Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Finished Mitts

As I promised, here is the finished product. A pair of Liberty Wool "Chevron Lace Mitts" for your enjoyment. FYI, the spelling is correct. A "mitt" is a woman's glove that does not cover the fingers. I looked it up. And again, this is a free pattern. My LYS is doing a program where if you buy a certain yarn (they change up every time), you get a free pattern with it. I have yet to post this on Ravelry, but it'll happen eventually.

Here is a shot of the blocking on the right-hand mitt. OK, they're designed for "either hand" but since I have one wonky thumb, the one thumb hole is a little larger than the other. So there... You can see how the colors lay out. What I did wrong was that when I blocked mitt #2, I didn't measure them correctly. And also, per directions, you block after you sew them up. I blocked flat, which wouldn't make a difference had I measured them so that each flat mitt was equal.

I really like this chevron lace. I'm thinking I'm a "lace person" after all. The next shot shows the lace up close. It is quite subtle, and there's a definite "wrong" side to it. As you will see in the closer shot, the "right" side of the lacework shows the texture quite nicely. These would be equally as lovely in a solid color.

Chevron Lace
The other thing I might do if I do these again is that I'd make them a little longer. They hit right at my watch, just up my arm from the base of the wrist. They're very "square" and don't hug the wrist much; so if I made them a little longer, they'd be a tad warmer, I think. It's an easy fix.

I have some lovely alpaca/merino in a soft pink; this would be a nice pattern on which to experiment. What you can do to give your knits a little "shape" is to make a "waist" by knitting those rows on smaller needles. That way, you don't necessarily have to do decreases but it gives it a very subtle shape. I will probably try that with the pink yarn; it'll give it a little "snug" at the wrist. You could also do a plain knit mitt and do yarn overs for a couple of rows to make holes, and then run a ribbon through - that would also snug them up a bit, but I like the idea of the smaller needles so I don't go all girly on the ribbon. I have my standards!

Here is the "topside" view. Remember, now...this is Liberty Wool self patterning. These were knit from the same ball of yarn. Hubby took these shots this morning; I couldn't quite figure out how to take the pictures while wearing the mitts!! See how short they are? But this isn't bad; it's a good length for the summer and the A/C vent that's at the right side of my desk. I really feel it on days like today because it's sunny outside but the HVAC can't decide if it's spring or still a little chilly outside.

You can see the longer thumb hole on the left hand. This is the neat thing; you can kind of adjust where your thumbs are and even if you want the mitt a little shorter or farther up your palms, you do have a little wriggle room.

Bottom side
Here's the backside of the mitts. Notice, again, the color changes. The mitts are actually reversible - you can wear them on either hand. I like that, and I like that the Liberty Wool is superwash; I can dip these in some Woolite and lay them out to dry with maybe a little towel inside to help the drying along.

The stitch definition is really nice on this yarn. I'm not sure I'd do a whole sweater out of it -- maybe the solids, but definitely not the stripes! Or a cardigan, though...that would be nice if you had the striped yarn on the button band and collar? It could work. I just have to add that to my "Knitting Bucket List."

I have bought a pinks-and-greens yarn for my mother-in-law and I will try to finish hers (in size small) for Hubby's visit over Easter. I have no clue what the center of this pinks-and-greens ball holds; as you can see, the purple-to-grey ball went to taupe and red! Luckily, she's easy to please. As soon as I get a chance, I'll take pictures of the work-in-progress and you can see how they're coming along.

In the meantime, knit. It's good for your mind and your soul.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treyvon Martin...Consequences

So I'm a mom with 2 kids. Both boys. This case is bothering me on a number of levels, particularly since I live in Illinois, and am of the opinion that WE are the only state left with our heads screwed on correctly ... at least where "concealed carry" comes in! We are the only state left which doesn't authorize this, though the gun nuts are pushing really hard and I'm afraid that it'll eventually pass.

We do have a version of the "stand your ground" thing because if you shoot someone breaking into your house, it's usually considered "justified." You just can't carry your Glock to the local Jewel and blast away when someone steals your parking spot because you felt "threatened" when their car pulled in ahead of yours.

