. . . out like a lamb

I’ve updated this blog to WordPress 2.5. The upgrade is mostly behind the scenes on the admin panel and back-end clunkiness. It will take a little time to get used to where things have moved to back here where I type, but that will come. I have some concern about the plug-ins I use to show various and sundry coolie things in the sidebars. Time will bear out whether I lose functionality. So far, the only oddity I have noticed is one preexisting draft, an unpublished post. The date on it flipped from sometime this year to 1969. I don’t know what controls that or interacts with it. I could disable all the plug-ins and see if it rights itself.

On one of my favorite yarny sites, I have been hunting various groups that deal with the topic of blogging and found several new ones to lurk. Among the groups I joined today are an organizing your blog one, and three that deal with photography.

My blog is not disorganized nor is it organized. Each week I seem to blog a new topic, add a new category and reorder old posts to accommodate the new plan. I’m afraid that it will take me some time to figure out when I will stop changing it because it finally fits my purpose.

I do not fool myself into thinking that I am professional. I don’t have that unique sense that tells me when I see a perfect picture from the perfect angle. Instead, I take pictures of what strikes me from odd, often misunderstood angle. One group encourages each of us to take a photo a day, similar to the blog post a day. The other group sets a color palette over a two month span and encourages us to knit, draw, create, stumble upon and group photos that fit the palette. I am thinking that I can combine the two, take photos every day for a year, and group the photos by colors in the spectrum. The decision to make is put photographs here or start a new one. I will contemplate it until morning and decide tomorrow what to do. The last is an abc-along, take one picture every two weeks that represents the required letter of the alphabet. I cannot officially join as sign-up is over for 2008, but it may fit in to my schedule of one picture every day of a given color group and of a letter once every two weeks. At the end of every month, the 365ers put all the photos together in one graphic, or mosaic, which looks incredibly cool. If I can remember the self-imposed boundaries I will derive some enjoyment from this task. If I am unable to keep up, I will modify the requirements as I go.

I received my order of photos on Thursday or Friday from winkflash. I have to say that so far I am impressed with quality and service. That being said, I am ready to start our wedding scrapbook.

Finished Knitting Objects 2008

Finished projects in 2008:

  • Granny’s giftaroo not knitting, but completed all the same (made significant progress over Christmas vacation)
  • Scarf for Josh
  • dishcloths
  • loom knitted plastic bag made from plastic bags-functional, but I think I still want to try some from hemp yarn or cotton, or some stretchy something.

A delivery is made

Yesterday, we celebrated Easter with Jason’s family at freezer0qMom & Dad’s house. Late afternoon all energy escaped me and laid my head on the table. I think I fell asleep for a few minutes. As the family departed, I begged for a nap. When we got home, I slept for too long and woke up with a nasty sore throat several hours later. I stayed awake for a few hours, then went back to bed for the night. I awoke to my phone ringing around 7am and I did not answer it, anyone who actually wants to talk with me knows to wait a few hours. Around 10:30 the same call came through again, so I answered it. It was the delivery people wanting to bring my freezer to me. I still don’t feel real well, my throat hurts but I now have a really big freezer in the basement to put things into and keep freezer02very cold. As you can see, there are baskets to hold things that would otherwise get lost in the deep freeze, three baskets in total. We looked a several models with various organizational aids and I desperately wanted baskets and dividers. I knew the baskets were coming, but the ad was unclear on whether it came with dividers or not. When I exclaimed in excitement that it had dividers, the deliverymen offered to take them back for me, in case I didn’t really want them. As you can see, the dividers are slightly adjustable and there is a nice wall for the small compartment above the motor, which means I can put odd shaped things on that ledge as well as prismafreezer03tic ones.

This afternoon, while not having enough energy to do much of anything, I decided to check on my photo order. I ordered and received photos earlier this month, but didn’t receive all of them. I’m not sure what happened, whether I didn’t select them correctly, but I found the pictures that were missing. I deleted the ones that printed correctly and resubmitted a new order. If last time is any indication, I should have them at the end of the week. I only ordered them because I stopped into the site to see if they had any deals for 4×6 pictures. They have dropped the price to 8¢ each permanently, normally 12¢.

