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December 2008
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February 2009

actual knitting content, one-armed knitter edition

Thanks to an evening full of football (I heart Polamalu) and tennis (I heart Andy R.), I had some concentrated knit time. Look! I finished a sleeve!


The color is more accurate in the photo below. That dark blob in the lower right is Barney, eater of handknits.


I can't get a decent natural light shot because we are now dealing with winter sun, which never really seems to shine in a satisfying way. I was hoping that the snow would give me some good bounce light but it didn't work out. How much snow?


About a foot, as of 9 a.m. this morning. Woo. It's starting to get a little wearing. Good thing we only have three more months of winter to deal with!


too cold. can't think.

I was going to work up something smart and thoughtful about Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the reprint of The Yellow Wallpaper. The Guardian article kinda sums it up, however. For me, the question really is: how did not lose her mind more quickly than she did?

In other news, it is cold here. So cold that I can't quite get my brain to work in any meaningful way. So -- two pixs:

Over the weekend I made cupcakes from a Sprinkles kit that I'd picked up on sale at Williams-Sonoma.


They were very, very good. I don't know that I'd ever pay the full $14 asking price but those Sprinkles folks make a damn tasty product.

In case you wondered about the my daily working conditions (and, no, I don't know why you would):


This is what I usually see when I look down. From left to right -- my leg, the corner of my chair, a cat who can't generate enough body heat despite his big furry coat and a space heater.

down the rabbit hole

Long story short - I was looking for something else and found these. It's telling that I can no longer remember what that other thing is.

I had no idea that Etsy was chock-full of cross stitch patterns.

Yes, yes, you can get some renderings of common characters whose legal status is, at best, questionable. But there's a host of other cool stuff. Like beefrank's dedications to all things Whedon; TeaPartyRevolution's Gothic Lolitas; Larripin Labs' portraits of Schrodinger*, Kaku and Feynman; ExpressionEssentials hip-ass owl; Xavier Crafts' interpretations of Arabian rugs** and Maggiemwdesign's interpretations of the same; Nrapture's Cthulhu; tinymodernist's mid-century chairs***; andwabisabi's chandeliers and kiwi fruit****; and knottyyarn's movie quotes *****.

It makes the pattern I'm working on, pictured below, seem lame.


I love it anyway.


* No word yet on when the cat-in-box companion piece will be completed.
** which blow my mind, frankly. Especially this one.
*** for the Hub: the Barcelona is here.
**** and a martini glass.
***** I had to google the last one.

many things make a post

* Knit Wash's sweater.  He is a leaf on the wind...

* Colleen rants about the state of YA/MG publishing. I could add my rant about  the state of non-fiction publishing --it would start "1.6 million for Laura Bush? Really?" -- but it would cover essentially the same ground.

* Felting sweaters and snow days. [sarcasm]And, seriously, could we have more snow days, please, Mr Superintendent? You'd think we lived in Florida, where cold temps and frozen flakes of water are cause for panic. We all own shovels and coats. We know how to deal. Really. [/sarcasm]

* What frightens me is that I scored 100 percent on the First Ladies who have been seated during my lifetime on this quiz. I had no idea I was paying that much attention.

* Fargo in cross stitch.

* The Slacktivist on the purpose of government. To which I say, "Preach on, brother. Preach on."

* The handbook we all need. Shelve it next to your 2008 tax forms.

* ETA: I hit post before I read the NYT's science section -- Gluten-free pastas and pasta e fagoili (fazool), the importance of teaching your kids manners and Paul Offit, whose book dares suggest that there is no link between autism and vaccines, is labeled a terrorist.

Classes start up again tomorrow. Woo.

what 8 inches look like

On Saturday night, it snowed. On Sunday morning, we did what any right thinking parents would do, which is chuck our children out in the snow so that we could take pictures of them.



Is it wrong that I got a huge kick out of watching him walk through snow that is so deep he can't bend his knees? Yes, I am putting money away for future therapy bills, thanks.


The Diva attacked the swingset.


The swingset struck back.

Ah, winter.

Before you those of you in southerly climes get too jealous of our 8 inches, know that we'll be in the single digits for high temps by Wednesday and into negative numbers at night.

Still, romping in the snow hasn't lost its joy yet. Check back in February.

bloodletting, an update

For those who think I scared the pants off of too many potential blood donors with this post, this is what my arm looks like today, 24 hours after successfully donating blood:


The light purple marks are from the marker the tech marks the vein with and no amount of scrubbing seems to make it go away.

In all, it was mostly painless, which is as it should be.

Plus, I got a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin' Donuts' coffee, which proves that I can be bought relatively cheaply. Or, at least, my bodily fluids can be bought relatively cheaply.

qotd, knitters do what now? edition

From Cory Doctorow's writerly advice column in January's Locus Magazine*:

Leave yourself a rough edge

When you hit your daily word-goal, stop. Stop even if you're in the middle of a sentence. Especially if you're in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you sit down at the keyboard the next day, your first five or ten words are already ordained, so that you get a little push before you begin your work. Knitters leave a bit of yarn sticking out of the day's knitting so they know where to pick up the next day — they call it the "hint." Potters leave a rough edge on the wet clay before they wrap it in plastic for the night — it's hard to build on a smooth edge.

So - my question for the knitters: do any of you know what he's talking about? Do any of you do this? Do any of you call it a "hint?"

Doctorow's reference is the first time I've come across this, frankly, and I'm wondering if there's some great technique I'm missing out on or if a knitter near Doctorow has been feeding him the fuzzy end of the wool.


* For whom I also write. I'd also like to make it clear that I am not dissing Cory D. While I've not met him in person, all of my contact with him has been swell. No scorn is implied nor intended.

ice day

This morning, we woke to a town covered in ice. Big fun.

So, rather than post something that requires real thought, some pictures of pretty things, which were taken last weekend when we went to Rochester's Strong Museum of Play.*

Like butterflies:



And butterflies on flowers:


And just flowers:


Cory met a kindred spirit:


And Elmo, Cory and Grover got a glimpse of what Maddy will be like in 10 years:



* which is, imo, the best kids' museum ever. Yes, there are gizmos and gadgets and toys and projects. But what I love about the museum is how they connect imagination with reading and enjoyment. Also, there is a butterfly enclosure. How can you not love a butterfly enclosure?