Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It is deep April

"It was deep April"

It was deep April, and the morn
Shakespeare was born;
The world was on us, pressing sore;
My Love and I took hands and swore,
Against the world, to be
Poets and lovers evermore,
To laugh and dream on Lethe's shore,
To sing to Charon in his boat,
Heartening the timid souls afloat;
Of judgment never to take heed,
But to those fast-locked souls to speed,
Who never from Apollo fled,
Who spent no hour among the dead;
With them to dwell,
Indifferent to heaven and hell.

--Michael Field (Katherine Bradley (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913))

Thursday, April 10, 2008

G is for . . .


2 laptops
1 digital camera
more photos than I can remember, including ones of me holding my nephew the day he was born
1 laptop bag
1 cell phone
more jewelry than I care to think about, including my great-grandmother's ring

The new lock we had installed a few months ago worked really well.  The door, however, is pretty much a total loss.  Our landlady is having a steel one installed tomorrow.

On the bright side, we have renters' insurance, including generous riders for jewelry and computers, so we'll at least get to upgrade the laptops out of all this.  We just went out and got me a new laptop (On which I should be grading papers right now, but I'm venting instead.)  (and evidently I'm now Mac people.  I'll let you know how I like it.  The set up was super-easy, at least.)   Fortunately, I was wearing my more expensive (which is also my more sentimental) jewelry, like my grandmother's earrings and my engagement ring.

In my best Dutch Uncle* manner, I am now going to say:  if you do not currently have renters' insurance, GET SOME.  Put a rider on for anything like cameras, computers, jewelry.  Ours cost less than $200/year, even with the riders, and in the long run means we'll get most of the monetary loss, at least, back.  Knowing that has made this whole thing a little less awful.

Mean people suck.

*In my family, "let me talk to you like a Dutch Uncle" means "let me give you some unsolicited advice." 

Thursday, April 3, 2008

By the numbers

Time spent knitting: 3 months, off and on
Hours spent on this project: about 40
Finished size: 29" by 35"
Number of skeins used: 4.5, or about 1210 yards
Number of repeats: 30
Number of stitches, including cast-on and bind-off: 44,892
Number of cables crossed: 720
Number of cables mis-crossed, dropped down, and fixed with a crochet hook: 1
Number of days since the nephew was born: 26
Number of days I'd be early if the nephew had waited until his due date: 6

The pattern: Aran Blanket by Linda Daniels, from Knit Baby Blankets!
The yarn: The Leader Mill Ends and Closeouts, from Webs
The needless: size 5 straights
The verdict: Overall, this was a reasonable knit. Cables aren't my favorite thing, but this is what my SIL really wanted: a yellow, cabled blanket. And my mom likes cables less than I do, so I was volunteered for the job. The yarn is fine, and machine washable (this was the most important feature--yellow (as requested), and machine washable (as experience has taught me). I feel like a bit of a cheapskate, since the yarn was very, very, very inexpensive even before it went on closeout. It's a little stiff to knit with, although not nearly as bad as some acrylic, and it softened up a lot with the first wash. Because it's acrylic, though, the cables draw the center in enough to make the blanket less-than-square (I'd show you a picture but my camera doesn't want to talk to my computer right now). I'd rather have used superwash wool, but I know that my brother and SIL will wash this pretty heavily, and I'd rather not take a chance on it felting (like T's blanket, which I made out of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, bought at full price).