Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Book Rant #11: Words

I am in my thirties. The only time I have ever come across the phrase make time was in Catcher in the Rye. I have never encountered a person of my generation using that term. Instead we use such phrases as: making a move, hooking up, making a play for, and so on. So, in a book published in 2003, if woman who is supposed to be in my age range asked a guy why he was trying to make time with her friend I would expect first, to learn that she had a fetish for fifties slang and second, for the person she was talking to to comment on the phrasing.
Obviously I don't know if this phrase was the author's choice or some strange editorial substitution, but stuff like this is so distracting. (And okay this book is not otherwise grabbing me at the moment, but I feel like possibly a generation check needs to be done on some of these books.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cable and Other Guys #3

Since I whined about Comcast last time, it only seems fair that I share my most recent experience. My job is changing to a virtual position and as such my company is providing me internet access through Comcast. Our appointments were scheduled - mine was for the afternoon. Except that this morning about 9:30 the guy called to ask if I was home. I told him I had been told I was 1pm to 5pm so no, but I could get home in an hour. He graciously agreed to wait. He appeared, set up my internet (and cable since my apartment only supports one provider at a time), made sure the connections worked even though the router was not provided by Comcast and then politely left. It was a great experience.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Things That Make Me Smile

In a crazy week that is part of a crazy month I have been in a bit of a funk. So this morning I was trying to find the bright sides, and I heard this story on NPR. It is the story of a mother and son who attended college together. The son has cerebral palsy that makes reading and writing difficult, so his mother attended classes with him and transcribed her notes so that he could listen to them as a review later.
He will graduate this month, in part due to the assistance and perseverance of his mother who made sure he had tools and resources that would work for him. Congratulations to them both.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Two Finales

As I watched the (sniff!) last episodes of "Veronica Mars" I found the story arcs an interesting comparison to "Grey's Anatomy". In both cases, the stories cycled around to - as Shonda put it - burn everything down and get us - in many ways - back to the beginning.
In "Grey's": Meredith started off having a mother - who didn't appreciate her much to begin with - who was slowly slipping away. In other words - she had no one, except her friends/co-workers. Then she got back in touch with her dad, ended up with two sisters (although they didn't know about her for most of the season), and a fake mom in the guise of her father's wife. Of course real mom died, fake mom died, dad shoved her away. So she was back alone. Except she still has this hospital family.
In "Veronica": We first met Veronica - daughter of the former sheriff, ex-girlfriend of a rich and popular guy, dead best friend, and now outcast after people disapproved of her father's handling of said friend's murder case. She also garnered an undeserved reputation as a slut after being roofied and fed shots at a party. All alone. And then, over the seasons, she solved the friend's murder, gathered together a new (and old) band of friends, and her father was named acting sheriff. And then, a sexy video taken in her boyfriend's dorm room ended up with her as the one talked about instead of talked to and her investigation into the culprits had her bending some rules that put her father's job into jeopardy.
But next fall - we will only get to see the next chapter of one of these stories.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tomato and other WIPs

Yeah, so I cast on for Tomato last week - it's been an at home project since it's top down so the first bit is where all the stuff happens and I didn't want to tote the book around with me. (This is another No Sheep pattern.)

Tomato in Progress
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I love the Blue Sky cotton, it is so soft and yummy. I know some people find the yarn a bit hard on their hands, and I found that the first time I used it but I have gotten better at using needles that are nicer, watching my gauge, and taking breaks - and - knock on wood - things have been good this time.
The color-work is very subtle right now - which I like. However, this is organic green, which I understand may deepen with washings, so we shall see.
No pictures, but I did restart the Diagonal Triangle Tank. I am facing my fears, because it is such a great portable project.
I am also working on a little something something with Lamb's Pride Bulky. We shall see how it goes.

Blue Wool
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.


In my current metro commuting state, I have been looking at the difference in how my commute is when I drive, compared to taking public transit. For many years, I resisted using public transit because of the cost. And the amount of time. And the restrictions - it would be more difficult to run errands. And yet. I am really enjoying commuting this way. Why? Knitting and reading. I can knit and read and read and knit. Now, I make no promises that all of this won't fall by the wayside after a few code red, ninety plus degree days. But, for now, I am enjoying it.
A comparison. Morning commute.
Travel time
Car: 30-45 minutes
Metro: 45- 60 minutes
Car: About $2 (parking at work is free)
Metro: Depending on route $1.25 - $4.35
Car: 4 pages (only at stoplights)
Metro: About 75 pages
Car: None
Metro: Some
Now going home tends to take longer on both fronts. And obviously the increased money adds up. As does the increased travel time. And I recognize there is a bit of irony in choosing a commuting method that takes longer because I can read or knit more, whereas if I got home sooner, I could read or knit on my own couch. But I have determined, that now - when I drive in, I suddenly remember how frustrating other drivers are as they cut in front of me, slow down for no apparent reason and do all that other fun stuff. Which is to say, I am in a better mood upon arrival at work when I metro in. So, right now, that seems way worth it.

