Rhymes With Fuchsia

Friday, November 30, 2007

Feline Beauty Secrets

This is my entry into Hannah's photography contest. All you black, brown, gray, orange and white cats out there, dressed in your pedestrian everyday colors? Eat your hearts out.

I really enjoy a day at the spa...

so relaxing.

Aaah, I feel like a new cat.

Am I not gorgeous?

I'm ready for my close-up.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

It's a Snood, Dude

Since Anne asked for the snood pattern, I've written it up and put the link in the sidebar. It's a very quick and easy knit, perfect for a last-minute gift — for suitable recipients, anyway. Your nephew with the buzz cut might look at it askance.

In other news... although we both work in the software industry, Grant and I often manage to be last onto the latest trend; I'm pleased to report that we've recently discovered LOLCats and a takeoff or two thereon (warning: irreverent content). So, of course, Grant had to put his own spin on it. Presenting: LOLcaesar! (Have a look around while you're there. There's something for everyone, from knitters to galactic travelers.)

Have you signed up for PIF yet? I still have one space open. The Name That Square contest is open as well. See previous post for details on both.

There seems to be a rule that every blog post should have a picture, so here's one taken when the leaves were a bit brighter. (Whose rule is that, anyway? Never mind: it gives me an excuse to post entirely irrelevant pictures.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tangential Tuesday

My friends accuse me of having a tangential conversational style, by which they mean that I'm incapable of staying on any one topic for more than two sentences. I don't know what would make them think that — hey, did you see the mud-wrestling match football game last night? first one since 1943 to be scoreless until there were 17 seconds left in the game — but since I've been neglecting the blog lately and have a lot of ground to make up, I'm going to run with it.

We had a very quiet Thanksgiving, including dinner with our friends up the street; they made most of the dinner, and we brought the pies, pecan and pumpkin. Technically I'm not supposed to eat pecans, but they don't seem to bother me. Pumpkin pie I can eat as long as I leave the ginger out. Since the one pumpkin we didn't get to carving for Halloween was still in good shape, I decided to use it instead of prefab filling out of a can. Following the instructions in the Joy of Cooking, I cut it in half, scooped the yucky innards and seeds out, and baked it for over an hour; then I separated the meat from the rind and pureed it. The pie turned out very well, if a bit chunky, since I missed some spots while pureeing.

In the spirit of the season, I thought of all the things I'm thankful for. A short and incomplete list: family, friends, food, hot and cold running water, the Internet, knitting blogs, sheep, cats, and the fact that one of the radio stations I frequent hasn't yet gone over to all Christmas music all the time.

To the radio stations that started with the wall-to-wall Christmas thing the week before Thanksgiving: you so jumped the gun. I will not be ready for Christmas music or so-called holiday music or would-be-amusing songs about the twelve seasonal annoyances (for some reason your programming decision did not make the list) until at least December 10, and if I were queen I would issue an edict stating that thereafter if there are x days until Christmas not more than every xth song you play may have a holiday theme, violation punishable by forcible continuous listening to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" until your ears bleed.

Also, while I am (sort of) on the subject, to retail stores that tart themselves up in gaudy red and green in mid-October: this does not whip me into a buying frenzy. Au contraire: if anything it decides me that all my Christmas gifts will be either handmade or in the form of services, with the money I might otherwise have spent earmarked for the likes of Oxfam, Heifer International, and Doctors Without Borders.

Speaking of charitable giving, I'm also thankful for all your generous donations to the Pine Street Inn. I made my goal, and that puts me in the mood for a contest. Get out your stitch dictionaries: many, but not all, of the patterns for the ten squares I made came from the first two Walker treasuries. The patterns had to be reversible so that they would look good on either side of a blanket; they had to be nice and warm, since that's the point of a blanket, after all; and, since I was in a hurry, they had to be simple enough for me not to have to look at the book all the time, with no complicated stitch manipulation. The first person to name all of the Walker patterns I used or to get the highest number correct will win some yummy yarn. If you can't get to the Walker treasuries you can use any stitch dictionary you do have handy, including online ones, with the caveat that I must be able to verify your entry. Enter (one per person, please) by emailing me at rhymes with fuchsia (without spaces) at comcast dot net. The contest will remain open until next Tuesday, December 4.

After finishing the Pine Street Inn squares and before plunging into the holiday knitting, I finally made Miss B a bun snood to match this year's ballet leotard color, which I'd been promising her for quite a while.

I started with six sts, doubled them to 12, knit a round, doubled them again to 24, and then began a standard lace-diamond pattern, only every time I got to the widest point of the diamonds I worked one more increase round before starting to decrease. I'll write out the pattern if there's any interest.

While I haven't been posting, I have been reading, and on Cece's blog I joined the Pay It Forward exchange that's been making the rounds. I get a little something sent to me, and in return I make this promise:

I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.

Your gift could be something small or something medium. It will be neither a sheep nor a CD of Christmas music.

Note: exchange entrants may also enter the contest if they wish.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Gone Stitchin'

I had a great time at the Pine Street Inn Knit-a-Thon yesterday. About 50 volunteers made over 20 blankets from the many, many gorgeous donated squares. The blankets were five by seven squares, so that makes... over 700 squares, with some left over at the end.

The woman on the right is the lovely Farley, who organized the event and recruited volunteers; that's Farley's equally lovely SIL and her niece J. helping to display the blanket.

And, believe it or not, I finished my 10 squares! (With a little help from a friend.) I almost made my fundraising goal, too. Thanks, everybody! You know who you are, and so do I, and I'm most grateful.

If you haven't donated yet, it turns out that my fundraising page will stay open for a while longer, just in case you should be moved to contribute by amazement that I actually finished 6 1/3 squares in three days. (Think of the number of other projects I might finish if I spent less time on Ravelry... the mind boggles.)

Thursday, November 01, 2007

It's Hip to Knit Squares

This Sunday, November 4, I'll be taking part in the first annual Pine Street Inn Knit-A-Thon. The Pine Street Inn is a Boston charity best known for its homeless shelter, and a whole whack of Boston-area knitters will meet to assemble blankets for Pine Street Inn clients from squares we've all knit. (I suppose technically it's a seam-a-thon.) The blankets will be given to participants in Pine Street Inn's supportive housing program for formerly homeless people.

Why am I telling you this, other than to show you a picture of actual useful objects I've knitted? Well, besides knitting, I'm also fundraising. Since I came to this rather late in the game, I've committed to the modest goals of knitting 10 squares (three completed so far, one in progress) and raising $200 for Pine Street Inn programs.

If you would like to sponsor me, you can make a donation either per square (e.g. $1 per square for a total of $10) or in an amount of your choice on my donation page. If you're local and you'd like to join the Knit-A-Thon, let me know and I can give you specifics and contact info (the organizers need to know how many people to expect).