Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
When I was reading that Science article the other day (see Wanderings), I came across the acronym BOLD for which there was no explanation in the research report. So I googled BOLD and got an instant answer to my query from two young theoretical physicists with a blog! Wrap your mind around that one. They not only have a blog, they talk about physics on their blog. I always imagined theoretical physicists to be these superhuman creatures who spent all their time in an ivory tower somewhere only coming out once in awhile to speak in a strange language filled with funny symbols and Greek letters.
I wonder how long it would have taken me to find an answer to my question at the library. It probably would have taken hours just to locate which section of the library to look in. The acronym was used in a sentence that gave no clue (at least to me) as to what it meant, "comparing the BOLD response associated with baseline..." I found that it stands for "blood-oxygen-level dependent" and is used in MRI scanning. But the guys at Backreaction explain it so much better than I can. (You're right, I don't really understand it still.)
And, to me, that is what is so neat about the Internet these days. There is just an incredible amount of information available instantly. And anybody can put it out there--even a theoretical physicist. I worried at first (back in the 90s) that the information would be unreliable, I mean could you trust these blokes? But there seems to be a built-in correction system to the Internet in the sheer number of entries on the web. If you browse around enough, you can get a pretty good consensus on a topic or at least you are made aware of the controversies.
I spent yesterday dyeing some yarn and will have photos to show you soon.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
There was a research report in last week's Science magazine about where the mind goes when it wanders. The scientists were trying to determine if the "default network" of our brains is activated when we daydream. The default network is that region of the brain that remains active when we are at rest, at least in functional imaging experiments. They concluded that "mind-wandering constitutes a psychological baseline that emerges when the brain is otherwise unoccupied, supported by activity in the default network of cortical regions. Results demonstrated that reductions in processing demands, that is performing practiced versus novel sequences of otherwise identical tasks, were accompanied by increases in both the generation of SIT (stimulus-independent thought) and activity in the default network." (You gotta love these scientists and their acronyms.)
My mind seems to wander a lot these days, especially when I am thinking about what to write about for this blog. This morning I wondered if eureka moments come when our mind is at rest and allowed to wander and that's why they seem to come from nowhere. I wandered as I wondered to my recent attempts to renew my efforts to "cure" my myopia. My "aha" this week was when I finally discovered what Thomas Quackenbush meant in his book, Relearning to See, by "centralization."
Centralization is the opposite of diffusion. It is the knowledge that the human eye can only see one point clearly at any moment. That fact is inherent in its structure. But centralization is not concentration. Centralization happens naturally, for people with normal eyesight, when the eyes and the mind are at rest and it happens with movement. We see best what is in the center of our vision, but we cannot hold onto it. We constantly shift our focus from one point to another. Fixation, concentration, creates blur. People with good vision are constantly moving their eyes from one point to another of the thing they are looking at, staying at one spot for no longer than a few seconds.
Quackenbush goes on to say, "Actually it is the person's interest that shifts from one point to another, the eyes and head simply follow the 'mental movement.'" p. 151
Hmm... sounds a bit like mind wandering to me. We see best when we are relaxed. We think and learn best when we are relaxed. We are at our most creative when we are relaxed.
I have learned to turn on my clearsight, i.e., perfectly clear vision without my glasses, by relaxing my eyes. One method is to simply close them and then very gently open them again allowing them to "see" whatever is there. Usually, I do this outside while looking into the distance. Another method of getting the eye muscles to relax is by "palming." You cup your palms over your eyes, gently, and rest them in the darkness and warmth of your hands. Then you release your hands and open your eyes to see the world in front of you.
Until now, I have not been able to get my clearsight to last more than a few minutes. What I learned this week was that I could turn on this clearsight state by really looking at a small point and telling myself that this is what I could see best. Suddenly it cleared and I could move to the next point and the next and they were all perfectly clear. One point at a time, each the best I could see.
