Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Guns, guns and more guns.

They are everywhere. I know that there is nothing to be done about nutters owning guns. They already do and that's the way it is, but honestly, I wish common sense had prevailed when gun laws were made. Do people really NEED to own AK47s???

My daughter and two youngest grandchildren were in lockdown yesterday at the University of Texas, and this is what went on.

I'm glad that only the gunman was killed. I'm glad that everyone else was kept safe.

But I'm really, really angry that this happened. My younger daughter was in a lockdown a few years ago when an angry escaped prisoner wandered around her part of Atlanta shooting people.

He killed several people, then stole a car and went elsewhere in Atlanta and killed someone else.

Guns don't kill people, they say; but lunatics and criminals WITH guns do.

Friday, September 24, 2010


Anna, Sallyknit and Lucille organized a birthday party for me during last night's knit night and Sallyknit brought these WONDERFUL cupcakes!!!

The picture doesn't really show the height of the icing-as high as the cupcakes themselves. And just some of the flavors available at Gigi's Cupcakes......Caramel Sugar Mama, Coconut Snowball, Chocolate, Wedding Cake, Key Lime, and Pina Colada (with the umbrella).

They were so good that I announced that I am having another birthday next Thursday.

Maybe someone will bring cupcakes!!!

And aren't knitters wonderful people?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I Have Been Doing

I have learned a lot the past couple of days: How to feed a kitten with a syringe.
And how to feed a kitten without a syringe.

Poor Baxter has had, and still has, a respiratory infection. Apparently this is serious in cats, and he has spent part or all of three days at the vet's clinic. Because he wouldn't eat or drink, he had to spend a day there getting water via an IV and getting food through a syringe.

Then he came home and I fed him with a syringe. Dh is out of town, and a VERY kind neighbor helped me do this, since Baxter wasn't remotely cooperative. This was tough on body (my neighbor's) and soul (Baxter's).

Once he showed some interest in eating, I had to switch to what the vet refers to as "fish heads."

It is made of chopped sardines and shrimp held together a bit by aspic. and even sick cats have a hard time resisting it. If you think that this stuff looks gross, you should smell it.

So Baxter is not himself yet, and as a result, I've gotten some knitting done! I'm making a Christmas gift, which can't be revealed, but I'm not using the yarn the pattern calls for. The LYS doesn't carry it, and since I only need one skein, I decided to work with yarn that is close to what I should have used. It does not knit up to the same gauge on the size needles called for, so I switched to larger needles and made a swatch.

I'm supposed to get 4 stitches/inch, and I got five. What now?

I did what I always do-I ignored the swatch and knit up the first ten rows. The pattern calls for size 8, 16" circular needles, which I don't have, so I am using size 7. Then after ten rows, the pattern calls for switching to size 10, 16" circular needles, which I don't have, so I am using size 10 1/2. My theory is that since the gauge is a bit small anyway, switching to needles a half a size larger is a good thing.

I am VERY sure that this will work.

I'll let you know.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Sasha Skirt, part whatever

First to answer a question from a friend: The skirt weighs two pounds, four ounces. Yes, it IS heavy. Really heavy. It tries to slide down.

Comments on my skirt:

Nice ones from Sigrun and Susan-thank you!

From dH:

Whatever you wear with it, wear it untucked. Wearing it tucked in makes you look (and I quote here) matronly. And like you have a dishtowel wrapped around your waist.

That's a hand-knit dishtowel to you, buddy.

And from my friend in WVA, whom we are visiting in October: Where would you wear such a thing?

I responded: How about in WVA?

She answered: Well, dH and I will drop you off at McDonalds and we'll go to (a nice restaurant).

My response: Well, that's OK. McDonalds has nice salads now.

for Heaven's Sake!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Three Miracles!

First, there is my lamp. DH repaired it and this is the side where the break and repairs show a little.

So all I have to do is turn it to this side! And it works, too. I am thrilled that it was salvageable. Also, I think the breakage and repairs may constitute patina, so now it's an antique, right?
Thanks, DH!!! (And no, it will not be residing on this hutch, where bad, bad Baxter knocked it from.)

And now for a second miracle. I finished the scrapbook for my oldest granddaughter, who will be ten in October. It covers the first five years of her life, and I have decided that I will stop all the rest of the scrapbooks at age five, as well.

