Thursday, July 31, 2008

New member of the family

Well, we got the boys a hamster the other day. (I'll be doing the pet-parenting, though, since they're 4 and 2!)

She's a sweet little hammy - very sociable. She's only nipped me once, and to be fair I think my fingers smelled like food. She handles being picked up and petted very well. I'm not sure what exact type she is - she has slightly longer fur than a shorthair, but her fur isn't really as long as a longhair though either. She's very fuzzy and has a cute white-ish chin and belly. The boys named her Raven from Teen Titans (Azarath Metrion Zinthos!). I don't think she has supernatural powers though. :-)

So our family has grown by one, albeit a very little one!

On the knitting front - I'm almost done with the second sock of my own design that I was working on. I'm hoping to work on it non-stop tonight so I can enter it in the SKA June Sockdown, we'll see if I can get it done by midnight! Here's the way I ended up doing the gusset:

I like the way it ended up much better. The cable actually hugs the instep a little as it moves up to resume the twisted cable on the foot. I'm definitely going to at least knit part of a sock in a solid color to show off the leaf pattern, since you can't see it so well in the multi-color yarn.

And I've joined the craziness that is Ravelympics! Basically you knit as much as you can from the time the Olympic torch is lit until the closing ceremonies. Some people are trying to do a sweater, or a lace shawl, or more than one. I am going to try to do the Gift Knits Pentathlon (knitting 5 gifts!) and the WIP Wrestling (try to finish wips - in my case 4 of them!). I highly doubt I'll finish all 9 things, but that's OK- it's all about the effort. :-) I'll keep you posted.

Update on FIL - He's doing well with the chemo. He finished his first 6 week round, and the cat scan shows no real improvement, but it hasn't gotten any worse either, so it's not bad news in my book. He's starting his second 6 week treatment this week, so hopefully after this next round we'll start to see some good things. Fingers crossed.

That's it for now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tragedy in Tennessee

I'm sure you've heard about the church shooting in Tennessee earlier this week. You may not know that it occurred at a Unitarian Universalist Church. And that it was essentially a hate crime against the church because they were seen as part of the "liberal movement" and were welcoming gays.

I am a Unitarian Universalist. I can honestly tell you that I never felt so loved and safe and accepted for who I am in a church until I found the UU church 5 years ago. My life changed so drastically once I found my church - I was amazed that there was a church in existence that I could feel that at home in. I rediscovered my spirituality - which was an amazing reawakening for me. I think of my church as a safe and loving place to explore our spirituality, where everyone is welcome and loved no matter what they believe or who they are.

To think that someone would come into a sanctuary during a children's service and do such a horrible thing simply boggles my mind and my soul. Because we welcome and love everyone, we should be punished? The hate in this world saddens me to no end.

I am having a hard time putting these feelings into words. I am simply stunned that such a thing would happen, and that it would happen at a sister church of mine is even more upsetting. And that the children were subject to such a horrible event - I cannot even imagine.

My church is having a Candlelight Vigil for the Tennessee Congregation. I really would like to go, but I don't think I can make it - so I may have my own Candlelight Vigil at home.

The world would be such a better place if we would just practice love and not hate.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Pavo Socks

Here it is! My first major Pattern. squee!

Introducing Pavo Socks:

$3.50 download

Socks knit with fingering weight yarn (approx. 400 yards) on 2 circular needles (size 1.5).

Toe-Up construction with a traditional heel flap.

Peacock Plumes lace pattern on leg and instep.
(Pavo is the scientific genus of Peacocks, so I thought the name fit!)

Techniques used: toe up cast on, left and right leaning increases, and a stretchy 1x1 rib bind off, like Kitchener Rib Bind Off.

The lace is slightly off center, so the pattern includes charts to mirror image your second sock, if desired.

Charts and fully written out lace pattern included.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

New Zune, Socks, and Jello!

So I'm a bit of a gadget nerd. I love neat electronic gadgets. I wish I had more money to spend on little electronic gadgets. I had an mp3 player that was a few years old (I wouldn't be caught dead with an iPod, but that's just me) - and it died on me the other day. (It was an iRiver - a model they haven't made anymore for some time now - it lasted me a good two/three years - it lived a good life.) So I looked at a new mp3 player. I fell in love with the Zune. I got myself a nice 80GB Zune with a pretty color screen. OMG the stuff this mp3 player does! I never knew what I was missing while I had the piddly 20GB iRiver that only played music and showed still pictures. This thing plays videos, video and audio podcasts, and stores the album pictures with the audio files so you see the album cover while the song is playing. It's a thing of wonder! The Squircle pad is touch responsive - it's a breeze to scroll through my 20+ gig worth of mp3 files. And the picture quality! We got the home a/v kit so we could watch videos on our tv from it - and promptly downloaded the whole season 4 of Battlestar Gallactica to watch (since we're cable deprived). Zune to tv video is not too bad a quality either - a little fuzzy in spots, but not bad at all. Anyway - I'm really happy with my new Zune! I'm in gadget heaven. :-)

I'm in the process of writing up 3 new sock patterns.

My Pavo socks are coming along nicely - I'm done with Sock#1 and working on sock#2 - hopefully I'll have the pattern tweaked and ready to publish in a week or two. I started these the beginning of June for the SKA Sockdown (June's challenge was to design your own socks). I'm really happy with how these are turning out.

I'm writing up the pattern for William's Socks that I did a while back, too. I'm hoping to have that pattern done in a week or two as well.

And, I'm knitting another pair for SKA June Sockdown, too. I haven't come up with a name for these yet. They have a leaf lace motif in the center instep and mini-cables on each side. The yarn is obscuring the pattern a little - I may knit a second pair in a solid color yarn before I finish the pattern up, I'm not sure.

I felt patriotic and made Red, White and Blue Jigglers for the boys for the 4th. They turned out well:

Here's how you make them:

Prepare a red flavor of Jello as per the Jiggler instructions. Pour into pan and let set for about an hour. Then prepare lemon flavored (or unflavored) jello as per jiggler instructions - and then mix in a half a tub of cool-whip to that jello. Pour on top of the red jello, and let it set for another hour. Mix a blue flavor of Jello as per jiggler instructions, and pour on top of the white layer, then let set in the fridge until firm. Then cut into cubes and enjoy!

Anyways, I'll drop in again soon! (Hopefully with a couple of patterns done!!)