Saturday, September 24, 2011

Creamy Cable and Crowns makes an even ten.

The tenth  blanket is finished, and I think I will be stopping here.  As I mentioned last week, I have a few other projects needing to be done this fall.  If I finish those, and have time before Christmas, I may make another blanket, but if I stop at ten, I'll consider that good.  I do hope the recipients at the nursing home enjoy their lap blankets.
This pattern is Sunny Cables and Crowns from Our Best Knit Baby Afghans.  I used Lion Pound of Love in antique white, which never photographs as pretty as it is.  It is a very pale cream, barely yellow.  The photo on top, with Lumpy is more accurate, at least on my monitor.  

Because the cables only use four stitches, I easily crossed these without using a cable needle, which did keep things moving more quickly.  I do not like the way the top edge looks so loose.  Were I to knit this again, I would not follow the directions, but continue to decrease in pattern for the last few rows.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

365 Kittens

I visited a friend today and enjoyed watching her kittens play.  
The kittens, four brothers, are a few days shy of eight weeks. 
Two are not quite black.  They look black here, but they have subtle stripes.
One was ashy-white, with blue eyes, grey mittens, and a very independent personality.
The fourth looks like his mama and has her sweet cuddle-me personality.
He was my favorite, because he took his nap on my lap.
When they are not napping, they are all four maniacs.
This is one of their favorite games:
Attack your brother around the vertical blinds!

It was fun to see them before they go to their new homes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A week of sick days

I was down with a nasty cold this week, and spent most of my time on the sofa, breathing through my mouth, coughing, blowing my nose, pulling on a blanket, tossing off the blanket, applying lip balm, and drinking hot tea with lemon.

The sinus pressure kept me from reading, but it did not prevent me from knitting, so I made good progress on my tenth lap blanket.  I'm considering stopping at ten, instead of the dozen I'd planned.  I have other things I need to make and want to make.

Thursday I succumbed to the lure of the tv, and watched every episode of Downton Abbey, which I'd not seen before.  Because I was so muddle headed, I did not realize that Netflix started me on episode 5 until after I'd watched 5 and 6.  So I watched 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 7.  It still made sense, at least to me, but not so much to my husband, who came home toward the end of episode 2. 

(This was not Netflix's fault.  Unbeknownst to me, my son had watched episodes 1-4, and Netflix always has you pick up where you left off.)

Isn't it nice to dream? Pinterest

Have I mentioned Pinterest?  I think I have, in passing, but not directly.  It is an online pin board for images.  You see an image somewhere on the net, pin it to your board (you can make as many boards as you please), add a comment if you like, and there it is, the image and the link to the site where it resides.  Online inspiration boards, or wish lists, or to do lists, or recipe files.  So many possibilities.

I joined the site in June, and these are my conclusions:

1.  Pinterest is brilliant.  No more emailing myself links or bookmarking sites and forgetting why.  For me, this is great for craft tutorials, recipes, and gift ideas.  Or will be, when I get around to pinning useful things.

2.  Pinterest is addictive.  I love pinning dresses and home decor to my boards, and spend more time looking at clothes and decor online than I ever did before.  Why should I derive pleasure from pinning a vintage dress that is almost $300 and half my size?  I don't know, but it is the same enjoyment I found as a child cutting out the clothes I liked from the Sears and JCPenney catalogs and playing with them in my grandfather's attic.

(Honestly, though, is this not one of the loveliest dresses ever?  I am even now wondering if I could knit such a thing.  I think it would take at least a year, and I'm not certain of the construction....and my dogs would snag it when they jump on me....but isn't it nice to dream?)

Friday, September 16, 2011

365 Llama and Goat

Isn't it funny how some animals seem to want their picture taken?  This llama certainly did.
When I walked up to the fence, he/she walked up to greet me, struck several poses, and followed me along the fence line.
His yard-mate the goat kept his distance, but didn't take his eyes off me.

365 Sparkly Spider Web

Another good reason to read....and know how tall you are.

If you don't, you may get stuck.
(Nobody was injured.  Just embarrassed.)

365 In a Fog

Monday, September 5, 2011

thoughts on: A Kid for Two Farthings

A Kid for Two Farthings: A Novel (Bloomsbury Group)A Kid for Two Farthings: A Novel by Wolf Mankowitz

Wolf Mankowitz captures the innocence of childhood without dramatizing or sentimentalizing it.  He also captures life in the East End of London, where he himself grew up, at a point when poverty of means was not accompanied by poverty of spirit. 

A slim volume, with only the dramas of everyday life, A Kid for Two Farthings is life seen by Joe, the year before he is enrolled in school.  Joe's world is still populated primarily by adults, each with their own dreams and troubles, but rarely too troubled to nourish in Joe his own dreams.

Joe's dreams revolve around unicorns and Africa, where his father has gone to seek work.  When he buys a sickly baby goat, believing it to be a unicorn, he is convinced his dreams, and those of his family and friends, will be granted by the unicorn. Some are; some aren't.  Mankowitz does not give supernatural magic.  He gives the natural sort, that comes about by faith and hard work and love.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Friday, September 2, 2011

thoughts on: The Clockwork Universe

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern WorldThe Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World by Edward Dolnick

Weaving explanations of the math and science into the history of its discoverers, Dolnick not only captured my interest, but explained things so simply that they even made sense to non-math-minded me!

The Clockwork Universe is divided into three sections, setting the historical setting of Newton's day, discussing the discoveries and false starts which preceded him, and showing us Newton himself, brilliant and focused and crabby.  It is a nicely balanced book, neither overwhelming with math, nor bogging down in details about personal lives, quirks, or rivalries.  There was just enough of everything to keep the narrative going while explaining the significance of the discoveries. 

Essential to understanding Newton is understanding his faith.  Newton firmly believed that unlocking the mathematical code of the world was gaining insight into the mind of God.  He believed and desired that a better understanding of the intricacies of creation would lead to greater adoration of God.  This can be a difficult topic today.  It seems that many writers choose to ignore the impact of faith, emphasize it as being thankfully archaic, or lament its loss.  Dolnick avoided all of these.