The jazz blanket, that is
Monday, July 25, 2011
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
This is for Anonymous, who commented on the last post. If you still would like me to try to help with the pattern, could you email me? Click on the "View My Complete Profile" link at the top right of this page. When the profile page comes up, there will be an "email" link on the left side.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:11 AM
Monday, June 20, 2011
It's slow for a couple of reasons. I stop and ponder for each new unit: where do I want it, what shape should it be, what colors? This is, for the most part, enjoyable; occasionally it's frustrating. Also, I'm trying to weave in ends as I go, which slows me down, but is better than having a zillion ends to deal with at the end (whenever that may come).
The Object is way too busy in design for me to consider wearing it as a garment, so it may end up as a blanket/afghan. (Or a baby blanket if I poop out).
Posted by Cindy G at 3:36 PM
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Posted by Cindy G at 7:21 PM
Friday, May 20, 2011
You know, as in you just can't stop with them, already.
The Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf a/k/a Karen's Scarf, is one of those projects I've been meaning to get around to for, oh, forever. Recently, a couple of the gals in my Thursday evening knitting group took it up, and I decided to go for it.
This has been hard to put down. It's easy to memorize the directions. It doesn't take so much concentration that it gets in the way of conversation; but takes just enough to avoid boredom. And the question of "how will the colors line up next?" is compelling. Fun project!
Posted by Cindy G at 10:52 AM
Thursday, May 05, 2011
The car is working. On Monday morning, I stopped by the local repair shop and asked if someone could come by and take a look at it. The guys said just leave the key on the seat and they would get over when they had a chance.
About mid-afternoon, I was upstairs at the computer when I thought I heard the car door close. I went down to see what was what, but got there just in time to see the back end of the car heading down the street towards the center of town. So I went back upstairs. About 15-20 minutes later, I heard another sound in the driveway. Rushed downstairs in time to see the guy get in his truck and head back towards the shop. The car was in the driveway, with the key on the seat.
I kind of think that's where things would have stood. The guys can be kind of laconic. I asked them to see if they could get it started. They got it started. Not a lot of need to waste further words. But I was curious as to what the problem had been, so I called the shop.
Loose battery cable. It's nice when what feels at first like a major problem turns out to be not so major after all.
Posted by Cindy G at 8:29 AM
Sunday, May 01, 2011
The car, that is.
I got home from work about 12:15 yesterday. At about 1:15 I picked up my knitting bag, intending to head for Last Saturday Knitting; got in the car, turned the key, and Nada, Nothing, Not a Sound. Not grinding or whirring or evidence of any effort to start - just silence.
When Mr. S. got home from a meeting about an hour later, he tried, too. Same result. He's pretty sure it's a problem with the starter. The car is parked just in front of the garage door, and we can't get it into neutral to push it back. Mr. S's. motorcycle is in the garage, and looks as though it will be blocked in for awhile. Aaargh!
Fortunately: 1) the car didn't die on either of the trips I took out of town this past week, 2) Mr. S's car isn't trapped in the garage, 3) Mom was willing to lend me her car which we picked up today. So things could be worse.
Tomorrow I'll have to call our (limited service) local garage and see if one of the guys can come take a look. If, as is very possible, repairs would be beyond their scope, we'll have to figure out what next. But at least for now we both have wheels.
Posted by Cindy G at 4:21 PM
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Well, I had the "mock job interviews" with three high school students today, and they went quite well. They were well prepared with resumes and cover letters, and overall were poised and articulate. The teacher also gave me good resources in terms of suggested questions and a very useful evaluation sheet. It was rather a fun exercise, and I think I was able to give them helpful feedback in a positive way.
I was struck that the most poised young woman, and the one who was able to give the fullest, most specific answers to my questions, has participated in the Green County Ag Chest Dairy Queen program. Yes, we have them in this area, not the fast food places, but crowned queens. This is not a beauty contest, but a leadership program for young women involved with/interested in the dairy industry. Competition for the title involves essays and interviews rather than pageant walking, and the winner spends a year in visiting local events with cheese samples in hand, riding in parades, writing articles for the local papers, doing interviews with the local radio stations. It really is a crash course in organization, time management, public speaking and social skills. I wish more young women had the opportunity get this kind of leadership training.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:04 AM
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
One of the high school teachers just called to see if I would participate in a "mock job interview" session that the English teacher is running. I would role play the part of an interviewer with 2-3 students, then give feedback on how they did.
