Compassion for Children’s Futures

I’m slipping out of Neverland, where I’ve obviously been lost for quite some time (writing blog posts in my head instead of in the reality of cyberspace), to write a very important post tonight.

I’ve sponsored children since I was 13 years old. About 5 years ago, I had the opportunity to stand in one of those homes you see on the late night appeals on TV. I’ve seen a toddler recoil in fear from a toy – something he’d never seen. I’ve been blessed to speak to adults who were sponsored children. And I’ve read the recent USA Today report that states with certainty that child sponsorship DOES make a difference in children’s lives.

I currently sponsor four beautiful little girls – Dayana and Hilda in Honduras where my daughter served as a missionary, Faviola in Guatemala where my very first sponsored child lived, and Heidi in Peru, the source of so much of the gorgeous yarn I purchase.

Hilda 2x3Heidi 2x3Faviola 2x3Dayana 2x3

I love getting letters from my sponsored children and their families and watching them grow. I love knowing how much difference I can make in these young lives, and in the lives of their families and also their communities. I love knowing that Compassion makes sure that my girls will have the opportunity to learn about Jesus. And I love having these four sweet faces on my desk, reminding me to love them and pray for them regularly.

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So, this Sunday is Compassion Sunday. I want to share the love with you all. I want to give you a little nudge to consider taking on the responsibility of sponsoring a child who needs your love and prayers. Click on THIS LINK to go to my Compassion Sunday page and choose a child who needs you. Set up your sponsorship this weekend and then drop me a comment on this blog post sharing your child’s full name, birthday, and country, and I’ll contact you privately for your address and send you a stand like the ones you see in the photo holding my girls’ pictures. For the price of one dinner out each month, you can change a life forever! Please join me and make a difference!

Published in: on April 20, 2013 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Propriety

Yes, it’s been forever since I blogged. It has NOT been forever since I THOUGHT about blogging, though! Life has just been insane this past year, and I’ve given up trying to guess when it’s going to settle back into normal. Hence, there will be no resolution about blogging more regularly in this post. I’ll do what I can. However, I just really need to blow off some steam tonight on a topic that has been very much on my mind recently – propriety.

This first sprung to the forefront of my thoughts last weekend when I attended a wedding shower. I’m still totally blown away when I think back to some of the things that happened. When did it become acceptable for wedding showers to become pornographic? The worst part of the event came when all the attendees, which included some people who barely knew the bride-to-be, along with some of her older relatives, were handed a “How Well do You Know the Bride?” quiz. Questions included asking what was the bride’s favored conjugal position, where was the most unusual location she’d engaged in same, and with how many different men. It made the question about her preferred style of undies look tame. To be quite blunt, I don’t know that information about another person on this earth, nor do I really want to. And yes, I found it offensive to even be asked to speculate about it – and I was shocked to be put in such a position that I had to decide how to handle something like this in a social situation with people I didn’t know well, but who put on a front of doing everything just so.

Not having really gotten past the surprise and discomfort of that situation, tonight I got a message from the bride’s mother, whom I’ve seen only twice in my life, and to whom I’ve never even been formally introduced, that I was not to knit at the wedding OR the reception. Note: she’s seen me two times, and one of those two times, I was knitting in public. I’m not even sure the woman knows my name. Now whether or not I would actually have considered knitting at either of the two events doesn’t really matter (would definitely NOT have knit at the wedding, but if the reception is a bore, it would have at least crossed my mind…). The thing that gets me about this is that this woman clearly believes she has the right to tell ME how to behave in a social setting, and that very seriously offends me! If I didn’t happen to care very much for the groom, I would NOT be going to the wedding at all – period. I’ve got better things to do with my life than hang out around controlling, judgmental people. How can someone believe it’s more socially acceptable to exercise that sort of control over someone they don’t know than it is for that person to sit quietly knitting in public? However, there’s a part of me that feels extremely sorry for this woman. Just imagine how terribly unhappy she must really be inside if she honestly believes she has to make all the people in her visible world live up to her personal standards of perfection! Glack!
There was a time in the not to distant past when a woman who did not carry her needlework with her was considered lazy and what happened behind bedroom doors between a husband and wife was considered private. If it wasn’t a married couple, it was considered scandalous. I’m having a tough time seeing the changes I’ve encountered this past week as being progress.