Now I want to apply this principle to my knitting. What do I look at when I am knitting? The needles and my hands are in constant motion. I sometimes diffuse as I knit to try to see everything at once, the yarn, the loops, the needles, my hands. Not good. But what do I centralize on? Do I let my mind wander, or do I count stitches? Do I SIT to knit? I have already learned that I cannot do lace with distractions and that knitting is like meditation. I cannot knit lace on auto-pilot. But do you force yourself to empty your mind of thought when meditating? Obviously, no. What do I centralize on? The mantra yfwd, K2tog, K-one, yfwd, K2tog K-two, etc.? But what do I look at?
Another wandering thought: maybe it's all these people who have been diagnosed with ADHD that are normal, and it is the state of forced concentration that is abnormal.
Friday, January 26, 2007
I went bonkers over lavender a few years ago. My friend Kathy has had great success with her plants. But although I was able to get cuttings from her to root, as soon as I put them into the ground, they died. She says I need to clean the potting soil off the roots before putting them into our clay soil. Next time... Her French lavender has the best aroma. I have successfully grown a Spanish lavender and a lace-leaf lavender. It is really hard to get a good picture of lavender because its beauty is in the mass of blooms. Each individual flower is tiny. And of course, the best part is the smell although the lace-leaf variety is stinky. Pretty but stinky.
River, my lace knitting project is coming along slowly but surely. I was worried that it would end in a bog because it seemed that for every three rows forward I was frogging back two. I have learned the hard way that you don't do lace when you are tired, or when there are distractions. The yarn (Rowan Kidsilk Haze) is gorgeous, but a bit difficult to work with, it is so fine. I tried switching to bamboo needles because the metal ones are slippery, but found that I couldn't see the pattern as well on the bamboo, and the delicate yarn was getting stressed by pushing it back and forth on the needles.
The instructions do not come with a chart, which would have been very helpful, so I made up a chart of my own to keep track of the repeats. It's just a table that I created in Word. The rows to be repeated are listed down the side and the number of repeats goes across the top. I check off a box as I complete a row and when I have filled in all the boxes I will have completed all 11 repeats. The clear boxes are for when the pattern starts with yfwd (or YO), and the shaded boxes for the K2tog rows. The number of plain Ks at the beginning of each row varies giving the pattern its offset waves, so I have listed that number along with the row number. The pattern goes 3, 4, 5, 6 in the yfwd rows, and 5, 4, 3, 2 in the K2tog rows. The total number of Ks in each row at the beginning and end always add up to 8, so if you start with 3 you will have 5 at the other end. This is a way of double-checking the number of stitches you have because it is so easy to drop one. I also count the stitches as I go back on the WS K rows. Now that I have the pattern memorized, it should go much smoother.
Thursday, January 25, 2007
The top photo shows a family from Guatemala, the second a family in Shingkhey, Bhutan, and the third a family in the USA. They are surrounded by the food that they will eat in the coming week. These photos come from the book Hungry Planet by Peter Menzel and Faith D'Aluisio and are copyrighted by Peter Menzel. You can see more of these fantastic photos at various places on the web including here and here. Just Google Hungry Planet. Or better yet, buy the book. That's what I did when I first saw these photos on the back page of the Sierra Club magazine. The book is a fascinating read including essays, demographics, recipes, and many more photos from 24 different countries on the subject of food.
The Sierra Club took a look at all that packaging the American food comes in and bemoaned the effects on the environment, both to create the packaging and then dispose of it. My thoughts were, the American food doesn't even look like food! It looks like plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam, etc. It doesn't even look appetizing. We have gotten so used to seeing our food in its processed form that we have forgotten what real food looks like. When I go to the grocery store now I shop the periphery of the store where the produce and meat counters are. I don't even go down the aisles in the middle. That's where all the packaged food is. It just doesn't appeal to me any more.
This morning's LA Times has an article about a family in Pasadena that grows their own food in their backyard showing it can be done even in the big city. My modest garden includes arugula and a variety of herbs--thyme, rosemary, cinnamon basil, lemon balm, and spearmint for tea. But I like to shop at my local farmer's market which will be opening in March for the coming summer season. They are famous for their strawberries and corn, but whatever they have to sell, I buy.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
I received another prompt reply from Mr. Inamdar. (Thank you, Mr. Inamdar.) He actually had quite a good suggestion this time, one that I intended to try myself, i.e., download the Norton Removal Tool to my second computer and copy it over to this computer to run. How did he know I have a second computer? Does everyone have a second computer these days?
