Friday, August 28, 2009

Bundles of Love

So, have you heard about Iraqi Bundles of Love? An American serviceman stationed in Iraq is trying to help out the locals, by distributing sewing and knitting supplies. That's where we come in - most of the people I know have more supplies than we need, and for just $11.95 we can send a good-sized box of them to Iraq. He says the people in his area have been hard-hit by two wars and the sanctions, and that the stuff that's taking up space in our closets will be used and appreciated by people there.

I think it's going to be a win-win deal. I just sent off two boxes, and now I've been able to get one of the fabric totes out of my closet.

He asked that we wrap the bundles in fabric, and tie them up so they're self-contained and easy to distribute. In honor of Dr. Tom Dooley, I tied mine up in red, white, and blue trim - this is American aid!

And here is my American aid. I tried to send things that I thought would be useful, so I went for big pieces of fabric. There are some calicoes that I should have known better than to buy for SCA garb, and a lot of lightweight fabrics from when I learned the "traveling to the Aurora Bleachery in a pick-up truck is dangerous" lesson. I'm getting rid of some weird stuff, because IBOL guy assures us that anything will be used, but I tried to include plenty of good stuff.

The fabric at the very bottom was the hardest to decide on. I kept telling myself I'd make something summery from it - but I never have, and I probably shouldn't even try to wear those colors. I convinced myself to let it go to someone who would be more likely to use it - although looking at the pictures makes me miss it again. But I'm sure I have plenty of other fabric to take my mind off of what I've given up. I can't wait to see the pictures once he starts handing out bundles!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Out for a Concert

So the honeymoon socks and I had a good time tonight.

Aaron & I and some of his colleagues went over to Urbana, for a concert by Justin Townes Earle. He was the opening act for a concert last spring, and I think his show was much better than the headliner. But this show was all him - and in a fairly small venue, with a very diverse crowd.

One of the amazing things about Justin is that someone as talented as him still hangs around to talk to people after the show. Or to pose for pictures with socks.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Fair Time!

Living in Illinois doesn't mean that we'd want to miss the Indiana State Fair!

So, yesterday we headed over to Indianapolis for a visit to the fair. We already had a great time at the fair's annual wine tasting - but yesterday was all about the food. And the fiber, of course.

Some of the food turned out to not be such a good idea. This year's "signature food" was Deep Fried Pizza - apparently an elephant ear spread with marinara sauce and sprinkled with cheese from a can. It was very disappointing - especially since I never got a proper elephant ear to make up for it.

But the fiber was a lot more fun. You can pet the fiber-in-progress, at Goat Mountain.

I think this might be an angora goat. Isn't he cute? There's a gumball machine that vends handfuls of goat treats, so most of the goats don't mind being on display.

Then there's the finished fiber. This was the Year of Tomatoes, so some of the entries reflected that.

And some were just plain cool. I love fish designs - and this one's a lot of fun!

We spent some time trying to recognize names at the knitting display. I saw some people I know, and some people I think I know.

And I saw this really nice afghan.

But my favorite thing was this. I've been wanting to try rug hooking for some time. I don't know if I'd come up with anything this fun, though.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

ES 4 Goodies!

I don't think I've mentioned the Envelope Swap before, which is an unfortunate omission, since we're on Round 4 and about to start Round 5. The Envelope Swap is a Ravelry project, and the brainchild of a 14-year-old Raveler. She thought a lot of people who might like to swap were put off by the cost, so for this you send only what can fit in an envelope, and spend about $5. It's loads of fun, trying to come up with goodies for someone with such tight money and space limitations. And it's loads of fun to get stuff in the mail, too!

My Round 4 package had to chase me around for awhile - it came all the way from England, and I'd only given my old address. But now it's here, and it's great!

This round had a theme - "Fun in the Sun" - so Jody sent me two fun yarns that she said reminded her of sea and sky. There's also a cute little purse ("for your ice-cream money," she says) with a lucky penny, some butterfly buttons, some flower seeds, and a note on a beautiful sunflower card. We're finally getting some sunny summer days here, so I know I'll enjoy everything!

I've been a slacker, but finally found most of the things I meant to send, and got the package in the mail. I was almost embarassed when I had to go buy thread for my spoilee - I know that somewhere I have a whole box of embroidery threads - I just don't know which of the 100 or so boxes it's in. I really hope I'm a bit more organized by the time Round 5 comes along.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ants in the Pantry

Just in case moving isn't enough of a hassle, we're getting to do parts of it twice. After we'd cleaned the pantry and put away a whole bunch of food, we discovered that we have ants.

These appear to be pharaoh ants, which may be the worst kind of ants to have. They could be thief ants, but you tell them apart by counting the number of segments in their antennae. These things are so small that if they weren't moving, you couldn't tell they're ants. So even finding antennae is a little bit challenging. Either kind of ant is really, really bad to have.

These ants can be difficult to eliminate. Pharaoh ants have multiple queens in a colony, so spraying insecticides just encourages them to scatter. Since they're in my pantry, which is where we keep food and lock up the dogs (once the food is safely in the cabinets), I don't especially want to use poison. But I'd read that a borax-sugar mix would do the job, so I tried that - a mound of borax and sugar, right in the middle of their path.

They tunneled through it.

I almost hate to kill something that sneaky and persistent. But when they're not eating your food, they eat silk, so that "almost" isn't enough to hold me back.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Who's It?

I'm not unpacked or anything, but I know where the yarn is.

That, I hope, makes it ok for me to sign up for Dish Rag Tag.

It's my first competitive knitting at my new house, with my new name. Isn't that romantic?