So, the joy sandwiched in the middle of these two events was the lovely compliment I was paid two days ago. I was spending the day with someone I’d never met before, and I was just being myself – something that it took me many years to learn was okay to do. He commented that I don’t seem like the sort of person who is much worried about what people think, and I couldn’t have been happier to hear those words! I like that I finally have learned to be comfortable in my own skin. God has only ever made one me, and if I spend my entire life trying to be somebody else, then I’ve wasted my individuality. Does this mean I have a license to be crude or hurtful? No! But it does mean I have the right to wear the clothes I want to wear, not wear make up, not like eating fish, celebrate only the holidays I feel like celebrating, hold the beliefs I want to hold, have the interests and hobbies I have, etc. I’m not hear to live the life someone else thinks I should live. My life and choices are between me and God. The fact that someone could see that in me with just one afternoon together and commended it was truly a nice thing. 🙂

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 4:02 am  Comments (1)  
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First Two FO’s of the Year

I may be behind posting, but at least it’s not as far behind as I am on last year. 😉 I have not one, but TWO projects finished, and before they become ancient history, I want to share.

The first official finished project of 2012:

I started this yarn last August when I needed something to do and demonstrate with whilst acquainting a new spinner with her new wheel. The colored fiber was a lightly roving of Australian 54’s – pretty enough, but nasty to work with since it was lightly felted. Predrafting took some effort, but paid off in the end. I bought the roving as part of a destash before I knew anything at all about spinning. Good thing I only paid $5 for it, but I still wonder about the morals of the woman who sold a novice roving in this condition. 😦 The white I picked up at Heritage in Michigan last summer. It was possibly the most unpleasant roving I’ve worked with. It was chock full of VM of the sort that doesn’t fall out during spinning, so I had to stop regularly and pry the bits loose. It also was prone to tangling, forming little neps constantly. Wish I’d written down what sort of fiber it was, as I don’t want to make that mistake again, but for some reason, I don’t have that information. Regardless of the struggles, I do have well over 600 yards of “Buttermint,” as I’ve christened it, and almost 50 spare yards of white to use as trim on something. It came out about sportweight. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet. It felts easily and it’s not my normal colors, so it will take some thought. Open to suggestions!

The second project I finished just this week, marking one of the 3 past due Christmas gifts off the to do list at long last. 🙂 That is a tremendous relief! Although I started this project last February, life quickly got in the way, and it didn’t much progress for quite a while. Ultimately, it was nearly all knitted after mid-October and while I was working frantically to do so many other major tasks at the same time that I couldn’t begin to count them.

The story behind this is that for Christmas 2010, my younger daughter had put a knit afghan sold by Land’s End on her Christmas list. I found this somewhat insulting, beings as I’m a knitter, so I finally braved asking her why that one and not one that her mom made for her. Her response was, “If you can make one that pretty, go ahead!” Considering how simple it was, that was NOT a problem! This is a close copy of the one from the catalog, but possessing more cables and substantially larger, since both of them are tall and my son-in-law is definitely not a scrawny fellow. At Christmas, it was larger than the average afghan, so I took it out to show, hoping for the go ahead to bind it off and be done. She asked how much more yarn I had – answer being 8 balls, which was 40% of the total I’d purchased. She told me to use it all! WAH!!! 😦 Well, it’s done now, and it’s a BIG blanket!!! It’s so big that I had to start carrying it in a mammoth tote bag with more internal capacity than my roll on suitcase, limiting the places I could take it as social knitting. The yarn is Lambs Pride Superwash Bulky, and I really enjoyed working with it. It was a pleasure to knit, and despite running 2136 yards through my needles, I never really grew tired of it. Since it is superwash, it was a bit of a bear to wet splice, but with perseverance, all superwash wools that I’ve used have finally capitulated, and I’d rather work hard for that bond than darn in 40 ends in a somewhat slippery yarn on a project that is going to receive heavy use by a non-knitting family. This yarn, though called bulky, knits more like an aran weight, IMO. The basic pattern I used was All Natural Cables by Lion Brand, biggest modification simply being the length. If I had it to do over again, knowing I was going to use all the yarn, I’d have made it one cable wider and just run out of yarn sooner, I think. It’s being delivered to her as I type this, and hopefully she will send me a picture of it in her lovely home, so I can update the post with an in situ photo.