It only took me these past five years to catch up.
I have three more grandchildren to make scrapbooks for, and I am going to be more faithful about getting them finished. (Maybe) Second granddaughter's scrapbook is current to age two and a half. I have the first page of my grandson's finished-he's going to be four this Friday. And I do HAVE the scrapbook for my third granddaughter--it's still in the Michaels' bag. She will be two in October. Impressive, yes?

The third miracle is this hat---not because I made it but because it's made of wonderful 100% cashmere, not something I have ever used before. It was on sale for 75% off at my LYS just before the shop moved to a new location. There was no way to let the yarn stay in the shop! And it is, as the Ravelry group Selfish Knitters would say, MINE!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Sasha Skirt

Formerly known as the Satan Skirt.

It resided for a long time in Time Out, but now I have discharged it. I'm over all the trauma of knitting it and frogging it and knitting and frogging and knitting and frogging....phew.

So, this is it. I haven't figured out what to wear with it (certainly NOT flip flops) until the weather gets cooler and I can add a jeans jacket which will cover up whichever not-quite-right top I put on.

I won't be making another one, this much I do know.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What I am Reading

I began yesterday working as a volunteer teacher for ESOL (English speakers of other languages) classes held once a week at the local library. It was FUN!!!

I was stunned by a. the number of students and b. the number of countries of origin.

Here is a list of the countries represented at our little local suburban library:
Mexico, Columbia, Peru, Japan, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, India, Pakistan, and France. (I may have forgotten one or two.)

The students are all very enthusiastic and happy to be in class. They WANT to learn.

Yay! Perfect students!


What she said.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who Did It?

Let's see. Who was up and around last night at about 11:30 when I heard the huge crash?

hmmmm.....I wasn't.

dH was in South Carolina.

hmmmmm......must be Baxter.

Bad kitty. Bad, bad kitty.

(This was a favorite lamp. One-of-a-kind handmade by a local potter.)



On the other hand, this morning Baxter barfed on the laundry room floor. Gaaaag.

But when I went back in later, much later, to clean it up, the barf was gone.

Good kitty. Very g.o.o.o.d kitty. (But it doesn't make up for the broken lamp.....)

My Room with a View

As I was eating breakfast, this guy showed up to entertain me. I think he is an immature red-shouldered hawk, but I could be wrong. I'm guessing.

He emptied our pond of goldfish last week, even though the websites I checked for information did not list fish as a food. But there WERE fish, then he was here, then there WEREN'T fish, and I blame the hawk. I think he's too young to have read about what he was supposed to eat.

And I am glad he's still a bit clumsy (he briefly fell IN the urn); he was watching the FOUR hummingbirds that are flying and fighting over the feeder this morning. I don't think that the hawk could really catch one.

Once the usual morning visitor, the rabbit, shows up, the morning show will be complete.

Who needs tv?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Knitting Lesson No. 214

In which older daughter proves she is smarter than I am. (Younger daughter no doubt is as well, but she wasn't part of this project.)

See the pretty yarn? It's going to be the Shaelyn shawl, pattern available for $5.00 on Ravelry.

(Baxter WANTS the yarn. No, Baxter)

I had two questions after I read the cast on instructions: No. 1 What the ....? and No. 2 If I want 7 stitches, why can't I just cast ON 7 stitches?

Here are the cast on instructions that I did not understand AT ALL and read over the phone to older daughter, so that she could say, "What the...?" with me.

With length of waste yarn and crochet hook, chain 4 stitches. Using knitting needle and your shawl yarn, pick up and knit 2 stitches in the bumps at the back of the 2 middle chains. (This I understood.)

Then, knit 7 rows in garter stitch (knitting every row). At the end of the 7th row, do not turn. Instead, rotate work 90 degrees, pick up and knit 3 stitches in each of the garter bumps, then release the 2 stitches held by the waste yarn and knit both stitches. (7 stitches now on the needle)

But instead of saying, "What the....?" she explained to me what the instructions said.

First of all, here is the crocheted chain:

Here are the two stitches knit into the chain:

This is the mess I made while trying to knit into the purl bumps on the side of the garter stitch knitting. I'm not really sure what I actually DID knit into:
Here are the required seven stitches. At first I had eight, but I dropped one. No harm, no foul, I say.

And this is the sort-of triangle mess I made after the first row of increases:

And now on to question # 2:

Why, if I want seven stitches, can't I just cast on seven stitches?
Aha! I can! I just won't have a triangle beginning to a triangle scarf.

This will not bother me in the least, so I'm off to rip this sucker out.