Sunday, October 26, 2008

Peek of Castle Crags

In Northern California, there is a place just before Dunsmuir called Castle Crags, and there is a California State Park there. These are some beautiful mountains sticking up all of a sudden.

We took a walk, had a picnic, enjoyed being in a forest.

The weather is still beautiful, but the weatherman says maybe rain by the end of the week. We could use two or three months of rain. The big reservoirs are almost empty.

Tree Farm Color

Down here in the valley, the Fall color isn't spectacular this year, but it's there.

We went for a walk in the Tree Farm last Sunday... another beautiful day in Chico.

1st Bumper Sticker

This is the 1st bumper sticker I have ever put on my car, and I've been driving for 46 years.

Mixing natural peanut butter

Milky Waypeanut butter labelKnow what happens when you put an electric mixer into your jar of natural peanut butter and turn it on? 

You get a beautiful pattern of oily, gooey peanut butter ALL OVER your kitchen.

If you decide to try this in your kitchen, be sure to hold tightly onto the p'butter jar before you turn on the mixer.  And do it in the sink, not on the counter.  Or better yet, mix it the old fashioned way instead of using the mixer :=(

Saturday, October 18, 2008

JLG Christmas Stocking

Progression on the Christmas Stocking.

I'm happy with the initials, which I charted while looking at a font I liked in MS Excel. I'm not so happy with the diamonds between the initials.

Knitters' Logic (the ability to continue on assuming that it will all be okay in the end) says blocking will fix the diamonds and all other wonky places in the stocking. We'll see.

I love knitters' logic!

Felted Mice Cat Toys

These felted cuties are full of cat nip-laced fiber fill. I tested one of them on the murderous little Persimmon. She though they smelled good and were worth rubbing; however, she'd still rather kill the toys that are covered in real rabbit fur.

So far, nine are knitted for the Friends of the Library Craft Fair, and I want to make enough of them to fill a little basket.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Some knitting virtually finished

This is the Ridged Beret (Pages 110 and 148) from this Fall's Vogue Knitting magazine.  The scanned picture from the magazine on the left, and my unblocked, very unblocked, FO on the right.

I'm hoping it looks better after blocking.  It does look pretty good on a person's head.  If I were going to do it again, and I might, I would choose colors like the magazine - dark with a lighter tweedy purl ridge.  It's really easy to knit.  I hope somebody will like it and buy it from the Craft Fair in November.


This is a Seaman's Scarf, from Stahman's Shawls & Scarves.  I love this scarf, and Myrna Stahman is one of my heroes.  Once again, the photo is not good, but you get the idea.  It has been blocked, but the ends are not tucked in.

Both the Seaman's Scarf and the Ridged Beret above were made out of Crystal Palace Yarns Creme, 60% wool / 40% silk.  It stretches a great deal in length after washing, so I think I'll skip the wet wash of the beret and just steam it :-)


And this picture shows a couple of things that Karen knit for the Craft Fair - fingerless mittens and a baby hat.  Very nice!  Back there in the shadows are a couple of neck warmers I made from a pattern by Faina.  I have some buttons for the neck warmers, but I put them in a "safe place" and now I can't find them.  I hope they show up when I clean off the various surfaces in my loft.

Speaking of the Craft Fair, it's November 22nd and I'm feeling the stress of having to knit lots of little things by then.  I don't think I'll do this again!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The big picture

I am not an economist, and I don't understand what's going on right now.  I know that "they" are telling me that there is a credit crisis which causes businesses not to be able to float loans to keep their businesses running.  And somehow it was caused by subprime lending and financial slight of hand.  Stupid business practices and ignorant people taking out mortgages they cannot afford.

What I do know is that groceries and gasoline are costing a lot more than they used to, and, as a retired person, my income isn't more than it used to be.  That's my own personal little crisis.  I just buy fewer things.  Well, actually I did just buy a new and expensive replacement vacuum cleaner and I did just buy new and cheaper a replacement phone, but I call those things "maintenance".  I canceled one of my morning papers, and I no longer buy several Starbucks coffees each week.  It's all tradeoffs.  So far, I'm not spending more than I take in.

Why can't the state and the country legislators spend less than they take in?   We should fire them all and vote in legislators who can balance a budget, stay out of wars we can't afford, etc.!

For your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of the Dow Jones Industrial Average starting in 1932 and ending in 2008.  You can click on the picture to see a bigger image.  If only we had invested in the market early and left it in the market, then the current "crisis" wouldn't be so scary.  I'm going to ride it out, not sell and put it all under my mattress.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Knitting in the Red

This is just too good not to show here.  Go ahead.  Laugh.

My DJ is a computer

Hadley Rouse Pandora PosterI am probably the last person to hear about this.  Pandora is web radio for the Music Genome Project.  Songs are given attributes, and you select music based on the attributes and artists you like.  The music, from the Internet, plays on computers and I think it will also play on a mobile phone.

As I write this I'm listening to Billie Holiday sing Ain't Misbehavin'.  I'm just as likely to hear Pink Martini or Diana Krall on this "station."  I also have stations set up for classical pianos and big band jazz.  Oh, this is good.  Has iTunes music selection beat all to hell.  Sure makes waiting for my government to bail out Wall Street more pleasant!

A co-worker at the library told me about Pandora and I promptly forgot until I saw a news article about a webcasting bill that passed.  New law will allow Pandora to stay in business because they will be able to negotiate lower royalty payments.

Now playing: Jane Monheit, new to me, singing Hit the Road to Dreamland.  Pandora picked it out based on other things I liked and it chose well.  I like it.

And there's more.  I haven't even started listening to the classical piano stuff yet.