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August 31, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

I'm not even sure what to say, so I'm going to just leave you with a list of groups that are accepting donations to help with their hurricane relief activities. I have included both religious and secular groups and tried to get a decent variety, but this list is by no means intended to be exhaustive.

(Note: I am not personally vouching for or endorsing any of these organizations; I'm just trying to provide some information.)

America's Second Harvest
American Red Cross
Catholic Charities USA
Church World Service
Convoy of Hope
Episcopal Relief and Development
Evangelical Free Church of America
Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
Feed the Children
Habitat for Humanity
Hearts with Hands
Humane Society of the U.S.
Islamic Circle of North America
Mennonite Disaster Service
Noah's Wish
Operation Blessing
Salvation Army
Samaritan's Purse
United Jewish Communities
United Methodist Committee on Relief
United Way

Posted by Kat at 11:43 AM

August 26, 2005

Cuteness alert

Cats in Sinks

Posted by Kat at 03:29 PM

August 24, 2005

Must knit.

You know that whole "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises" thing? It seems to actually work. I mean, not that I didn't believe it, but I hadn't really tested it out in quite this way. But it works. I can barely eat or sleep; I can't seem to concentrate on books or magazines or even long Web sites. But I can knit. So I am knitting. Lots. Some random knitting observations:

1. I am still infatuated with Birch, although I am considering ripping out and restarting on smaller needles. It's kinda loose, and I have heard rumors of people running out of yarn. Ack. Opinions?

2. Small shoes. Stephanie's right; they're the answer to everything. I bought yarn yesterday and will start some from the magical small shoes book.

3. The boring baby blanket. I want to make one, but am having trouble finding machine washable light worsted cotton that will not cost $100 to get 840m of the stuff. I love the baby (and, more to the point, the mother) but can't justify spending that much. I was thinking more in the $30 range. Maybe $50. Suggestions? I got an acrylic somethingerother but am not thrilled with it. (Although it will make fine hats/mittens for generic holiday gifts.)

4. Given the three items above, I must say: am I the only one who thinks that Stephanie's next book should be some sort of lifetime knitting plan? You know, like those "what to read to be well read" books. With much more room for scatterbrainedness. Wouldn't that be fun?

5. What is with companies stopping putting yardage on yarn labels? This seems to be an alarming trend. How am I supposed to know how many skeins I need?

Posted by Kat at 03:29 PM | Comments (3)

August 23, 2005

Um, what?

Pat Robertson calls for assassination of Hugo Chavez.

This is just wrong on... so many levels. I can't even get my mind wrapped around it.

Posted by Kat at 08:27 AM

August 20, 2005

Well, at least I have knitting...

Some personal stuff has come up that I can't/don't want to write about here. I'm not sure how much energy/inclination I'm going to have for posting here in the foreseeable future--I'm doing a lot of writing in my personal diary, etc. I'll make sure to at least still post an interesting link or snippet of something every few days, but I'm not sure how much of me will be in my posts, if that makes sense.

I do have one decent weapon for dealing with the current crisis. I visited my former LYS today to check on yarn I'd ordered about a year ago. It was here, finally! Of course, I no longer work for the person I'd intended to knit the sweater for, so I'm not sure what to do. Any ideas for six skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky in dark charcoal?

In any case, I figured I might as well ask, you know, since I was there...

Kat: You don't have any Kid Silk Haze, do you?
LYSO: Of course. It's in the baby buggy.
(Of course! A whole baby buggy of it. How silly of me.)
Kat: And, um, Rowan books? The ones with the numbers?
LYSO: Right over here. Which one did you want?
Kat: Um. 34, I think?

So. I'm going to go cast on 299 stitches in an effort to retain my sanity. Um, right.

Posted by Kat at 04:03 PM | Comments (3)

August 18, 2005

I might like armies better if they were all run by penguins.

Nils Olav, penguin, promoted to Colonel in Chief of the Royal Norwegian Guard. I wonder how he feels about his military service? He was more or less drafted, after all. He is awfully cute.

Posted by Kat at 10:38 PM

August 16, 2005

I feel old.

