29 April 2009
Wrong, camel breath! I have moved along (slightly) on the Adventskalendar, and I'm nearly finished with the fair isle vest I'm knitting for The Tim, but as for the other things ... um, well, saying I'm behind would be an understatement.
Unlike last year though, I'm not really worried about it. Last year, I said I was knitting socks for everyone OUT LOUD, and therefore I had to do it. This year, I mentioned the gifts I would like to knit, but did not use a declarative sentence (remember those?). Meaning - for those of you who were not English class freaks like me - I never said, "This year, I'm knitting _____ for everyone."
If you don't say it out loud in a declarative sentence, it doesn't count.
So what am I knitting? Well, I'm getting ready to start the Silk Kerchief, I just need to see if I have the right size needles (I have a sinking feeling that the answer is no - I'll just have to buy some!). I'm working on the Adventskalendar, albeit more slowly than I thought I would be. And I'm at the v-neck of the vest for The Tim, so it will be done soon. (And he'll just wear it next year during the cool weather, no big deal.) And occasionally, I go back to my Jaywalker Socks (Ravelry link), which I still like, but have sorely neglected. Other neglected projects are currently being ignored, but that could change ...
Am I going to knit gifts? Yes, but only on my own timeline and according to inspiration. This is for two reasons: a) knitting nothing but socks for the most part last year was occasionally frustrating, even though I was pleased with all of the results, and really wanted to do it, and b) I don't want people to start expecting knitted gifts - that would be pressure! And even in the best of circumstances, Pressure + Bridget = Crap.
So, I'm knitting to knit, knitting what I feel like knitting, and except for certain things, not putting myself on a deadline. It is a hobby after all, and I should be enjoying myself, right?
Apropos of nothing, I just received a phone call from "Jack," of the Republican Senatorial Committee - I don't know what the call was about, as I almost immediately hung up. But why "Jack" and those of his ilk are calling me, I can't say.
They had just better never show up in person ...
Lisa posted on her blog those she would give the Let's Be Friends Award, and gave it back to me. Which is very nice of her, except she claims that she is puzzled re: my love for Mr. Ed ... can you look at this picture and be puzzled?
(He talked! And often made more sense than any humans - plus he could deliver a zinger with the best of them ...)
27 April 2009
Al Capone and Death Row (Week 5)
This picture, as you may know, is of Al Capone, the famous Chicago mob boss. My mother spent part of her growing up years in Chicago, during the time that Al Capone was around. She always used to tell us that gangsters back then were not really scary to the average person, since they left you alone - they were really only "interested" in the other mob guys. Whether or not this is true, I can't say, but as a result of her stories, Al Capone was never any more or less interesting to me than other famous gangsters. True, his nickname was "Scarface" and I respect any gangster with a decent nickname. (Nowadays, they don't have good nicknames like they used to. But I digress.)
Anyway, Al Capone experienced life in prison for the first time here in Philadelphia, at Eastern State. After the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Al apparently thought it was a good idea to get out of Chicago for a while. So he headed to Atlantic City, and on his way back, stopped in Philadelphia for a movie. When he came out of the theater, the police stopped him, and found that he was carrying a concealed weapon, which is against the law in Pennsylvania. He was sentenced to a year in prison at Eastern State. He served 8 months. Some say that he had arranged the whole thing so that he could lay low for a while, but at the same time, he spent thousands of dollars in lawyer's fees trying to get out, so who knows.
As part of the tour, the public gets to see Al Capone's cell, which as you may imagine, is quite a bit nicer than the average inmate's cell.
Also on the tour is Cellblock 15, aka Death Row. It is the last building added to the prison complex, and also the most modern, as the guards could close all of the cell doors via an electronic panel. It's a pretty creepy building, partly because it's gloomy, but also partly because it ended up with broken windows, etc., while the pentitentiary site was abandoned.
No one was ever executed at Eastern State, rather Death Row was where people would be held awaiting execution. There is one prison in the state (Rockview) where executions were done.
Why am I telling you this? Because, every single day, two of the most frequently asked questions of visitors to the site (maybe even more than "Where are the rest rooms?"), involve directions to Al Capone's cell and Death Row. Often, there is disappointment when the visitors later find out that a) Al Capone didn't die at Eastern State (he died years later at his home in Miami from syphilis), and b) no one was executed at Eastern State.
