Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Ugly Yarn and Weekends

After much deliberation and wondering what to do with my oh so ugly yarn, I did frog the first project and started a plain sock with said yarn. After having knit awhile, I began to see that a pattern is emerging, which is fortunate. It’s still not beautiful, but the leaning stripes being created at least prevent the aforementioned look of banana split stomach flu and should make an acceptable non-present present for my aunt, who is much less picky than I am, and is pretty much willing to wear most things that are hand-knit, whether they are things of beauty or not. (Her grammar, punctuation and sentence structure are also better than mine.) Granted, she’ll probably save these for wear with her Uggs, but at least they will be worn.

Since I know there are people on the edge of their seats about this (not joking), I’m still not certain as to whether or not I’ll be able to vote. I sent in the application, they replied that I needed to supply them with a county. We (aforementioned aunt) wrote in the county where I grew up and resent. I did receive a fax saying that my application had been successfully received, but that doesn’t tell me if I can vote or not. This leaves me wondering if and when I’ll find out. In the meantime, I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking and have made my decision, so at least I know who I’ll be voting for. I’m not going to say here since I don’t need another blog with political discussions. I have enough of those thanksmuchly.

Today I feel like singing Christmas Carols. I don’t know if it’s because I’m just in a good mood because all of my work is done and my 4 day weekend starts in less than 2 hours or if it’s because it looks like the closest thing to a white Christmas in California outside today. It’s still very much autumn here. The leaves are colourful and falling rapidly, it’s raining and foggy outside (fog=white Christmas, anyone from Central California will tell you that) and it’s chilly. Perfect, in my humble opinion. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the sun of late, but it’s time for it to get cold enough for me to feel like being inside. It was sunny last Sat. morning and the wonderful rays of sunshine in my living room served to highlight that all of my cleaning efforts from the previous evening were completely pointless because my apartment is a dust mote infested hole in which one could grow potatoes in various nooks and crannies. In short, I really need to get a good cleaning in. Not that it’s going to do so much good seeing as how I live in a 100 year old farm house right underneath the not so hermetically sealed hayloft, but at least I’ll feel better about it. I’ll have tried, made the effort, gone the extra mile and all that.

After cleaning, because this is such and intelligent thing to do since baking never involves mess, I intend to make the next batch of Christmas cookies for freezing. I’ve already got 5 sticks of Ginger Snap dough in my freezer and I want to do the Chocolate Swirls this weekend. At this rate, if I do one batch of cookies a weekend, I’ll have 8 sorts made by the beginning of Dec. I also only have one pair of socks and a pair of hand warmers to do and I’ll be finished with all my Christmas knitting. Then there’s a rather larger sewing project I need to finish, plus cards and packages and then Christmas can come. It’s Oct. I should finish on time. Please to be remembering that I have to have Christmas finished by the beginning of Dec. or various packages will not arrive in time. Stressed? Me? Never. But before anyone says I shouldn’t stress about it, these are things I WANT to do. I know I don’t have to, but I would be disappointed with myself if I didn’t. I’m sure that will change as I get older, but right now, I’m not willing to give it all up. It’s part of the fun.

Whatever I do this weekend, I plan on enjoying it. I hope you all have a good one too!

Friday, 17 October 2008

Rats

I recently bought some sock yarn (oh quelle surprise!). It’s very pretty sock yarn of nice soft colours, mostly beiges and yellows with some light blue mixed in. I was certain this yarn was going to make beautiful socks, as had the same yarn in a different colour. It looked pretty and perfect and was going to make a great Christmas gift for my unrelated cousin/aunt, don’t ask, it’s difficult.

See? Doesn't it look purty?


So I found a pattern, got out the yarn and started knitting. Oh the shock. Oh the disappointment. I think I can say that this yarn is without a doubt some of the ugliest yarn I’ve ever purchased. The yellows are banana yellow, the blues a minty colour and the beiges are brown and altogether, they look like someone ate a banana split with blue sprinkles and then, well, didn’t keep it down. I am so disappointed. However, the very small optimist in me (you know, the one that makes Tom Thumb look like Hagrid?) says that maybe it will be ok in another pattern, one with more stockinet stitch in it. This particular pattern has a lot of purl stitch, so maybe with something else it will be much, much better. I hope so since I optimistically bought 2 skeins of it. The optimist in me just shrank to microscopic proportions. Oh well, live and learn.

In other news, thanks to Mary Lou over at the Yarnerina’s, I might actually be able to vote. OK, she didn’t actually make that happen, but she did kind of nudge me to take another look at the voting regulations. To my surprise, either I was fed inaccurate information or things have changed in the last 15 years and I should be able to vote! I’ve sent in what I think is the proper form and am hoping it works. It would be nice to be able to vote, especially as it would be the first time in 16 year. I’ve only ever voted in one presidential election, which the first after my 18th and the last before I moved overseas. I did try and vote in the one they told me I would still be eligible for, but they failed to send me my ballot and the embassy was very unhelpful. I did eventually get the ballot…several days after the president was sworn in. So basically, I’m very excited that I might actually get to vote. I’ve now got a lot of reading to do before the 4th.

