Friday, August 10, 2007

Melting on Many Fronts

The only thing I seem to be making any progress on these last few days is the Horcrux sock and that is due to my continuing obsession with the pattern and the yarn. But even it has been slow. It's hard to knit anything when the thermometer reads 102 F at 4 pm EST.

Please note that I did try to Photoshop out all parts of my pale toes and leg. As you can gather from the tiny glimpses I couldn't cut out, I avoid the sun at all costs. True, I can't run around looking halfway decent in shorts or a skirt without the aid of pantyhose but it does make this yarn colorway even more neon against that totally pale background.

A flat shot. It is, after all, extremely difficult to take a photo of a sock on your own foot. I love the heel. I love heels in sock knitting anyway. That's where the magic occurs, when you turn the heel and there appears this perfectly fitted cup that conforms so nicely to your own heel (or should if you haven't managed to either choose the wrong style heel for your foot or messed up your measurements). I didn't use the heel flap that the pattern called for, I used my regular slip1, knit1 ribbed-appearing heel flap. I'm sure it has a name but I don't know what it is. It's the first one I learned and it wears the best for me. I did use the heel turn from the pattern though, which produced a much more square heel that wraps around under the bottom of my foot more than my usual round heel, short-rowed partially wrapped method. I like the way it looks. We shall see about how it fits during wear.

Brenda, you should come join in the sock groups. But I will warn you they are extremely addictive. I'm already thinking ahead to the August sock (which shows I am already behind since it's August and I'm not knitting the August sock) and the Louet Gems grey yarn that also came from Mosaic. This link leads to the shop webpage instead of the shop blog (Hi, Gina! Gee, I didn't even notice those cool overhead windows when I was in the shop, I was way too busy jumping into all the yarn bins.)

The christening gown has grown by 2 inches and is now at 6 inches long. It's supposed to be 20.5 inches long before you divide for the bodice. I really would prefer to make it a shorter version since I'm thinking to add either a cute pair of lacy booties or socks to the set plus I can't think about sticking a baby in a long dress when it's 102 F. I know it won't be that hot if I can finish it in time for the baby concerned to actually use it for the occasion concerned but it stays hot here until October. Forget those long sleeves, too. It's either going to be a crocheted edging, maybe something picoted or a picot bind-off or just a little bit of a cap sleeve. I keep having these terrible thoughts of the acrylic melting on the poor kid. BTW, the christening dress and bonnet pattern are from MinnowKnits, Too by Jil Eaton. I've done several of the baby outfits from this book and they've all turned out very well. (Yes, I fooled around with modifying the instructions but I can't seem to follow directions so this is my default setting and the designer's instructions are very well written and will work extremely well for those of you not afflicted with this particular syndrome).

Mystery Stole 3 is quietly resting in the time-out bin where it's been for the past 4 days. I finally thought I had a quiet moment to work on it and did only 2 rows and found myself a stitch short at the end of them. This has to do with the phone ringing and my mother showing up in the middle of the row. I'm new to lace knitting and I have to have solitude to work on this and this was not what I got so now I have to go searching for the missing stitch. If I could find some solitude. It's been sadly lacking this week.

I will invite you to go browse over at Kelly's blog, link in my sidebar, for some of the great scrap layouts she's done, plus she's done one for the Brown Dog himself. He was rather insulted that she implied he needed her permission to stay here but did like the page itself.

The Inconvenient Truth

Now I will venture off into a totally different subject from knitting and that's being Green and carbon emissions. The Tech Gal and her hubby belong to an entirely different political and philosophical bent than I do and this has led to some extremely interesting debates. Much more interesting than the current US Presidential debates because they have a tendency to avoid answering the questions directly, give the exact same cookie-cutter answers they always give, or use the questions as an opportunity to tout some plan they've touted numerous times before that circles back around to not answering the blooming question in the first place. We don't have that problem. We don't avoid the questions, we don't give the same answers, and Heaven knows, we've been known to get very inventive in our solutions, considering they lean one way and I lean the other. We have, at some points, leaned so totally opposite each other, that we have managed to be a very balanced combination. This subject of Greeness seems to be very Politically Correct nowadays and a hot topic. (like the weather it's supposed to be contributing to, eh?) I've always advocated not being wasteful and doing what you could to help out the enviroment, would never dream of throwing trash out the car window, switched to fluorescent lighting (true, the claim a fluorescent bulb would last so much longer was a big factor when it seemed everytime I turned on a light, it popped.) Took some getting used to the different type of light these bulbs give off but I did install them. So I saw that Yahoo had a new category on it's homepage yesterday called "Green".

