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Archive for October, 2007

My Kinda Deals

Not only was I able to get two sets of these for less than $25 after using passwird.com’s special 20% off code, I also scored some great book deals at a local Barnes and Noble.  This summer I received a $25 gift card from B&N and had held on to it because I hardly drive near one of these stores.  I’m glad I didn’t use it right away because after my trip to LnT to pick up the pillows, I paid a visit to the B&N which is in the same shopping strip. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked through their doors was a cart partially filled with books and other merchandise.  A big red sign advertised a 75% off sale.  A magnetic force pulled me immediately to the cart to check out the selection of clearance stuff.  To my delight I found two cookbooks, two children’s books, one kick-ass leather bound journal and this baby:

30678.jpeg

It ain’t no Barabara Walker, but for $7.50, it is guaranteed a spot in my library.  In all I’m pretty happy to say that I only had to fork over $1.80 to cover the difference between the gift card and purchase total.  I love finding good deals like these.

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Dusted It Off

My sewing machine that is, because it’s been months since it was last used due to the lousy tension which I couldn’t fix.  I figured I’d give it some time off with the hope the problem would take care of itself. 

Guess what? It did.  Maybe something settled down during the time it stood still or maybe I just had more patience to figure out the problem.  Who knows.  I’m just glad it’s working better.

Given that I’d been knitting more socks lately and having to run more errands which required sitting/waiting patiently while my name was called, these two activities merged perfectly together.  Well almost.  You see, I’ve been carrying my knitting in either bags that are too big or too cumbersome. 

For a time now I’ve had my eye on those little pull string bags, aka, sock project bags, but since I’m a cheap ass and couldn’t bring myself to spend $10+ on some rather sad looking ones nor the $20+ on the nicer ones, I made do with what I had.  My philosophy of course was why spend more money when I had the materials and some of the skills needed to construct what I want.  But I was being lazy and used Ziploc bags instead to carry my knitting.

That of course changed when I the sewing bug hit me hard.  I took out my sewing machine, dusted it off, rummaged through my fabric stash (which I’m embarrassed to say could be a tad smaller) and found fabric remnants I’d purchased a while back. 

After some planning and pattern making based on sample bags I liked, I began to cut, sew and assemble.  Here’s the end product.

project bag

DH was nice enough to comment on the fabric’s “happy” colors but their assumed association doesn’t bother me. Let’s face it, I’m of Mexican decent and like the majority of my people, I love color and the more of it, the better.

I forgot how much fabric I had, but was able to make a total of 4 lined bags.  The simple drawstring handle made from ribbon I found in my stash keeps the bag nicely closed and is the perfect length to carry from your wrist to knit as you go. Needless to say, I was rather pleased with the end product even though there are little adjustments here and there planned for a few more future bags.

project bags

Given how inspired I was, I even managed to sew six pairs of pants and start a bathrobe for DD to wear this winter.  Might as well but a dent on that fabric stash and take advantage of a working sewing machine.  For my next sewing projects, I’m planning  storage cases for my dpn’s and my makeup brushes. 

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From Mystery to 3×1 Rib

Poor yarn, poor me.  These socks started out as socktopia’smystery socks  but after knitting two up to the gusset, I came to the conclusion that it was not a happy marriage between the yarn and the pattern.  So poor yarn gets frogged and poor me lost all those knitting hours.  Oh well, many a knitter can relate and I’m sure you’ll agree I did the right thing given how the pattern is lost in this colorway. 

bad mystery

The pattern was put to rest for a more appropriate yarn and the yarn was knit into a simple 3×1 rib.  I think this was a better alternative given how “busy” the variegation on the yarn is.

3×1 rib on3×1 rib

To be honest, I’m not thrilled with the color of this yarn.  The colorway is one of those that looks better on the skein than knitted up, but as long as my feet are warm this winter, I won’t make a big fuss. 

Pattern:  My own.  The cuff is a 1×1 rib followed by a 3×1 ribbed leg and foot.  A modified slip stitch heel flap from SKS was used and Folk Socks provided the instructions for the round toe.
Yarn:Skacel’s Trampoline #235
Needles:US1 dpn’s

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Everlasting Bagstopper

It’s only appropriate that after my last rant I knit something environmentally “friendly.”  Ms. Singer’s Everlasting Bagstopper was a good choice especially since I was gettng grocery shopping done at Big Wally’s, who for some reason does not understand that more than two items can be carried safely in one plastic bag. 