Last night I successfully downloaded the "Tool" to the computer in the den, but I probably won't get to the next step until the weekend.
I not only have a second computer, I have a third computer, and a fourth computer if you count my laptop. My husband left me well endowed. My impossible mission is to keep all these machines running. Both of my children have suggested, logically, that I put all the programs I like to use on one computer and get rid of the rest. My reply to them is that I keep them all just as they are because of situations such as this. Even though all four computers are PCs and run with Windows XP, they each behave quite differently. If I can't get on the Internet on one, I usually can on another (remote wireless problems). Some software will not work on this computer but works fine on the computer in the den. But the computer in the den has been having CD and DVD drive problems. The computer in the front bedroom (formerly my daughter's and soon to be my knitting room) is the old computer and the only computer with SCSI. My favorite scanner is SCSI.
But there is a deeper issue at work here, which you may have guessed. This computer that I am typing at right now was my husband's computer. It has his favorite programs on it, his emails, spreadsheets, databases for his various hobbies, etc., and I am having a hard time parting with his things still. (That's his chair over there in the sidebar which I have only recently begun to sit in to knit.) As he approached retirement, it became obvious that I would need my own computer because we both tended to spend hours at the computer working on our hobbies--for me it was genealogy. So we bought the computer in the den just months before he died. It was my first very own desktop computer. I insisted on setting it up myself so I would know how to take care of it.
Now it does makes sense to consolidate the two, but not just yet...
Too much writing and not enough knitting.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Monday, January 22, 2007
Yesterday I thought I would bite the bullet and renew my Norton Anti-virus subscription. How long could it take? Just a few minutes and a few clicks and I'm done and my computer is protected from all those nasty things lurking out there in cyberspace. I started with the simple subscription renewal, but then they gave me an offer to upgrade to SystemWorks 2006. The price was reasonable, so I said OK. Then they offered to add Norton Personal Firewall 2006 to the deal for only $10. Well I have been receiving phishing emails lately and when I went to check out the cookie situation, I discovered there are 1400 of them on my machine! As a low-carber I knew that all these cookies were not good even if they were digital ones. So I agreed to the second offer as well. But that's it, no more. No extended service guarantee, extended download availability, etc. Each of these niceties, which you would think would come with the product for free, cost more.
They took my money and then my troubles began. I couldn't install the software, in fact I am not sure that it even downloaded to my machine. The installation process got stuck half way through. When I tried their suggested remedies, they didn't work either. I was supposed to turn on the Event Log, but Event Log wasn't on the list to be turned on. I was then to try downloading the Norton Removal Tool and all I got was a blank screen. I went to customer support and they offered to let me talk to a person by email for free or by phone for $29.99. I chose the email route.
I received a prompt reply from a Ramdas Inamdar, which I give to you here:
Subject---------------------------------------------------------------Technical SupportDiscussion Thread---------------------------------------------------------------Response (ramdas.inamdar) - 01/21/2007 10:04 PM
Thank you for contacting Symantec Online Technical Support.
I understand from your message that you are receiving the following error message when you try to install Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 on your computer:- "(9999,171) The installation encountered an error and is unable to continue."
Ann, please note that this issue can occur due to certain registry keys that does not have the correct permissions.
