Tuesday, September 13, 2005


You have to hand it to Apple. The company that invented the computer cool enough to be a buddy now makes a portable music player cute enough to be a pet. Even I am not immune to the charms of the iPod; I've been Googling patterns for iPod cozies made of everything from felt to Swarovski crystals to Lion Brand Fun Fur (with knitted "earmuff" headphone covers to match). How cute does a piece of hardware have to be for us adults to want to play dress-up with it? If you're not up to knitting, you can even buy your iPod a sock wardrobe -- but really, where's the fun in that?

And then there's iDog. How cute is this?! You can hook it up to your iPod and feed it music, and its face lights up. The product description goes on to say that if you don't feed it music every day or pat it a lot, it gets sad and droopy-looking. I couldn't buy one of these. My real dogs make me feel enough like a bad mommy when I go out the door without them or refuse to share my slice of pepperoni-with-extra-cheese. I don't need to buy additional guilt!

I spent some of my bonus money on a new white iPod nano, and I've been waiting at the door for the FedEx truck with my nose pressed against the screen ever since. The nano's only about the size of a small stack of business cards -- I could probably knit the thing a whole wardrobe of cozies from scrap yarn in my stash.

Heck, maybe I should get an iDog and knit it a sweater too.

When FO Means "Felted Object"

It really pays to save up a bunch of felting projects and then shrink them in the washer all at the same time. Multiple pieces felt much more quickly than only one or two, even with other things thrown in to help hurry the process along.

Much as I love working with Lamb's Pride yarn, it coughs up more hairballs than my cat does! I've knitted three more of the Fiber Trends felted totes in Lamb's Pride Bulky: two in Blue Magic, and one in Old Sage. I zip each one snugly into its own zippered pillowcase before tossing into the washer. My washer will probably live longer this way; you wouldn't believe the fuzz that emerges with each tote bag after the felting process is complete!

All three totes are drying comfortably in the bathtub right now. When they're completely dry, I'll needle-felt them -- think I'll try to do a Beardie on at least one of them this time. The blue totes are destined for the fund-raising auction at the Bearded Collie National Specialty, and the green one will soon travel to Vancouver Island to live with my friend Ann.

Next up on the felted-bag list: a rectangular tote of Kureyon/Cascade 220 for another friend in LA, and a tote for me to carry my music in.

I've Been Unhooked

Yesterday marked the end of an era for me. I've started the process of becoming a full-time work-at-home employee, which means that I've had to give up the office I've occupied for the past 6 or so years. (It was my third office on this coast with my company; I've had two others in the Boston area and one in California).

This is a good thing; I've been working from home about 80-90% of the time anyway during this past year, but now I'll have corporate support for working at home -- including a new computer and printer and an allowance for ergonomic furniture. I won't have to commute long distances through Boston traffic (though I'll still drive in occasionally for meetings and functions, and can work in one of many drop-in offices).

Still, I couldn't help feeling a shade nostalgic as I packed 8 years' worth of office living into half a dozen cardboard boxes. I took down all the old photos of the Beardies, including Charlie's puppy photo with Santa Claus and Duncan's and Cadence's "baseball card" photos from the year we went to Camp Gone-to-the-Dogs. The Welsh linen band sampler I stitched in 1997 (mostly on planes traveling between Boston and San Francisco) came off the wall. I adopted out my cactus garden to my former boss downstairs, since there's no safe place here at home for it. He adores plants, and will give the cacti a good home. Into the boxes went all the silly gag gifts from friends and co-workers past and present: the Elvis trading cards, the Princess Leia and Chewbacca Pez dispensers, the wind-up toy robot and lizard, the Rosie the Riveter air freshener, and the glow-in-the-dark rubber banana slug. I'd lived with them all in one place for so long I'd stopped noticing them, but as I placed each one into the box, they all became funny all over again.

I guess what I'll miss most is having a space all my own. That space may have been smaller than most people's bathrooms, but it was all mine, to organize and decorate as I wished. We share an office here at home, and cramming so much equipment (and a full-sized keyboard) into one small room means we don't have a lot of extra space for desk toys. I made sure the sampler found a new home on the wall, though. Some things don't need to change completely.

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1 comment:

Sharon said...

Oh Karen, I hear you about the packing up of the office. The trunk of my car still has several boxes in it from emptying my office back in June! But as someone now building a home-based business, it feels great. Good luck with your new endeavor.