Friday, June 28, 2002

We're going to visit my folks in upper Wisconsin (a 6 hr. drive!!!) so no posts probably. < >
Still ruminating on that sweater dilemma. To frog or not to frog. I thought I had the solution; I'd just knit and knit and knit a collar and make it sort of fold over and back, but then I realized that to fill in the corners I'd have to short row or something and that's just too complicated. We'll see. Then I thought just knit wider bands and then it will fit, but that still doesn't fix the funky sleeves. Waaah. Ok, ok, I could undo the sleeve part where it messes up (I tried to 3needle bind off a mitered corner into a straight seam- nrrr). Dang I wish posting pics wasn't such a huge hassle. Someday...< >
There's this cool store called ArtSmart that takes overstock items like paper and fabric and all sorts of wierd stuff and sells it for people to buy to make crafts with kids. So I got a bunch of beads and I'm taking them in to have the kids glue them onto something to decorate. Hoooray for kitchy summer crafts. I get a kick out of sending these things home and knowing the parents are like, um, what do I do with this now? I never thought I'd stoop to crap crafts, but here I am. It's hard to find things for kids to make that they can handle and enjoy that are beautiful, useful and inexpensive. So. Yesterday we laid 10 popsicle sticks flat next to each other and drew pictures on them with markers and then mixed them up and called it a puzzle. Today; tacky bead gluing.< >

The Friday Five

When was the last time you...
1. Sent a handwritten letter? Gee, probably a month ago. One of my girlfriends in Milwaukee doesn't have email and writes lots of letters, so I usually owe her one at any given moment.

2. Baked something from scratch or made something by hand. No baking; what with riding this summer every afternoon lunch and supper are fast, easy to cook things. But, being a knitter, I have made something by hand!! Woo hoo!! Makin' a sweater.

3. Camped in a tent? Well, last winter my husband and another couple went winter camping here in Minnesota, and it turned out it was one of the coldest weekends all winter (our winter was really mild)! I wussed out though, becuase I was sick and that would have launched me right into pneumonia or something. So the last time was last summer when we hiked the Sunshine Coast Trail in B.C.

4. Volunteered your time to church, school or community? Um, I stay late at work? (a Montessori school). I taught Sunday School this past year every other Sunday.

5. Helped a stranger? We stopped and helped these people who got a flat and didn't have a spare and let them call on our cell phone a bunch to find someone to come get them. They had been standing on the side of the highway for 20 min. and they had a kid. We were going to give them a ride into town but then the State Patrol came by.

Thursday, June 27, 2002

I got up early to blog. Y'all should be proud of me. Not that there's anyone out there, as I haven't been posting regularly so the slight few who ever did read this have probably dropped off now, off to bigger and better blogs...

Ah me. I'd google myself to see if I come up high, but I think that would be self-destructive. There are 2 areas in my life right now where I am consciously avoiding 'checking' myself because if it were a)negative I'd be all bummed and then my efforts would drop off or b)positive I would be all self-satisfied and, you guessed it, my efforts would drop off. So now you know how crazy I really am. That's why I don't have a counter on this yet, because I would be obsessively checking it every day, and after what I thought was a particularly good post, I'd be disappointed when the numbers didn't spike. Oh, the other area is how much I weigh. I am contenting myself with simply noticing the bones and muscles arising from the depths.

On the biking note, Saturday we went to visit my Dan's folks and his dad trounced us on our 34 mile ride. Agh. I am a wussy wuss. I was dying. I'm just proud that I made it through the whole ride, although I couldn't keep up for the last 8 miles. I just didn't have anything left to push with. Yesterday was our 'going hard' day- on our training schedule Wednesdays are the push hard day, and so using our slick heart-rate monitors (especially mine which reads out a percentage of current heart rate/maximum heart rate) we pushed hard. Man, it's amazing how you can sort of happen to get up to 80% but you could never accidentally fall into that 85% zone. Puff pant. This weekend hopefully we're going to my parents and we'll have to find a route there for our Saturday 39 mile ride. My dad will be like, you never visit and now you're out on your bikes the whole time!

