Knitting by Judy @ 6:08 PM
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I spent all weekend finishing up the ornaments for the folks at work. They were all finished and delivered on time! I’m pretty proud of myself for that. 😀

I worked a bit on the slippers that I wanted to make for K. But I’m finding that, in my zeal to make it warm, the felt I made is too thick. My poor Bernina is choking as it tries to stitch the upper to the sole. I’m not really very happy with the result. I’ll probably finish them, but I don’t know that they’ll be given as gifts.

In the meantime, I needed a TV-watching project, so I’ve decided to teach myself the continental style of knitting. I used to knit way-long-ago, but gave it up in favor of crochet, which for me has always been faster. But lately I’m finding that the motions of crochet are tough on my hands, even when I use a pad around the hook.

There are two basic styles of knitting (with a gazillion variations). I learned English style knitting, where the yarn is held in the right hand and “thrown” over the hook. I’ve always been fascinated by the continental (aka “German”) style, where the yarn is held in the left hand and picked up by the needle in a motion that’s rather like crochet. has videos and pictures showing both styles.

Last night I knitted a swatch using the continental method. Wow… I am so out of practice! I couldn’t even remember how to cast on! Although it’s slow going right now, I can tell already that continental will be much faster than English. And since there is so little hand and finger movement, my hands didn’t feel at all trashed even though I knit for about 90 minutes straight! (I would have paid for 90 minutes of straight crochet, believe me.) I knit a few inches of stockinette stitch with size 5 needles, and then a few of 2K/2P ribbing.

If I can get this going well, I think I’ll try knitting a pair of socks. That doesn’t take too long and if the results are not what I’d like, I can still wear them in bed.

If I get really brave and back in practice, I might steal this sock scarf from Jerry at When Knitting Was A Manly Art, which he adapted from a this pattern in Knitter’s. I think the heels down the length of the scarf look strange and I like Jerry’s version a lot better. But I’d like to try it with one end as a toe-up sock and the other as a top-down.

If I get better, that is. I’ll start a little smaller.

Political Rants by Judy @ 7:28 AM

According to an ABC News/Washington Post poll, support for Dubya and his little war continues to slip.

56% of those asked now believe that the cost of the war outweighs the benefits and is not worth it.

57% disapprove of the way that Bush is handling the situation in Iraq.

53% disapprove of the way that Rumsfeld is doing his job.

52% believe that Rumsfeld should be replaced.

Fewer than half believe there has been significant progress towards restoring order. But 60% believe that the elections should take place in as scheduled in January, and 58% believe we should remain there until order is restored.

Bush’s approval rating on Iraq is down to 42%.

The margin of error is 3%.

I wonder where all of these people were during the election? What suddenly opened their eyes? And I keep reminding myself that Time’s Person Of The Year title is given to the person who has the largest impact — for good or ill.

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