Thursday, December 13, 2007

Busy, Yet Filled with Ennui

It is, of course That Time of Year, when gifts must be thought of, purchased, wrapped, and delivered, and parties must be attended. There are school Holiday Concerts and class gingerbread house building parties. There must be Cheer, damnitall, Cheer! (Makes me think of the Grinch: "But what the Grinch hated most of all was the noise, NOISE, NOISE!")

I don't mean to sound like a grouch, because it's wonderful to get together with friends and have an excuse to show appreciation for those I love. And tomorrow we get to see Spamalot, too. But it does mean a lot of running around and not a lot of time for anything else. My house looks quite disgusting right now.

It also doesn't leave me with much time to knit. I've been sluggishly weaving in ends on Autumn Rose, in anticipation of dunking her into some hot soapy water in an attempt to shrink her down a bit. But my fingers itch to work on something new.

This is the wee beginning of a Flower Basket shawl or scarf, in Alpaca Fino laceweight, in a pretty teal blue color. I made a FB scarf for a friend last year and it turned out nicely, but I'm not sure I'm feeling the love this time. I originally thought I'd do the shawl, but now I think I'll stick to the scarf. It'll be a nice accessory and a quick knit. While I'm working on it, I can give some real thought to what I want to knit next. I'm wavering between doing a more complicated shawl using the Socks that Rock laceweight I have in the Corbie colorway, and cannibalizing an old Yarns International Fair Isle kit to design my own fair isle sweater. I've had the itch to design my own fair isle for a while, but there's nowhere quite close enough to see the Jamieson's yarns in person. But I do have this old kit in the stash. At this point, I don't really like the original design that's kitted up, but I can certainly recycle the yarn. On the other hand, if I can't get Autumn Rose to fit, I may be too dejected to go down the fair isle route again right away.

Any opinions out there? Please don't be shy!

I don't have much in the way of political commentary lately, either. The campaigns are in their final swing through Iowa, and we're beginning to see some nasty tricks and low blows. I agree with Anonymous's comment from a few posts ago -- I'm already sick of the spin and the games. I'd love to see some down and dirty political discourse, where the candidates agree that there aren't necessarily any easy fixes to things, but really debate what can be done, what should be done, how, and why. For example, what would constitute "universal health care"? Is passing a law that simply says that everyone has to carry health insurance even remotely useful if health insurance is too expensive for so many? How can we make it more affordable? At what income levels do we subsidize it, and at what levels don't we? This reminds me of some of the uproar over the Democrats' proposed SCHIP reforms. Under the proposals, children in families with incomes up to $82,000 (I think -- I'm not sure of the exact number) would have subsidized health care, but the subsidy would only go up that high in certain locations where that income is considered sub-middle class. Republicans screamed about subsidizing well-off kids, but I can tell you that if you live in the Metro New York area, especially in the city itself, a family income of $82,000 is NOT middle class. Expenses in New York are so high that you really can't compare how far that $82,000 goes to how far it goes in a small town in Nebraska, for example. Unfortunately, that $82,000 figure made a convenient straw man for the Republicans to attack and derail the bill. Political points were scored, yet children remain without adequate health care.

Well, back to weaving in ends...

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