Naturally, I was curious. I browsed about it for a bit and then decided to take the Calculate Your Impact Test. There are only 7 questions and frankly, I don't think they reflect my impact whatsoever. No "which kind of light bulbs do you use?" or "do you recycle" or "paper or plastic or your own grocery tote bags". So what if I drive an SUV? It's one of the best-rated for gas mileage and there are hybrid SUV's out there. That's not taken into account. And why would you stick my very-well-reseached and chosen-for-it's-gas-mileage SUV in with pick-up trucks and put vans and mini-vans in a separate class? Plus don't tell me to take the transit. There is NO transit in the sticks, boys. (and girls. Let's not be gender-biased, shall we?) Plus I really don't like having to climb my icy, snow-covered hill on foot after negotiating icy, snow-covered roads. It does snow and ice in America and yes, you do need a vehicle that will let you get about in it. Toting tons of groceries up said hill in snow and ice with a wind chill factor of minus 10 sucks. Add in rheumatoid arthritis and asthma and what these weather conditions will do to those and the danger of falling, well, I don't consider this a vehicle I bought for appearances.

We could also go into the fact that yes, I do have 3 bedrooms but the size of mine as opposed to the size of, say, my mom's, is significant. So is what level I set my thermostat on but hey, that's not a category nor is what I use to power my heating/air-conditioning/hot water unit.

But if you find you score WAY over the top as opposed to "the average American" (btw, who IS the average American?), you can bop off to Terrapass and assuage your guilt by buying carbon credits since our government refuses to pony up and join the rest of the world by signing the Kyoto Protocol. (You know, the summit where everyone agreed to cut carbon emissions and promptly starting buying and selling carbon credits amongst each other. Now, how it helps to sell your carbon emissions to a country that has their's under control instead of doing something to curtail it and thus save the world from global warming, which I thought was the entire purpose of the thing, I don't get but I'm digressing.)

Since the American government refused to join in this world thingy, corporations, states, and individuals have taken on the challenge of finding ways to cut carbon emissions themselves. This is a good thing. After all, when this country was first founded, it was founded on the principle of states' rights before federal ones and the federal ones have gotten just a bit out of hand. Of course, the states don't get a passing grade for slacking then trying to blame it on the feds when things go awry. The whole concept of being American used to stand for individuality. So individuals taking on the challenge of fixing things gone awry should be what would be best. However, telling me that I'm polluting with carbon emissions big time but I can take care of the matter by bopping over to the Terrapass site and paying them around $300 just doesn't cut it in my book. First of all, I don't have $300 to give them. Second of all, in checking on them and their practices, they seem very laudatory on the surface. A bunch of Wharton School students who went out and are trying to promote alternative energy usages to cut our dependence on fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. I'll leave it up to you to go read their website and it's description of what they say they do. It's at TerraPass.

This all sounds very good. I'm not totally dissing TerraPass. But I'm suspicious of companies suddenly springing up to do this sort of thing without a background being laid out for what they'll do, how all fiscal information will be disclosed, how all the money is spent (I'm not saying they shouldn't keep some money, you've got to have money to pay for office space, the utility bills, employee's salaries, etc.) as in how much is pure profit for the company after everything else is taken into account and who gets that pure profit? And this is not directed vindictively and solely at this one company. There are others out there doing this same thing. This suspicious attitude of mine was prompted by the "go pay $300" and by reading this article while researching carbon emission exchange companies in general, written by Business Week called "Another Inconvenient Truth" Let's just say, now I'm totally confused and once again have reason to distrust yet another portion of our American world. But then I distrust anything in our American world today that offers to help for a price tag. It seems to me we've gotten very far away from our roots of the best way of fixing a problem being that of pitching in and doing the work to correct it, not throwing money at.

This worst thing about this is the fact I'll be able to hear my son-in-law laughing after reading this all the way up in Maryland. No, I've not come over to the Dark Side yet. But I am looking for a nice place to anchor my safety line.

BTW, if you feel the need to bash me over the head for this opinion, please take the time to coherently and politely explain why. I don't have in-depth knowledge of this subject and I do like reading and learning others' opinions. I DO NOT like flames for the sake of being rude. This is yet another place I feel society in general is failing and falling apart in. Call me ignorant and tell me why but call me names and get banned. Fair enough?


Sonya said...

I love the color of those socks.

More people should avoid the sun at all costs.

I always tell people that in Victorian days if you had a tan it meant you were poor and had to work out in the sun. All the upper class or wealthy were as white as can be.

Knittiana! said...

You make me laugh. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not sporting a different opinion really, or fail to see your point. Just the presentation is so wonderfully refreshing! Where would we be in todays world if saving the planet was as easy as just employing common sense? And surely, it would be so boring without all the whitewash and lack of political and commercial responsibility....

Very funny!