Monday, December 31, 2007

As 2007 Draws to a Close...

Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn’t it, of a long line of proven criminals? -- Ogden Nash

Tonight is the last night of 2007, a year which I will be glad to see go. In some ways, it was a good year, and in many other ways, it flat-out sucked. It feels like everything went to hell when I turned 40, some sort of giant cosmic "that'll teach you" to someone who was feeling pretty good until then. I'm not sure if 2008 will start out easily, but I hope overall it will be better than 2007. It's an election year, so at least it will be interesting, and could provide some hope. One thing I like to remember is how much I love and appreciate my husband and kids. I did not grow up in a warm and fun family. I grew up in a household of anger and silences, grudges and punishments. I try very hard not to let my household turn into that. I'm not always successful, but I do always try. I think I did well with my choice of husband. He grew up in a family that was, if not perfect, at least a place where he was always confident that he was loved and valued. He never questions that basic fact, the way I always have. It leads to a supreme self-confidence, although he'd be the first to admit that there are a lot ways in which he doesn't always feel self-confident. But he's always given me that feeling of unconditional love, no matter how difficult, bitchy, or obnoxious I'm being. I'm not the most easy person to live with, but he puts up with me. My children are great too, even if I complain about their fighting or how they give me headaches :) I hope that I can help them grow up into the wonderful people I know they can be.

On the global front, obviously one of the most important parts of the year will be the elections here in the US. The last 7 years have so damaged us, nationally and internationally, that how we choose our next president is critical. In the last 7 years, gas prices have risen 200%; the trend toward decreasing homelessness was reversed; the trend toward increased healthcare coverage was reversed; real wages have fallen; we lost many years that we could have been taking concrete steps toward addressing climate change; the country's fighting a useless and tragic war that has bankrupted us morally (torture? preemptive war for trumped up reasons?) and financially; and not least, we've lost so much credibility around the world. Whatever your political beliefs, I hope that when you go into the ballot booth, you make a clear-headed, well-thought out choice. I'm anxious to see how this all plays out over the next year.

OK. Enough navel gazing.

Has everyone seen the latest cover of Vogue Knitting? The '80s are back, baby!

As for knitting, I finished one of the dove socks:

Cat included for scale.

I also decided, for the moment, to go back to the Flower Basket scarf. I do want to knit the Swallowtail shawl, but I want to knit it using some lace yarn from Blue Moon's Raven series. I have the Corbie colorway, but there's what seems to me to be a dye flaw in it, which probably wouldn't be a problem for something like a smoke ring, but would be for a shawl. You can see it in this picture -- it's just a sort of a line where there's some extra lightness that doesn't look as if it belongs:

That's not a shaft of light, that's the spot I'm concerned about. I've also got some of this yarn on order in the Rook-y colorway. Even though I ordered the yarn on December 19, it hasn't been shipped yet. There's nothing on the Blue Moon site about being shut down for the holidays, and I haven't gotten any emails telling me the yarn is out of stock, so I don't know what the problem is. I know they are a small operation, though, so I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, given that it's the holidays and they probably want to spend some time with their families :) It does throw off my ability to start the Swallowtail, however. So, to occupy my time, I can whip out the Flower Basket scarf.

This is not the same one I pictured before, although it's the same yarn. The last time I started this scarf, I used a US size 5 needle, but for this one I went down to a US4. I like the way it's knitting up using the 4. It's hard to see the color very well in this picture, but it's a great blue -- slightly teal, but not too green. It's Alpaca with a Twist alpaca and silk yarn. I used this same yarn in a deep burgundy color to make this same scarf for a friend earlier this year, so I know it blocks out beautifully. I figure my Rook-y yarn should arrive just as I'm finishing this up.

I hope everyone has a great New Year's Eve! I also hope that 2008 turns into a year we can be proud of, individually and collectively. One of my wishes for the new year is that more people comment, so we can get a good conversation going :)


Scott T. said...

Cool new graphics babe. That should draw in the viewers. Well, not as many as if you were to feature pictures of me in my skinsuit, but hey, you make these editorial choices.

Thanks for the kind words. I'm left a bit speechless, which, really, for me, well, unheardof.

You get a feeling of unconditional love because I love you unconditionally.

Note the Squadra Coppi hat in the corner of the cat/sock picture. Nice.

Scott T. said...

Ok, more on the VogueKnitting cover:
First, it's not "all about color" when it's "all about ugly"
Second, "thing" on the left (in the butt ugly sweater) male? female? bastard offspring of boy george and Pete Burns (of Dead or Alive)?
Finally, did I mention that the sweater on the left is fugly