I'm truly not being ridiculous. This Zimmerman nut job was specifically told that he didn't need to follow the young Martin boy. Yet he continued to do so. And this story has a line in there that says that the dispatcher's statement "Ok, you don't need to do that [follow him]..." was not a lawful order. 'Scuse me. The "neighborhood watch handbook" specifically states (in that same story and in bold print) that watch volunteers are not to follow or confront a suspect. They are merely to watch and report.

This story

comments about the many protests. Questions about why this guy wasn't arrested are flying fast as bullets. There are witnesses who are complaining that police literally didn't want to hear from them. The story would've faded until the national media got hold of it. Thank goodness. I was talking to my mom about this and she was bowled over. She didn't realize that Treyvon was shot IN FEBRUARY. It's nearly the end of March. It's reprehensible that it takes virtually a national protest to get this investigated, because apparently, all the police chief needed to do was hear "Oh, Stand Your Ground law" and he threw up his hands and said OK, we're done here. End of story. No further need to look anywhere else.

Is anyone else scared witless about this? This seriously means that in some states, you can be shot because someone else feels threatened by you. You don't even have to be doing anything.

Look, I'm a 54-year-old, silver-haired overweight white woman. I'm probably, overall, more of a threat to Zimmerman than Treyvon ever was. I'm menopausal, tired and really, really cranky. And I carry knitting needles. And a purse that weighs about 15 lbs. You don't want to mess with me.

All kidding aside, in some states, something I theoretically might do could theoretically make someone afraid and that person would have a perfect right to shoot me. Even though the most menacing thing I have in my purse are car keys and a small canister of mace (for loose dogs with no manners).

Apparently, Zimmerman didn't realize that black people do live in his gated community. He must not have heard that in a community meeting, huh?

Another reason this bothers me is because this young boy is merely guilty of "walking while black" - he was in the neighborhood visiting his girlfriend, whose father lives there. I listened to the 911 tapes last night. Zimmerman clearly has some sort of John Wayne fantasy or "superman" hero thing going on here. He was bound and determined to follow this kid, and did so in spite of being directed to discontinue.

Here's the biggest reason this bothers me. I have 2 boys. They wear hoodies. They're olive-skinned and in summertime have quite the tans, while me? I'm a pale Polish gal. They don't even look like me in the summertime, even though we share some facial features. They wear their pants a lot lower than I would like, in spite of repeated reminders. Yeah, there's a belt there, but favorite phrase is, "I diapered it - I don't want to look at it now."

So. My darker-than-me kids might well be walking in a neighborhood at night, which they like to do. They walk and just socialize with friends (they're in their late and early 20s - several years apart), and often just walk to relieve stress. They have on hoodies and baggy pants. They could look "other" to someone who isn't familiar with them. And I have a serious nagging feeling that one of my kids could get shot for "walking with hoodie."

If this Martin boy was my kid, I don't know that I'd be as graceful as his parents are. I do know that I categorically would make sure Zimmerman never had another peaceful day as long as he lived. I'd also take on the entire police force and whatever passes for a State's Attorney in that town or county.

This boy is guilty of nothing. The man who felt threatened? Guilty of so many things; mainly stupidity and racism. And he's lawfully armed and dangerous. What a combination.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

You DIDN'T Vote? Well...

...then don't gag over your morning coffee to see that our city's tax referendum (increasing sales tax by 1%) passed.

Because YOU didn't vote.

...then don't sigh over your morning newspaper when you read that some politician with ethics charges pending against her actually won in her district.

Because YOU didn't vote.

...then don't scream at your TV at another round of endless presidential candidate bloviation via commercial since there's still no nominee for the opposing party.

Because YOU didn't vote.

...then don't complain to me about the local Park Board (and by the way: REALLY? Are those LIFE appointments???) because "your guy" didn't get in.

Because YOU didn't vote.

We had a primary day yesterday. I was up before the chickens because I chose to be an Election Judge; a job I take very seriously. It's exhausting work because you are stuck at the polling place from 5 a.m. till 7:30 p.m. (polls close at 7 p.m., but it takes about 1/2 hour for you to tear down and properly shut down the voting machines) and then I got to drive the supplies and the voter box back to the Clerk's Office. I got home about 8:30 p.m.

For this, in a few months, I'll get about $100. That's about $6.25 per hour. I certainly don't do this for the money, since I do have a full-time job. I do it because that's my way of getting involved.

