November 27, 2006
Knit Unto Others
10:55 am est
It's always relaxing and restorative to visit my pals Frank and Bec, two of the best friends a cranky old lady could
possibly have. At their urging, I spent Thanksgiving with them and their three furfaced roommates. As usual, the
dog refused to believe that he's neither (a) a puppy, nor (b) a lap dog, and I ended up with an enormous furry beast trying
to crawl into my lap. He means well, but he's huge! The cats were about as friendly as cats will allow themselves
to be with a visitor, and a grand time was had by all.
and Margene have once again instigated Knit Unto Others
, and I've decided to devote a portion of my knitting time between November 18 and December 1 to this project. Thus
far, I've managed to finish a Baby Surprise Jacket and three pair of mittens for Dulaan, plus a Red Scarf.
Truth be told, the baby surprise jacket shouldn't count for Knit Unto Others, as my (admittedly feeble) memory
tells me that it was completed before the 18th. The alert reader will notice that the mittens and jacket are done
from the same yarn - a total of three balls of Regia Crazy Stripes was sufficient for both, with a few yards left over.
The mittens (from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Knitting Patterns) are quite simple, and knit up quickly - I finished
a pair during the time I was visiting with my friends for Thanksgiving. They'll be good for using up odd bits of leftover
yarns, thus reducing the stash. Or at least they would have reduced the stash, had Bec not decided to donate some
of her stash to the cause. Some days that silly stash just refuses to shrink, no matter what you try to do.
November 22, 2006
9:31 am est
What am I thankful for?
I'll be forever thankful for my little band of quirky friends. They've been there for me through some horrendously
rotten times, and helped me celebrate the good times. Meeting us as individuals, you'd never guess that we could
be such good friends. A line from the Cathy cartoon sums it up: "We're not bonded. We're crazy-glued."
I'm thankful for the comparative ease of my life, especially when I consider that of my great-grandmother, Jane Magee
Watts. Let me tell you her story.
She was born in 1864 in Ballarat, Australia, and raised in a hotel in that wild gold-rush environment. (Her father
was the hotel manager.) When she married Captain Theodore Thomas Watts of the merchant vessel Sharpshooter
in 1891, her family disowned her. Imagine the audacity of our Jane, a good Catholic, marrying a Protestant!
Having nowhere else to go, Jane moved into the captain's quarters on board the Sharpshoter and sailed the
Pacific trade routes with her husband. Please note that this was exceptionally unusual at a time when many sailors believed
that having women aboard ship was horribly unlucky. Had Captain Watts not been one of the owners of the ship, it probably
wouldn't have been allowed.
During that period (1891-1895), Jane was delivered of three children: Claude, born in port in Melbourne, Rupert,
born at sea, and Zela, born in port in Peru (while there was a revolution going on ashore, yet!).
En route from Peru to San Francisco with a cargo of ore, the ship was hit by a hurricane off the coast of Central America.
Her steering gear was damaged, just sufficiently that they couldn't steer accurately enough to get into port. After
the storm ended, Sharpshooter drifted off the western coast of Mexico for sixty-three days before
being spotted and towed into port by a Mexican coast guard vessel. They had done the stereotypical "message in a bottle"
routine to let the folks ashore know that there was a problem.
Now, when I start thinking that my life is a little rough, I can remind myself of her life, adrift on the ocean for more
than two months, with her husband, a crew of eleven sailors who didn't much want her there, and three children under the
age of four!
I'll take my life, with all its petty annoyances, over that, thank you!
November 15, 2006
12:59 pm est
Sing hallelujah, it's done! I no longer have to fight with the splitty, uneven monster yarn known as Karabella
Gossamer. The scarf is done!
This scarf isn't one of the hugely long ones, because that's all the yarn on the ball, but it's done and I never have
to try to knit with that stuff again. The result is beautifully soft and fuzzy, with bursts of sparklies, and I love
the look and feel of it, just hate working with the yarn.
Other projects are coming along slowly, but I'm invoking the "two row rule" to make sure all of them get attention.
Of course, for each project completed, my chronic Startits wants me to cast on four more, but thus far I've managed to resist.
Any bets on how long that's going to last?
*No, that's not a new photo, but a repeat of one from a couple of months ago. The monitor is still
November 14, 2006
Machines Hate People
11:32 am est
Every dratted gizmo in the world holds a grudge against the people that make it work for a living. That's why the
formerly smoothly-running software suddenly starts spewing error messages all over your screen, just when you're maniacally
trying to meet a deadline. That's why the car you love suddenly starts making very peculiar noises just before your
vacation road trip.
That's why the monitor on my computer at home has suddenly ceased to display anything.
Yes, my dears, that screaming you heard Sunday afternoon was me, attempting to prepare photos for the blog, as the monitor
made a clicking noise and went totally dark. To paraphrase Bones, "It's dead, Nin." Soooo, until such time as
I can scrounge up a new monitor, there's not going to be any eye candy on the blog. Pity, too, as some of the knitting
is shaping up nicely.
Could be worse, I suppose... at least the house gremlins haven't stolen my knitting needles.
November 7, 2006
It's election day again . . .
9:31 am est
. . . and, as usual, I find myself thoroughly disgusted with just about every candidate on the ballot. The campaigns
this year have once again included very little discussion of the issues but tons of mud-slinging. A pox on all their
The more I see of politics, the more I agree with something written nearly 500 years ago. In his Utopia,
Sir Thomas More opined that the very act of seeking public office proved that a person wasn't fit to hold public office.
It's a sentiment that holds up through the centuries.
Having said that, I must, however, also agree with Robert Heinlein, who wrote in one of his works (and I'm too lazy to
find the exact citation just now) that whenever you have an opportunity to vote, you should definitely do so. His reason?
There may not be anyone you particularly want to vote for, but there's bound to be someone you want to vote against.
This sentiment too is just as true today as the day it was written.
Get out there and vote!