I am intrigued with the extreme interest (obsession?) with these two topics. There is so much else there, and yet these two things seem to capture the public's imagination.
Rat-a-tat-tat (Week 6)
This past Friday night, a local chamber music ensemble held the first of several performances in Cellblock 7 of the penitentiary. I had signed up to work some extra hours, and my post was in front of the administration building, inside the main gate. It was the first time I had been on site when it was nighttime, and it was really cool! The place looked completely different, and really exotic. (This is of course because I knew exactly where I was. If I had been dropped there unexpectedly, I'm sure I would have died of fright.)
Anyway, at various times during the evening, the rat population made itself visible (get over it, it's not like they were trying to attack ...). I'd see something out of the corner of my eye, in the shadows, and when I'd look, a rat would scurry by. Of course, I would have to say something each time. Usually something real imaginative, like, "Hi there, Ratso," which would of course freak the rat out much more than he/she had bothered me. I figured that they were surprised to find that there were still humans around at a time when the place was usually theirs, and that we were interfering with their Friday night plans. In my own way, I was glad for the diversion, 'cause not much else was happening.
(No they weren't playing the piano, but the image seemed appropriate for the occasion.)
In other news, I passed my first evaluation of my tour-giving abilities, which was really exciting (two glasses of wine-worth, to be exact). I still feel like I'm missing things, but was glad/relieved to know that they weren't considered to be egregious roadblocks. (Egregious? Where did I get that?!)
And I have decided, that - speaking in general terms - French-Canadian teenagers (at least those traveling in a group) are much more polite and well-informed than American teenagers. I'm sure there are exceptions in both groups, but the above has been my recent experience.
Plus, when I introduced myself to one of the groups of French-Canadians, one girl turned to the boy next to her and said, "Ah- her name is Brigitte!"
Such a nice break from "What did you say your name was? Did you say Richard?" ...
26 April 2009
1. Tomorrow, I have the day off. Which is a good thing. However, it is still supposed to be too hot for April, and I have an appointment at the endodontist's office to finish up my root canal. (You remember the endodontist, right?) So long, future paychecks!
2. Kim and her family have been sadly affected by the shootings in Athens, Georgia that are in the news. Please keep them in your thoughts.
3. I have to miss Maryland Sheep & Wool this year, which is tres disappointing. Not just because I like looking at/feeling/buying yarn, but I'll have to miss the Rosie's bus trip, which is always fun, and I won't be able to see and pet (ogle and annoy?) the sheep, llamas, alpacas, bunnies, etc. that are always there, or see the dog trials. I think I will have to order a shirt, though, because, well - LOOK:
4. I was sorry to hear that Bea Arthur had died. I always liked her deep voice (probably because mine is so average), and also because the characters she played always appealed to me. I especially enjoy listening to the song "Bosom Buddies" (lyrics here), sung by her and Angela Lansbury on the soundtrack to Mame.
5. If you want to try a wonderful coffee cake, this recipe rocks! I made one this past Monday, when it was a rainy and cold day, and it was the perfect antidote to the gloom. Needless to say, it's also yummy on a day that is too hot for April ...
6. Jetsam would like me to tell you that life is unfair when you need to sit on a windowsill to snoop-ervise the birds and squirrels in the tree outside the bedroom window, but the windowsill is too skinny! (I've been hearing quite a bit about this in the last few days, and it's not even because he is, er, "full-figured" - it is a really small windowsill, none of the cats can sit there.)
7. I looked up "retsin" after so many of you mentioned it in relationship to my reference to Certs in the last post. Actually spelled "Retsyn," it is:
"a trademarked name for a combination of copper gluconate and partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, held by Cadbury Adams (a division of Cadbury Schweppes). It is an ingredient in Certs, Certs Cool Mint Drops, and Certs Power Mints.
According to a Pfizer FAQ Page, Retsyn, in addition to the flavor, is responsible for the efficacy of Certs against breath odors. The hydrogenated vegetable oil and the copper gluconate absorb odors in the mouth. The copper gluconate is also responsible for Retsyn's green color." (Found here.)
( I would just like to point out that it consists of two! Two! Two ingredients in one!)