And I can tell you, on a local level, involvement means getting in the voting booth.

Involvement STARTS well before that, however. Involvement means educating yourself about the issues. I can't number the people (mostly women - YIKES!) who glanced over at their husband's ballot application form to see what HE was doing before SHE checked off the box.

Let me explain that, lest you think they were voting in the same booth. In my county, you have a pre-signed "ballot application form" that we have at the polling place. That's that little alphabetical book we pull your "ticket" from. You filled out an application to get your voter's card.

In a primary in my state, you have 3 options: You can declare a party (Dem/Repub) or you can declare "non-partisan" but ONLY if there is a referendum issue on the ballot. So there are 3 check boxes: Democratic, Republican, Nonpartisan. If there is no referendum, you MUST declare a party, since Illinois doesn't have (nor will it likely have) an open primary.

So. If there is a referendum issue, educate yourself. Get to know the issue. Think about what you want to have happen. Then go vote.

Women, please use your own brain. If your husband wants to pick one type of ballot, you really do not need to go along with him. So if your vote cancels his out? Well, that's sometimes the way it works. That's the greatness of the process. Sometimes we run neck-and-neck because people are passionate about issues, and will vote on them. And there are winners and losers. So if you want to just vote for the referendum and Hubby wants to vote for political candidates, that's perfectly ok. If he wants to be a Republican this time, you can be a Democrat. The skies won't rain down frogs and locusts upon either of you.

The turnout in Illinois was abysmal. In the toilet. The lowest in years. People, there are other countries in which the population votes, but they are "told" how to vote. Oh, sure, Chavez gets a the point of threats! WE get to vote for who and what we want. We get to determine, to a certain extent, what gets on the ballot by participating in your town's council or the like. At my polling place, we had 19% turnout. Sad. But if you don't vote, you don't get to complain about the outcome. It's your own darned fault. You have the right to vote; it's up to you to exercise it.

At any rate, involvement starts by educating yourself. Then it continues when you get your butt to the polls and cast your vote. If you want to get more involved, there are a number of local politicians and issues that would welcome your help. Find an issue about which you are passionate, and get involved.

And go vote.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Husky-Sized Crater

Yesterday sucked.

It's never a good thing when Hubby wakes me up and says, "River is in a bad way." I got up swiftly and went to the front room, where my beloved husky, River, was whining and crying in pain, trying to get up and dragging her left front leg - unable to put any pressure on it. Up and down, up and down, unable to be consoled, drooling gallons of saliva and crying so hard.

I tossed on some clothes, shooed away the Elkhounds, who were hovering around her and trying to figure out what was wrong. Hubby had brought the truck around the front; I grabbed her cushion and he lifted her up and took her out front.

Luckily, the emergency vet is about 10 miles away. I did everything I could to keep her quiet. She was in such pain that she pooped in the truck.

Let's go back a week. Monday, she had a 4-minute seizure. She already was being treated for Cushing's disease and glaucoma, and was tolerating the treatment well. She was 12 1/2 years old, and for an old dog with one eye and arthritis, she could be pretty sprightly when she wanted to be.

We got to the vet and they diagnosed a brachial nerve issue (those are the nerves coming off your spinal cord and at your shoulder). They sedated her to calm her and then gave her pain meds. We were told that she could probably come home after a few hours; they'd call us.

We called them; as one of the few emergency vets in the area, and yesterday being Sunday, they were very busy. Finally, Hubby got through and the vet talked to him. Not good. We asked Kid #2 if he wanted to come with us, and he said he'd rather stay home with the elkhounds.

We got there. After 7 hours, 2 doses of pain Rx and an IV because of all the saliva she lost (we were worried about dehydration), she was unable to get up, and had no pain reflex in her front legs.

We petted her, we cried, and we made the final decision, after talking to the vet. We were taken to a room and they carried her in so we could say our last farewells, pet her, hug her and tell her that we loved her and would miss her so much. After one final ear rub (she loved to have her ears rubbed), she was gone.

The funny thing among the sadness was that the vet asked us if we wanted some of her fur to take with us. I was covered in River's fur. I literally had gotten in the cage with her and was holding her and surrounding her with as much love as I could give, in between the tears.

