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Monday, October 07, 2019

Don't Leave Your Pets (Or Kids) in a Locked Car

I've always wondered whether I'd be as strong in action as I am in my convictions, but today I found out. I can. A colleague noticed a car in our parking lot with the alarm going, and a pup inside. It wasn't a terribly hot day and it was cloudy, but I felt terrible for the pup who was setting off the motion detector inside the very expensive car every few minutes. I googled and learned that when the temperature is 70 it can be as high as 100 in the car. The pup didn't appear in distress, but it WAS concerned. As was I. I called our non-emergency police number and was immediately transferred to the emergency department. The Animal Control officer came out soon after, about as the car owner was walking up. They spoke, temperatures were taken, the pup was assessed. Apparently there are apps that will start the air conditioning from afar? (Well, you can tell I know little about expensive cars.)

So I've learned that I will take action when I think it's warranted. I waited 15 minutes before making that call, and waited longer for the Animal Control officer. All told, that pup was alone in that car a minimum of 45 minutes - and possibly longer. It was lucky it was an overcast day in the 70s. Or maybe I'm all wet? I don't know.

But I do know, I'll call again, if need be.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Venturing Into New Craft Territory

I have discovered circular knitting in a way I never imagined: using machines! After several evenings of watching Margaret Olander and researching elsewhere on the internet, I finally broke down and purchased the Michaels' version, the Knit Quick Machine. I was quickly in love, and purchased the Addi Professional Knitting Machine. (see below, the Addi is in front).

I purchased, on Margaret's advice, an adjustable, folding workbench from Harbor Freight (which the two machines are attached to up there in that photo). I watched more videos, and made a few more hats and scarves. I searched on Facebook Marketplace and discovered an affordable used Innovations Knitting Machine (now only available second-hand) and purchased it. Once it made it's way to me, I realized I really was hooked.

There is an issue with any knitting machine (circular, at least): the number of needles. In the order presented above they are: 40 needles, 22 needles, 44 needles. So I had the machines to knit for small adult's, children's, and premie's heads. There were two more sizes so I purchased the next largest: the Addi Express with 46 needles. As of this writing, it's still in its box, as I have no where to position it, without another workbench, but...okay, then...

Finally I put an order in for the largest, the Sentro with 48 needles.

Why so many? Well, when I knit, and likewise, with crochet, I cast on a different number of stitches based on the size of what I'm making. Why should the machine knitting be any different, I theorized. It turns out, I'm correct. So I now have 5 machines and the opportunity to make up multiple sizes of hats and scarves and finish off my huge acrylic stash. These machines will also knit flat, but I haven't ventured into that, yet.

And why do I have such a large stash of acrylic yarn? I mostly inherited it from my best friend who had to stop knitting a few years ago. She gave that yarn to me when she learned I had a friend whose husband was interested in getting hats for a group of homeless veterans he was serving. About the time I got the yarn, my hands began causing me troubles: the so-called eczema that was actually psoriasis and got exacerbated with the eczema treatments everyone insisted I needed that just made things worse than they needed to be. I'm beginning, two years later, to have some results in treatments, and I think there might be light at the end of the tunnel and healing to come. But there's no way I'll be able to knit up (by hand) all that yarn in my lifetime. So the machines have come to the rescue!

My friend died this summer. It's now something of a mission of mine to make up that stash for the purpose (or a similar one) that she handed all that goodness over for me to use. I think she might be intrigued with this new craft I'm learning. I hope so, anyway.

And then my local knitter friends discovered I had these fancy machines and wondered if I might bring them to our annual charity knitting event and demonstrate the use of them. Would I? Of course, I would! So another folding workbench WILL be added to my mix of machines. I am so excited!

Would you like to see some examples of my machine knits? Oh, of course, you would!

This first is a wine hat on my Knit Quick from Michaels. The yarn is Vanna's Choice.

The finished hat.

A child's rose scarf made with Vanna's Choice on the Addi Professional

A gray hat knit on the Innovations machine with Vanna's Choice tweed. I added some Vanna's Choice black to the gray tweed to make the pompom. Oh, and YES! I have ALL of the pompom makers from Clover!! They are so much fun!

So I have jumped back into knitting in a big new way. Will I get the old "Ultimate Sweater Machine?" A friend has one she's willing to barter with me for, so I might, I just might. I can see myself knitting small kids sweaters for charity. I've really moved to the mindset of knitting for charity, as I've made most everyone in the family all the sorts of things I would make that they would be willing to wear. The grandsons (and daughter's) will be happy with machine knit hats. And I'm thinking of sewing doll clothing (for 18" American Girl type dolls)...but that's another blog post...