Archive for July, 2008


It’s been a stressful few weeks . . . capped off with today’s little shake.  My office building is on wheels, so the shaking was less bouncy and more of a long sway, but it was Cap’s first earthquake so that made it a bit more exciting.  The good news is that at the end of everything we’re all basically doing ok.  All except The Baron’s car that is . . .

So anyway, I’ve been wanting to share a few little financial tidbits, so under the heading of take-your-medicine (there’s a spoonful of sugar at the end), here goes:

No one is going to be surprised to find me recommending an episode of This American Life . . . this particular episode aired on 5-9-2008 and is entitled The Giant Pool of Money.  Thus far it’s the most accessible and helpful explanation of the mortgage crisis I’ve come across and it really helped me understand what’s going on and why.

With so much news about bank failures recently, I also wanted to point out the FDIC’s basic information guide.  If you have more than $100,000 cash to your name, I hate you . . . but I still want you to protect yourself.

If you’re curious if your bank is even covered by the FDIC, then go look it up.

And if you’re looking for free money, check to see if there’s any for you here or here (if you’re not in California, try googling “unclaimed property”).


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The Fourth of July weekend was just perfect — friends, family, BBQ (just veggies for me of course), fireworks, a movie and lots and lots of knitting.

I’m almost done with the Trellis baby sweater — Mick, I think you’ll be proud of what I’ve done with your yarn — and although the pattern itself is a bit fiddly I enjoyed working the cables. Over the weekend I spent some quality hammock time just swinging and knitting, watching The Baron splash around in the pool.

Here is the sweater in pieces (back, both fronts, and a sleeve):

And here is the sweater after a slavish amount of finishing (the color is closest to this photo, at least on my monitor):

The directions called for grafting the two front panels to the back of the sweater at each shoulder, but after several failed attempts to kitchner in pattern (including cables) I gave up and just worked single crochet through the live stitches to seam things together. I used the same technique to seam up the sides, to close up the sleeves and to attach them to the sweater body.

I’m now working the collar, which calls for yet another in-pattern kitchner and then seaming the collar to the neck hole. After working the adult-sized Tangled Yoke Cardigan, specially designed to require a minimum of finishing, all this seaming is a bit of a drag. If I ever work this sweater again, I’ll be working the body in one big piece and working the sleeves in the round by picking up stitches at the armholes. Boo to seaming and double boo to weaving in ends.

However . . . on the topic of weaving in ends . . . I came across this amazing tutorial today that demonstrates how to weave in ends as you go — super simple and it looks like it really works. I’ll be trying it out on my next time I have lots of ends to contend with!

I finally got around to buying another copy of Sensational Knitted Socks so I could finish working the Oriel Lace Socks. The socks were the perfect sitting-and-chatting-by-the-pool project for the insanely hot weekend, and I’m almost to the heel turn on sock number one. Very exciting. I know I’m no sock magician, churning out pairs in a day like some bloggers out there, but it’s a great project for just schlepping around to keep the fingers busy. Of course, as soon as I bought the new book I found the old one — I’d hidden it in a dark corner of my stash closet as part of the under-the-rug junk sweep before the in-law invasion — so now I’ve got to return the new one.

And finally, I got started on the Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl. Here she is, just moments after her birth:


Much more about this project later, but for now it sure feels good to get some lace on the needles!

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Happy Fourth to everyone!

At the risk of becoming a nag, I’m going to repeat last year’s plea for patriotism and hope my readers will indulge me 🙂

It’s an election year and therefore I feel especially grateful to live in a place where transfer of power is peaceful, where there are no weapons needed at polling places. Yes, there are problems with our system of voting, absolutely. But we are lucky that in no way do the problems involve AK-47s.

The oath of office that our new president, whoever he may be, will take, is to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That’s what we’re celebrating today — our constitution and our right to amend it. That first amendment? Freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

I work in TV, so trust me when I tell you that your local network nightly news is no longer driven by the egalitarian desire to serve viewers, but by a vertically integrated corporate need to serve the bottom line. I depend on NPR to deliver my news without a corporate parent and the accompanying corporate bias. If NPR isn’t your bag, that’s fine — but perhaps you could challenge yourself to become educated about where your news comes from, and whether the purpose of the news you consume is to serve the public or to serve a corporate bottom line.

I depend on my local NPR affiliate, KPCC, to keep me informed but also to keep me engaged and entertained on my long commute and, yes, sometimes while knitting. Today my act of gratitude and patriotism will be supporting KPCC by making a donation. Whatever your personal views, take a moment today to think about what we’re celebrating and try and express your gratitude in whatever way appeals to you.

You can find NPR online here. If you live in Southern California, check out KPCC.

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