Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Sad news

My friend and fellow choir member's grandson lost both legs this week in a bombing in Iraq.

When will it end? When will they stop sacrificing other people's children to try to prove what big men they are? They are not. They are small, petty, petulant children who don't know how to do anything right.

When will it end?

If you pray, please pray for Travis and Marilyn. Or send good thoughts. Or whatever you do. They could use it!

One Word Meme

Having been tempted for a while to do this, here we go:

Give your answer with just one word. . .

1. Yourself: mommy
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend (spouse): soulmate
3. Your hair: red
4. Your mother: lovely
5. Your Father: passive
6. Your Favorite Item: wheel
7. Your dream last night: unprepared
8. Your Favorite drink: latte
9. Your Dream Car: hybrid
10. The room you are in: kitchen
11. Your Ex: gone
12. Your fear: homelessness
13. What you want to be in 10 years? creative
14. Who you hung out with last night? internet
15. What You're Not? calm
16. Muffins: blueberry
17. One of Your Wish List Items: swift
18. Time: quick
19. The Last Thing You Did: spinning
20. What You Are Wearing: cashmere
21. Your Favorite Weather: now
22. Your Favorite Book: Heinlein
23. The Last Thing You Ate: chocolate
24. Your Life: variable
25. Your Mood: volatile
26. Your best friend: Jilly!
27. What are you thinking about right now? children
28. Your car: Buick
29. What are you doing at the moment? meme
30. Your summer: fun
31. Your relationship status: married
32. What is on your TV? CNN
33. What is the weather like? perfect
34. When is the last time you laughed? morning

This would be easier in German, all those long compound words!

Consider yourself tagged, if you like. Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Would it be evil...

To spin the other half of the Twisted Knitters yarn from the end instead of the fold? I'm working on the rest of the Hang on Sloopy and getting (I think) better color definition. I might like them all better this way. I promise not to care that the socks are fraternal.

What do you think?

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I took a break yesterday and could have had a nap or done some knitting. Instead, I dyed some superwash roving I purchased in November. Finally, success!

I decided to do one of Deb Menz' exercises (to give me focus) and dye small sections of each color. I wanted a balanced yarn, colorwise, so I followed (sort of) Goethe's ratios, dyeing 50% violet (2 different colors), 25% yellow orange and 25% royal blue. I would like to point out that this roving will also spin up well with the other Crown Mountain rovings and may very well make it into another plying experiment...

I have a feeling that the yarn from this roving will look a lot like the roving itself. I liked this dye run because the colors came out only a bit brighter than I thought they would (but the white will make them probably exactly the pastel I wanted) and the dye struck very quickly and did not migrate at all. I have NO places where the orange blended with the blue, even though they are next to each other some of the time.

I don't want to spin this from the fold, though, and blend it all together so much; the colors are shorter than the staple length. So I will have to work on spinning superwash point of twist. Which is a good thing! I think some of the Crown Mountain Farms rovings would look better this way, also, and so will practice on my remaining Hang on Sloopy till I find a good width of strip and all that stuff.

In other fiber news, I have discovered that the FIL sweater is VERY wide. I'm willing to live with that rather than reknit, oh, the entire thing. But I have also discovered that the pattern is rather short. So I shall rip the bind off of the back and knit it to 29 inches (right now it's 25.5, which barely reaches DH's waist). Ann Budd's books put the largest size length at 28.5 and Fair Isle Simplified puts it at 29, so 29 it is. However, since the pieces are wider than the schematic, I will probably make the sleeves shorter (to fit DH as a guide) and it should work out in the end. Lots of ease!

I have worked out a knitting schedule and it is not at all a panicky pace. I should be finished with the sweater on or about December 10th, which is only 10 days past my original goal. Then I can quick finish DD's poncho for her to wear at Christmas and my friend's baby hat for her new baby before we leave. I wonder if they're having a shower and how NOT ready that gift will be?

In Twisted Knitter news, I did cheat a bit and start the sock:

It's hard to see how the colors are shifting in this photo and the line of demarcation is clearer than I anticipated. Too much contrast of value, I would say. I should make sure in future to go from high to middle to low, not high to low. But I will love these no matter what. It only means I'll have more socks later!