8. If you are in Philadelphia today, and would like to meet Ysolda, she is appearing at Rosie's from 2-5 p.m. this afternoon, and will be signing copies of her new book, Whimsical Little Knits. A few months ago, I had invited her to stay with us while she was in Philadelphia, and she had accepted. Then I got a new job, and realized I wouldn't be able to be a decent hostess, since I wouldn't be able to spend much time at all with her. I had to then un-invite her, which was a) embarrassing, b) disappointing. She was nice about it, to her credit. But still ... le sigh, you know?
9. A while ago, some kind fellow blogger was nice enough to give me one of those awards that tend to float around from time to time. I remember thinking that it was so nice of them, since they were a relatively new blogging friend. At the time, I was in the middle of several other things, and figured I'd get back to it. I never have, and now I can't remember who named me as a recipient, or what the award was. So if that person is reading, a) thank you, and b) I apologize for not following up, or even acknowledging it. I don't mean to seem ungrateful, and I wasn't ignoring you on purpose.
10. The snippet above came into my brain because Melanie was nice enough to recently name me for a Let's Be Friends Award!
"Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers."
First of all, thank you Melanie! I don't think of myself or my blog as "charming," much less "exceedlingly" so, but it's nice that you do ...
I am forwarding this to the following people, who are, of course under no obligation to do anything about it, other than be eternally grateful to me:
1. Lisa, from The Kitchen of Queen La La. She is one of my best friends in person, and reading her blog makes me laugh sometimes, but hungry all of the time! She has twins who are just as funny as their mom, an awesome husband (Poor Jerry), a crazy dog named Remy, and a lovebird named Edgar who is one of Tess' minions in her Kitty Jihad and World Domination Plan (KJWDP). (What does it say about Tess that her mission has inspired a lovebird??)
2. Lorraine, from The Sheriff of Knittingham. She is a pretty amazing designer, but she is also funny, goofy, irreverent, and crazy about animals like I am. She is also my comrade in an intense dislike of Julia Roberts.
3. Brigitte, from Wrapped Around My Finger. She is a lot of fun, we share many of the same sensibilities. Plus she has three cats, one of whom (Atticus) is a Canadian lieutenant in Tess' Kitty Jihad and World Domination Plan (KJWDP). She is one of the few people who always gets my references to "The Simpsons" ...
4. Chan, from Chan Knits. A fairly new blogfriend, she is someone I think I would really enjoy knowing in person as well. Plus, she is mom to Sissy and Gretchen, two of the sweetest and cutest pups ever!
5. Carrie K, from My Middle Name is Patience. Once again, someone I think would be just as much fun in person as she is online. Her commentary on her knitting, reading, and TV-watching nearly always makes me laugh out loud. And her cat Hez is one of my faves.
6. Jenn, from Weirdy Pants. Another person who makes me laugh, and who holds a lot of the same weird opinions that I do. Her dog Rufus' adventures are hilarious, and I would love to meet both of them in person.
And I know I am supposed to be naming eight people, but I'm stopping at these six, because it's too hot for April and my brain is starting to power down. And friends don't let friends write blog posts while foggy ...
18 April 2009
On Friday, I wore my finished and blocked Ivy's Cowl (Ravelry link only, sorry!) to work. It was comfortable and warm, and best of all, not bulky. Here is a picture of it once blocked:
and here it is on mine own neck:
I'm very pleased with it - it was a relatively quick knit, not overly complicated, but resulting in something light and airy that is still cozy. Also, I managed to not screw up the teeny bit of laciness in it, which creates the ivy. That's a first!
Next, the Owlings (Ravelry link here, other link here). These are based on Fetching, one of my very favorite patterns, but they are supposed to look like little owls, instead of plain cables. Originally, I thought I might add little beads to make them look like owls' eyes, but after giving it some thought, I realized that since I was making these for work, and work would mean they would quickly get used and dirty, adding the beads would not be the best idea.
I am pleased with how they turned out, though I found the pattern a little bit more fiddly than the Fetchings pattern. I do like the longer cuff and the bindoff much better, and will likely incorporate them into further pairs of Fetching.
I did make one really stupid mistake, which I didn't realize until I went to start the second one. After the initial 4 x 1 ribbing for 4 rows, the pattern wants you to do 4 x 1 purl ribbing for one row. I had done 4 rows of that ribbing as well, which is why they kind of puff out just above the bottom. But I didn't think it ruined the overall look, and I really didn't want to re-knit the first one, so I just kept the mistake in the second one!
