O is for…

O is for Octopus

Haeckel OctopusObservant readers of this blog might have noticed that I like octopuses (octopodes? octopi?).  There’s even one on the banner.  I’ve just cast on a small, tentacled bag which represents either an octopus or a generic tentacled horror which is inspired by them.  The truth is, I’ve really loved cephalopods since I performed a squid dissection in a college zoology class and saw the neural cluster which surrounds its esophagus.   Its brains surround its throat, how cool is that?

Octopus  at Pona do Ouro, Mozambique #SCUBA #pictures #underwater

Octopus at Pona do Ouro, Mozambique #SCUBA #pictures #underwater by Derek Keats, on Flickr

This is probably at the heart of it all.  The octopus (and possibly the squid, though that’s harder to show) are as close to an alien intelligence as we’re likely to encounter without leaving the Earth.  There are other animals which are about as intelligent – ‘greater’ primates, cetaceans, elephants, pigs, crows/ravens and parrots are  of a similar level.  Notice what all the others have in common?  All the rest are vertebrates.  Even the birds are much more closely related to us, evolutionarily speaking.You may have heard many discussions of octopus intelligence.  If not, just hop over to the Cephalopod page and read up a bit.  Always remember that these creatures only live for a few years.  Imagine what they could become if they lived as long as we do.

OK, so they’re cool, they’re smart, they’re also really, really pretty and graceful, in an alien, slightly creepy sort of way.   Clearly they’ve been involved in Japanese erotic art for centuries.  I decided not to run the images here, but look for the “Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife” for a famous example, or search for tentacles in anime…

Knit the Bridge

Knit the Bridge by Jason Taellious, on Flickr

What’s not to love?

N is for…

N is for Nightvale

NightvaleMy darling husband and I went to one of the DC performances of the Welcome to Nightvale 2015 tour.  It was an absolutely wonderful performance. The Weather was perfect, inside, at least.  Outside was way too chilly for March.

We met with lots of friends, both new and old.  The new friends were mostly attracted by my Welcome to Nightvale bag and my husband’s binary scarf.   The old friends happened to have seats near ours, and lots of hug were exchanged by all.

Going to a Nightvale show is a lot like going to a science fiction convention.  There will be many many people who you’ve never met before, but you will instantly recognize many of them.  You will speak the same language, and be united by sharing something you love.  It’s just that kind of fandom.

The show has a kind of surreal, secular humanist, nihilist, Elder God optimist vibe to it.  Think of A Prarie Home Companion if it were based in a small town created by Steven King or H.P. Lovecraft, but set out in desert somewhere very far from mountains.  But don’t think of it too hard, because if you think of it too hard it might come and get you.  Fun, right?

If you’re not a podcast listener you’ll just have to wait until October, when the book comes out.

If you are a podcast listener, you might want to skip the rest of this.  Spoilers lurk just around the corner… Continue Reading »

M is for…

M is for Maryland Flag Socks

The flag of Maryland is the only state flag to be based on English heraldry. It is a combination of the coats of arms of the Calvert and Crossland families (Cecil Calvert, the founder of the colony, had the right to use his mother’s Crossland arms as well as his own).

During the civil war the Union recognized the black and gold Calvert banner, but the Confederate sympathizers in the state used the red and white Crossland banner. After the war, Maryland veterans from both armies adopted the quartered flag to represent a reunified state, and nation.

Maryland officially adopted the flag in 1904.

VexingI finished the Maryland State Flag socks, and am running a test knit for it on the Free Pattern Testers group in Ravelry.  If you’d like to knit the socks from the raw pattern, and get a copy of the pattern once it’s finalized, that’s the place to go. (post updated to add the link)

I’m a bit nervous.  This is the first pattern I’m actually planning to charge money for once it’s all good to go.  I’ll be selling it on Ravelry, but it’ll either be free initially or I’ll put a coupon code up on this blog for the first little while.  Watch this space.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Grand View Farm giveaway. I entered a drawing at Trion Designs for a copy of Knitpicks Golden Morning pattern collection (17 April).

