

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Important, and not so much...

So I'll start with the unimportant. WT and I noticed that these... things... had been appearing on the stove and the counter in our kitchen. Small, black, hard things, that looked suspiciously like - well, like mouse poo. So last night, I set a trap, because although I think mice are cute, they are not cute when they are crapping all over my family's food preparation surfaces. We use spring traps, because I don't like glue traps and I feel the spring traps are more humane.


So I baited it and set it and went to bed. And when I got up, lo and behold, it had been sprung. Now, this is a covered trap, one that the little mousy-wousy has to walk into. So I turn it around, and the mouse's head was sticking out, which means s/he managed to walk into the damn thing, turn around, and then set it off. So I scream for WT to come dispose of the mouse.

Now, when I left the kitchen to go jump up and down in front of husband and flap my hands in disgust, the mouse's eyes were closed.

When I went back, they were open.

The damn thing wasn't dead.

More screaming, more flapping of hands. And now I am also dealing with heaps of guilt, and the whole goddamn point of the goddamn spring loaded trap is for it to be quick and painless, and Mickey has now been languishing for hours.

So after WT took our little friend outside and disposed of him, I bleached our kitchen counters. At 6:30 am. Before work.

What a splendid way to start the day.


And yet this is nothing, nothing, in the grand scheme of things. Watching the news of the shootings at VA Tech. Thinking of the parents, grandparents, spouses, siblings, and possibly children of the slain students and faculty. And again, the guilt that the president of that university must be suffering from at this moment. That perhaps he should have done more. Hindsight is always 20/20.

I am by no means defending what this boy did, but I have to wonder - what sort of sadness and anger did this young man have in his heart to commit this crime? How can someone despair so? There is a quote from the movie Anne of Green Gables, when Anne asks her adoptive mother if she ever despairs, and she says, "To despair is to turn your back on God." I am not an overtly religious person, but this has always resonated with me. I can't imagine living with no hope. I am fortunate to have been born into a wonderful family, and I have led a relatively stable life. I just don't understand.

So am not just thinking of those who were slain, although they weigh heavily on my mind. I'm thinking of this young man, and his parents, and the grief and confusion they must be dealing with now. And it's a shame that anyone has to deal with any of it at all. But I guess that's the nature of humans sometimes. And it makes me appreciate what I have.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Knitter's Treat Exchange...

So my anonymous 'treater' left a message for me - I can't wait to find out who he or she might be! I know they live in Europe, and they asked if I read French. Yes, I do. I like magazines in pretty much any language, but French would be easiest for me. I love Phildar's patterns. I could probably also get by in German or Spanish. I don't really care - I know I'll like whatever I receive! The whole idea of this exchange is really fun. I have to send out my treatee's package tomorrow. I tried to mail it the other day, but apparently the USPS won't let you mail things that are packaged in a beer box! I don't understand why; it's not like I'm sending beer. So I have to repackage it and try again. I hope she likes what I picked out for her.

Talk to you guys soon!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Amazingly enough, I have finished...

... three projects! I know, it's truly amazing. But that's how I roll - nothing for months and then BAM! FOs all over the place. So here's the first one.

As you can see this a crocheted bag of my own design, made of Sugar 'n' Creme. This is for my Knitter's Treat Exchange treatee. I bought her some nice smell-good stuff, and it all came in this horrendous, cheap-looking plastic bag, so I made this instead. I hope she likes it. It took one afternoon to complete. I am a much faster crocheter than knitter.

This is a kerchief, from a pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson of PurlSoho. I used Elsebeth Lavold Silky Tweed from my stash, one skein. I love everything about this yarn except that it is kind of splitty. But it is drappy and soft and speckled and lovely, and I just can't say enough good things about it!

Don't ask my why I am frowning; I don't know.

I like this little kerchief. I needed something easy and (relatively) quick after completing the project you see below.

And finally, the FO you've all been waiting for, I present to you:

Interweave Knits Spring 2007 Green Tea Raglan by Cathy Payson

How do I feel about this sweater? Meh. It is too short, and the sleeves are too tight. I am happy with my knitting and unhappy with my finishing (which is why you see no extreme close-ups of the seams). It's definitely wearable, and the yarn was nice to work with. I used about 5 skeins of Cascade 220 Heathers, and I would use it again, but not for a pullover because it's very warm. I do intend to make a cardigan with it though.

I won't be making the belt that is in the pattern as it is too short and I really don't need to attract any attention to my waist (or lack thereof). As I said in a previous post, I had to rip out about 10 rows at the top of the front and back to ensure that the raglan decreases on the body matched the raglan decreases on the sleeves. Overall, I guess I am not too disappointed with this. I tend to be a perfectionist, and I get tremedously irritated when things don't turn out as I think they should, especially when I've followed the directions and not just winged it. However, I will continue to knit, and continue to crochet, and continue to learn and get better. I still love these crafts, and I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not going to be a Norah Gaughan or Mari Lynn Patrick or Eunny Jang right out of the starting gates.
Even though I want to be. :o)

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Thank you Easter bunny!!

Want some eggs?, originally uploaded by MaRkoP.....

Bok bok!!

(Dude, you totally remember that commercial right? For Cadbury eggs, with the little kids all dressed up? I knew you would.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


This damn sweater is never going to be done. I finished the front/back this morning, held it up to one of the sleeves, and don't you know I'm going to have to rip back the bind off on the front and back. The raglan decrease is about an inch and a half longer on the front and back than it is on the sleeves.


I guess this will make it more of a boatneck shaped neckline. We'll see what happens. I'll keep you posted (Ha! Get it? Posted! It's a blog!).

I am losing my mind.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Almost done!!

Here it is - the four pieces (minus the belt) of the Green Tea Raglan from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. I'm using Cascade 220 Heathers, and I'm rather pleased with the outcome thus far. We'll have to see how my finishing skills are.

So close to being done!

Holy moly, just get a load of that seed stitch!

Sacre bleu, quel stockinette!

Here's a ripple afghan I'm making for a friend of mine. My first ripple afghan - the middle looks good, but the ends look terrible. I didn't know how many stitches to chain, so I just guessed. Oh well. It looks not so bad. I think she'll be happy with it anyways. I like the colors, and I think she will too.

Hopefully my next post will be nothing but FOs, baby!

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

There are 203,517 people in the U.S. with the first name Sally.

Statistically the 309th most popular first name.

More than 99.9 percent of people with the first name Sally are female.

Well, duh.

I love stupid factoid stuff like this. I typed in my current name, and not surprisingly, I am the only person with that name in the United States (my last name is unusual). However, I typed in my maiden name, and there are 210 people in the U.S. with that name, which does not surprise me, as my maiden name is very common. So there you go. I promise to post some knitting content soon, and it's going to be good.

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