Knitting, oh yes, that little thing. It’s very unexciting. I’ve been going through a handwamer phase and these are the results thus far:
Ionian
Ravenclaw


Evangeline

These are two hats I did for down and out people in Canada. They'll be going off to Zoom soon just as soon as I get one or two more things done to put in the package.

And finally, my latest pair of Journey Cables which I LOVE. I love the yarn, I love the pattern, I love the finished product and I love the person who's getting them. The perfect project.

Oh, and because I love fall, a gratuitous picture of the yard where I live

Thursday, 9 October 2008

USLO

People, I’m not usually one for the gloom and doom scare tactics used by an increasing number of organizations out there, but I really think that there are times when they are truly necessary. I’m telling you this so you can save yourselves before it’s too late. People, there is a new threat in the world. At the moment, the greatest threat is still confined to localized forces, but the threat is growing at a rapid pace. The attacks are becoming more violent as each day passes and should become international news any day now. Can you not guess what it is? Have you not got your eyes open when you walk out the door? Seriously people. Look around you and be afraid. Be very afraid. The United Squirrel Liberation Organisation has hatched a diabolical plan to take over the world. Although come to think of it, we might be better off if we just let them. McCain or a squirrel. Banks or hollow trees. Hmmm…which sounds better to you?

Have you evidence of this plot you ask? Of course I do! Just take a walk in your local forest and witness it first hand! Once upon a time, a squirrel collecting nuts on the ground would see you and then run up a tree and hide. Then, a few years ago, they began running up a tree not to hide, but to scream at you. The younger generation took this a step further by not actually running the first chance they got, but by stopping to stick their tongues out at you before running up a tree and letting you have a verbal bashing. They found this tactic so successful that they started mocking and taunting you and your dogs prior to height and verbal expression of their dissatisfaction of your presence in what is clearly their home. This was all acceptable people, but now, now they have begun to actively attack. I should have known it was coming after the disturbing story about a single squirrel attacking 3 people before having its head bashed in by an 80 year old man with a cane. I should have seen then that they were planning something more aggressive, but failed. They learned from Alvin’s mayherestinpeace failure and have since graduated to using weapons in their attacks. This gives them the advantage of being able to hurt you from a distance, which, in turn, minimizes the chance that a feisty 80 year old will whack them to death before they complete their mission. Their weapons? Their paws. Ammo? Acorns and pine cones. They have now started bombing poor, unsuspecting wanderers in the woods as they ramble through the forest. It’s terrible I tell you!

Now, I can hear you thinking that, while uncomfortable, an acorn thrown at your head from a distance of 20 feet or so is not going to kill anyone. But their plan is cleverer than just that. They don’t actually intend injury as such, rather they just intend to give us headaches and watch us destroy ourselves from within. Politicians, who obviously aren’t over endowed in the intelligence department anyway, will wind up with headaches that prevent them from making important decisions effecting countries on all continents. Governments will collapse internally from lack of thought, preparation and action. They will no longer be able to support the people who voted for them and the squirrels will then whip in and overtake all politicians who have ever appeared in the news. They plan on tying them up to trees naked and pelting them with nuts and pinecones until they are dead or come up with enough peanut butter to make sandwiches for all squirrels across the globe. (Frankly speaking, I want front row tickets to that event. Better than football any day.) Then once the politicians are gone, they will replace all world currencies with acorns making themselves some of the riches entities whoever lived on the planet earth. After all, they’ve spent years hoarding nuts and are a heck of a lot better at saving than humans are. Humans, except for peanut farmers, will have to bow down to the squirrels and beg for mercy. We will be exactly where they want us, broken and sad, no longer able to conjure up the energy to ramble through their forests and step on their food. They will control all and humans will be subjugated to their every wish. Oak trees will become the new mints and castles with moats will be erected to protect them. Little squirrel F├╝rsts will appear on the scene forcing humans to collect acorns and keeping three quarters of the profits for themselves leaving the humans destitute with lives that are no longer worth living. It will be the end of the human race as we know it.

Be afraid people. Be very afraid. They are closer than you think.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Since a couple of people have commented...

Yes, the following pictures are from this weekend. As a matter of fact, I spent Sunday sitting under this tree (Walnut), and will do so again this weekend if it's sunny. Things really are nice right now. Cool enough to be comfortable in the sun, but very sunny. We have had a few clouds and a little rain, but you all know that doesn't bother me. The trees are close to going into full change now and it's beautiful. I do so love the autumn (yeah, I might have mentioned that before, but it really does make me happy).