And yarn diet justifications.

So, I am on a yarn diet. But I got a new wheel. And I am running out of fiber to spin. Someone told me that fiber doesn’t count as yarn. But that really defeats the purpose of a yarn diet. Plus, now that I am spinning, all my yarn wants have turned into fibery desires.

But we did establish, did we not, that I can spend money on fiber if it is not MY money. That being said, someone very close to me gave me a bit of cash to spend at Miss Violet’s stash sale. This way I am getting the best bang for my buck and yarn I am spinning when I am still a newbie. Also, once it is gone, it is gone, causing me to have no choice but to finish up current projects and/or knit with it, rather than just spinning more and more yarn and increasing my stash exponentially while not doing a thing with it.

Oh, and I can’t WAIT to show you my current spinning, it is the orange BFL I got when I got the wheel. It is going so much better! There isn’t a lot of it, I think it will be enough for socks and gloves for the Bug or something to that effect. Maybe gloves for me! Yes, I probably need gloves at some point.

Anyhow, on to the fibery infusion. My thought process in picking out fiber was thus:

Pick fibers which I have not yet worked with, therefore gaining experience.

Pick fibers in gently changing colorways, as I often get irritated with harsh color changes.

Pick fiber that got the most bang for my buck.

I did ok. I’ll post one a day to prolong the lovelies. Interspersed with spun fiber and knitting, this could get good!

First up, because I completely and utterly love the shininess factor to this one, is a 50% merino 50% tencel blend. I have heard that this might be hard to spin, the merino is a short fiber and the tencel is slippery. It will probably be the last one out of the batch spun up. The colors might be a bit more daring than I am accustomed to, but that is all part of the learning, and the fiber content was something I wanted to try.
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Crazy Making

So, we established that the swift arrived yesterday around lunchtime. I, of course, had to take it out and put it together for favorite coworker to see. We both admired it greatly. I then took it apart with the intention of taking it to knit night for show and tell.

I got to knit night, and showed and told. Everyone was duly impressed and one of the gals there wondered if Nick could rework her current swift. I picked up some fiber (more on that later) and came on home to receive the Bug and set up the swift so she and I could play with it. Get everything in the house, clear off the table and go to set up the swift. No hardware. I dump out everything in my bag. No hardware. I begin to panic, go through my fiber, my knitting, my purse, my pockets. No hardware. Now we know I had it at the Knit Night. And I could have sworn I put it in my bag. But I am doubting everything because I am tired and haven’t eaten yet and everything feels discombobulated. I post for the Knit Night gals to look for it if they get the chance. And then the Bug comes home. So we chat and play and she talks about the big “X” on the table.

Once the Bug goes to bed I once again start the search for the hardware. I am well aware that Nick is gonna give me a hard time about losing the hardware the first day. After all, this is why he gave me 2 sets! It quickly becomes apparent that the hardware is not going to be found and any more looking is crazy making. I own up to the fact that I will have to tell Nick that I have already lost the hardware, before I have even begun. Amidst all this, my cell phone dies. The keypad won’t work and the screen and keypad won’t light up. I can receive calls but I cannot answer them because the buttons don’t work. I swear they are programmed to break easily!

I email Nick and go to bed. Get a call from Nick on the home phone and we discuss a plan of attack for getting new hardware. He is going to specifically tell me what I need and I was told to go to the nearest Ace and bat my eyelashes at an employee. It seems like a decent plan. I think it will work. It appeases me enough to let me sleep. (In which I have anxiety dreams about snakes, but that is another story entirely!).

I got up this morning early. I thought I would have a go at looking for the hardware. I pick my knitting for the umpteenth time, shake it out, and imagine my surprise when the hardware falls out. GGRrrr. But of course I put my swift together right away! And took pictures. And a video which I will post tonight.

So here is the swift together and the yarn which I intend to ball laying on the swift.
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I then put the pegs in, stretching the hank well so that it doesn’t tangle as it unwinds.
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I then hook it up to the ball winder:
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and I am good to go! (erm, that is, AFTER I take the holding thread out of the yarn?!?! I guess it was too early and prior to coffee for me to think that one through!)

It is smooth as glass. Works perfectly, and quickly. Just wait till you see the video! It is truly a fantastic tool as well as being a work of art. All my crazy making was worth it for this moment!