L is for…

L is for Loss

Very early on Sunday morning my uncle passed away.  He was over 90 years old.  Apparently his cancer had been diagnosed two years ago, but he never told anyone in the family.  He had a great life and, as far as I can tell, lived it to the fullest right up until the end.  He will be sorely missed.

I’m pouring over my life now, and remembering other family members and friends who I have lost over the years.

Today is a good day to tell someone you love them.  Especially someone you haven’t told it to enough.

K is for…

K is for Knitting (no surprise here)

This one is more or less a catch up post WIPs and Queue.

Current Projects

I’m almost halfway through the knit on, beaded border for the Belle Greene shawl.  I’ve slowed down quite a bit, because my LYS tells me that the blocking wires might not come in for a month or more.  Normally that wouldn’t be a thing, but I can’t enter it in next years MD S&W contest if I finish it before this years festival.  So I’m slowing down a bit.

Blue Short Rows

Just starting to turn the heel on my TARDIS socks.  It’s another no-wrap short row method, one which uses 1/2 the stitches rather than 2/3 of them like the Sweet Tomato Heel does.  I’m liking it so far, but we’ll see how it looks when done.

Laminated FootprintI finally got around to laminating the footprint, because I was carrying it around in the project bag.  That’s now safely back, tucked  into the Cat Bohrdi book I’ve got the chart all printed out, so ready to go.

Not a knitting project, but for the sake of completion I’ll mention that the pocket market bag is coming along nicely.  I should be running out of the blue just about the right time.  Worst case,  the mesh will be one round short…


I haven’t started on the Cthulhu dice bag yet.  I’m delaying because I think I migTiger Lilly Swans Islandht incorporate some leftover Atomic Limon from the Belle Greene shawl…  The next project after that will be either the beaded cuff kit from Laura Nelkin, or a shawl in some Swans Island fingering weight merino.  I’ve got the second Very Busy Monkey Scientist collection, and there are a couple of those which would look wonderful in Tigerlilly colorway.

Sheep and Wool Projects

Doll CowlEven though it looks like Belle Greene won’t make it to S&W this year, I’ve got a couple of others which will.  This little guy is basically playing to the judges.  The featured yarn this year (eligible for a special prize) is Leicester Longwool, and I had just enough stashed to make this little doll cowl.  Since there’s also a special prize designated for knitting for dolls and bears it seemed like a good plan.

Naturally, I will enter the Vexing Socks.   Yes, I did finish them.  There will be another post focusing on them later this week. I know it’s not amazing workmanship, but I’m really proud of the design.  Tam of Rassilon

I’ll also be entering the Tam of Rassillon, which is made of Maryland wool from Blue Faced Leicester sheep.  It’s not the breed of the year, but they don’t announce that very far in advance…

So that leaves three entries rather than four.  I’m OK with that.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Moogleyblog Fiber Artsy giveaway, or the Made of Change crochet hook giveaway, or the Stana’s Critters giveaway.

I entered the Fiber Flux $50 Knit Picks gift card giveaway (19 April).  A drawing for a $100 Darn Good Yarn gift certificate (30 April).  The Red Heart Dream Yarn Package from All Free Crochet  (including reflective and bulky yarns) (4 May).  The Ficstitches Crochet Kit giveaway on Mooglyblog (16 April).  Finally, a bottle of maple syrup and a skein of yarn from Vermont Grand View farm (today).

Whew!  That’s a lot of giveaways.

J is for…

J is for Joyful

Tonight my best friend in all the world will go to dinner in celebration of the fact that, come Monday, we will have been married for 24 years.

I is for…

II is for Imbibe

Yesterday was International Gin & Tonic day, but that’s never been my favorite. In college my (alcoholic) drink of choice was Twinings brand Earl Grey with just a dash of Amaretto Disaranno.

I still enjoy it a lot, but I also recommend the Orgasmic Chai – a nice steaming mug of Chai style tea (preferably organic) with Fireball to taste.

My husband introduced me to the Mamie Gilroy, which is a shot of scotch, 1/2 shot of lime juice, over ice, fill with ginger ale, garnish with a wedge of lime.

Bottoms Up


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