Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting Ready

August is always a run of dyeing getting ready for Hemlock the third weekend in September.  This year we are also preparing for the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival the very next weekend.  Sheesh! So I am on a 6 week dyeing spree.....

Making some progress. Note the check marks.  7- 8 pounds per day.

The fiber is soaked, cooked, cooled and rinsed to dry.  Most fibers take at least 48 hours with two fans going 24/7.

Once dry, they are taken out to the shop where each lot is divided into 4oz sections, twisted and wrapped.
So..... 3 weeks in we are seeing some full tubs with lots more to process, including yarns.

Hope to see you at one or both of the shows.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Did it in ONE

A couple of weeks ago one of my shawl designs was accepted by Knit Picks.  Last week they sent me the yarn and this week I have made time and space to begin the process.  One of the things I like about knitting one of my patterns for the IDP program is that I get to look the pattern over with an eye for making it even smoother and clearer.  This one is no exception.
AAMOF this will be my first time knitting it.   When I designed A Star is Worn, 2 years ago, I mostly knit swatches and then Ruth A. patiently worked it up for me, asking questions and giving me great feedback.

As suggested right on the first page, one is to knit a swatch.  ARGGGGG!!!  Dreaded things that they are I followed instructions.
And got gauge!  Wow first try and spot on!

Now that I have to knit the entire thing I can see where the pattern can use some cleaning up and simplifying which I spent the entire afternoon on today.

   Let me explain the rationale on this shawl a bit.  It is a Faroese style in fingering yarn so a triangular piece.  I decided to start the shawl from the largest amount of stitches, going to the least, because at the beginning of any project I have lots of enthusiasm but by the time it gets to the ho hum stage I have to find reasons or rewards to keep me going. Shorter rows are definitely a plus when the doldrums are threatening. There must be other knitters who have similar traits so I went ahead with the idea.

 So now it was time to cast on.  414 stitches are called for in the cast on.  I expected to have to rip out that row at least once in order to make a long enough tail to last that long. That's normal for me. However I sorta know how long it should be for 50 stitches so I estimated for 425ish.

AND would you believe it --------  I did it in ONE. 
Look at that tail.  I could have cast on another 15 stitches, at least.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


What with needing to stick around to make sure the Baz stayed relatively quiet -- how come dogs seem to bounce right back from surgery while humans need to be iv'd and kept in bed, etc?  ---  was given his meds 3 times a day and kept an eye and hand on the pressure bandages I did not go far last week.

Plus the temps were awful for up here.  90's with high humidity, so we hung out in the AC'd shop a whole lot, then moved into the house in the evenings. I didn't want him going up or down steps too often so I slept on the couch. Also the bedroom upstairs was almost stifling with only a ceiling fan to move the humid air around.   To put it more accurately, Bazel shared the couch with me.  By the 4th night I was very scrunched up as he stretched out more each day.  I guess he was feeling better but I was getting cramped.  I was really glad when the temps went down to low 70's in the daytime and 50's at night plus Jim came home and offered to take a night on the couch.

However I have diverted from my original idea here.   On mornings that it is not already 80 by 8, Baz and I go out on the deck to enjoy some rays.   Basel lies on his bench, next to whatever stuffed toy he has decided to bring out (today it's his Rhode Island lobster), resting his head on the slats and enjoying the smells.

I get to watch the buns chomping down on apple branches, berry bush canes, rose canes, wild grape vines, dandelion leaves and anything else I can find to pick or cut on my early walk.

Sometimes a hummingbird comes to the feeder hanging near to the nifty upside down tomato planter, but they are too fast for me to photograph.

I usually intend to stay out there for maybe 15 minutes enjoying the views, getting some Vitamin D

and relaxing.  Often when I go back inside, well more than half an hour has passed in pleasant knitting.

Here's a sneak preview of Berry Pie Socks in 2 Knit Picks yarns, Stroll and Palette, (some previous Sock Hop members may recognize the name and pattern).  It should be up on my IDP Knit Picks pages with the Sea Shell Socks, Linear Shawl and Butterfly & Kisses Legwarmers in a couple of weeks.

Maybe its because I enjoy the knitting, maybe the peacefulness and comforting animal vibes, whatever, very few other places satisfy my inner calm like this one.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Basel's surgery

Along with many older dogs, Basel has some fatty tumors.  One grew between his front legs, like a breast. Our vet, John, said that as long as it was not under an armpit or causing any problems that we should just watch it.   For the past 9 months he wore a size 40 C black bra to keep it from being injured.  For the last 3 weeks his bra size was a 40 D.  Then he outgrew the D.   (BTW Jim is on a wilderness canoeing trip with his daughter and grands so I am without his help but have wonderful friends stepping up with this crisis.)  On Monday afternoon I called the vet to make an appointment to have it looked at.  John said he didn't have to look at it, he'd take my word for it being time to bring Basel in for surgery.  