Oh, Bug can’t wait to get home tonight to play with it! I brought her downstairs this morning and asked if she wanted to, but she decided that trains take precedence. Currently she is working on a track that runs all the way into my bedroom. But on the way to school I asked her if she wanted to have a PJ pizza party tonight. She said “YES! AND AND, I want to wind the yarn!”

The great arrival!

The swift arrived today!  I cannot tell you how beautiful it is!  I have received a work of art in return for a knit scarf.  Amazing.

I also cannot begin to describe how it was packaged.  Let’s just say that Nick packaged it up as he does everything else.  Precisely and thoroughly.   You could ask him how he packaged it, but you’d probably get a full picture tutorial 😉

Thank you Nick, I have the best yarn swift ever crafted.

I will try to take pictures tonight and maybe some video’s over the weekend.

First yarn part 2

Below is my 2 bobbins full of the first spun fiber. The one on the right is the first bobbin, as evidenced in the thicker yarn with a lot of inconsistency. Toward the end I was starting to get a lot thinner but things really fell into place on the second bobbin.


Then I plied. Now, by the nature of spinning 2 bobbins of yarn and then plying them together, when it is your first spun, you end up plying decent yarn with “crap.” Thick and thin slubby inconsistent yarn. This frustrates me I have to admit. On the other hand, WHO KNEW!?!?!?! that a little bit of fiber makes SO MUCH YARN!!! Those 2 little bobbins full? If you don’t spin, you have no idea how much yarn that is. Crazy. SO I may be able to get a hat or something out of the slubby gross yarn and a pair of socks or something out of the nicer yarn.

First Skein:

(I really could have used a niddy noddy or a yarn swift here, but I had neither so I used my arm.)


Does it look like yarn? Maybe sorta. Does it look like it has potential? Heck Yeah!

(J told me last weekend that he thinks I might have a “midas touch” with fiber, whatever fiber I touch turns out to look pretty)

A Sad Day

I was going to post some general silliness, until I heard the news.

I have 2 coworkers here. I always refer to one as “favorite coworker” but really they are both my favorite. Other favorite coworker (M) lost her husband (R) this morning.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on him and them as a couple. Some memories of a man who was amazing, and though a smaller part of my life over all, a large part of it at this time.

M and R have been married many years. I don’t know the exact number but it has got to be at least 40 years. Probably more. They have a general camaraderie that really works for them and was always fun to watch on the outside looking in. They are both kind people willing to do anything for the people they love. R was always very curious about people in general. He loved to ask lots of questions and always remembered what was going on in your life. Things like that just make you feel special! When he would call in to work and not get M, he would always chat with us for a few seconds and crack some jokes. We are really mourning the fact that we will not get to hear his friendly voice on the phone, lightening our day and making us feel special.

M and R have a special sense of family. We would often sit and listen during work break about how R was tirelessly driving his grandchildren from one activity to the next. In a sense being their “soccer mom”. They tried not to miss anything their kids or grandkids were doing. R also had a lovely generosity with M as well as those around him. We would hear stories of how he would get almost irritated with M if she wouldn’t go pick up more clothing of a style she found that she liked. This was not a man who would deny his family anything.

In that same sense of family, they gathered others to them. M has been my “grandmother” as I am so far from home. Last Thanksgiving I spent with them, even though I am not part of their family. They opened their home to me during a time when I had nowhere else to go and made me feel welcome and even important in that day. When I was going through my nasty separation and divorce, M came to me so privately and quietly, letting me know that she and R had talked it over and wanted to make sure I was ok, and that if I needed anything, even financially, they wanted me to be able to ask them for it. This is someone I had known for only 2 months at that time! This is generosity.

I often think about the relationship that M and R had, that we got to see bits and pieces of here at work.  I will never forget R calling M multiple times a day asking various questions and checking in.  And she would pretend to be so irritated but we all knew it was a ruse and it just made us laugh.  Or how she would sometimes schedule her Dr. appointments after work and tell him she was working extra long, just so that he wouldn’t worry over her.  I enjoyed who they were as a couple very much, and I am hurting for M and her family, knowing that they now have to find their place here without him.


When I was a kid, I was allowed to have Postum.  I liked it.  I still do and enjoy it most in the winter.  I have perfected the way I make it and for me it is better than hot chocolate.