And don't you love that ball of yarn?!?!?

Hope you're all having a nice weekend. DS spent yesterday throwing up but will probably be okay today. Luckily we had no particular plans.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I'm Thankful for...

And for people I don't have good pictures of: Grandpa D, J and P and Z and G, M in NYC, Grandpa B, DFIL, DBIL, DSIL, the nephews, RD and her DH and baby H, everyone at church, Jane, Justin, the kitties, J my sockknitting pal, Star, all the bloggers I read, great teachers, A and M and my Tuesday baby, oh, so many people to love!
I leave you with the prayer I would pray aloud if I were brave enough:
Please, God, take care of everyone I love, everyone I will love, everyone I would love if I knew them...and everyone else. Amen.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

A Sort of a Meme from Firedoglake

Firedoglake is having a comment thread that I thought would make a nice meme, since I had answers kind of at the top of my head. So here you go:

Here's a little "getting to know you" quiz for us all:

1. Three songs you can — and do — listen to again and again.

2. Three movies you can — and do — watch over and over.

3. Three dishes you would choose for your last meal.

4. Three most relaxing vacation spots you've ever visited.

5. Three books that you consider great reads.

6. Three shows that you consider the best on television, past and present.

And here are my answers:
1. Three songs you can — and do — listen to again and again. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square-Manhattan Transfer; Teresa Stratas singing anything by Kurt Weill; Act I and Act III of Der Rosenkavalier.

2. Three movies you can — and do — watch over and over. Rear Window, An American President, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

3. Three dishes you would choose for your last meal. Prime Rib, Key Lime Pie, Onion Rings (the skinny kind).

4. Three most relaxing vacation spots you've ever visited. Rome, my mother’s house, Cape Cod.

5. Three books that you consider great reads. A Tale of Two Cities, Pride and Prejudice, The Lymond Chronicles.

6. Three shows that you consider the best on television, past and present. Sports Night, The West Wing, Prime Suspect.

This was fun! I don’t spend as much time doing these things as I did pre-children, but I would experience them all again in a heartbeat.

Consider yourself tagged (but leave a comment if you do it so I can come over)!

And please have a safe and very Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2006

New Car, New Bumper Sticker!

Having been gifted (Thanks, friends!) with a new-to-us car last month, I stopped driving the rapidly deteriorating Mercedes with my Kerry/Edwards bumper sticker. I have been waiting to get something new for the new car, but this week I just had to go for it (thanks, Cafepress). So here goes:

I feel much better now!

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Yarn for Twisted Knitters

Well, I plied it up and can I say how much I love it? Some people would, I know, object to the barberpoling, but I embrace it! I knew the value contrasts were high in most of the yarns. I think my favorite combination, though, is the two lighter rovings. I might do another set with the lights with the lights and the darks with the darks. Later. For now, here is the first skein for the Twisted Knitters Knitalong:

I think it is gorgeous, but it may just be me...And perhaps Teyani would give me a big "eeewww!" for combining them this way. But these socks will be uber-cool!
I'm rereading "Color in Spinning" to get the dyeing ideas straight in my head again. I made much nicer rovings earlier this year. Actually, I like the recent rovings just fine. I just thought I was going to get more predictable after I read everything and got my Lanaset Rainbows book. It has been more of a crapshoot than I thought it would be, but that's okay!
I'm planning to do some more of Deb Menz's dyeing exercises when I finish the FIL sweater, which is coming along fine, I think. Back is done, fronts (at the same time) are past the diamonds and into the main pattern. Perhaps I will finish them by Tuesday, but it depends on how much real work I have to do. But my "Firefly" DVD's are calling to me and the sweater moves forward.
Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Twisted Knitters are a Go!

DH made me purchase a celebratory gift online because of the amazing election results and so I now am the proud owner of 5 (yes, 5) colorways of Crown Mountain Farms superwash handdyed roving.

