Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

It seems more kids will be on the streets this Halloween, at least if Tuscon is any indication.   Some of our most popular safe events have been cancelled, including the big one given by the police and firemen at the baseball park.  Thousands of kids have gone there for years, and more thousands to the Rodeo grounds.  Both are shut down this year due to lack of funds.   There is the event at the university, but nothing else really big, so that leaves house to house trick or treating to fall back on.  Before you take your kids out, parents, take the time to look up local sex offenders and then make sure you avoid their houses.  In years past, the police had them all come to a special event that kept them away from kids, but I guess that was cancelled, too. 
Kids, make sure you look both ways crossing the streets, stay with the group, and even though tonight  (and only tonight), you get to take candy from strangers, remember to have your parents check that candy before you eat it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Do You think black cats are unlucky?

Due to popular request, this post has been repeated for Halloween.  Thank you for the many kind remarks.  And yes, the black cats are still available to the right homes.

Please fell free to copy, link or use this post.

A bride will have a happy married life if a black cat sneezes near her on her wedding day.
 Old Proverb

     For some reason, here in the United States, black cats are the hardest cats to adopt out.  Maybe because here they are generally viewed to be unlucky,  weavers of black magic, in league with the devil and familiars of witches.  But in many parts of the world, they are the luckiest of cats.
     Do you believe that a black cat crossing your path is bad luck?  In some countries such as Britain and Japan it is just plain lucky.  It may be seen as visible proof that evil has passed you by without harming you, or even that the cat is warning you of danger ahead, and maybe even slowing your step so that you may miss the danger itself.  Some people believe that in order for the cat to be lucky or to ward evil from your path, you must greet the cat politely.  That's just good manners, and cats do appreciate good manners.
     A black cat walking towards you brings good luck with it.  If it turns away, your anti-luck forcefield is working strong.  Be prepared.
     In Latvia, the farmers rejoice when they see a black cat in their grain silos.  It is believed to be a sign of Rungis, the god of harvests.  For any mice in the silo, they are also unlucky to those who's path the cat crosses, or for those who cross the path of the cat for that matter.
     Sailors and their wives used black cats for luck.  While a sailor was at sea, keeping a black cat in the house was a way a wife could keep her husband safe at sea.  These lucky charms became so valuable that they were often stolen.  What I want to know is if another woman merely stole your black cat's affections?  Would that be a sign she was your husband's mistress, stealing his affections?  Just a thought.
     King Charles I believed his black cat was so lucky, he had guards posted to protect it.  He may have been right.  The day after the cat died of an illness, the king was arrested by Oliver Cromwell's troops to be executed shortly after.


     It is unlucky to chase a black cat away or to send it out of your house.  Of course it is unlucky.  It's just plain rude, and rudeness attrects bad karma.
     On the other hand, in Scotland it is thought that when you come home to find a black cat sitting on your porch, you are going to be happy.  Especially if it is your black house cat that snuck out earlier and that you have given up for lost, and you cried and cried and...wellllll anyway, it is also supposed to be a sign of riches to come.  And nothing is richer than a lap full of purring black velvet to stroke.  And stroking the fur of a black cat brings you health.  It really does.  Stroking a cat has been proven to lower your blood pressure, help stave off heart attacks and strokes, help recovery from same, help those with dementia or autism.  A cat can even help you fight depression.  If you don't know how good it feels to be loved for just you, you need a little black cat who just wants to love on you.  And I have three of them waiting for homes now.  They even come in a range of love bug types.  They are like the 3 bears.  Ebonetta, the longest fur of the three wants to be your companion, staying close, talking to you, helping you do things, telling you about things like the train passing by and going where you go,  but she isn't one to smother you.  Onyx, the shortest haired one (with the goldest eyes) is the other extreme.  He's  a buddy, and he neeeeds you.  When you hold him, he wraps around you.  He loves to hug and be hugged.  He even goes so far as to wrap himself around your feet when you try to leave him.  Jet, the littlest is in the middle.  He likes an audience, he calls you to let you know he is going to the bathroom, he wants to sit on your lap, and he likes to snuggle, but he also likes to play.
      These three kittens, and other cats besides are available for adoption.  Please contact me here or at my email if you are interested.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tessellating fish

Having seen plenty of knitted fish designs, but no crochet ones I liked, I fiddled around and came up with my own version.  The top one is single crochet.  Ok, but I wanted larger motifs and something I could make an afghan of quicker and with a little less strain on the carpal tunnel.  So I tried double crochet.  Ahh, quick and easy to work up.  I fiddled with the number of rows until I liked the proportions.  Then I thought, maybe I should add some details like fins?  No, I decided, keep it simple, because Anthony's mom wants something not too fussy and not too baby, not too bright, but not dull, and not boring.  Then I needed to decide orientation.  Each row swimming the same direction?  That might work, but the design I finished on works well nose to nose, tail to tail.   You can see that if you just continued with one strip you could have a pretty cute fashion scarf.                                        
This is the color Ressa chose for her one-year old son.  I have made two motifs, nose to nose, and will keep going next with the tail, then then nose again until I have the width I (and Ressa) want. 

The yarn is Red Heart Kids, worsted weight 4     4oz/113g 232 yd/212m and the color is 2940 Beach.  I used my favorite Provo Craft hook with a number 6 tip.

The motif pattern is very simple, something I felt necessary so I wouldn't have to keep looking at the directions for every step.  Once you get the rhythm you can put the directions away.
  for your base start with a chain of 26.  Skip the first three stitches and double crochet in next strip and across.
*decreasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 10 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 10 stitches.
*increasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 20 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 20 stitches.
*decreasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 6 stitches.
*increasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 20 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 20 stitches.
*decreasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across*
repeat between * and * until you have 10 stitches.
work even until you have 6 rows of 10 stitches.
*increasing two in the row (one at beginning and one at end of row), double crochet across.
repeat between * and * until you have 24 stitches.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Sorry I was gone so long

I haven't posted in almost a month because my computer started acting up.  After sending it away, it came back with a $125 repair tag and the report that nothing was wrong with it.  One of the things I had asked them to look into while they were looking was why my speakers wouldn't work.  The speakers work fine, they said, and so do ours when we hook them up to your computer.  Right now, I have no sound again, it just quit.  Another thing I asked was why, when I added more memory and also took all my old files off the computer, I have only 75% memory available.  Before, with a bunch of photos, patterns and files it had 86% available. I was told that was normal.  Today, saving nothing and running a defrag after reading email, it dropped another percentage point.  But hey, at least my computer hasn't just quit on me, like it was doing before, so I must be ahead of the game, right?  If I just disappear again, you know my computer is going back to the shop.
If it doesn't, I plan to post a pattern I worked out for the Tesselating fish afghan in double crochet.  The original knit version comes from an older book, but I saw two nice versions on knitknitfrog.blogspot  and snhrodinger212. blogspot.  Not quite what I was looking for, but nice.  I'm making a blanket for our 1 year old grandson.  So ta for now.