Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!


Sugar Bear goes to a Montessori school and they do not celebrate Halloween for the little kids. But, now that she is a big kid in first grade, she gets to participate in Mystery History day. Each child dresses up as a famous person from history. Then they stand in front of the class and give the class three clues as to who they are and the kids try to get it right. I'm sure I have already told some of you who she is, but for those of you who don't know, can you guess who Sugar Bear is dressed as today?

I'll post some pictures of her in the "real costume" with Mimi later. Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 30, 2006

And, I'm out

I've had a wee bit of depression since I was killed in the Sock Wars on Saturday. I was killed by very nice pink socks, however, and I am released from having to knit that pattern again, so I shall not be bitter. Twas a good day to die. Will post a pic soon. I'm just too tired tonight.

Some musings on sock wars, though. I really enjoyed the idea of the Sock Wars. I found it to be remarkable that after I killed my target in Philadelphia, her target in the UK mailed her socks in progress to Philadelphia and then mailed them to me in Connecticut. Then, matching the gauge perfectly, if I do say so myself, I managed to duplicate the first sock and then off to the new target in Baltimore they went (the original target deserted in Canada).

And regarding gauge, I think I have complained perhaps once or twice how much I hate dealing with gauge, trying to get gauge, did I get gauge, I thought I got gauge, but no, no damn gauge. Oh, wait, I got stitches but not rows. Bottom line, I get it now. Because I got gauge, I could duplicate the sock that someone else, an ocean away had knit. And though they were originally for someone with size 9 feet, they were stretchy enough to fit the lovely size 11 where they ended their journey. I will no longer scoff at gauge, because gauge has become my friend. I understand now why I must. And just for a moment, during the beginning of each project, I will pretend I am a process knitter.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The Winds of Change

I can't hear that phrase any more without envisioning a scene from Monsters, Inc. where the bad guy says, Can you feel it Wyzowski? It's the winds of change.

But, I digress. . .

The point of the post today is to remind you that there are only 11 days left until Election Day. Granted, this is not a Presidential Vote year. But, I hope that you will not let that keep you from the polls. If you aren't a democrat, the rest of this post will not appeal to you. My sincerest wish is that regardless of your party affiliation, you get out and vote, because we need to remember what a privilege the right to vote really is.

Now, on to the Democratic pitch. As I have mentioned before, one of my best friends works for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. She sent me an email today to help get the word out that it's time to get out and vote and more specifically some info that may affect you depending on where you live.

The DSCC is the—most —important organization for helping take back the Senate for the Democrats. We have to win six seats and we have a real chance but only if we get more people to volunteer in one of these three battleground states: Missouri, Virginia, and Tennessee. We donÂ't take back the senate unless we win one of these.

The DSCC needs to send 50 people to Missouri to help Claire McCaskill win her race against Republican Senator Jim Talent. The timeframe is Friday, November 3 -– Sunday or Monday, November 5 or 6. The DSCC will cover expenses for travel and housing.

We also need help in Virginia as Democratic challenger Jim Webb has a real chance to unseat Senator George Allen. The DSCC will bus people to Virginia over the next two weekends to the districts in most need. Likely you will be asked to make phone calls, knock on doors, etc. The Webb campaign needs all the help they can get.

Please consider helping either by volunteering yourself or by forwarding this to every friend or family member who might want to lend a much-needed hand.

If you are interested, please contact Beth Leonard, our GOTV (get out the vote) director at leonard@dscc.org.

Also, if you are interested, you can make a donation as small as $15 to the DSCC in order to help the cause. It's not a lot of money, but it is money that makes a difference in these final days. If you can donate more, then do it!

I think that in Connecticut, it looks like we will be stuck with Joe for more time than I care to think about. However, just maybe if we all make a conscious effort to reach just one other person and encourage them to learn more about Ned Lamont, or just make it easier for them to go vote, we can close the gap.

If you're happy with the way things have been with a Republican in the White House plus a Republican congress, you probably haven't even made it this far in the post. Regardless of my party affiliation, I just don't believe that one party should control all three places. This is the year that we can start to feel the Winds of Change, but it takes each one of us. If the election in 2000 showed us anything, EVERY vote can make a difference.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Get back on the meds, Rush

If Rush Limbaugh were any more of a pig, I’d shove an apple in his mouth and do the hula myself.

The old joke goes something like, what’s lower than low?

In this case, it’s Rush Limbaugh criticizing Michael J. Fox for, get this, exaggerating the effects of Parkinson’s Disease in an ad he has taped for a candidate in Maryland.