River came to our family by way of a breeder who was downsizing her kennel. The breeder herself had had a stroke, and was trying to find homes for many of her retired show dogs. We went up "just to look" because we had just two weeks prior lost my heart-dog Topaz, a black-and-silver husky. I wasn't ready, but our then-elkhound Gracie had gone into such a depression that she refused to leave my side and wouldn't eat. So, we thought, "well, we'll see." She was the dog we took home.

Aside from her striking good looks, she was well-mannered and very mellow. She and Gracie worked out the "who's top dog" thing (it was River - Gracie was a great second-banana). They lived together till Gracie was 14 and we lost her to bladder cancer. River was 4 when we got her.

(l-r) Gracie and River
She was a show dog; she walked on a leash with her head held high, when she stopped, she "stacked" and that tail was a wave of grace that just was a beacon to anyone who saw her. Even the "I'm not much on dogs" people were charmed by her personality and those huge "bluer-than-Paul-Newman" eyes of hers.

She had a wicked-fast tongue and could wash your face or slobber up your glasses faster than you thought. She ran into the house, bounced onto the couch and probably figured she was right where she should be. I remember taking her for walks and she absolutely would not poop on a leash. That was for the kennel.

Finally, she got it into her head that she didn't have to "be in the ring" -- and proved it by pooping, on-leash, in the middle of the street. She looked so proud of herself.

At age 8, she contracted glaucoma. It came on so suddenly that by the time we got her to the vet, she had lost sight in her right eye. We made the decision to have a procedure done on her eye which halted further damage but kept the eye intact. As you can see, at about age 10 or so, she finally did get on the couch!

(l-r) Quinn, River & Tippi
At age 9, she contracted Cushing's Disease, a disease of the adrenal glands. The treatment is essentially chemo. She was tolerating it well, aging gracefully as we brought in Tippi and Quinn, to add to our pack. She was still top dog and taught Quinn her "puppy manners." The Husky Paw of Pain was used till Quinn remembered that River was the boss, whether she liked it or not.

We noticed, in her 12th year, that she was slowing down. She slept more. She wanted shorter walks. She didn't want to play as much. But when given the opportunity to walk, she could keep up with the elkhounds and was often lead dog. And she loved her treats. Even with one eye, she could still catch a treat off her nose. That was her only trick; she was, after all, Queen of the House, and as such, wouldn't be bothered to shake hands or sit up or do any of those other things. She didn't even really bark or woo.

When she lost her sight, she was still energetic enough, and before we got Quinn, we were able to take River and Tippi to the dog park. Tippi knew instinctively to watch River's side. She guarded her from running into bushes and protected her from dogs coming up on her blind side. They had a good bond.

Watching Tippi's muscular running and then seeing River's graceful, powerful husky stride, you really saw the beauty of dogs in motion. That tail acted as a rudder, and signaled her joy at being able to run to her heart's content.

Surprisingly, she and Quinn also developed a bond. Quinn saw River as the mom she wanted. They snuggled together. Quinn liked to keep River in her sight, and when they slept, they often were next to each other or Quinn was touching River somewhere.  And the ever-dignified River seemed to have picked up some elkhound habits, such as going "topsy-turvy" every so often when she napped! Never let it be said that they all didn't learn from one another!

At different points, it was the duty of the dogs to be in our way. One of River's favorite things was to be in the walkway - whichever walkway we were planning to use! She got the idea quickly to just not move. It was easier. At her size, I didn't want her standing up while we were walking over her.  We have a La-Z-Boy couch, and the standard phrase was, "River's there" because she was long enough to bridge the gap between my knitting chair and the underside of the raised leg rest. That was probably her all-time-favorite spot to rest in. We always joked that her specialty as a watch dog was mainly as a tripping hazard!

After a while, we didn't take River to the park because she slowed down and quite frankly, there were some dogs whose owners didn't seem to socialize them, or who don't seem to care when their dogs are aggressive. With River being older, we didn't want to put her in a situation where an aggressive dog was in a position to corner her or cause her harm. She became a house-dog, and was doted upon by all of us.

When hubby would take the elkhounds on to the trail, he'd often toss a few treats at River; she knew they were coming. I regret that I didn't grab my camera last Tuesday... it was classic. A treat had slipped under the server, and there was River, head-and-shoulders under the server aiming to get that treat or tip over the furniture!

