Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dead Birds


There are dead birds behind my apartment. I didn't think much of it when there were only two, but I found the third one last night, a little skimpy thing that looked like it had toothpicks for legs and had had most of its feathers plucked out. These are all within twenty feet of each other, a fairly small unit of area for the amount of dead birds it's supporting. At first I thought that maybe the heat did them in. If people are susceptible to heat stroke, it is possible a bird is as well. But then I got to thinking. There's this woman who puts out bird seed in the alleyway behind the apartment. She puts it right in the road, and every time I drive through I think what a terrible place to put bird food. It's like she has a death wish for those birds. And then I thought, maybe she does. Maybe she is slowly poisoning the birds and that's why they're all dying. Well, you've at least go to wonder. Because birds can act as indicators. Think of the canaries in the mine shafts. I live near a town whose major business is oil refinery. I'd rather it be a crazy old woman than the status of the air that's killing off the wildlife.

Speaking of knitting, however, your last post reminded me of a children's book. I think you should look into that. You could make a whole story about yarn as though it were an animate character. You'll have to explain to me, though. Why the hot and the cold hot and cold and beating of the yarn? Is this some new plying method that I'm unaware of? It seems a little violent to me. Do explain.

I have fewer pictures than you, but I do have a couple to share. The first is the finished dishcloth that I wrote about a while back. Very thrilling, I know.

I got the pattern out of the Knitting With Balls book, although they preferred to call it a "utility cloth" rather than a dishcloth. What amused me was that they reminded me to check my gauge on this pattern. Like that's a really important thing for a dishcloth. Really, you just knit until you feel like it's the size you want. Actually, if I had gone with their gauge and kept it the length they suggested, it would have been about three times the size I wanted. And really, it's not good to have such a bulky dishcloth. The only problem with this thing so far is that it continues to bleed in the dishwater. I should probably put it in a vinegar bath to set the colors but I don't have any vinegar on me at the moment.

I finished my halter top on Friday and then washed and blocked it. The rather exciting detail of this project is that the straps are crocheted. This being my first attempt at crocheting, it was a little exciting.

Now, what it called for in the pattern was the equivalent of a cast-on row, so in all honesty it was not the most strenuous crochet task. I have to say I mastered the basic chain stitch fairly quickly, and you can see the results above. I did try to go a bit beyond in my experimentation and do some single crochet (sc), but my attempts at that were a little disastrous and I'm going to have to practice at that before I post any pictures.

The finished product turned out pretty well. This was the Tea Rose Halter Top from the spring issue of Interweave Knits. As you can see, I am not the most adept at taking a self-portrait. It was either my face or the halter, and I chose the picture that best shows the halter. The original pattern had a portion of ribbing in the middle, but I found that this added some extra bulk, and overall, I liked the lace pattern throughout. I am pleased with the finished product, though I may have to wait a while to wear it. Though it is made out of a cotton yarn, it's getting up to 105 today. And any extra bulk or layering is unnecessary I think.

Happy mitten-making!! I envy you in a way, mittens are such a happy thing to make.


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