It’s That Time Already?

Actually, in many ways it seems like it should have been “that time” months ago! 2011 was painfully long in many ways, but shockingly short in others. I’ve been doing battle with myself for nearly a week now about this post. I really didn’t want to face it. That doesn’t say much for my personal resolve to see my goals as just that – goals. They aren’t set in stone, nor a measure of failure vs. success. They are meant to be a guideline to keep me focused during the year – something I really need!

That said, 2011 hurt. I had a beautiful set of goals, clearly too big to accomplish everything there, but such delicious options! Despite the turmoil of the early months of the year, I managed to plunge into my list with enthusiasm, delighting in my projects. It’s a good thing I did. It turned out that what I did in those first few months was pretty much all that got finished the entire year. That is scary! I did get someplace new, set up a savings plan, lose those 25 pounds (which had morphed into 40 and are all gone), learn to double knit, and read 100 books, (though one of them wasn’t completing the Bible). I finished 3 UFO’s, just one pair of socks, and I got a fantastic start on Burridge Lake, though it is now classed as a UFO, since I’ve not been able to touch it since May. 😦 I worked hard on my stash and my DVD’s – for a while. I have a new toilet and installed shower facilities in my bathroom, but that was the end of making my bathroom wonderful. I wove a wonderful shawl. And I blogged regularly and learned my Bible verses – until mid year…

But I need to be kind to myself. I survived an amazingly tough year! I never dreamed on January 1 even half of what happened – of how my year was going to be reshaped. I didn’t imagine getting a new car, competing in 5K races, learning to set up an IV and give injections, or planning a funeral, nor did I think I’d lose two of my closest friends. I’ve grown and changed dramatically in the past year, and I’m thinking it might take another year before it all soaks in!

So, all that said, here I go again with the goals. This list is nearly a carbon copy of last year’s list. That was tough on me, as part of the excitement of New Year’s Goals is leafing through the files in my mind and deciding which of my life “wanna do’s” I’m going to try to tackle in the coming months. I had very little of that this week, and it’s disappointing. However, the goals I set last year are still very valid – still things I do really want or need to do, so I’m sticking with them with about a half dozen changes sprinkled through the list.

But truth be known, I really have just one REAL goal for 2012… that when it’s time to write my list for 2013, it’s a LOT different! 😀

Knit/Spin/Weave Goals:

  1. Publish at least 4 knitting patterns, including another KAL
  2. Complete Level 1 of the Olds College Master Spinner Program
  3. Knit a project from wool I’ve cleaned and spun, using a pattern I’ve designed
  4. Make another 2 pairs of handknit socks for myself and 2 pairs on my CSM.
  5. Finish at least 3 of the projects currently languishing in my WIP/UFO tubs – at least one item started before July 1, 2010, and the other two any time before July 1, 20111.
  6. Knit something tiny – size 4/0 needles or smaller – probably something for my future miniature yarn shop
  7. Weave something on something other than a triloom.
  8. Make a lovely sweater to fit the new me that shall be at the end of the year
  9. Learn Portuguese style knitting
  10. Attend a class teaching a skill that is new to me

Other Creative Goals:

  1. Finish at least one of the current remodeling projects – nook, laundry, sewing room, or kitchen
  2. Finish Reba – bisque porcelain doll
  3. Move one of my dolls from hospital patient status to display status – maybe Aaron, so he can show off his adorable knitted romper?
  4. Finish the interior and/or exterior of Friendship Cabin, a Real Good Toys Adirondack Cabin that we started several years ago, but which has languished untouched since sometime before the beginning of 2009
  5. Finish my Gail Wilson Hitty, which was started with enthusiasm during the online class, worked on for three nights, and now has the rest of the girls giving me “the look” for not getting their sister done
  6. Find the stories I started writing and complete at least one rough draft
  7. Finish a Hitty carving project
  8. Finish my Minstrel spinning wheel
  9. Create a photo book and a calendar
  10. Finish either a quilt or cross stitch UFO

Decluttering/Organizational Goals:

