Sunday, December 6, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Quotation of the Day

"The least I can do is speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves."

~Jane Goodall

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Accidental Knitting Party at Knitting Etc.

Last week, when I went to Knitting Etc. for my Hover Scarf class, I learned that four (!) classes were being held that night in the shop. It actually was great fun to have so many knitters together under one roof! Steven wrote about it at the Knitting Etc. blog and if you look close, you can see me (looking quite ghastly) in one of the photos.

Halloween Turnips

Halloween Turnips
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Undulating Waves Knitting Class

Undulating Waves Swatch
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

Another knitting class today, this one with Laura Nelkin. She the Creative Director at Schaefer Yarn, and it's fun to take classes from the person who designed the pattern. Undulating Waves is a lace pattern with beads worked from charts, so we did a swatch in class. By the end of class, I'd ripped out the swatch and cast on for the scarf (18 vs. 38 stitches).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Amigurumi Owl

Originally uploaded by aimeedars

I spent Halloween at Knitting Etc. taking the "Crash Course in Crochet Critters." From the book Amigurumi World, we could select any creature we wanted to make, and I decided to do an owl in non-traditional colors. (Classmates made a cactus, bear, octopus, and apple with worm.) It was a fun day, I learned more about crochet, and had fun, as usual, with the Knitting Etc. crew.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fountains at Ithaca College

IC Fountains
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

I love watching the fountains, especially at night when they are lit with different colors.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

SPCA Pet Fest and Dog Walk-a-Thon

We had a great time seeing all the exhibits and demonstrations and walking along the lake in Cass Park. Please support the Tompkins County SPCA!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Apple Harvest Festival

At the Apple Harvest Festival, I took a morning volunteer shift at the Farm Sanctuary information booth. In the afternoon, George joined me, and we had fun seeing the tons of people on the Commons, including some of my students and coworkers. We left just as it started raining.

Friday, September 18, 2009

From Cayuga Deer

I received this email from the Cayuga Deer organization, and I am outraged by the proposed actions of Cayuga Heights. When there are humane methods to control deer population, murdering innocent animals should be off the table!

Dear friends,

The latest news is that the Cayuga Heights trustees are now lowering the number of deer they will allow to live to as low as 20 (all of whom will be sterilized), and they want to speed up the killing process, killing more deer sooner than their original plan proposed.

A reliable source tells us that this is due to their wanting to save money, as they will have to hire a person each year to oversee the process, and if they can kill more deer faster, they can pay out less money to this employee over time. You may have heard that the 10-year projection was that they’d be paying $1 million for their deer-killing plan and as a result, have to raise taxes by 5%. So this is how they propose reducing costs — kill more deer more quickly and allow fewer to live, as sterilization is more expensive than killing. Meanwhile, far cheaper non-lethal approaches to reducing human-deer conflicts exist, and are proven to be successful (see ) Yet, the mayor and trustees will not open their minds wide enough to save the tax payers money by trying these alternative approaches, nor have they indicated a willingness to consider changing the fencing ordinance to allow residents to adequately protect their gardens.

You can read the latest Ithaca Journal article here:

It’s important to understand that this is essentially an extermination plan, and the massacre they are proposing — to be carried out in residents’ back yards -- will be violent, bloody and a disgrace to our community.


The trustees will meet at 7 PM at Marcham Hall, 836 Hanshaw Rd. (across from community corners). Protesters will be assembling a half an hour before the meeting. To all of you who came out last month to protest, THANK YOU! We hope you will join us again this coming Monday. If you have been receiving these emails and not yet participated, NOW is the time to become active! Doing nothing will result in the death of hundreds of animals and the tacit acceptance of having firearms discharged near homes and roadways, endangering our community and turning Cayuga Heights into a killing field for wildlife.

EVERY PERSON COUNTS! Please don’t turn your back now. Your community, and the inncocents who live amongst us, depend on you to show up. Bring your own sign, or there will be extra signs there that you can hold. And don’t forget to spread the word!

