Friday, February 23, 2018

Just Say "No"

 Sorry to borrow from a failed drug war slogan attributed to Nancy Reagan, but it applies now to the crazy ramblings of the NRA and their ongoing threats to our democracy.

It Wasn't Bad Enough

Every time LaPierre says "they" - referring to the "socialists" and liberals, I changed the word in my mind to "we" - referring to the gun lobby for whom he works and it makes the entire video true.

The young adults have it right this time...enough....never again...we need to be able to be safe in our schools.

When the NRA brings out their rabid bulldog, Dana Loesch to attack the people who understand that we need to do something about how the U.S. allows practically anyone to own military grade know they're feeling cornered and trying to stem the damage this latest mass shooting of children will do to the gun industry.

In the past, they've used these horrifying massacres and the threat of losing gun rights to get people to buy MORE guns...way more guns.  They have been very successful for the gun manufacturers in terms of sales and profits.

They've also been highly successful at damaging candidates that don't support their dangerous views.

It's time to candidates who won't endorse the fact, threaten not to vote for anyone that takes money from the NRA.  I have no problem with candidates wanting to keep sane access to guns, especially if that's what their constituents want...but they DON'T need the NRA's support to do only seems to put them in the pocket of the gun little Marco defending the indefensible (badly).


Current Knitting/Cranking

The back of the cardigan is nearing completion...Finn insisted on being in the photo.

I'm looking forward to finishing the body of the sweater and moving on to the sleeves.  The shaping and the detail I'll put on the center of the arm will make knitting it a lot more interesting.

I've also looked at all the socks I've been cranking out and was kind of impressed at my output in such a short time.

Just note, this doesn't even show all the mistakes and socks I pulled out and re-cranked.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Afraid of Ignorance

Our problem in the U.S. today is not ignorance...our problem is that people are unwilling to acknowledge those areas about which they are ignorant.

Embrace the Ignorance

Some of you know this about me...but I recently had one of the most profound epiphanies I've ever had.

I realized that there were an infinite number of things about which I am ignorant.

For some, this realization sounds like something awful, but for me, it was a joyous discovery.

First of all, you need to know the definition of doesn't mean stupid.

Yes, the term ignorant has taken on some pejorative meanings lately, but the primary definition is just a lack of knowledge or awareness of something.

Without understanding that I lack understanding in various areas of my life, there is truly no room to grow...kind of like the "cup runneth over" concept...where my vessel is too crammed with all that I do know to allow any room for what I don't know to come in.  And if you're experience on social media is anything like mine these days, the seemingly most confident about their lack of ignorance seemed to be the most misinformed.

Current Knitting

Another section of the Silky Wool Cardigan has been completed.

This project is not very photogenic, and for a somewhat longer term knitting project for a knit blogger like me, it makes for bad and boring update photos.  The color of the yarn is hard to cameras seem to have difficulty capturing reds and purples accurately, and while this yarn is more like a flat, indigo, it wants to show up either as royal blue or purple.  The shaping has been difficult to show as well and even the little detail that will go up the button band is hard to capture.

Just back, sleeves, button band and collar to go.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Are You Guided?

Not believing much in god...or at least not in the god I was raised to believe...I can still feel as though some beneficial guidance directs me in some form of spiritual growth.

Just What I Needed to See

"Just-In-Time Training" was a concept in my consulting days that meant having a training system that was available when it was needed and provided training just as the person being trained would need guidance.  So, for instance, with a new system, an employee could access training on-demand just as they were given access to the new system, so that the knowledge was fresh for when they needed it.

I seem to have Just-In-Time Training when it comes to my spirit.

Just as I'm given a new "system" to work with, someone says something, or points me to something that gives me the exact guidance I need to grow in ways I couldn't have imagined.

Note:  Writing about epiphanies in one's life always seems so disappointing...the description of a revelation that can be monumental for me, can seem completely uninspired by those reading about it.  It's incredibly difficult to convey something so personal, and experiential.  So when I you read the following example of Just-In-Time spiritual training, just note that it only demonstrates why I feel guided...because the impact of the realization, while it was huge for me, I understand probably won't be for you.

My example:  I'm discussing the next stages of my spiritual growth with a trusted Breema master.  He shares the path he took at a similar juncture.  I find it educational and interesting, but there's no "aha" to it.  He basically was describing how he uses day-to-day distractions as reminders to come back to his body, which is his direct access to consciousness. 

Then we see the documentary "In Pursuit of Silence" and I have this amazing epiphany of how looking inward for the silence, leads me to being reminded of how the body can bring me to consciousness.

I know...a bunch of mumbo jumbo.  But individually these two events weren't so impactful, but together...transformational.

Guidance?  God?  Karma? Chance? Fate?  Not sure...but grateful anyway.

Current Knitting/Cranking

Overall, quite pleased with the progress on the Silky Wool Cardigan.

I know the photo makes it look more like a girls dress than a cardigan, but I'm almost finished with the two front sections and then just the upper back, sleeves, button band and collar to go!