The new Mac laptop

I’m sure many of you have seen the new commercial where the new Mac is so thin, that it fits nicely into a manila envelope, maybe 8.5×11 inches. It’s not important enough for me to look up the stats, only to reference the tv ad. There is an eerie tune that plays under the commercial, we hear the lyrics repeated again and again:

I’m a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take

I heard somewhere that the lyrics weren’t written for the commercial, but were part of a longer song. I finally heard the whole song Thursday night on one of the NBC lateshows. The artist, Yael Naim, has an unusual style of singing. I don’t think I could listen day in and day out, but I like the song. YouTube seems to have a lot of clips of the song, feel free hop over there and search for New Soul, by Yael Naim. I had to laugh when I finally heard all the lyrics, especially the rest of the first part that I posted above.

Hoping I could learn a bit bout how to give and take
But since I came here, felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake

Apple is not known for wanting to learn how to give and take with anyone. They have kept their architecture private and are strict about licensing others to manufacture it. It’s not always a bad thing. Apple can control quality of parts, but they artificially keep the prices extremely high in comparison to PC choices by limiting it.

Back to my original point, I especially enjoyed the last line about mistakes. How true it is, how true it is. For those of you that read my blog from a Mac, yes I know you are out there, you know me better than to be criticizing your choice. It’s not the choice that I would make. I am currently running an XP box, but am also downloading the newest UbuntuStudio to reinstall. I say whatever works, just be honest in your advertising about how your product will actually perform and how much it will cost to have the fruit emblazened on the lid.

In which I attempt to be crafty

Jason is working on his master’s degree, so I try to be considerate of his need to study. His Spring class just started, so I decided to go to GR on Thursday and hang out with friends. I scheduled a lunch with Sarah, a very close friend from Ada. She had the cubbie next to mine. Lunch was fantastic, but I hadn’t known how much time to allot.

I called Julie a few days previous to see if we could scrapbook or something Thursday evening. I need to get our wedding scrapbook finished before our first anniversary, which by last count is approximately 5 months away and counting. I finished lunch earlier than planned, so headed to Julie’s about mid-afternoon.

For what I will say next, I feel as though I need to offer a defense. Julie and I talked at Granny’s house on Wednesday about knitting dishcloths. We discussed a yarn hunt to find white cotton and I would supply the needles. I wanted to be sure to bring needles and some general knitting guidelines, so I promptly forgot to grab what I considered to be my scrapbooking box. I was almost to the highway when I realized it, but I didn’t want to be late for lunch, so I decided to continue on rather than turn back to retrieve it. This meant that I was 20 minutes early to lunch. I fully understand that had I turned around to retrieve the forgotten box, I would have been 30 minutes late. There’s no middle ground for my estimating of time, there’s really early or extremely tardy. Needless to say, Julie scrapped a little, I knit a little, frogged, knit some more, frogged some more. It was totally productive, I have begun to experiment with entrelac patterns for my dishcloths.

Because there is a freezer scheduled for delivery on Monday and the office area needed to be straightened and organized a bit for optimal study effectiveness, I’ve steadily spent an hour or two in there every day this week. I’m happy to say that I only took 3 boxes to the basement to deal with later, one of which was mostly empty and have one more to deal with in the office. I want to rearrange a couple of the smaller items to optimize productivity in the office, but otherwise, Jason’s area is pretty much together. We even found the second switched outlet, so there are two lamps.

How does this relate to crafts? While dragging things to the basement, I decided to bring up my one scrapbook box and organize it a little. As it turns out, the box would have been more frustrating had I remembered to bring it to Julie’s. Less than half the box was scrapbooking supplies for scrapbooks. The other things in there are for a votive candle project I will do eventually. I quickly emptied two smallish boxes and reorganized the supplies. I need to sort my stamping supplies because many of those are crossover products that can and will be used to complete the wedding scrapbook. I did this while I was watching the Simpson’s Movie with Jason and Nate. I also finally organized my music a little. The sad thing is that my nice neat papers are now puffy, smoshy and not very flat anymore. Have I mentioned that I have ADHD with OCD over and under-tones? I love being me, never a dull moment.

How many little boys with ADHD does it take to change a lightbulb? Wanna go ride bikes?

