Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Decisions, decisions

So the question now facing me is this: Is it better like this;

or this;

or this?

I figure it will be called the fish sweater, for some reason! I thought about having some of the fish face the other direction, but the eye is not centered. Someone would be making comments that some of the fish are floating upside down which means they are dead.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


I've still not finished this little double-breasted sweater for Justin. Murphy's Law seems to be ahead right now.

First decision was to skip buttonholes, as I figured odd-shaped buttons = bad idea for a toddler.

So I sewed in large snaps. I must have been distracted on the first snap, as the second half was in backwards, so it wouldn't close. The sweater fabric wasn't heavy enough to part the snaps (found that out after they were attached.)

Next I sewed in snap tape. First time through the white of the tape showed up and down the edge. Fixed that.

Then I realized that the sweater is heavy enough that you really can't feel to close these small snaps under the sweater fabric.

Last night I decided to make this into a pullover! Sewed one button and whipped the two front neck edges together.

Today I thought about taking last night's progress out and making another change. I'm afraid that if I do, this poor sweater will continue to be modified and modified, never fixed. EEK!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The face of knitting

When I started knitting, the options seemed to be:
1. fiber -- wool, cotton, angora, mohair and fibers we'd now count as acrylics;
2. weight -- worsted, sport, baby
3. cost -- can I afford to make that?
4. availability -- can I find it locally?

Now I see people have many other concerns:
1. What is the carbon footprint of the yarn?
2. How were the animals treated whose fibers make up the yarn?
3. How green is the yarn?
3a. Is the yarn as bio-friendly as implied?

Most of us don't worry as to whether we can find it locally, the internet makes it possible to order from around the world. All we need to do is a Google search, then off we go.

Cost is still a factor for most of us. We knit because we enjoy it, not because of any illusion that we are going to have something cheaper than can be purchased at the local discount store.

Weights now vary from laceweight (many different sizes) up to super bulky. Knitters choice.

The choices in fibers have grown too.

I want to knit a ... (fill in the object of your choice) is not always a simple matter any more. Each knitter chooses what is important and buys what seems right at that time.

I'm glad for the options available.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sorry Bill

funny pictures moar humorous pics
We didn't have a shower in the house until we had lived in Utah for a few years. Mom and Dad had one installed in the basement. During that period of time they seem to have been installed in a lot of laundry rooms instead of bathrooms, just as this one was. The house didn't have a lot of water pressure. It was really easy to annoy the person in the shower by turning on hot water upstairs. So convenient if they had annoyed you... Actually there was a perverse joy in listening to my brother bellow to turn off the hot water. I don't remember doing it to Annette and wouldn't have done it to my parents. But I do remember doing it to Bill. This photo from brings it all back.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Skunks Take 2

We lived in an old house in Oklahoma that was actually two houses that had been pushed together. One side had an unfinished basement, the other side was balanced on concrete blocks. Little did we know that the concrete block side was a skunk magnet! Our first clue was waking up one night to the sounds of a cat fight on steroids. That was "exciting" as it sounded as if it were right under us. Turns out that it was. Right under our bedroom. sigh

Our children were small, about 4 and 1. You know, the age when they are either movng or asleep. The time of life when there is no mute button.

There was a wonderful racetrack in the house. They started off in the living room, then on to our bedroom, breeze through the bathroom, whizz through the dining room and wind up back in the living room. This was a wonderful game -- to chase each other around and around. Sometimes just one of them ran it. Screeching in laughter at the top of their lungs. Nathan couldn't move very fast, but it didn't matter.

Unfortunately, the skunks resented being awakened as they slept under our bedroom floor. They really didn't like the noise. And showed their displeasure as skunks are wont to do.

We tried all of the home remedies we were told about. How many of them were to tease us? I don't know, they didn't work. Eventually a friend loaned us a trap, and helped dispose of the first skunk. Which got exquisite revenge as it died. The second skunk left for a day or so, and Howard dug out the path to the den, and put down a sheet of roofing materials to deter the skunks.

