Wednesday, March 19, 2014

That'll teach you....

The above title is not the original one for this post.  The first post was almost completed - I was just adding a link to my insightful thoughts and bits of knowledge when my computer flipped out and ate the whole page, sending me to my link.  Gone.  All Gone - all my strenuous work and strenuous intellectual deep thoughts - gone.  

So the title is to remind me to save this thing regularly.  Then when the computer flips out, all may not be lost, just misplaced.

The reason this thing flips out, pitches a tantrum or whatever you want to call it, is because the little scroll pad that you use to move the cursor around is very, very sensitive.  So sensitive, I don't have to touch it.  Moving my thumb or hand over it can cause it to follow what it perceives as instructions.  I've tried to find settings to turn off the pad only but no-can-do.  One must use the keyboard and pad or neither one.  Not acceptable in my book.

The original title was Temptations and other Things.

So I will now attempt to recreate the original post but, please be advised, all my momentous revelations are gone - poof - not to be repeated.  But I am saving this so all won't be lost again, I hope.

noun: temptation; plural noun: temptations
a desire to do something, esp. something wrong or unwise.
"he resisted the temptation to call Celia at the office"

Definition courtesy of Google.

Not to be confused with the group from the 60's, The Temptations, often referred to as the Temptin' Temptations.

My first temptation is called Sock Madness.  Imagine over 500 knitters from all over the world waiting for a link to a pattern to be posted.  They grab their copies from the link, grab yarn and needles, cast on and go.  Please note the cast on may be before or after reading the instructions the whole way through.  The goal:  Be able to complete a pair of socks within the allotted time of two weeks, have a project page displaying both an in-progress shot and a finished shot; send an email to a secret address with a link to the project page included and a key word on the subject line.

Now Sock Madness turns into a knitting version of Musical Chairs.  There are X number of places on each team.  You must knit the pattern emailed to you and complete the pair of socks, project page and email before the chairs/places on your team run out.  And so on until the finalists from each team go against each other (I think) in the final round - the 7th pair of socks.

The additional part of the madness is that the participants are all over the world. Ravelry ( is a fiber enthusiast's version of crack or meth, being very, very addictive) now has over 4 million members and is where the meeting of Sock Madness Participants resides.  There are members on almost every continent (not sure about Antarctica) and so that means lots of time zones.  So the patterns might come out at midnight or 2 am or noon your time.  There are quite a few people who have the ability to complete a pair of socks, approximately a few hundred thousand stitches, within 24 hours - no matter what time it is in their location.  There have been comments about Scandinavians and Germans having some sort of genetic advantage.  Well, I'm German and Swedish and I'm not seeing any advantage.  Maybe they cancelled themselves out.

Where do I fit in?  Well I'm one of the people who finished under the heading reasonable effort.  I've finished at least one sock or, if I were knitting 2 at a time, finished at least the heel turn on both socks.  That means I will receive each pattern sent out during Sock Madness.  Some of the patterns can cost as much as $12.00 if purchased separately so getting them free can represent a significant savings.  Of course the yarn purchases required put you in the hole again.
 Please meet Brucie, the first round sock of Sock Madness.  Named for the shark used in the movie Jaws. 

That was one temptation I succumbed to.  Another was my first Test Knit.  Test Knitting (or crochet, etc) is just that.  A person is testing a pattern for errors, understanding the steps, reading a chart if needed, and even sizing.  I was testing a toe up pattern for a wonderful lady in the UK.  I love the pattern (which was free) but don't have a finished photo yet.

Here is my Pickled Peaches test sock.  The name is because the German yarn is Opal Sweet & Spicy colorway Peaches.  My German Grandmother would make pickled peaches and taught me how.  This reminds me of those wonderful gems.  Hmmm, note to self, look for peaches at farmer's market this year and make up some jars for gifts.

The third temptation is the Do-si-do stitch along, also on Ravelry.  This very fun event is where someone chooses a pattern to knit. Then they either find a partner to knit the same pattern, or announce they need a partner.  Last year when I participated, I knit a pattern called Chartres.  I called mine Flying Buttresses as the pattern kicked mine a few times.
Here they are from last year.

I'm dancing with one of the same ladies as last year and doing a pattern called Leopold.  Mine will be called Leopold or Leonard due to my confusion between Leonard Bernstein and Leopold Stokowski as a child (both were mentioned in Bugs Bunny cartoons).  I knew one was still alive (at that time) and one wasn't (i thought).  But both being well known in the field of music, well confusion was ok.
I would also get confused with a friend's cat - could not remember if her name was Gertrude or Geraldine.  Still can't remember.  She is either the oldest known cat ever or has traveled to her happy hunting grounds.  If cat years are similar to dog years, she would be a few hundred years old.

Spinning has sat on the sidelines while the crush of knitting was going on.  Now I hope to finish the skein I'm working on (singles only) and get it plied.  My next project will 
be either the cotton sitting over there waiting for me or some Corri-
edale sitting in my closet, also waiting.  The Corriedale is the remainder of 2 lbs minus the skein and bobbin I've already spun.  It's just white yarn right now - so no photos yet.  After it is all done, washed and pretty, then I will post a photo or 2 and figure out what I want to knit with it.  It should produce enough yardage for a lot of socks or at least one cardigan or pullover.  It's outerwear for sure, a bit too scratchy for next-to-the-skin. I've finished that trip across the bobbin with the gray and am starting back to your right as you look at the photo.  The fiber does have sparkly bits in it so those white dots are part of the yarn, not a flaw in anything.  I have a ball about the size of a medium cantaloupe left to spin.

My work on my depression issues continue with the medication and counseling.  Both are helping a lot but I still have issues to get through or to learn how to deal with.  I've made notes to take to counseling so to bring them up and see if they are real or my imagination.  My children have been terrific support throughout all of this and encourage their kids, my grands, to talk with me- which can cheer me up no matter how down I am.

I will boast about one grand.  The grand took a Pre-ACT and scored in the top 1% of the nation.  As a result several colleges and universities are sending material to tempt (another temptation) the grand to attend their hallowed halls.  Some trips are planned so visits can be made but I don't think any commitments will happen until late in the Junior year or even early Senior year.  Now the grand needs to work on fields of interest or interests and see who offers the closest possibilities to fulfilling those needs/interests.  I am so thrilled with the opportunities available.

The other five grands are doing well within their fields of endeavors and provide moments of true joy with their adventures.  One watched a video I sent to the parent and stood and applauded while the youngest grand wanted it played again and again and again.... those with children or grands know exactly how much patience is required for dealing with this...which is why I sent it.  I did provide a warning that the grands would probably love it but the parent would not like me very much for sending it.

There is one advantage I see to being hearing impaired and needing appliances.  One can turn off the appliance to avoid the repeating and repeating of a song or some other irritating sound that children love.  I have seen that done by those I love who do need the appliances.  At times I wish I had the same ability.  Years ago that purple dinosaur would about drive me to drink.  Fortunately my children quickly reached the point of wanting to see something other than purple dinosaurs.

Well, friends, I'm off to knit some more.  Maybe that is what Poe's Raven is saying... Knit some more instead of Never more.  Until the next time, Enjoy!

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