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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Celtic Memory Yarns

Another Blog to Explore - so many blogs, so little time...
Today - Celtic Memory Yarns. I can't remember - did the Yarn Harlot reference this one and I marked it to explore later? From where-ever I found it - later is today.

Well, right off the bat, I'm tickled with clever phrases - I'm intrigued by "Yarnslayer" in the title of the 11/17 blog. And they know about Ravelry - a definite sign of intelligence and good taste!

Well - "Jo" seems to have quite a few blogs and participates in (moderates perhaps??) quite a few knit-a-longs. She's also in Ireland! Being that the majority of my ancestry is Scot/Irish, I've got that immediate Celtic kinship perception. (There's a little Comanche American Indian from my mother's side too...)
Hmmm- she commented that "Traditional" crafts seem to be less than favorably viewed in Ireland. I'm surprised - but then I'm pretty ignorant of what a lot of the world thinks. However, - I believe Ignorance can be cured!

Oy - if you read this, you MUST go see the 11/17 blog to see pictures of the Yarnslayer -too funny and excellent pictures!!!

She doesn't seem to post often - well, she does seem to have a few different blogs to manage. There only seems to be a couple of posts a month, but they are lovely, grand vignettes...glimpses of her Ireland. It's lovely and calming. I also enjoy her phrasing. Neatly done!

Ah - another person subject to Start-itus in recent months! She seems to have succumbed to that yen...and very nicely, I might add. She appears to be quite talented - with a wide range of abilities. A professional - she dyes some truly lovely hanks (No, Kinia, you do NOT need more yarn.)

Back to the blog...Wow that Samhain designer yarn she made is gorgeous!
And another comment about Irish folks "frowning" on knitting in public. Someone described it as a perception of disgracing Women's rights!?! Never occurred to me and I can't agree. From my perspective being a Woman with rights means I get to choose how I spend my time (before I go vote...;-).

Ohhhh - she's got to spend some time with Elsebeth Lavold, author of one of the Books I sigh over: Viking Patterns for Knitting! Yep, I get a touch of goofy-ness about people I admire.
I stutter, become even more socially inept, and become memorable in not a good way. I've noticed recently that I do this a bit with Upper Management people I admire where I work.
It would be funny if it weren't so humiliating and embarrassing. (sigh)

So...pardon the gushing...but I'm impressed with Jo at Celtic Memory Yarns and even more so at the company she so gracefully keeps. But it's how she shares her view of the world that catches at my heart.
Yep, this is another keeper-blog. I'm smitten and I'll keep reading.
(And I need to keep up with the adventures of Yarnslayer and Sophie!)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Making the list, checking it twice, and coming up with alternate plans...

As I fight off Startitius (terrible crafty urge to start something new you just saw someone knitting, saw the pattern for, or "there was this yarn...")...and make the list of the stuff I want to finish for the Holidays...
I can't help but think of the Yarn Harlot and the Schedule her friend Lene put together for Mz. Stephanie so she had a shot at finishing all sorts of knitted wonders before Christmas arrived.
(There's a hilarious blog or bit in one of her books about the kind of madness that over takes our favorite Yarn Harlot during the holidays - brought on by frantic knitting and inevitability of the projects we don't get done...)

Now, I am a known list maker. Love crossing things off the list.
However, I knit at about a 10th of the speed of the Yarn Harlot (on a good day) and she seems to have a lot more time to knit, although she's got a serious writing career, several children, and a variety of interesting social obligations. Or maybe she's just a profoundly more experienced knitter with warp-speed knitting capabilities...

SO - I'm trying to interject some reality into the to-do-for-the-Holidays Knit list.
Mostly I have succeeded in scaring myself.
This is about the time I have the reality check and start considering some non-knitted gifting.
No, I'm not too panicked - I try to shop for stuff year round so I have a fair gift stash to pull from.
But the pressure is there...and then...I thought I'd found the answer!!

I took a class last week at a LYS - Knitted Ornament Covers.
I'd gotten happy feet thinking "These would be great gifts..."
I'm a little disappointed. The teacher had quickly jotted down a "better" way to do two of the pattern rows on a slip of paper for each student. Seems it may have actually been a pattern correction. (sigh) Of course, I did the first ornament cover based on the Original Pattern. I'd glanced at the original pattern and the "better" way and thought "Both seem fine...?".

I'm hoping I can place the missing beads with duplicate stitch.

Having gotten a grip on "better" = corrected, I used the slip of paper to replace the 2 pattern rows in the 2nd part of our homework the Zig Zag Ornament Cover. (teacher said it works for both patterns).

Serves me right.

