If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm Zoe Washburne

Your results:
You are Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)

Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)
Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)
Wash (Ship Pilot)
Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)
Derrial Book (Shepherd)
Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)
River (Stowaway)
Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)
Inara Serra (Companion)
A Reaver (Cannibal)
Dependable and trustworthy.
You love your significant other and
you are a tough cookie when in a conflict.

Click here to take the Serenity Personality Quiz

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Owls Are Not What They Seem

Yeah, if you’re my age, you catch that reference.

I think owls are kinda creepy. My grandmother used to say, Never acknowledge an owl. If they ask who, always ignore them. Never give them your name.

The fear, of course, is that it would not be an owl, after all, but some bad medicine, some evil thing that would only look like a harmless owl. And then, knowing your name, it would hold some power over you. Sure, some owls are mere owls. But on the off chance the owl is not what it seems… Better safe than sorry.

So, I’m not a member of the owl fan club. But you know how I love the way you can knit cables to make pictures. So when I joined this Hat of the Month Group on Ravelry and January’s hat patterns include Who? in all it’s owliness, I was conflicted. I wanted to do the cables, but did not want an owl hat.

(I’ve seen patterns where that particular cable pattern is turned upside down, making it look like goats… Clever usage, but that seems a little… demonic, doesn’t it?)

Thanks to M, who pointed out that the cables were just a basic shape that only looked like an owl because you expected them to look like an owl. She squinted at the picture on the pattern for a moment and said “These look like cats to me.”

And, by golly, she was right! So, I made just a few minor adjustments in the pattern (mainly in the embroidery, but also by adding a tail) and may I present my non-creepy version of this hat:

Who? Me-ow!

My mods include adding a tail, whiskers, and tube-shaped beads for eyes instead of round buttons. Here's a close-up of that:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just Because You Can Do Something, Doesn't Mean You Should

What?! So this group of scientists want to exhume Galileo’s body so they can do DNA tests on him and determine how blind he actually was? The idea is, if they know how bad his eyesight was, they would be able to make adjustments to their equipment and see exactly what he saw.

Okay. Let’s take this one step at a time.

First, why does it matter how well he could see? He laid the foundation for modern astronomy by breaking the news to the world that the Earth moved around the Sun, and not the other way around. He was actually even tried for Heresy because of that. (Apparently, Earth not being the center of the universe is offensive to God?)

But listen, he used a 20X telescope. Come on. That’s like using the cardboard tube from your Christmas wrapping paper, it’s so weak. I have a stronger telescope myself. So who cares? Plus, they have his illustrations to show what he saw.

But more importantly, they want to exhume his body. Come on. Leave a guy in peace, willya? It’s not like we need his DNA to determine who is the rightful heir to the throne of England. Not like we need DNA to determine whether someone was wrongfully accused of a crime. Not like we need DNA to determine if his descendants are likely to inherit some physical condition.

No. Let’s just dig him up for shiz and giggles. To see how bad his eyesight was. That’s wrong.

Besides, if you were going to dig anybody up to see what was wrong with their eyes, you’d think you’d want to dig up Picasso.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sad News

I found out about a week ago, and frankly just didn’t know what to say about it until now, my beloved Prison Break has been cancelled. My first reaction was @#$^#! Then, I read that the producers felt that the show had played itself out.

That really pissed me off.

What does that even mean? It played itself out? Really?

Because American Idol is still on the air. And Gossip Girl’s still on. And Bones. And House. And Smallville. And CSI Miami.

Now, if you like these shows, that’s fine. But to say you are cancelling a show because it’s “played itself out?” Come on. Are you saying these shows haven’t? Maybe the writers are just lazy. Maybe they don’t know where to go with the story.

I’m going to help them out.

Michael and Sara are on the run from The Company, the General and the shrink, while Linc works to get Scylla back. He and Alex keep their eyes one Self and T-bag as they work to track it down and the guy who has it.

Meanwhile, T-Bag—devastated by the loss of Gretchen, his one true love, whether to jail or to death—fulfills what he has been working toward all this season and decides to be one of the good guys. He liked the respect that came with Cole Pfieffer’s identity and wants some of that for Teddy. Unfortunately, no one believes he has turned over a new leaf.

Michael and Sara use their extraordinary research and influence powers to find information on the shrink and his work. Turns out he does not exist, as far as they can tell. Is he so deep into this that he is off the radar? Or is there something else?

