Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Here are some recent events that just keep adding leaves to the banana republic tree I call home.

Amanda Knox was released after spending 4 years in an Italian prison after her guilty verdict was overturned.  However, the Italian media stumbled over themselves while demonizing her after her arrest.

A few days ago, a German truck driver was trying to stay on course and on schedule, but due to trucking blockades throughout Italy to protest government imposed austerity reforms, things went terribly wrong.  She killed one of the blockaders after hitting him with her truck and is now in jail.  (She may have been released by now--I can't determine her status.  At any rate, it's a sad story.)

Captain Francesco Schettino cavalierly  wrecked a 450 euro cruise vessel, abandoned ship leaving at least 16 dead, many more injured, and yet more still missing, potentially caused an environmental disaster of epic proportion, put a cruise-ship's worth of crew out of work and I would imagine severely lessened the fortunes of the cruise company, maybe even the entire cruise industry.  It's pretty had to top that for all-around FUBAR-edness, yet Capt. Schettino is cooling his heals at home in Sorrento.

Where is the equal justice in all this?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rose Garden Conspiracy Theory

Nevermind the Kennedy assassination!  Forget all you've heard about 9/11 and the mysterious collapse of WTC7!  Here's a conspiracy theory I think we can all agree doesn't pass the "smell test".

I was listening to a recent (January 20, 2012, to be exact) podcast of Woman's Hour from BBC Radio 4.  One segment included a friendly debate over which flower was more well-loved, the rose or the orchid.  Weighing in on the side of the rose was horticultural historian Jennifer Potter who recently published an historical account of roses, appropriately entitled, The Rose.  She mentioned that she made a trip to the White House in hopes of seeing the famous rose garden during the last summer of the George W. Bush administration.  She was able to finagle her way into the garden but was warned there were only about 10 varieties of roses left, 5 of which were named after Republican presidents or their wives.  All of the roses named for Democrats had been uprooted. 

Whatever shall we read into that???  I myself can envision Dick telling Georgie which flowers had to go.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Happy new knitting!

I'm happy to say that I'm starting the year with knitting MY way and I'm feeling very happy with myself about it.  I'll explain by saying that I was in a 12-month knit-along last year wherein I had to knit a complete project every month of the year.  Each project had to use at least 300 yards of yarn and had to be started and completed within the month.  I thought it would be a lark, but it turned into a tyranny of one smallish completed project every month. (In hindsight I suppose that should have been obvious.)

Knitting a project of at least 300 yards in one month is a snap.  However, I didn't consider that I'd have to come up with something new every month, couldn't commit myself to any larger or more complicated projects on the chance that I might not finish in time, and ended up doing a lot of things I wouldn't have undertaken otherwise.

It was a good exercise in goal-setting, but I'm not very goal-oriented and I didn't really see the point of the whole thing except to win a big prize (of good-quality yarn, what else?) at the end.  There were also other opportunities to win throughout the year.  Big surprise...I didn't win anything! 

Like I always and learn.  At least now I can dig my teeth into some more challenging projects without worrying about screwing it up and having to rip it all out (been doing a lot of that lately), nor do any of these projects need to be finished along with the month.

I recently bought a pattern book produced by Burda for socks from around the world.  The first pair I'd like to try are a 2-toned Turkish design.  This will be a challenge since the pattern's in Italian, the socks are colorwork--never done colorwork socks--and they're toe-up with an unfamiliar to me cast-on and an after-thought heel.  Perhaps I'll blog further on these when I get around to making them.

Happy new year and happy knitting to all !!!