I'm planning to sit down and figure out why I seem to be missing stitches and some beads are scrunched together...
This definitely could be user-error...but I'm a little disillusioned.
Do I want to try and invest time to make these as gifts? I'm already "0" for 2.

I go to the 2nd half of the class tomorrow - let's hope for a revelation.
(And maybe a corrected set of patterns...)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Once more, with knitting

Continuing my efforts to reduce my "Blogs to Explore" stash by actually exploring some blogs I bookmarked to review later...

I like the title. "Once more, with knitting."
First entry I'm looking at from 11/14 has some "Lord of the Rings" references. Nice.

Pause for Bumper-sticker Memory:
Saw this bumper sticker the other week. I don't think Bush is quite this bad, but the bumper sticker was Clever!
"Frodo failed. Bush has the Ring".
Wickedly spiffy, yes?

OK, back to the Blog-exploring...
Ha - you're not going to believe this...the Lord of the Rings reference to some spiffy pictures relating to some planets found outside our solar system...devolves into a reference about Pres. Bush having the One Ring. If I'm psychic, I wish I could do it on purpose...
She even has a clever picture of Bush w/Ring...

I think it's a "She". "Meegiemoo's "About Me" page is a tad light on info, but the Hot Pink Shawl (?) (a very nice pattern too) is making me think "female" somehow.
(Correction - it's a " Hemlock Ring Blanket")

Weeellll - there's an interesting reference to "2008 Year of the Sock" that intrigues me.
And this person knits with "Pushing up Daisies". (Which the rumor mill indicates is about to be tragically cut from our lives. ACK!)
So far so good...
She's a better knitter than I am. (not a ninja-hard accomplishment, I assure you...)
And it is definitely a "She". And she has a red "streak of orneriness" in her hair! Excellent!

Canadian - and a fellow Ravelry-member!! Heck, I'm 2 blogs in and I like this woman.
(Ok, I like most everybody, but she does appear to have some excellent taste AND a sense of humor right off the bat!)
Ha, Ha! Clever YouTube addition...
And another one! This is the "Take on Me: the Literal Version" Martha and Ray were telling us about! ('80s music video "Take on Me" with someones literal interpretation over laid...)

I'm about convinced this is a keeper. I'm having too much fun!
Um...she's a WAY, Way better knitter than I am. Prolific too.
Tsk - she doesn't like Musical Theater. And it appears she can go to New York - Broadway!!
However, she does have a cat AND appreciates Monty Python.
Correction - 3 cats. Found a spiffy blog about the "newest", Jetta!
She also seems to have a weakness for sock yarn, not unlike myself.
(The difference being, she's way past her 2nd pair of socks!)

Yep, a keeper. Another blog to add to my list.
Made me laugh out loud - several times!
Sigh - and she's already made the February Lady Sweater I want to try to knit.


No, not me. The DH.
Although I suspect I'll be involved in the culmination of this tree trimming episode.
There's this 40+ year old Juniper Tree in our front yard.
It has expanded to take up a fair portion of the driveway.
It's pretty challenging to do the serious parking without dredging the bumper through this tree.
So we decided we'd cut it down at some point to reclaim the driveway.
DH had some time off this week and he chose this task to enliven his home-time.
DH is just over 6 feet tall...he cut back the tree as far as he could reach:

Two trips to the dump, a full city-trash can, and there will be more to come. He's talking about renting a chain saw....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Buttons and patches

Yesterday, I was a little surprised at my reaction to going through my button drawer (don't panic, it's a little drawer in a vertical organizer...not thousands of buttons).

I was looking for a button I could use as part of a clasp for this. (It'll be a bracelet.)

The button drawer contains the buttons I bought because they were interesting, cute, or on sale, buttons that came with a suit or blouse I purchased (yes, I used to wear suits), buttons I inherited from the passing of my Mom, and buttons I inherited from the passing of a friend's mom.

My friend was not inclined to use the crafty stuff his mom left behind. Because he's a generous soul, he invited me over to help go through some of her crafty stuff and gifted me with quite a bit of it.
Hence a 2nd round of buttons I inherited. Inherited stuff is bitter-sweet.

I especially like the buttons from my Mom and his Mom - lovely, sturdy things in grand colors or classic black and white. Possibly from before I was born.

In this drawer were also patches - the kind you sew on shirts, uniforms, bags. Some were from my childhood. From the Girl Scout Camp I attended each summer. Quirky things I thought were cool but never got around to attaching to something.

I think one was a pool patch we pinned to our swimsuits. Can't remember if it meant we were unlikely to drown or if we were allowed at the AFB Officer's pool.

Some of the treasures and the ASDM patches were from my sister-in-law who lost a battle with cancer a few years ago. She was a docent at the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum for a while...I miss her very much. I miss my Mom very much.

Yep, I cried into the buttons. It surprised me.

