Monday, September 29, 2008

Birdwatching Beagle

and pal ...


Friday, September 19, 2008

The Science of Socks: Science Project #1

I had just had one of those great ebay moments, the kind where you sell an item for a lot more than you thought it was worth. In this case, it was a Johnny Was shirt, once-loved but no longer needed.

Flush with ebay cash, I signed up for the Knit Purl Sock Club. Here's how the internal conversation went: Six pairs for $195? Why, per pair that's only ... oh, that is a lot. Never mind, it's not real money, anyway. It's ebay money!

The first project arrived in early September: Andamento Socks, custom pattern by Sarah Pope, 2 skeins custom Koigu Premium Painter's Palette.

It turns out this is one of those obsessive projects. I cast on two nights ago, grafted the toe on the first sock this morning.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cascading Leaves

A surprise package from the talented and fabulous Simple Knits arrived the other day. While Nala the scary orange kitty tore into the adorable handmade cat toys, I tore into the Jelly Bellys in ice cream flavors, the lavender soap, the measuring tape, the knitting journal, the calendar (chocolate and so evil!), a pair of lace-knitting circs, the two scrumptious skeins of Mmmmmmmmalabrigo lace yarn in Hollyhock, and -best of all - the shawl pattern designed by none other than Vicki herself!

I'm talking about her Cascading Leaves Shawl. That very evening, I cast on. And into my bag it went for a weekend trip to Door County.

Three words to describe the weekend: rain and excellent eats. The Door County tourist board's promotion is called Door County: Kingdom So Delicious!, a dorky slogan if ever there was one. (It's the title of a late-'60's National Geographic article, apparently.) From a cherry-filled puff pastry called cherry basket to cherry wine to Swedish meatballs to apples straight from the orchard we joyfully lurched, snacking our way across the countryside.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Fighting Bob Fest

It was a blast.
The pink poodle with the man's head? That represented John McCain. It was everywhere during Fighting Bob Fest, usually led around by a gent in prison stripes and a big papier mâché head (Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rice were all seen).

1. A beautiful day for rabblerousing, 70 degrees, not a cloud in the sky. Phil Donahue gave a rousing speech that involved the audience. He read the rollcall of Wisconsin legislators who had voted against the Iraq War. We were to speak for them, as they had spoken for us.
"How do you vote?" Donahue asked. "Representative Tammy Baldwin."
"NO!" the audience shouted back.
"Representative Jerry Kleczka," he intoned.
"NO!" we shouted.
"Representative David Obey."
"Senator from the great state of Wisconsin, Russ Feingold."

Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin told us go "Get on the ball, y'all!" to help elect Obama. The great feminist thinker and writer Arvonne Fraser spoke about Governor Sarah Palin's nomination. "It is an insult," Fraser said, her voice shaking with anger. "If your friends plan to vote for her just because she is a woman, they are making a terrible mistake."

2. The Raging Grannies had us all laughing and singing. They are are social justice activist women who dress up in clothes that mock stereotypes of older women and sing songs at protests. They write the lyrics themselves, putting their political messages to the tunes of well-known songs like "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".

3. Justice Louis Butler, Mike McCabe, and Ed Garvey exposed the loopholes in Wisconsin election laws that allow special interests (often from out of state) to outspend candidates for the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

4. Best bumpersticker slogan: Pontius Pilate was a governor and Jesus was a community organizer. Best food: pulled pork sandwiches with coleslaw. Best beverage: real lemonade!

There was a lot to think about at the end of the day. That's when you take up your knitting ...
Swedish Dubbelmossa by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Meg Swanson. So much fun to knit!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Dog Days

Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule, mohair yarn, or the weather and have mercy is it hot here today.

This will be a great evening to sit inside and watch whatever the Republicans decide to do about their convention. Ever since the Iowa primary, my husband and I have been watching a lot of MSNBC's coverage of presidential politics. It is rare that we miss Keith Olbermann and most nights we also manage to catch Chris Matthews. With the fabulous Rachel Maddow getting her own show on MSNBC, we'll be logging even more time each weeknight.

If I'm gonna sit, I'm gonna knit. Here's what I knit last week sitting through coverage of the Democratic Convention: Photobucket
Plain vanilla mittens in Dream in Color Classy, Gothic Rose. How about a better look at the color? Photobucket It reminds me of Vamp, Chanel's famous nail color, an indescribable rouge-noir-chocolat.