Sunday, November 23, 2008

A non-knitting post.

The Toronto Star featured a book review last summer on a book that ... well, it interested me. Because I have two sons who are so dang close to military age (28 and 24 years old at the moment), the military activities of the U.S. were always pretty close to the top of my radar screen. The book?

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Scugog library had it on their shelves.

I've read it. This book is an absolutely scathing review of the GWB presidency. When I say scathing, I do mean scathing. I keep expecting smoke to leak from between the covers. The book is actually a compelling case for the indictment and trial of GWB for the murders of the members of the armed forces who have died in the fighting in Iraq. Complete with footnotes, legal precedents and citations to the source materials for the charges I might add. The drawback to this book, and ultimately the reason why no one will act upon it and the reasoning it contains is this: Mr. Bugliosi is an ardent and fervent Democrat; his language when referring to GWB is demeaning, derogatory and inflammatory, and possibly libelous. In fact, not even half-way through the book, I was more than tired of hearing GWB referred to in such a manner.

Heh. Now that I think about it, perhaps I understand why Bugliosi did what he did. The ONLY defense to libel and slander is the truth. Perhaps we has hoping to incite GWB into suing for libel and slander, at which point Bugliosi could trot out his vision of the truth and hope that the judge and jury would agree with him. An interesting move, to say the least.

In any event, I would recommend this as a good read.

In other news ... Lake Scugog has frozen over this week. Twice, in fact. This second time, however, it looks like it's gonna stick. Brrrr. The freezing over part isn't really news; after all, freeze-up happens every year. This year we have the good fortune of having actually removed all dock sections from the water ahead of time. (Yippee!) What WAS momentuous, however, was this:

That is a lone, single, solitary Canada Goose out there. They don't usually hang out by themselves, you know. I was getting ready to head into the shop when I glanced out the window and saw this guy. Just sitting there on the ice. After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, he was still there. Just sitting there all by his lonesome. I was afraid that he was actually stuck to the ice--destined for a long, slow death by exposure or a traumatic death by raccoon or neighbourhood dog. Neither was something I particularly wanted to see happen on my lakefront.

I got the binoculars and went for a closer look. He was still there, just kind of looking around forlornly. Now I was worried. What to do, how to help him. (I am a sucker for this type of thing. I vividly recall feeding the ducks down by the Bear Lake Tavern with my ex-husband and being concerned that one duck with a "broken wing" wasn't getting enough to eat. I charged the ex-husband with luring the entire flock down the shoreline so that I could toss some bread to the injured duck. After dinner, the injured duck thanked me by standing up and shaking out his feathers so that his wing looked ... perfect!)

I went and got Doug and showed him the poor goose. Doug figured that he was too far out for a simple (but freezing) wade out to free him. Perhaps a canoe could be used to break the ice and set him free? Doug was pondering the ways in which aid could be secured while I went out to start my car warming up. After all, Never Enough Wool really needed to be opened on time. I do have early morning customers.

I came back from starting the car, tromping across the crusty snow on the deck and making lots of noise. I noticed the goose's head pop up to get a better look at the excitement on the shore.

Then I saw --

There he went, shaking his tail feathers at me as he strolled off.

Good thing I discovered my folly before Doug got his canoe down to the lake, eh?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The problem is ...

I've posted a list of all the projects currently on needles. Twelve of 'em, to be exact. That's a whole lotta knitting. For some folks, this many projects is no big deal. They just roll a dice, or a pair of dice in this case, and depending on the number that comes up work on a particular project for the day. Intrepid Knitter Friend Barb does this, and generally she seems to be pretty happy with the technique.

My problem with this many projects isn't necessarily the overwhelming choice of projects to which I can devote myself for the day. No, that would be entirely too easy. My problem is that I want to see progress -- preferably instantaneous -- on every project. The whole "devote yourself to one project for the day" is actually kind of like how I prefer to function. It's easier to see progress. It's just that there are 11 other projects demanding my attention. If I do a couple of rows here, and a couple of rows there, and another couple of rows THERE ... well, you do get the idea.

Nothing, but nothing gets accomplished. In fact, in the 9 days since my previous post, I haven't been able to cross one single, solitary project off the list. Not one. How depressing is that?!

My saving grace, however, is that one project is nearing completion. The little babyset for my son's friends is looking quite respectable now. It lacks buttons, and that's not for lack of trying. At the shop, I have some cute blue teddy bear buttons--but only two and I need five. So then I found some cute dark blue elephant buttons.
I understand that many folks wouldn't understand the problem with elephant buttons. They ARE blue and this is being knit for a boy ... (Remember why I am knitting this set? Because my son "borrowed" the Obama/Biden sign from his friends' front lawn in order that his sister might possess a piece of political history. The friends didn't volutarily surrender the sign, nor were they happy when they discovered it missing. Hence the guilt gift.)