And then, had the balls to say, “Either he didn’t take his medication or he’s acting.”

Well, if anyone would be an expert regarding medication, it would be Rush.

Here’s the link for the advertisement so that you can actually see what this moron has the gall to criticize.

Limbaugh apparently apologized later on, but, really, does that even matter? But, oh wait, it doesn’t matter because then, he shifted his position again and criticized him for using his illness to campaign for a politician. Yeah, cause you know those Republicans, no way, they would “pull” something like that.

I’ve seen the footage of Fox testifying before Congress on multiple occasions in order to get them to wise up regarding stem cell research. He bobs all over the place. It’s painful to watch. Every time DH and I see him on screen and see the effects of the disease, we have commented how it seems to be progressing rapidly. And we’re laymen sitting home just watching TV.

But Dr. Neurology Limbaugh, he’s the one who really has the lock here on what’s really going on.

I think the real question is, WHO is lower than low?

Darfur

Sunday evening as I watched the 60 minutes piece on Darfur, I thought, "When will we finally care?"

There are two and a quarter million refugees in Darfur, many of them children and we don't care.

At least, 400, 000 men, women and children have been killed and we don't care.

This is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, and we don't care.

When the villages are burned, literally to the ground, and the women are subjected to gang bang raping prior to being murdered, we don't seem to care.

When the children are gunned down by the soldiers as they try to flee the villages, we don't seem to care then either.

And we certainly don't care, when they dump these poor people, men, women and children into mass graves, often in the water supply, where they can never return to mourn their loved ones or rebuild their homes.

When are we going to care? When are we going to say, this is genocide, and though these humans are half a world a way, we have to do something? When are our leaders going to stop turning our heads to this genocide because the Sudanese government is supposedly providing intelligence in the "war on terror?"

It's easy for us to sit in our comfortable homes and not care. It's easy for us to get wrapped up in daily life and not care.

But doesn't it come down to the old cliche "If not us, then who?" Because, there is no one else. Look at your husband or wife or child and think about someone just coming into your home and taking them by force, making them disappear from your life forever. Only if you are lucky will you live to miss them.

I want to hear from our elected representatives and those who are trying to get elected that it is time that we all care.

And by chance, if you care, please consider getting involved. Tell the President and your Congressperson that it is time to establish a no-fly zone. It's time to increase humanitarian aid, while ensuring access for aid delivery. It's time to strengthen the understaffed and overwhelmed African Union peacekeeping force already in Darfur. And finally, if nothing else, it's time to push for the deployment of a strong UN peacekeeping force.

If you want to educate yourself further, please consider visiting Save Darfur. Once you know, you will have to care.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

2nd Assassination in progress

I got socks today from my kill's kill. They went from the UK to Philadelphia to me. Well, I should say, sock. She knitted the first sock of doom for her target and now I have to knit the second and get it off to her target in Canada. I thought she was only a size 9 but, man do these socks look huge! And I wear a size 9! No time to chat, must get knitting!

Friday, October 20, 2006

FO


No, that's not what it means, it means finished object. As in this hat that I finished for Sugar Bear. Next, I will be making one for myself and for Mimi. But for now, just this one in Opal Flamingo. I love that the ponytail sticks right out of the top so neatly. And, that she wore it all day at school, even though the weather didn't really call for it. Linda has a great idea for doing one for pigtails, which would work a lot better for Mimi. Now I just have to work out the how.
Now, if I could just get that heel of the sock to cooperate. Perhaps tonight.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ah, Halloween


I just want to know, who is it exactly that dresses up their infant as a whoopie cushion for Halloween?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Knit notes

Okay, first Kaleidoscope Yarns has the Denise Needles on sale until October 20th for 15% off. I use mine all the time. Though, I do confess, I am getting ready to order the Knit Picks options needles. I've got some yarn I want to get from them also, but I have been looking at these needles for months and I'm treating myself. I'm thinking of getting the basic kit and then trying some of their circs as well. I feel like I can never have too many needles, because it never fails that if I have three projects going at once, they all need the same size needle.

Second, Annie Modesitt is out and about this fall. I personally have never gotten to see her, but I see that she will be in CT next Sunday at the Yarn Barn in Woodbridge (yes, I know this is Rhinebeck weekend coming up). She's working on her signature Circular Cocoon Sweater that was in the Fall 2005 Vogue Knitting. I'm missing this workshop, but hope it works for some of you!