Linc punches some guys (and all their shirts get torn off) to find the guy and then punches him until he get Scylla (and his shirt gets torn off again). Alex stops Linc from punching the guy to death. Then Self tries to backstab Linc, literally, and take Scylla. But T-bag stops him and inadvertently kills Self. (Because I never liked Self.) Of course, Alex and Linc don’t believe it was an accident and they both punch T-bag (and Linc’s shirt gets torn off) and leave him on his own in Miami.

Michael and Sara meet with The General’s daughter, Lisa, and try to pressure her into giving information about the shrink. She either doesn’t know or won’t say, but she does let it slip that Linc and Michael’s mom is her mom, too.

Linc doesn’t know that, though. He also doesn’t know his mom is behind the goons that he just beat up. So Linc goes to punch his mom, without knowing it’s her he’s going to punch, and Alex says “Hey, why not just do this Scylla thing and forget about going to punch her?” But, you know, Linc likes to punch, so he punches Alex. (And their shirts get torn off.)

Meanwhile, T-bag is crushed because no one will believe his sincere desire to be good. So, why not be bad? After all, he was good at it. He cruises the seedier parts of Miami in a stolen car, wearing a blonde mullet wig and a silk shirt open to the waist with dozens of gold chains. When a hooker asks if he wants a date, he just smiles and opens the car door for her.

Michael cannot believe that he came from the same genetic stock that Lisa did. After all, she is evil and he is… Michael Scoffield. Plus, he just had a brain operation and a brainwashing attempt. So he’s pretty well overcome with all of this. He passes out and attempts to wake him are unsuccessful.

Linc, now without Alex, tracks down Mom. Before he can punch her she tells him “Linc, I am your mother.” Linc doesn’t know what to do, so he rips off his shirt. In the confusion, he does not notice a shadowy figure watching from an adjacent room.

Sara, after examining Michael, realizes he needs brain surgery. Again. Lisa says only The Company’s doctors can help him. Sara does not want to turn Michael back over to the company again. But she has no way of forcing the doctors to save Michael. Lisa suggests there may be a way.

In the final scene, we see the shadowy figure move from the doorway to stand near Mom. It’s an over the shoulder shot and we can't see who it is, but the voice sounds familiar. The man tells Mom not to worry. Michael has to feel as if he is fighting for something. His men are “taking care” of Linc so Michael will have to save him again. And, in doing so, they will secure Michael’s participation. The camera shot swings around and we see… Abruzzi!

So. There’s the last 6 episodes. You’re welcome. This show has played itself out? Not in my book. You want the next season? Not a problem. I’ve got plenty. (But poor Linc is going to catch cold, he’s going to be shirtless so often!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The One Where Patwoman Plays The Accordion

Well, not playsknits. Yeah, okay. I didn’t actually knit an accordion. I knit an accordion hood. But still.

Isn’t this pretty? It’s SWS in Natural Blue. I used about 2.5 skeins. (The pattern says knit to desired length, and I toyed with going one more stockingette block and one more garter block, but I worried that might be too much bulk around the neck.)

I’ve got about 1.5 more skeins of this color. I may do some fingerless mitts to match.

I love this hood, even if it is a mostly dull knit. (I did it while watching TV, so no problem there.) And SWS gently stripes. Very nice.

Unfortunately, the Fox 59 weatherman says we’re in for a warming trend. Just my luck.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

So, That Was Pretty Cool

And historic. I know people keep using that word, but I guess it’s because there’s no better word for it. It’s a historic occasion. I watched the inauguration during work, like probably everyone else. (I assume, since the feed kept having problems.)

Of course, every other blogger in the world is going to be talking about this today, so I don’t want to just go on and on, saying the same thing everyone else is saying. (Those of you who know me, know it’s not the going on and on I object to. I do that pretty frequently, and without remorse. I just don’t want to say what everyone else is saying.)

But I do want to wish President Barack Obama success. (And suggest that he initial his Presidential notes with three initials. No one wants a note from B.O.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Secret For Finding Things

Seriously. This works every time. I said I was going to have to go buy another skein of the green yarn, remember? Then, when I was committed to doing that, I checked a place I had already looked. And there was the green yarn.

Now, this only works if you actually commit to giving up on what you are looking for. You can't just say "Oh, I guess I can't find it. Have to buy a new one." and then have it appear. The Powers Of The Universe know the difference.

But, if you really give up... The sought-for object is forced back into this plane of existence. (I didn't make this up. It's physics.)

Anyway, so I found the green, and reknit R's scarf. Here's the replacement. It's 1X1 rib, in Bernat Satin in Ebony and in Forest Mist Heather. The body is all black and the stripes pick up the colors from the hat. This scarf is very soft. I'm very happy with it.