For Gerty, I've been trying more new sock designs.  I'm thinking I'd like to have two basic sock designs that I use for making socks.  One of them will be some version of this new pair of socks I finished.

Simple 1x1 rib down the cuff and then 1x1 rib on top of the foot.  I know these are just ordinary chestnut brown socks, but they're made from a wonderfully soft wool (that is NOT superwash).

I haven't quite decided what I'll have as my second go-to won't be 1x1 rib at the top of the cuff, 3x1 rib for the remainder and then a plain foot...I'm not a big fan of that design.

Readers' Comments/Questions

Leslie comments, "Hi! Just to let you know, that the Silky Wool hasn’t been discontinued. Not sure where you got that info."

Thanks Leslie...I must have seen a page indicating a specific color was discontinued and misunderstand.  Glad to know I can still get this wonderful yarn.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Do You Consider Yourself Crafty?

As a knitter and crocheter, I've never considered myself to be "crafty"...I'd classify myself as a fiber enthusiast, or a yarn technician and sometimes even a fiber artist...but I've never been one to be handy with a glue gun and end up with some clever little crafted item.

Craft Skills

Yes, I can make a pompom...yes, I work with yarn a LOT.

But even in grade school when they'd bring out the pipe cleaners, colored construction paper and the rubber cement, my ability to "craft" was  extremely limited...and it still is.

I don't make interesting wall hangings for friends.  A hot glue gun would be a waste of space in my home.  Looking at a box of a thousand popsicle sticks leaves me thoughtless and without imagining what a fantastic lighting fixture I could sculpt with them.

So when I get a book like this to review, I think, perhaps it will get those much-needed creative juices going.

Loome Party by Vilasinee Bunnag comes with a handy bamboo (?) crafting tool  embedded in the back cover of the book.

 This tool and the instructions in the book provide ideas on pompoms, tassles, friendship bracelets and small weavings.

I think this book (and embedded tool) would be of much more use in someone else's hands...someone with children perhaps...someone who teaches children...someone who likes being crafty and making nifty things for their friends.

Any of my blog readers know of someone like that who might appreciate this book?

Current Knitting/Cranking

Just another inch or two on the Silky Wool Cardigan before I start shaping the sleeve openings, which will require that I start knitting the back separately from the two front sections.

Working with this wool, I wonder why they decided to stop making creates a very beautiful and lightweight fabric. The color is more accurate in the second photo...for which I'm quite glad.

I've also been focusing a lot on using my CSKM, Gerty.

I'm trying to come up with 2 or 3 "standard" socks that I make with the machine.  The blue one is a simple ribbed hem sock with no contrasting yarns for the heel or took me about an hour to make that pair of socks  The psychedelic ones are 1x1 rib at the top of the cuff switching to 3x1 rib for the remainder of the cuff and top of the also uses a constrasting color yarn for the heel and toe  This pair of socks, took me about 2 hours to make and has a lot more finishing.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Since Thaddeus's birthday is February 14th, the pressure is always high to be both romantic and thoughtful for Valentine's Day and birthday.

Holiday Birthdays

But it must suck for him as well...he has responsibilities on his birthday to me as well.

I've always been glad my birthday isn't on or near Christmas...I'd like to say my parents planned it, but with 7 children in an Irish Catholic family, not much about our family was planned.

But I'm also glad I don't have to feel obliged to go out of my way to show how much I love Thaddeus on my birthday...selfish of me, I know.

Fortunately, this year I get a "baby Finn" card for VD and he got things from me that he liked.

Tonight we'll go out to dinner with a good friend to celebrate it all.

Current Cranking/Knitting

I've been experimenting with new techniques on my CSM...two new techniques in particular.  The first one is a method of starting a 1x1 ribbed sock that gives the top selvage edge a more uniform look.  It's called Juana's Selvage and eliminates the flared top of a ribbed sock.

The sock cuff on the left was done using a standard selvage edge and the one on the right is the Juana's selvage.

I'm quite pleased with how the new selvage looks both off and on my foot.

The other technique is a way of "parking" ribber needles when turning the heel so the ribber plate can be removed during the somewhat tricky process of turning a heel.  The technique allows you to put your out-of-work ribber needles into the cylinder slot without transferring the stitch to a a cylinder needle.

This isn't my machine, but you can see the butts of the ribber out-of-use ribber needles sticking up from the cylinder slot.  I have to admit, I thought this idea was awesome, but I didn't like how it worked very well.  Issues with yarn snags and extricating the latch-hook from the cylinder spring made this a pain to use.  But I'm still glad I tried.

I put my new ribbing selvage technique to use yesterday and in one day, from start to finish, completed a pair of "Valentine's Day Socks" in deep red.

With 1x1 ribbing at the top, moving into 3x1 ribbing on the ankle, contrasting heels and toes and kitchenering up the toe and weaving in all ends, I went from a hank of yarn to a pair of socks in a few hours.  I still have to get better at cranking out socks, but it's getting easier and faster as I practice.

As for knitting, progress continues on the Silky Wool Cardigan.  I'll post a photo in the next blog entry.