Monday, March 10, 2014

Mea Culpa. Mea Culpa. Mea Maxima Culpa...

So for those of you who don't know "Church Latin," that means roughly "My fault, my fault, very much my fault."

Why? Well, there's more weather coming in. Yep, WINTER weather. And today, I washed my truck. I couldn't quite remember what color it was, and since it's a balmy 49* here, I thought I'd scrape off some of the crud.

Lest you get mad at ME -- let me assure you, my MOM also washed hers. But she's older, so we don't want to be bashing the senior citizens...

See? My truck is now back to its lovely color. And by Wednesday, there's going to be more snow. 

I'm sorry. But I couldn't stand it anymore. My day lilies are pushing up in the melting icky snow, and I just had to do it. 

Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I guess that's fitting since it's also Lent. 

Primary Elections...

I don't know if it's national or in my area only, but March 18 is a primary election. Unfortunately, in IL we don't have "open primaries." That means you have to declare a party. If you go with "Independent," then you only get any referendum issues that are up for vote. 

Since I'm an Election Judge again this year, Hubby and I went out Saturday to vote early.

Have you voted?  You know - no matter WHICH party you belong to, our country is being taken over (or they're trying to) by rich, mega-rich, ultra-mega-rich folks. Thanks, Supreme Court, (not) for declaring corporations as "people." The Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for corporations to pour buckets and buckets and TROUGHS full of money into our election process.

The point is - so far, at least locally, YOUR VOTE COUNTS. So if you are having a primary election, get your butt to the polls and VOTE. 

Women in the US have had the right to vote since 1920, with the ratification of the 19th Amendment. 

Exercise that right. Vote. And hey - share the graphic above on your FB page or wherever. It's time to raise a ruckus. 


So I finally got back to Le Mouton Rouge Knittery. And of course I got some yarn. This is from a company in Corvallis, MT. It's hand dyed. It could be socks. It will likely be socks. 

But it could be a one-skein shawl if I wanted.  Anyway, I've added to Sock Stash with this purchase. I don't know - I think I'm bored with the Teal Sock and the Pink Sock. I'm sort of being unfaithful to both of them. I just felt like this colorway called to me. It's been a long winter, I guess. 

But maybe it also means I'm a little sick of knitting with toothpicks and I needed something between the logs I used to knit the afghan, and the teeny tiny size 1.5 needles for the socks. 

Oh, I also downloaded Kelly's "Ewe Love Red" one-skein shawl - it's on Ravelry - go find it. She's got lots of lovely patterns, and that shawl? 

I've seen it up-close and it is wonderful. She used Madelaine Tosh sock yarn, but I expect anything you have in sock-weight that you can't bear to knit "for your feet" will do just nicely with the pattern.

Hey - it's $5.00. Well worth it for a lovely pattern. Now to find the ball-winder. The swift is there. The ball-winder is somewhere. In my office. In a plastic tote. 

Unknown Blue Acrylic
So - I did a little ramble through the stash and I was thinking of my friends D and J - they're doing the baby stuff, remember? Well, D gave me a car-load (about 1,300 yards) of yarn in a blue variegated and a purple variegated. About 1,300 yards of EACH color. I'm grateful that she's passing it on, but she has the notorious habit of removing ball bands. So....... Augggggggggggh... I had to do the burn test to see what it was. First, I did the "spit-felt" test. You take the yarn, cut it, split the fibers, wet them and "felt" between your hands. If they felt together and you can't pull it apart, the fiber at least has a decent wool content. If it doesn't felt, it's not wool. I did the burn test, and to me and Hubby both, it smelled slightly "plastic" and it melted. It's likely acrylic. 

So here's what I started. A stash-busting baby jacket. It's the same one I did for The Twins. Just basically a rectangle with an asymmetrical front, basic buttonholes (no placket) and sleeves that you cast-on for when you reach about 8" of back. It's a pattern I got when I subscribed to a magazine, so I really don't think I can pass it on without angering the Copyright Gods. Anyway, The Google likely has a zillion "simple baby jacket" patterns. And there's always Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket

Simple Baby Jacket
I've been on an EZ kick. I now have all her books and I've bookmarked Schoolhouse Press. On my list is the BSJ. Also, the Sally Melville Einstein Jacket - for which I have both the yarn and buttons. I am making that one for myself, but there's a kiddie-version as well. 

