Friday, December 27, 2013


...Nope. Not in the throat. Not in an aquarium.

Frog - a knitting term meaning "to rip." As in "What does a frog say? Ribbit, ribbit."

Well, translate that to Kniterese: "Rip-it, rip-it."

There was an error. Somewhere. I was supposed to have 235 stitches just before the eyelet increases in the February Lady Sweater. I had 237. And at 8 stitches increased per row, even if I skipped 2 increases, it would've thrown the design off. Nuts. 

Talked to Hubby. He did the math. The math is not correct in that section of the pattern, by the way, but I'm not good enough to figure out how to make that work. And yes, if you're a non-knitter reading this: two stitches is a big deal. Perhaps I could've hidden them somewhere, but I think I'm better off; I changed sizes. It won't matter to me if this is slightly bigger. It will matter a big honkin' deal if it's too small. 

I will cry. 

We will now observe a moment of silence for two week's worth of knitting ripped back in about 15 minutes. 

Frog and Ball
So the 3/4 sleeves will be more of the Grace Kelly 'bracelet' length. I can live with that, as long as the bosom doesn't look tight. Nothing worse than looking like 5 pounds of sausage stuffed into a 3-lb. casing. 

Here's how you rip. 

Note, however, the thumb in the yarn ball. That's not me being insensible. It's a good way to make sure you don't stretch your yarn. Wind it loosely into the ball with a finger or two kind of in between the layers. It reminds you not to pull the yarn tightly (which can of course happen when you're thinking "*%&$^# sweater!!!" and re-winding yarn). And it makes the ball more relaxed, thus saving your yarn for its re-knit debut.

Thankfully, my friend D gave me 19 balls of this stuff. So I rewound the 2 I'd already used, set them aside with a little pat on the noggin, and grabbed a new ball to begin. 

On the upside, I did notice what looked perhaps like a yarnover where it shouldn't have been. Maybe. And I didn't like the 2 buttonholes. So perhaps, while there's no specific knitting goddess, the weaver goddess (pick your ancient culture: Greek, Celt, Norse) had some pity on me and figured that maybe I'd be annoyed at those two things. So she made the math go wonky. 

All I know is that there were 6" worth of yoke, and now I'm back to about 2". Again - on the upside: more knitting?? At least I fixed the buttonhole and that wonky yarnover-ish kind of thing isn't in this version. 

And once again, my phone's camera... The two pictures here are actually the same project. Just different lighting. Can't wait for that new Nokia phone in March!

Squirrels and Dogs...

Is it possible to rip a bicep when your insane Elkhound thinks she can climb a tree after a squirrel? I'm pretty sure I haven't done anything that severe, but I am also pretty sure that if Quinn had gotten loose, the squirrel would've been her afternoon snack. No matter that he went up a tree. I think she'd have tried to climb it. 

Here's another video. I awoke this morning to find a pizza crust on my deck. Hmmmmm. I didn't put it there! Some critter or another did. And luckily it was gone before I took the girls out this morning. However, this is from yesterday, when I first put the critter food out. The squirrel wasn't pleased and as you can see by his tail, he's letting me know that he'd prefer, thank you very much, to dine in private. Snot.

Anyway, both girls having sniffed everything in sight are now lolling in the back of the house. They've protected me (once again) from the evil cats on the porch across the street. (As an aside: Ok, people, it was sunny out today. But for God's sake: bring your cats inside! It's going to freeze when the sun goes down!) And they survived me bringing out the vacuum. 

They are missing their long walks, but they'll be able to catch up in a few days. The weather here will actually be pleasant tomorrow, but then plunge back into December-like stuff. So far, though, no new snow. Bummer.

At any rate, after all their exertions in trying to be who they are, they figure they've earned a nap. I should be so lucky. 

Speaking of dogs, call us insane. But our friend Sarah tagged us in a picture of an adorable Husky puppy and said, "You'd be perfect." A 12-week old puppy. Oy. 

We put the application in. However, we're one of a bunch of people, so if it's meant to be that we have an addition to our family, it'll happen. And if it doesn't, then at least she's gotten a car-load of exposure and will hopefully find a fantastic forever-home. 


I have no idea how so many dishes get used in this house. We do have a dishwasher, though it needs to be replaced. We have very hard water and the water killed our lovely appliance. So we do them the old-fashioned way. And I really, REALLY want a dishwasher that works. 

I do believe there are fairies in the house who empty the cupboards and dirty the dishes when my back is turned. Seriously. I just got the kitchen more or less cleaned up and BANG! It was time to do lunch dishes. Now, I'm mostly cleaned up and shortly, it'll be time again... to do dinner dishes. 

The fun never ends.

Oh, and when I get time in between THAT, I will be washing out zipper bags. Sorry - I try to be green. But we have limited freezer space, so when we do The Great Baking, we use zipper bags to store stuff in, so that it all lays flat. Ish. Anyway, the bags are new. We probably had cookies in them for what? Two weeks? I can't bear to toss them, so as soon as I can take a breath, I'll wash them. No matter that cookie names are on the labels; they'll be re-used and we'll figure it out.


Ok, so this technically isn't politics, but it is, sort of. In today's Chicago Tribune, I caught a squib about a purchase. 

Seems the Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturer Shenzhen Hepalink Pharmaceutical is buying a company. Which is kind of no big deal, except that it's an American company, based in Wisconsin (please tell me, Scott Walker, who had THAT bright idea???) and they make the key raw material in heparin, one of the most commonly used blood thinners. There was no information about whether the company will stay or go. Right now, they have 204 employees in the US. Regulators have to approve it, but keep reading...

Call me crazy, but there are a lot of companies here in the US that are being bought up by China. They're buying Smithfield Hams. Because, of course, they did so well with the melamine in the dog food... The Smithfield CEO says "We will cease to be the company you saw in the past." Ok. That makes me feel MUCH better. No, not really.

Poultry producers are sending chickens over there to be processed, and then shipped back here. Just let that sentence settle in and think about how stupid that is. 

There are already quality issues with fish farms in China - having to do with filthy water and the fish farmers having the genius idea of dumping a variety of veterinary meds into the waters. Yup, just makes me really want that shrimp. Or Tilapia. 

So why are the Chinese so interested in our food products, and those of other countries? Because they know about the quality scandals in their own food supply. Which we've experienced with the dog food issue. Yes, that was in 2007, but that wouldn't make me feel all warm and fuzzy... Other scandals have come on top of this, more recently, and it's just not a good idea.

Brown tomatoes
Smithfield says that the pork industry has been stagnant because "consumers are very sensitive to price." 

Well, how about we revive the economy, so that more people are working, for a living wage, so that they have money to buy stuff and aren't so uptight about rising prices? 

I dunno. That could work. 

Random Picture...

Don't adjust your screen settings. They're brown tomatoes. I bought them on special yesterday. They're not bad. Firm, juicy, and actually very pretty. I have wanted to grow them myself for a while now, but since our summer weather has been absolutely horrid for tomatoes for the past several years, we will likely not plan on a plot for this coming summer. 

I just wanted something a little different, so I thought that for 99 cents, it would be a good experiment. 

Tonight's dinner will likely be steaks, with a salad. With brown tomatoes. 

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