Friday, December 31, 2010

Putting the House in Order

There is an old tradition -- that I've only recently come to know -- of putting one's house in order on the day of New Year's Eve to ensure that the new year will be a good one. So I spent the morning doing just that. We'd spent the week before Christmas giving the house a pretty good overhaul, so there was mostly just touch up: wiping down the bathrooms, dusting, picking up, doing dishes, wiping down the kitchen, scooping cat boxes, taking out the trash. Knowing that the house is in order -- well, orderly compared with the usual mayhem -- on the last day of the year, in preparation for the incoming year, feels pretty good, and I feel quite at ease sitting down to knit away the afternoon.

Now, if I had my way and could be Omnipotent Goddess of All Things, there'd be quite a few other things about the House of Humanity that I'd put in order. F'rinstance...

  • Wall Street bankers, when handed taxpayer's money to bail out the banks that they'd tanked, would not feel the slightest compulsion to accept bloated bonuses. In fact, they'd be putting their banking houses in apple-pie order order to prevent another collapse and bail-out. 
  • Everyone would consider health care a necessity, not a luxury available only to those who can afford it, and would thoughtfully craft a way to make that happen.
  • As everyone would recognize that only an educated populace can be truly free, a high-quality public education for all citizens would be a top priority.
  • Everyone would recognize the long-term price to be paid for cheap, sweatshop-made products.
  • There would be no doubt in anyone's mind that if we don't have a healthy ecosystem, we can't have a healthy economy, either.
  • The sight of poverty would arouse such compassion in the hearts of those observing that it would spur them to thoughtful action, bringing about the eventual end of poverty.
Actually, I think the last one is key. I think we really need is wave of a magic Omnipotent Goddess hand to give everyone in the world and everyone to come a full measure of compassion for all living, sentient beings on this planet. Imagine how many of the world's problems could be cured with that divine hand-wave.

All together now... ::wave wave wave::

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

FO: Elijah Loves Elinor

He's done! The mystery project is revealed, and it's Elijah!

He's knitted up in Plymouth Baby Bunny, a washable cotton/angora blend, listed as worsted weight but it knits up at DK gauge. He's a present... not exactly a Christmas present, even though he insisted on posing in the Christmas tree.

He's going to be a boon companion for this bonny lass, born shortly before Christmas.

 Hello, Ellie, our newest future knitter!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Nap and Eat Leftovers Day!

Yeeeeaaah, that's pretty much how it's been around here today. Other than taking James home to Portland in the morning because he had to work today, it's been pretty quiet around here. And no wonder. I was getting ready for Christmas all week, which was a lot of work and several nights of too little sleep (it's the cats making me sit up too late at night, I'm sure of it, they're such slave drivers). Today consisted of the aforesaid trip to Portland, followed by a three hour nap, then some leftovers for lunch (and in case you didn't know, a dab of leftover mashed potatoes + milk + cheese = cheesy potato soup), then sitting and knitting and poking around on the internet and generally being a laze-about.

Ah, but it was all worth it. Stockings and presents in the morning (I got a carrying bag for my spinning wheel and a whole stack of knitting and spinning books). Christmas dinner was at our house, and it came off well. Lots of food, family, and good conversation. Then a quiet evening of eating leftovers and watching movies. Christmas was what it ought to be -- friends and family.

Post-Christmas shopping? Bah. My family did that once when I was a kid. Just not my cuppa.

So today I started a mystery sock KAL, beginning work on Isaz, a sock that a member of our knitting group designed (stariel on Ravelry) to showcase Stephania's (moirae on Ravelry) Three Fates Yarn. I'm using a skein of Platinum BFL that I bought at Sock Summit. So far I've got a cast-on and a couple of rows:

And as for that mystery project I started earlier? Here's another clue:

Now can y'all guess what it is?

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

To all who celebrate, Merry Christmas! And best wishes for a happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

FO catch-up: Fleurette and Sneaky Socks

Fall term is over (thank Bob), most of my Christmas preparation is done (except for... well... what gets done is what gets done), and now to catch up from being behindhand on pictures of finished objects.

The Lilac f*$@&!! Fleurette Jacket is done, in spite of having to improvise most of the pattern:

And a back view:

I actually had this finished in time to wear to the conference in Florida last month, but it took a while to get photos posted. In retrospect, I think I should have let the waistband be a higher midriff band as the original picture showed, but it's wearable anyhow.

My Sneaky Socks, in Plymouth Sockotta (cotton/wool blend) are finally finished. They've been traveling around in a little wrist bag since last March, being my "knitting in the spare moments" knitting -- when held up by a train, while riding in the car, while waiting in the restaurant. A row here, a row there, and the waiting time was well spent.

People look at that pattern and think I'm terribly clever. Then I show them the yarn, with the pre-printed design, and strangely enough they're even more impressed. "So how do you get it to come out exactly like that?" Um... I'm just that good. Yeah. That's it.

Now I've got Sneaky Socks, the Sequel, on the needles using the KnitPicks sock blank that I dyed myself.


... a mystery project! Here's what it looks like now:

Any guesses what it is?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Farewell, Pinkerton

Five years ago last fall, I was driving down a country road on my way home, when I saw something small and white running alongside the road. "Um, that's not natural," I thought. Now, anyone who knows me knows I couldn't possibly keep on driving at that point. I turned the car around, went back, and stopped where I'd seen the critter.

Turned out to be a baby pink-eyed white Guinea pig, no bigger than a hamster. Some yahoo must have tossed it out of a car, but not before snipping the poor baby's eartips off. I hope karma has something special in mind for the perpetrator.

I looked around for any other babies, but the white one was all that I saw. As I happened to have a box in the back of the car, I put the baby piggie in the box and took it home.

Pink eyes, li'l pink ears, li'l pink nose -- Pinky would have been a good name if it had been a girl, but as it turned out to be a boy, he was named Pinkerton.

I knew nothing about Guinea pig care, but quickly found the Guinea Lynx site, which has terrific advice on diet and medical care. I bought the largest cage I could find at PetCo, which was fine when Pinkerton was a baby, but I then found the site for Cavy Cages and used their plans to build a cage twice that size at half the cost.

A steady diet of Oxbow hay and Guinea pig pellets, plus fresh veggies daily and crushed Vitamin C tabs on his food, kept him healthy and happy. His only ailment was an infected foot, that the vet treated with antibiotics. For a while he had a companion, a piggie we adopted from a shelter and named Webster, but poor Webster passed away after just a couple of years.

A couple of months ago I noticed Pinkerton was slowing down. He was still eating his food, but not running around his cage as much. Then in the last couple of weeks he was getting fussy about his food.

Finally, last weekend, he stopped eating. On Sunday, Pinkterton passed over the Rainbow Bridge.

He's now laid to rest under the pear tree that he could see from his window. Farewell, Pinkerton. You'll be missed. I hope you're happily wheeking in the heavenly clover right now.


blogger templates | Make Money Online