Friday, April 29, 2005

It's Friday...

I seem to have developed a Tuesday-Friday posting pattern. I'll see if I can break that up this weekend with some pictures.

The people who commented on my last post all seemed to agree: the nipple fuzzing on Dr. 90210 was weirdly inconsistent, but, as one commenter pointed out, this is America, and we're weird about sex in America. We're obsessed with getting it, having it, wanting it, needing it, and damn well making sure that kids are completely clueless about it until they get married. But hey, what you don't know can't hurt you, right?

[Okay, I had a really bitter rant here about the dismal state of sex education in this country, but then I decided I wouldn't be saying anything that can't be read in a newspaper, so I deleted it. If you really want to know what I think, leave a comment.]

Anyway, the real point of my post today was not to sound off about Conservative Christians and their frigidity, but this article by Anna Quindlen in Newsweek. (Go read it, I'll wait.)

This article really reminded me of a series of essays I had to read for a class by several Catholic femenist theologians. The overarching question of the essays was: Could Jesus, as a man, really serve as a salvific figure for women? There was a biblical quote (which I can't remember now) that supported their main thesis, which was that the Catholic church's intense focus on the masculinity of Jesus essentially excluded women from being included in Jesus' sacrifice for "humanity."

To me, this is all academic; I'm not even a Christian. But it seems obvious to me that the church's intense emphasis on an all-male hierarchy and priesthood really does prevent women from receiving the spirtual guidance and connection that might otherwise be achieved with female spiritual advisor. I'm not saying that women are incapable of being spiritually guided by men, but I'm sure there are times where a female Catholic would prefer to talk to another woman (even if she's called to celibacy) about sex, rather than a celibate man. Sometimes, it's just a comfort thing.

Look at the Episocopal/Anglican church - they have gay priests, married priests, and female priests. They haven't fallen to the dogs yet (and they also seem to be lacking in sex scandals). I'm not trying to suggest that all Catholics should convert to Episcopalianism, or even that Catholics should immediately embrace married or female clergy (although that day will come, I'm sure). I'm merely saying that now is the time to embrace a previously ignored set of voices, and engage in a dialogue with all believers by talking to those who spiritually resemble Jesus, even if not physically.

(I'm sorry - did you come here looking for knitting? I think that's the blog next door...)

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

It Is, Ocassionally, A Small World (Among Other Things)

I was sitting at my desk yesterday, drinking tea out of my TSF mug, when my boss's 11:00 appointment came in. I had met this woman before, and chatted with her briefly, but never had any kind of a serious conversation. She's sitting in the waiting area when I notice her peering at my desk. All of a sudden she says "I couldn't help but noticing your Knitter's Without Borders mug; do you also read the Yarn Harlot's blog?" I said yes, and we started chatting about how funny Stephanie is and what other knitting blogs we like to read (I also directed her to the Barnes and Noble here to pick up the bookbookbook). Then she asked me what I liked to knit. Well, socks, of course! Come to find out, she is also an avid socknitter, and is just about to start a cabled pair (ooh... cabled socks... one of these days). At that point she had to go into the meeting, but that was the first time I've run into another more-than-casual knitter here, and certainly the first time anyone's recongnized my TSF mug. How great. :)

In knitting news, I finished the first Multi Effects sock on Saturday night. Andrew and I spent too much time watching the NFL draft on Saturday, so I got oddles of knitting done. I also started a Flower Basket Shawl from the Fall '04 IK; I have 2 repeats of the middle section done, and hope to finish by the end of the week. Pictures one of these days.

I was finally able to give the Spiral Blankie to my expecting co-worker. She loved it, and everyone she showed it to loved it as well, and they all exclaimed how they had never seen a circular baby blanket before. Maybe I'll start a new trend... :)

Oh, one other thing. This is totally not knitting-related, so skip over this if you're bored by my meandering curiosity.

