Saturday, August 30, 2008


Ok, it's back with the Celtic videos; I made a short foray into bluegrass but it didn't last long. Here is Lunasa at Celtic Connections last year:

We are putting up some permanant walls in the basement tomorrow to seperate mine and Siobhan's space from each other. I'll take pics and post after the dust settles.

Friday, August 29, 2008

First Reactions

Ok, admittedly, I know very little about Sarah Palin (although I'm learning more by the minute; I'm listening to liberal talk radio and MSNBC while I write this); but firstI thought WTF? What kind of pick is that? Does McCain think he can compete with the show of real American spirit that happened last night? And the other thing I'm feeling is pissed off! Does this woman think she can ever touch the greatness that is Hillary Clinton? How dare she try to compare herself to Hillary? She stands against EVERYTHING that Hillary stands for! She's right of McCain on some issues! And I've never even been a Hillary supporter! I feel insulted that this woman thinks that I as a woman, am so ignorant that I can be swayed because she is. Does she think that Hillary's supporters are stupid? Does she realize that the ONLY reasons she has been picked is because she's a woman, and to possibly solidify the right wing nut job Christian conservatives? And a man who refers to his own wife as a trollop and the c word, and suggests that she take part in a nude beauty pagaent, does Palin really think she has or ever really will have his respect? She has insulted her gender by accepting his offer!
I can't wait til she faces Biden in a debate; he'll tear her up.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lots of Yarn!

I have been busy working on crochet projects still. I unravelled a couple of more sweaters, crocheted 2 more hats and finished up a knitted one, and made a niddy noddy. I also dyed some of the yarn I unravelled, too.

I made another Durango hat; I really like this hat a lot. It just looks really good and is so simple! I also made a hat called Pretty Puffs Slouchy Hat from Crafty Pants; the web address is here:
My hat didn't come out all that slouchy, but I think it's the yarn I used. It was some of the acrylic yarn that Sio brought over from Chris' and it just isn't very soft. I'm going to try it again with some other yarn like maybe Caron Simply Soft.
The knit hat is Wool-Ease and is the first thing I've knit since I made the shawl back in the early spring. It came out ok and I'll wear it. I want to try one on circular needles though.
I also built a niddy noddy. This really makes it a lot easier to measure recycled yarn or some of the balls of yarn Sio brought home. It also makes it a lot easier to skein yarn for dyeing. I made it from pvc, and it was really easy. There are directions here:
The last picture is 130 yards of 100% lambs wool that I recycled from a sweater. I dyed it in my dye pot using 4 jars each with a different color, I just squished parts of the skein somewht evenly down in each jar. There were bits of yarn from jar to jar, but the dye crept, plus I helped it along a bit. There are some lighter parts between the colors, but I think it will still look ok.
Oh, I've been spinning with mt drop spindle too, but the yarn isn't very good yet.

Friday, August 22, 2008

More Dyeing and Recycled Cashmere Scarf Pattern

I have been unraveling sweaters and dyeing yarn and working on a kind of original crocheted scarf pattern as well as working on a knitted hat along with all the other stuff I have to do so I've been pretty busy the last couple of days.

I started unravelling a garage sale sweater that was a 100% wool and a bright yellow. It had a couple small holes so the yarn is joined in a couple of places. It is lace weight and I might make a shawl out of it. Of course bright yellow would never do so into the crock pot it went, one skein at a time, along with some Cushings dyes in old gold, navy, and silver grey green. I wasn't really sure about the color combination, but Sio really likes it. She said I should list it on Etsy. I don't know, maybe I will. I've only dyed the 2 sleeves though, I'll do the rest later on today. The other yarn is a partial skein of Lion Fisherman Wool; I dyed it in the oven wrapped in plastic and steamed. I also started plying some other lace weight yarn I had unravelled from a different sweater quite awhile ago, it's just been sitting in the yarn drawer. It's 100% Shetland wool I believe, and I'm making it a 2 ply.

This scarf is turning out so well, and I decided to try my hand at writing out the pattern for it. The pattern is based on a pattern from a Treasury of Crocheted patterns and is a multiple of 8 plus 2. It can be adjusted for any size yarn and hook. I am not claiming this is an original pattern; the sequence is so easy that I'm sure someone else on the web some where has probably already done it; or something very similar.

Lacy Crochet Cashmere Scarf

Size F hook
about 320 yds of sport weight yarn ( I used recycled yarn from a
cashmere sweater I found at the thrift store which I unravelled
and then dyed. The 2 sleeves are enough for the scarf.)
It measures about 4 1/2 inches across.

Ch 26
Foundation: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in each ch across (25 scs)ch 4 turn

Row 1:skip first sc, dc in next sc *ch 1, skip 2 sc, in next sc work 1dc ch 3 and 1 dc (v-stitch made), ch 1, sk 2 sc, 1 dc in each of
next 3 sc (3dc group made). Repeat from * endng with 1 dc in each of last 2 sc. Ch 4, turn.

