Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Today is Rachel Carson's birthday. If you don't know it already, Rachel Carson was the author of Silent Spring, a book so powerfully and persuasively written it is credited as a catalyst for the environmental and conservation movements.

Reading about her -- even just the Wikipedia entry -- is an interesting thing. She did a lot in a relatively short life. (She died of cancer at 58.)

What really twists my titty, though, is this. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson -- in a letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower -- reportedly concluded that because she was unmarried despite being physically attractive, she was "probably a Communist".

I hate stupid people. All of them.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


My very first piece of lace was the rectangular Candle Flame Shawl, the pattern for which I obtained for free from KnitPicks. It was WAY too difficult for First Lace, but I ended up getting the hang of it and knit a gorjus shawl.

I very much want to knit another shawl -- in a gold/apricot heather alpaca lace -- but when I went to KnitPicks to download the pattern, I discovered that they no longer have it offered to the public. And I don't have it downloaded to my computer.

Does anyone have it? I would very much love a copy. I really want this pattern because the candle motif would be the perfect motif for a shawl for Norbert's bar mitzvah tutor.

Update - 5/25/09, 4:10 p.m.
Thank you!
Thank you! Thank you! I have the pattern, I have the correct needles, and I have enough yarn. Now I know what my next project will be. Now I just need to finish my WIP so I can start! (Only about 4 feet left on a shawl. So I should be done in 3 weeks or so.)

Facebook Manners And You

Friday, May 22, 2009


I took today off from work. I've been working a lot of hours since the first of the year, and they have been pretty stressful hours, at that. And since I only work a half day on Fridays, and Monday is a holiday (Memorial Day, for my non-US readers), I decided to take 3.5 hours off and get myself a 4 day weekend! Woo hoo!

We've been having a bit of construction work done in our dining room and Norbert's room, and we had to move everything out of those rooms -- so our house is chaos. Despite that, MY plan was to spend today doing nothing but eating, napping, knitting, and maybe listening to a little music on the iPod.

Instead I:

  • went to Home Depot and bought flower boxes, flowers, and some house plants (on super sale!);
  • went to Target and bought a shade for the light in Norbert's closet;
  • planted the flower boxes;
  • cleaned up the back porch;
  • hung curtains;
  • moved book cases into Norbert's room;
  • moved the dining room rug into place;
  • took the dining table apart in the living room and reassembled it in the dining room, along with 8 chairs and pads;
  • did a bit of grocery; and
  • picked up Norbert from school.
I am so tired.

Tomorrow we have a bat mitzvah in the morning. Sunday we have to go to Ikea to buy Norbert's new bed, desk, and closet system.

Monday we are driving to Shipshewana, Indiana to buy bread flour, all purpose flour, and yeast from an Amish general store I love. And we'll might, possibly, maybe have a piece of pie (or two) at the Amish-run restaurant next door.

I don't know when I'm going to be able to work in some knitting and tea time. But it is my hope and prayer that the opportunity will avail itself.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Thanks to international cooperation between the postal services of the United States of America and the Republic of Ireland, my friend Sinead is now in possession of the scarf I knit for her. (Please, Dear Readers, do NOT write about any of the flaws you find in the pics. I want Sinead to think I did a good job!)

The Photo Credits go to Sinead's partner, Malachy Geelan, whose photographic skill made my humble scarf look spectacular.

It is hard to capture the color -- aubergine -- in photos, but it will look stunning against Sinead's porcelain skin.

I was introduced to Sinead through this blog. One thing that strikes me most about Sinead is her generosity -- and how that generosity is an integral part of her nature. It's elemental. Where other people might think about doing something nice for someone else, Sinead follows through. She doesn't even have to think about it. And she certainly doesn't let something as trivial as an ocean stand in her way.

I think Van Dyke expresses my gratitude for the kindnesses and generosity Sinead has shown me and my family. (Try to picture Sinead as a she, and not a he. And more Catholic than Van Dyke's Presbyterian.)

He that planteth a tree is the servant of God,
He provideth a kindness for many generations,
And faces that he hath not seen shall bless him.

Having come to know Sinead through this blog, my family and I are planning to strengthen our friendship this August when we travel to Dublin. Hopefully Sinead and Malachy will allow us to buy them a pint or a pot.

I'd like to leave you with an assignemnt, Dear Readers. Go out and do something nice for someone.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


According to the stats for my blog, someone recently viewed my blog from Tehran in the Muslim Republic of Iran.

I can't help but worry that they read my little blog postings (here and here) and have now sent a bunch of hairy, women-hating Ninjas for Islam to beautiful Hyde Park to drive me into the sea.

My blog is not well read in South America, and Africa, well, they have other things to occupy them right now. (Though I am HUGE in Djabuti!) But someone in Iran is keeping track of me.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I just finished an object. The Peacock Tail and Leaf Scarf from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia. It was a pleasant knit. I learned a lot. I go over my fear of grafting the end border lace. I think I did an ok job of it. I knitted it from Skacel's Merino Lace in Aubergine. It is really the most incredible color. Just fabulous. And I think it may have been my best piece of lacework to date.

Unfortunately, I was unable to take pictures of it before I sent it away. I could have stalled mailing it another day or two, but in my heart I just couldn't wait. It is going to a wonderful person who deserves it greatly. I'm not saying who. But I had spent these weeks knitting it and thinking about her and praying for her -- I like to use knitting as a prayerful activity -- and wishing for good things for her. I didn't want to wait a minute longer than I had to to send my prayers to her.

I did ask her to take a couple of pics for me, when she has a chance, and I will post them when I get them.

I have already cast on my next project. I mentioned that I had overcome my fear of grafting the end lace panel. That said, I have cast on for the Triinu scarf, which uses a provisional cast on so the end lace edge can be knit onto live stitches.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Well, Poop!

I got the brochure in the mail today for Stitches Midwest. Galina Khmeleva is teaching a 6-hour introductory class on Orenburg lace, and Joan Schrouder is teaching a 6-hour class on Shetland shawls.

So why the poppy outlook? Because $285 is too dear a price -- at least in a year when we are also paying for a bar mitzvah. (For my non-Jewish readers, this is, roughly, the same as paying for a wedding reception for 200 guests...and then another afterward for another 100.)

Speaking of the bar mitzvah, I've been thinking of knitting a lace shawl for Myfanwe to wear on the bimmah. It is the practice in our shul that women cover their head out of respect when on the bimmah. Myfanwe doesn't like the little doilies the shul has for women, and I suggested a shawl similar in size and shape to those worn by Muslim women...only out of fine lace. So now I have to figure out what pattern I should use. Any suggestions?

Saturday, May 02, 2009

OFFICIAL Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Trailer

I can't wait. I just can't wait. How long til July 17th?

Unfortunately, the trailer shows less knitwear than previous trailers.

And I know this video is a little repetative, but the earlier one was taken down.