Best wishes,
Jenny Stein, on behalf of

PS: We still have a pressing need for more people to volunteer and become more active in organizing these efforts. Now that we are getting closer to the point where the deer will actually be killed, this effort needs to ramp up and more people need to get involved. Once the killing begins, it will become much harder to stop it. So please contact us if you can help!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Walk for Farm Animals 2009

Every year, George and I participate in the Walk for Farm animals to benefit the Farm Sanctuary, the country's leading advocacy organization for farm animals, not to mention my favorite non-profit organization and one of my favorite places on earth. Farm animals suffer more than any other creatures because they are viewed as commodities, not beings with feelings. Despite the hard lives of the abused, neglected, or abandoned animals, the sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, ducks, and rabbits at the farm are sweet, loving, fun, and intelligent. Looking into a cow's eyes, rubbing a pig's belly, getting a head butt from a goat or a soft cuddle from a sheep... these animals are so lucky to live at the Farm Sanctuary and we are lucky to have the chance to know them. Their counterparts in factory farms in unspeakable conditions deserve better, and the Farm Sanctuary is working for them.

Last year, I raised just over $500 through Walk sponsorships for the Farm Sanctuary for the animals, and this year, I hope to double that amount, but I need your help. Please sponsor me--your donation will be responsibly used by the Farm to protect and support the animals who need it most. You can sponsor me online at Firstgiving or send me a check made to THE FARM SANCTUARY. Any amount is much appreciated. Thank you in advance for helping me help the animals.

Monday, August 31, 2009

September 2009 Monthly Scavenger Hunt List

Since I finished the August hunt with only a few hours to spare, I could definitely use ideas for these clues!

September 2009 Scavenger Hunt

1. Saved by the bell (Please tag as msh0909-1 and msh0909)
2. Acceptance (msh0909-2 and msh0909)
3. Bella Detesta Matribus (msh0909-3 and msh0909)
4. Mug (msh0909-4 and msh0909)
5. Cassava (msh0909-5 and msh0909)
6. Tongue-tied (msh0909-6 and msh0909)
7. Hats, hats, hats (msh0909-7 and msh0909)
8. Bun in the oven (msh0909-8 and msh0909)
9. Halal (msh0909-9 and msh0909)
10. Race Day (msh0909-10 and msh0909)
11. Autumn (msh0909-11 and msh0909)
12. Skid lid (msh0909-12 and msh0909)
13. Copper (msh0909-13 and msh0909)
14. Sleeping dogs (msh0909-14 and msh0909)
15. Stargazer (msh0909-15 and msh0909)
16. Bodacious (msh0909-16 and msh0909)
17. Baby animal (msh0909-17 and msh0909)
18. Hunky Dory (msh0909-18 and msh0909)
19. Magnetic (msh0909-19 and msh0909)
20. Blackout (msh0909-20 and msh0909)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekend in New Hampshire

Weekend in New Hampshire
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

We spent the weekend in New Hampshire with Diane and Shae. On Friday, we saw the Sugarland concert at Meadowbrook, which was amazing and broke attendance records. (No cameras were allowed, so I didn't take mine to the concert; little did I know the rule would not be enforced.)

Saturday, we drove around Lake Winnipeaukee, ate a very tasty dinner, and then Shae treated us to a tour of the lake on a beautiful replica of a 1920s speedboat. It was so much fun to be on the water!

Sunday, we had to get back, and George didn't want to take interstates, so we drove FOREVER, although we did see some very cute towns.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Help Save Orangutan Forest

The following message is from my dear friend Jen. Please visit the link to help save the orangutan's habitat!

Please help!

There is a proposal to clear thousands of acres of orangutan forest in Indonesia. Orangutans have been recently released into this area, and approval of this proposal will be devastating to their habitat. You can sign the petition to stop this proposal at the Australian Orangutan Project site below.