This morning I was struck with an idea. Four of these colorways have colors in common so what if I ply them together? In sequence? For socks? So I am making two bobbins of a sequence of singles (slightly different sequences so that the plies do what I want). And the first half of the first bobbin is almost done. So I give you Twisted Knitters Bobbin #1:

If you look closely you will see (left to right) Hang on Sloopy, Wild Thing, Ain't No Mountain High Enough, and Love Me Tender. The other bobbin will have the same sequence offset by enough to make the plies line up the way I want.
Ooh, I'm so excited!
Have a great day!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Changed to Blogger Beta

I've changed over to Beta. Don't really know what will happen, but since I've had so much trouble adding buttons and such, it couldn't be much worse!

See recipe below, it's really good!

I hope to have some fiber content today, but doubt it quite seriously, ho hum. Progress has been made on the FIL sweater, however. Back is complete, fronts ribbing complete. Hope to finish the fronts patterning tonight, woo-hoo!

I'm having a problem with my keyboard, left shift key is not working properly. But since I haven't even been able to see the letters for QUITE A WHILE I guess I could spring for a $10 replacement.

Oh, and if you could possibly send good thoughts or prayers or whatever you've got, we're waiting for some news which could be fantastic (if it's a yes). If it's a no, we go on without bitterness. But yes would be nice (for once).

Have a lovely day!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cranberry Bread

Having been asked to pass this recipe on, I thought I would post it here in case there are more people interested. I usually triple this recipe and make 2 large loaves and 3 small or 3 large loaves at once.

Makes 1 loaf.


2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
Juice and grated rind of one orange (I use orange juice, bad me)
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp melted shortening or salad oil
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely ground
1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (I use 1 cup; DH likes lots of nuts)

Mix dry ingredients together very well in a large mixing bowl. Put the juice and grated rind in a measuring cup and add enough boiling water to make 3/4 cups liquid (I use about 1/2 cup of juice and 1/4 cup of water). Add to the dry mixture. Add the egg and shortening or oil and mix just enough to moisten the flour mixture. Add cranberries and nuts. Bake in a greased loaf pan 60 to 70 minutes at 325. Check for doneness by putting a skewer in the center; if it comes out clean, it's done. Make sure to check. Sometimes this bread takes another 10 minutes! Store 24 hours before cutting (or not).

This bread travels well, freezes well, and is especially good toasted with butter (so says DH).


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now the real work begins

We cannot rest on our laurels, we must proceed to reining in these authoritarians to the best of our ability and allowing our justice system to take them to task. Yay!

Finally, fiber content.

Last Sunday, the weekend of moving slowly (which was pretty successful) I purchased some really exciting things:

Merino/Tencel in "Rainbow". I think it looks like fruit salad. I'm itching to spin some, but would like to try it on this:

Spindle by Dave Larsen. He says he can get two ounces of singles on one. Two ounces! But I don't know if I want to use the merino/tencel for spindle spinning. I'm too impatient!

However, there is always this:

This is Merino/silk, more yellow than the other. I'm hoping for something yellow/orange primarily (the color I am currently obsessed with).

Now, if only I could decide what weight of yarn I want. I don't like knitting lace, but these are crying out to be lace shawls. I have plenty of rovings that are better for socks than this. But these are four ounces, so I don't have a lot of options. Any suggestions would be appreciated, keeping in mind that I live in a warm climate (wooly hats and mittens don't come in all that handy).

I also bought some undyed superwash wool and a great needle sizer, which I will promptly lose.

It was the weekend of moving slowly because I decided I wanted to spend a couple of days not rushing. Just that. Having enough time to slow down. And except for about ten minutes, I managed it. Of course, I didn't get too much done, either. But I was calmer and more peaceful in anticipation of the nervousness of election day. Yay, us!!

DH ordered me to buy something for myself in celebration and who am I to resist an authoritarian! So I splurged on some more Crown Mountain Farms superwash. I will end up with all of the colors someday. It was so hard to decide! Pictures when it arrives.

Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I have nothing to say!

All I do is speak in exclamations, sorry.

Speaker Pelosi!

Rummy is unemployed!!


Let us all rejoice in our freedoms!


Can't hardy believe it!

Speaker Pelosi!!!

Webb ahead going into the recount!!


I drank too much champagne last night and fell asleep. Woke up to hear McCaskill's ACCEPTANCE SPEECH!!!

So cool.

