Tuesday, October 31

Not wholly satisfactory, but better than nothing


Thank you for filing your complaint with the National Do Not Call Registry.

Do not call complaints will be entered into a secure online database available to civil and criminal law enforcement agencies. While the FTC does not resolve individual consumer problems, your complaint will help the agency investigate the company, and could lead to law enforcement action.

Earthlink called yesterday, I told the woman I was on the Do Not Call list and she was very apologetic. Earthlink called again today and the fellow who said he was named Eric Thompson in NJ, employee number 0205 (most likely total garbage info) said, when I said this was the second call in two days so I was going to complain said "to who, your dad?" He said he had never heard of such a Do Not Call list and then he acted like he knew what it was and wanted my "reference number." His supervisor who said his name was David Thomas was just as gruff but said he would connect me with customer service, but I was disconnected instead. I filed the complaint with the FCC, but all they ask for is the number they called (to verify it is on the DNC list), the name and number (if you have it) of the Company that called and the date and time of the call. So I didn't get a chance to express the obnoxiousness of the call.

We did have a "relationship" with mindspring which is now part of earthlink, but that has been over years ago, way way more than the 18 month window allowed by law.

Tuesday, October 24

Sweater Update

I've finished the back and am about halfway through the sleeves on the Cambridge Jacket, knitting sleeves flat at the same time.

I started the sleeves before the fronts as I wanted to make some decisions first. After consulting with Jessica at the Fiber Gallery, I plan to knit both fronts as a single piece and steek. Jessica suggests adding seven stitches for a steeked zipper opening and showed me her beautiful new steeked sweater.

Yes, this will make the project less portable. And adding seven stitches per row adds up to a lot of extra knitting. I just find I spend so much time being paranoid remeasuring, I figure doing both sides separately would result in too much time spent counting. The side length needs to measure the back, the armholes need to measure the back (and each other) the collar shaping and shoulder ribbing need to match each other.

I don't know what Zach will do since he is still working on the back of his sweater. He's above the armhole bindoff, so not much more to go. If he doesn't steek, he will change something in the pattern though. Ann Budd says to put a garter stitch selvedge up the fronts for a finished edge. I dunno. The bumps could recapitulate the zipper well or it could just look unpolished. We've been talking about that and I think his solution will be to create a slip stitch edge. I expect I will do the same for the collar, which will be added after the steek is cut but before the zipper sewn in.

Speaking of the garter stitch selvedges, I have done them as specified for the side seams but I am dubious. Is it really easier to seam garter edges together? Will it look polished or with the garter bumps make the seam feel lumpy on the inside?

In addition to the Cambridge Jacket, my Ribbi Cardi is coming along slowly. Body is done and one sleeve is approaching completion. Haven't started the second sleeve yet. All that ribbing was driving me nuts.

So... feeling bored with mindless ribbing and stockinette, I was itching for something a bit more challenging.

Monday, October 23

contest winnings

I have been remiss in my knit blog etiquette, as I have not yet shown my blog contest winnings and thanked the blogger who had the contest. Sorry about the delay, Birdsong, thanks for the contest and the prizes.

Birdsong is a remarkable woman. She lives in the Sierra Nevada, raises burros, teaches a variety of students including residents of a prison, teaches children to knit starting with the making of their own needles, and has the wisdom that comes from having raised children to young adulthood. She held a contest in honor of her 375th post and her move to another blog platform. I had the luck of the random number generator to win some yarn, soap and a keychain.

This is merino sock-weight dyed by Birdsong using cochineal. I love the color, the muted lavender with the subtle variations of hand-dyed yarn. The yarn cries out to me to be double stranded with something like Kidsilk Haze and turned into a scarf for me. Mistake rib or brioche.

I only have a photo of the yarn, but don't think the other gifts were not appreciated. The soap, handmade from Blessed Juno in Salt Lake City is wonderful. Many folks like lavender and Lemongrass, which this soap has, but the third scent is also one of my favorites, Clary Sage. How did she know? The keychain is an adorable miniature crocheted sweater, from a company helping women in Vietnam earn a living through crafts.

I took the photo yesterday, fully intending to write and post the blog today. Perhaps that's why I dreamt about Birdsong this morning. I dreamt that I visited her and she was very nice, with long grey hair and triplet four year old kids! I am sure she would be nice and hospitable if I could get to the Sierra, but the rest! Grey hair may be inevitable eventually, but the triplets? Perhaps grandkids? They were adorable blonds and wore cute green plaid matching outfits. (I dream in color).

Monday, October 16

one of those weird quizilla things

What Color is Your Brain?


At work or in school: I work best by myself. I like to focus on my ideas until my desire for understanding is satisfied. I am easily bored if the subject holds no interest to me. Sometimes, it is hard for me to set priorities because so many things are of interest.
With friends: I may seem reserved. Although my thoughts and feelings run deep, I am uneasy with frequent displays of emotion. I enjoy people who are interesting and of high integrity.
With family: I am probably seen as a loner because I like a lot of private time to think. Sometimes, I find family activities boring and have difficulty following family rules that don't make sense to me. I show love by spending time with my family and sharing ideas and interests.
Take this quiz!

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Saturday, October 14

Saturday chickens

Sun Flare! and Shadows!
clues photo not from today
grey, grey shadow-free

Like my beautiful
white feathers? Want my secret?
regular dust bath.