I tried to be positive but had heard so much about disturbing these tumors that I was pretty restless all night.  John is the one who did the very wonderful football injury surgery on Baz' knee 2 winters ago. I know he's a good surgeon and that Baz was in very good hands.

So at 9 am I left Baz in a nice cage with his teddy and came home to do what I usually do when I am anxious.  I get a lot of stuff done that I usually avoid.  In between being anxious I tried to let the oars go and the boat to float downstream as the Universe wanted it to go.  I prayed to have it all come out the best for all of us.

When I called at 1:30, the technician told me Baz was operated on first thing in the morning and that the surgery was done by 10. Whew!  I knew if the surgery took very long it would not be very good news.  She said he was resting comfortably and doing quite well.  That I should come in around 3 to speak with John and pick up the Baz.  This vet believes that animals heal better at home so if the human can manage it he sends the recuperating dog or cat home the same day.   I agree with him whole heartedly.

So I accomplished a lot more 'forgotten' stuff and left the house at 2:30.  Of course I got behind a dump truck doing 45 and then we had a deluge.  Once I got there the technician checked to see if Baz was awake and he was, so I did the emptying my bank account thing into their coffers, then listened to the med instructions and then waited for John to be free to speak with me.

John acts very matter of fact.  He speaks very fast and very technical.  His bedside manner is atrocious.  I think if I was just starting with them now I might not stay, but, since I was introduced to this clinic via his then wife, who is also a vet, but very mothering and working more on the homeopathic side, I got used to him.  Also when we decided it was time to let SmokeyBlue go to that great green bunny heaven, John had tears in his eyes as he gave the little guy his shot.  He also was quite sympathetic and supporting.  So I have learned that he has a crusty outside with a soft inside.

So while we go out to my car and John is picking up this 81# rottie and unceremoniously putting him into the back of my Pilot, he is telling me about dead blood and serum and seepage, all in the rain.  I asked him to explain and repeat several things but in essence, all is well.  He said he thought I'd be wasting my money to send a sample to the lab as he was mostly sure it was a fatty tumor and that it would not grow back.

Carole met me as I turned onto my road, and together we urged Baz down his car ramp and the steps into the house.  He was still sleepy but not in any pain.  Carole, a nurse, and I added some absorbent pads, an Ace bandage wrapped like a Bandito and some sticky flex wrap over it all to hold more in place as he had already moved enough to dislodge the surgical wraps.

Basel is alert, happy, moving well but sleeping a lot today.  I am happy, relieved and delighted with the prognosis.

To celebrate here's a new Jacquie Lawson Pelmanism card for you to play with.  
Click here to go to its page.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have to admit that I rarely read the bible.  It does not have the influence on me that some people might wish and certainly does not rule my actions.   I do know that some people choose to quote select sections of the bible to support their views.  Leviticus has plenty to chew on, some of which has me wondering just who took those notes, John?  Moses?  someone else?  and if their hearing was a bit affected or brain addled or the tape recorder was faulty.

drawn by the Nonist

In her radio show, Dr Laura Schlesinger said that, as an observant
Orthodox Jew, homosexuality is an abomination according to Leviticus
18:22, and cannot be condoned under any circumstance.

The following response is an open letter to Dr. Laura, written by a US man,
and posted on the Internet. It's funny, as well as informative:

Dear Dr. Laura:

Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I
have learned a great deal from your show, and try to share that
knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination ... End of

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some other
elements of God's Laws and how to follow them.

1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and
female, provided they are from neighboring nations. A friend of mine
claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you
clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
price for her?

3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her
period of Menstrual uncleanliness - Lev.15: 19-24. The problem is how
do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
pleasing odor for the Lord - Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
abomination, Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this? Are there
'degrees' of abomination?

7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room

8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
19:27. How should they die?

9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev.19:19 by planting two
different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments
made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also
tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go
to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?
Lev.24:10-16. Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family
affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy
considerable expertise in such matters, so I'm confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your adoring fan.

James M. Kauffman, Ed.D. Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education
University of Virginia PS (It would be a damn shame if we couldn't own a

And here's another that has me wondering just why some folks choose to quote small bits. 
"And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him.  The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."  Lev. 19:33-34

 Does this mean we should open our border to Mexicans, take down those fences and maybe treat these workers as valued people?  Or maybe stop looking at folks from the middle east like each one is a terrorist?  

Gosh the bible is confusing.