Thursday, January 15, 2009

Two Moose and Hideous Scarfery

As soon as I wrote the blog, something interesting happened…we saw 2 moose on the way to work. A mother and …what is the term for a baby moose? A mooselet? A mosling? A mooppy? Anyway, a juvenile moose. They were eating bark or something off a tree near the road. The mother was blocking the view of the younger one, but we know that either there was a younger one or the mother had an underdeveloped twin hanging off her left side with fully functional, though shorter, legs. Basically we could see a moose with 8 legs, the center 4 legs shorter. So we’re really just assuming there was another, smaller, moose on the side we couldn’t see. Given all the hazmat in the area, an undeveloped twin hanging off her side is not an impossibility.

Either way, it was cool.

All the SNOW SNOW SNOW we’ve had has given way to ICE ICE ICE.
The roads are clear of snow (more or less…streets in Spokane are a 3 dimensional maze of ice berms), but the freezing fog makes for an interesting morning drive. Once we slid most of the way through an intersection narrowly missing another car. This morning the driver (NOT ME) was trying to slow down to turn into the parking lot at my office. He hit the brakes but there was pretty much no effect on the speed of his vehicle. It did make that disheartening sound of snowtires on ice. (Hey! There’s an Icecapade for you…Snow Tires On Ice…I’d see that one..they’d all be wearing carharrts and doing synchronized snow-shovel work as they dug cars out of fluffy white drifts and dodged speeding Dodges shooting across the ice as wild-eyed drivers helplessly spun the steering wheels.) Anyway, he did manage to make the turn after a single bit of gravel helped the car slow down a bit and gave it a pivot point to make the turn.

I have my yaktrax now so I feel safer. Though one must put them on for them to be effective.
I got the “pro” model with the extra strap over the toe. The non-pro model is good, but tends to fly off my larger boots when I’m in deep snow or slush. They are hard to find in snow and slush especially when one is flailing about and falling down.

In other news…I’m making the world’s ugliest and heaviest scarf on my loom! I wish I had a photo but I don’t know that it would capture the full horror. I’m using “tangerine” colored RedHeart yarn (I hear that brand is the pinnacle of crap yarn). It was at the thrift store in Pullman WA when I was down there the other day. I’d already bought some variegated green yarn to try for a camo effect. When I saw the orange I was way too excited. I don’t have enough at this time, but I’m thinking that with some planning, I could make a hat that was orange on one side and camo on the other. That way it would be good for duck hunting AND deer hunting. Just spin it around so the appropriate side is forward. Of course, this leaves the back of your head unprotected in deer season, but what the hell. You have to die some time.
If it works (and if I ever get around to it), I can make a coordinating scarf…camo on one end, orange on the other. Wrap as needed.

The yarn IS made of petroleum (it’s orlon) which makes me feel bad, and yet, most of it has been acquired at thrift stores (I had given up on thrift when I bought the camo stuff at a regular store). Then again…it’s washable. It specifically says to feel free to wash it in the machine on the regular setting and throw it in the dryer. But no bleach.

So why is the current blaze orange (“tangerine” is the color name but not the actual color) scarf the heaviest in the world (the color explains why it is the ugliest)? I’m not sure. According to the loom, that weight of yarn should be knit as a double strand (fortunately there were TWO skeins at the thrift store). I’m doing that. But the scarf is so heavy and …well… firm, that it barely bends. In my mind, this makes it funnier and even more hideous. I may have to hang sinkers on the fringe to get the scarf to lie down a bit on the unfortunate wearer. It will be the perfect accessory for your “I can’t put my arms down” snow suit.

While I have figured out how to make flat knit on the round hat loom (thank god I didn’t go for the full “tube” style scarf…it would weigh more than one human could support), I have not yet figured out how to END flat knit on the round loom. For a hat, you knit a tube, then when you have enough tube, you run a new piece of yarn through each loop, take them off the loom, and pull tight. This makes that end of the tube come to a rounded point and forms the top of the hat. I could make the final end of the scarf come to a point and hang a big pompom off it if I can’t figure out another way, but I know there is a way to finish it without making it come to a point. The loom people tell me that you can do flatwork on the loom, but they want me to PAY for instructions on how to do it. I don’t want to do that. There must be a loser loom knitters discussion group on the web where someone will just tell me how to do it. I have plenty of yarn left at the moment and room on the loom to knit a shorter smaller item to practice finishing techniques so I’m not too worried. If all else fails…duct tape.

I’ll try to get a photo of the hideousness soon, if only to show the color.

Here it is:

(Note the background…it’s my bedsheets. These are sheets Marcie got me when I started college in 1984!!! They are a cotton poly blend that is apparently the most durable fabric in the world. I’ve used them as sheets, made a wall out of the flat sheet, used the fitted sheet to turn a shelving unit into a vaguely private cupboard, nailed them to walls at various times to cover holes or stains, and now they are back to being sheets again. I suspect that someone will inherit them when I die. They may be the only thing to survive the nuclear war. It will give the roaches a start on their interior decorating.)


Fly Right said...

Jill, I'm glad to have you back. Business is REALLY slow right now (what with blizzards and -10 degree weather). So I have plenty of time to make things and surf the internet for stuff to do.

Yak Trax have a professional model? Wow. I should trade up. Mine have flown off several times this winter already. As for snow traction, nothing beats chicken grit--it's small and pointy pieces of oyster shell, normally fed to chickens with their grains. It only comes in 50 lb. sacks, but it's amazing! And biodegradable. I was thinking about selling it in the store--I just need to hoard more containers for it.

I think I spent my childhood wearing a scarf made from that red heart yarn. It was red, and I'm sure my mom still has it somewhere. It looked awesome with my snowmobile suit.

Pamela said...

Hi Jill,
This comment is actually more for Laurie, assuming she comes back.

I have an idea for you chicken grit container issue- I think you should have a 'fill your own' system. Just a big tub of it and a scoop, therefore requiring others to recycle in order to save!

I bought what I believe what 'scrap rock' which was bits of a variety of other rocks that appeared to be the left overs from some sort of larger rock production.. who knows. Anyway, the jug they came in was plastic, boo, but has a great shake through lid and is sturdy enough to refill, yeah! I refill at Fred's SuperValue. (Dad's house)