Wednesday Miscellany--The Farm and Ranch Edition

Um, we bought a ranch. And before y’all start with, “whoa, who does that bitch think she is,” allow me to provide some perspective. I spent the entire weekend up to my double points in cobwebs, dead flies and mouse turds. We’re not talking South Fork, here.

Wanna see? That thing with the red roof. That would be our barn.

Morning

Welcome to El Ranch de Chihuahua

In honor of El Rancho, I thought I would devote this edition of Wednesday Miscellany to knitting cowgirl must haves.

1. Camelids. The other day when I had coffee with the lovely Anne, in state for a family wedding, she observed, “I see llamas in your future.” While we are not looking to adopt the llama lifestyle with its trailers and harnesses and all, we are toying with the idea of renting/loaning pasture to llama or ‘paca-packing mamas. Wouldn’t that be a dream?

2. A retro cowgirl-themed knitting bag. From Spunky Eclectic. 

3. Western-wear knitting patterns: See Berroco’s Western-wear layette and Urban Cowgirl. And crocheted baby cowboy booties.

4. A chihuahua weathervane.

5. Anything from Double D Ranchwear.

6. A Western embroidery kit from Sublime Stitching.

7. A Rockmount embroidered shirt.

8. Vintage cowboy furnishings. Check out the carved sofa. And scroll down for a shot of the obligatory boot lamp.

I already have the pink cowboy boots.

 

Geometry lesson

Here’s the thing:

When I start to think about designing without the help of my Knitware Sweater Design software (which, I love, incidentally), I get all in a twist about the math. Not the how-to-match-gauge-to-inches math, but the stuff that starts to look like integral calculus.

Say you want to design a wrap sweater. So you need a back, sleeves and two fronts. But do the fronts look like the triangle on the right or the one on the left? And what are consequences of this choice? Getting the numbers on the sides is easy. But how do you figure the angle and number of decreases to get the neckline and hypotenuse you want? And, yes, I should be thinking about deadlines and not about hypotenuses.

Triangles

Anatomy of a murder

Someone anonymously sent Antone another victim. I’m predicting disembowelment by week’s end.

Catandmouse2

Catandmouse3

Catandmouse

I failed Pictionary

What’s a designer wannabe to do when her sketches look like this?

Model

You see where I’m going with this, right?

Surely, there’s a book somewhere? Instruction? A class? There’s got to be help for someone like me. Anybody?

A beautiful day for a new bolero

Bolero

Notice how I cropped out my waddle

Fiesta Yarn’s La Boheme in the Madrid colorway using Crystal Palace’s free Trio Bolero pattern. Size 11 needles did the job.

Wednesday Miscellany--The Miscellaneous Edition

Back to knitting. However, given that election season is upon us, expect a few ill-conceived rants and some blatant propaganda from time to time.

1. Cable girl: Leather-and-knit totes have been splashed all over the fashion mags this fall, ala these chic bags by Margaret Nicole. If only we all had industrial sewing machines. KnitPicks has a free pattern. And here’s a pretty one found over at Mes Projets. Oh, and here’s a very pretty one from Pieknits—only it costs. Joggles has leather purse handles, too. Just sayin’.

2. Harvest some indie threads: Fashion Denver hosts its fall fashion market, Sunday, Sept. 17, froom noon-8 p.m. at the Walnut Foundry. Score graphic tees, handmade jewelry, cool bags, belts and other sundries.

3. Got alpaca? Alpacas on the Rocks holds its 10th Annual Open House and Fleece Sale, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sept. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. Twenty-eight ranches will be on hand with their animals, fleeces and fiber. Vendors, too.

4. Peruvian Connection: This catalog makes me writhe. Such beautiful classic pieces. And the knits! Did y’all know Kaffe Fassett is designing for them now? This little number isn’t shabby. And I’m nuts about this kooky pom-pom purse.

5. Yarny reads: Hey, Amy scored a design by Suss Cousins for the cover of the new Knitty. A cutie. And this Lizard Ridge afghan is a stunner! As always, the work here is full of humor and creativity. In other news, Knit.1 mag has a new 2.0 web site. The article about famous TV sweaters is particularly good… though sadly, it’s not available online. And the new Interweave Crochet is out.

6. Superior circs: Have any of you tried Lantern Moon’s Destiny circulars? Mom just gave me two pairs and wow. Like butta. Or silk. Or something. Great joins. No kinks. Smooth finish. And gorgeous. Thanks, Mom!

 

One weapon in the war against complacency

Bike

Last night after listening to the President’s apologia about the war in Iraq with its message du jour, “we are safer, but we are not yet safe”—an assertion begging the question, Dude, where’s the data about safety—I turned to Mitch and said, “Isn’t there something we can do?”

There are many reasons to be appalled by this speech, not the least of which was the fear mongering ala 1984, but what disturbed me primarily was how little Bush asks of the American people. We mustn’t sacrifice or turn down our thermostats—look what happened to Jimmy Carter. The President wants our forbearance and fear and then dismisses us to shore up our basements with duct tape. Fear and shopping are the opiate of our masses.

There’s no question that terrorism is a hydra—a many-limbed thing spawned from good– and ill-intentioned decisions made after WWII, oil dependence, the formation of Israel, plus ethnic and religious forces most of us can only guess at. I disagree that “terrorists” hate our freedoms; they hate our cultural hegemony, the way our greed and products infect the world like a plague. They hate our sense of entitlement and arrogance, our surity that democracy and capitalism are human rather than American constructs.

The war in Irag is an attempt to isolate this hatred within the borders of one country, an attempt to treat the symptoms of terrorism and not the disease—poverty, ignorance, hopelessness. Would the mullahs be so successful in places where young people can start businesses, plant gardens and raise healthy children?

Isn’t there something we can do?

We can vote. We can help reduce our energy consumption by walking, riding our bikes and taking public transit. We can give to relief organizations. We can teach our children to think in shades of grey and not black and white. We can elect officials with a broader sense of goodness, wisdom that transends our borders and recognizes our economic and environmental interdependence. And we have to do this at home—and abroad.

Anyone got any better ideas?

Blog silence: Remembering

Observing blog silence in honor of the victims and heroes who perished on Sept. 11, 2001--and the soldiers and innocents who have died in its aftermath.

When we were 10

Parents we know constantly bemoan the cost of raising children.

Think about it. When we were 10, there were no:

1. Calculators

2. Personal computers

3. Internet fees

4. VCRs or DVD players, videos, DVDs or compact disks

5. I-pods

6. Cell phones

7. Cable or satellite-enabled TVs

8. Voice mail

9. PDAs

10. LED knitting needles

How did we possibly survive?

Damien

Antonne

Have you ever seen anything as pure and innocent as this little kitten?

Wanna see what our little angel does when he’s not sleeping? (Those of you with weak stomachs, avert your eyes. What follows is not pretty.)

Catnipmouse

The above disemboweled carcass was a hand-knit catnip mouse. Kay knits and sells them at The Lamb. Cats adore them. That is, if they know how to play. Play, Antone. It’s a concept!!?

It had whiskers and a tail and it gave the kitten hours of entertainment pleasure. Now look.

The disposal of the remains required epic vacuuming.