Thursday, July 27, 2006

A good Cause

Derrr....I forgot to post this yesterday, because I am a terribly bad monkey.

I'm sending something off, because, well...for a lot of reasons, but mainly because its a great cause that benefits far too many people, including an amazing little boy I know and an 'old lady' I farmed with in college, and....

Black Purl Magazine is sending out a call for designers to submit their work for a worthy project: A calendar benefitting The American Diabetes Association. Check out all the info here.

So, think about it, the deadline isn't until September 1st. And if you can come up with only a small portion of your life that has been touched, and you consider yourself a designer, or you have thought you might like to make something for a magazine once, send it to them.

Reading and other Indoor Sports

I saw a link to this in another blog, and have decided I like it...they offer a different literary question every week, here's todays:

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Have you read Lord of the Rings? Yes!

  2. If so, how many times have you read it? Just once? Or so many you can't count? Nearly once a year since I was eight years old. That's around 20-somthing times.

  3. If not, why not? Not your cup of tea? Mmm, tea while reading LoTR. And a nice fire...

  4. And, while we're on the subject, did you see the Oscar-winning movie(s)? What did you think? Saw them. Like them. Don't love them the way I love the books, and I felt very strongly that the producers lost the vision by the third movie. The 'feel' of the books was lost in all the special effects and the oversimplification of parts of the end story.

Its funny, I read a couple of blogs that had last weeks question in them, and was amazed, as the authors of the Meme are, at how many people included the Lord of the Rings as their most tattered/beloved book. Since I read mostly knitting blogs, it made me many knitters are fans of SF? How many SF fans are knitters? Do the two share a certain underlying desire to connect past, present, and future in some tangible or intangible way? I leave it to you, dear readers, to decide.

On the knitting front, lots of theories on mitred rectangles, I'm hoping to have time at lunch today to cast on and try one or two of them out. Wish me luck. ;)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Summer Woolens

So we are now, in the Northern Valley of California, entering day 12 of 'record heat'. Our weatherman last night declared that it doesn't officially count as the longest heat wave in Redding because last week, one day only topped out at 99 degrees Fahrenheit. At the official recording place, a low spot by the river with a cooling breeze. Up at the ranch-stead, its been 110 or more when I get home at night, and 100ish at bedtime.

And what am I knitting? Wool. Okay, so I am knitting teeny tiny squares out of sock yarn....but it still makes me question the sanity of those of us dealing with opressive heat and working happily along on a future winter project.

Speaking of which, I have pictures! At last... of the jacket squares.
There you are, a whole weeks worth of knitting, all summed up on the kitchen counter. I am still not, entirely, sure how I am going to put the differently sized squares together, though mom suggested perhaps I could 'fill in the funny spaces' with rectangles... an intriguing idea, so I am going to experiment with (don't laugh) mitred rectangles and see what happens.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tricky Math

So, we are at Saturday, only four days since the start of ye ol' daily blogging lifestyle, and I have already broken the 'I will write every day' promise I made to myself. I could blame the heat. I could blame a particularly hard to find reconciliation at work. I could blame the missing digital camera. I would probably be better off though, blaming my own lazy butt.

At any rate, I am still picture-less, since the digital camera is still lurking in its den somewhere in teh depths of my father's truck, to the best of anyone else's knowledge. I did, however, sit down and measure up my jacket squares, which, it turns out, are 2" and 4", rather than 1" and 2". You might wonder how I could mistake a four inch square for one half (Really 1/4) its size, but then you would only realize my complete spatial ignorance.

So, having examined this evidence, I have decided a 1x1 square would be way too freaking small. And and 8x8 square would be way too freaking big. In light of this truly amazing revelation, I have determined that a 6x6 square would be /just right/.

Before anyone freaks out and declares that 4 does not, in fact, go into 6, I should say that of this, I am aware. Two goes into six, which means with some clever assembly, I will simply have a creatively offset look. Or a whole lot more 2" squares than anything else. Since, at this time, I have a sum total of 3 2" and 2 4" squares, we could go in any direction still. Yay for modularization!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bona Fide Knitting Content

Sans pictures, alas. But as promised - some real live knitting (And a little crochet) content. I started this week on what I have liberally and tentatively named the 'ten-year-jacket'. Anyone who knows my particular weaknesses when it comes to knitting projects, and fresh, yummy yarn, knows that I am far too often prone to project abandonment.

I found, while unpacking recently, no less than 12 items, on needles, that I had not started in 2006. The oldest, I think, was from 1999. So here we are at another of those 'reasons I blog' statements. I figure publishing my horrific record and the works in progress might, perhaps, a little, encourage me to finish them. So...