I make it with about a tablespoon of postum, fill the mug with milk and a minuscule amount of brown or organic sugar.   Then the mug goes into the microwave to heat up.  I stir half way through, which makes the postum mix in nicely and gives it a cappuccino style froth.

I took some to J’s house.  I asked if he would like to try some.  He told me that he doesn’t like the stuff and thinks it tastes like nothing.  Now you have to remember that when I tell him I don’t like something, he gets on my case, asking me to please reserve my judgment until I have tasted what he has made.   But I didn’t give him a hard time about that, I just went ahead and made it to my specifications.

I went to drink my postum and asked if he would like a taste as I had made it.  He agreed and then soon I hear “Maybe you would make me some possum!”  (no, that is not a misspelling, he thinks it is amusing to call it possum.)  Now, every time I visit I hear “Maybe you will make us some possum!”

I guess that reserve of judgment goes both ways!

Chameleon Colorworks, the final chapter (for now)

So as any of you following this blog already know, I was having an absolutely terrible time getting my chameleon colorworks sock club yarn. Today, after much frustration and a crazy amount of emails, as well as a paypal dispute that was a day away from being turned into a claim, I got my sock club socks.

This is sock club yarn I paid for mid September.
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Along with it came a bonus:
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as well as a total of 3 patterns.
Once again, I enjoy the colorways. The site is under new ownership now and I am sure that the new owner will continue to crank out great dyes. I will not join this sock club again when it reopens, but neither will I join another sock club. I just don’t make enough socks to warrant all that sock yarn! I’d like to make more socks, I just am consistently busy with larger projects and always seem to be under some sort of deadline. So mindless sock knitting is not top on my priority list.

On the other hand, I would consider, someday, some of her lovely dyed fiber.

Now I am off to find my yarn swift.
Oh wait. I don’t have one yet. That comes Wednesday!

First Yarn

Here is my first attempt at spinning.  Remember that this is one ply, and is intended to be plied with another later this week.  But all in all for a first attempt, I don’t think it is so bad!


A very vegetarian thanksgiving


A picture of thanksgiving dinner with J.  I made pumpkin curry soup, hummus, buttercup squash and whole wheat pita.  He made a potato/cilantro dish, a potato/wheat/spices dish, sweet potatoes, roasted chestnuts, and some sort of green beans (that I didn’t like at all!).  We had sparkling cider as well.  It was a fantastic feast!

Destined to become a spinster

spinster :
1362, “female spinner of thread,” from M.E. spinnen (see spin) + -stere, feminine suffix. Spinning commonly done by unmarried women, hence the word came to denote “an unmarried woman” in legal documents from 1600s to early 1900s, and by 1719 was being used generically for “woman still unmarried and beyond the usual age for it.”

I’ve wanted to learn to spin for quite some time now. I knew that any learning I would do would have to be on a wheel, I could see easily that drop spindles would frustrate me quickly. But, wheels are expensive! So I began to look for deals. Not finding much in my price range, I thought I would just keep saving up for one.

Then a deal just totally fell in my lap! Miss Violet of Lime and Violet had one which she wanted to get rid of. She has another she uses frequently and used the one for sale maybe twice. At the price she offered it, I knew that even if I did not like spinning, I could resell it for at least that much. And if I did like spinning, it was the perfect price as well as being a good starter wheel. In addition to that, I can get a high speed adapter kit for spinning laceweights (my ultimate goal, but it will be awhile I am sure!) inexpensively. So I decided to buy it.

I picked it up in time for Thanksgiving vacation. That morning, I couldn’t sleep past 5:30 AM I was so excited to pick it up! Take a look!


It is an Ashford Kiwi.

It came with 3 bobbins and a lazy kate:
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No, that is not yarn I spun….I am not that expert yet!

While I was there, I had her make some fibery suggestions so I could get started. I got 2 things:
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These will be great practice. I have started on the blue/red/black.

So, I struggle with wanting to do things perfectly the first time. I spent time looking at other peoples first spun yarns to get an idea of how bad it was going to be. Yeah, pretty bad. LOL. When I ply what I have I’ll be brave and show you anyhow!