Just you wait, I'll be
the belle of the ball. feathers
grow back radiant.

Monday, October 9

"The loss of liberty to a generous mind is worse than death"

"It is agreed upon by all men that this is a reign of liberty, and while men keep within the bounds of truth, I hope they may with safety both speak and write their sentiments of the conduct of men in power. I mean of that part of their conduct only which affects the liberty or property of the people under their administration; were this to be denied, then the the next step may make them slaves: For what notions can be entertained of slavery beyond that of suffering the greatest injuries and oppressions without the liberty of complaining; or if they do, to be destroyed, body and estate, for so doing?

It is said and insisted on by Mr. Attorney that government is a sacred thing; that it is to be supported and reverenced; it is government that protects our persons and estates; that prevents treasons, murders, robberies, riots, and all the train of evils that overturns kingdoms and states and ruins particular persons; and if those in the administration, especially the supreme magistrate, must have all their conduct censured by private men, government cannot subsist. This is called a licentiousness not to be tolerated. It is said that it brings the rulers of the people into contempt, and their authority not to be regarded, and so in the end the laws cannot be put in execution.

These I say, and such as these, are the general topics insisted upon by men in power and their advocates. But I wish it might be considered at the same time how often it has happened that the abuse of power has been the primary cause of these evils, and that it was the injustice and oppression of these great men which has commonly brought them into contempt with the people. The craft and art of such men is great, and who that is the least acquainted with history or law can be ignorant of the specious pretenses which have often been made use of by men in power to introduce arbitrary rule and destroy the liberties of a free people. "

Andrew Hamilton
New York, 1735
Full text

Saturday, October 7


First some boring Saturday Sky. Truth is, I tried to figure out how to unlink myself to this ring without human intervention, but I failed. Guess I feel a little sheepish contacting Sandy. I'm afraid I feel a little blah about the sky photography. Like to look at other folks' skies though.

To reduce the blahs, here's list of Good Things.

  • It's Fall. I have always loved this time of year, eggnog, pumpkin pie and all that. But the shortening of the days --- not so exciting. But this year, the later dawn means that I have a few more minutes to sleep before the squawking outside makes me grab my sweats and run out to free the girls from the coop/run.
  • The car has a brand new clutch. We got 84K miles on the original clutch, good for hilly Seattle. A tribute to my driving ability! Well, partly. About half the miles are highway miles.
  • Although a new clutch is pricy, it got installed the very minute after Visa processed the monthly statement. We won't have to pay for it til the end of November. Very good since the October Visa bill includes camseals, timing belt and water pump.
  • Franz picked up his new bike today. He's bike commuted for years and put many miles on his previous bikes which have both been mountain-road hybrids. He finally got a true road bike and he's feeling the love.
  • I won a blog contest! Yay for random numbers. Birdsong is sending me some goodies.
  • Zach's now a First Class Scout and got 4 merit badges at the Court of Honor last week. Most of the merit badges are in the embarassingly easy category, like fingerprinting, he got the swimming merit badge. He's struggled with swimming forever and it took lots of courage and determination to fulfill the requirements for this badge.
  • Knitting is coming along. I've even unearthed a UFO I got discouraged with and have figured out what to do with it. More on that in another post. It is probably just because I am avoiding the second sleeve of Ribby Cardi, but we won't talk about that right now.
  • Remember how excited I was to find the tubular cast on? Well, I just discovered a companion cast-off! Won't post a link because the one I found is incomprehensible, but I am confident someone somewhere out there has a better tutorial.

Thursday, October 5

Some Knitting

but knot my knitting.

This is for Nancy (Hi, Nancy!) but hey, everyone else can read it too.

Two Saturdays ago, when my guys were off bushwacking in the Cascades with the Boy Scouts, Jamie came over and we spent the afternoon knitting --- mostly swatches for Jamie's first sweater, the Tweedy Aran Cardigan from IK Winter 2001/2002. It took both of our ginormous brains to figure out that Fancy Rib pattern; but we did, and Jamie's swatches were looking good. She swatched it on at least three different needle sizes, too. An entire day spent swatching is a good thing when you want your sweater to be perfect. And ooh la la, is it turning out perfect! The pattern comes in only a few sizes, jumping from 38 to 42.5 in a single leap. 38 would be a little snug, 42.5 she would swim in. But turns out the swatch gauge she liked the best was a little bit smaller than stated gauge, so she's making the 42.5 and it will end up a little smaller, just right. (Cascade 220, US6 and US7 addis, I think)

Have to admit when Jamie first showed me the photo in the magazine and said she wanted to knit it, I was well, OK, that's an interesting sweater. But then I searched some blogs for finished ones. Wow. Looking again at the magazine, I realised it is probably a size 42.5 sweater on a size 34 model. It even looks like a clothespin might be pinching in some of the back and it still just hangs on her. Now I am jealous and I want to knit one too.

Jamie's been knitting for a few years, some scarves and socks mostly. Did I tell you this is her First Sweater! Then I showed Jamie Loop-D-Loop and now she is all obsessed enthusiatic about sweater number two, the Cabled Riding Jacket. Here's a finished one done in Lamb's Pride worsted. Jamie contacted Green Mountain Spinnery, the source of the yarn for the sweater in the book. They are sending her some samples and will custom dye the wool when she chooses the color.

Wow, her first two sweaters are destined to be classics that she will wear forever. My first sweater?