But it shouldn't have. Buttons have history and potential.
The patches remind me of times and people that I miss.

I think I'll put the ASDM patches on a bag. My sister-in-law and I both had/have an affinity for spiffy bags. It will help me remember her to other people.

The buttons will also add to the story of whatever they enhance.
"Thank you, I made this beaded bracelet, but these buttons were selected by the special woman who was the mother of my friend, John. "

And later - "Yes, I love this yarn too. I couldn't wait to make this pattern, but the buttons were from my Mom."

I have been blessed with some wonderful women affecting my life.
I still am blessed with wonderful in my life. Hugs and healing to us all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

People can be dumber than TOAST!!

~~Caution - Venting - Technically Political~~

I CANNOT believe people in Arizona and California voted to pass those STUPID laws about marriage only being allowable between 1 man and 1 woman.
OY! People can be dumber than toast.

And since this is not a rant about work, I figure the blog can handle it.

I find this embarrassing. We, as "intelligent" beings, should evolve a skosch faster than this.
I grew up watching Star Trek and reading open-minded Sci-Fi/Fantasy and I keep hoping we'll skip the Armageddon-depressing future, stop being social idjots, evolve/grow up and move past the point where we deny people rights based on physical/genetic traits.

Homosexuality is not a CHOICE - people are born that way. It's genetic. It happens to animals in nature too. Just like folks are genetically born to be heterosexual or to have brown hair.
We're all people, demmit. Why shouldn't two people that love each other be able to formally and legally join their lives and celebrate their love and commitment to each other? Why can't a homosexual couple expect the support of the law, insurance, and the world for their union?

The dumber-than-toast group needs to stop being ninnies and afford everyone basic rights and privileges regardless of race, color, creed, or sexual orientation.
Wait - isn't there a Federal Law that covers that already?!?!

Please - if you thought that proposition was a good idea - don't try to convince me and please don't leave rude comments. I'm not leaving rude comments on your blog.
I'm somewhat OK with it if people are homophobic...technically it's their right. {Sigh}
However, I do think it's an ignorant choice and folks that live in that kind of fear need to get a grip on logic and the basic laws of nature.
I understand folks have unreasonable fears/beliefs that colour their thinking - but please don't inflict them on me or my blog (or the world at large). Thanks.

What may annoy me beyond the ignorant prejudice displayed, is that the Dumber than Toast group spent 8 MILLION dollars to get this stupid law passed - and it's pretty much what is already on the books. (It is embarrassing enough that it's already a law. {gah})
Can you imagine the research that could have been funded, the people that could have been fed or healed, the retirement funds that could have been restored with 8 Million dollars?!?!?
Ok, "dumber than toast" is not an adequate description of this idiocy.

Huge, disappointed, frustrated, embarrassed-for-my-fellow-man, annoyed SIGH.
Now I have to go figure out who to write or what petitions to sign to get this stupid bit of legislature repealed. This looks like a good place to start - left a note to see if there's anything I can do to help.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Blogs to Explore - Crazy Aunt Purl

Continuing my efforts to reduce my "Blogs to Explore" stash by actually exploring some blogs I bookmarked to review later...
(this might be the only stash-busting at which I can be successful.)

Another of the well-established blogs in our knitting community: Crazy Aunt Purl.
She's also published, having created "Drunk, Divorced, & Covered in Cat Hair".
(I don't qualify for the "drunk" park, but I can claim the other two.)
That title alone bodes well for an interesting sense of humor....
As of yesterday's blog, I like her. She's real and she's a bit of a kindred spirit - or maybe someone I admire and I'd like to be at her level of regard for herself so I could be a kindred spirit. I think she's working to be comfortable with herself. I can relate to that. All this on a couple of paragraphs... Lem'me read a bit more...

Oy - looks like CA has a dumb Proposition up for vote - like our dumb proposition against same-sex marriages. Our society really does seem to grow up painfully slowly.
Crazy Aunt Purl sums it up rather nicely at the bottom of this blog.
(Wicked grin - I got custody of the dentist AND the hair stylist in my training-marriage divorce!)

As I read on - I'm only liking this woman's blog more and more. I like that wry sense of humor thing. I like the cat and cat-hair thing (been there, doing that). She seems to have a good head on her shoulders and a grand sense of humor.
And she's a bit vulnerable - honest. Rather brave and overall - spiffy.
I'm going to keep reading...

OMG - Cats in Sweaters?!?!? Matching sweaters to their humans'?!?!?!
Too funny - and I'm oddly impressed with the tolerance of these cats...
Speaking of...the blog indicates she lives with 4 cats...I've only seen pictures of 3. See - now I'll HAVE to keep reading to find out about the 4th cat...