Things I have learned about spinning thus far:

1. It is really hard to find the right tension. I keep getting overspun or underspun yarn. I finally found something that works for me and marked it right on the wheel. I am so scared I will have to try to find it again!

2. Predrafting is my friend.

3. I do not have to pedal like a bat out of hell to get good results. I just need to find a rhythm that works for me. Slow and steady wins the race. Or makes nice yarn in this case.

4. If I let my twist get into my fiber, it makes what can only be described as big time yarn barf! There is little fixing it!

5. Just when I think that things are going really well, something will go wrong. Don’t ever think it is going well!

6. Spinning is a blast and I even have yarn that LOOKS like yarn to show for it. I can get the hang of this quickly!

The first time I spun I was so nervous that my feet sweat right through my socks and made wet spots on the treadles. My hands were so wet there were beads of sweat on the fiber. It is best to try this at a time when I am VERY calm!

It’s Done!!!, From Nick

The last thing to do was to buff out the arms with steel wool and drill out the final holes. Needless to say I’m happy with the final result (and I hope Shell’s stash of yarn is happy with it also)…

Here’s she is:
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And a video of the swift in action.

I’m not sure why is came out so dark, but here’s another with no yarn.
And some other pics I took of the final product:
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I’m wondering who is going to like this thing more, Shells or her little bug… It is a fun toy to play with!!!

Thanks for following along. I’m sure I’ll be working on other projects that involve woodworking and knitting somehow. BTW, I now know WAY too much about knitting for a straight man! 😀

Bad Juju

I just have to post that…..

I had a bit of bad knitting juju this morning and ripped the entire sleeve out of Na Craga.  I just couldn’t leave it as is, made a mistake a few rows back, got mad, and ripped it all.  If my knitting is going to be wandering around the Ukraine, it better be perfect knitting.

Thank goodness I got so far on the front this weekend that I can still feel like I am ahead of the game!

And yes, you’ll have to wait ’till tonight for pictures of the weekends progress because *someone* called me after I fell asleep last night and kept me up too late and then I was wide awake and hungry and had to take a benadryl to get back to sleep.  Causing me to sleep in until my alarm which meant that I didn’t have time to take pictures.  Oh well, today we learn patience 😉

Finishing Up Susan, from Nick

Now that the circles have had a few days to cure it’s time for the final step of finishing. They get buffed out with some extra fine steel wool (#0000) and wax.
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This leaves a mirror smooth satin finish
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Next I attack the bottom of the Susan with coarse sand paper. This gets the surface ready for gluing the cork padding to the bottom.
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For this I’m using a two part epoxy. Epoxy loves sticking to wood (the cork) and plastics (The Polyurethane finish is basically a type of plastic).
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The Susan is put back together and sits on the glue covered cork for 12 hours. Those old fish food cans are filled with lead shot for weight. But don’t worry about Susan, that bearing is rated for 350 lbs. That’s allot of fricken yarn!
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After the epoxy cures overnight I trim and sand the edges of the cork bottom.
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And now Susan is done!!!!! She looks like she needs some arms! Those get finished up tomorrow!
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Na Craga

Or otherwise know as B’s sweater.

Both the front and back ribbing are done. Progress to the tune of 2 pattern repeats has been done on the front. Ribbing and 1 pattern repeat done on a sleeve. I had the brilliant idea to start the sleeves at work and leave them there so that I don’t have to drag the entire project back and forth between work and home. There is the added advantage of the sleeves being close to done when the front and back are wrapped up. Thus avoiding the sweater burn out syndrome which I often encounter.


My reward for finishing a pattern repeat on the body of the sweater is doing 2 rows of mystic waters. If lace is my first love, certainly cables are my second!

I wouldn’t really recommend an alpaca/silk blend for this sweater though, the merino worked much better to show off the cables.

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Please take a moment to read, then ask yourself where you stand.

October 27, 2007

Salt Lake City, Utah

by Mayor Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson

Today, as we come together once again in this great city, we raise our
voices in unison to say to President Bush, to Vice President Cheney, to other
members of the Bush Administration (past and present), to a majority of
Congress, including Utah’s entire congressional delegation, and to much
of the mainstream media: “You have failed us miserably and we won’t
take it any more.”