Books: Further Stories of Public Emotion

I was reading Ready or Not by Meg Cabot on the metro, and I have to tell you that I giggled - many times. Okay, giggling isn't horrible or anything, but the metro in the morning is a fairly sober place. And not being a morning person, I get this and try to respect it. But as any of you who have read Meg Cabot know, it tends to build to a funnier and funnier crescendo and it's far enough into the book that I won't tell you what happened except to say - I found it hilarious.
I finished the book up on the ride home and fortunately got most of the must giggle bits out of the way before the bus arrived. Of course, on the ride home, the bus is a noisy place - everyone on their cell phones or chatting away, so it is less noticeable.
Clearly, I enjoyed this book. It is the sequel to All-American Girl - which I had already read, although there's enough differentiation in the storyline that prequel knowledge is helpful but not required. But Meg Cabot is right - she should be banned. I mean they ban just about every other book aimed at high schoolers or with high schoolers that so much as mentions sex, so certainly, this book would qualify.
Not that I am for book banning, and I know there's been some discussion over on Cabot's site on how banning might adversely impact some readers, but I'm with Meg - it doesn't seem quite fair.
Perhaps those who enjoy book banning are unaware of the subversive (snerk) nature of this book. In which case - let's not tell.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lost Knitting

Diamond Triangle Tank
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

My poor partially finished first triangle has gone missing. The DTT, as it prefers to be called, was placed into my bag as I headed out Wednesday morning to work. I usually don't knit on the ride in, but like the knitting close by for conference calls throughout the day and for part of the ride home. DTT was still there at the Cleveland Park Metro and I'm pretty sure DTT was still resting on the train as well. However when I arrived at work in Rockville, DTT was nowhere to be found. I am very sad, I have alerted the authorities and hope that DTT makes it safely back.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Poor Veronica

If you have been dilly dallying in your plans to tune into "Veronica Mars", sadly next Tuesday's episode will be your last shot. The story of a teenager whose life was flipped on its head after her best friend was murdered, who channeled that energy into helping out with her dad's detective agency, and slowly, over three seasons investigated deaths, rapes, thefts, missing parents, and other cases, will not return next season.
Thank you so much to all the people who worked to bring us such a great show, and may you be blessed with other wonderful opportunities to show off your skills.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Diagonal Triangle Tank

As I mentioned, I was seduced by the fumes, and overwhelmed by the need to have a Triangle Tank of my very own, despite the pattern's tongue twistiness. I found this Regal Silk yarn and cast on Sunday.

Diamond Triangle Tank
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I am really enjoying how in modular knitting there are better milestones to help you feel like you are making progress. What's that I hear? Stop knitting in the round then? Um, no.
While I recognize that knitting fronts and backs separately would help give me faster milestones, I feel certain that - for me - it would lead to orphan fronts and backs lying about. And while that is little different than lonely top bits or lonely bottom bits, it works for me. And I don't like sewing and try to avoid it. Sure, people say you have better fit control with pieces, but there's nothing to say you can't dart or seam a piece knit in the round, should the need arise. (Or re-knit, but I don't like doing that either).
But back to the tank. I love knitting with this silk. The ply is just loose enough that you want to be cautious not to poke a needle through it and cause fuzzy bits (and/or split stitches). I'm using the Denise Interchangeables, so less of a worry. (And really, I poke myself enough. I do not need sharper.)
I heard tell that later there are some tricksy bits in the pattern, so I shall let you know, but so far - very good.