Didn't work. Wasn't too long before they had moved under our bedroom again. This time the trap was dropped off, with best wishes. I'm not sure he even slowed as he dropped it off. He wanted nothing to do with it!

Eventually the skunks were persuaded to find a different home. But every time it rained there was a skunk odor in that house.

I don't remember how long we had skunks under our bedroom, it seems as if it was a very long time. It probably wasn't, but too much time has passed to know for sure.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Skunks 1

Alison told her skunk story the other day. It reminded me of several of ours.

When we lived on the eastern plains of Colorado, the house was 4 miles out of town. The church, parsonage and cemetary were surrounded by fields. When our road started drifting over at the cemetary, it was our responsibility to call the school and let them know. There was just enough time left to end classes, get the kids on the buses and home before it was too dangerous.

Nathan had severe asthma, so we had outside cats. For convenience, the cat food was kept outside on the front porch, in a metal bin that had originally held popcorn. The cat food attracted skunks. Cucumber (and the other resident cats who were there for shorter times Rosie and Blackie) learned to eat quickly if they didn't wish to share. Didn't matter, the skunks would investigate the porch to see if there were any crumbs.

After a while, the blasted things figured out that they could open the bin by pushing at it with a nose until it fell off. There would be a loud CRASH as the metal lid hit the concrete floor. Not conducive to sleep. One night, I'd had enough. I heard the CRASH and jumped up out of bed, raced downstairs, threw open the front doors and stormed out on the porch. DUMB but I wasn't thinking at the time! The skunk tried to spray me, while balancing on the rim of the bin. Instead, it fell on its back. I came to my senses and leapt back into the house, slammed the front door, then looked out through the window in the door (heart pounding!) The skunk rolled over, looked around, then waddled off the porch.

The next day the house was sprayed in a different place about every hour. The smell lingered for a long time. The day after that Nathan, waiting for the school bus, leaned against a post on the front porch. It became obvious, as the bus made its way to school, that he had found one of the places that had been sprayed. A polite phone call from the school asked us to please pick up that coat and bring something to keep Nathan warm, so the smell wouldn't permeate the school.

After that, the cat food bin was kept inside. I do learn, sometimes slowly!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

34.5 years

Howard's grandmother was a letter writer. She wrote just after we were married that we had married on their anniversary. I didn't know that. Turns out she meant that they were married on Valentines's Day, our six month anniversary.

Grandma J. felt that the best way to show her love was to feed the person. We always left from visiting them stuffed beyond the gills. Two days (or so) of eating as much as we could left its toll! Grandma would put any food that hadn't been dished up on our plates, telling us to "eat up, so the sun will shine tomorrow." Oh dear. One memorable meal she served homemade banana pudding, coconut cream pie, chocolate pie and angel food cake with strawberries. Howard asked for a small bite of each and received a full serving of each one! That was on top of a full meal! Uf-da!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


You know it has been cold for a while when you drive by the bank, the thermometer says 10*F (-12* C) and you think, "My it's warm today." It took me 2 blocks to realize that my brain has been skewed by all of this frigid weather!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Knitting pics

Here is Justin wearing his sweater. I knew it was going to be huge on him, but he agreed with just a little fuss to model it for us. I think he looks darling in it. This is my version of Hanne Falkenberg's Tutti-Frutti knit with 2 strands of 3 ply Kroy sock yarn held together for each color. This way it is machine wash and dryable. I think that is necessary for any baby knitting. It is wool, but easy care for busy families.

Finally a picture of the Rogue being worn. Serena had a bad cold all weekend, and the picture wasn't flattering. So I cropped it to show just the sweater. It has been worn for a while, yet it isn't pilling. Another plus for the yarn (as well as the fact that it is so warm!) This is the merino/possum/nylon yarn from Supreme Possum in Ecology Green that I ordered from New Zealand. Absolutely yummy stuff to knit with!

New Justin pics

We had a fun weekend with Justin, Kim, Nathan and Serena.