Third, Webs has more Noro on sale and they have closeouts on Classic Elite as well so that might be of interest!

Fourth, you-know-who Astrid, has all Trekking sock yarn for $7.95 per 100g. And they have some interesting looking sweater kits as well as some free sock patterns. Love that Astrid.

I haven't knit in a few days. The kids had a huge Country Fair at school so between baking and helping out, my hands were full with a lot more than yarn. It's good though, I think I needed a little break so I can get back in hard core as we head into holiday season!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

WIPs


I keep forgetting to put these up. There's actually a third shot, but for now, here we are. First, we have the Regia Surf color socks I am working on. The pattern is from Knit Socks! I think it's called the Classy Slip Up. The pattern is going pretty fast, I think I am going to switch to smaller needles for the heel and gusset. I love these colors and I must keep these for myself. I say that now, but there's always the chance that when I finish I will not be able to contain my joy and will have to give them to someone.

The next big with-a-capital-B project, is the blanket for my friend's new baby. This is my first design (I know, very simple, but still, it's mine). It's a two inch border on the sides in garter. And then the center is 2 inch stripes in stockinette. The yarn is Trendsetter Blossom for the center which is amazingly soft. Hard to part with soft. And the edging is done in the coordinating, much sturdier Muench Tessin yarn. It's a little over 100 stitches wide (yes, I know, it is a BIG baby blanket, but when my girls were small, I didn't like those little blankets; they didn't grow with them and then you are stuck with all these little useless blankets) but, it goes fast and it's fairly mindless so I can do it while I am doing other things.

Like teaching Sugar Bear to latch hook. She actually started learning at school (I love Montessori for this reason; that they teach them things like this as part of the curriculum). She's working on a panda at school and a tiger cub at home. It's great because it's a project we can work on together. I also taught her how to cross-stitch on Sunday. We had tried it about a year ago, but it was too soon. She's more into it now. The interesting thing is that she can do great with the first half of the x, but then she has trouble "seeing" the other half. But, I'm proud that she is keeping at it as she is often easily frustrated.

I'll try to post a pic later of the scarf I am in-process on!

Cherry Tree Hill Superworsted Merino

I know some people love to knit with this and some wouldn't touch it with a ten-foot pole. Personally, I love it. I knit my mom a pair of socks with it last year and thought it was awesome to work with. For those of you who love it, there's a rumor going around that I thought I should share (perhaps it is a clever marketing ploy):

The rumor is that because of the scarcity of enough superwash merino to mill Supersock, once Superworsted is sold out it will never be milled again.

I got this from an email from Trash and Treasure, who is selling it on eBay and their online store (still trying to figure out if that's the same thing for them). I like these guys, good prices, good yarn. One proviso is that they sell mill ends, seconds, endlots, and discontinued colors. I think they have fixed price yarn on ebay also. Their other info says: "This washable yarn is soft and great for socks and sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves--anything you want to be able to wash and wear in a natural fiber. This yarn comes 4 oz/ 215 yards for $20 retail. Buy it before it's gone for $15 per hank."

Monday, October 09, 2006

HBO bill Maher John Kerry

The unbelievable comment by Kerry

Just when things are looking up . . .

Last week's October surprise of Foley turning out to be such a mess was great for Democrats. It could probably just have easily been one of the guys or gals on our side of the aisle, but thankfully it wasn't. And it's looking good for one, if not both, houses of Congress to head back toward the Democrats.

And then I see John Kerry on Bill Maher. I didn't get a chance to watch it Friday night, but I caught the rerun earlier tonight. I voted for Kerry. Considering it was a choice between him and Bush, come on, what kind of choice is that really? Eat dog poop or black licorice? The licorice starts looking really good at that point. But, I digress.

Maher was asking Kerry what he got his wife for her birthday. He said they had a getaway to Vermont. Maher said something like, why not just go to New Hampshire and kill two birds with one stone? And Kerry actually said, out loud, where people could hear him, "I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania avenue and killed the real bird with one stone?" Say what? I'm sorry what? (Donna, I do think that maybe I heard it wrong, but I guess part of my point is, I really wish these guys would not try to be funny, cause it always backfires; I don't think he got a single laugh, cause he was so bitter when he said it, it sounded not the way he perhaps intended it).

I think I have made it clear that I am counting the days, minutes and seconds until Bush is gone, but dude, you just threatened the President of the United States. A death threat. I'm surprised the Secret Service, who obviously don't watch Politically Incorrect, didn't show up on his doorstep. Those guys really don't have a sense of humor. And if I didn't find it funny, I can't imagine people who actually want to protect him would find it funny.