The true colors in the yarn (Dream in Color Classy) are somewhere between the shades in the two pictures above. They are soft, comfortable - not too loose or too tight - and kept my hands nice and toasty while letting me still have the use of my fingers.
The way things are set up at work, there are really only a few times a day when you have any opportunities to talk to any of your co-workers: morning line-up, lunch, and getting ready to go home. When I was getting ready to go home on Friday, there were three other people left in the staff room, and when I put the cowl and fingerless mitts on the table to put into my backpack, they all noticed them. They were very complimentary, and amazed that I had made them myself. One person said, "This is exactly what we all need. We should get the yarn and have you make a pair for everyone." The first part of that statement is true. The second part got no response from me ...
Anyway, I'll be taking them both with me again tomorrow, since it's supposed to be cooler outside, and there's a chance of rain later in the afternoon (adding another layer of cold to the cellblocks). Though I would love the weather to stay more spring-like, at least I can still get some use out of my latest FOs!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
*Hm, does anyone remember those commercials for Certs, where one lovely model would say, "Certs is a breath mint," and the other one would say, "Certs is a candy mint," and then some guy would show up out of the blue and say, "You're both right! Certs is two! Two! Two mints in one!"? (God I'm old. Do they even make Certs any more?)
15 April 2009
Which brings me to the various interpretations there appear to be out in the world of the word "tour." Personally, I have always thought it meant the opportunity to visit a place - guided or on my own - and see all/part of it that I find interesting. All the better if I can learn something about the place/person/practice as part of the mix.
I have now learned that my version of taking a tour and that of many members of The Public are not one and the same. This is no more evident than during a shift in the Gatehouse, which is the main entrance to the penitentiary grounds. There is a tour guide stationed there during all of the hours that the place is open, to answer questions as well as provide directions, ideas of places to eat nearby, etc. To some extent, working in the Gatehouse is all PR, but as evidenced in the lizard story a couple of weeks ago, it can also be quite, um, fascinating.
But I digress.
There is a sign outside the Gatehouse which has the usual "Welcome to" info, and then a line that says "Self-guided audio tours available all day." Below that are listed the Topic Tours for the day (i.e., Uprisings, Escapes), and the times for those.
Member of the Public: I would like a tour of the penitentiary.
(I direct him to the ticket office.)
MotP: Well, can't you just show me around?
Me: The person stationed here cannot leave the area. But you can get an audio tour at the ticket office as part of your admission, and it's very well done. [Note: It really is. In some ways, much better than a person-guided tour. Plus the narrator is Steve Buscemi, which amuses a lot of people.]
MotP: But how will I know where to go?
Me: You will get a map, and the audio tour directs you from stop to stop.
MotP: But I wanted a tour.
Me: The audio tour *is* a tour. There are also tour guides stationed everywhere if you have questions, or would like more information.
MotP: Never mind. I wanted a tour. Thought maybe I would see some ghosts.
Then, there's the guide station in Center. Eastern State Penitentiary is built on a radial plan, simliar to a wheel, where the hub is the Center guard station, and the spokes are the cellblocks. At Center, you can stand and look into all seven of the original cellblocks.
Member of the Public: Where would I find Center? (Incidentally, he is wearing audio tour headphones, which have directed him to the exact spot.)
Me: Center is right here where you are standing.
MotP: What am I supposed to do now?
Me: If you stand here, and turn slowly, you can see into each of the original cellblocks. When the prison was originally constructed, this was considered a very efficient use of guard personnel.
MotP: When is there a tour of Center?
Me: There isn't a separate tour of Center. It's part of the public tour, whether audio tour, guided tour, or just walking around on your own.
MotP: So, are we not allowed to get a tour of Center?
Me: Well, as I mentioned, it's where we are currently standing, and as you can see, there really isn't anything here to "tour" other than seeing the layout of the cellblocks.
MotP: Do I have to stay here? This is boring.
Me (in my brain): Yes. I shall hold you prisoner and force YOU to give tours of Center.
Me (in reality): Sir, you can go on to any of the public areas of the prison, and only see the parts that interest you.
MotP: That is the dumbest answer I've ever heard.