So, I suggest that you to set permission for the registry keys. Please follow the step by step instructions provided below :
1. Download and run SymNRT.exe Title: 'Using the Norton uninstall tool: Manual file download'Document ID: 2006031710323113> Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/Support/sharedtech.nsf/docid/2006031710323113?Open&src=con_ols_nam
2. Restart the Computer
3. Make sure that the system is logged in as Administrator,(Goto Start > Run and type "control userpasswords2", If Username is not listed, then add the user login account under Administrator)
4. Take the back-Up of the Registry and Save it under C drive (Don't save it in Desktop)Please see the document linked below for details on making a backup of your registry: Title: 'Backing up the Windows registry'Document ID: 199762382617> Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/support/tsgeninfo.nsf/docid/199762382617?Open&src=con_ols_nam
5. Click Start, and then click Run. The Run dialog box appears.
6. Type regedit and then click OK. The Registry Editor opens.
7. Right Click on HKEY_Classes_Root, Click on Permission
8. If "Administrator, Current user login & System" is listed and all the 3 have Full Control permission Under Group & username, then Goto Step 8
9. If "Administrator, current user login & System" is not listed, then add them in the Group/user names box. Also make sure that all the 3 (Administrator/User login name/System) have Full Control permission.
10. Click on the "Advanced" button and click on the "Owner tab.
11. In the Owner Tab, under "Current user of this item" user login name should be displayed, if it isn't then select the User login name (in the same window) and click on apply.
12. Check mark "Replace Owner on Subcontainers and objects" and clicl Apply.(Note: In case while applying the above steps if its shows a message "Registry Editor could not set owner on the key currently selected, or some of its subkeys. ' just Click Ok and proceed further)
13. In the "Advanced security settings for HKCR "window, Check mark "Replace permission entries on all child objetcs with entries shown that apply to child objetcs"(Make sure the "Inherit from parent the permission entries that apply to child objects .." is unchecked)
14. Click Apply and Ok(Note: In case while applying the above steps if it is shows a message "Registry Editor could not set owner on the key currently selected, or some of its subkeys. ' just Click Ok and proceed further)
15. Repeat the Steps 5 to 12, for "HKEY_CURRENT_USER""HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE"
16. Restart the Computer
17. Try to install Norton Personal Firewall 2006 and Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 and check for the issue.- Install Norton Personal Firewall 2006.For more information regarding this issue, you can refer the document link mentioned below: Title: 'Installing Norton Personal Firewall 2006 that was downloaded from the Symantec Store' Document ID: 2005081215222136 > Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/Support/nip.nsf/docid/2005081215222136?Open&src=con_ols_nam - If you are installing Norton Personal Firewall 2006 using the installation CD, please refer the document link provided below:Title: 'Installing Norton Personal Firewall 2006 from the CD' Document ID: 2005081215192436 > Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/Support/nip.nsf/docid/2005081215192436?Open&src=con_ols_nam
Next, I suggest that you try to install Norton SystemWorks (NSW) 2006 and check for the issue.For more information regarding this issue, you can refer the document link mentioned below: Title: 'Installing Norton SystemWorks 2006' Document ID: 2005110207284107 > Web URL: http://service1.symantec.com/support/nsw.nsf/docid/2005110207284107?Open&src=con_ols_nam
Please let me know, if the issue has been resolved.
Regards, Ramdas.C.InamdarSymantec Authorized Technical SupportDisclaimer
Note: This message (including any attachments) is intended only for the use of the individual to which it is addressed.If you are not the intended recipient, please do not follow any instructions provided within this message. Any instructions or offers contained within this message are for a specific person, system configuration, location, and situation. Following these instructions may adversely affect your system if you are not the intended recipient.If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by telephone and (i) destroy this message if a facsimile or (ii) delete this message immediately if this is an electronic communication.You are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Thank you.Auto-Response - 01/21/2007 08:13 PM
Hello Ann V,
We have received your request for assistance and a Symantec Authorized Online Customer Service agent will contact you by e-mail within 48 hours to help answer your questions. The subject line of our agent's email will contain the following information:Problem Type:Request reference number:
This information is used for tracking purposes. If you need to send additional information to the agent related to your request please do so however please do not change the subject line of the message.Please feel free to browse Symantec's rich source of self-help information, which may be accessed through the Website linked below:http://www.symantec.com/techsupp/support_options.htmlThank you for contacting the Symantec Authorized Customer Service Center and choosing Online Support.Regards,Technical Support SpecialistSymantec Authorized Online Customer Service[---001:005312:64413---]
I was put off right away by being called by my first name, but what really bothered me was that I had already tried Step 1 and it didn't work and I had said so in my message to Norton. I have replied to Mr. Inamdar the following:
Thank you for your prompt reply. However, I am unable to execute Step 1. When I click on Download on the page
I get a blank screen for 5 minutes and then the message:
The page you are looking for is currently unavailable.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Dress for symphony musicians is mandatory--white tie and tails for the men, and long black for the women. The men do look very handsome in their tails. If you could only see these blokes earlier in the week at rehearsal. What a transformation! "Long black" for us women means a floor-length black dress or skirt, long sleeves, no white or other color trimming, no jewelry, and no décolletage. We don't want to distract the audience from listening to the music now do we? We can wear pants if they are loose and flowing. It is very helpful for us, also, if the outfit is also washable, and dare we say it--comfortable?