I think this is an excellent project to help the students develop some real world skills, so of course I said "yes", especially as the teacher has already prepared sample questions and an evaluation sheet - so really all I have to do is show up and take part.
Of course, this probably means I had better wear "business attire" myself. Yikes! Guess I will aim for "business casual". I should be able to manage that.
Posted by Cindy G at 10:45 AM
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
And if you are unable to collect petitions or staff phone banks, it may still be possible that you would like to make a financial contribution, even a small one.
If so, the blog "This is What Democracy Looks Like in Wisconsin" has some reasoned suggestions about where that contribution might best be put to use.
Posted by Cindy G at 9:31 AM
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Vote JoAnne Kloppenburg for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice.
Turn out will be vital. Polls are open until 8:00, and if you are in line by 8:00 you can vote.
If you don't know where to vote, you can find out here (just plug in your residence address).
If you are not already registered to vote you can do it at the polls - bring proof of residence.
You do not need photo ID to vote
Posted by Cindy G at 10:55 AM
Saturday, April 02, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
A must read.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:53 AM
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Need to lower blood pressure. I want to be in Madison. But freezing rain is falling and I don't trust the road conditions. Also, Mr. S. is sick -was up all night with gastrointestinal unpleasantness I won't detail here.
So I'll cast on for the second sock to go with this one. Haven't decided yet what kind of heel I want to use.
Posted by Cindy G at 9:33 AM
If anyone still has any doubt about the true motivation for Gov. Walker's "budget reform" bill, I refer you to that radical left-wing publication, Forbes.
Let's be perfectly clear, this is not about balancing the budget. That could be done with the concessions that WEAC and AFSCME have already offered to the Governor in exchange for retaining collective bargaining rights. He has refused to even consider this.
Also keep in mind that this discussion is not around the Governor's proposed budget package. He has not proposed one yet. This is just an attempt to clear the way for whatever it is that he does intend to propose. Not details have been released. In fact when "The Bill" did not pass last week, he pushed back the date for presenting his budget. It's all been quite secretive, though the figure of a $500 per child reduction in funding for local schools has been thrown out as in the mix.
If his plan at this point is to (among other things) force significant staff layoffs in larger districts and push smaller districts into bankruptcy, he looks to be right on track for achieving his goals.
Posted by Cindy G at 7:00 AM
Saturday, February 19, 2011
we won't be seeing this for a while after tonight.
Snow and (ugh!) freezing rain on their way.
Quiet day for me today: work at the library in the morning and spent the afternoon pretty much following the action in Madison online. (Jealous of Mr. S., he left early this morning and is only now on his way home).
From all I can gather, the counter protest by the Tea Party was relatively small (left before their stated ending time of 3:00), and while there were a few verbal disputes between the two groups, nothing serious. The national television news folks (especially FOX) will probably try to spin this as some major clash of equal opposing forces. It was not.*
Apparently one pro-Walker sign said "I'm here on the weekend because I went to work on Friday." Of course, the same thing is true of my teacher spouse. And I wanted to tell him "I was there on Friday because I went to work today. Same thing for the firefighter standing next to me." I honestly don't think these people know who fought to get them a weekend. It sure wasn't the corporations.
*At around 3:30 a reporter from News3 in Madison tweeted that official estimates say at the height of the event there were around 3.500 pro-Walker (Tea Party) folks were there, and 55,000-60,000 protesters. Which means that definitely more protesters were involved in total, because I know from my two experiences so far people come and go during the day and evening if they cannot be there the whole time.
Posted by Cindy G at 3:00 PM
Seems like they just gave Deloitte Consulting a new eight year contract with a jump in the hourly rate from $92 to $104. Bottom line: $30 million a year (in taxpayer dollars) for work outsourced to India. Really good for Wisconsin jobs-not. If they can do this kind of thing even before "The Bill" passes, imagine what they could do with it.
Full story at The Wisconsin State Journal. Hat tip to Uppity Wisconsin.
Posted by Cindy G at 9:30 AM
Despite the focus in the protests and the press, it's not just about employee relations.