Then we have the Topic Tours. The board in the Gatehouse lists the tours available on any given day, as well as their times. When people buy their admission tickets, they are also informed of the topics and times. Approximately fifteen minutes prior to the start, the guide giving the tour radios everyone else to see if additional people may be interested. So it's pretty difficult to miss one altogether if you are interested.
This is a conversation from a shift last week in Cellblock 7.
Member of the Public: I heard there is a Riot tour this afternoon. What time?
Me: That's at 2:15.
MotP: This afternoon?
MotP: Is it interesting?
Me (in my brain): No, it's incredibly boring and people who attend it run out of here screaming with their hair on fire.
Me (in reality): If you are interested in the different types of uprisings and riots that have occurred during the history of the place, it's very well done and quite interesting.
MotP: What time is it happening?
MotP: Should I go?
Me: That's really up to you, but it is one of the popular Topic Tours.
MotP: What's it about?
Me: As I mentioned a few minutes ago, it's about the different types of uprisings and riots that have occurred during the history of the prison.
MotP: Do I have to figure it out myself?
Me: No, it's a guided tour.
MotP: What time is it?
Me: It starts ten minutes from now, at 2:15.
MotP: I guess I'll skip it, since I have no idea what it's about. I sure would like to know about riots, though ...
Exchanges such as those above always make me wonder how people have made it this far in their lives, and how they function from day to day. Don't get me wrong, I have my moments of complete inanity, and can ask a stupid question with the best of them. But I must admit that The Public has always fascinated me (even if for the wrong reasons), whether working in libraries, retail, or in my current job as a tour guide.
But I ask you - just where are the lizard guys when you need them???
13 April 2009
The Easter Bunny made it to our house, which is of course always a good thing!
Jetsam: I wonder if you can eat the basket too ...
Everyone was quite pleased with their goodies.
Later in the day, I finished a knitting project, Ivy's Cowl, that I started a few days ago. It is currently blocking, so once that is finished, I'll post a picture. I'm quite pleased with the results.
And, best of all, yesterday marked the five-year anniversary of my first surgery (aka The Rearranging of the Innards). All the better reason to break our Lenten fast with a glass of wine!
08 April 2009
Sorry, but not this time at least ...
But after quite a long spell, I give you a post that has some pictures, and that is knitting-related!
I'll pause now in case you need to sit down and catch your breath.
I have started knitting Ivy's Cowl, using the yarn I bought last weekend at Rosie's. I am halfway through, and liking the way it looks. Barnsie was nice enough to model it for this shot, though since his neck is quite - er - short, you really can't see the pattern. However, the yarn (Schaeffer Heather) feels so nice while knitting, that I can't imagine it not feeling nice against my neck.
As I told Melanie, I do plan to also knit the Darkside Cowl, which was the other pattern I was considering. I just chose to try this pattern first, and to be honest, I'm not even sure why. But so far, so good!
Since I left the Job I Hated (you know, the one with the Evil New Boss), I have been busy trying to decide what to get with a gift certificate to Rosie's that I was given as a goodbye gift. (Yes, there were nice people there who knew I was a knitter, and were nice enough to go in on the perfect type of gift!) After "spending" it approximately a thousand different ways, I decided to get this:
Wait - this is a better picture:
It's my new Namaste Zuma bag, in the Peacock color - isn't it pretty? I kept seeing these in all of the various colors, and decided that since the gift certificate was like "found money," that this is how I would use it. This is not something I would ever be likely to buy for myself otherwise. There are three reasons right off the bat that I love it: a) it's not heavy while empty, so I can put it over my shoulder when there is something in it and it will probably not cause me pain, b) it's not made of leather (I try if possible to buy non-leather things), and c) it doesn't look like a knitting bag!
That's all for now. The kitties are letting me know in no uncertain terms that they are very hungry, and quite possibly near death from starvation. We certainly can't have that, can we??
**Surely there are some other "Monty Python" fans out there who understand, right??
07 April 2009
Still, it was tres embarrassing to have made the mistake. However, I decided to let the whole thing amuse me and move on.
The biggest event of the week was the official opening and blessing of the restored synagogue and exhibit space. This was significant for two reasons: 1) it is believed to be the first synagogue located in a prison in the United States, and 2) it is the only part of the site that has actually been restored. (The remainder of the site is maintained as a "stabilized ruin.") The opening drew a lot of people, and the national and local media as well, so it was pretty exciting. Here is an article from the New York Times, and here is a clip of a local news station's report.
