Friday, September 23, 2011

Life and Knitting Update

No knitting pictures, sorry.

I’ve made great progress on the KAL sweater.  The body is done, except for buttons.  Now I just have to finish the two sleeves, which will be 3/4.  I should start on them this afternoon.  I think the sweater is going to fit okay.  I know people always say that you can try on a top down raglan thanks to the flexibility of the needle cables, but with the tendency of stockinette to roll and the absence of blocking, I am never just quite sure.  So if this winter you see me in an ill-fitting blue cardigan, please notice that the bottom bind off  is absolute perfection.  (This last sentence is directed only at knitters—if you have to ask what a bind off is, never mind.) 

I procrastinated this morning looking up some ideas on-line for a gift project for someone who needs one right now.  I also need to make it RIGHT NOW.  I looked and looked and then went back to an old standby pattern.  Jo-Ann’s had an on-line sale for the yarn, so I should be ready to go when it comes in.  I can alternate between it (fairly mindless) and my DH’s promised felted clog slippers (ditto) for some quick knitting.  The larger project will require some frequent color changes, so that will help break up any monotony.

I also just reorganized my spices, using an organizer I bought on Amazon.  I should say, part of my spices, because I am ashamed to say I still have some infrequently used ones in the rectangular tins with the sliding lids.  I know they are so old that I should toss most of them, but I don’t.  I also have a few, like garlic powder and cumin—available here in the Mexican spices as comino—in large containers, so they will go on another shelf.  This won’t be quite as handy as grabbing them from the lazy susan that I was using, but that could only be said for the ones on the outside of the lazy susan.  I was forever buying something I already had because I couldn’t find it.  I will see how I like using this system before I buy more.  It also enables me to make use of a narrow cabinet and frees up the larger space I had been using for something else.

bio.jbtfsplk

Joe Btfsplk, from L’il Abner

For those of you out there who are my local friends, I know I have been posting more infrequently.  We are all ok.  I have just not been in the mood to make observations that were not hopelessly cynical or even to talk to people very much; our family has been going through our own version of annus horribilis, and the less said about it the better.  Trying to fight my mood and the heat was more than I wanted to do.  Now that fall is arriving, I will be emerging from my shell or cave or whatever.  I can’t hibernate in the winter because I must wear knitwear!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remember

 

 

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In memory of those who died on September 11, here is a link to “On Hallowed Ground,” my favorite essay about 9/11. It is written by the humorist Dave Barry.

A Finished Project

The sweater being blocked, or at least drying.  I suspect it is far too big for the granddaughter’s present size, but she will grow.  I like the pattern, but since it is a Jiffy pattern, the lack of size adjustment is a little worrisome.  When/if I continue my plan to knit sweaters for the younger granddaughters, the button band will be seed stitch instead of garter.  Garter is much too stretchy on these larger needles.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Link to Something Special

My daughter homeschools.  They moved to a new house in July, and for the first time, she has a dedicated classroom/play area for the girls.  She just finished remodeling the room and made some before/after pictures.  Her pictures were picked up by one of the organizing blogs.  Here’s the link.  Her name is Carrie—there are other neat classrooms there as well.  I am particularly fond of the art work above the desk area; the girls did the two big paintings, and my daughter did the melted crayon art in the center.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Midsomer Mysteries

Last night, I finished watching all the episodes available for free on Netflix Watch Instantly.  That’s a pity, because I could certainly watch more.  This series was delightful.  On the surface, the stories are the traditional English Country Mystery genre, cozy with a little bit of police procedural thrown in, but after watching a few, I became aware of several levels going on at once.  One level is the real effort made to introduce the viewer to English traditional life—change ringing, Morris dancing, ancient solstice customs, Arthurian legend, a camera obscura, choral music.  Another is the scenery—scenic vistas, beautiful gardens, the seacoast, the mountains of Wales, thatched-roof houses.  Another aspect of the series is the attention to detail—the episode that is a parody of Hamlet; the villages that revere the long dead author who grew up there, a MAN by the name of Ellis Bell (the pen name of Emily Bronte); the scenes by the river while characters are watching a race that is composed like that famous painting by Seurat. The series is also something of a send-up of the genre.  After all, the murder rate in Midsomer is totally unrealistic, and at one point, someone remarks to Barnaby that a particular death is natural, an unlikely occurrence.  Furthermore, there is an emphasis on acting and the theatre that reminds the viewer that everything is a performance.  All in all, we’ve had a great time watching.  I’m moving on to some P.D. James—excellent films, but a much darker experience.

I also need some help.  There was something wrong with the Midsomer episode called “Bantling Boy.”  It failed to include the ending.  I tried googling, but no one wanted to include a spoiler, so if any of you know how it came out, please let me know. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Midsomer Knitting

I’ve spent most of my spare minutes for the last two very hot days knitting in an air-conditioned room while watching episodes of Midsomer Murders.  The collar is finished, and the rather extensive rows of short rows for back of the neck and front neckline shaping are finished.  I have begun just enough of the yoke increase to have made the first buttonhole. 

I've chosen to use M1L and M1R increases on this project.  I really like the way they are turning out so far.