SOS and WsIP Wednesday

The sign-ups for the Summer of Socks opened today and close on May 15th. I participated last year and it was a blast!

The Feather and Fan Cardigan:

I am in over my head, people. Way over. Way, way over. I hope to have it finished by the first day of Summer of Socks so I can turn my focus to sock knitting. Optimistic? Probably. Possible? Not likely. And yet, I soldier on.

Blogging the CT Sheep Festival

Today was the 99th annual CT Sheep Breeder’s Association Sheep, Wool, and Fiber Festival. I had a blast. It’s not nearly as big as Rhinebeck, but it has all the requisite features of a good event.

AFBC (Assorted Fiber Bearing Creatures)

RRGF (Really Really Good Food)

FR (Fellow Ravelers)

VLFP (Various Local Fiber Producers) (not pictured)

Also not pictured is the fleece sale, the Sheep to Shawl competition, and the sheep dog trials. I know, Bad Blogger. Next year, I promise.

The great thing about this particular event is that the crowds are minimal, so you can get into the various booths without having to elbow your way in and actually see what the vendors are offering for sale. Also, you can maneuver a stroller without people glaring or rolling their eyes at you. In fact, people actually smile at your children which is generally more pleasant for everyone.

Anyway, I picked up my TAS this morning and we all headed up.

We grabbed an early lunch (since we all skipped breakfast)

and a good time was had by all.

Pretty much.

Did you go to the CT Sheep & Wool festival? Did you have a good time? Did you score anything awesome? I know that Divine Bird got some incredible fiber for spinning. Anyone else?

An Open Letter

Dear Sen. Obama,

I believe in change. I believe we can heal this nation and seize our future. I believe in Yes We Can. But, sir, right now, I want to know how you’re going to help us with this:

Respectfully,

Jen

Happy Earth Day

Think globally, act locally–small changes can make a difference. That seems to be the battle cry of Earth Day this year. I have been working to make small changes in our home. I only use reusable shopping bags–even if that means I bag my groceries or purchases in the car or at home (because I forgot to bring my bags with me). I no longer use disposable plastic water bottles–I have a Sigg which goes with me everywhere. We only use CFLs–even though we have to save the dead ones for recycling. There’s a lot more I want to do, but change is hard, especially in our culture of consumption and convenience.

No Impact Man did an intense experiment:

For one year, my wife, my 2-year-old daughter, my dog and I, while living in the middle of New York City, are attempting to live without making any net impact on the environment. In other words, no trash, no carbon emissions, no toxins in the water, no elevators, no subway, no products in packaging, no plastics, no air conditioning, no TV, no toilets…

Back in November, BipolarLawyerCook posted a list of small changes she has made. You can really see how small changes add up. My friend the Egghead is buying nothing new. I am going to celebrate Earth Day by making one more small change–I’m going to give up the Dunkin’ Donuts latte in which I’ve been indulging. I’ll make my own at home. The homemade ones taste better anyway. I may even join the Egghead in a “nothing new” pledge. How do you plan to celebrate Earth Day?

It worked!

The goddesses of knitting are truly smiling upon me.

The swatch behaved just as I thought it would, giving me a gauge of roughly 6.1 stitches per inch after I laundered it the way I would launder the finished garment. Hooray! Now I’m looking around for something to sacrifice so that my work on the actual sweater goes as smoothly. Any suggestions?

Adventures in Swatching

Last night, while watching Battlestar Galactica, I knit up a feather and fan swatch for this cardigan (Ravelry link, sorry). What a perfectly delightful stitch pattern! Anyway, the pattern calls for a gauge of 6 sts/inch and I got a gauge of 5.8. I tore out my swatch and started it again on smaller needles. I knit about an inch or so before I was forced by extreme exhaustion to drag myself to bed. As I lay there drifting off, I realized that this yarn will probably shrink a bit in the wash–possibly giving me the gauge I need, perhaps? My last thought before sleep overtook me was that I shouldn’t have frogged the first swatch. The plan today is to reknit the swatch with the larger needles and wash it before I measure it. Hooray! Sweater knitting adventures!

You Know You Do Too

I have a friend who is doing me an enormous favor by giving me weekly acupuncture treatments and only asking that I cover the cost of the needles, which turns out to be about $10/treatment. I offered begged pleaded with her to let me pay her for her time but she flat-out refused, so I decided to knit her a thank you gift. My first idea was to knit her a pair of socks, and I went online and ordered some lovely yarn. I must have forgotten about it because the very next day, I decided that she would probably enjoy a dishcloth or two and cast on this and then this. Then the yarn I ordered surprised me by showing up in my mailbox. I must have been feeling generous when I ordered it because look what I got:

People, I can’t knit up this yarn and send it off to gods know where! The only thing I want to do with this yarn is leave it on my desk where I can admire it and maybe sometimes cuddle it and sniff it.

I know. I have problems.

Not Really Newsday Tuesday

And now from our not-really-news desk:

The USGS released a report yesterday that predicted a 99.7% chance that a “big” (being defined as magnitude 6.7 or greater) quake will strike Southern California within the next 30 years.

This is NOT news, USGS!!!

There were no less than four earthquakes in Southern California registering 6.7 or greater during the 6 years that I lived there and a great many more “lesser” quakes, including one for which I had the enormous privilege of being withing five miles of the epicenter. And, there have been two more “larger” quakes since I moved away! (Note that there were several quakes in So. Cal. in the last 20 years, but only six were of magnitude 6.7 or greater. Most ranged instead between 4.0 and 6.0 magnitude.)

Southern Californians already know they live in an earthquake prone area and that a big earthquake could strike at any time. I think what would have been more helpful to know is when The Big One can be expected. How about you make a prediction about that, USGS?