When people met her, the first thing they commented on were her eyes. The next thing was that she was so calm and friendly. Even my niece, one of those "I don't like big dogs" people, was captivated. She told me, "I want that dog." River just loved on her and made her feel as if she was the center of River's universe. And that's what she did to everyone. It was her duty to make you pet her. It was her joy to be adored. It was her job to make you notice her.

Monday's seizure was our first clue that our final decision would be sooner rather than later. She had some random trouble with her back legs during the week, which cleared itself up. But Sunday, it was not good. I have never heard her make that kind of noise and it went through me right to my heart.

Somehow, I had the number "14" in my head. Probably because that's how long Topaz lived, and we do take very good care of our dogs. But I guess River knew it was time. While I was in her crate at the vet's office, I got to smooch her on the nose before they sedated her. Actually, I'm not sure she knew, at that point, that I was even there. But I know.

I know that there's a husky-sized crater in our family. The elkhounds now know that she's not coming back. Tippi was very depressed this morning. Quinn watched Hubby take down River's crate, and then went and hid under my chair. It's very quiet in our house. For a dog who never made noise, River made an indelible impression and our family has changed for the better for having her a part of it. And we're now changed in sadness because she's no longer here.

Godspeed, River - I'll see you with Topaz and Gracie and we'll have a heck of a reunion!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liberty Wool Ball...

OK, so I really couldn't think of a snappy title today. It's been a distressing afternoon; more on that in a minute.

Here's a picture of mitt #2... and notice the color. Then notice the colors coming up in the ball. You'll notice the red-pink stuff. And you may remember the colors the ball started out with: greys, purples, etc.

What a surprise! Much like life, this ball of Liberty Wool is certainly filled with something I wasn't expecting. It makes me kind of curious as to how this will eventually lay out. There's a big chunk of grey in the first mitt and lots of purple. I'm about half-way through this one and it looks like I'll be hitting a swath of pink. And on the picture in the pattern, there's blue in this ball somewhere. I'm liking the feel of it, and it blocked out nicely. I'll have to get a shot of mitt #1 as it's on the blocking board. Somehow, it got crazy and I didn't get to it.

The distressing news? Hubby called me at lunchtime telling me that Elder Dog had a "massive" seizure. She's 12; she'll be 13 in July. She's got glaucoma, arthritis and Cushing's Disease. Up till that phone call, she was doing well, all things considering. Now, I'm waiting for his report because the vet was seeing her this afternoon. Here's a picture of my beautiful girl. Now that she's "elderly" she's also developed a good sense of "selective hearing." Ha. She can hear a banana being opened while she's sleeping, but she doesn't hear me call her name.

And, awfully enough, Kid #2 witnessed it. You have to understand that he also witnessed his friend's dog (a 15 y/o pit bull) have a seizure, and though Winston had many more health issues, he knew that Winston was put down the next day.

I'm here to tell you that it doesn't matter whether you're 23 or 54. It's shocking. I've got epilepsy; My kids have never witnessed a seizure, but my last big one? Hubby got me through it. It's scary if you don't know what's going to happen, and it's scary when the dog has one and then it's put down.

I will call Kid #2 and talk to him after we hear what the vet says. Our dogs are our family; we don't want to see them suffer and to have this happen to her was certainly shocking. The best news is that at least Hubby was home. Normally, he takes the elkhounds for a walk at around that time; but luckily he hadn't left.

Right now, there's not much they can do. It's "only" her first seizure, and though it was 4 minutes long, it's something that we just have to watch. We will have a blood panel run just to see if there's an issue, but neurological testing at this point wouldn't be productive. Fingers crossed we'll have a couple more good years with her.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

The Never-Ending... blanket. (sigh) It's finally done!!!

Ok. Whew. I was just so excited to finally be done with it. I have to admit, I was getting tired of it; it weighs a ton, and the kid will have to be 18 before she's able to lift it off herself; but it's really bright and adorable. Even though I had to raid my stash to finish it.

I'm going with "it's a variation on a Fibonacci design" ... The stripes aren't as I envisioned them (i.e. EVENLY spaced), but overall - - I can live with it. Here it is: and yes, it's huge.

It's also very cushy and I really enjoy the colors. Even that odd bit of yellow-and-white that I had to scramble to grab out of my stash to finish it.