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Thursday, January 18, 2007
No doubt about it, this is soup and stew weather here in sunny Southern California. I have a pot of my famous turkey stock simmering on the stove right now. I will turn it into soup later on today. Meanwhile, it fills the house with warmth and a wonderful aroma that makes all my students feel hungry when they come for their lessons. Nothing gives me the gratifying feeling that I am taking good care of myself better than homemade soup.
Recently I have made several soups and stews that fit perfectly into my diet regimen which on its simplest terms means no grains, no dairy except for butter, and no potatoes. There's a whole lot more to it than that, but it will take me months to get into all the details. For now, here are some recipes to whet your appetite and show you how it's done. (Grace warned you that I would do this.)
Last week I made an oxtail stew that was just yummie! (It's actually steer these days.) The recipe was adapted from the Williams Sonoma cookbook, Soup and Stew. The changes I made were minor but make a big difference to me. One was no flour. The soup comes out thick enough without it. No anchovy paste. An expensive item which adds a lot of salt. And the pièce de résistance, organic, sugar-free pancetta instead of the bacon. That's another expensive item, but you only need two slices and the flavor is out of this world. The white wine adds richness to the sauce which tastes even better the second time around. Also, I don't bother to pit and chop the olives. I just throw a few in at the end. If I can get my teeth to work their way around the bones in the oxtails, then I can certainly do the same with the olive pits and it saves a lot of time.
Bones--that's what these two broths have in common--long simmering of bones in water or other liquid. I'm sure that the first thing man did after he invented fire was to find some kind of container to hold water and throw in some bones. That was how he got his minerals, especially calcium. A little bit of wine or vinegar in the broth is what draws these minerals out of the bone, cartilage, marrow, and vegetables, and the broth makes them easy for our bodies to assimilate. The gelatin in meat broths also help to sooth digestive disorders. My turkey stock is very rich in gelatin because I add three or four chicken feet to the stock pot. (I know that if you are not a farmer, that probably sounds gross, but you don't look at them, you just throw them in, and they get taken out before the actual soup is made.)
I start with some turkey parts--wings and drumsticks and the chicken feet. If these have been frozen, I don't even bother to defrost them first. I put them in a baking dish and bake them for a half an hour at 400 degrees. Then into the stock pot they go along with 4 quarts of water (or enough water to cover them); 1/2 cup of vinegar (I use raw apple cider vinegar); and 3 celery stalks, an onion, and 2 carrots chopped; and lastly, a teaspoon of crushed dried green peppercorns. Then you let things sit partially covered for one hour to "rest." Turn on the heat and when it starts to simmer, reduce the heat to keep the stock at a simmer. Do not boil. Then you can go sit and knit and leave it for 2 to 24 hours. I started mine yesterday afternoon, put it in the fridge overnight, and reheated it this morning. The longer it simmers, the richer the stock.
After the stock is done to your liking, remove the turkey and chicken parts and strain the stock. I cut the meat off the bones, an easy job because by now it is falling off, and add it back to the strained stock. Then comes the fun part. You can add whatever vegetables and spices you like: fresh carrots, celery, parsnips, zucchini squash, tomatoes, whatever you have on hand--just no pasta and no potatoes. I'm on the fence as far as beans and peas go. Some of my experts say no legumes, and others don't care. This may sound like a lot of work, but if you have made a big enough pot, it will last for several meals and there might even be some left over to freeze for those times when you feel like you are coming down with something.