Progress on the EZ sweater- miserable. Blah. Who knows, I may frog it all! To a knitter this is like standing on a bridge saying "It's not worth it anymore! I'm going to end it all!!". If I were a clever EZ heroine I would magically add some creative solution and salvage it all, but I don't know... See, this is why I knew I should never try to make a sweater- I'm too much of a perfectionist and by the time I can tell if I like it, it's done, and then it's too late. Boo hoo. I really like the colors, the wierdly curving decreases actually make it sort of form fitting but the sleeves! the sleeves! they are too wonky. No really. Besides it's 85 degrees out so I'm not really inclined to put it on and look in the mirror and ponder escape routes. It's really too small and for some people this would be fine, but I don't like restrictive clothing, let alone clothing which has sleeves that have wierd bumps in the seam. I should just do it over, maybe in the 21" width instead of the 18" width and not do the tricky changes that make the seam lay behind your shoulder line but just leave it so there's big sleeves and THIS TIME I will not have funky curving decreases. Man, I knew those things would be the death of me.

Oh, and here's something I've been thinking about- you know how everyone is freaking out about copyright issues and how there's that something something Media Act they're trying to push (Hollywood, that is) and how The head of Turner Broadcasting calls it ``theft'' when you, the viewer, decline to watch the ads he wants you to view.? Anyway, copyright is a big issue these days. But some have pointed out that this sort of strains the creative process. There is no public domain in which much grist for the mill, so to speak, lays dormant and accessible for others to springboard off of. This is why I enjoy knitting. Because you are always free to alter the pattern. I suppose some would say that then you could 'copyright' that new design. Hm. Well, I am pretty confident that most of us would not go that far, because, as a knitter, we are part of something bigger than just ourselves. I think that most knitters realize that somewhere, sometime in the past, another woman or man, when faced with the same problem in knitting, has practically and creatively invented a solution. Now, I won't argue that there is innovation, and that some really creative people have looked at something other knitters have used one way for years and years and applied it in a new way for a different purpose, and I those designs should be credited. Agh, I guess I am just worried that what has been for so long a wonderful sharing and creative boomeranging field will become stagnant if we all hug our 'inventions' to ourselves. That's why the internet is so cool, becuase we can share solutions and new ideas amongst ourselves. Anyway, I found a website that addresses this issue in part; Creative Commons. Whoops- just looked at the clock. More on this later.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Jumpin' on the bandwagon here...
Type "Your name is" into Google (don't forget the quotation marks) and see what you come up with.
These are a few of the funnier ones from the first few pages.

Miss Elizabeth" is still milking close to 100 pounds per day and enjoying
life on the farm. She will be bred soon to calve again next year.

Elizabeth is known worldwide for accurate life readings.

Elizabeth is presented as a glamorously stressed-out
modern woman who must cope with a super-intense case of having it all.

"Elizabeth is a
wonderfully compassionate and effective teacher and therapist."

The population of Elizabeth
is approximately 818.

Elizabeth is renowned for her garden and you can enjoy
home-made elderflower cordial and obtain free cuttings.

Elizabeth is among those few
women that really make our blood boil (in a good way).

Elizabeth is most fortunate to have Thurisaz, the gateway, in her name, which provides her a place in her mind to gather strength and contemplate hidden aspects of the self.

Elizabeth is fed up of taking her clothes off on the big screen.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

A thoughtful twist on the Elves' role in Middle Earth...

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Hey y'all. We biked 30 miles yesterday!! Woo hoo!! If we had been able to do it 3x more that would be a century! Not far now...
We cycled on the beautiful Sakatah Singing Hills Trail which was formerly an old train bed. So it was nice and long and straight. Perfect. And there were some suicidal chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits, dragonflies and birds. One little tiny bird actually kept flanking me and then zooming off and then back and then off until she finally angled off into a field. We saw cows and horses and a blue heron- we had stopped to go to the bathroom by this lake and it seemed like the only access to that side of the lake was the trail so it was kind of deserted- just the place a heron would like. And it was huge! I'd never seen one up that close and when it flew (it was flying low over the lake ?to catch bugs?) it's head was jammed down toward it's body so it looked like it had this huge adam's apple because thier necks are so long you know.
And I've been knitting like a demon on Elizabeth Zimmermann's Suprise Jacket for an adult. I'm trying the instructions included for the more cardi proportioned version. Fortunately I had less issues with the increases than I did with the decreases. So we'll see how it turns out. As I said, it will be wonky because when I started I did the decreases too tight and made a curving line instead of a diagonal.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

A cyclist (funny) story. Hasn't happened to me yet...