Andrew and I happened to catch a few minutes of Dr. 90210 last night. The segment we saw the most of featured a woman who was interested in gender reassignment surgery. The patient had already obviously started the process, since he (I'll refer to him as "he" since that is his sexual identity and chosen appearance) had facial hair and was about to undergo surgery for breast removal.

The part I found interesting is that when the doctor was examing his breasts and marking him up for surgery, the nipple area was fuzzed out. During surgery when the breast tissue was being removed, the nipple areas was still fuzzed out. However, at the end when the surgery was complete and the doctor was doing final suturing, the nipples were not fuzzed out. And, later in the episode, when the patient took his shirt off, there was no fuzzing out.

So I'm curious - what's so offensive about the female nipple? "NippleGate" at the Superbowl comes to mind, but I think these are actually two different issues. On the TV show, the nipple was fuzzed out, but no attempt was made to actually diguise the breast itself. At the Superbowl, Janet Jackson's nipple was more than covered by her piercing (or whatever that was), but the public was still outraged (after all, a violent sport like football is clearly a family sport, as evidenced by the number of Erectile Dysfunction Drugs so prominently featured during commercials). I'm wondering -- If I were to wear a shirt that covered everything but my nipples, would I be arrested, or would I have to be completely topless? (No, I will not do an experiment to find out.) It just seems like the really offensive part of showing female nipples is that the breast must also be exposed at the same time. But why, then, do they only fuzz out the nipple on TV shows, yet make no attempt to disuguise the breasts? In the meantime, men are taking off their shirts with no fuzzing at all... meaning that nipples aren't offensive unless they have developed breasts attached... even though the breasts aren't fuzzed out... and you can see where I'm going with this. It just seems a bit paradoxical to me.

I can't wait to see what kind of hits I'll get after this post!

Have a good week, everyone.

Friday, April 22, 2005

I Am An Idiot!

OR: "How I Was So Ambivalent About The Spring Interweave Knits That I Bought It Twice."

I am a creature of habit. Every few weeks I make a point to stop in Barnes and Noble and Michaels to check for new knitting magazines. I like to flip through all the ones I can find, although Vogue and IK are my favorites. I've thought about getting a subscription, but for me it's equal parts process and product, so I'm willing to pay the few extra bucks a year to go to the store and browse around.

I usually flip through the magazine in the store, and if there are 5 patterns that I'd either consider knitting or adapting into other knits, then I'll buy it. Ocassionally I'll make an allowance for a really good sock pattern or something.

I guess back in February I must've gone to Barnes and Noble and found the Spring IK. I remember it now, naturally, because it's too late. I flipped through it, didn't see too much that I was thrilled with, but bought it anyway. It had a nice sock pattern, and a few other things that I thought could easily be adapted into a non-shrug creation. I brought it home, flipped through it again, and not being immediately inspired, put it upstairs with my other knitting magazines.

In the meantime the Spring Vogue came out, which I found much more exciting. Even though it now also resides upstairs with my other magazines, I still remember it because of the nifty leaf-patterned scarves at the end. Yes, I love leaves. :)

Over the past 3 weeks or so, I've seen a lot of people talking about patterns from the Spring IK on their blogs or on the Knitlist. I went to the website and looked at the magazine, and thought "Oh shit, how did I miss that one?"

I went to Barnes and Noble and Michaels, and was definitely annoyed that they both seemed to be lacking in such a popular knitting magazine. I looked around online, but wasn't willing to pay $6.00 for shipping on a $6.99 magazine. So I decided to suck it up and go to the snooty LYS here in town, hoping they'd have this magazine that I had somehow managed to miss on the shelves of my usual haunts.

Last night Andrew and I went to the LYS, on our way to the mall for him to buy a hat. Luck of lucks, they had one last copy of the Spring IK. They also had the Summer one, which I immediately snapped up. Did I flip through either one of them first? No, of course not. Now the Summer one I am sure I do not own, as it's only been out for a few days. The Spring one on the other hand...