“While we had every reason to expect far more of you, you have
been pompous, greedy, cruel, and incompetent as you have led this great nation
to a moral, military, and national security abyss.” “You have
breached trust with the American people in the most egregious ways. You have
utterly failed in the performance of your jobs. You have undermined our
Constitution, permitted the violation of the most fundamental treaty
obligations, and betrayed the rule of law.”

“You have engaged in, or permitted, heinous human rights abuses
of the sort never before countenanced in our nation’s history as a matter
of official policy. You have sent American men and women to kill and be killed
on the basis of lies, on the basis of shifting justifications, without
competent leadership, and without even a coherent plan for this monumental
“We are here to tell you: We won’t take it any more!”
“You have acted in direct contravention of values that we,
as Americans who love our country, hold dear. You have deceived us in
the most cynical, outrageous ways. You have undermined, or allowed
the undermining of, our constitutional system of checks and balances among
the three presumed co-equal branches of government. You have helped lead
our nation to the brink of fascism, of a dictatorship contemptuous of our
nation’s treaty obligations, federal statutory law, our
Constitution, and the rule of law.”
“Because of you, and because of your jingoistic false
‘patriotism,’ our world is far more dangerous, our nation is
far more despised, and the threat of terrorism is far greater than ever
before. It has been absolutely astounding how you have committed the
most horrendous acts, causing such needless tragedy in the lives of
millions of people, yet you wear your so-called religion on your sleeves,
asserting your God-is-on-my-side nonsense – when what you have done
flies in the face of any religious or humanitarian tradition. Your
hypocrisy is mind-boggling – and disgraceful.

What part of “Thou shalt not kill” do you not
understand? What part of the “Golden rule” do you not
understand? What part of “be honest,” “be
responsible,” and “be accountable” don’t you
understand? What part of “Blessed are the peacekeepers” do you
not understand?
Because of you, hundreds of thousands of people have been
killed, many thousands of people have suffered horrendous lifetime
injuries, and millions have been run off from their homes. For the sake of
our nation, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of our brothers
and sisters around the world, we are morally compelled to say, as loudly
as we can, ‘We won’t take it any more!’ ”

“As United States agents kidnap, disappear, and torture
human beings around the world, you justify, you deceive, and you cover up.
We find what you have done to men, women and children, and to the good
name and reputation of the United States, so appalling, so unconscionable,
and so outrageous as to compel us to call upon you to step aside and allow
other men and women who are competent, true to our nation’s values,
and with high moral principles to stand in your places – for the
good of our nation, for the good of our children, and for the good of our

In the case of the President and Vice President, this
means impeachment and removal from office, without any further delay from
a complacent, complicit Congress, the Democratic majority of which
cares more about political gain in 2008 than it does about the vindication
of our Constitution, the rule of law, and democratic accountability.

It means the election of people as President and Vice President
who, unlike most of the presidential candidates from both major parties,
have not aided and abetted in the perpetration of the illegal, tragic,
devastating invasion and occupation of
w:st=”on”>Iraq. And it means the election of
people as President and Vice President who will commit to return our
nation to the moral and strategic imperative of refraining from torturing
human beings.

In the case of the majority of Congress, it means electing people
who are diligent enough to learn the facts, including reading available
National Intelligence Estimates, before voting to go to war. It means
electing to Congress men and women who will jealously guard
Congress’s sole prerogative to declare war. It means electing to
Congress men and women who will not submit like vapid lap dogs to
presidential requests for blank checks to engage in so-called preemptive
wars, for legislation permitting warrantless wiretapping of communications
involving US citizens, and for dangerous, irresponsible, saber-rattling legislation
like the recent Kyl-Lieberman amendment.

We must avoid the trap of focusing the blame solely upon
President Bush and Vice-President Cheney. This is not just about a few
people who have wronged our country – and the world. They were
enabled by members of both parties in Congress, they were enabled by the
pathetic mainstream news media, and, ultimately, they have been enabled by
the American people – 40% of whom are so ill-informed they still
think Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks – a people who know and care
more about baseball statistics and which drunken starlets are wearing
underwear than they know and care about the atrocities being committed
every single day in our name by a government for which we need to take
As loyal Americans, without regard to political partisanship —
as veterans, as teachers, as religious leaders, as working men and women,
as students, as professionals, as businesspeople, as public servants, as
retirees, as people of all ages, races, ethnic origins, sexual
orientations, and faiths — we are here to say to the Bush administration,
to the majority of Congress, and to the mainstream media: “You have
violated your solemn responsibilities. You have undermined our democracy,
spat upon our Constitution, and engaged in outrageous, despicable acts.
You have brought our nation to a point of immorality, inhumanity, and
illegality of immense, tragic, unprecedented proportions.”