OK, my math -- or HUBBIE'S math -- was way off. I should've stuck with the original pattern, but instead, I went with the number of yards per ball and tried to extrapolate. Oh well. It's not the worst thing. Here's a better shot of the afghan, so you can see the whole impact of the color. You can see the little bit of lace on the edge which is produced by a yarn-over before the last few stitches. My friend called it "The Gigantic Wash Cloth" because this is often used as a pattern for those learning to increase and decrease!

I think the New Mommy will love it. And she'd better, because this is my LAST baby blanket for someone who's not directly related to me. I'm taking my friend's advice and stashing some hats and maybe a car-seat-sized blanket or two. And simple sweaters. I just can't do this anymore because I'm burned out.

This blanket was done with Berocco's Comfort yarn, doubled. I used yellow and white for the background and alternated the teal and periwinkle within. You could use any combination - you could just use 2 solid colors. But I bet this thing cost me close to $80 to do...for acrylic!!  Luckily, New Mommy does appreciate these things.

Of course, I'll do it for my own kids and my nephews, as needed, but for others? Not so much.

So here's what I'm working on now. Finally. Fingerless mitts for me. In Liberty Wool. I like the colorway (Berry) but I don't like that it splits easily. It's superwash, though, so it's worth the material.

This is part of a new concept our yarn shop owner is doing. There is going to be a featured yarn; and when you buy that, you get a free pattern, too. The new owner has called the shop Elemental Yarns and she has some interesting new fibers in there. They're slowly making their way in the community. She has her own style of doing things, and maybe it'll loosen up as she gets herself settled. But so far, things are going ok.

What I like about the Liberty Wool is that it surprises you. You end up with something yummy even though you look at it and think, "Ok, this is purple and grey." There are shades of hot pink in here, dark grey... just lots of surprises. Here's another shot of what I did; I have more done, but I'm not at the photo stage yet. That'll come. The chevron lace is gorgeous, and with what I have leftover (because I think I'll have a good bit left) I would like to do ONLY the chevron lace and make a foofy little scarf. Just for fun.

A bunch of the gals made the "Molly Scarf" and as you can see by the picture when you click on the link, the colors are extraordinary. It's a bunch of short rows and I figured I'd rather do something else, so I chose the mitts. Which, as you may remember, I've been dying to do for like forever and I couldn't settle on a pattern. For free, I can settle. And I think they're interesting, because it's side-to-side construction, not knitting in the round. Which was a little confusing at first, but now it's just 16 rows, repeated 5 times for the large size.

I may do some of these for my mother-in-law, if I can find out her favorite color!

Monday, March 05, 2012

Just WHAT is he thinking???

OK, I never blog twice in one day. Except that I just read about some particularly awful legislation pending in the State of Illinois, and I would urge you to contact your legislator and the originator of this piece of garbage to protest. I can't believe this guy is a Democrat.

It's called the Ultrasound Opportunity Act  (HB4085) and it's a blatant slap in the face of women who are seeking the legal medical procedure known as an abortion. It forces the doctor to fill out yet more paperwork, and do an ultrasound (another medical procedure) on a woman prior to her having said LEGAL procedure.

WHAT is Rep. Lyons (contact him at if you'd like to ask him!) thinking? He's sponsoring this bill when Illinois is, frankly, in the crapper.

Our finances are shredded. Our economy is coming back, but we've also increased our taxes to the point where people need AEDs to shock their hearts back into beating when they see their tax bills. Our schools are a shambles, in about 80% of the school districts. Our reputation as a state is also the butt of many a late-night comic, thanks to having 2 of our last governors convicted of multiple charges.

So Rep. Lyons thinks this bill is a good idea. Can't imagine what else he might have going on. Like maybe the fact that Illinois infrastructure is in disrepair and we could certainly use the jobs? Like maybe the fact that companies are leaving this state in droves, and perhaps we should do something constructive to lure them back? Like maybe figuring out how to fix DCFS to take care of the children ALREADY BORN here? So caseworkers don't get 20 cases in 1 week and kids are continually put in peril? Like maybe --- ANYTHING but intruding farther into the rights - the legal rights - of women?

I don't need Illinois in my uterus. I need Illinois to pay attention to the business before it which concerns all of us. I need Illinois to not be like those other states making these foolish stumbling blocks specifically aimed at anyone without a penis.