  1. Catalog DVD library and view those I’ve not watched
  2. Stash all my yarn on Ravelry – which will get done one of these years if I keep at it!
  3. Organize my computer photos, then print and label as I think necessary (okay, yes, multi-year!)
  4. Restock and reopen my internet stores, thus moving stuff, boxes, and packing material out
  5. Get loose knitting patterns into a usable system
  6. Have all books properly shelved. No stacks, floor rows, or double shelves.
  7. Clean out one of my email accounts, then maintain it
  8. Build and implement one of my storage solution plans
  9. Get my entire bathroom “wonderful” – tougher than it sounds!
  10. Scavenge all files off old PDA before I lose them

Personal Goals:

  1. End the year at my target weight
  2. Read 100 books, one being The Holy Bible
  3. End the year debt free – both money and promises made
  4. Go somewhere new – state or country
  5. Blog at least once each week
  6. Solidly memorize at least one  scripture verses each month
  7. Memorize one favorite hymn each month
  8. Spend time at least once each week working on a foreign language
  9. Spend at least a few minutes every week making music
  10. Walk 250 miles and participate in a 10k race.
Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 3:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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2011 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Published in: on January 3, 2012 at 4:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Wool Gathering 2011

So I’m going to see what happens if I try to do some blogging. It’s been so many weeks that I almost feel like a stranger here, and, of course, I’ve not been around simply because so very much has been happening.

Today, I thought I’d share Wool Gathering 2011 (Yellow Springs, Ohio) with you. It was such a joy to be able to do something that is a special annual treat despite the strain and pressure of my current real life. It sure was hard to believe it had been an entire year since the last event! I also couldn’t believe I walked out of the house without my camera for the first time ever. I knew I was forgetting something, but for it to be my camera tells you that my brain just isn’t all here! Anyway, that means that all the pix are after the fact, with the exception of the one I shot with my phone, which turned out much better than I’d expected. Now I wish I’d have done a bit more of that. 😦 Ah, well…

In addition to the hours I enjoy chatting with vendor friends I see just once a year, time exploring new ideas and gaining knowledge about fiber and using it, and just enjoying the general atmosphere (and when I have it, keeping my camera busy…), cruising through the vendor’s area is always a huge part of the fun. 😉 I really think I did well this year in thinking through my purchases. I saw every booth at least briefly, found virtually everything on my wishlist (except for a particular skein of commercial yarn that I was planning to buy online), and shopping carefully even came home with a few dollars (note “few”) in my purse. 24 hours later, I still love everything I bought, am enjoying the diversity of my choices, and don’t think I made any mistakes, so I’m happy. 🙂 So, what did I bring home? With apologies for the pix, as WordPress seems to be rationing how many large photos I can post at once:

A carved bone shawl pin from Gita Marie. Believe it or not, I didn’t have a white shawl pin!

Paco, a new alpaca for the Hitty crew, which pleases them greatly. He’s ready to shear, and they are ready to spin! Hitty D was out in the pasture with him today, and reports he’s settling in quite nicely.

I picked up a lovely lucet made from Honduran Leopard wood from Margaret Ledrich. She had dozens of beauties from which to choose, so I finally decided to narrow my choices down to just those made from Honduran wood. That at least helped. 😉

Wolle was a new vendor this year, and I was captivated with her yarn, which is gradient cotton thread, 4-strand, untwisted. Sadly enough, she didn’t have the colorway I was desperate to own in the size ball needed for my first choice pattern, but I’m quite fond of my Plan B, and I look forward to knitting it. 🙂 I’m going to keep an eye on her etsy shop in hopes of snagging my first love sometime soon.

I needed two sets of knitting needles for immediate projects. How weird it is that I “need” needles with all those I have here! However, knitting a scarf on needles with 40″ cables isn’t a lot of fun, and since they won’t fit in my needle tote, I’d never gotten around to purchasing 35’s… The size 3 needles are Addi Lace, far from being my favorite needles, but since the only 3’s I had free when I started on the project last week were the Addis I never use, I was afraid to change brands now, so now I have another pair of last resort needles. 😉 The 35’s, which look a LOT bigger in person than they do in this picture, are designed and sold by HPKY, another vendor who got my business for the first time this year – in a big way, as you will see later…

I didn’t have bunny fur on my shopping list this year, but when I saw this angora roving, I just couldn’t walk away from it! I love the teensy specks of color, and I think it’s going to make beautiful yarn. I meant to go back to her booth to buy some plain white at the end of the day, but I got sidetracked then ran out of time.

