Sunday, April 05, 2009

We've Moved

Yes, I've finally moved Knit-a-While to my self-hosted WordPress site. Just click to access the new site. If you subscribe to the blog, you'll probably have to resubscribe with the new address.

And to celebrate our move and blogiversary, there's a contest!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Film at 11

But it wasn't just at 11. On Friday, April 3, 2009, Binghamton, New York, was on the major news networks almost all afternoon and most of the evening. It was the site of the lead story for the CBS, NBC, and ABC evening news broadcasts. Binghamton had hit the big time.

Sadly, it was not for a good thing. It wasn't because the Binghamton University men's basketball team had won its way to the NCAA Big Dance for the first time. No, like many cities, Binghamton made the newscast because of a tragedy. And perhaps saddest of all, it was a tragedy that seems to be ever more common: a mass killing.

On the morning of April 3, a man entered the American Civic Association, an organization that helps immigrants to the area get settled, find jobs, learn English, and become citizens. For whatever reason, he came armed. By the time the shooting was over, fourteen people were dead, including the shooter, who committed suicide. Four other individuals were fighting for their lives.

And, of course, when reporters interviewed the shooter's neighbors, they all described him as a nice guy, quiet; none could believe he was capable of such a heinous act. Now where have we heard that before?

Each time we hear of such an incident, residents always say they couldn't believe it could happen there. That's what we're saying tonight, and we'll probably continue to say it for weeks. By now, you'd think that the world would know that they can happen everywhere. No city, regardless of how large or small, how sleepy or metropolitan, is immune. You'd think that experience, being the greatest teacher, would have taught us that. Yet, the next time it happens, and one would be naive to think it will not happen again, the shooter will likely be described as quiet and unlikely to have done such a thing--especially in a place where everyone thought such a thing could never happen.

May peace be with those affected by the shootings.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mean Girls, Mean Girls, Watcha Gonna Do? Mean Girls, Mean Girls

Well, if you're a Mean Girl, or even just aspire to be one, I suggest you check out the Mean Girl Yarn Club.

The Mean Girls' Yarn Club is the brainchild and joint plotting of two of the hottest dyers working today. Laura Wilson-Martos, KnottyLa, is the force behind Dizzy Blonde Studios. Bobbie Bowles is the KnittyKnitterton in KnittyKnitterton's House of Awesome. They know beautiful yarn when they create it.

What exactly does it mean to be a member of the Mean Girls' Yarn Club? Of course, it means you've embraced your inner Mean Girl. But, it also means that you'll be in for a year (6 shipments) of gorgeous sock yarn. It's an exclusive club--only 50 will be allowed in. And you won't get just yarn, though that would certainly be enough. Oh no, the Mean Girls' Mamas will include something special in each shipment.

Be sure to mark APRIL 3, 2009, on your calendar and Toodle-do lists. That's the first day you can sign up for the very special club. The first shipment won't go out until June, but don't be a turtle and wait until then to sign up. The slots will be long gone. After all, Mean Girls are hot.

So embrace your inner Mean Girl. Heck, let your inner Mean Girl bust loose and get her groove on. Check out the Mean Girls' Yarn Club blog to find out how you can sign up.

Cat Hair in My Belly Button

So now, did that get your attention? This isn't going to be an entry about cat hair in the belly button, though I do happen to find some there occasionally. And in my ear. Don't know what's up with that.

It Looks So Easy

This is a sweater. Or at least it will be. The other night I was looking for a summer-type sweater to cast on. I wanted something light and lacy. And, it wanted to be able to make it from yarn already in my stash. In digging through patterns, I came across a couple I ordered some time ago from Just One More Row. They're very similar patterns, but then I find that to be true with many of its patterns. Anyway, these sweaters are very lacy and don't take a lot of yarn--relatively speaking and for my size.

After finding the pattern for the Flyaway Jacket, I determined I had enough yarn and cast on for the swatch. Though measured on the stockinette portion, it suggests you practice the veil stitch, which I did. It includes crossover throw stitch I wasn't familiar with, but it came easily and isn't nearly as complex as one might think from the instructions.

It's an easy pattern, and I'm making some changes, but I do have a word of advice. Don't use Knit Picks nickleplated options for this. Now, you all know how much I love them, and really, nothing has happened to change that. This sweater is supposed to be made with bulky yarn or with two thinner ones held together. I didn't like those options, so I'm using Lion Brand's Cupcake. I heard someone call it Homespun for kids, and that's about right. But, I like it and, more important right now in my knitting life, I had some in my stash. The sweater is worked on an 11 or 13 needle, so the fabric is very loose. Couple that yarn with the nickleplated needles, and it's a fun time in the knitting house tonight! Can I just say "slippage"? The yarn slips all over the place. But, despite that, I'm actually enjoying working on it. Perhaps there's a bit of masochism in my knitting bag.

It Seems to Come So Naturally
I try to remember to post on Plurk and assorted other lists I frequent when I update the blog. I try to remember to post on Plurk and assorted other lists I frequent when I update the blog. Call me strange, but I would like people to read this. Someone on Plurk mentioned my writing style, saying that it seemed to come easily, naturally. I assured her that I didn't always find the entries easy to write, and it isn't always because of subject matter. Sometimes it's just hard to come up with ideas, or at least ideas that I would naturally be drawn to.

The other night, I was just sitting and knitting when, for some reason, I noticed my thought process. (Hey, it's all about me, remember?) I think like I write. There are complete sentences, properly placed modifiers, no split infinitives; it's as though I'm writing in my head. Sheez, I even caught myself going back and editing. All I'd have to do would be put the thoughts on paper, and I'd have a blog entry, story, or even a--shall I say it?--novel. And yes, most of this blog entry was written in my thought patterns long before I sat before the computer. I call this process thoughtwriting(TM).

Since this epiphany, I've caught myself thoughtwriting(TM) many times. Actually, any time I paid attention to what I was thinking. Who knows, perhaps I'm thoughtwriting(TM) my life. And now that I'm conscious that I'm doing it, will my life change? I'd like to think I'd throw in some goodies once in a while.

OK, I have a headache now. . .

As soon as it's thoughtwritten(TM), there will be another blog post from me this week. This one will feature knitting, including info about a new yarn club that I think everyone will enjoy.