I also had my first official tour group to take through on a guided tour. It was a group from a New Jersey school for students with special needs. There were approximately sixteen of them, with varying levels of physical and mental disabilities. Before we got started, the teacher told me that she had really brought them for a tour for visual purposes, that they did not really have very long attention spans. So instead of the usual "text" I had in my head, I gave them highlights, and then pretty much let them just determine what I would talk about next. It all went very well, and they were really interested in the place. Which I have to say, if you are most interested in visual, gives you a pretty amazing experience.
Then there was the young boy (about 10-11 years old), who ran up to me while he and his family were touring. I could tell he was really excited.
Excited Kid: Is that Death Row? (pointing towards the building with the sign that said, "Death Row.")
EK: How many people died in there?
Me: No one was ever executed here, they used those cells for prisoners headed to execution at other prisons.
EK (somewhat disillusioned): Did anyone die there while they were waiting?
EK (practically deflated): Well ... did any guards accidentally shoot any of the prisoners on Death Row?
I felt like such a disappointment to the kid!
Then on Sunday afternoon, two boys who appeared to be about 15 years old came to the Gatehouse (entrance) while I was there, each one of them carrying a lizard. They told me that they were taking their bearded lizards out for "a UV walk," and thought they would visit the prison. I told them that they wouldn't be able to take their lizards with them, and they couldn't believe me. They had purposely brought them along, thinking that while they were taking the audio tour, the lizards could go in the cellblocks and eat some of the mice! Then at the end of the tour, they would collect their [well-fed?] pets and head home!
I am pretty sure they thought I was lying when I said they would have to come back another time and leave their lizards at home.
This proves that just when you think you have seen and heard just about everything, two teenagers show up with their pet lizards and throw you a curveball ...
04 April 2009
In reality, that does not seem to be the case. This always surprises me, though by now you'd think I would have "gotten" it ...
In the past few weeks, I've been getting used to a new routine for my new job. Yes, the hours are different, and it's a whole other type of atmosphere and set of duties for me. However, none of those changes are incredibly drastic. True, this job is more physically challenging than most others I've had, but I figured, big deal, I'm in shape.
So I've now had two weeks of training, and a week with my new job, new schedule, new everything under my belt. And so far, I'm feeling like a zombie! Fortunately, not the kind that you need to worry about, but still, I am lucky I have the energy and strength to eat dinner before I can go to bed.
What a wimp. Seriously.
I tell myself that once I'm actually used to this routine, it won't be any big deal. In the meantime, I feel like I'm watching the world exist through a blurry window. It's a strange feeling.
But, as my mother used to say, you get used to hanging if you hang long enough (yeah, I know - not the most comforting thing for your mother to tell you), which is true.
On the plus side, at least I'm not hanging!
A few posts ago, in the comments, Lorraine asked me what I have been knitting lately. (See above. Quick answer: Nothing.) But I am starting two new projects this weekend, and get this - I actually HAD to buy some yarn, to meet the requirements of my job!
Well ... kinda. We wear uniforms, and when it's cold if we want to wear anything around our neck, or gloves, etc. on our hands, they must be dark brown or black. Out of all of the yarn I have, I had absolutely no dark brown or black. I have a lot of clothes like that, but I tend to buy brightly colored yarn. So what could I do - I had to go to Rosie's today and get yarn to make a cowl and some fingerless mitts. Oh, the sacrifice!
Now before I go any further, you may be thinking that it's foolish of me to knit a cowl and fingerless mitts, as spring is officially here. Except that it has been cool and rainy here lately, and in any event, if you are working inside the prison in one of the cellblocks, it is FREAKING COLD ALL OF THE TIME.
I'm deciding between the Ivy's Cowl, or the Darkside Cowl. (Sorry, for you non-Ravelers.) And I had thought I would just make a pair of Fetching for the mitts, as I have always had success with that pattern, and I like the way they look. Then I was poking around on Ravelry, and found this pattern, (non-Ravelers can see it here, if they click on the link under Designs for "owlings,") which is an adaptation of the Fetchings pattern - but the cablework ends up looking like owls! So I think I'll give it a try, especially since I think it would be particularly appropriate in a dark brown yarn.
I'm going to start one of the projects above while watching Villanova and North Carolina fight it out tonight. (I think I'll be able to stay awake that late ...)