I barely managed to avoid buying any more alpaca fleece or fiber, which is tough, because Wool Gathering is particularly blessed with awesome alpaca offerings. However, I did finally buy my first llama fleece. Pia was the donor, and she lives at Agape Lland Llamas. I know this looks gray in the pix, but it’s really an intense black, and it’s also one of the softest llama fleeces I’ve touched. Took me a lot of years to get llama, but I think it was worth the wait. 🙂

Since I’m on the topic of fleeces and waits, it’s a good time for me to confess I brought home a sheep fleece, too… BUT just one! I was deadset determined not to bring home any fleece unless it was a new to me fleece. There are usually a lot of really nice fleeces at Wool Gathering, but they tend to be from the same vendors, hence the same breeds. I figured I was going to be coming home fleece free. HAH! Lunabud Knits surprised the socks right off of me by having a yummy, even though unskirted, Texel fleece, and Texel has been on my priority list for a long time! Happiness is…

Thinking ahead, I was pretty sure my anti-alpaca pact was going to keep me safe at Tri-Valley Alpacas, vendors who have sent me home with a “few” pounds of gorgeous alpaca fleece in past years. What I didn’t successfully predict was the new assortment of other goods that were at their booth this year, nor did I anticipate the reaction I had when I put this really great little duffle tote on my shoulder. I’m a pushover for Latin American weaving anyway, and turning into a tote addict, too, it seems. It came in handy yesterday. 😉

The first booth where I caved and made a purchase was also the first booth I came to after entering the gate. Basically, my reserve didn’t last as long as I’d planned for it to hold out. What I can say in my defense is that I could have very happily filled my car in the Wooly Knob tent, but managed to walk out with just one kitchen trash bag of roving dangling from my arm, so… I was affectionately calling this purchase my junk food. After spending so much time this past year washing fleeces, carding, dyeing, combing, blending, etc., buying this enticing stuff felt guiltily wonderful – fast, easy, and (stash)fattening – and I love it! 😀 This is my first Wooly Knob fiber, but what I found interesting is how many people seeing my bag grinned at me and said it looked like I’d been to Wooly Knob. I’m eager to see what I’ve been missing! I got a sweater’s worth (I hope) of the denim blue, and I’m thinking that the white with sari silk will be employed with something else – probably solid – in the end. Beyond loving it, I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the black/blue/purple/green striped roving yet.

This might be my most unexpected purchase. It also might be the item that drew the most comments from others the entire day, though I carried it around during only the last 45 minutes. I spotted this Bonnet Basket, woven by Margaret Lou Bickenheuser (contact – mylittlebasketshop at yahoo dot com) well before noon, did my drooling over it, then walked away quite certain I’d seen it for the last time. When I walked back past the booth a little after 6:00, it was still sitting there… waiting… and although I spent a good bit of time trying to convince myself that I didn’t need to take it home, as you can see, I didn’t succeed. I love the walnut inserts and the overall solidity of the basket, and it’s plenty big to hide a multitude of fiber indiscretions. 😉

This is a bit “cart before the horse,” but it was just so perfect… In the HPKY (Hand Painted Knitting Yarns) booth, one of the very first things I saw in the entire show, but the very last purchase I made, I saw a simple garterstitch sweater that I just loved. I’m not making sweaters for myself until I can wear the size I want stay, so I’ve walked away from a lot of sweater opportunities. I’ve also favorited a lot of sweaters on Ravelry! This was my downfall. The yarn and pattern to make the sweater came home with me as a reward – my dangling carrot. When the day comes that I start knitting this, there will be a glow from my grin lighting the skies over Ohio and probably visible 3 states away. 🙂 I adore the colorway, and the featherlight baby alpaca yarn (Rome) is incredibly soft! The yarn presentation is interesting. Somehow all the skeins are braided together into this big megaskein, which will definitely keep everything in one spot. 🙂 I looked on Ravelry, hoping to post a link to the sweater pattern, Ilaria, but there isn’t one up there, so you’ll have to wait a while. It’s going to be so fun using this incredible yarn to do this quick knitting project. I can’t wait! (Have I said that before?)

