Previous month:
July 2008
Next month:
September 2008

i have seen the face of my destroyer

I have discovered many things about Canada -- but there are two discoveries I have made that make me happy that I do not live here*.

Number One:


Number Two:


I would end up weighing 500 pounds. I will be making a run to a grocery before I leave to stock up, however.


* The rest of the things that I've discovered totally make me want to move here. Of course, I'm visiting in August, not February.

in which our heroine loses her knitting mojo

I have a case of the late summer restlessness. Nothing seems to go quite right, especially when projects tackled require even a tiny bit of my brain. To wit:

I have been on a fingerless mitt kick. No idea why, really, but with the big arsekicking sweater, I seem to need projects I can actually finish in less than a year.

This is the most recent: Dashing. Imagine that that white line is where a thumb bit would go.


Because my goal with these is to use up odds and ends, I'm only using yarn from the "remains of projects past" box. Once I got this one done, I realized that I probably wouldn't have enough to knit all of another mitt. And I was correct.


No matter, thought I. I know I have more of this yarn that hasn't made it into the box, because I just knew it was the yarn from my Nantucket.


Looks pretty close, eh? I thought so, too. But as I started to knit, I realized that the yarn I dug out was a dustier pink than the yarn I'd been using. Still, I knit on -- and just figured that somehow, in the depths of the yarn closet and in its plastic bag, this ball had somehow managed to fade and/or gather enough dust to change its color without changing its texture. And that its time in the stash had somehow made it puffier.

Perhaps, thought I, this ball's exposure to the summer humidity has made it frizzier. I mean, my hair does the same thing in the summer. Why not yarn?

The observant will leap to the correct conclusion, which is that it is a completely different yarn.


The color difference doesn't read in the shot above, but the weight difference does.

Near as I can tell, the yarn I started the mitts in is the same as the yarn I used to knit a Rowan sweater ( maybe -- but I can't find the pattern so maybe it was Debbie Bliss?) for the Diva when she was two. This was in the pre-blog days -- so it's like it never happened at all. The yarn might have been a Rowan 4-ply in some kind of color resembling pink. Or not -- because, clearly, my powers of observation are crap.

What have we learned here?

1) Never underestimate a knitter's ability to ignore the obvious.

2) After you've been knitting for a few years, you can no longer keep track of a) what you've made or b) what leftovers you have.*

3) I have a strange fondness for a particular shade of almost-pink.

4) One completed fingerless mitt and one 3/4 completed mitt do not a gift make. The odds of my finding the yarn to finish the unfinished approaches zero, simply because I don't have the slightest idea what it is. I'd rip them out and start again, but then I might cry. Instead I plan to shove them in the yarn closet until the pain (not pain, really, more intense irritation) is no longer as acute.

The whole episode has left me dejected, so much so that I think I might need a small knitting break. Especially when coupled with this:


It's a hat for the Diva, which I can't finish because I can't find my 5th DP needle in that size. And I keep pulling it out to work on it, then remembering that I can't, then swearing loudly and moving it to another corner of my desk.

Only just now, as I pulled it out to take a picture, did the obvious solution dawn on me. I could move some stitches around and knit it with four needles. Or, you know, buy another set.

What I'm going to do is put it away for a bit because, clearly, my knitting judgment is not to be trusted.

* There may be people who are far more organized than I. Those people are more than welcome to come impose order. And if you could impose retroactive order, I will bake you a pie.

many things make a post

* For the David Foster Wallace geek who has everything. Note the two bookmarks.

* I'm developing a crush on current's Sarah Haskins. This time, birth control ads.

* Things that make us [sic}.

* Cards that say what you've been thinking. Click on "view inside pages" to get the full flavor. My fave is "Thanks for Being No Help Whatsoever."

* Must make Puffy Tacos. Who's with me?

* These LED Mason Jar Garden Lights are made of awesome.

* Infoviz may be my second calling. There's just something about the intersection of graphics and data that makes me swoon. (See also: these anatomy charts by Tom Giesler.)

* Maya Angelou on understanding character, stolen from Boing Boing. Weirdly, I do quite well at all of those, especially if you sub "untangling yarn balls" for "untangling Christmas lights."

* A Mighty Good Yarn on the True Austin Day (and burlesque, sorta).

* Great. Another reason to go and eat everything on can find in the Finger Lakes.

* So now I need to go buy every book Lane Smith has been involved with, especially John, Paul, George and Ben. (Scott and I have been watching John Adams and are now fascinated with this cranky man. See also: History just goes 'round and 'round part two: the Adams v. Jefferson edition.)

csa update

I've been remiss with the csa updates. Sorry about that.

If you find yourself in possession of a lot of yellow squash, this cheesy casserole is a great use for them. I'd show you a picture but it was consumed by the time I remembered my camera.

In other news, time for another book-related road trip, this one to a far off land that requires that I find my passport. Well, not requires but I get so much of a thrill out of having my passport stamped, I'm bringing it anyway.

Any guesses where I am off to?

I'll preload stuff, including a knitting debacle (with pictures) because sometimes I am not very observant.

A PS: You know how sometimes you just wake up in an inexplicably bleak mood? I can't be the only one who does that, right? Today is that day -- but this squirrel post at Cute Overload! made everything much better. Still inexplicably bleak, of course, but with occasional giggles.

qotd, history just goes 'round and 'round

"So, spare a thought for the millions of Americans who are watching the White House with shame, anger and revulsion.  Because they are currently in an unenviable position, and one that Britain has been in before.  Thank goodness the worst days of the British Empire were not played out in front of a technologically advanced world media.  Is anyone else glad that the Amritsar massacre is only recorded in watercolour?  And that a press secretary in a handlebar moustache did not stand in front of a podium of microphones and attempt to justify it?  Let’s remember, the White House is only white because we set fire to the previous version in 1812 – which thankfully was not streamed live at the time on CNN."

-- The Daily Show's John Oliver in The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

many things make a post

I haven't had a lot of time for random surfing in the past few days, so today's pickins are slim. Hopefully, I'll get back to my normal level of internet slack soon -- but probably not until after Labor Day.


* If you like to laugh (and learn about the ways the brain can go wrong), listen to the first act of this.

* Sometimes I amaze myself with my own cleverness: the address now redirects here. W00T!

* Can someone explain the concept of the fleece-lined flip flop to me?

* Another quick question: I'm working on a story about inexpensive last minute Halloween costumes for kids. Anyone have any great ideas they'd like to share? Any costumes they have used/seen and enjoyed?

several thousand words

I spent my morning working on a story for the almost-daily about the Farmer's Museum's fall classes. Which was fun and all. But I did do what I normally do which is shoot five times more pictures than I could possibly use. Like these: 





While at said museum, I had a moment when I realized that I knew more about the carding, spinning, dyeing, etc of wool and flax than the historical interpreter did, which made me both happy and sad. That does mean that a whole new career path has opened up for me once the kids are more able to fend for themselves.

Also, I offer this merely as proof to the people (like my husband) who think that the hotel room I stayed in in NYC was really as small as I have described:


It is very, very nice to be able to reach anything one might need without getting out of bed. And it was a very, very nice bed, which made me not want to leave it in the first place.


Especially when this is the view.