Thursday, June 13, 2002

How Yoda Became An Action Star
from my husband via Slashdot.
An interesting article about the process of accepting new technology, I think. I especially like the quote, "Coleman found himself 'waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night,' imagining he'd be 'dragged through the mud' by website critics who'd say 'the guy who did Jar-Jar has now f---ed up Yoda. Burn him!'." Bwah ha ha...

Sorry I've been so absent. Hey, I started the Elizabeth Zimmermann Surprise Jacket (adult size). It's all garter stitch with miters. I ripped once because something was wrong with the miters and they were curling. I thought I was slipping my sts wrong (like purling and not like a knit stitch) so I changed that. Well, lo and behold, yesterday I realized to my dismay that the miters were still messed up (the were curling in a swoop instead of a straight diagonal). Did I rip? No, and I hope it all works out ok. Keep your fingers crossed for me. But I did figure out what I was doing wrong; it was all too tight. So now I've loosened up when I hit the double decreases (sl1, k2tog, psso) and we shall see.

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Wednesday, June 05, 2002

A cat toy for you. Look, it's the

Now I could have sworn that that is just a laser pointer that you can buy at Office Max.

But take care! These are daaaangerous toys, children.The FDA has issued a warning!!

But if you must, and you want to be the coolest, you have to get a green one.

Good morning! Well, we're back. You know, I'd never really been in the 'deep South' before. We drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky and finally got to Tennessee. It was neat watching the landscape change from prairie to low mountains. It was really amazing to see the Appalachians and think that they had started out as a range of mountains similar to the Rockies, and this is what they had worn down to. That's oooold. We went up to Roan Mountain, which is bald on top, I still don't know why (my guess is that the rock is too close to the top and no trees can get enough roots down). It was beautiful and quiet (except for those people who feel it necessary somehow to shout at the top of their lungs at the top of a mountain). So we stayed up there for quite a while, and it was much cooler than back at the bottom where it was supposed to be topping out at ninety degrees, they said. Watched a storm come in and headed down just as a few sprinkles started. People were still hiking up and I felt like saying "Don't get hit by lightning!". But I suppose you could just run back down to the trees. I have never seen a rhododenderon bush before and some of the flowers were blooming! I really enjoyed seeing all the different flora and fauna- although it wasn't much, really. Little sparrow like birds, possum roadkill on the side of the road, some big trees I couldn't identify. I still have yet to find out what a laurel tree is.

Tennessee is a slow place. I kept thinking about how much maybe the weather has a part in shaping how people are. Here, we're all hyper (and that's nothing compared to the speed of life in other places), but there everything had a slow, unending feel to it. Like, things just neverendingly grow on and on there. The whole way down we were passing through farmland and so there were always old barns to look at. But as we went south more and more the barns would be covered with vines- just covered! Not so in MN. It was very lush there. Things know how to get old there and not worry about the time in between too much it seems. It was nice to get that perspective.

Our friends pointed out the rectangular barns that were wider in the front and said that that is where they would hang the tobacco to dry. Man, it sounds like he is living the life! He works odd jobs and rents a house for !cheap! and goes off adventuring every now and again. Exploring caverns, climbing mountains, trying to find little cafes where they serve the local quisine. My husband has some Scotch in him (the people, not the drink) and our friends said that many of the people who live there are descended from Irish and Scottish families who settled there. So he said that you can see some of that in the culture- family ties are strong and fierce. What an adventure. It was good to get away for a few days.

So I knit and knit away on my shawl and we listened to Lord of the Rings- which really helped pass the time, I must say. I got a few more inches (inches!) done and stopped increasing with the yarn overs. There are two lines of YO, K, YO pattern up the sides of the shawl and I didn't want to lose that line, so now I 'eat up' the stitch I make by my YO by K2TOG thusly- K2TOG, K, YO, K, YO, K, K2TOG. It looks a little different, but that's to be expected, I guess. I've decided that I'll try and knit and knit until almost all the yarn is gone and then do an edging right onto the edge (without binding off beforehand). Hopefully I won't underestimate how much yarn is needed for the edging. We'll see. But I'm not even near that yet! :). 'K. Gotta go grocery shopping now. Bye.