My favorite show, Gilmore Girls, seems to have won four Teen Choice awards. I'm honestly not sure how to feel about this. Well, I do feel old. But other than that. It's just... odd.

On the one hand, I am, of course, glad that such a great show is getting attention, and that people are watching it. Especially since shows I like tend to get canceled. (Keeping my fingers crossed here.) On the other hand, though, part of me really just doesn't want my favorite show to be a big "teen hit." Not that I didn't know it was aimed toward teens, of course. But it's just like the issue with young adult books--I worry that people won't give them a fair chance because of the "teen" label.

Posted by Kat at 09:24 PM

August 14, 2005

It's good to be home.

I caught some sort of evil sore throat thing just in time for the end of my vacation, and it's still lingering. So I'm feeling generally icky and the unpacking/vacation recovery process is going slowly. But at least it's going. Anyway, I'm very happy to be home. More once I can swallow.

Posted by Kat at 09:56 PM | Comments (1)

August 12, 2005

Another Harry Potter quiz

You scored as Hermione Granger. You're one intelligent witch, but you have a hard time believing it and require constant reassurance. You are a very supportive friend who would do anything and everything to help her friends out.

Hermione Granger


Ron Weasley


Severus Snape


Remus Lupin


Albus Dumbledore


Ginny Weasley


Sirius Black


Harry Potter


Draco Malfoy


Lord Voldemort


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?
created with QuizFarm.com
Posted by Kat at 07:59 PM

August 10, 2005

Quick hello

Here I am on vacation! I'm writing courtesy of the lovely wireless access at the Wildwood Crest Public Library. We're having a good time... yesterday my dad and I went to Cape May for the afternoon. We saw two historic sites: the Cape May Lighthouse and the Emlen Physick Estate. We also hit the Washington Street Mall, which would have been infinitely more charming if it had not been raining. Nevertheless, I managed to do a bit of damage at Fiber Arts Yarn Shop as well as Stitch by Stitch. Pictures when I get back.

Tomorrow I'm hoping that the rest of the family will want to go to the beach and so I'll be able to take the car to Historic Cold Spring Village. I love living history places anyway, and they're supposed to have a spinning workshop (or in a home? Not sure). And a store that sells what their various craftspeople make. I am, therefore, hoping for yarn. I'm sure you're all shocked.

Posted by Kat at 11:43 AM

August 07, 2005

Vacation time

Well, I am off to Wildwood today. I've been feeling burned out so I hope this week off will help. I'll try to post at least every few days while I'm gone, but Internet access may be spotty, so don't worry if you don't hear from me for a week or so. Byeee!

Posted by Kat at 07:43 AM | Comments (1)

August 05, 2005

Blogathon 2005

No, I'm not participating, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew about it. I first heard of Blogathon two years ago... no, three, because I remember a certain friend was pregnant and her son is over two now. Anyway. It's a neat concept: blog every half hour for 24 hours. People sponsor you for the charity of your choice. Simple but really really cool. I want to try to participate next year, but for now I thought I'd give you a round-up of the participants that caught my eye. Go look at them. Sponsor if you can. Cheer them on by reading/commenting if you can't.

Crafty Blogs or Causes
Agape and Afghan-Making/Afghans for Afghans
Hippycriticism/Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Reusablog/Project Linus

Those Blogging for Causes I Particularly Like
Bella Luna/Book Aid
Note of the Day/Cat Adoption Team
Eclectic Mind/Alley Cat Allies
Imagine This/Wonder of Reading
It's Just My Life/March of Dimes
Jamelah.net/Book Aid
Parade of Animals/Anti-Cruelty Society
Precious Baby/March of Dimes

Fun Gimmicks
Bluewolf's Howl/AFSP
SciFi Ranter Girl/The Planetary Society
so you want to marry a racecar driver/foodnotbombs
Wisdom of the Illiterati/Heifer International

Others That Happened to Catch My Eye
Another Day, Another Diaper/Cure Autism Now
A Better Wife/The Lullaby Closet
Blogathon Unzipped/Modest Needs
Dizzy Girl/American Federation of Police and Concerned Citizens
Hip Young Mom/American Cancer Society
Melyssa's Family Blog/Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
MissMeliss: Scritture/Habitat for Humanity - Women Build
Perfection on a Curve/National Fibro Research Assoc
A Tale of 2 WAHMs/Rupert's Kids
This Mom/Cure Autism Now
Three Moms and a Single Lady/MISS Foundation

Whew. Have fun, and good luck everyone!