Contact Rep. Lyons and ask him: What ARE you thinking?

They're Still Missing the Point...

...about the Limbaugh debacle. Mind you, I think this is a long-time-coming event, and he needed his fat head burst a while ago.

But the whole point of Ms. Fluke's testimony was about the non-contraceptive use of birth control and it was about her friend.

Her testimony centered around a friend who needed these pills because of ovarian cysts. And let me tell you - I've had them and it's quite painful. In addition, I did need surgery, but in the meantime, the cysts were contained somewhat by The Pill.

This has all been lost in the "Rush" to get ratings. He's totally convoluted the story -- which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. He's made it obscene. And by the way, he's shown his own ignorance (again, surprise?).... Apparently he believes that The Pill is the same as Viagra: you take it each time you want to have sex.

Well, anyone with one working brain cell, whose mind hasn't been addled by an oxycontin addiction, knows that The Pill is taken once a day for 3 weeks at a time. (Well, 4 if you use the new versions to only have a period once per quarter.)

I am stunned that the Republicans have had such a tepid response. They are still worried about "offending" him.

How about the 3-day rant against a private citizen and her parents? How about the impugning of a well-respected school? How about the rant against the president of that school? How about a faux-pology that only said he was sorry for using "the wrong words"?

You don't have any credibility if you use those "wrong words" for three days against a young woman who was exercising her lawful right of free speech.

What if the bullies do take over, and they exercise their rights of free speech by bullying the rest of us who are then scared to exercise our rights of free speech? Does that mean that only the bullies will be allowed to speak? This is a scary slope, folks, because unless we grow a spine and actually speak to those advertisers and say, "Hey, we don't do hate speech" -- then the bullies will take over.

The only way to stop this is by talking to the sponsors. We may never (regretfully) see a Rush-free airspace, but we can make him uncomfortable by contacting his sponsors and making our opinion know by exercising our right of commerce.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

A Respite...

...from the news, politics, and the Never-ending Baby Blanket. (Sorry, little one, but you're going to be 18 before you'll be able to lift this blanket!!) I have decided I needed a little "instant gratification," so of course, I was tempted beyond reason at the LYS.

I ended up with 1 ball of Liberty Wool. This is a lovely super-wash wool in simply amazing colorways. You look at the ball and say, "well, I think this might be ok" and then as you work with it, the colors unfold in many and marvelous configurations, giving your knitting a hand-painted look. Without the price!

So I'm doing a freebie pattern of simple chevron-edged mitts. Right up my alley, right? Here's the project in progress: As you can see, I don't bother with a "katcha." I use paper. :) And I actually did a partial gauge swatch. I am hoping that this appeases the Gauge Gods and they turn out ok, but if they're a little off, well -- they're mitts. Not a sweater.

The yarn doesn't look like much, does it? Well, guess again. Look at the picture. THAT is the colorway I got. Yes, hidden amongst the greys and drab are glorious spikes of purple, periwinkle and hot pink. Just what I want to chase away the boring and dull March weather we're having now.

While I don't normally do it, I'm trying the "pm" command (place marker) as they've indicated. With this very simple lacy pattern, I don't think I'll need it, but it gives me (a) a way to use my nice girly stitch markers; and (b) practice in using a marker mid-row and having to move it.

Here's another shot at what the yarn and the first 7 rows looks like. For some reason, the flash on the Crappy Red Camera wasn't firing, but you can still see the yarn against the white desktop. And even the cutsey pink marker. Gotta love glitz, right?

I figure after this, I can complete the Never-ending Baby Blanket (slated for this weekend - I have about 30 rows left, and it's all decreasing from here). And then I move on to the car seat blanket, in progress, and the charity afghan square -- of which I have 4 to do.

Then, maybe... I can finish the blueberry t-shirt, start the cocoa brown one, and finish (well, hang on - gotta FIND IT) the yellow shell. It's supposed to be spring and then summer, after all, and it would be nice to have something to wear that I've knitted with my own hands.

In the meantime, I'll look out at the 34-degree weather and watch the wind blowing snow flurries sideways, and observe that there are about 20 robins in the field next to me, industrially poking about for worms. If they can plug along, so can I.

Back to that set of mitts and the rest of the WIPs in my stack.