30 October, 2008

Whom Do You Love?

SAN JOSE, CA - Knitters across America were shocked to discover on November 5 that their brother and sister knitters in California are no longer allowed to get married, and that all marriages between two knitters were dissolved. 
"It's startling and unfair," said Jasmin C., 26, of San Jose. "Just because my partner and I choose this lifestyle doesn't mean I'm less than a person." 
"I don't know how this happened," said one knitter who asked not to be identified. "Our pastimes don't harm anyone  - if you don't count sitting on the occasional double-pointed needle - and knitters are often good members of society in many ways. We shop locally and tend to give to charity more than other groups." 
Supporters of the ban say that knitters are "more than welcome to marry non-knitters," said Erick F., 25, San Jose. "They're always showing off their socks and shoving their yarn in people's faces. If they would just stick to video games like the rest of society, we wouldn't have to take away their human rights - or rather, their privileges. If they choose to be knitters, then they've also made the choice not to get married to one another. It's as simple as that." Other interviewees who also asked not to be identified cited knitting as a choice and their disgust at the idea of knitting being taught in schools as the reason they supported the ban. 

Piddle, Twiddle, and Resolve

It's Thursday, Oct. 30, and in any other year I would be cackling over my Halloween costume and planning my route to various parties. But this year, I'm simply sitting, waiting anxiously for Tuesday. Everything that doesn't involve voting somehow seems unimportant, which is how I can justify procrastinating on my paper for Biology. This year, I am going to only one gathering - not really a party, more a collection of friends - at Jasmin's house to play Rock Band and hand out candy to kids. My costume will consist of a pair of rockin' jeans, possibly a corset but more likely a tank top, and some yet-to-be-procured colored hair gel. Oh, and a plethora of eye makeup.

The stasis I feel about the election seems to have very little impact on my fingers. Knitting is a fantastic pastime for the twitchily anxious, and in that light I am thrilled to show these off!

Elphaba Socks, Knit Picks Multi "Meadows," 531 yds.

They're just a teensy bit tight; next time I'll start the calf increases a little lower. But for my purposes, I love them. The night I bound them off, we went to hear our friend Juanita sing at Unwined and had a fantastic time.
Me, Lisa, Jasmin, and Gigi. Photograph by Andrew.

I came home and immediately started another pair of socks in the same yarn base so I wouldn't have to fuss with swatching. I'm nearly to the heel of the second sock, which is a small kind of miracle as I had to think very carefully about whether to frog the first one and start over. These socks are Duckling socks of the highest degree. They are stunningly ugly until you put them on your foot, and then they're quite nice. Since I don't intend to show them to many people off my feet, I decided to keep going along and finish the pair. I'm fairly enamored of the colorway; I dyed it way back in the day with Kool-Aid, and I may need to figure out a way to reproduce it using more professional-grade dyes.

Duckling Dove Sock #1

Now if you'll excuse me, my coffee is finally ready and I can now go check out 538.

24 October, 2008

Compromise is the Spice of Life

The other day there was a fire drill at SJSU. Yes, a leave your bags don't come in the building kind of fire drill. I felt like I was in high school, except that I didn't feel like such a total dork talking only to my professors. And I went back to class instead of going to coffee. But anyway.

I showed my Niebling doily to my Islamic professor, and she said that there is an Islamic debate about lace - it's sensual and attractive, which sort of goes against the idea of the hijab - which both she and I argue is a precursor to the mantilla. Ahem. Moving on. So my prof said that I would have to at least imply the link between lace and Islamic art, which would require a paper. And since my point was to avoid writing a paper for this particular class at any cost, I've gone digging through my embroidery stash to see if there's anything remotely useful in there.

Lo and behold, there is. Check this out:

The mini mandalas of Martina Weber, otherwise known as Chatelaine. Her designs are absolutely stunning, and this particular little trio will work nicely for my class - especially since I have already begun the project, and thus have all the necessary accoutrement.

Thus - and here is the material point - I can now start the something lacy and lovely I have been dreaming of. Brie, are you ready?? :D

22 October, 2008

5-Minute Blog Post

This may become a regular feature! anyway, time is ticking.