The Customer is Grossed Out

So, about a week ago I treated myself to a manicure and pedicure. It had been quite a while. I returned to a place I had been to a time or two before, although my recollection is that those visits occurred during football season. The place has flatscreens up on the wall, and I recall sports coverage playing which was nice for me.
Well, this time, they had the Discovery Channel on. Now, I know Discovery and its brethren have some great, wonderful, and or educational shows. While I was there is was a show that might as well have been called, "Gross Stuff". There were people eating all sorts of unusual animals, people having bad reactions to eating such things, basically it was a giant gross out. And I wonder if this is wise. When your customers are all going, "Oh yuck" and worried about their kids freaking out, surely there is something else you could put on instead - whether a tame movie (although most movies run mid-day have been quite cropped) or a more traditional cooking show, or a design show. Sure, they won't appeal to everyone, but they won't disgust anyone either. (Well, unless they really hate Rachel Ray or something.)

Monday, May 14, 2007

Got Tagged!

Michele tagged me.
Seven Random Things about me:
1. I have only lived in one state. Everywhere else I've lived was not a state.
2. I have had eleven desks in the not quite ten years I have worked for my current company. (It will be twelve this summer, since they are shutting down our office.)
3. I read constantly and I read everything. Seriously, if I am in your bathroom without reading material, I will read the back of your shampoo bottle. I was loads of fun on car trips as a child.
4. I cannot read books in moving cars. Stationary cars - no problem. Which means, if I drove in and got a lot of reading done, traffic was really bad.
5. I grew up thinking that since I loved kids, I was going to have one. In my current state of mind, I have realized there are many things I can do for and with kids that don't include birthing them.
6. If I won the lottery, I would still work. But I might change careers, move to non-profit or try my hand at being a writer. I might still do those things - I just have to approach it differently what with my need for shoes, books, and yarn.
7. I love television. I have about 25 season passes on my Tivo and see nothing wrong with taking entertainment seriously. There are book clubs - no reason people shouldn't gather to have discussions about television also.

W Tank

So, I finished the W tank Sunday. Interesting story, I was knitting Sunday outside of Starbucks, and a woman who had sat down at the next table started asking me about my knitting. She was from Norway where knitting is common. I told her that knitting was popular here, but not so prevalent that I would say common, but certainly it has seen an upsurge in the last few years.

W tank - straps
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

Anyhoo - despite knowing better, I did not pick up two for every three stitches along the bottom for the garter stitch hem. (I also discovered, I am not so good at doing garter stitch in the round.) So, I ended up with what I am calling a design feature of a flared bottom.

W tank - straps
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

While the medium fits great width wise, I found the straps were a bit shorter than I wanted - they would have fit, but the V would have been quite high. More than likely, this is because I used a smaller needle so that I could get a tighter fabric (no cami required). So, I added ten rows of garter to each strap.

W tank - straps
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

Pattern: Knitty's W Tank
Yarn: Brooks Farm Solano
Needles; Denise Interchangeables, size 6

I'm a Swatch

Yes, a LYS - Woolwinders sent out a plea for swatchers. One of their orders came a little early and so they held a Swatch-a-thon and promised hands on peak at the new stuff plus a discount on any purchases. Well, despite having spent a bit at that festival thing, I am unable to resist a discount plus a chance to play with new yarn.
In order to try and demonstrate some self control, I arrived early so I could purchase first. (heh).

Yarn shopping
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I bought something for a swap, so no news on that for a bit. And I bought some Koigu for my collection. And then I ran into the Blue Sky organic cotton (in Sage, Sand and Pebble), which just happens to be the called for yarn for Tomato from No Sheep for You. (I know, me using the called for yarn, when was the last time that happened?)

Blue Sky Organic Cotton also
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

So then I hunkered down to swatch. I selected Cascade's new Nikki yarn. It is a great yarn. 100% Wool, but very smooth. It reminds me a bit of Manos in that it is a chunky weight, but the width varies a bit. It is hard to tell from the picture on their site, but the yarn changes gradually so that when wound into a yarn cake the center was dark green and then it moves to lighter green and then yellow. It made me a bit sad to not get to the yellow. (I'll just have to buy some.)
Hearing (and seeing) of several Diamond tanks in progress, I caved. (I had wanted to participate all along, but the first Sunday Salon I was out of town.) So, I bought some gorgeous Artyarns Regal Silk.

Artyarns Regal Silk also
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Look - My Square!

The second blanket from the Grandmother Purl project, has arrived!
And look - that's my square - the light green one two over from the edge! See - here it was before it's big trip. And okay, it's clearly not about me. But I'm so happy that my little square has found some friends so that it can go off and provide love and warmth for someone else.