“But we will live up to our responsibilities as citizens, as
brothers and sisters of those who have suffered as a result of the
imperial bullying of the United
States government, and as moral actors who
must take a stand: And we will, and must, mean it when we say ‘We
won’t take it any more.’”
If we want principled, courageous elected officials, we need to
be principled, courageous, and tenacious ourselves. History has
demonstrated that our elected officials are not the leaders – the
leadership has to come from us. If we don’t insist, if we
don’t persist, then we are not living up to our responsibilities as
citizens in a democracy – and our responsibilities as moral human
beings. If we remain silent, we signal to Congress and the Bush
administration – and to candidates running for office – and to
the world – that we support the status quo.

Silence is complicity. Only by standing up for what’s right and
never letting down can we say we are doing our part. Our government,
on the basis of a campaign we now know was entirely fraudulent, attacked
and militarily occupied a nation that posed no danger to the
w:st=”on”>United States.
Our government, acting in our name, has caused immense, unjustified death
and destruction.
It all started five years ago, yet where have we, the American
people, been? At this point, we are responsible. We get together once in a
while at demonstrations and complain about Bush and Cheney, about
Congress, and about the pathetic news media. We point fingers and yell a
lot. Then most people politely go away until another demonstration a few
months later.

How many people can honestly say they have spent as much
time learning about and opposing the outrages of the Bush administration
as they have spent watching sports or mindless television programs during
the past five years? Escapist, time-sapping sports and insipid
entertainment have indeed become the opiate of the masses. Why is
this country so sound asleep? Why do we abide what is happening to our
nation, to our Constitution, to the cause of peace and international law
and order? Why are we not doing all in our power to put an end to this
We should be in the streets regularly and students should be
raising hell on our campuses. We should be making it clear in every way
possible that apologies or convoluted, disingenuous explanations just
don’t cut it when presidential candidates and so many others voted
to authorize George Bush and his neo-con buddies to send American men and
women to attack and occupy Iraq.
Let’s awaken, and wake up the country by committing here and
now to do all each of us can to take our nation back. Let them hear us
across the country, as we ask others to join us: “We won’t
take it any more!”

I implore you: Draw a line. Figure out exactly where your own
moral breaking point is. How much will you put up with before you say
“No more” and mean it?
I have drawn my line as a matter of simple personal morality:
I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has voted to fund
the atrocities in Iraq.
I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who will not commit to
remove all US troops, as
soon as possible, from Iraq.
I cannot, and will not, support any candidate who has supported
legislation that takes us one step closer to attacking
w:st=”on”>Iran. I cannot,
and will not, support any candidate who has not fought to stop the
kidnapping, disappearances, and torture being carried on in our name.
If we expect our nation’s elected officials to take us seriously,
let us send a powerful message they cannot misunderstand. Let them know
we really do have our moral breaking point. Let them know we have drawn
a bright line. Let them know they cannot take our support for granted
– that, regardless of their party and regardless of other political
considerations, they will not have our support if they cannot provide, and
have not provided, principled leadership.
The people of this nation may have been far too quiet for five
years, but let us pledge that we won’t let it go on one more day
– that we will do all we can to put an end to the illegalities, the
moral degradation, and the disintegration of our nation’s reputation
in the world.

Let us be unified in drawing the line – in declaring that we do
have a moral breaking point. Let us insist, together, in supporting our
troops and in gratitude for the freedoms for which our veterans gave so
much, that we bring our troops home from
w:st=”on”>Iraq, that we return our government
to a constitutional democracy, and that we commit to honoring the
fundamental principles of human rights.

In defense of our country, in defense of our Constitution, in defense
of our shared values as Americans – and as moral human beings
– we declare today that we will fight in every way possible to stop
the insanity, stop the continued military occupation of Iraq, and stop the
moral depravity reflected by the kidnapping, disappearing, and torture of
people around the world.