I can't believe somebody somewhere didn't pick it up. Just shows how important this guy is these days. And you know, I think he is seriously considering another run. Christ, maybe he could take that Joe Lieberman with him this time and let John Edwards do some real work. The good news is for the Democrats is that I don't think anyone is taking him seriously. Cause if he's supposed to be speaking for the party. Egads man!

Check out the video, I believe he said some other dumb stuff, but I got lost at the death threat.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WEBS sales

You guys are familiar with WEBS I am sure. They are having closeout prices on Rowan in case you are interested. They also have a huge supply of sock yarn, so I am sure that will be great interest to you sock-a-holics out there.

Still waiting to be killed in the Sock wars! Can't wait! Cause I doubt I will be able to knit into the second round.

Also, Astrid's latest deal is on Opal and it's crazy. $7.50 per ball of Opal, but only until Friday. They are still having that sale on Addi's also. I love those needles. I think they are the best for socks because they fly off the needles. I know some find them slick, but for me, they work great.

Oh, and the October MagKnits is up and there are some interesting finds. That pumpkin basket is pretty sweet.

Also, the Simply Socks Yarn Company (sponsor(?) of Socktoberfest is offering several collections of Opal at 20% off. They include Petticoat, Rainforest (not sure if new colorway is included), Opal Silk (awesome) and Summer Night Bouquet.

Happy Knitting ya'll!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I keep forgetting!

I received a wonderful package from my One Skein pal. She gave me the big reveal and knitted me the most adorable beaded bracelet. I need to block it a tiny bit and then I am absolutely going to wear it with pride. I'll post a picture then. She also sent some other cute swag. So thank you, thank you, thank you! Now, I just need to get off my butt and finally send my poor pal the lace scarf I was working on that Mimi was so king to take my knitting needles out of, and me with no lifeline shocking, I know.

I have also been remiss in posting the picture of the International Sock of Doom socks that I mailed off over the weekend. I think by now, she has received them. I'm still waiting to be killed. Should happen any time this week based on my discussion with my assassin. I don't love that these socks turned out so fraternal. I'm blaming Regia, because, naturally, it couldn't be my mistake. I started at what I thought was the exact same place in the ball of yarn for both socks, but, well, you see the result. I'm also not used to knitting with 6ply, but I think I have already ranted on that one.


And finally, I knit a baby hat over the weekend for a friend's new baby. I don't yet have a picture of the cutie in the hat, but I also knit up some baby booties last night that I am sending along. His real present is in the works, but by the time I finish it, he could be getting married, so I figured a couple of quick projects would hold them until the other is finished!

Monday, October 02, 2006

A Yarn Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, in the not-so-distant past, there was a Queen'’s Lady in Waiting who loved to knit. She searched high and low for the highest quality yarns. She searched out the very best prices (so as not to bankrupt the queendom). She told everyone she knew about the joys of knitting. She dreamt of fibers in all the colors of the rainbow.

What the Queen'’s Lady in Waiting most enjoyed was going to her LYS (local yarn store, for the uninitiated) to meet and greet with other knitters and to check out the latest and greatest fibers. It was important to her that she support her LYS because a good LYS is sometimes hard to find. So, she shopped there, and she told her knitting ladies in waiting friends to shop there. She spread their name far and wide, whenever and wherever she could (without their asking), so that the LYS might even enjoy more success.

One day, the Queen'’s Lady in Waiting went to her LYS to see what she could see. And she found a gorgeous Hanne Falkenberg kit that she had not seen a sample of before. Her LYS did not actually have a sample of the sweater to try on, but she was interested anyway, and decided to put the kit on hold so she could think about it. The price was dear, but worth it.

Being the savvy Lady in Waiting that she was she went home and did a little research on the Internet. The Prince had her hooked up with a cable connection. She found that if she ordered the exact same kit from Far, Far Away that she could actually save the crown over $100. Thus, she called back her LYS and told the fair young maiden there that she would not need to keep the kit on hold. She did this within 24 to– 48 hours in consideration of the LYS, so that perhaps, though they had not sold it in months, that they might be able to sell it to someone, anyone.

Sadly, the young maiden at the LYS forgot to tell the owner, Lady Dragon, of the LYS immediately that the Lady in Waiting would not be taking the kit. Lady Dragon then became enraged when she read the Lady in Waiting'’s blog and found out that she dared save $100 by shopping elsewhere. She huffed and puffed and the fair young maiden who worked for her suggested to the Princess that she not come to the LYS for a while.