My god, the number of plastic bags they hand out to customers with each purchase is ridiculous.  But shopping there is occuring less frequently.  I’ve opted to shop elsewhere after all the recalls, the amount of Chinese originated stuff they sell and quite honestly, their produce sucks.  (Personally, I have a theory that the Chinese are trying to kill us off and what a better way than through all the crap we buy and consume, but that’s for a different post.)

Anyway, let’s get back on track and talk knitting.

Le Bag

Yarn:  Cherry Tree Hill Rainbow Ribbon in “Life’s a Beach”, acquired over two years ago during a grab bag sale, hence the crappy color.  The yarn is great to work with and is so soft but the color leaves much to be desired.  The hanks come in 530+/- yards, so there is enough left over for another bag.  The question is, do I really want another anything in this colorway?

Pattern:  Knitty Summer 2007 with modified handles.  The idea of carrying a load on my shoulder was not very appealing so I opted for short knitted handles.

Verdict:  If I really intend to stop the entry of plastic bags into my house, I’d better start cranking at least 5 more of these bags.  They also work quite well when it comes to pecan picking.  Not only does the bag expands nicely to accomodate a good picking of pecans, (and believe me, with 6 of these trees on our property and all the rain we had this summer, we are having quite a harvest) but the YOs allow for air to circulate around the pecans making it less likely they’ll turn moldy as they dry up completely.    Fortunately this is a good “no brains needed” kind of pattern so I don’t have an excuse not to make more. 

Good for Pecans

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I think not!!

When the August/September 2007 issue of Planning  arrived in the mail, I had to smirk and roll my eyes at the cover page.  Why? Because this issue deals with the environment and on the cover is the following question:

Global Warming:  What Can You Do About It?

 Honestly, my first reaction was: Not a fucking thing!!!

Why? 

Because the key word here is global.  No matter what I do as an individual, it will not make a difference. 

Why?

Because as I “do my part” by recycling, composting, or buying environmentally friendly products, my neighbors don’t give a shit.  Either they are driving around in their gas guzzlers, throwing their recyclables to the landfill or cutting down trees in their property because they don’t want to rake the leaves that fall on their yards during autumn. 

What’s the point of me trying to curtail global warming if our own cities don’t do their part as well.  Yes they might have recycling programs in effect and energy saving incentives but they are just as guilty of causing negative effects on the environment.  Sprawl and uncontrolled growth which many cities do little to address, is one of the biggest culprits.  Not only are pristine green-fields destroyed to give way to new development, these new developments, be they commercial or residential, only encourage heavier use of the automobile which increases the demand for gas and emissions polluting the air. Yes, having a recycling program is good, but planning mixed-use communities which can be self-sustaining, cause minimal impact to the site and reduces the need for the automobile is even better. 

Our federal government is not much better at trying to solve the issue.  After all, it is run by politicians whose primary goal, for the most part, is to stay in office.  They will only push the agendas which will keep them in office.  This would require that citizens gather in mass and demand the federal government push environmentally friendly policies.  But even if our citizens and government did such a thing, what about the rest of the world?  We have nations such as China who are causing havoc on the environment due to industry and manufacturing.  Nope, one or a handful of countrys’ environmental policy is not going to solve the problem because this is a worldwide problem and it is up to world leaders to unite and work together on this global issue. 

No, I as one single individual among 6,752,446,163, and counting, cannot make a difference to solve or reduce global  warming.  Can the world unite to address this issue?  Probably not.  Everyone has their own agendas which conflict in some way with the need to protect the environment.  In the meantime, I’ll try to do my little part and have some peace of mind. 

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“How Clean is Your House?”

I admit I have a morbid fascination with this show and while I am not the queen of clean, I have a hard time believing people actually live in the conditions which are depicted in the episodes.  Some of those places look so bad, I can’t imagine Kim and Aggie walking in there without wearing some protective gear.  There is no way I’d be touching those filthy spaces with my bare hands much less breathing in the stuffy air.  But Kim and Aggie are a hoot, have a positive outlook and good cleaning tips to boot so I try watching their show whenever possible.  If only I’d have their cleaning crew at my disposal, I’d be one happy, happy knitter.

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