Knitting Meme

I found a knitting meme and couldn't resist.
Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.
I had a brief debate for what to do for stuff I have started but, you know, not technically completed, and decided to count that in the bold column. I have done it. The rules say nothing about finishing or even successfully doing it. I did add a tilde to things that hadn't been on the radar but were possibilities.

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch

Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up (I know. I caved.)
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down ~
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL

Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn

Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn ~
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end/twined knitting ~
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn

Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items

Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting ~
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money ~
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting

Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn

Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting

Teaching a [person of a different gender] to knit ~ [I have re-worded this, so that may not have been the original intent, but it bugged.]
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn

Knitting art ~
Knitting two [socks] on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting ~
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegated yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items

Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn

Writing a pattern
Gloves ~
Intarsia ~
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies ~
Tubular CO ~
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets ~
Knitting with dog/cat hair ~
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

What have you learned to do that has marked a definite change in your knitting life?
Well, I guess the long tail cast on. I kept using backward loop because it made sense, and for a lot of projects it works really well, but there are times - like a hat edge, where you want a crisper edge. Also, the Russian style bind off (if the purl manner) used in the Tuscany shawl was great.
But overall I would say learning that even great knitters have projects that fail, so recognizing that as long as the knitting was fun, well, the end product is gravy. Otherwise I could just buy stuff.

Thanks to Extravayarnza for the meme.

Book Banning in Maryland

I saw that Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War was banned in Maryland over on AS IF!. Now I initially thought I had read The Chocolate War (TCW) but, after further inspection it appears my Cormier list has a hole. (I was confusing it with I am the Cheese. The AS IF! entry references a myspace blog which I can't access, but I did find this article in the Sun that provided more info. There are some interesting comments on the AS IF! blog, in particular a parent who is concerned because it is in her third grader's classroom and I want to weigh in with the following.
I am sure we all agree that third grade and ninth grade are very different, so even though I brought it up, I am putting that aspect to the side. (My blog.)
The book was being read as part of a curriculum on life as a teen, and TCW was included as it looks as forms of bullying and peer pressure. Now the parents are concerned about vulgar language including some homophobic slurs. I am unfamiliar with the associated curriculum but it would seem to me this would be a perfect opportunity to discuss the fact that it is still common for men and boys to taunt each other by calling each other gay. Just as high schoolers are capable of understanding that terms used in Huckleberry Finn are considered unacceptable today, they are able to grasp the context. (Although I would argue that taunting classmates about being gay seems to be sadly contemporary).
Now maybe the curriculum had not allowed for such discussion, and maybe the teachers were not as familiar with the book and so pulled it so they could better evaluate it's positioning. And while I am okay with that, it still gets me itchy thinking that a high schooler can't read a book and figure out what behavior in it is okay to emulate. This is not to say I think people are perfect by high school or that they can read anything they want regardless of what their parents say, but I really think this is such a small thing compared to the really subversive stuff. But on the bright side, apparently library requests for the book have shot up.


The Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (UUCA) is hosting an LBGT prom - info at Itsaprom. As the info states, while UUCA is a sponsor, the event itself is not a religious or religiously affiliated event (aka no proselytizing). The prom is open to teens of any sexual orientation or affiliation, but it's intent is to provide a prom where homosexual, bi-sexual, transgendered and asexual teens - and their allies of course - are welcome and accepted.
As with other proms, drugs, alcohol and sex will not be permitted at the event.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

More on My Knitterly Weekend

In addition to trekking out to the festival, and despite some killer allergy symptoms that joined me Saturday, there was quite a bit of knitting.
I pulled out some Louisa Harding Fauve I had purchased at an LYS a while back - it was on sale and it was pretty. Using the Chinese Waves stitch, I knit up a little card case, that will likely end up a Mother's Day present (if I ever mail it.)

Card Case
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

Then, having fun with the yarn, I cast on for a headband much like the To Have and To Hold one featured on "Knitty Gritty". I cast on before I did my festival planning pattern sorting, so I thought I didn't have the pattern handy (oops) so I made one up, using garter, garter double wrap, and woven stitches.

Player Headband
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I intentionally knit it a bit narrower than the player, figuring the stretch would compensate for that. This may come back to bite me by causing the headband to stretch faster. We shall see. I tested it out yesterday and it worked nicely. My player is on the bulkier side, but I have thick enough hair that it covers the bump pretty well. If you have finer hair, you may want to wear your hair up so as to clarify that the bump is not a strange growth.
And I also made some progress on the Queen of Cups. Note the lovely stitch marker!

