Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Once a Classic, Always a Classic

"people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham."

This past Monday was the anniversary of the birthday of Anna Sewell, the author of the above quote. In light of that auspicious day, I suggest you check out this place.

Anna Sewell wrote Black Beauty in an effort to educate the public regarding cruelty to animals, and it is still today refered to as a novel that helped ignite the animal rights and welfare movements. It was also used by some people as a manual for the care of horses. In fact, the book has been so influential, one SPCA founder was known to give out free copies to cab drivers.

Since its publication in 1877, the book has sold more than 30 million copies and has never been out of print. It is, according to some sources, the sixth bestselling novel written in English. If you've never read this book (and if that's true, I am profoundly sorry for the shallow husk of the empty and depraved life you have obviously led), or if it's been a while since you've read it, I highly encourage you to pick it up. It is, regardless of what you think of Victorian writing (I find it incredibly wordy sometimes), still a wonderful story, for children and adults alike.

A good thing to do tomorrow, as there is a 70% chance of rain.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


My friend H and I were at the local Borders on Thursday, and while wondering around in the cooking section, I discovered this book.

Pie is one of my favorite desserts. I like Pie better than cake or cookies or pudding, and there are so many different kinds that I don't know as I could ever get bored with eating it. But even I didn't realize, until I picked up this book and started flipping through it, that there were this many different kinds. Seriously, 300 different kinds of pie? Wow.

Dudes. My next baking endeavor has just gotten way more interesting.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So my parents have recently gotten back from a cruise around Cape Horn and the Antarctic peninsula. Before they left, my mother asked me if I wanted her to get me anything while they were down there (aside from, you know, a postcard that depicts a penguin or two). I said that if she could find some locally raised alpaca or llama yarn to bring back, that would be pretty cool.

She said she'd look, and off the two of them went. They came back a couple of weeks ago and said they had a grand time (They saw lots of penguins). They had also managed to procure some yarn for my sister and me. Something called vicuna.

None of us had ever heard of vicuna before, but my mother was concerned whether or not it was good yarn, so when I was home over this past weekend, we looked it up online. Retail price for vicuna yarn is (are you ready?) $300 per ounce.

My mother said that if she had known it was so valuable, she would probably have bought more than she did. As it was, she came back with 5 75-gram balls. That converts to a little more than 13 oz, or about 6.6 oz each for me and my sister.

Here is my half (or rather, it's my sister's half, because she's the one who took the picture of hers, but mine looks pretty much the same. Trust me.):

That's about $2000 worth of yarn right there. I'm thinking about making this shawl with it. Anyone have any other ideas for it?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am now Twittering (you might think I've been doing this regularly for years -- now it's official). Check out the link under my feeds to keep up with me on this. And if you happen to be twittering too, let me know, so I can follow you!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Gauge, and other things

The problems I've been having really don't have anything to do with Gauge, but I feel like I have to blame something about it, and Gauge (it is capitalized to give it the respect it deserves) will work. I've been working on this cardigan off and on for about a month. This one to be precise. (I've been obsessing over it ever since I saw the movie.) So I look at the pattern and realize that because I have these accessories out the front that the designer of the pattern perhaps doesn't have that I will have to make the large. I cast on, read what the pattern says about upsizing and start. After about three rows, I decide that I don't like the look of all those purl stitches inbetween the different cable panels required to upsize the pattern and decide to change the cabling. So I do. I change the cabling, work the entire front (conveniently ignoring the fact that I miscross three of the cables in the process), kitchener the two fronts together as the pattern calls for,

Then realize that the way I have changed the cabling changes the way the whole cardigan hangs, and it doesn't look right at all. I have now ripped out the two fronts, have re-knit one of the sides with a larger version of the original cable the pattern calls for, and am in the midst of the second half. There may have been some alcohol, tears, and language unbecoming a knitter in the process.

There's GOT to be another way to adjust for porch sizes.