At any rate, there's enough of both the blue and purple to do at least 2 jackets each, or a jacket and booties, or in a crazy moment, perhaps a mitered-square afghan. I'm not keen on baby mitts - they don't like 'em anyway. I do love baby hats. And with this yarn, I suppose I could do cuffs and bottom in the alternate color. Or mix it up. The variegation keeps you occupied. Or at least it keeps me occupied. I don't necessarily need a fiddly pattern. Just an interesting yarn. It's very soft, too, which is nice. Very baby-friendly.

Honestly, just about any combination, as long as it's hand knitted with love - it looks great on a baby! I dove into the button-bin and I have some buttons set aside. This pattern calls for 2 buttons (3/4") but I don't see any reason why I can't just put ONE in the thing. The baby won't know the difference. And neither will the parents, actually. The buttons I have picked out are very simple white round ones. They're not exactly "vintage" but they've been in the bin a long while. 

Anyway, I got cracking on it yesterday and I'm just plugging along. I did a bunch while watching "Cosmos" last night. It's a fantastic show, so if you can, watch it. I don't normally watch Fox Television. But this is worth the watch. 


Well, I have found the secret to getting a 5-month-old husky puppy to follow you on a loose leash, instead of trying to "Iditarod" around the store. 

Hold a small piece of buttered wheat toast in your opposite-the-leash hand. Seriously. I thought our trainer Bobbie was going to bust a gut laughing...but it worked. 

That got her through "sit-stay" and them "come" yesterday in training. It also helped her ignore the HUGE brindle Mastiff-mix who came 'round the corner dragging his owner. I'm afraid that Raisa is thisclose to heat. Boscoe the French Bulldog was very excited to see her. 

I'm hoping that she holds off long enough to "graduate" from Basic Obedience next Sunday. But if she's in heat, she ain't goin' out in public!

On Sunday morning Tippi &  Quinn got into a bad fight over her. At least we think it was over her. Tippi was doing some fairly intense sniffing the night before. Tippi & Quinn have had a few bad fights, ever since Quinn was spayed. But the consensus is that Raisa's blooming hormones have made the other 2 very PMS-y. Lovely. 

We did spay Quinn before her first heat. Had I a chance to do it over, I'd have let her have the heat cycle. Here's a link that provides some good information. Basically, most people have had their dogs spayed before they've gone into heat. We've all been told that's "good puppy parenting" and helps keep the number of unintended litters down. And that's great. I'm all for that. But c'mon... If you have a female, you can't just leave her outside unattended. "Good puppy parenting" also means paying attention to your dog.

Anyway, the newer science says let them have one heat (more if you can) and then spay around age 3 or so. Well, we can't do that. Raisa will have her first heat and then she'll be spayed. The consequences for early spaying not only include stunting physical growth. It also seems that there's an emotional growth that doesn't happen, making the dogs skittish, snappy and nervous. Which would be Quinn. 

FYI, no question about it - NOBODY is going to be re-homed. Tippi's an adult dog, and I wouldn't do that to her. We are her FOURTH home, and she was 2.5 years old when we got her. We've had Quinn since she was 3 months old...she was intended for my sister, but instead became a "foster failure" -- we were a bit concerned in the beginning because she was Tippi's baby, and Tippi had rejected that litter. But River (RIP) took over the mothering and Quinn bonded tightly with her. There was NEVER a hint of this kind of thing with River.

And I think that if Raisa had been the age she was advertised with the rescue (12 weeks), it would've been a bit easier. As it is, and it's totally our fault for not asking, she was at least 5 months old -- wayyyyyyy too close to going into heat, what with the additional stress of being introduced into a family. 

It'll all work out. If we need to consult a behaviorist, we will. Each of them seems to get along well with Raisa. It's just each other. 

So anyway...after training, Raisa was pooped. So she decided that she needed a nap. And that box wasn't going to get in her way. Yes, it's a goofy picture. But Siberian Huskies can be goof-balls. 

Random Picture...

Yes, spring will be here. In spite of the last blast of winter. When I went to the grocery store this morning, it was breezy (wind out of the west) and just lovely. 

Like I said, the day lilies are coming up. And the lilacs will be budding. 

And spring will return. I haven't seen the robins yet, but I can't help but believe they're there. 

I'm getting that itch to plan the veggie garden. Likely, there'll be no tomatoes this year. After 4 bad years in a row, we're not certain we want to deal with them. But you never know. At least one tomato plant??

And an expanded herb garden. And flowers. I can see it in my head, and I can smell the lilacs now. Can't you?

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