I am fairly certain that lace knitting is my sanity. Who would have known? It is starting to amaze me how much easier it has become as well. There is little struggle to it anymore, it is now so easy to see which way the stitches are traveling and I can see quickly when I am off, even before the end of the row. This shawl continues to enchant me with every row, and I am fully certain it will do so through the end of the project. I am far behind most Mystic Waters shawl knitters at ravelry but this is simply because I have so much other knitting to do that I cannot devote the time I would like to it.

I want to take back my former statements about not enjoying knitting with the silk.  I have changed my mind, it just takes a bit of time to get used to.  It doesn’t give as the wool and wool blends do, but it feels fantastic and the finished product does have a distinctive shine to it.  Also, it is dry, and anything that dries my hands is something I would like to work with again!

In other news, B’s sweater has ribbing on the front and back, as well as the ribbing of one sleeve done. My idea is to do the sleeves at work while working on the front and back at home. Therefore I won’t be dragging the whole project back and forth every day, and when the front and back are done, the sleeves should be finishing up about the same time. I think that would be particularly satisfying. The one thing I am not looking forward to is the inability to spit splice, so I will have a mad amount of ends to weave in. My least favorite job.

Back to the Arms, From Nick

OK now that the circles are varnished and going through their final cure it is time to button up the arms. The 1st thing I’m going to do is drill the holes out larger. Now after some experimenting I found the final hole was cleaner and more precise if I did this in steps. Here are the 5 drill sizes I am going to use in total. The final half inch bit will be used after varnishing. 5 bits x 60 holes. I’ll let you do the math…
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Here’s a video of the drill press in action.
And here are the arms ready for varnishing. They will get the same treatment as the circles. Come back in a few days for an update!
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Finishing (Coat #4), From Nick

Now I’ve never been a huge fan of super glossy finishes but I must say after 3 coats of poly gloss this thing is looking great! But for this project we are after a more subtle glass smooth satin finish. So the next step is to attack the gloss once again with the synthetic steel wool.
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After a dusting and a mineral spirits wipe down it gets a light spray of satin poly. Now we need to give the varnish about 3 days to fully cure before the last finishing step. Which might surprise you! Stay tuned for more…
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It could have been a comedy routine!

Some may remember that last year, around this time of year, I fell down my stairs.  I broke my toe and banged myself up pretty badly.  That toe hurt for months and months.  It is finally better.

Thursday night I was attempting to navigate those same stairs in the dark, and fell again.  I don’t think I broke a toe this time, but certainly bruised one pretty badly as well as maybe tore a ligament or something in my foot.  Hurts all up the foot even though the toe feels ok.  I have a slight limp but nothing pronounced.

On Saturday I was at J’s.  He doesn’t have a cordless phone so often the phone cord is out across the living room and everyone knows I can be a bit of a klutz.  I, of course, trip over the phone cord, catching the cord with my sore foot.  So it ended up more sore than it should have been on Saturday.   I took a tylenol and soldiered on.  After all, we had plans for an evening of shopping/coffee/movies.

We headed to a store to look at Clark’s brand shoes.  I needed a new  pair of winter wearable shoes, as all my boots now have holes in them and my shoes are so low that they won’t hold up to snow.  He also wanted to buy some Clarks for himself and his brother.  They are having a sale.  Unfortunately the women’s shoe sale and the men’s shoe sale are totally different sales.  The shoes I saw were about half off.  The shoes he saw were buy one, get the second half off.  We both had the same salesperson helping us out.  I knew he had been talking to her for awhile but I didn’t know what they were talking about.  I do know that he didn’t think the men’s shoe sale was much of a sale, so though he considered getting a pair, and apparently (though I wasn’t privy to this) kind of struck a deal with the salesperson where she was going to give him a coupon he didn’t actual have in hand.  (I never think to ask for such things but he always does, he is a bargain king, it just comes naturally to him).

So we are standing there at the checkout counter.  Buying my shoes, as he is not buying any.  He asks the sales person if there is any additional sale (as they had previously discussed) and I pipe up with “It is already on sale!”  After all, I thought half price was a pretty good deal.  He promptly attempts to surreptitiously step on my foot to get me to shut up.  Only he steps on my sore foot, so I say (rather loudly)  “OW!  My FOOT!  What are you DOING!”  No, I am not at ALL subtle and very clueless!  He is trying to whisper “Are you for me or against me!” out of the corner of his mouth while the salesperson tries not to laugh and rings it up for the sale (but not the coupon) price.