I did a little work on the Queen Lilu'uo wrap (pareo?), but it looks pretty much the same.
And then, overcome by the yarn fumes - or was that just the sinus headache? - I had to do something with the Brooks Farm Yarn. So. I cast on for the W tank - from Knitty.

W Tank
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I love this pattern! For some reason, knitting in this manner seems to make the progress more visible, it's very reassuring. The pattern is beautifully written (I had a brief brain freeze trying to figure out the transition to the last wedge for side one, but I think that was me more than anything. Even though I took both these pictures with just natural light, the close up is a better representation of the color way.

W Tank - Close up
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

This Solana yarn has been great to knit with. I went down several needle sizes to make a tighter fabric, but I still think this will likely require a camisol underneath. (Not a problem.) And the yarn (and the tank) is so pretty. I am starting to think this project would be a great first knit.

Book Rave #7: Those Same Sweet Girls

I perhaps need to stop reading in public. (Um, sure, that'll happen.) But my current standard for must share this book is if I potentially embarrass myself in public reading it. I picked up The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King at some sort of chain store deal. I had not previously heard of either the book or the author, but the back cover about a group of long time female friends sounded good.
I read the first bit in fits and starts so while it felt slow, that was really my distraction at work. Oh, this book was so good. These friends who all met in college now gather twice a year, and the story starts just before a gathering. I was prepped at the beginning for all this now to fade back into big long flashbacks, but it didn't. (Kudos!) There are some stories to give you a sense of their relationships and connections and there even is a flashback for one of the characters, but for the most part it is firmly rooted in the now. Yes, they have lots of history, yes, enough is explained that you understand their history. Yes, they talk to each other like real friends. They are even friends like real long term friends.
The points of view remain with only a few of the friends, but I still feel there was enough information. And as with the best books, I kept wanting more. More time with these great folks, more info, more back story, more. With the water main breaks, my getting home bus was running a bit slow so I hit the end of the book while standing at the Silver Spring metro, and I had to stop and think happy thoughts so I wouldn't cry in front of all my fellow bus patrons. A really great read.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Maryland Sheep & Wool

Well, I made my first ever foray out to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival Saturday. Unlike my usual yarn forays, I tried to be a bit methodical this time. In preparation I pulled a bunch of patterns I had been thinking about and wrote down the yarn requirements, the idea being when a skein called to me I could buy it in appropriate quantities instead of ending up with a bunch of beautiful skeins suitable only for little scarves (not that there's anything wrong with that). I also made a budget. (I have accepted that I have no ability to stick to a budget when presented with pretty stuff, but I do better when I start with a budget than when I don't. Budgets are like patterns, they are guidelines.)
And then I arrived and experienced that overwhelming feeling where the first booth (okay, the second, the first didn't really speak to me) is filled with all this gorgeous stuff but you also know there are all these other booths and so while you could blow the whole budget right here, right now, wouldn't it suck if the really good stuff you can only find here was just around the corner, but would it suck more if this turned out to be the best booth and you were just lucky enough to hit it first and this is why shopping can be hard work people!
So I went to another booth and discovered for some reason ocean colorways in sock weight yarn seemed to be calling me. Except what was I going to make with that? I had a pattern on my list for some DK stuff, but the yardage made these pretty skeins a little too dear. So, I decided perhaps food was in order.
Except apparently so did all these other people, and the line was so long as to convince me checking one more booth would in no way slow me down. And then...I went into a booth - Brooks Farm Yarn (I left the tag at home - I promise to update the who later - they were from Texas). They had gorgeous skeins. Long skeins. Pretty skeins. Skinny skeins. Skeins with silk. And all of a sudden I was overcome by orange.

Orangey Yarn
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

And color ways with red, and orange and yellow. I pet many yarns, but managed to limit myself to some gorgeous wool/silk blend (Four Play) in the aforementioned color way as well as some straight orange.

Blue Yarn
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I returned to my oceanic roots and grabbed some superwash (Solana)too. And really that was the end (or the start) of my budget. (More pics later, the superwash is already in action, on the needles.)
Then - lunch. I had some lamb - yes all the food seemed lamb-oriented which was thematic if not also a bit ironic.
And then I hit more booths including the All About Yarn booth. I hadn't yet made it to their shop, but it is now officially on my to do list. Oh, the pretty. (It was here, that overcome by the pretty, despite holding three skeins in my arms, I reached out and pet the yarn that someone else was holding. Fortunately, she understood.)
After serious color debate, I ended up with two skeins of silk and one of linen - all Claudia.