State Representative Sandy Pasch explains in an article on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website. Here's an excerpt. The link will take you to the whole article.
"...there is a relatively little-known proposal in the same bill that could have severe consequences for our state's medical assistance programs.
This provision would give the Walker administration carte blanche authority to make far-reaching changes within vital health programs - including the spectrum of BadgerCare plans, Family Care and SeniorCare - with only minimal review by the Republican-controlled budget committee.
Among other things, the secretary of the Department of Health Services - under the direction of Walker - would have unilateral authority to modify benefit levels, reduce income levels for purposes of determining eligibility and authorize providers to deny care or services if a program benefit recipient is unable to share costs.
DHS would be authorized to sidestep current law requirements for the promulgation of emergency rules, which require a showing that the rule is immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, safety or welfare to implement these changes. Emergency rules do not require notice, hearing and publication requirements applicable to ordinary rules. In addition, DHS would be authorized to extend these changes indefinitely. Under current law, emergency rules can only be in effect for 150 days. Extensions of emergency rules under current law cannot exceed an additional 120 days."
In other words, if you live in Wisconsin and have a child with autism*, a parent in a nursing home, a sister or brother with a disability who is now able to live independently but could not do so without the support of a home care worker...well, if this bill passes it's likely that their lives, and probably your life, are going to get more difficult, much more difficult, soon.
*For more specifics on how this bill could affect therapy options for children with autism, please read the posts at Elvis Sightings.
Posted by Cindy G at 8:30 AM
Friday, February 18, 2011
at my state Senator's office, so I decided to drive on up to Madison to see it I could deliver my message in person. He's a Republican, so presumably he's still in the state.
It was pretty crowded inside the capitol when I arrived, but good spirits, very positive. It was loud in the rotunda, in a good way. Despite anything you may have seen about the crowds being unruly, this isn't the case. People made way for one another, parents had kids there. It was all very positive. The police had certain areas closed off and nobody challenged them about it.
Posted by Cindy G at 3:50 PM
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Wisconsin is going through a challenging time, and I wanted to phone my State Senator to let him know where I stand on some of the current issues. After several (more than 10, more than 20) attempts it became clear that he had shut down his office phones, or rather, let the voicemail fill up and had his staff stop answering. So not only could you not speak to anyone in the office, you could not even leave a message. Pretty sneaky. He'll be able to claim, if he likes, that his constituents weren't that concerned - that he didn't really hear from that many of them. Nice example of representative government, huh?
The last email I tried to send bounced back. So last night I typed up a letter and this morning I'll put it in the snail mail. Though at this point I wouldn't be surprised if his staff is just tossing constituent letters into the trash unopened.
Wisconsin Senator Dale Schultz: I think this is a pretty shabby way to treat the people you are supposed to serve.
Posted by Cindy G at 8:12 AM
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I just spent several days in Illinois, helping out while my brother was in the hospital. He's had a very nasty infection, will be on antibiotics for quite a while, but is doing much better. I'm back home getting ready to charge into a busy week here.
Posted by Cindy G at 2:53 PM
Sunday, February 06, 2011
I had been putting off working the second thumb, because staying in pattern was rather fiddly.
But today I took the bit in my teeth, finished the thumb, wove in ends, washed and laid out to dry. I'll be mailing these north to our good daughter, who is back in school up at Steven's Point.
The other project I've been working on is also fairly small scale. I won't show it yet as it's a Valentine's gift for my sweetie (and I'd better get cracking - not that much time left).
Posted by Cindy G at 9:40 PM
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
It was really a shame to destroy this; but, alas, I had to get to work.
Behind the car there was a drift up to the top of the back bumper, but it was just plain, nothing to regret moving.
And where Mr S. is standing, there were two ridges (thrown up by the snowplows) that were as high as the top of his hips. Fortunately it was all pretty dry powdery stuff, not heavy and wet. Between the two of us we had the driveway cleared in about 40 minutes.
Posted by Cindy G at 1:54 PM
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Well, to honest, the morning was a bit challenging. This past week the library system migrated to a new platform, and while the basics seem easy to pick up I'm still not entirely fluent with the new one (and there appear to be a few kinks to be worked out). So I was a bit frazzled by the end of my shift.
