Friday, September 29, 2006

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pictures of Knitting!

With some PowerShot action:

Now with actual detail!
Swallowtail Shawl, in almost actual color!

Extreme close up, evil nupps* and all!

*Purl 5 together was designed by an evil, sadistic genius. Just sayin'. Then again, I guess I'm a masochist for knitting them; my method involves a very sharp size 0 needle and the potential to poke out an eye. I knit dangerously.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Studies in Tomato

I've had a few days off of canning tomatoes, so I can offer these pictures without swearing like a sailor*.

If these pictures seem like a big step up in quality (and size) from any you've seen here previously, it is because I finally bought a decent camera. A Canon PowerShot A530, if you must know. I'm pretty much in love with it; we'll be married soon.

*To be honest, I suspect my Navy brother-in-law, does not swear as much as I do!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Flagrant Disregard for Decent Traffic Behavior

I have an hour commute to work. I don't generally mind: the drive through the country is pretty, and it gives me time to listen to music that Len hates. Unless I am very late, I stay away from the highway, it can make me jittery. Jittery makes for bad driving.

This morning I was late. I took the highway. It is possible that the jitters degraded my powers of observation, but it seemed to me a Honda Accord used a left turn lane as passing lane (in a 35 mph speed zone, in which we were going...35 mph). He passed 5 or 6 cars before zipping into the correct lane. He then had to get back into the left lane to use it for it's intended purpose. I'm quite certain this same Very Important Person believed it was quite beneath him to wait in line to turn right at the next light, and used a parking lot to avoid the inconvenience.

I'm pretty sure he was not following Mr. Karr's Rules.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Some Housekeeping

I added and deleted some links on the side bar. These do not represent everything I have in my Bloglines list, but you might be frightened if you saw them all. Some non-knitting content you might consider:
  • Miss Information is often annoyed. I can't blame her;
  • On days I suspect there is little good in this world, NPR's This I Believe restores a small amount of faith in humanity (two of my favorites are "Be Cool to the Pizza Dude" and "Always Go to the Funeral" about the importance of kind attention);
  • If you are as much of an information nerd as I am (which is almost impossible), Docuticker and Resource Shelf are indispensable. Docuticker gathers a wide variety reports from government agencies, NGOs, think tanks and University working papers (mostly American, but also some Canadian and British). Resource Shelf gathers similar information, but also reviews search engines, wikis, and other resources of particular interest to librarians (who are incorrigible information nerds). Both of these are updated frequently and they can be difficult to keep up with, even with the RSS feed.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What Makes Sense, When So Little Does

I had considering trying to write something yesterday, but I wasn't up to the task. Part of the problem is that I'm not nearly eloquent enough to do the day justice (for a really interesting discussion of where we are 5 years later, see Juan Cole's article).

But the truth is, I'm too sad and angry to say anything coherent. So I think I will show you what I've been knitting, since that is pretty much the only thing that makes sense in my world.
I've actually made progress on Daffodil. You can't tell because it is a deflated sack of thread right now. Because I seem to enjoy telling tales of my extreme idiocy, I offer the latest (actually, not quite the latest, since I have failed to make a pom pom yet again): the stitches on this have been getting very crowded, so I decided to put it on a longer circular needle. Since the easiest-to-get-to-yarn-shop was out of the needle I wanted (to be very specific, an Addi Turbo, 2.5mm 32" needle), I decided to order one. It came a week or so later. Daffodil was already on a 32" needle, negating the need for a new one. Len said, "maybe you should have measured the needle first." I supressed the urge to slap him silly. And ordered a 40" needle.
I also made some progress on the t-shirt. I should have this done sometime this year, but I keep getting distracted. To wit:
This looks like an avoidance tactic, doesn't it? It isn't. It's also more purple than you see here. The wife of a close friend of Len's died of ALS a couple of years ago. She used to play Euchre once a month with a group of friends. These friends started a yearly fundraising tournament in her honor (this year will be the third). Since we don't play Euchre, last year I decided to knit and donate some scarves to the raffle. This is the first scarf for this year. It's in some random wool yarn, size 5 needles, and a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's first stitch collection called Reverse Herringbone Faggot (I know that is a very old word, pre-dating it's current by centuries, but I still hate it). Hopefully I can get several done before November 18.
This, on the other hand, is total distraction knitting. The yarn is my copper dyed yarn. This pattern is from the current issue of Interweave Knits. Why am I knitting it, with so many other projects going? Don't ask stupid questions.
I need 14 repeats of this pattern before beginning edging number one. This is near the end of repeat 11. I completely adore how the leaves come off the center spine.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I have failed a second time

Last night's second attempt at a pom-pom, this time with an official pom-pom maker, ended in failure. And bits of yarn flying everywhere. No. I did not take pictures. I figure I'll keep trying until I, a. make a decent pom-pom, b. run out of yarn, or c. see the baby for whom the pom-pom is intended. Whichever comes first. Hopefully c. because I'm really sick of thinking about pom-poms (although, it's more pleasant than thinking about our rotten government).

In lieu of knitting pictures, I present to you:
A door. Not a fairy door. A bedroom Len was working in last week looks out on this scene and my crummy camera took a surprisingly nice picture.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I'm Back

I'm back in the Land of High-Speed-Internet and e-mail. I'd gladly give it all up to not be work*.

I was not, I am sorry to say, on vacation. Len's parents own a few rental properties in Ann Arbor's student ghetto. Because Len's father is increasingly unable (an issue I will not go into, given the complications of their relationship), Len has been taking over management. Apartment/house changeover at the end of August (leases in Ann Arbor run September to end of August) is traditionally extremely busy; students move out as late as possible and their replacements try to move in as early as possible. Landlords have to try to get the rentals clean, painted and carpeted between move out and move in. It's a dicey operation under the best of circumstances, but this year was Len's first year mostly in charge. He was down a few people: his sister and her handy husband just had twins and their regular professional cleaner had bypass surgery a few months ago so Len assumed was not able to work (never assume, as it turns out). Add to that the emotionally and physically complicating factor of his father and a mother with brand-spanking new grandbabies. What do you have? Stressed out Len.

I took last week off to lend a hand. And let me just say. Undergraduate and graduate students are pigs. I cleaned under a stovetop which had not been touched in a year (the thing to hold the stovetop up was still taped down). I scrubbed an extremely disgusting floor with Comet. I cleaned refrigerators which had never seen a sponge. I am happy to say I did not have to clean anyone's bathroom (except one which was left in very good shape by the previous tenants). Nasty nasty business.

One of the buildings has a parking lot which is much larger than necessary, so they rent out parking spaces mostly to the neighboring fraternity house. When Len and I first start dating I was horrified by the cars in that lot: Lexus SUVs, Jeep Cherokees (actually those where so last year), BMWs. This year, though, was the worst. A Hummer 2. Seriously. What moron sends their child to school with a fucking Hummer??? Don't answer that, I don't want to know. Personally, I don't quite understand having a car that isn't the old family beater while in college, but I guess things have changed in 20 years.

By the way: Thanks Barb, for the compliments on the little hat! I will hopefully put up pictures of the boy hat soon, if I can figure out how to make a pom-pom, that is.

*Actually, I rather like my job, even on days that I am bored to tears. But when there is knitting, weaving, tomatoes, basil, and all manner of other fun things to do at home (in the Land of Very Slow Dial-Up), well, let's just say, I will (in about 30 years) make a very fine retired person.