Sunday, August 22, 2010

It's D-O-N-E!!!

The baby car-seat blanket, I mean.  After several "frogs" -- including frogging to the entire end of the project and starting over once, this is finished.

As you can see, the blanket is done in a non-gender-specific color that I equate to a "Dreamsicle" and it's in the pima cotton that I just love. 

I'm actually violating my "no computer on Sundays" habit to get this out - I was that excited! I washed it in Woolite and then blocked it on Friday, and let it sit till this morning.

It's lighter than I thought it would be - but then I've never knitted a baby afghan in cotton before, so I wasn't sure what it would look like. Nonetheless, I'm pleased with it. It's just the right size for a car seat and it's just the right weight for a "too-cold" seat in a restaurant, at a friend's house - whatever the situation warrants; and while it won't keep the little one toasty in winter, at least it'll do for the other 3 seasons. And it'll make a nice additional layer in the winter.

The lace was a very simple pattern, and I'm really jazzed at how nicely this worked up. I was able to join the second ball at the beginning of a purl row, which worked out nicely. I have most of that second ball left, so I may take a fly at a bonnet or some booties or mitts. I don't want to do anything more than that, because I don't want to buy another hank of this color and have leftovers! Maybe I'll just do a few baby-sized wash cloths. This is much softer than the Sugar 'N Cream that I use for dishcloths and my own face. I can imagine this on a baby's bottom would feel really nice.

Stitch definition pops!
As you can see, the stitch definition of this yarn is really extraordinary. And I used Addi Turbo circular needles (not lace needles, just a plain size 6).

This is my gift to knitters everywhere who are intimidated by "lace knitting." This isn't a fine mohair shawl. It's not one of those gorgeous old Russian patterns.

But this is lace. So if you haven't tried it, please add it to your skill set. It's simple yarnovers, SSK, and K2tog.

I have to say that the weirdest thing is the decrease when you finish the border row and start the chevron panels and then the subsequent increase at the end. I think this was the designer's way of being able to fit the whole bottom and top bands into the design. A little clunky, in my opinion, but it does give you the chance to practice your increases and decreases.

The yarn is Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima, and you can find all kinds of information at along with all the yummy colors. It's a 100 gram (3.5 oz) hank, about 220 yards, and this is color number 3749.

Again, give this type of pattern a try. "Lace" isn't a scary word after all. I can remember telling my Knitsters that I "wouldn't have the guts to try lace." Well. I was wrong. Here's the proof.

Expand your horizons. All you need to do if you really don't like it is rip it out!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Maybe "Thinking" Is In Order...Instead of "Hysteria."

OK, so everyone's shorts are in a knot about the community center and mosque being built in Lower Manhattan. And everyone's shorts are in a knot about President Obama's comments that (gasp!) even MUSLIMS have the right, in this country, to worship freely.

Let's dissect this for a second, before we all act like lemmings going headlong over a cliff.

Remember OK City? Remember the Murrah Federal Building? How many Christian churches are in the vicinity of that site? Because, if there ARE churches there, they need to be torn down. Because Timothy McVeigh was a CHRISTIAN terrorist who blew up a building, killing innocent Americans, including so many children! So tear down that evil, anti-American CHRISTIAN church near the hallowed ground of the Murrah Federal Building. Because a TERRORIST took innocent lives there. A TERRORIST killed Americans.

Oops. I guess it makes a difference if the "terrorist" looks like us.

Do you see how foolish that is?

Do you see how we are one nation that allows particular religious freedom, and that's one of our inherent rights as citizens?

Do you see how, if these screeching harpies get their way, we will have taken a hatchet to one of our most cherished beliefs and rights?

This nation was not founded on Christianity. This nation was founded on the idea of religious freedom. That means, in essence, the freedom to worship in your own religion. In peace. Without the threat of persecution from zealots from another religion who would prefer to kill off ANY other religion than their own.

So we stop the Muslims. Look at the math, people. The Muslim religion is a major religion which is just as old as, if not older than, the Jewish faith and Buddhism. Christianity is the "new kid on the block." When did Christianity become a bully religion?

We really need to regain our humanity. And our ability to think instead of react in a knee-jerk, sound-byte fashion.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Bad Influence...

Quinn in total bliss!
So Quinn, our puppy, is notorious for sleeping in the most contorted poses ever! I swear she has no spine. Here's a picture of her in one of her favorite poses: what we in yoga might call "Twisted Root" but without the extreme hip-swivel.

She used to try to get under my chair as a puppy, but now she's so big, she's likely to overturn the chair onto me!

Our elder dog, River, is pretty staid. She's a very dignified Husky, former show dog and champion. We adopted her when her kennel owner was downsizing, and so she was a rescue of sorts. She's the Grand Dame of the household and gets certain privileges.

She gets greeted first. She gets the first treat (though she has to sit for it, at least). She gets the first belly-rub. She's got glaucoma, so she's half-blind; the one eye is totally gone, but the other is really sharp, particularly if you're carrying an apple, a piece of cheese or anything remotely consumable. She also has Cushing's Disease, an ailment common to humans, which means her adrenal glands are out of whack. Extreme thirst is one of the indicators, so she gets to drink out of any of the 3 dog water bowls. She gets a shot of V-8 juice in her dinner (her pre-dinner drink, we say) for the potassium.

And she likes to lay in the traffic. I mean, if you have to walk over her, she's pretty much where she thinks she ought to be: in the middle of it all. We say that she'd make a horrible watch dog - she doesn't bark (she will woo-woo, but only in extreme provocation), and she'd likely help you out with the stuff you're stealing. On the other hand, she makes a great tripping hazard.

We figured River would teach Quinn her puppy manners, since Tippi, Quinn's mother, rejected the litter and when we brought Quinn home, Tippi ignored her. River used the "Husky Paw of Pain" on her a couple of times. Not really "pain" but a big old hairy husky paw on top of the head of a misbehaving puppy has quite a startling effect. And a well-placed snarl or lip-lifting does wonders; as does a glare from the one eye that still works. That ice-blue stare puts Quinn right in her place.

River upside down! seems that River has learned something from Quinn, as evidenced from the following picture. I'll set the scene for you. River is napping next to my chair. Quinn is touching her (which she likes to do - she's got to touch one of us if she can). I see a movement out of the corner of my eye, and I glance over to see about 65 lbs. of husky R-O-L-L-I-N-G to a dead-center stop. She does a stretch, curls up her toes, and then lets loose with a big, long S-I-G-H-H-H-H as she naps in this position for about 10 minutes. I thought I'd never get the picture because I was laughing so hard.

I guess that this is proof that old dogs can learn new tricks!