But it was the Last Saturday of the month, and after work I headed to Madison to join up with the regulars at Victor Allen's. I hadn't been able to make it in months, and it felt really good to get together again. On the way home I stopped off at the Sow's Ear. I had a credit on my loyalty card and it was burning a hole in my pocket/knitting bag. I thought maybe some Kauni, because both Jen and Elizabeth had been using it for entrelac projects that were so pretty. But when I got to the store they had some new Opal colors I couldn't resist.
I don't need more sock yarn, but these were too attractive to pass up. And all my recent projects have been from the stash. Plus that credit paid for half. And I was good and passed over a couple more colors that were almost as appealing to me.
For knitting with the group I brought a simple project (good thing, because for some reason I kept dropping needles and yarn balls and diving under the table to retrieve them. Trying to follow a chart or keep much track of my place in a pattern would have been too much). At home, though, I have started in on, what else?, another pair of mittens.
This is again an Estonian pattern (cat's paw). Since I'm working in heavier yarn (Cascade 220), it has fewer repeats than the sample in the book.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:54 AM
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Posted by Cindy G at 2:23 PM
For Real? Not For Real? Why does the cat stay in the tree? Why doesn't the man take the cat out of the tree?
Posted by Cindy G at 10:53 AM
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
TracyKM left a comment that I thought was worth repeating
"I used to knit the thumbs first, but found that they were always too short since it was too easy to fiddle with the mitt to make the thumb 'fit' when trying it on, LOL.
I always make gusset style thumbs, it just seems more logical to me. Lately, I've started adding more length between the cuff and starting the increases, and also adding short rows IN the gusset to give more length to it. The mitts are feeling great, no riding up of the cuff when I use my thumbs, no sliding up of the mitts, they seem more anchored on my hands."
I think the short row idea is rather brilliant. Thanks Tracy!
Posted by Cindy G at 8:31 AM
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I've started another pair, in worsted weight this time, using another motif from Estonian Mittens Around the World. The sample in the book has a red background, with the pattern stitches all in white, and very handsome it is. But since the motif looks like a little flower, I thought I would try green for the foliage and blues for the blossoms.
The book sample has one more vertical repeat, though no more horizontal repeats. They must be knit at a tighter gauge and also somewhat more closely fitted around the hand. The notes only mention that they are made of "rather thick" yarn and are 56 stitches around.
I was proud of myself for managing to get the pattern centered, because it is has seven horizontal repeats of the motif. Harder to center an odd number than an even one. At the top I used mitered double decreases (sl 2 tog kwise, k1, pssso), which give a similar effect to the genuine Estonian type, but are easier for me to do.
Now to knit the second one. And then the thumbs, which this time I will attempt in pattern.
Posted by Cindy G at 7:54 PM
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Yarn Thrower (aka Laura) asked if I had any wisdom on helping with the fit of a peasant thumb; that is, a thumb worked without a gusset and placed on the palm of the hand.
I'm not sure I have wisdom, but here is what I did. I worked the thumb on 1/6 of the total number of stitches. If my total didn't divide equally by 6, I probably would have rounded up, rather than down. Since this is a 60 st mitten I set aside 10 stitches, placing the opening two stitches in from the side of the hand. This placement seemed to work, as I'm not getting any noticeable torquing of the mitten on my hand. I'm not sure if it would be wise to place it three stitches in with a finer yarn and only one with a thicker yarn. Haven't quite thought that through.
When I went to pick up stitches for the back of the thumb, I picked up one extra at each end, so I worked the thumb on a total of 22 stitches. One thumb fits fairly snugly. The other feels a bit loose. I obviously didn't maintain a consistent gauge : - (
But overall, both are comfortable enough.
One thing that will drive me crazy is wearing a mitten with a thumb that is too short (or glove fingers, too, for that matter). So I kind of overcompensate. If anything, the thumbs on these mittens are about two rounds too long. I just guesstimated by trying on as I worked the first thumb and making a note of how many rounds I had before starting the decreases.
The "gauntlet" style cuff happened because the grey yarn is thicker than the mottled red, and because I didn't work the ribbed part on fewer stitches or a smaller needle. I meant to do that... yeah... that's the ticket.