Did I show you these, by the way? This is the hat/scarf combo I did for my SIL. It's Patons Nuance. (The blue color. I can't seem to find the label any more. But I guess it doesn't matter anyway, because Nuance has been discontinued. Sad.) It's the button hat pattern that I am just loving lately and a K2, P1 every row scarf. The gold thread and mohair-y halo of this yarn just makes it look and feel so elegant.

Still working on my Accordion Hood, but I may have to put it down. It's alternating blocks of stockingette and garter stitch, so it's not incredibly stimulating, you know?

Plus, I joined this Hat-Of-The-Month Group on Ravelry and I have yet to start January's hat. I think everyone else is done. Ha!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Day After Tomorrow

Remember that movie? Watched it again last night, which is not ironic at all because (if you remember) the planet gets really freakin’ cold in that movie and it was really freakin’ cold here last night! It was -2 degrees when I left for work this morning.

That’s wrong. It’s Indiana, not Antarctica. It should be, like 14 degrees at worst. @#$! weather.

Anyway, it was a good night to knit. And, if you knit fast enough, you can have knitting draping over your lap as you go, to keep you warm. Unfortunately, I cranked out 2 inches of R’s replacement scarf and was ready to add the green stripe and couldn’t find the rest of that skein of green yarn that I’d used on the original hat/scarf!

Now I know I have some left. I know it. In fact, I think I just saw it recently. But I couldn’t find it. Don’t you hate that? Then I started doubting myself… Maybe I saw that grey yarn and thought it was the green. (That sort of thing has happened.) Maybe I’m remembering seeing it before I knitted the scarf. I only put 3 stripes on each end. Did I do that out of style, or because I used all the green yarn?

Oh, grrrrrph! You know I’m just going to break down and buy another skein of green yarn. I might as well just stop looking, because you know it won’t even be on this plane of existence until I buy a replacement skein. Then, it will magically pop back into this world.

Schroedinger’s Yarn.

So, since I couldn’t knit the scarf, I decided to actually do something for myself. I started this Accordion Cowl Hood in SWS in Natural Blue. (which I got on sale at Michael’s! See? And you wanted me to make a yarn diet New Year’s Resolution!) I’ve only completed about 3 inches because, you know, I spent so long looking for the green.

But I think this will be cute. And warm. I will keep you posted.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

No Robots This Time

No, but 24 is back on. I taped the episode on Sunday, but sadly, didn’t get a chance to watch. Then, I missed some of the first of Monday’s. So I was like, What? Tony’s alive? How does that work?

And what a wimpy FBI agent. She’s no Jack Bauer, let me tell you. Jack would’ve totally pwned the guy in the hospital bed without flinching. What? You won’t talk? See this lamp cord? Yeah, I’ll bet you’re talkin’ now, bitch.

And what’s up with Chloe? I liked her better as a socially-awkward-to-the-point-of-Asperger’s Syndrome Chloe. What a great character she used to be, not having any social skills and looking like a marching-band kid, all grown up. But now? What are they doing to Chloe? It’s like they’re trying to make her look and act normal or something? Like they’re trying to pretty her up, tone her down. And yet, she still has this huge honking thing for Jack Bauer. So now she’s just pathetic. Man. They’ve ruined her.

Granted, I still have to go back and watch Sunday’s episode, so I am withholding judgment, but…
Anyway, I finished M’s scarf to match the hat. Cast on 15 with #10.5s. Garter stitch border all around and stockingette stitch in between. Just knit until I ran out of yarn. So used about 1.25 skeins of the Pacaboo. She wore the hat yesterday (It’s cold here in the Midwest this week!) and said it was very warm.

Oh, and I went to Michael’s on the way home from work last night to get the yarn to reknit R’s scarf (which was stolen by an ill-mannered skier), but they were picked clean!!! So little yarn on the shelves, it was scary.

I cried.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Robot Armageddon

So I thought, I’ve talked about Robot Armageddon the last few days. I’d better not talk about it again. Sometimes that kinda scares people. (Except M and I were talking over dinner yesterday and somehow we got on the subject of Robot Armageddon—okay, I brought it up—and M says “Oh, yeah. That’s totally going to happen. The first time we build a robot smarter than us and it builds one smarter than itself, we’re history.”)

Doncha just love her?

But then, later that night I was watching the Science Channel as I was knitting a hat for M(You know what a science junkie I am and how I am continually knitting stuff for M) and what do you think is on TV?

Robot Armageddon.

Well, okay. Not Robot Armageddon, but robots, for sure. There were a couple of very interesting programs. Interesting all around. You know, A) because they were shows about robots and robot intelligence and cybernetic parts in humans and such and B) I’ve been blogging about robots for a couple of days and C) M and I just had that big discussion about it.

