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Monday, 16 January 2006
G-COP and OFA Knitting
OFA Scarf

As promised, I started knitting yesterday morning. Thanks to a bunch of DVD TV watching, I've gotten this far:

It's as long as my thigh already! Here's a closer shot of the cables. Do the x's show up? I clearly see the Os, but the Xs don't seem as clear to me :-(

I've also been talking about this project around and about -- to librarians and friends. Here's hoping that at least one of these folks responds by knitting a scarf. If you've joined in the fray (whether because of something I said, or something you read on another blog), let me know...

In fact... I think ... yes... it's pseudo contest time here. Let me know if you're working on this project. I'll put your name in a hat. Then, once you've actually sent your scarf to OFA, let me know that too... I'll put your name in again. If you've got a blog, be sure to post your scarf on the blog and send me the link! (if not, email me a pic...and I'll post it). On February 1, after all submissions need to have been either dropped off at Einsteins, or shipped in the mail, I'll draw a name from the hat for a yarnish surprise!

I'll be spending the day alternating between laundry, knitting, choosing yarn for the OFA prize, cleaning, knitting and working on G-Cop

G-Cop Udate for the week of January 9-16

56 items out ... not counting the paper purge -- of paper that came in through the mail. These include mostly clothes from the four of us, but also several books and a DVD I sold on Amazon.

8 items of clothing in (but... but... Coldwater Creek was having a 70% off sale .. and over half is work clothes, and most of the rest could be worn to work.... and.... and... I did do somewhat of a closet purge....

8 balls of yarn in over the past two weeks-- 6 of which are for a gift and so will be going back out again (by AMardi Gras???)

1 book in.

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006 12:05 PM CST
Saturday, 14 January 2006
B is for BOOKS!

This is a statue that a local library commissioned to place outside its new wing (also new front door). I love that someone cares enough about books to put them in a form that last forever, and yet maintains whimsy...

Of course, as much as I love these stone books, I prefer them with paper (or maybe vellum) pages.

Books have been an integral part of my life as long as I can remember. Books have given me vacations when life was awful (I could always escape into a book.) Books still give me vacations -- all the time.

Books have given me guidance when I was lost or confused.

Books help me get to sleep at night.

Books taught me a lot of my knitting skills, and now keep knitting patterns and inspirations for me.

Books taught me history, law, cooking, and a bit of psychology. Books taught me child rearing techniques -- and how to ignore them. Books taught me that people, like books, are not always what their covers imply.

Books are even introducing me to new people (I've finally yielded to the urge to joing a book group).

In honor of Books, I'm giving in to this meme:

1) Total number of books in your house:

This is definitely going to be a loose estimate. If you think I'm going to count them, you're insane (or think I have the week off). I'm going to say approximately 1900.

How I got there. I do have a outdated list of my fiber books which says I have 279 of them. Since I last updated that list, I've bought some and sold some, so I'm going with that number. (This number does not, of course, include back issues of magazines, or individual patterns... only actual books.)

As for other books, in the house I guesstimated by counting the books on a few shelves, counting shelves, and averaging... that gets me over 1500 in the "library". (Dontcha just love those shelves??)

I know that we have 50 items out from the library (only 4 of which are movies or cds). I've another 50 or so in my office.

I didn't count the kids' books because a) they're an ever shifting number -- we donate them to the library when they're truly done with them, but they get bookstore gift cards for every gift giving event (and are thrilled).

Books keep me from fretting about artwork, we just fill our walls with shelves...

2) The last book you read before starting this meme was:
"The Hollow Kingdom" by Clare B. Dunkel; one of my daughters read it and thought I'd enjoy it too. She was right.
Of course, I'm curretnly in the midst of two more..

3) The last book you bought was:

Great Knits for Kids by Debbie Bliss, because after poring over the library copy, my daughter said she wnated about half the sweaters in it.

4) List 5 books you often read or that mean a lot to you.
Only FIVE???

- Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land
- Frank Herbert's Dune
- Katherine Kurtz's Deryni Series
- Certain parts of The Prophet, by Kahil Gibran, and the Tao Te Ching, by Lao Tsu
- Knitting without Tears, and Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmerman (and yes, I did just read them before doing anything else about them.

Please note: this list excludes things like the Dictionary (to which I refer OFTEN, but which I've not actually sat down to read) and many knitting books to which I refer repeatedly, if not often. It also ignores the stuff I use at work.

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 9:12 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 17 January 2006 12:00 AM CST
Sending Knitted Love to College
We now interrupt your planned knitting with a scarf for a worthy cause.
And no, it's not just another charity knitting event. It's the second one you've ever seen me write about, and the first one you'll see me really working to accomplish.

If you don't like it, blame Norma It's her fault I found out about it.

Our mission: to knit a red a scarf for the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) to send to a Foster Child in college by the end of the month. There's more details on their site.

Why: Foster children battle so many extra things every day, and few of them get the support they need to make it through high school. Those who have the fortitude to make it to college often find themselves Emancipated -- after all, they are likely to be over 18 -- and thus no longer their Foster Parents' responsibility. Thus, they're suddenly orphaned in college. OFA tries to ease that burden by sending care packages, so that these kids too can enjoy the sense of being cared for by their community. As you can see here, they're one of the "good ones" whose administrative costs do not eat up the funds destined for good works.