Here we are, the ten-year-jacket. The idea was born a year or two ago, when I was still working at/managing a chic little yarn shop in the South Bay found here: We had a lovely little mitered square children's sweater on display out of several colors of Koigu wool sock yarn. I liked the little sweater, I liked the idea of mitered squares, I thought....mmm...wouldn't that be nice, with maybe a little more variety in square sizes, as an adult sized jacket type thing? So I purchased a few (okay, somewhere around 15) skeins of different colors of this sock yarn. Which has sat in neat little balls in my stash until January, when my two baby boys (Of the feline variety) got into that bag and made string art all over the apartment floor.

This incident reminded me of two things:

1. I really ought to do something with this yarn, and having a distinct lack of intrest in actual socks, perhaps the jacket would do.

2. I really ought to get lockable bins for the storage of said yarn.

And so I got to thinking, and decided to get 'er done, as my Dad is so fond of saying. It took a while, but I came up, finally, with the idea of knitting all the squares individually, in three different sizes (1x1, 2x2, and 4x4) and then stitching them together after arranging them in a pleasing manner ala a crazy quilt. Which brings us to this week (yes, seven months later) and me, having started the squares. I have four so far, three one inch by one inch, and one two inch by two inch. At the rate of about a square a day, the jacket could conceivably be done by next year. I figure I am probably more likely the square a week, or even month, kind of person, hence the ten-year part of the name. case you've made it this far, this is where I need help. Do I stick with two sizes, and just wind up making more of them? Or plunge forward with the three sizes idea, even though I am a bit afraid that a 4x4 square might be a bit, well, large as a colorblock?

It is Koigu, which means there's only one or two monochromatic (And I use that term loosely here) skeins in the whole mess, but...I quibble! So...advise is greatly appreciated. And I promise to attempt pictures of the squares, and the crochet poncho/shawl thing I am working on tomorrow.

See? And you thought there wouldn't be any crochet content after all that blathering. ;)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Death of Lucky Clucky (The wonder chicken)

So, you may wonder, dear readers, why I have begun my entry into the blogosphere (many years and much harassing by friends later than might be desired) with the death of my mother's favorite chicken.

A question that can, I am very certain, be answered many ways. Perhaps it is a visceral response to the ephemereality of life. Perhaps it is just 'time', finally. Perhaps the psycho-analysts amongst you will discover more reason than I.

At any rate, it is not an auspicious beginning, one might think. But a beginning it is. So first, let me introduce myself. I am a knitter, a cowgirl-in-training (Thanks to having moved to my family's 160 acre ranch in the far northern reaches of California) and various other roles that will come to light eventually.

I do promise to include knitting, crocheting, and various fiber-rific content in futer posts, particularly after I have wrested the digital camera from its hiding place in the truck to document such feats as the 'ten-year jacket'.

However, today, I wanted to talk about Lucky. I don't know, honestly, how long leghorn chickens live, on average. But lucky, in her three years, had about ten lives worth of adventure. Bitten at the tail by a rattlesnake a year ago - an incident that left her rather tailless and a little bit wobbly - earned her her name. Not many small animals live through the full course of a rattler's venom, so we assumed it was a little snake that did the deed this time, and were thankful.

A few months later, an unfortunate event involving a horse shoer, a spooked horse, and again, our dear lucky, resulted in a profound limp in one leg, making it difficult for our wonder chicken to hop very high. And yet, she still made it all the way across the yard from barn to house every morning for her daily dose of bread. She still managed to wander far and wide in search of tasty bugs and the full adventure of a free range ranch chicken along with her siblings and 'cousins' the Guinea Hens.

She still got into trouble now and again with her disaiblities, most often wandering into the wrong horse feeder (The hens' nest is an unused feeder filled with hay) and, unable to hop or flap her wings wide enough, stuck there until someone got home from work to let her out, or needing a booster chair to get to the upper reaches of the night-time roosting space on top of the barn.

This is, alas, how our Lucky lost her life yesterday. The temperatures soared to 111 degrees, or higher, that's just what it read at 5:30pm when I got home. We don't know how long she was stuck in the feeder we found her in, but long enough for heat and lack of water to take its toll.

Her woeful cluck, the way she hobbled at high speed in an effort to beg for birdseed scraps or bread, and the sheer tenacity of her earlier adventures will live on in our family, and now, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, in the minds of everyone who has stumbled upon this inaugral post.