Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Observer Effects

Whilst reviewing my blog stats, I was surprised to see traffic has tripled over the usual, both on new posts and on old posts. Uh, wow. Hello, gentle readers! Thank you for looking around so thoroughly. I hope you're enjoying what you see – and do come again.

The sense of being observed does rather act as a spur to blogging, at least for me. So, gentle readers, here's how far I got on my Morning Walk, which was my project for the Fall Sweater Challenge.

Morning Walk, as far as it went

Alas, the verb was is operative. At this point it became apparent there is Not Enough Yarn to complete the project. Further, the lovely yarn, BMFA Targhee Worsted, colorway Vine Ripened Red, is produced in a way that each batch is essentially a one-off. I could order more, but there's little likelihood the new yarn and the old yarn would be compatible – sometimes artisinal yarn from the same dyelot doesn't match, let alone from different batches. When one has been there, done that, there's no need to repeat the experience. Sigh. To the frog pond we go.

Morning Walk, frogged

Pity. I love the yarn, just need to recondition it and find a more suitable pattern pairing.

Meanwhile, it's the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in the U.S., which is also the traditional start of the winter holiday season of shopping, gift-giving, year-end parties, family gatherings, and religious observances. So let me wish gentle readers a bountiful and blessed T-Day, and see you on the other side.

Friday, November 18, 2016


In case you missed it, the U.S. had a General Election for president and other offices last week on Tuesday, November 8. I was in NYC on Monday to have dinner with my sister, and we meandered over to Rockefeller Center, which was crazy-resplendent with flags, bunting, lights projected on the buildings and the skating rink, and tent-like outdoor broadcast booths and cameras on booms all set up in preparation for the next day. The vibe seemed hectic, even a bit hellish to me, but my sister loved it.

Rockefeller Center, November 7, 2016

Election Day was a beautiful, mild day roundabout Exit 151 and indeed across the country = no excuses for not getting to the polls. Heavy turnout usually favors Democrats, yet there were two whispers of trouble ahead for the Democratic candidate for president. My polling place is in the sapphire blue bellybutton of New Jersey and while there was a line to vote, turnout was noticeably less than in 2008. And one voter in line began talking very loudly and unpleasantly about exclusionary voter ID laws, generally a Republican issue, often with racist overtones. Hindsight is 20/20, and in retrospect that seems a presage of what was to come.

Maybe there was a third sign: I baked a patriotic confetti cake, and it was awful. In more skilled hands or to other palates it might have been acceptable (a master cake baker I'm not), but to me the cake was overly sweet from the candy sprinkles, with an overly soft, almost gooey, collapsing center. A metaphor, perhaps.

Awful confetti cake

Tuesday evening as the polls closed and the voting returns trickled in it became increasingly clear the opinion polls predicting a landslide victory for Hillary Clinton and a chance to flip the Senate to the Democrats had been stunningly wrong. Reflecting the confusion, Wednesday's print NY Times had one headline, while their website had another. In the sober light of morning, it turned out Republican Donald Trump had prevailed by carrying the Electoral College but not winning the popular vote. Trump was president-elect, and his party retained control of both houses of Congress and a majority of governorships and state houses, and is poised to appoint the majority in the Supreme Court.

NY Times headlines

In the ten days since the election, I finally finished my Debate Socks, knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Super Sparkle, colorway Star Speckled Skein. Amazing to relate, the 8% Lurex content is not only adorable, but also comfortable, not scratchy at all. Now that's a win-win.

Debate Socks, modeled

Round town there's been some trouble with ugly winners, which in some cases has taken on a life of its own. Notably, after a small business near the train station was defaced by graffiti expressing coarse pro-Trump sentiments, some children painted it over with a cheery mural, which was again vandalized. Rinse, repeat, repeat, repeat. The sixth iteration is pictured below.

Vandalized 6X

It was defaced as well. But this time the vandals did not get away with it. Train commuters had noticed the mural would be fine through the evening commute, but would be marked up by the morning commute. So the business owner and a buddy camped out overnight, spotted two older adults in the very act, and called police, who made the arrest.

There have been other upsets, so there's going to be a community march and vigil tomorrow afternoon from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., starting at the main library and ending at the WW1 memorial. I have tickets for a show with an 8:00 o'clock curtain, but I'll go for a while. It's important. To be continued....

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Event Horizon

When last I blogged I was looking forward to watching the first presidential candidate debate. Somehow since then the VP candidate debate, the second presidential candidate debate, and Rhinebeck have all flown by – this evening is the third and final presidential candidate debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Along the way things have only gotten stranger and stranger, falling deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of cynicism and paranoia to the point where serious writers in serious publications can talk about one candidate as Demogorgon. At least I have a singleton sock to show for all the time spent away from blogging.

As before, I'm not one for liveblogging, but I'll be ready tonight with favorite beverages, nibbles, and debate bingo. And as always, see you on the other side.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Debate Socks

My plan for this evening is to watch the first presidential candidate debate – available in the U.S. and globally on broadcast and cable TV, online, and even in virtual reality – and to knit debate socks. I got yarn expressly for the occasion, BMFA Super Sparkle, colorway Stars Speckled Skein. It's red, white, and blue shot with silver sparkles, and I love it.

BMFA Super Sparkle yarn, colorway Stars Speckled Skein

It's expected the debate will be both widely and closely watched in the U.S. and around the world, with TV ratings comparable to the Super Bowl, the most colossal of all U.S. sporting events,First debate and with far more profound consequences. Stock markets around the world are down in advance of the debate, reflecting concerns about the outcome. For all that, a fizzy sports rally atmosphere would seem to prevail at the site of the debate, Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY.

I'm not going to try liveblogging the debate, but such a momentous occasion calls for at least a sock update at the close of the day, and perhaps a bit of commentary. So, gentle readers, happy viewing wherever you may be or not if you so choose, and in any case see you on the other side.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Finally Fallish

It still looks much like summer roundabout Exit 151, but fallish temperatures arrived over the weekend. Suddenly my Morning Walk gauge swatch for #FallSweaterChallenge begins to have just the right amount of anticipation.

Gauge swatch

With a bit of finger-blocking, the gauge of the swatch is spot on. But rather than block the swatch properly, I'm going to tink it and cast on. While #gaugematters, as per usual I'm that worried about not having Enough Yarn. (I'm also wondering about who thought up that particular hashtag. Jeepers.)

Meanwhile, a last bit of summer goodness arrived over the weekend: my bonus yarn for completing three monthsCamp Loopy 2016 button of Camp Loopy 2016 projects (to recap, that's 3 Color Cashmere Cowl in June, Simple Straight Skirt in July, and Sabine in August). Thanks to the moderators, elves, and my fellow pirate campers, it was one of the easiest and most congenial KALs I've ever participated in, and the yarny incentive surely doesn't hurt. There was a choice of three – I selected Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock dyed in an exclusive colorway, Color in the Clouds. I love, love, love its funfetti cake speckles!

Bonus yarn

There was an unexpected additional loyalty incentive in my parcel: a Loopy Groupie drawstring project bag, Loopy Legends yarn, and sweets.

More goodies

I ordered something to keep my bonus yarn company – alas, that got mixed up, but is in the process of being set right. Still, color me a happy summer camper and (hopefully) soon to be well on my way into fall knitting.