First, the Drive for Change trip. We headed out for Reno on a Friday and then to Dayton, about an hour further on for canvassing on Saturday and Sunday. I've never really experienced the desert; it was stark and pretty at the same time, and the lack of big buildings or huge trees made for some pretty stunning views. The campaign workers asked us to try to be inconspicuous about the fact that we were coming in from California, so I didn't take as many pictures as I would have normally, but we did manage a picture of this trebuchet sitting in someone's side yard. It was pointed at the neighbor across the street's garage, but I'm sure that was just coincidence...

The rest of the photos are here.

Then came Color: A Fiber Festival this last Saturday. As previously mentioned, I descended gracefully from the SPE wagon. Originally I had intended to but nothing, and it would have worked if Jasmin hadn't started crowing about being morally superior. I blame her. I bought from A Girl on the Rocks, Pigeonroof Studios, and new-to-me Celleach Dyes, which is run by the lovely Kelley and her family - including Brynn (who helps skein yarn) and Rowan (who might be the cutest 3-year-old on the planet right now).

Pictures are here.

Then on the way home, No-Blog Rachel informed J and I that there was a yarn swap planned at Purlescence for Sunday, which promptly absolved me of all my Saturday purchasing. I went through my stash like a whirlwind, culling things left, right and center. Then I divided the pile into 3 bags: Wool-Ease (originally purchased to make sweaters before I knew better), Baby Yarn (gag acrylic!) and Stuff Other Knitters Might Actually Want. That's not to say that Wool-Ease and Baby Yarn aren't perfectly respectable yarns; they certainly are. I'm just a snob, really, when it comes right down to it.

This is what 12 pounds of yarn looks like.

I didn't intend to pick anything up at the swap, but J had left 5 skeins of lace-weight tan that would be perfect for over-dyeing. At 6000 yards, I couldn't pass it up - especially with my Lace Bibles staring at me, and my new as-yet-unexplored interest in Niebling. (ETA - Thanks for catching the spelling, and for the suggestions, Diela! I have a better place to start now. :))

I also grabbed a stunning red in the same brand; only 1200 yards this time, but it's enough for the Faux Russian Stole that has been drifting through my dreams.

This particular red is one of my favorites, most likely because my blankie when I was a child was this color and so I associate it with comfort. Plus I just love red.

And finaly, J dug this out of her stash so that I can make a mis-matched pair of socks for the eldest Relatively Normal. She doesn't wear socks that match, and since I promised her a pair for Hanukkah, I'll be making 2 different ones.

Elphaba Sock #2 is trucking along. I'm about to start the calf increases, so there are only about 12 more inches of sock to go...

20 October, 2008

Midterms Should Be Banned

So here's the short version: 

Reno turned out to be Dayton, and it was a great experience. Not much to talk about, but there were a few pictures. 

Color: A Fiber Festival happened on Saturday. Jasmin was morally superior, we met the cutest 3-year-old girl on the planet, and I chose to descend gracefully from the wagon.

Thankfully, there was a yarn swap at Purlescence on Sunday. I took 12.3 pounds of yarn and came away with significantly less. Way less. I swear. 

There are pictures of all of this. I'm just busy with papers and midterms and the occasional sitting very still and wishing very hard for the election to come out right. It's getting less occasional as the days roll by. I've been so busy wishin' and hopin' that I just barely turned the heel of Elphaba Sock #2 yesterday; it's been a slow month. 

P.S. - I rule at Mario Kart, especially with a bottle of wine under my belt at 4am. I tell you, I am formidable. And stuff.

08 October, 2008

Back to the Knitting

I've been up to a couple of things lately. Since I went to the Cat Bordhi class with Jasmin, I've been cranking out socks like nobody's business. Something about Cat's method clicked in my brain, and I've been sort of off to the races. My second Christmas project is done!

Pink Lightning socks, Trekking XXL, 303 yds., for Lisa

That's two down and... several more to go. Come to think of it, I should probably begin Mom's socks soon; she wants Clessidra knee-highs. But in the mean time, I'm working on some Halloween socks for myself!
Elphaba Socks, Knit Picks Essential "Meadows."