This recipe was taken from Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon's book, Eat Fat, Lose Fat. Dr. Enig is the lady I trust on the subject of fats in our diet and I will have more to say about her later. You can read her books or view her ideas on the web pages of the Weston Price Foundation.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Monday, January 15, 2007
Sunday, January 14, 2007
When she went into labor, I stuffed my bag with two projects and headed for the hospital at about midnight. I wanted to give my son-in-law a break and a chance to get a little sleep. He would need all his energy later. In the semi-darkened room, I worked on a baby sweater with hood in between my daughter's contractions which were steady but not accomplishing much. For the sweater I had chosen a baby blue (we were 99% sure it was going to be a boy) boucle yarn. It was miserable to work with! It would not slip and slide on the needles when I tried to knit with it, so I was crocheting instead. But that wasn't much better because I couldn't see my stitches in all the nubs and fuzz.
Next morning my daughter was transferred to a nice large room for the big event, but progress was still slow. I was sent out into the waiting room just before lunchtime. I switched to knitting the scarf with a gorgeous Ironstone yarn, called Circus, that I really enjoyed working with. I was winging it--no pattern--18 stitches to start and then garter stitch until I ran out of yarn on big wooden needles. The yarn was so spectacular, a blend of angora, eyelash yarn, and a metallic yarn, that fancy stitching was unnecessary and would not have been seen anyway.
As I sat there, all kinds of things ran through my mind. Was my daughter alright? Would the baby be alright? What was going on? I was happy that my daughter's dreams for starting a family were actually going to come true and I was sad that my husband was not there to witness the birth of his second grandchild. Knitting was the perfect activity to pass the time as I waited. I couldn't have concentrated on a book, and magazines can only hold your attention for so long. Knitting kept me in the present and stopped my thoughts from getting too crazy. It kept me calm and focused. Since I couldn't get down on the floor and start chanting, it was a good substitute for Yoga.
I walked across the street for lunch and took my knitting with me. I stopped at the florist on my way back to place an order for a basket of blue and yellow flowers. And then it was back to the waiting room and my knitting. As there was no maternity waiting room, I was sitting in the large general surgery waiting room. The volunteer who's job it was to notify a family of the outcome of their loved-one's surgery, saw me sitting and knitting all that time and finally came over to me and asked, "Who are you waiting for?" He suggested I go down to the nurses' station to ask about my daughter's progress but when I did that, they informed me that that was privileged medical information and that only my daughter could tell me how she was doing.
I began to think I was going to finish the whole scarf before this baby would arrive and decided to try one more time to ask the nurse how things were going. This time I tried to phrase my question more carefully and asked only if the baby had arrived yet. At last I was told that it was OK to go into the room and greet my new grandson.
Was he worth the wait? You betcha!
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Friday, January 12, 2007
On the plus side, thought I, they have purchased all new trucks that don't spew diesel fumes throughout the morning air, but these large monsters make the windows vibrate worse than an earthquake. It takes me two weeks to come even close to filling a container, but if I skip a week, they get so heavy they are difficult for me to handle. I am told that if I were over 70, I could request a smaller container for the regular trash. What if I am just 60 and have arthritis? But I did use the new system to get rid of a bucket of cement that we had put on the side of the house from when we had the patio redone. Under the old system, they wouldn't take it because it was too heavy. I watched with fascination (almost) as the truck grabbed the container, squeezed the heck out of it, lifted it up and over, and then slammed it back down. And the problem was gone.
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
The Gedifra sweater was an ambitious undertaking to say the least for someone who barely remembered how to do a purl stitch and knew only one method of cast-on, too. It came out pretty well considering it was a learning project. The pattern was from Gedifra Highlights 042. It has no name like some of the patterns nowadays with their dreamy names like "Glade" and "River," it's just No. 606.