Posted by Kat at 11:54 PM

August 04, 2005

I'll stick with pen and paper, thanks.

The various fiber lists seem to be in ecstasy over the "KnitWit" automatic stitch/row counter featured on CNN.com. And, apparently, "knitting enthusiast Web loggers from all over the world, including in the U.S., France and Japan, have given her idea the thumbs up." Well, um, sorry, not this one.

Now, don't get me wrong. I love gadgets and little electronic things. I do geeky stuff for a living, more or less. And I recognize that it's a nifty idea. Fun. Cute, even.

But would I want to actually knit with it? No way. Several reasons:

1. I am skeptical as to its accuracy, especially for things like lace and cables. And what about when you put your knitting down and pick it up again? I don't know. It seems sort of like a pedometer--lots of room for error. I'm not sure I'd trust it, and then I'd be double counting all the time, and that wouldn't save much time.

2. It's built into the needles. That means you'd have to buy all new needles. And like whatever needle they happened to use. Which doesn't look like bamboo or wood. Nope, it doesn't.

3. What about DPNs? Circulars? Not sure how it would work with those.

4. Honestly? While I love gadgets in general, I'm not so big on knitting gadgets. I think it's a kind of balance--I spend all day on the computer, so when I'm knitting, I'll take real wool and wooden needles, thanks. I don't even like the clicky row counters. I find I do better marking rows off on a piece of paper.

So. Nothing against it at all, I just feel like the enthusiasm of knitters is being overestimated and I wanted to temper it a bit. Nifty, if perhaps impractical, school project idea, but certainly not the best thing since sliced bread. This is one bandwagon I don't expect to be jumping on any time soon.

Posted by Kat at 01:59 PM | Comments (3)

August 03, 2005

Fear of Finishing

(The New York entry will be coming, I promise. It's just rather long and labor-instensive and I'm tired. And besides, I felt like writing this tonight instead.)

I knit a lot. Not as much as many bloggers, perhaps, but still. A lot. And the amount has been increasing, I believe. But there's something odd going on. Even as I'm knitting more, I'm not coming up with any more finished projects. What's going on?

Basically, the problem is this: I seem to be afraid of finishing things. I also think there are two aspects to this. On the more obvious level, it's the actual finishing process itself. I've gotten better at seams, but they're still far from my favorite thing in the world. And blocking? I've never done it. It terrifies me. I finally have some space, though, so I'm willing to learn. Basically, I think I could get past the technical issues if I could get past the pyschological ones.

I've realized that I've somehow gotten it into my head that I should make projects last as long as possible. I think this is a holdover from when I first really got into knitting, in college. For the first few years, I had little money and no regular transportation to yarn sources. This meant that I tried to make sure projects stretched out long enough so that I wouldn't run out before I could buy more yarn. And I think, on some level, the feeling stuck.

Even now, I find myself thinking things like "I'd better slow down so I don't finish this too soon." Ummm, what? I have way too many projects started. I have tons of yarn waiting to be knitted. I have (mostly) reliable transportation and enough money to buy yarn more or less whenever I want. (Within moderation, of course.) I clearly have no reason to want to prolong projects, and every reason to want to finish them.

So. Now that I've realized all this, will I be able to do anything about it? I'm certainly going to try. And Alison says fall is for finishing, so maybe there's hope.

Posted by Kat at 06:32 PM | Comments (3)

2005 Political Typology

Interesting quiz/site

Posted by Kat at 09:13 AM

August 02, 2005

I like books, thanks very much.

Have you seen the new Apple ad campaign? Apparently their notebook computers are "The only books you'll need." What are they thinking? Ugh. This sort of thing makes me so angry.

The promised NYC/birthday update has been postponed due to car problems and thus not-being-home problems. Soon. I promise.

Posted by Kat at 10:42 PM | Comments (1)

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