Silk and Linen Yarn
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I'm not sure if they will work for the pattern they are theoretically intended, but they are so pretty. After leaving here, it was clear that I had done enough damage to the pocketbook for one day and needed to work my way back to my car.
I will have to plan better next year, because based on the list of vendors I missed some great stuff, but it was a great trip and for free admission, I think it was more than worth it.

Friday, May 04, 2007

I Know!

I once had a discussion with a (male) friend who stated the one of the differences* between men and women was that women considered getting something free after buying something else saving money whereas men considered not spending money saving money. I'm not sure it breaks down across gender lines quite so cleanly (especially when we start talking about flatscreen TVs and such), but it was food for thought.

*Nature/Nurture - we can discuss that part later.

Not for the Squeamish

I am typically live and let live, out side the confines of my living space, but I am so glad I didn't walk this way last night. Muzzle of Bees.

Dear Folks #10

Dear Folks,
I so appreciate that the sidewalks along 16th Street are getting some attention. However when the sign announcing that the sidewalk is closed is placed mid-block, I know you don't seriously expect that I will jaunt across the busy street. So perhaps, you might want to place signs warning pedestrians of upcoming construction at places where it is, you know, safe and legal to cross the street.
Concerned Pedestrian

Dear Folks,
I understand that with the bus being sardine packed, that you are concerned about getting out of the bus at the appropriate stop. However, since said stop is at a metro and therefore a large disembarkation point, I assure you that quite a lot of us will be getting off the bus. So, it is not that we do not hear you telling us you need to get out, it is that we thought perhaps waiting for the bus to stop and open its doors would help all of us better get out or out of other's ways.
Not Deaf Passenger

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tuscany Shawl - Completed

The Tuscany Shawl has been completed!

Tuscany Shawl 1
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

It was a joy to knit. It's a pattern (with a chart, and I have a fear of charts) that was incredibly easy to knit and by the second repeat or so, I had the pattern in my head such that I dangerously stopped counting rows. (I may have misplaced my post-it also, but that is neither here nor there.)
I was worried about doing a pointy shawl from the bottom up, a way that seems designed to taunt victims of starter-itis, but it was fun and easy and relaxing. Having the wrong side rows be simple read your knitting rows, made this a great multi-tasking knit.

Tuscany Shawl 2
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

I ended up binding of halfway through the final pattern repeat because I was paranoid the last ball was dwindling quickly. It's still plenty long, and I'm sure when I block it it'll bloom a smidge more.
I had the mercerized cotton on hand (right gauge and everything, it seemed meant) but would love to try this again with the silk in a bolder color, since I think the silk will have a really gorgeous drape.

Tuscany Shawl 3
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

The Details:
Pattern: Tuscany Shawl from No Sheep For You
Needles: Denise Interchangeables #6 - With the pink cording!
Yarn: 5 balls of Elann Sonata in Gray Slate (mercerized cotton) - 115 yards per ball

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Book Rant #10 - HIPAA

I understand that people find it confusing that the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is referred to as HIPAA yet pronounced much like those large mammals that hang out in the water. But, unlike hippoes, HIPAA only has one P - for Portability. Now, I work in benefits and I know people here who get it mixed up. But, if your character is supposed to have worked all her life in hospitals and clinics, I figure by now she's got it sorted. Sure, the act has only been around since the '90s, but really it had a huge impact on how folks in the medical profession had to handle information so it's the kind of thing that would stick. Really.

Gnome Hosting

It has come to my attention that there is a gnome, two even, traveling about and in need of places to stay. Since the gnome is small, I am happily able to host him in my crackerbox studio apartment and show him some of the lovely sites in the area. I also feel fairly sure there are no gnome/cat issues I need to worry about. As with any good guest, the gnome comes with gifts for his host(ess) and needs to leave in the same manner.
All of this to say, I have gotten another button.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Knitting Updates

I finished the Woven Stitch Scarf. Well, okay, I haven't fixed the ends, but I did bind off.

Woven Scarf - Finished
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.

The Tuscany Scarf is still going strong.
To honor the Queen Lili'uokalani yarn, I chose the foaming waves stitch, as you can see here.

And I couldn't resist casting on with the Jaeger yarn last night. I'm going to modify the Queen of Cups pattern and make it fingerless glove/wristwarmers.

Queen of Cups - just cast on
Originally uploaded by RandomRanter.