I think it’s cool when that happens. (When you think about something and then it happens.)
But do you think—and stay with me here—thinking about something causes it to happen? Like, I’ve been thinking about robots and boom! there’s a show about robots. Ever see that movie, What The #$*! Do We Know? It deals with the Observer Effect in quantum mechanics. Interesting stuff.

Never mind that Science Channel had their programming lineup months ago. For all you know, my thinking about robots caused that to happen in the past. What? Are you some kind of quantum physicist? No? Well, then.

Anyway. Here is the hat I worked on. This is one of the Joann Sensations yarns. It’s Pacaboo in Charcoal/Black Print. We were at Joann and M thought this yarn reminded her of Zeus and somehow two skeins of it fell into my basket. It’s 50% wool, 25% alpaca, 25% rayon bamboo, so it has a pretty interesting soft-but-crunchy hand to it. Knits up looking like boucle, without all the OMG-I’m-going-to-kill-someone-if-my-needle-gets-caught-in-this-boucle-again!

This is the Super Easy & Fast Hand-Knit Chunky Beret pattern from Crazy Aunt Pearl. It’s easy enough to do while watching tv and looks nice. I used the (faster) K2 decreases she used since this yarn is so boucle-y, but I would probably (slower) pair the decreases if I were using a smoother yarn. (So, you know I’m only going to knit this in a non-smooth yarn.) I’ve got a matching scarf on the needles, with the skein and a half left over.

Wonder what’s on the Science Channel tonight?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Step Two...

One thing you can say about the Japanese, they're no Luddites. They not only accept the fact that my robot army will one day take over the world, they are facilitating it.

Researchers estimate that Japanese robots will fill 3.5 million jobs by the year 2025. Wow.

And before you go thinking "Oh, we have robots in the workforce here," I'm not talking about just robotic production workers in factories. They've moved into more creative fields, too. Robots at Osaka University will make their stage debut in Hataraku Watashi (I, Worker) next year.

It's only a matter of time.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Step One....

Dr. Hiroshi Shiguru, the creator of Robovie, has a new invention.
This is both awesome and creepy. I want one of me.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

It's Time, Pinky

At last. My robotic suit is ready for mass production. Soon I will command an army of human/robot hybrids.

Oh, okay. So it’s not my suit. And I won’t be in command of any army. Oh, and they won’t actually be human/robot hybrids. (Although the company that makes this suit is named Cyberdyne. And the suit is called a "HAL Suit." Hmmm. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?)

Still, isn’t this cool? Exoskeleton suits like this would allow paraplegics to walk again. And it kinda reminds me of the suit Logan wore on Dark Angel. Am I right? And, you must admit, they look smashing, even in white (which, of course, makes everyone over 45 pounds look fat). Think how this would look with bright orange flames down the legs! That’s about 16 different kinds of awesome, let me tell you.

Much better than the old model, I must say.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Scarf Thief

So, anyway, R, M, and A all wore their knits on their ski trip Monday. It was really cool.

Unfortunately, while they were in the lounge, eating lunch, someone stole R’s scarf! What an asshole thing to do! M was so outraged, she practically interrogated the other skiers in the lounge.

And, poor R. He asked me to make him another one. So, of course, I will.

But really? What kind of a person steals someone's handknit scarf?

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Solving The Eco Problems, But At What Cost?

I ran across this article the other day. The idea is, since kanagroos and feral camels are basically wrecking Australia’s ecosystem because of their numbers, and because cattle and sheep are wrecking the ecosystem because of their methane farts, the solution to both problems is to stop raising and eating cattle and sheep and start raising and eating kangaroos and camels (who apparently fart less).

This seems pretty practical. Only, I keep thinking of all the kangaroos I’ve known. Like this one, probably the first one I can remember:

A fun-loving free spirit who really just wanted to get back to his mom in the travelling circus. He had some adventures with a father-son cat team and made me really want a pet kangaroo.

And this one. I didn’t see this movie (hello, it was a movie about thieves foiled by a wild animal) but I just like the idea of a cocky Aussie ‘Roo who doesn’t take crap from anybody!

And this one, probably the most famous of all marsupials.

I just don’t know if I could eat a kangaroo. Likewise, a camel. But for a very different reason.

You all know about my secret addiction to Bear Grylls, right? Y’ever see that episode where he cuts open a dead camel and drinks the water stored in the… uh…cud (?) in the camel’s stomach? And Bear Grylls—whose pattern, as far as I can tell, is 1) land in some horrible place 2)find the grossest thing he can find and then eat it—nearly vomits at the smell of the dead camel. And keep in mind Bear bites the heads off snakes and eats them raw. He crunches raw grubs between his teeth regularly.