You can also read more about Palm oil issues on the site. Please take time to read a little about Palm Oil and how not only is it affecting orangutans, but tigers, rhinos and elephants too. I urge you all, please read labels and avoid whenever possible purchasing items containing palm oil.

Thank you,


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Officially Engaged

Did You See My Ring?
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

George and I agreed it was time to get married--we have been together six years after all--and I received the ring last weekend. Hooray!


This is adorable!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

New Digs

Originally uploaded by aimeedars

George put up fencing in the backyard for the dogs. Here, handsome Harvey is enjoying the grass and glad he can go outside without a leash!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Latest Finished Object

Walter Models Scarf
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

Walter begrudgingly helps me present this scarf, which was made from the "Montego Bay" pattern by Amy Singer. I used Tahki Yarns Palma, which is 100% organic cotton.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Newest Family Member

Mr. Doodles
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

George brought Mr. Doodles home on my birthday. The gerbil belonged to another family, but they could no longer care for him.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dog Park Sunday

Originally uploaded by aimeedars

The dogs love being able to run around at the dog park, though they still don't really like playing with other dogs. Harvey got to swim in the lake a bit. I got sunburned. Good times were had by all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ardmore Water Tower

Ardmore Water Tower
Originally uploaded by aimeedars

Last week, I was in Ardmore visiting my family. I also got to see Betsy,which was a real treat!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June 2009 MSH Finished

I finished this on my trip to Ardmore, with only about four hours to spare--definitely cutting it close! The list of clues is in this blog post.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ithaca's Vegan Bake Sale

As part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale series of events, a vegan bake sale will be held this Saturday, June 27, on the Commons from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. I hear there is a plethora of delicious vegan goodies lined up!

Proceeds will help Chuck Pappas, a former Farm Sanctuary employee who sadly had to quit his job last March after being diagnosed with Stage IV brain cancer. You would not believe how expensive treatment is, and how little of it is covered by insurance. We need to help Chuck get better so he can get back to helping the animals. Chuck's plight is detailed on the 300 miles for Chuck blog as well as Chuck's own blog.

Ithaca Journal Article

Monday, June 22, 2009

Memorable Books

On Facebook, Emily tagged me on her "Must Have Titles" list (which means it's my turn to make a list). This was a little harder than I expected, and I noticed that most of the memorable books are from my distant past.
Instructions: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing your fifteen too.

1. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

2. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Euginides

3. Middlesex, Jeffrey Euginides

4. Ender's Game & Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card

5. A Very Long Engagement, Sebastien Japrisot

6. He She It, Marge Piercy

7. Eve's Tattoo, Emily Prager

8. Church of the Dead Girls, Stephen Dobyns

9. A Ring of Endless Light, Madeleine L'Engle

10. Dune, Frank Herbert

11. The Little Price, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

12. Trans-Sister Radio, Chris Bohjalian

13. Inspector Rebus Series, Ian Rankin

14. Possession, A.S. Byatt

15. How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, David Bornstein

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vegan Knitting

Here are all the reasons why I do not use animal fibers when knitting. There are great alternatives like cotton, soy "silk," bamboo, and, for some, synthetic fibers. I've even seen some corn-based yarn!

From the Farm Sanctuary Veg for Life Website:

  • Silk comes from the caterpillars of the silk moth, who protect themselves by spinning silk strands to form a cocoon.
  • Each worm may produce up to a mile and half of continuous thread. To retain an unbroken thread of silk, moths are commonly boiled, baked or steamed alive when they are ready to emerge.

The Alternatives
Many common fibers simulate the look and feel of silk, including nylon, polyester, Tencel, milkweed seed-pod fibers, silk-cotton tree filaments, and rayon.



  • Angora rabbits are often kept in cramped cages for their entire eight-year lifespan.
  • Males only generate 75 percent of the wool females produce; consequently, most are killed at birth because they are not as "profitable."
  • The females typically endure lives of loneliness and boredom and suffer from painful bone deformities and other ailments caused by severe confinement.