In the U.S., the political parties are denoted by animals. The Democrats are represented by the lowly donkey. The Obama/Biden ticket represented the Democrats in this last election. The Republicans are represented by (here it is!) ... um ... an elephant. It's off to Fabricland for buttons this weekend.

The pattern is from Paton's Book No. 117 (circa 1950s) and is called "Eyelet Wardrobe for 6 Months" and the yarn is King Cole Big Value Baby 4-Ply. I'm doing the jacket and toque since these friends live in Virginia. They don't get a whole lot of winter, so I think the jacket and toque will be perfect.

In other news ... I'm not supposed to talk about this a lot and we really aren't ready for a whole lot of traffic yet ...

but ...


Yes, you read that here first. Check this out: Never Enough Wool

This is still a work in progress, but definitely a step in the right direction. I'm so thrilled!

Finally, I have a mystery. I had a lovely customer come into the shop and purchase some wool to make a baby dress. She happily made her purchase and went on her way. Sometime after starting the project, however, she misplaced the pattern. A thorough search of her home, car and cottage have failed to produce the pattern. All we know is that it was an older booklet, probably from Beehive. Does anyone recognize this?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cross that one off!

I really don't know why I did it. After all, ignorance is bliss. And we all know that I'm a one-project-at-a-time kind of a girl. So ... imagine my surprise when I discovered the following list of projects underway:

Black alpaca double knit mittens -- one mitt complete, one more needed. The yarn is Araucania Atacama, which has unfortunately been discontinued. Now that I've found a glorious project for it.
Green alpaca double knit mittens -- one mitt done to the thumb, one complete mitt needed. The yarn is Luxury Alpaca Paint, another discontinued yarn. Dang, I hate when I finally find a fabulous project and the yarn is discontinued!
Great American Aran Afghan -- 12 squares completed, two more to catch up to the knitalong group. I'm using Patons Canadiana, oatmeal colour. This will be a wonderful afghan when it's done.
Girl's size 4 cardigan, hat & mittens -- to be donated to The Refuge, preferably before the holidays. I'm planning to use Sirdar Snuggly DK and an old, old pattern. Stay tuned!
Holiday scarf -- knit from On-Line Starlight/Linie 218. I'm doing a very simple design of K2 tog, YO across; knit one row; YO, K2 tog; knit one row. Very simple, yet elegant.
Misti Suri Alpaca & Silk shawl -- the Lotus Blossom shawl from Fiddlesticks Knitting. Currently working on the first set of charts for the blossoms -- maybe 60% finished.
Baby boy sweater & hat -- to be a gift for friends of my eldest son. These would be the folks whose Obama/Biden campaign sign mysteriously disappeared off their front lawn on the evening of October 12 ...
Socks -- the ever-present pair of socks that I'm always carrying around with me. No pattern, boring as all get out. Turning the first heel on this pair.
Double-knit hat -- because a customer wants to make one and I couldn't find a plain pattern for her, I am designing and knitting one. Using wool that my step-daughter and her mother brought home for me from their England/Scotland trip this fall.
Baby blankets -- my friend Barb and I are committed to designing six baby blankets and compiling them into a booklet to sell at the shop. My contribution will be an entrelac design and a mock cable design.
Carrie's afghan -- she decided that her afghan could be a wee bit longer, and I do agree. Rather than add fringe (shudder), I have decided to take back the top border and add another pattern repeat. This counts as "on the needles" because if I don't, I may never get back to it!
Toddler Double-knit mittens -- using the same pattern but smaller yarn and needles (way smaller needles), one can knit up toddler mittens instead of adult mittens. But wait -- these are done like dinner! These little wee mittens were knit using one ball of Regia 4-ply sock wool and 2.5mm needles. Tedium knitting since the process is basically knit 1, purl 1 ribbing, but ... little fingers will be warm and toasty.

Afghan to be donated to the church-- My church is having a fundraiser on the 29th of November. Pausing for thought, it seems to me that I've been blessed with talents working with wool. I thought it would be nice for me to use those talents and make an afghan to donate. Four weeks later, here it is:
This afghan comes from Seasonal Knit Afghans by Rena V. Stevens, published as book no. 4446 from LeisureArts. The pattern itself is called Sumer Willows. Here is a close-up:
I used 11 balls of Patons Canadiana in Aran and the suggested 10mm needle. An easy knit once you get accustomed to the large needles. This afghan seriously only took about 4 weeks from start to finish. I admit that I worked pretty seriously on it -- tried to get 5 rows completed every night. Tried, mind you, not that I was always successful. In any event, I'd say this was a successful project.

So that's twelve active projects--down from 14. What is this world coming to?!?