Saturday, July 13, 2013

Simply Saturday...

OK, so writing headlines has never been my forte... I couldn't think of what to put because I'm not sure where we're going with this, so maybe it'll change and this whole segment will become irrelevant.


Anxiously awaiting the new Windows phone. We're not up yet for another year, I think, but I can't wait!! The Nokia Lumia is being released with a super-cool-awesome-blow-your-socks-off camera. Look here and see what I mean. I have a Lumia, and I love the phone. Hate. The. Camera. I mean truly despise it. Oh, I use it, and occasionally get lucky. 

This was a picture I took yesterday when my knitting group went to St. Charles to visit Wool and Co.... which is a whole other paragraph, frankly. Click here to see what I'm talking about. The website isn't much, in my opinion, but the store? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. 
Riverfront in St. Charles, IL

OK, back to the phone thing. The new camera is a 41 megapixel. Heck, I may not have to haul around the CRC (crappy red camera) or the big monster EOS. I shouldn't bash on the CRC. It's a little red Canon PowerShot A480 with 10 megapixels. I got it about 3 years ago, I think, when we were doing a lot more rescue transporting. It's starting that unfortunate tendency of all small cameras: it's eating batteries. 

I was going to take it on a trip we're planning, which would be great. But hauling the stock of batteries I'd need would be problematic, and I hate buying batteries when you're on a trip; they always seem to cost 5x more than they do at home! The sock pics you'll see here later were taken with the CRC. 

Local Travel, new LYS

Anyway, that's a picture of the riverfront, taken with my current Lumia. St. Charles is along the Fox River, which is one of my favorite rivers in IL. I told Hubby that one of these Saturdays when I'm not working we can either bring the bikes or just the walking shoes; there are paths all around and it's very friendly in terms of being able to have a centralized downtown area, lots of places to browse and lovely park-ish areas, trails and of course the river. Water is soothing, which is strange, because it scares me since I can't swim. Contradictions, contradictions.

So at Wool and Co. I bought yarn. And I talked to the woman who runs the shop. I was looking for a set of size 7 needles in plastic because the TSA says that's what I need to bring, notwithstanding the fact that the last time I flew, they felt that circular needles were acceptable. She's English and said she just came back from England and was able to knit socks on metal DPNs. However, I did purchase a set of bamboo circulars, just in case. I'm not taking socks, but Hubby suggests that I show the person at the ticket counter the knitting, and if it's not acceptable that day, I can shove it in the bag we're checking. Better that than some TSA person heisting my alpaca lace and a pair of $15 Addi Turbo circulars! 

I will probably add Wool and Co. as a "LYS" that's not truly LOCAL, since it's about 1.5 hours from my house, but it's a good thing to have another store in your GPS.

I know I can take the Kindle, so I'm not too anxious about it.


So the progress on the Trekking socks continues. I noticed at W & C that they had the same teal. I expect that it's their Ovarian Cancer project. However, since there's a bazillion other kinds of sock yarn in their shop, it wasn't a stretch for me to pick up 3 more skeins. Go ahead. Laugh. But sock yarn "doesn't count" since it's small and you only need but 1 hank to do anything from socks to wristers to shawls.

Speaking of which, I'm teaching my student worker to knit!! A convert!!! I'm going to start her on a scarf, and I can hear a number of knitters going "Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy" right now, but she says she wants to make a scarf. Start knitters on what they want to make and they'll find their way to the other stuff. I can certainly teach her socks (and I can't believe I'm saying that!!) but if she wants to start with a scarf, that's fine. I'll dive into stash and bring some needles and a skein of acrylic and one of wool so she can pick. Amazingly, there are some anti-wool folks (I'm looking at YOU, sis!!!) and I want her to pick what she feels comfortable with. She's still a student, so acrylic is probably more within her budget. 

Cuff and beginning roll
Here's the progress on the socks. The ribbing will stand out better when you wear the socks. The yarn is working up most amazingly. I think Trekking will be my next favorite sock yarn to Opal. Perhaps the next will be the Monkey socks, which I did start but frogged - but those are lace, so I need to have "concentration time." These are relatively mindless and I can see this being my basic pattern. 

I also checked Ravelry and saw the Jaywalker socks (click here for a look) and those could also be added to the sock pattern binder.  The fact that these patterns are basic doesn't detract from their attraction. Like I said yesterday, and then after seeing W & C's sock section: there are a bazillion sock yarns out there. In a way, more basic patterns are better. I'll photograph what I purchased yesterday and talk about what my knitter friend Joan said. She's the one who taught me to knit socks in the first place. 