  • Goats raised for cashmere are typically reared in filthy, crowded conditions.
  • Shorn months prior to their natural shedding time, the goats are often exposed to cold temperatures and become more susceptible to illness.
  • Goats are often ear notched, de-horned and castrated without anesthesia and sold for meat after their first fiber harvest.


  • While a growing number of goats are being used for milk and meat in the United States, the majority are still used for mohair.
  • Intolerably sensitive to the cold and parasites, the goats often suffer from chills after their fleece is removed.
  • Like other animals used for fiber production, these goats are commonly sold for slaughter when they are no longer considered profitable.

Sheep's Wool

  • Sheep have been purposely bred to produce excessive wool. As a result of having an abnormal amount of wool, many sheep suffer from fly infestations, skin sores and wool parasites.
  • During shearing, the majority of these animals are handled roughly and their fleece is removed as quickly as possible. Injuries are common and shearers frequently cut into the flesh of terrified sheep.
  • Lambs typically suffer from painful mutilations, such as tail docking and castration, without anesthesia. Sheep may also undergo mulesing, a painful process by which a four by six-inch piece of skin is cut from their tails and backside.
  • When the sheep are no longer producing prime wool, they are commonly transported to slaughterhouses in overcrowded trucks. Many sheep become "downers" and are left to suffer and die slowly from neglect.
  • Australia, the largest wool producer, sends many of its "spent" sheep on a long, tortuous journey by ship to the Middle East where they are sold and slaughtered.
  • Felt, or compressed wool, is also a product of the cruel wool industry.

The Alternatives
Instead of shopping for heavy, itchy wool socks and mittens or expensive angora or cashmere sweaters, choose garments made with more light-weight and colorfast materials, such as nylon, acrylic, orlon, polyester fleece, cotton flannel, synthetic shearling, Tencel, or Polartec Wind Pro.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Click to Give!

Every day, you can do something very easy--and free--to help dogs and cats in shelters. Please visit the Animal Rescue site and click on the big purple button. When there are a minimum number of clicks, sponsors donate to an animal shelter at no cost to you. Unfortunately, TARS doesn't always receive the minimum number of clicks. You can make sure that the animals get help by committing to clicking every day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Originally uploaded by aimeedars

Yesterday, I finished this ribbed cap from One-Skein Wonders. On to a new project!

Note: this was made with Mission Falls 1824 cotton.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The June 2009 MSH List is *KILLING* Me!

1. A little OCD (Please tag as msh0609-1 and msh0609)
2. Flutterby (msh0609-2 and msh0609)
3. Great Jumping Jehosaphat! (msh0609-3 and msh0609)
4. DUDE! (msh0609-4 and msh0609)
5. Bump (msh0609-5 and msh0609)
6. Ever-decreasing (msh0609-6 and msh0609)
7. OBJECTS IN MOTION TEND TO STAY IN MOTION (msh0609-7 and msh0609)
8. Puffy (msh0609-8 and msh0609)
9. `Tis a silly place (msh0609-9 and msh0609)
10. What part of ..... don`t you understand?! (msh0609-10 and msh0609)
11. BECAUSE YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE... (msh0609-11 and msh0609)
12. Torque (msh0609-12 and msh0609)
13. Indigo (msh0609-13 and msh0609)
14. IF THE SHOE FITS, WEAR IT. (msh0609-14 and msh0609)
15. Hott or Not (msh0609-15 and msh0609)
16. 16 (msh0609-16 and msh0609)
17. Human Nature (msh0609-17 and msh0609)
18. Persona non grata (msh0609-18 and msh0609)
19. Two G`s (either find 2 G`s or a subject when spelled has 2 G`s in it like: egg, wiggle, juggler etc) (msh0609-19 and msh0609)
20. Jazz hands (msh0609-20 and msh0609)
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