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The dog days of August are upon us, and well-dressed ladies (be they adventuresses or pirates or yes, even professors) will be feeling the strain of trying to stay cool, fresh and well, erm, DRY, during this, the last of summer.  Perhaps this fine item (ready for extravagant decoration!), from the nice folks at Dharma Trading will help:

  This is a lovely fan, and made for serious cooling, as it is an amazing 15" long (wink, wink!)  Enjoy, ladies, as I return to my knitting chair with lemonade, ice, and the biggest fan in the house blowing on me!  Kind regards from Prof. Parsons.


Happy New Year and Resolutions

 There was this crazy moment earlier last month that I was clearing closets, throwing old clothes into bags for Goodwill and just generally marvelling at the amount of clothing that I actually own and wear on a regular basis.  MUCH  different from my days in the last 2 years of high school back in the Cretaceous period when I owned:

2 pairs of shoes
1 pair of snow boots
1 pair of sneakers
2 skirt and vest sets ( navy and bronzy brown)
a skirt and tunic top made by my Mom out of burgundy polyester
blouses to go with -- one mustard (YUCK!), 2 white and at least one other that I have blocked out of my memory
2 pairs of pants: 1 wool, lined and 1 pair of polyester
some tee shirts
3 or 4 accessorizing scarves for hair or neck.
1 pair of jeans
the infamous purple outfit:  a poorboy sweater and sweater pants (both made out the the same purple sweatery knit fabric, accessorized by the more than infamous purple belt with the yellow smiley face buckle.

The hideous Yellow Skort and its matching tunic top in waffle weave polyester.  My mother  (who sewed this monstrosity) had this really weird idea that I looked great in yellow because I had dark brown hair and eyes.  It makes me look like puke.  Like death warmed over.  No one who is fair and dark haired looks good in yellow.  I avoid yellow to this day, and scream at my mother when she says that she thinks that I should wear something "brighter".  My idea of bright is burnt orange or lime green or burgundy.  NO CHROME YELLOW.  

and oh yeah, the yellow clogs that went with it AND the purple outfit!

a couple of jackets and a winter coat.

and my favorite dress of all time, the purple and yellow  striped granny dress with elastic empire bodice!!  (The yellow was in the skirt stripes, not up by my face....) I wore that poor dress every where for years:  high school, during my early marriage and while I was pregnant with the ManChild until I got too big for it, and then afterwards.  I took it out of the wash one day and the skirt had just dissolved into tatters.  I cried for a good half hour, as I had lost on of the few happy parts of an otherwise unhappy youth.  It went into the garbage, and I OBVIOUSLY miss it to this day.

So, my resolution for 2008:  No new Clothes.  The Empress does not need new clothes; the Empress has PLENTY of clothing.  If I feel the need for it, I will make it, which is what I'm going to do with the steampunk stuff for January, and I have plenty of fabric and patterns for dresses (which I am dire need of) and other whatnots.  THIS EDICT DOES NOT COVER SHOES AND UNDERWEAR.   I have the amazing ability to destroy underpants in the wash, so those need to be exempt, and shoes, well, DUH.  Life without new shoes would not be worth living and I am always on the prowl for new comfy footwear.   So it makes it ok for me to have ordered a new skirt and blouse from Wild West Mercantile YESTERDAY, which was still 2007...right?!

Fa La Fuckin' La

How much I hate the holidays.  The rampant consumerism, the flagrant abuse of sentimentality (which should be abused, but quietly, in the corner), the panic and pressure to have the "PERFECT HOLIDAY"  -- faugh.  The world has gone mad in the last 20 or 30 years, and The Consumer Hell of Christmas has taken over.  

Here's how to celebrate Christmas:  Donate to a charity.  DON'T BUY ANY USELESS EXPENSIVE PRESENTS.  Give money or time or both to something that you have never heard of before:  micro loans in Africa, buying cattle for people in South America, sending all your extra stuff to a charity that can actually use it. DON'T DECORATE OR BUY ANY XMAS DECORATIONS OR LIGHTS!!!  Make something and donate to someone who doesn't have that thing ( any of he 40 hats I made for the coffehouse sale that are left will go to the Salvation Army after Jan. 1, 'cause everyone can use a warm cap).  GET A LIVING TREE IF YOU HAVE TO HAVE ONE, AND THEN PLANT IT IMMEDIATELY.  Eat vegetarian for Xmas Day even if you're not a vegetarian.  MAKE YOUR OWN PRESENTS.  BUY BOOKS FOR PRESENTS IF YOU HAVE TO HAVE PRESENTS.  IF YOU HAVE TO HAVE PRESENTS, MAKE A DONATION IN THAT PERSON'S NAME AND GIVE THEM A CARD SAYING SO....this really torques people off, as they are expecting a gift, and they give a gift without getting one....circular logic?

Most every one on my short list is getting a hand made fruitcake, and assorted books and gift cards for bookstores.  I only make exceptions for my mom (who's getting a fleecy shruggie thing and some candy AND a fruitcake), my son and DIL who are getting locally made mead, fruitcake and phone cards, and my hard working husband, who is getting something that I think he will like to use on his mass transit commute everyday -- he already gets all the fruitcake he can eat!!

Under Way

Current knitting projects:  After completing 40 hats in approx. 30 days, I'm a little burned out on headgear right now.  However, there are bigger things afoot (so to speak), as I once again multitask my knitting projects...

1.  The "Take 3" Turtleneck Vest.  Yes, take your 3 favorite colors of worsted, a #15 needle and go to town.  The back is done, the front is cast on, and I hope to have this completed over the weekend -- there will be pix.
2.  After that, finishing up the hand-dyed heavy woolTopDown v-neck sweater (needs a sleeve and a quarter); the nummy stole that is alpaca/silk and wool worked together (in black -- my aging eyes need daylight for this beast), and the black square shawl that has been under construx for about officially 24 months now....again with the blackness and the needing of daylight -- so tough to get this time of year....
3.  Coming up with a pattern for easy, buttoned leg warmers/gaiters for the steampunk fashion list.  I have dark brown SW wool that will be great; just have to Do A Gauge Swatch for this and run the numbers. 

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August 2008


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