Posted by Cindy G at 3:41 PM
about Estonian mittens that I ordered is Estonian Mittens Around the World, by Aino Praakli.
This one is in both Estonian and English, and contains over 150 mittens knit from historic examples. For each mitten there is a photo and graph of the pattern used on the hand, along with notes about the provenance of the original. Some include working notes (how many stitches to cast on, how many increases between cuff and hand.) There are a few charts for some of the cuffs (lacy chevron, diagonal rib) as well as directions for "woven" (entrelac) cuff.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:11 AM
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Posted by Cindy G at 9:18 AM
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I finished off the neckline with applied I-Cord. This was another "new to me" technique, and it came out a bit lumpy. But so be it. The wool softened up with a good wash in fairly warm water (lots of spinning oil came out). It's still Shetland, not Merino, and I wouldn't want to wear it next to my skin. But over a turtleneck it will do just fine and be both lightweight and warm.
Posted by Cindy G at 3:32 PM
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Friday, January 07, 2011
almost as much because I couldn't figure out why my placement calculations were off as because of the looks of it. Then the light bulb went on. In the two row buttonholes I've used in the past, you knit and bind off stitches of the row you are on when you start the button hole. But for the one row version, you slip and bind off - in other words, you are actually binding off stitches of the row below the working row. D'oh! So I am unknitting one more time.
Meanwhile, I did a sort of cheat fix on something else that was bothering me.
I was not happy with the way I started the motif on the back. The travelling stitches did not come together in a nice point. Now, I was not going to rip out the whole upper back and re-knit that. But it occurred to me that the travelling stitches bear a strong resemblance to an embroidered chain stitch. So that's what I tried.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:08 AM
Thursday, January 06, 2011
The reason I needed to rip back that buttonhole band is that between the binding off and the casting on and the slipping and the wrapping and the passing stitches over; I ending up with the wrong stitch count (and the placement of one hole a stitch off, to boot). I thought that I could fudge it with some decreases/increases on the return row. If I had been working in garter I probably could have gotten away with it. But seed stitch is deceptively simple. Disturb it's perfect regularity and it screams "mistake".
So today I took a deep breath, slowly picked back, and re-did the button band. I'm thinking I should have done those holes one row later. Sigh! I'm going to have to think about this.
Posted by Cindy G at 9:52 AM
Wednesday, January 05, 2011
Monday, January 03, 2011
I've finished one armband and started the other. Now I'm pondering what to do for the button bands. Maybe seed stitch with applied I-cord around the edge and continuing around the neckline. That should be a challenge. Guess I had better try to find some buttons, too.
Yesterday was very bright, but with the sun still low in the sky. It made wonderful branch shadows on the wall.
Posted by Cindy G at 8:00 PM
So I was scrolling down Andrew Sullivan's "Daily Dish" blog checking out the post headings, and came to the "view from your window" feature. Just about scrolled on by when something clicked. "That view looks awfully familiar.... ?...!...OMG! That's my picture!"
This was actually taken back around Thanksgiving, when the weather was warm enough to have the window open. Today, it looks much the same, but there are a few lingering snow piles between the sidewalk and the street.
No personal glory involved- pictures are identified only by place and time - but I feel like I just won the lottery.
ETA: "View from My Window" pics are submitted by readers. This was about my third try.
Posted by Cindy G at 12:32 PM
I found the book I was looking for at Nancy Bush's The Wooly West.
I already own Nancy's wonderful Folk Knitting in Estonia, which is what really sparked my interest. It has lots of good patterns, so I don't really need another mitten book. But my acquisitive little soul just wants More Charts!, More Authentic Patterns! - not necessarily to use, mind you, just to have them. So I'm ordering the book, plus a second one that she carries.
By happy coincidence, the Rick Steve's show last night featured Tallinn, Estonia. The medieval city is absolutely charming.
OK, have to hurry up and finish the vest so I can start in on mittens.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:09 AM
Sunday, January 02, 2011
a good thing. It is cold again, after a few warmer, foggy days that took away most of the snow, and more importantly, most of the ice dams from the roof. Though hardly perceptible, the days are growing longer and I hold on to that knowledge with hope.
The presents have been sorted out and put away. The tree is down. New calendars are up. Here comes the new year.
Posted by Cindy G at 11:41 AM