I am SURE she had a good laugh over the whole thing.  I would have laughed….but I hurt.  In fact, I wasn’t really ready to laugh until today.  We have even considered going back to ask her what she thought of our comedy routine.  After all, the writers are on strike right?

Neckline annoyances.

I wanted to post that I find necklines annoying to knit in the first place.  On top of that, I have discovered that J is very picky about his necklines.

2 examples of this thus far.

The green sweater, I reworked that neckline I think 3 times.  By the time I was done I was just annoyed!

The great sweater dissection project.  That could be done by now but I am so annoyed that I have set it aside.  That neckline is much more difficult to work, the stitches are so small and tight.  I had assumed (as we had discussed it) that I would be using all the yarn to make it into a turtle neck.  It was about mock turtleneck size when I showed it to him this weekend.  He then decided that maybe he didn’t want it to be a turtle neck, perhaps I should leave it as a mock turtleneck.  So I cast off.  He tried it on, and decided that was a terrible length for a sweater neckline, but perhaps he didn’t want a turtleneck either.  So I pulled out most of the work for a regular sweater neckline.  He then decided he didn’t think the look appropriate for that sweater.  (I agree and could have told him that!) He thought perhaps it was a “ski style” sweater and needed the turtleneck (indeed!) and so I again took out the cast off and reattached and am trying to get back to where I was when I started this whole mess.

You could say that I shouldn’t have shown it to him until the turtleneck was done, but that very well could mean that I would have to tear the whole turtleneck out and then rebuild it.

Let’s just say that I have set aside the great sweater dissection project for now.  I think I need a little perspective.  And that perspective should be far more positive than the one I am currently harboring.

What’s on my needles :)

I don’t usually do such posts but I do seem to have quite a bit on my needles at the moment.

First up we have Nicks scarf, which is currently 5 feet long.
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I am now positive I will have to block it out a bit because the ribs pull in so far that it ends up looking like a very skinny scarf.

Then we have my mystic waters, which really hasn’t progressed much past the last picture but perhaps worth a showing anyhow:
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Now, remember the silk/baby alpaca blend that I had to send back because the color wasn’t suitable? Guess what? The color is apparently OK after all. I thought it was a lovely color myself and couldn’t understand what the problem was. Turns out that it was a totally different color than what was pictured on J’s computer screen. So I began the Na Craga (from Alice Starmore’s Aran Knitting). I am once again in awe at her patterns as well as enjoying the soft silky smooth yarn. I do notice that there is a different feel about working with the baby alpaca, it is much less elastic than wool, it really doesn’t give. Hopefully the pattern will be ok anyhow.
Currently only a portion of the ribbing is done:
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Finally, I have been rearranging in my home a bit. I have gone through my yarns again and tried to put them in some order that I can see them as well as get to them easily. I also wanted to make it so that I can get to all the associated accessories easily rather than have to dig under my bed. I tried to arrange so that there were separate sections for sweater yarn, sock yarn, lace yarn, etc. More work is to be done but this is a good start 🙂
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Finishing (coat 3), From Nick

Coat 3 goes on the same as coat 2 except this time we use 000 synthetic steel wool instead of sandpaper. This stuff is basically the same thing as the scotch-pad on the back of your dish washing sponge.
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Since the 2nd coat will not be as rough this stuff works perfect for preparing the wood for the final coat of brush on gloss.
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Since we’ve had colder days/nights here in northern, NJ (can’t wait for that scarf!) I’m going to have to wait 2 days before the final coat of spray on satin goes on. Here’s the time that it’s hard to have patience . But I keep telling myself (and Shells) that it will be worth it!

Finishing (coat 2), From Nick

After the 1st coat dries for 24 hours the finish is rough and uneven. This is because the 1st coat “soaks” into the wood and also raises the grain. To prepare the surface for the 2nd coat the wood get a a light sanding with 220 sand paper.
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The result is a dull appearance that is ready for the 2nd coat of varnish. Like the 1st coat the wood gets a dusted off and a wipe with mineral spirits before the 2nd coat is applied. Now it’s another 24 hours of curing…
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