Detail of 3x1 rib
When and if I do teach my student worker how to make socks, I'll use Sonda's easy sock pattern with size 7 DPNs. I can't do magic loop. Well, let's say I haven't given it a fair shake; maybe my next simple socks will be using that method. But Sonda taught me those larger-gauge socks, and it was so easy to learn to manipulate the DPNs -- for a long time, I pictured size 2 needles as "toothpicks" and now I'm on my second pair knitting at that size. 

What I liked about the size 7 socks was that you could use a wool blend, they were cushy, and they made great "house socks" - they were and are comfortable and squishy enough for a winter day on a cold floor, and they're washable! Huzzah for washable!! Danelle might like to learn that eventually, and having a sock you don't have to be futzy with will be a good thing. 
Overview of pattern

You'll be proud of me: I resisted buying a book at W & C. Actually, (a) I think I have it; and (b) if I don't, I have enough LIKE it to not really need it. I will at some point draw up a list of projects, which will scare the stitches out of me, and prioritize them. The nice thing about losing the weight is that stuff I purchased lo these many years ago are not only still in fashion (I bought some simple t-shirt and sweater vest patterns), but they'll now fit me! I'm going to put yarn + pattern in project bags and start grabbing them out. 

I was really doing that at one point, but got sidetracked by socks and the upcoming Christmas knitting. I think I can drag those WIPs out during the fall. I'm realizing that I won't have a sweater ready for me to wear this fall. Nor will I have a t-shirt or shell ready. But I have them. I just have to find them and finish them. 

Knitter friend Joan (Sonda's mom) is doing her Christmas knitting from the last of Sonda's hand-dyed. She's doing shawls for the granddaughters. Which is a really nice use of the yarn. She also has some fairly scarf-ish weight yarn for the one grandson, in a manly forest green. What a lovely use and nice tribute. 

Texas and Tampons

By now, anyone on Facebook has seen this story. Really. Truly. Scary. It's scary on a number of levels. Texas (and most of the Bible Belt states) is continuing to chip away at women's rights, with the ultimate and obvious goal of repealing Roe v. Wade. With the other ultimate goal to kill off society, in my opinion. And no, that's not hyperbole. It's ugly and mostly true. 

However, in the chipping away, TX still allows guns in its governmental buildings. I should clarify: civilians with guns. But not tampons, 'cause Lord knows someone might get HIT with one. And that could hurt. (snort)

We've seen an overall decline in our own humanity lately; in the last decade or so, it's become popular to revert to the Reagan-era "welfare queens" line of thought. We (or at least politicians and talking heads) have people saying that we have to "protect the fetus" but once it becomes a baby, it's a "sucker on the government teat." We have politicians saying that cancer patients who use Medicaid are "moochers." OUR governmental representatives (it's ok to laugh, we know who they really represent) have just passed a farm bill slashing food stamps because apparently "feed the hungry" as Jesus commanded is optional in their view. We have politicians and lobbyists trying to drain Social Security. Ok, my mom gets next-to-nothing in Social Security, but really - you have to give CORPORATIONS big tax breaks so they can ship even more jobs overseas, and you can't give a cost-of-living raise to seniors? What - shall we put them on the last 3 ice floes in the Arctic (currently losing ice at a remarkable rate, and killing off the polar bears as we speak -- unless of course we feed the bears our elders) and just ship the old folks off because they're no longer useful?

I hate to break it to the politicos and talking heads, but the very old and the very young are actually the backbone of our society. The very old are still consumers. And the very young, if they actually make it to being grown up, will be consumers. Consumers buy things. They work. They pay money in taxes. 

In my admittedly liberal point of view, even with my minimal accounting skills, you can't keep cutting a budget, cutting people's ability to purchase and be active participants in the society we have, if you slash their benefits. Sorry, even if you're the most conservative, you have to have a Granny - and she deserves SOME sort of social support when she can no longer work. 

And how do you expect our economy to even work without taxes? The taxes are our participation in the government - if you keep up with the whole "no new taxes unless we have a cut in the social safety net" thing - how do you expect the government, funded by taxes, to work? Do you expect money to rain down from perhaps fairies and unicorns? 

I don't know. It scares me. And I don't like being afraid. 

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