We have a chance now to reclaim this country. To reclaim the Constitution. Science, compassion, inclusion, tolerance, these are concepts that seem alien.

And what will GWB say at his press conference? I don't think there is any way to spin this negative for Dems, but they will try, I'm sure. The People have spoken.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

One down, one to go...

I'm drinking champagne and waiting, waiting for Virginia, Missouri and Montana.

I got to tell my daughter tonight that we have the first woman Speaker of the House and what that means. That is sweet.

Negron going down is sweet. Santorum going down is very sweet.

Whatever happens after this, at least we can try, at least we have a chance of some oversight, some transparency, some g*dd*mn subpoenas!!

Never give up!

The 2008 Campaign starts NOW!


We the People, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Justice. The general welfare. Our posterity. These are the things this administration decided to ignore. Will you?

Vote. For all our sakes.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


This really made me smile.

When you walk into the voting booth on Tuesday, no matter where, with that rage burning in you, stab that motherfuckin' punch card, beat the shit out of that Diebold touch screen, and yell, "Fuck them" as you vote them into oblivion.

And if on Wednesday morning it turns out they've dicked us over one more time by hacking the vote, by screwing with the polls, then maybe we've reached a point in this America where it's time to fight or flee.
The words of The Rude Pundit.

UPDATE: I really want to post some spinning content, but I want this to stay at the top through the close of polls in CA tomorrow. It's driving me nuts! So tomorrow I will post the haul from the Handweaver's Guild show and hopefully be very, very, very drunk on champagne!

Tired, but unproductive

What's the deal? Halloween took it out of me or something. Man, I am tired! And not getting much done. House is a mess, laundry unfolded, dishwasher full. But I have new swatches:

This one is the two yarns made from the blue and autumn colorways that didn't go together a couple of weeks ago. Remember I tried plying them together and the blue got totally grayed out? Well, I thought I would try mitred squares and I really like the result.

Next up:

These are yarns that may look familiar, from my Fair socks. Except for the yarn in the valleys, that is 2 ply leftover from the previous year! The contrast yarn is so much duller than the other, though, this one may switch places. Perhaps the dull yarn should be the outlines and the bright peek through. Or my original plan was to use all of the bright colors in turn for the border yarn and different contrast yarns for the middles. More swatches are clearly in the offing! But the mitred socks may very well be the Twisted Knitters project as I can change yarns often and use all the stuff I've been spinning up so far pretty indiscriminately! It might be that the warm color should always be the contrast yarn so that it shows up. But if I end up with a bunch of swatches, who cares! I can always use them for something or other!


FIL sweater is progressing more slowly than I would like (oh, the evil mitred square!). However, if measured flat, it's 18.5 inches long. If measured hanging, it's 20 inches. I'm supposed to knit to 25.5 inches. Do I use the hanging measurement as it more corresponds to the measurement it will be when worn? I think so. PLEASE LET ME KNOW!! This is my biggest sweater project EVER and also for someone I really want to please (not to mention DH and family!). Thanks for any advice!!

Spending some time making phone calls for this today and Tuesday. If you're in the US, please be sure to vote. It has never been more important our history to make our voices heard. And if they try to steal it, MARCH!!!

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I can hardly stand it!

5 days. 5 days. 5 days more. Accountability. Oversight. Hearings. Speaker Pelosi. 5 days.

Nobody can talk to me on Tuesday. I'm watching TV.

Please, if you are a thinking, breathing American, vote Democratic. We need to preserve the Constitution and make sure that our country turns around. We need to protect and defend our country, our troops, our way of life. We need to get our children home. We need to provide health care for the wounded and the families of the dead. We need to stop killing children in Iraq, ours and theirs.

5 days.

In fiber content, I have been knitting the FIL sweater. But I have also been cheating. I cast on some felted Harlequin slippers. I cast on a mitred sock. I cannot post photos as then everyone would SEE that I have been cheating. So instead I present Halloween 2006:

The Human Torch and the Princess of the Night

The pumpkin disembowelment:

I spun some more singles of the blue and autumn colorways to try a mitered square sock. I will post a photo of the first module when it's done, but really I'm not supposed to be doing it at all! Don't encourage me!

Have a lovely!
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