And camel makes him gag. Think about that.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Who Knows How To Knit Left Handed?

Seriously. It’s not the start to a joke. It just kept me up the other night, thinking about it.

I Googled it, but frankly, that really didn’t explain things to me. If you’re knitting left handed, is the right needle still your poking needle? And the left one your holding needle? Or is that reversed?

And, if it’s opposite, then, are you working from the left to right of the fabric? And are charts then reversed? And do your stitches sit on the needle the opposite way? (Twisted, as opposed to the right-handed way?)

I tried to figure it out myself by knitting left-handedbut you know my left hand is so useless I’m not even sure why I even have one. So I’m not sure that was a fair experiment.

Someone send me a picture.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First FOs of 2009!

I actually completed this one New Year’s Day. It’s that quick of a knit. It’s His Black Cable Hat from Sabrina Thompson. The pattern calls for Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick, but I didn’t have any on hand and wanted to start this hat right away, so I improvised.

I used one strand of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice in Charcoal and one strand of Red Heart SuperSaver in Zebra to get the gauge. I thought I would tweed up a little more, but as you can see, it’s more stripedy than anything. And, while I like this okay, it just doesn’t seem like the hat I wanted to give to my little bro. So I went out and bought some LB T&W (aw darn it!… I had to go to Joann and buy yarn!) in Oatmeal and cast on again.

Curiously, after I finished the second one, I tried it on and it was way too short. The guage was fine and it was the same size as the first and looked the same on Notpatwoman. (The first hat fit me fine, too.)All I can think is that LB T&Q must not be as stretch as the Red Heart. Any way, I frogged back to before the decreases, added another pattern repeat and then decreased. That seemed to work fine.

If you are counting the cable repeats, you know this is not the finished product. It's before I did the extra repeat. But the finished product looks about the same.

I like it. I think Chuck will like, too. It’s going to be his Christmas gift. (I know, I know. But I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it up there before mid January.) I think I’m going to hold onto this other one for someone else, though. Maybe me.

This is a good pattern, though. You can do a hat like this during the course of a movie. That earns it the right to join Big Ribs Beanie in the gift hat pattern library!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I'm An Acquired Taste (But You Knew That Already, Didn't You?)

You Are a Lemon

You have a very distinct personality. And if you're not being sweet, you're a little hard to take.

You're a bit overpowering, especially in one on one situations.

And while you are very dominant, sometimes your power is needed and appreciated.

You can liven up a dull situation, and you definitely bring a fresh outlook.

You are a bit of an acquired taste, and you tend to grow on people over time.

People feel refreshed and rejuvenated after spending time with you.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Holy Dopplegangers, Patwoman!

Read this.

Now I find this both disturbing and intriguing. Basically (in case you don’t want to expend the effort to click the link) these scientist did a “body switch experiment.” Only, it was really more of a perceived body switch than an actual one.

Probably everyone has done this exact same experiment in jr. high science class. You put one arm where you can’t see it, and then there is a fake arm where you can see it. Then someone strokes the fake arm at the same time someone touches the real arm and your brain is tricked into thinking the fake arm is the real one.

Only, these scientists did this experiment with the whole body and a rubber mannequin. And the subjects were still fooled. Even female subjects were tricked into recognizing a male mannequin as their body.

Curiously, it didn’t work when the researchers tried to make the subjects believe they were, for example, a box.

I honestly think that would work on me, though. I am famous for not recognizing my own reflection (In, for example, a mirrored wall at a department store. Not, you know, in my bathroom mirror.) Famous to the point of pathetic comedy.

I wonder what the researchers will do with these results, though? What practical use could this have? Maybe it’s just me, but the only applications I can think of apply to the porno industry.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year

This was going to be the post where I fondly look backward on 2008. But then, I started thinking, hey, 2008 wasn't all that great.

My dad died. My dog died. My car died (several times). The economy died. What's there to look back on fondly, really?

Better to look forward to 2009. We purchased a game store, Gamerz, which is pretty freaking awesome. And we have lots of cool stuff going on in 2009 there.

I'm looking forward to a better environment, economy, world presence (hopefully) with this new President. I'm hoping for another great turnout for our Cthulhu Live games at GenCon and Origins this year.

I'm looking forward to spending time with R & M, both grown and very interesting people. Looking forward, too, to the time I spend with T.

Looking forward to 2009. Good riddance 2008.

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