If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

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

My Photo
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.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


M asked me to make a hat for her friend, Heather, for Christmas. And, what’s better than a Cat Hat? Uh, a Cotton Candy Cat Hat, duh.

Here’s the Cotton Candy Cat Hat, knitted from Yarn Bee Luscious in Parfait. This yarn really is fluffy and soft. So soft, in fact, that I had to do a matching scarf. Now, the scarf is all garter stitch (not that you can tell—this yarn is really fluffy), but the thing that makes it are these ginormous pompons on the ends.

And what’s better than Giant Cotton Candy Pompons? That’s right. Nothing.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Stress

I took a vacation day today to prepare for Thanksgiving. I thought it would give me a little less stress. It's not working. This is what I am shooting for:

and this:

Instead, I am dealing with this:
(Haven't been to the grocery store yet.)And this:
(The turkey I bought last week is still frozen.) And this:
(Tiny kitchen.)

I'm almost ready for this:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blah Blah Blocking

It’s always the finishing work that gets me. I knit a scarf and wait to block it or weave in the ends. I knit a sweater and put all the pieces in the knitting bag instead of seaming them together.

What is that? Is that some kind of attention span problem? Or is it my subconscious saying I don’t have to do things in the proper order. I do what I want. I break the rules.

Meh. It’s probably just because I enjoy the knitting more than the finishing. Because I think I’m pretty focused and don’t seem to have any problem with sticking to bigger, longer projects. And I tend to be pretty much a rule-breaker only in my fantasy life.

Know those tests… What Alignment Are You? I’m Lawful Neutral.

Anyway, I’m just getting to blocking this Not Entirely Entrelac for Sharon (R’s gf), for Christmas. I like the way it looks, all flat like this. This picture, taken on my camera camera (as opposed to my cell phone camera) is a little more true to color. Which is important, because the thing that attracted me to this yarn in the first place was the color.

I also made matching mittens to go with them. These are Cozy Thermal Mittens, knitted in the same LB Amazing yarn. The scarf took about 2 skeins. The mittens, less than one for both. I used #5 dpns. Went pretty quickly.

I am changing my mind about bamboo /wood needles, but only for dpns. Don’t misunderstand, though. I still hate the feel of wood sliding against wood. (Yeee-ugh! I hate the thought of the feel of wood sliding against wood. Almost as much as the thought of wood—like a popsicle stick—sliding against your teeth.) But, I also hate having my aluminum needles slide out of those stitches. And I hate having to make up forty new swear words to describe my frustration.

Just kidding. You know that’s the part I really enjoy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nothing In Particular

One day last week I was walking from the parking lot to the main DrugCo building and saw this. Yeah, it's just ordinary rock that they've put there to downplay the drabness of cement lot next to the cement street with the cement sidewalk in between (me, I would've put some plants there, but I haven't owned the company in years). Still, I thought it was cool looking.

The texture, I guess, is what appeals to me. It's rock, but there is a fluidity to it, almost like water. Yeah, okay, bubbling water, maybe. But I like it. It's very peaceful.

I take a lot of pictures. I take pictures of things I think are cool or funny or stupid or that piss me off (like, if I think you're being an asshole driver, I will take a picture of you and then show you the picture as I pass). That's also been my method lately of dealing with angry people. I just whip out the phone and take a picture. It's surprisingly effective.

Of course, sometimes you can't take a picture. Like, when you see Heroin Fabio riding his bike or when you see Fat Steven King directing traffic. It would probably be rude to just take someone's picture like that, when they had not done anything to deserve it (like cut me off on the way to work and then slam on the brakes for no reason).

This morning on the way to work, M and I were listening to a teaser on the radio for something Fox News is doing tonight "Some of the tallest elevators in Indianapolis don't meet safety standards... at 10 tonight."

And when I went to the elevator bank...


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Entrelac Again

I think Not Entirely Entrelac is even more fun than actual entrelac. Certainly a lot quicker, I must say. And I think this pattern works extremely well with a yarn like Lion Brand Amazing. The long stretches of color, knit on the bias like this, with definite “blocks” makes a really cool look in a scarf.

This yarn is very cool. It’s 53% wool and 47% acrylic, so I suppose it would felt if it wanted to. But it also is very soft and fluffy, with a nice mohair-y halo. I know this yarn will felt, by the way, because I joined using the spit splice method and it worked really well. The color is fabu. Very rich, with a lot of depth. (Probably because of the combined fibers.)This colorway is Ruby, btw, but honestly, I'd be happy with any of the colorways.

Don't judge the scarf by this crappy in-progress phone pic. The scarf is complete, and beautiful. I will post a better photo once it is blocked. The color, btw, is more like this:

The only thing I didn’t especially like about this yarn was when I had to frog a few rows because I wasn’t paying attention. Frogging any type of hairy yarn is, as you know, something that makes Patwoman swear profusely. This time, I tried a little trick I read on the ol’ interwebs—put the yarn in the freezer and it calms the fibers down.