The Lady in Waiting was saddened by this because she thought that she had a good relationship with the LYS and that Lady Dragon would be the recipient of the majority of her knitting dollars. Surely to be upset over $100 seemed rather silly? Nonetheless, the Lady in Waiting soon became busy with other things. She continued to promote the LYS when she had a chance and she went about her daily Lady in Waiting business.

One fine autumn day, the Lady in Waiting was home with her Prince Charming and she thought, tonight would be a lovely night to pay a call on the fair young maiden at the LYS and to see some fellow yarn addicts. So, she packed up a bag full of yarn that she had purchased months and months ago at the LYS (they had a strict policy that on open knit night, you must knit with something you purchased at their store), she got in her carriage and parked her horses as close as she could get to the store.

The Lady in Waiting didn'’t get a very friendly reaction from Lady Dragon, but Lady Dragon'’s husband, as kind as always, greeted her nicely. And the young maiden was happy to have her join the group of ladies knitting.

The evening progressed. The Lady in Waiting decided to purchase around $100 worth of yarn that night to increase the size and scope of the project she was working on (the yarn purchased from the LYS, lo those many months ago). And the discussion turned to gauge.

The fair young maiden said that she thought that Addi turbo needles required one to decrease a needle size in order to get the proper gauge. The Lady in Waiting was surprised to hear this, but was glad to have the information. Lady Dragon, sitting fairly near to the young maiden (who was graciously helping someone with their knitting), said aloud, "“I don'’t like Addi'’s"” and then more quietly to her consort, "“Kind of like I don'’t like you."” The consort said, "“Me?"” And then Lady Dragon cocked her head in the direction of the Lady in Waiting.

The Lady in Waiting was stunned. Had she not looked up from her knitting, she would have thought that she merely misunderstood what Lady Dragon had said. But, her meaning was clear with the cock of her head. She didn'’t like the Lady in Waiting and that was that.

The Lady in Waiting, not knowing what else to say wondered aloud how anyone could be so rude. She calmly placed her needles down in her valise bid the fair young maiden and the kindly husband goodnight, and rode back to her castle.

Upon reflection, the Lady in Waiting realized, that truly, no good deed goes unpunished. Though the Lady in Waiting felt that she had been a loyal customer and promoter of her LYS, obviously for people like Lady Dragon, that was not enough. Certainly, she had heard from other customers how rude Lady Dragon could be, but the Lady in Waiting wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt. After all wasn'’t Lady Dragon a businesswoman? And as such, isn'’t customer service let alone basic decency important to her?

These be dark times indeed.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Check your Boobies

One year ago this month, my friend Loretta passed away from breast cancer. She was 34-years old and she left behind a wonderful husband, a giving, loving family, and a handsome, bright one and a half year old son.

When I attended her funeral, I believe it was her husband who said that Loretta was one to always send cards to remember birthdays and anniversaries, or to cheer up a friend . In honor of Loretta, and the impact she has had on my life, I've decided to post this reminder.

Do you do your self breast exams every month? I didn't used to. Loretta changed that for me. I turned 31 this month, which, if I am not wrong, is the age Loretta was when she found the lump. In our thirties, we aren't recommended to have mammograms yet. So, the only way you are going to find a potentially harmful lump is if YOU are checking. Because once a year at the GYN is not enough. You have to check. You need to get to know your breasts so that you know what is normal and what isn't.

My suggestion is this. We all have palm pilots or computers with one kind of calendar program or another. Our lives are busy and we keep our most important appointments in these calendars. So, it's time to start reminding yourself to do you breast exam because this is one of your most importatn appointments. Most important to your families, and most important to me, your friend.

Please, after finishing this post, go to your calendar, and make a recurring appointment for the first of every month to "CHECK YOUR BOOBIES." I've always thought the word boobies is funny, so for me, I'll see the reminder AND get a chuckle. And here's my promise to you. For the next three months, I am going to post a little reminder email on the first day of the month to CHECK YOUR BOOBIES.

If you want to, copy thid post and send this to your friends, and make the commitment to them that you will remind them for three months. I'd love for this post to reach as many people as possible. If each one reaches one, there will be a lot more of us checking our boobies and potentially saving our lives.

Lastly, if you do not know how to do a self breast exam, please visit this website (love that google) and follow the directions or get your GYN to show you on your next visit.

I love you girls! Love yourselves enough to do this!