One of the best places to spend time, IMO, is in the Benjamin Green Studio booth. If you’ve been reading my blog very long, you know I have an impressive collection of his work, including a few “rare” pieces. This year I went with the intention of adding a hackle to my line up of tools and let him know in advance. He went prepared, but ended up selling my hackle before I found his booth. Imagine my shock when he offered to sell me his own personalized hackle instead! I was very honored, and I love my new acquisition. 🙂 The fun didn’t stop there, though. Having seen my wool comb photo from last year, he was horrified that I’d managed to buy the one comb that walked out of his booth with some bent teeth. I was duly provided with a comb tooth straightener, and we all had a good laugh over the whole thing. 😀 The surprises weren’t over yet, though. I’d been bugging him for several years to build a drop spindle lazy kate, and this year he came through for me with a beautifully simple design that works wonderfully and folds flat for storage. I love it! I only have one spindle loaded in the picture, but it does hold two. He also has made adapter pieces that will convert it to hold two bobbins or quills. I added an itty bitty niddy noddy to my pile off booty. I couldn’t resist its 24″ skein size. Like I said, I love shopping Ben’s booth! His only problem now is that he is going to have to come up with something new for me to buy next year! 😉 I have an idea or two for him…

So that’s the end of what I bought at Wool Gathering – except for the typically delicious supper at Young’s Jersey Dairy, which provides the grounds where WG is held each year. What I haven’t shared is the other item that jumped into my car yesterday…

No I have no idea where I’m going to put it at this point! I’ve only been to 4 yard sales all year long, but let’s face it, if 25% of yard sales I went to always netted me things like this, I’d spend more time on the road during the summer!

Having a great wheel is a dream I’ve held for nearly 30 years, and I’m still trying to believe that it has really come true! To find one in working order and with a weasel to boot unexpectedly at a yard sale feels truly miraculous. Yesterday was one fantastic day for this fiber lover!!! 😀

Some Summer Gifts

My best friend reminded me tonight that I’d not been doing a good job of looking for blessings during this harried fortnight that included a friend’s unexpected widowhood and my father-in-law’s sirened chariot ride to the hospital. To be honest, I doubted anyone was reading them, not that that would be an acceptable reason for me to be blind to what God has been providing…

#0016 – The joy of being even one of several hundred who were touched by Norm’s life and gathered to celebrate and cry with his family – and the surprise of hearing Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection between the homily and eulogy!

#0017 – The caregivers who made it possible for my father-in-law to go back home again instead of being the central character in my second funeral of the week.

#0018 – Air conditioning!

#0019 – Phlox, which are sweet enough to make me almost like the color periwinkle. 😉

#0020 – Hibiscus pollen dusting petals so fragile they can only survive one day of glory.

#0021 – Cotton buds, which remind me that “unique” can be different and wonderful. 🙂

#0022 – Promises

#0023 – Sunflowers on stilts, a vertical miracle after their storm flattened adolescence. (Not to mention, they are downright hilarious!)

#0024 – Tei Fu oil – because there are mosquitoes…

#0025 – The wheels of my dreams, to fill the treads of my stalwart, but no longer capable Oldsmobile. (Tempered a bit by the suddenness of the event making a loan necessary…) Finding “the” right color (Green Tea)  in the best model I drove with the lowest mileage and a competitive price is nothing short of a miracle!

 

On Facebook Contests

Am I the only person in the world who finds this extremely annoying?

I don’t belong to facebook. I never WILL belong to facebook. There are a lot of reasons, and I’m not going to go into them all right now, as that’s not the issue.

What’s upsetting me is this current trend, which seems to be ramping up at shocking speed. It seems that now every day or two, I open an email newsletter from a company with which I do business, seeing a subject line about a contest – Win $5000! Win a Free Cruise For Two, etc. Knowing the company to be trustworthy, I open the email only to discover that although there is “no purchase necessary,” it is ONLY for facebook members and includes instructions about how to join if I’m “not already a member.” This growing discrimination is grating on my nerves. I’ve done thousands of dollars worth of business with these people over the years, but since I won’t join facebook, I’m suddenly not good enough to enter their contest? I honestly can’t remember the last contest sponsored by a favorite company that didn’t involve facebook. And in the past several days, I’ve started running into it on blogs, of all things. What is the purpose of having a contest for your blog readers if they have to also join facebook to be eligible?