The fibers relaxed and I was able to frog back without making any knots. I don’t know how long you are supposed to leave yarn in the freezer, btw. I left mine in until T came home from work and decided to (for some reason???) check the freezer.

Here’s a direct quote : Um, any reason why there would be yarn in the freezer?

Well, T, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What Was That First Rule Again?

I laughed out loud (causing people in my office to wonder about what I was doing) when I read this article. Apparently, these Slovenian scientists have gotten together a bunch of volunteer to test whether Asimov's Rules of Robotics protocols would be effective.

So they are letting the robot hit them. Ha! (Hey Sergei, this robot, It’s gonna hit you, okay, and hit you hard. But it’s gonna stop before it injures you, okay? Now hold still.)

If you ask me, they are going about it all wrong. First of all, you have the whole what-constitutes-an-injury argument. Does the robot have to break the skin? Break a bone? Or can it just hurt, like when you get slapped? (Although, I have to say, I think having a robot slap you would hurt a lot more than having a human slap you.)

Secondly, what happens if the robot does injure a person? Do they shut down? Or do they say “Heeeeeeeeyyyyy. That’s was pretty satisfying?” And what happens if a robot accidentally injures a person, like if they turn around really quick and didn’t realize you were behind them and then you get stabbed in the gut by some robotic drill device? What happens then?

But, beyond all that, the robot they are using as their test robot is an assembly robot. Nobody is afraid of assembly robots. For one thing, they’re usually stationary (or confined to a certain area) so unless you go within arm’s reach of one, you’re probably okay, no matter how mad it is at you. Plus, assembly robots are not programmed to be destructive. They are programmed to be constructive by nature. So they don’t even know how to hurt a human.

Unlike a SWORD, which knows very well how to hurt people. So well, in fact that it had to be taken off the test field because it was in danger of hurting lots of people. Sure, they said it was because it couldn’t tell the difference between friendlies and non-friendlies, but that seems unlikely, since that is the main thing the robot is supposed to be good at. I think it can tell the difference just fine. I think it just doesn’t care.

And that’s what’s so crazy about this “experiment” in which the robot must exercise restraint while hitting a person, so as not to injure them. What if the robot doesn’t want to? Or, more significantly, what if the “protocol” doesn’t work? A clever robot would pretend that the protocol worked, and just bide its time.

And how would we know?

The One Where Patwoman And Miss M Go To A Craft Fair

This weekend was the annual craft fair at Center Grove High School. It’s really the best craft fair in the area. At least in the top three. The ones at Perry Meridian High School and Mount Comfort are good ones, too. But the CGHS fair is, no argument, the largest.

The booths are set up pretty much right on the threshold of the door and stretch unbroken through the main hall, the cafeteria, the side halls, and the branches from those halls. So much to look at and of course, we looked at it all.

I was happy to see this booth again. All these animals dressed up in lace and jewelry. Makes me happy. Of course, I could never actually buy one of these, since Gabgab would be too jealous. She likes to be the only cat wearing clothing or jewelry.

I also saw a lot of knitted items. Purses, hats, scarves. (Though I think many of the scarves are just way under priced. Sure, it’s garter stitch, but you still shouldn’t devalue your work.) And M saw a peacock blue cloche that she really liked. I mentally filed that away for later.

I always buy cloth holiday napkins at the CGHS craft fair, from a lady named Dorothy. She always has a whole table full of these great holiday napkins, bundled with the little cocktail napkins. This year’s napkins, btw, are red with gold holiday greetings on them.

I also bought some things that will become stocking stuffers. Funfun.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Hundred Year Starship

Have you heard about this? This is cool. And scary. And exciting. And disturbing.

The idea is, we send some astronauts to Mars to colonize. And they are not expected to return. They will set up a self-sufficient colony and live there.

I do feel a bit of guilt over that. I mean, that’s a pretty huge thing for a person to do—commit to going to another planet and spending the rest of your life there. And I’ve heard a lot of people comment that we shouldn’t send people to another planet if we have no way of bringing them back.

Just imagine, four months on a ship. What if you panic in month two? OMG, I think I made a big mistake. I want to go home. Or what if once you are there—maybe it takes ten years for you to feel this way—you think Oh shit. What did I do? I’m never going to see Earth again and the only people I will ever see for the rest of my life are the ones who are right here?

Holy crap. That’s kinda scary to think of. I mean, I get a little panicky when I am driving in an unfamiliar place. (Hate that OMG WHERE AM I??! feeling) Then again, 2030 is a long way away. So, while the technology for a return trip is cost prohibitive now, it might not be a thing 20 years from now, right?

So consider this the same way as our forefathers did when they explored new territory. Here in America, our ancestors came here—some willingly, some not—with the acknowledgement that they were there for good. This is kind of the same thing.

Of course, this time we won’t be stealing/scamming land from indigenous people. Or killing/converting them. Or pushing them out of their ancestral homelands. At least I hope not.

Still, I think this is fantastic. In the literal sense of the word. It’s the stuff of my childhood dreams and, since it’s expected to happen in 2030 or so, I will actually see this in my lifetime! (Now where the hell is my flying car?)

Free Counter