Row 2: 1 dc in first dc, *ch 1, in v-stitch work 7 dc (shell made), ch 1 1 dc in center dc of next dc group; rep from *, ending 1 dc under turning ch, ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of turning ch.Ch 4, turn

Row 3: 1 dc in 1st dc *ch 1, skip 1st 2 dc of shell, dc in next 3 dc, ch 1, skip next 2 dc of shell, v stitch in next dc repeat from * ending 1 dc under turning ch, ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 4 turn.

Row 4: 3 dc in 1st dc, *ch 1, 1 dc in center dc of next dc group, ch 1, shell in next v stitch; rep from * ending with 3 dc under turning ch, 1 dc in 3rd ch of turning ch. Ch 3 turn

Row 5: 1 dc in next dc, ch 1, skip next 2 dc, v-stitch in next dc, * ch 1, skip 1st 2 dc of shell, dc in next 3 dc, skip next 2 dc, v-stitch in next dc,repeat from * ending with dc in last dc of previous row and in turning chain.

Repeat rows 2-5 for pattern til desired length is reached.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

New Yarn Store

I got a new bike on Thursday. My old one got stolen a couple of weeks ago and it was hard to be bike-less, but I really like my new one. I didn't take any pictures but I will and post them later.
Siobhan and I rode our bikes to the Villa Park train station today and then took the train to Geneva for the day. It was a really nice day; we went in a lot of the little shops and antique stores and then had lunch. There is a new yarn store that wasn't there before, called Wool and Company or it might have been there before but we just didn't notice. Anyway, it was pretty big and they had a lot of yarn. I was originally going to buy a ball of Noro Kureyon for a hat, but I ended up with two balls of Naturally Nazareth 100% wool from Kraemer Yarns instead. I really like the colors. I also dyed the cashmere from the sweater I started to unravel. I have 2 balls from the sleeves that are about 165 yds each and is a sport weight. The pictures still look orange, but the yarn is not orange anymore, it is variegated reds. I used brown, maroon and old gold and steamed it on a rack in the oven. I think if I had left it longer the darkest part would look browner. Anyway, I'm going to take the back and front of the sweater and dip dye them using maybe 3 shades of browns or something, although I wonder if I overdyed with a blue if I'd get some sort of purple. I was also thinking of dyeing in the crockpot, but I don't think both the back and front of the sweater would fit.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

PJ and Ulli

PJ (the TinWhistler) has done a fantastic job of editing and collaboration with himself and Ulli on this beautiful medieval sounding piece called Polska. The song was originally recorded by a German band called Sava and they are a project which combined members of two medieval bands, both German, Faun and Schandmaul.

This kid never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fingerless Gloves

Is it any wonder my hand hurts when I spend every available second crocheting something? Although I think these are super cute and worth the pain. Plus they were really fast; about 2 1/2 hours total for both. I used just under a ball of the Peruvian Highland wool. They are going in my Etsy store tomorrow along with the Durango hat.

I am working on the basement for the rest of today; it never really got straightened out from when Sio moved in. I'm listening to Flook today and here's a YouTube video of them in Cornwall, Ontario:

What can I say? My default is Celtic!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cute Hat

I got my Ravelry invite the other day and decided to make this simple hat from Yarncat: It really is cute and looks pretty detailed when it really is very easy. I thought white buttons with black dots would have been the perfect touch, but I couldn't find any so Sio suggested I use 1 black on the red part, and 2 red on the black band and I have to say it looks quite nice. It's made with Red Heart acrylic; there is so much acrylic yarn that Sio brought home that I feel like I have to use some of it up. The first pic is the detail while I was working on it.

I have decided to have no more than 5 yarn projects going at once (not including anything big like an afghan), and here is a picture of my yarn basket with 2 projects almost done, 3 not started, and a pic of the e-mailed pattern I just bought on Etsy yesterday. It's called the Anne scarf and it is really cute. There is some navy wool I was maybe going to make it out of in the basket but I changed my mind and started a pair of fingerless gloves with the yarn after this pic was taken. There is also a scrap scarf in there that I may add a couple of rows to, it isn't as wide as I thought it would be.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Shadow Puppets

Joan sent me the link to this on YouTube and it's really cool!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


John came home from work and showed me where the camera was. It was on his desk under the only thing I didn't move!

I really like the laciness of this shrug, and the wool is so soft and pretty! It would be really easy to use any lace pattern and come up with a shrug that is a lot like this one. I have 2 balls of Lion Moonlight Mohair; I might experiment with a larger hook and a different lace pattern.