This whole thing has me wondering just what it’s worth to businesses to be on facebook. Are they getting some sort of kickback or payment based on the number of people they draw in or who follow them perhaps? Inquiring minds want to know…

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Comments (1)  
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Pamuya!

Okay, when it takes 4 days to get a shawl unpinned from the blocking mat, I know life is entirely too busy!This is my Pamuya, all finished and ready for duty. I know I’ve said this before, but I absolutely love this little shawl! The biggest reason for my romance at moment is that it is ever so much prettier than I expected it to be. I felt terribly insecure picking colors for it online, and it’s just a little out of my comfort zone to mix colors like this, so that makes a success feel all the more exciting.It was knit with two balls of Fleece Artist Trail Socks yarn, using about 75% of each ball once I rearranged my color plan. The biggest change I’d make if I knit this again is that I would do the Tiny Crosses sections with needles one size larger than the rest of the shawl. Those areas pull in quite a bit even with me consciously working them as loose as I could, and it made blocking a bit more of a challenge. I have some bits of info written out on my Ravelry page to help make this pattern look a bit sharper if you are working it in two colors, so check it out if you are planning to do that. 🙂 The pattern by Alexandra Wiedmayer is also available there. I highly recommend it for a truly fun, interesting, and cheerful knit. 🙂

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 8:51 pm  Comments (3)  
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Camp Loopy: Dealing With a Few Loose Ends

So I’ve been a VERY bad girl – which doesn’t really take a lot, since I’m supposed to be fully focused on my MSP at the moment, a project that is taking many more hours than the predicted 100-150, and doing anything else is naughty. I’ve been trying hard to stay with the homework as much as possible, but there’s only so much “being good” that this person can manage. A few weeks back, I was needing a few minutes of break time and inadvertently (honest!) hit the link to the Loopy Ewe blog, where Summer Camp had just been announced. I temporarily took leave of my senses and signed up for camp, buying the requisite yarn and pattern, then feeling dreadfully guilty – enough so that I didn’t even tell my best friend what I’d done. Before my yarn arrived, she confessed to having done the same a day or two after me – and she picked the same pattern to knit… Pamuya.

Camp started on June 15th, and I could see no reason not to have my shawl knocked out by the weekend, or at least by the end of the first week of camp. Then I could go back to being a good little student, washing fleeces, spinning, writing reports… The yarn came about a week before camp started, and as tempting as it was, I did manage to wait, working hard the entire time to free myself up for some fun. All I wanted to do was knit my Pamuya, but I did such a good job of waiting that when midnight came, announcing the 15th, I realized I’d not even caked my yarn! It’s beautiful, soft stuff from Fleece Artist (a first for me), and the colors are gorgeous. What was NOT gorgeous was the discovery that the skeins were 25m shorter than promised. I called Loopy Ewe the next day, and of course, the color I needed the most was out of stock. However, the Seafoam was still available, and with another skein on the way, I rethought my design and plunged back into my renovated project.I love this pattern! I love the texture and the variation. I love the colors I chose and the yarn and the way the colors play together. And I’m going to confess that I suspect I like my remodeled colors even better than I’d have liked the original plans. I like it all a little too much, and every stitch I put into it was making me feel guilty. Finally I decided to give myself a particular assignment from my homework each day, and once it was done, I could knit. That didn’t work so well, and I went nearly a week without working on it at all! 😦Week two came to an end, and I still wasn’t done with what should have been a quick and easy project.Then I had a birthday… 😀 I had spent the weekend fighting with a part of my homework that wasn’t playing nice, and when midnight Tuesday morning announced the beginning of my celebration day, I stomped my foot and announced to the dog that I was NOT going to fight with silk and merino on my birthday – period! Instead, I knit on Pamuya through Sound of Music, You’ve Got Mail, and finally Titanic, getting tantalizingly close to the end, and loving it more by the minute.

Last night, I reached the edge, revised by the addition of two extra rows, and bound off. I so love this little shawl!Now I just have a few loose ends to deal with… sigh…And if you noticed the change in photo sizes, all the sudden, in the middle of writing this post, WordPress found itself incapable of dealing with the pictures in the normal size. 😦

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