These are Riverbed style socks. The increases are exactly the same as the Pink Lightning ones, but they're on the bottom of the foot. I'm working a k3p1 rib up the leg, and I'll see how far I get. Depending on how much leg length I can get out of one ball, I may need to order an extra; I should know by the end of knitting tonight.

And lastly, I cleaned off the chair in my bedroom, settled in, and cast on for a Salina sweater from Rowan Vintage Knits.

It's the sweater on the front of the book, and I am in lurve with it. Currently I'm only 9 rows in, but I'm in no hurry to get it done; there are Christmas presents looming on the horizon first, and a secret project for school. Darcy loves it when I hang out in the bedroom chair. He curls up on the bed and purrs as if all were right with his world. I may have to indulge in that little scenario more often - it's surprising how calming it really is to just sit and knit on my own.

This weekend, Nadia and I are heading to Reno, NV, to get out the vote. According to 538, Nevada is light blue. Should be a great weekend!

For My Undecided Dad.

Hi Papa!

The New York Times did a real-time fact-check during the debate. Since I know you're not super-impressed with either candidate, this might highlight some of the differences between what they said and what's actually verifiable.


Here's my sum-up:

I feel like both did a better job at answering the questions than they did at the last debate. There seemed to be less dodging of issues and more coming back to the point from both people. I agree with Obama's policies more than with McCain's in every area I can think of at the moment.

I believe strongly that Obama is right when he says that despite the economic trouble we're in, we have to invest in healthcare and education, because keeping people healthy is economically sound and lowering higher education costs is critical if enough American kids are going to attend college to keep the country running.

I disagree with McCain when he says that he knows how to win the war in Iraq, that he knows how to find bin Laden, and that he is a "cool hand at the tiller," as he said in the debate.
-Firstly, in Vietnam he crashed FIVE planes before he was captured as a POW, and despite his heroism we obviously didn't win the war. And is Iraq even a war we can "win"? The contrast to winning is losing, and in my opinion, there's neither victory or defeat to be extracted from the war in Iraq. We just need to get the hell OUT of there and let them run their own damn country.
-Second, if he knows how to find bin Laden, why hasn't he done it already? He has never put forward a plan to find the man, nor told anyone in government where he is, and he has been on record saying *literally* "I know where he is." That's messed up. If he knows, he shouldn't wait till he's president to go find the bastard.
-and Third, I think he's not a "cool hand at the tiller." Crashing a bunch of planes already qualifies him for a full psych evaluation, much less his horrifying experiences in Vietnam. His insistence that if we don't claim victory in Iraq, we come home in defeat shows - in my opinion - his unwillingness to see things in anything less black-and-white than win or lose.

In short, McCain scares me. Economically speaking, I don't understand how buying up people's bad house loans and then re-negotiating with the banks will help us in a crisis. Isn't buying bad debt what got us here in the first place? He kept harping on how the government is going to buy the bad loans and fix the problem, but as far as I can see that just creates more government housing.

There are other points, but this is getting longer than I think it should be. Suffice to say, I believe more in the experience and willingness to dedicate themselves to renewing America's respect level in the world when it comes to the Obama/Biden ticket. I want my president (and VP) to be smarter, more educated and more experienced than I am. I don't have head-scratching moments when Obama speaks, and I do when McCain says things like "I know how to win the war."

Obama said something tonight that struck me deeply. When asked how America can be a peacemaking nation, he said that in order to maintain peace around the world, we need to have good connections with other countries; that we can't do it alone; that we have to be willing to globalize our efforts for peace, and therefore for prosperity for everyone. At the heart of my being, I concur.

That's why I'm going to Nevada this weekend to sign people up to vote: because I believe that being involved in the process is important, and that we have to own our values and our decisions. It's also why Obama gets my vote.

Love you!

07 October, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Obama Bank Shot
Originally uploaded by roadkillrefugee
I give you the next President of these United States.
(Photo from Flickr member roadkillrefugee)

02 October, 2008

Please, just don't vote.

P.S. - Leo, call me! Anytime!

01 October, 2008


Despite the sheer, numbing terror I feel when I think of Sarah Palin as Veep, it doesn't even come close to how angry it makes me that she is currently speaking for all Alaskans.