And then there's the scrap. I'm thinking about this:

Finished Shrug

I finally got the shrug finished, although it took a lot longer than I thought it would because of the problems I've been having with my wrist. I finished it this morning although I had to stop now and again and use the microwave hotpack I made a few years ago. It turned out really nice, but I can't take a picture because the camera is missing. It only works some of the time, but I really wanted to get some pics and post them. I also wanted to get a pic of all the yarn Sio brought over from Chris' house. She has so much! She told me I could go through it and take what I want, so I have been. I have a whole laundry basket full of small balls that I am going to turn into scrap scarves and possibly a granny square afghan or maybe I'll finally get a yo yo afghan done. As soon as I get the camera I'll take some pica and post them.

On another subject, I subscribe to the Thom Hartmann podcast, and he had some interesting things to say about the McCain ad where Obama is refered to as "The One". I watched some of the spin about the ad last night on Hardball, and Countdown but I didn't actually see the ad til today. They were talking about the racial overtones to the ad, and I see that as being a big topic, but what I didn't hear was what Thom Hartmann pointed out on his show yesterday that I didn't hear til today. He says that while it may be appealing to people who are racist, it's full of code words that appeal to the "terrified white Christians". They may be a small minority but they have come out in droves to vote, and in this particular ad the McCain campaign is playing to those fears by portraying Obama as the anti-Christ. Hartmann points out how Hal Lindseys Left Behind series has sold 80 million copies in the US alone, and how these people believe that the anti-Christ will call himself "the One". He also points out how there are e-mails making the rounds that are saying the the Bible predicted that the anti-Christ would appear before 200,000 people (Obama's German appearance) and that the anti-Christ would be Muslim. Of course, the Bible say neither of those things. Hartmann points out how the Islamic religion didn't even exist untill 700 years after the Bible was written. The ad uses Biblical terms to re-inforce it's point and has Barak and Moses compared with each other. It takes a bit where Obama is making fun of the whole "celebrity" thing that is following him, and uses it totally out of context. Now obviously, I don't think there are any tactics the Republican party will not hesitate to use in their bid to keep power, so the ad is not surprising. Thom had some excerpts from right wing radio where they are falling right in line and really playing up the religious aspect. And as Thom asks, how can Obama respond to an attack that portrays him as the anti-Christ? He just can't come out and say "Hey, the anti-Christ? No, that's not me!" The really scary thing is that fundamentalists may be a minority, but they are a vocal one and they have gotten candidates elected before. Between them and the racists are there enough votes to carry McCain?

Heres the ad:

Monday, August 04, 2008

NIN (yes again)

Sio and I have been having an on-going discussion about Trent Reznor and his music. As I have stated in this blog before; while I don't like a whole lot of NIN, what I do like I really, really like. Trent Reznor is a poet with a phenomenal gift of touching the darker part of the psyche (at least mine, and I suspect a lot of other peoples too.) Siobhan is of the opinion that Trent really is just full of shit; being a rich little kid he really didn't go through any real suffering and doesn't know what real pain is. She agrees with me that he writes really good lyrics and she really likes some NIN, but that she doesn't think what he writes is authentic to what he really feels. Her opinion is that he goes back and forth between being a really good liar and being whiny. I agree about the whiny part; some of his music is whiney, but so is Billy Corgans; especially when Pumpkins were in their prime, and I still like them. I think in the case of NIN, Sio is missing a lot of the social commentary in songs like Terrible Lie, or Happiness in Slavery, or Starfuckers or my new favorite The Hand That Feeds. I think Trent's being brought up in the circumstances he was gives him a view from the inside that some people don't have and makes him better able to comment on those things, if that makes any sense. Sio says that someone brought up in that situation should have nothing to whine about, and in a way that's true, but I think that despair, loneliness, pain; those things cross all boundaries. I would say that in the end they are what make us all human, everybody shares the depths, the darkness, as much or more than they share love even. You may love someone, and I'm not negating that love can be a pretty deep emotion, but in despair and loneliness you really see another person in a very naked way, and Trent touches that in a way that most artists don't. It's very authentic, and it knows no barriers of any kind. And I would say that even in love, it's the pain and despair and loneliness that bind us closer to the other person than anything else does. Again, I'm not negating the other human emotions or events that happen, laughter and happiness certainly bring people closer together but when you let someone see the despair; that's real love. Anyway, maybe what I'm writing is just so much bullshit, who knows? I know that there's a few people out there who read this blog occasionally; Melissa and Jimmy do. Do you agree with me or Sio, or do you have your own take on Mr. Reznor?

Excellent version of "Something I Can Never Have" from Pretty Hate Machine

Johns birthday was Friday and he took Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday off. We got him a new rod and reel so we did a lot of fishing. I caught my biggest fish ever and the camera was on the fritz again! It was 21 inches long; I actually think it may have been the same fish John caught, it was about the same spot.