I used a Gedifra yarn as the main color, but not the one called for. The name of the yarn was "For Classic" which I can't find on the Gedifra website, so it probably has been discontinued. But it was a wonderful yarn to work with, 50% Merino wool and 50% acrylic, a one-ply yarn. Even though I got the gauge required, I think the yarn was thicker and had a heavier look to it when knitted. This was a problem because the other yarn that I wanted to use was a mohair, very light and airy, "Showstopper" by Ironstone. That yarn is aptly named because it really is outstanding. It is actually three yarns, "Paris Nights," "Eyelash," and Mohair, blended together. But how was I going to give it more substance, more body to balance with the For Classic? I got the idea to knit them together, one row of Showstopper and one row of For Classic, and added some garter stitching at random in the otherwise stockinette background. I was very pleased with the results.
Another problem was the sizing. The smallest the pattern would go was not small enough for me, so I decided to decrease some stitches in the width and worked to my measurements in the length and I'm so glad I did. My years of sewing fabrics came in handy here. I knew how the pieces were going to be sewn together at the end and I knew how to measure them to make it fit right.
When I finished the cuffs, they were way too big. It was like the tail that wagged the dog. I think the reason was again because the For Classic yarn was too heavy. The pattern called for the cuffs to be knitted after the shoulder and top of the sleeve had been sewn together but the bottom seam would extend from the cuff all the way down the sides which would add to the thickness of the cuff. So I "frogged" (is that the right term?) them back, sewed up the side seams, and tried knitting the cuffs on dpns (there's a whole lot of new jargon for me to learn), in the round with no seam. That was a struggle with needles going in all directions and forget trying to get gauge! Luckily I found the help I needed on the web at KnittingHelp.com and switched to the "magic loop" method for circular knitting with a small diameter.
Monday, January 8, 2007
To help you recognize what things are sugars, here is a partial list of all the names that sugar comes under (adapted from "The 99 Names of Sugar," Food Addicts Anonymous, Inc.):
All-natural sweetener (cane sugar is a natural substance that has been highly refined)
Brown rice syrup
Clarified grape juice
Cncentrated fruit juices
Confectioner's (or powdered) sugar
Dark brown sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Dried fruits such as dates, raisins, figs, apricots
Evaporated cane juice
Fructooligo saccharides (FOS)
Fruit juice concentrate
Granulated, fine, or extra fine sugar
High-fructose corn syrup
Hydrogenated glucose syrup
-ides, any additive with this suffix: saccharides, trisaccharides, etc.
Invert sugar syrup
Light brown sugar
Malt (any kind)
Malted grains (corn, barley, rice)
Mono- and disaccarides
Natrual cane sweetener
Natural fruit concentrates
Naturally malted organic corn and barley extract
Nectar (any kind)
-ol, any additive with this suffix: mannitol, sorbitol, inversol, hexitol, etc.
Organic brown rice syrup
Organic malted cereal strup: barley, corn, oat, rice
-ose, any additive with this suffix: manose, polydextrose, polytose, ribose, zylose, etc.
Pure natural sweetener
Raisin juice concentrate
Ribbon cane syrup
Sugar (any type)
Superfine, ultrafine, or bar sugar
Unbleached water-filtered beet sugar
White grape juice
Sort of makes you queasy just reading this list, doesn't it? I added a few more names to the original list which was published in 1993. You have to admire the inventiveness of man in coming up with all these various compounds and the also the many ways to hide the fact that our food is full of sugar. BTW, I am not a member of the FAA and I am not endorsing their program. In fact, I got their list from Mildred Seelig's book, The Magnesium Factor, and I can recommend that.
OK, you say, I know that refined white sugar has no nutritive value, but it just passes through, doesn't it? It doesn't cause any harm. Wrong. At the least, it causes our bodies to lose precious magnesium and potassium and it also causes insulin levels to rise which can lead to a host of other problems. At the worst... well, look it up for yourself. If you can manage to limit your sugar intake, you will find that you get your normal taste buds back. Sweet peppers actually do taste sweet and even broccoli tastes sweet. Another book I can recommend which talks about this subject along with a lot of other things is Michael and Mary Dan Eades's, Protein Power Lifeplan.