La La La La La La, La La La La La

If I could explain even a quarter of the random thoughts that go running through my head, I would think I was absolutely brilliant and others would stop looking at me as if I were a little, well, anyway. The other day Jason and I were talking about Smurfs, why I cannot say. We attempted to name as many as we could and named several. Tonight, while looking for a movie to rent, I found Season One, Disk One of the Smurf cartoon series, as well as disk two. I only rented Disk One and we watched several of the episodes, which then caused us to look up Smurf names on the ‘net. The best list I found was at BlueBuddies.com, but even the list there seems to be limited. There also seems to be some confusion among the names due to cultural differences. The Smurfs have different names in Europe than the United States.Off the tops of our heads we came up with:

  • Papa
  • Baby
  • Baker
  • Brainy
  • Dreamy (also called Astro in one episode)
  • Farmer
  • Greedy
  • Grouchy
  • Handy
  • Jokey
  • Lazy
  • Painter
  • Smurfette
  • Tailor
  • Vanity (we could remember his character, but not his name)

Smurfs we forgot (according to BlueBuddies)

  • Barber
  • Clockwork Smurf
  • Clockwork Smurfette
  • Clumsy
  • Dabbler (who was also Doctor Smurf)
  • Editor
  • Flighty
  • Golfer
  • Grandpa
  • Harmony
  • Hefty (though we remembered a strong Smurf)
  • Marco
  • Miner
  • Medic
  • Nanny
  • Nat aka Natural
  • Nobody/Somebody (apparently he thought he was a nobody, until he discovered he was a somebody)
  • Nosey
  • Poet
  • Pushover
  • Reporter
  • Sassette
  • Scaredy
  • Sickly – may also be Sneezy
  • Sloppy
  • Slouchy
  • Snappy
  • Sweepy
  • Timber
  • Timid (who became Actor)
  • Tracker
  • Tuffy
  • Weakling
  • Weepy
  • Wild
  • Wooly

Other Smurfs we forgot according to another website: (I’m hesitant to list it because it uses Smurf in its domain name, it apparently violates a current trademark to do this.)

  • Architect -haven’t seen this one listed anywhere else
  • Toughy
  • Wandering

From yet another site, with random explanations of who is who and why

  • Cobbler – not listed anywhere else

Wiki indicates that we forgot:

  • Dopey
  • Enamored – he’s in love with Smurfette
  • Fisher
  • Flying
  • Reflection-Vanity’s Double
  • Sleepy (I thought he was a dwarf, seriously, may be an alternate name for Lazy)
  • Sneaky
  • Spy
  • Stinky
  • There are many more listed that appear only in the comic books, so I have not listed them.

Other characters we rememberd:

  • Gargamel
  • Azrael
  • Father Time
  • Mother Nature

Others we forgot about:

  • Hogatha (how could I forget that nose?)
  • Homnibus
  • Balthazar
  • Johan
  • Pewitt
  • Random animal friends

I only recognize half of the list of names I couldn’t remember, I’ll have to set about watching the episodes. I’m half tempted to sign up for Netflix or something like that so I can make a list of what I want to see and let them send them to me so I actually see what I want, instead of the haphazard method I currently use. This list is far less than the 100 Smurfs that supposedly exist, so I’ll put it on my list to find more names.

Random facts uncovered:

Three apples high is a apparently a French phrase that means child-sized. I still think those are some huge mushrooms for them to find to use as houses.

While searching for Smurf names, I found a Smurf name generator. In various forms, I used to be Wise Smurf, but am now Sparkle or Cupcake. I am slightly partial to Sparkle or Wise. Someone else’s Smurf name may or may not be Marshmallow Smurf. According to the Smurf personality quiz, I’m Painter-creative, passionate, and imaginative.

I also found a smurftastic site that smurfarizes websites. I shall now share with you. Here is some of the text from the smurfarazation:

  • Apparently there is smurfily a book with the title of this month entering like a smurfy cat with a mane, which happened to match the title of the post I made a few days ago.
  • Someone else wanted to find instructions that would not cost anything that would result in using two pointy sticks and string to make a smurfy object to place on the head of a young Baby Smurf of the female persuasion, and it should be ornate.
  • There was smurfily one that was smurfily rather inappropriate, obviously I won’t repeat it, but I am simply amazed that the words that smurfs put together to find smut. Smurftastic! I would not have put those words together to search for that, but it is smurfily clear what the intended result was smurfily based on the word choice.

In which I wonder if I should start a music podcast for knitters listen to while knitting. I would of course, have to talk a little bit to make it a legitimate podcast. The new title:

To smurfcast or not to smurfcast

My smurfy thoughts on smurfcasting:

  • Some of the knitters I listen to are smurfily flighty, they seem perfectly lovely, just very odd.
  • I don’t agree with all of the politics espoused
  • I appreciate fowl language less and less with time
  • There appeared to be a smurfcast of music to listen to while knitting

I don’t know if that smurfcast is smurfily missed or not, but how fun would it be to create smurfes of podsafe music for knitters, with a genre as the title for each episode. I have some extra websmurf space and bandwidth, but it would have to be a trial period thing, I would imagine that most smurfcasters contract the dreaded podfade due to over commitment of time and not enough resources.