OFA is trying to gather 25,000 2,500* scarves to give for Valentines day -- read more about it here

We've got two weeks to whip up a lovely (preferably red) scarf to send to these folks ... and if there's an Einsteins Bagels near you... you can just drop it off. Einstein Bagels locations (it says all 419 of them in the country) are serving as drop-off points, by January 31, 2006. Or, it says you can mail them to:

Orphan Foundation of America/Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive, Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166-8511

And (gulp) it says the deadline for mailing is January 28, 2006. This is REALLY a short deadline!!!

So... let's go stash diving to find some scrumptious red yarn to knit that scarf.... come with me.

There it is, the stash closet beckons, shining it's light on all the yarn so we can see what's there.

Here we have one side of the stash... is there any red yarn here? Yes...

But as fun as that is, it will not a full sized scarf make (even if I had the time to knit one at that gauge.. be real!)

There's some red peeking out... alas, we'll learn soon that it's sport weight. What about this side:

You can't see it in the picture, but there was some more red yarn lurking in there.. And the useful results of our quest were these:

Even though the Coco has nylon, which means that there's less of a chance of a massive felting disaster in the scarf's future, I think I'll use the Galway... which means I'll be knitting in worsted weight -- a pseudo thick and quick type of scarf... instead of in sport/dk. However, I may yet change my mind and work with the Coco doubled... Either way, I'll be casting on and knitting this tomorrow.

a Besotted Scarf Filled with Xs and Os, I'm hoping it's recipient recognizes the hugs and kisses coming his or her way.

Won't you join me?

*Correction posted 1/15/06 .. Thanks Mary Beth!

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006 11:00 AM CST
Friday, 13 January 2006
Footcare for Handknit Socks
As I knit madly on my JayCrossWalker socks,

I note that each sock-worthy day finds me wearing other hand-knit socks I've made (and been gifted with). Like, for example these:

My first ever Koigu knitting

or maybe these:

Lucy Neatby's Fiesta Socks

Or these:

My Mendocino Clock Socks -- for which I even wrote and sold the pattern!

Today, I thought about my socks and their lives ...

This wealth of yummy warmth for my feet has lasted well... my first ever pair of socks is still with me some ten years later, albeit a tad worn, and well-darned.

The yarn has worn thin at the toes and heels, and I'm beginning to wonder if there's enough there to darn yet one more time.

Perhaps I'll re-knit the toes, if I have enough of the left-over yarn (and yes, I still have some and I still know where it is).

It's right there in that drawer where I keep all the leftover sock yarn. You have one of those drawers, don't you? Doesn't everyone??

How have my lovely socks lasted so long? Especially since I'm prone to ditching my shoes as soon as I walk in the house, and going sock-footed for the rest of the day, and that includes occasional forays into the yard without putting the shoes back on? I wash them gently, I never put them in the dryer ...

and I get pedicures!

The beauty of getting a pedicure (besides fancy toes) is that you get to knit socks while having your feet pampered so that they're better inhabitants for the socks. What a lovely cycle! And I've learned that for $7.00, my folks will give you an extra 10 minutes of foot massage. (this does delay the knitting, but it's worth it. I just can't knit during the massage part).

Even so... I make progress....

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 12:01 AM CST | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Sunday, 15 January 2006 1:11 AM CST
Tuesday, 10 January 2006
Sheets and Pipes and Socks
Topic: Knitting
I've discovered something wonderful!
You know that marvelous yarn made out of Bamboo -- how luxurious and silky and soft it is? Well some wise person took to weaving with it ... on what is undoubtedly an enormous loom ... and made sheets out of it! Yes! It's true! You can now buy Bamboo Sheets. They're divine! Ask me how I know...

Ask me whether I'm thinking of just returning the 600 count sheets I bought to spoil myself the same day I bought these? YES, because I can't imagine that they feel any better than these, much less twice as good (which they'd have to, to justify paying twice the cost).

And someone please point out to me that buying one set in every color would really be a violation of the GCop program! The first set of sheets would not be -- they were just replacements: DH somehow managed to make a wee tear in the old (yes OLD... so old they were due for replacement anyway) sheet, and then failed to point it out until he'd torn a HUGE hole... I should have photographed it.

I DID manage to get the full 100 items gone plus some by the end of last weekend, despite fighting migraines and shopping for sheets.

In further damaged to GCOP, I bought my new blocking tools:

Note the door ... it's there for size comparison with the PVC pipes that run up past the ceiling.

Yeppir, I bought two ten foot lengths of PVC pipe, and some joints:

Clearly, I'm not doing as well as one might with Getting Stuff OFF the property... but these will be cut to size (with spare bits for future items) and joined appropriately to form perfect stretcher bars for blocking the Celtic Shawls. I'll run a bit of light string through the edges, and then use more string to lace the stuff to the pipes, and then stretch..... Sounds fun eh?

Sounds much more fun than last night's discovery of the mistake I made in the JayCrossWalker socks. We will not discuss that since I made that mistake, I not only finished the heel flap, but turned the heel and finished off the gusset. ahem.

In rebellion, I started sock 2. Of course, the first thing I did there was to cast on not one, not two, but eight too many stitches. I figured that out after I had knit the inch of ribbing and started the pattern stitch, at which point it became ... shall we say .. obvious?? I've fixed that now, and am re-doing that lovely k2p2 rib in a more appropriate number of stitches.

As for sock one, I've decided to put it to the BlogReader test. If you all can see and identify my mistake (which right now is driving ME nuts), I'll frog back, and do it right. If not... I'll try to talk myself into living with it.

Have a closer look:

So.. Today's report
G-COP - Added several items, Disposed of none since Sunday
Socks - aren't winning yet, but...

Posted by shadowdancer105 at 3:56 PM CST | Post Comment | View Comments (4) | Permalink

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