And so, after spending 3 hours on Smurf research, feeling as though I have found enough, I say goodnight.

April 29, 2008: I lost the image I had associated with this, I had grabbed a screen capture of this post in my blog in the Smuf language. When I find time, I may redo it.

Smallish knitting projects

Every year, Mom P makes wonderful crafts to take to local craft shows and schools to sell to those in need of Christmas gifts. We brainstormed gift ideas for men in general and older girls. After knitting up three dishcloths the other week, rather quickly I might add, I thought, I bet I can make a bunch and sell them. However, there are some ethical, if not legal, ramifications to selling a design someone else made without his/her permission. Rather than jump through hoops to do that, I am going to come up with my own version of a simple entrelac washcloth. I am going to experiment with different sized triangles/squares as well as stitch patterns. The pattern I used to make the first three, for personal use, were basically 8×8 squares, and the triangle base leg was 8 with a height of 8, which made a pattern of 3 by 3-three squares in several rows, two squares and two triangles, which combined make 3 squares. I have tentatively decided to try 6×6 squares with a 4×4 pattern, 4 rows of 4 squares or the equivalent. I am not going to do any searching for other entrelac patterns, lest I find that what I dream up has been dreamed previously. I think this makes sense to me. I’ve been scouring through the two smallish stitch dictionaries I have and will probably raid the local library via the web for more. Here’s to my first project on my own, or maybe second?

What would be the other project? There is a rather coolie R2D2 pattern (.doc/Word) for a hat that exists, but it seems to be a child’s sized hat. Since I don’t know of any children in need of a hat, I am altering it to an adult size, I do know of an adult or two who could use one. By the time I’m finished altering, I don’t think it will completely resemble the original, as there are almost 55% more stitches per row than the original pattern. Another pattern exists with protruding protrusions and I may refer to that as well, this pattern has a few more stitches than the first, but much larger needles. I tried size 7 US with the yarn, and it’s too loose of a stitch.

Knitting, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways!

I finished and delivered Josh’s scarf as previously mentioned. I managed to find a model willing to participate in the photographing of it before it went to its new home.

dishclothAfter that, I wanted a challenge. A few months ago I picked up a free pattern sitting near the cottons at City Knitting for a dishcloth. It seemed to me that it would be a good way to practice entralac, a zig-zag style of knitting, for lack of a better comparison. I cast on several times for the Garterlac Dishcloth and frogged to the point of exhaustion the last few months. This weekend I had a knitting date with a nice woman from church. She was working on an afghan block and I tried my hand at the dishcloth. I finally asked her about a stitch, I couldn’t figure out what to do with the yarn doing it continental style. She was a big help and now I have three finished and a fourth cast on for completion this weekend or next week sometime. The third one is not pictured yet. I decided to take step-by-step pictures of it and put it up here eventually. I found a woman who did the same and put them on flickr, which was a huge help to me. I would start the new square or triangle and forget which way I was supposed to knit, then end up with the yarn trapped away from the stitches. Thanks to the pictures I found, I’m clear as mud on the order now.

scarf model


The perfect pattern eludes me despite best efforts.
Cast on, rip back, try again, oops.
I’ve used search engines and lurked in forums and groups.
How long must I look before my efforts are rewarded?
Don’t get me wrong, the ones I’ve seen
are nice, if only yarn cooperated.
Will I give up?
Absolutely not

This was written for participation in a poetry project here.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

  • to prove to the opossum it could be done.
  • Because that’s what chickens do!
  • To show the deer how it was done.
  • It seemed like the logical thing to do at the time. (Spock)
  • To boldly go where no chicken has gone before.
  • To get to the other side.
  • Why not?
  • It was collecting experiences for its next book.
  • It was part of a conga line which just happened to be crossing the road.
  • It was too far to walk around.
  • To ask the other chickens why they had crossed.
  • After years of research, it found no reason not to.
  • It was caught by a freak gust of wind.
  • It was startled by the martian invasion force.
  • It was a double dare.

This will be a collection of clean jokes, feel free to add a comment with your own favorite reason. There are many websites out there with chicken jokes, but none seem to be attributed to anyone. Standard disclaimer: if it’s yours and you want credit, let me know.