In the car, on the way to the mall, Andrew asks me how much I'll actually use these magazines, given what I paid for them. I start flipping through the Spring mag, pointing out the socks... and a few shrugs that I thing could be modified into cardigans... and then I notice the section on brioche stitch... and I realize "Oh shit, I bought the same magazine twice, and now I remember why I forgot about it."

There has to be a cosmic joke in there somewhere.

Of course, I couldn't bring myself to admit this to Andrew, so I pretended all was fine. However, I know that here in blogworld many of you will laugh along with my stupidity, and perhaps have similar stories of your own.

In the meantime, if anyone out there is looking for the Spring '05 IK, I'd be happy to sell you a copy for cover price plus shipping.

I'm so glad it's Friday.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Pictures! (and...) I'm Feeling Better

Thanks to those of you who sent along "feel better" wishes. I am definitely feeling much less cruddy today, although that didn't stop me from dragging my feet enough to be 10 minutes late for work this morning. It's okay, though - my boss doesn't come in until 9. :)

Yes, I have pictures today. I parked myself in front of the computer last night to play some Settlers of Catan while Andrew made dinner (mashed potatoes and broccoli), and made myself upload my pictures before trying to take over the world.

First, the Spiral Blankie:

The coffee table in action!

Summary: Spiral Blanket Pattern, knit flat on size 8 needles with 5 skeins of Patons Grace in the color Ginger, and a double-crochet cast off. The pattern calls to cast on and knit in the round on dpns, but I couldn't get the slippery yarn and slippery needles to cooperate with the small number of stitches and all the yo's. So I seamed it up at the end. Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out, but I doubt that I'd try to make another one. At over 400 stitches per row by the end, it just got too mind-numbing to want to do again. Still, it makes for a great gift.

On to socks...

Nothing exciting to report about this sock so far. I'm doing a k2p2 rib on the leg, and knitting plain for the foot. Pretty mindless, but the yarn repeats fast enough that it's quite fun to watch.

No work on Charlotte last night since I was feeling off-kilter. Andrew has a paper due later this week, so maybe while he's writing I'll get in some good lace knitting time. We'll see.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 18, 2005

I Feel A Sick Day Coming On...

You know, given the amount of free time I ocassionally find myself with at work (let's not mention that to my boss, okay?), you'd think I'd be a little more on top of this whole blogging thing. I've been knitting my usual 2-3 hours a day, and even taking lots of blog-worthy photos, but I just can't seem to actually get them up to the blog. Ugh.

Yeah, I feel cruddy today. I slept for 12 hours Friday night, which should've been a sign that I wasn't up to speed. Now it's Monday, and I really wish I wasn't at work. I plan to bolster myself with sugar and caffiene from Starbucks during my lunch hour.

Knitting continues.... I finished the spiral blanket, just in time for my co-worker to go on maternity leave, so I'm hoping she'll stop by the office later this week. If not, it's off to the post office.

Charlotte has been re-re-started. I'm up to row 20 right now. Yep, blazin' along on that one.

I started a new pair of socks, using Regia Multi-Effects. I love that stuff. I'm at the gussett decreases on the first sock, so I should have the pair done just in time for it to be too warm out for wool socks. Oh well.

The Rainbow Jacket is officially stalled. Damn increases. It's not abandoned, just in a very lengthy kind of time-out as I try to decide what kind of creative math I want to use for the shoulders. :)

I finished watching Season 4 of Buffy last night (which is probably another reason I haven't been blogging - too much TV). I wasn't so thrilled with this season. I'm sure part of it is due to the absence of Angel (Riley is too "Iowa farm boy" for me), but mostly it just felt like a filler season to me. Oh, and while Adam was a great Frankenstein's Monster-redux, as the Big Bad, he wasn't so hot. Yeah, it's profound that he waxes philosophical about the nature of his existence and exacts all kinds of covert plans, but really, I just want a good bare-knuckle fist-fight from time to time. Loved the final episode, though. Now I must save up the money for season's 5-7, and since I just bought new sandals, that may be a little while.

Okay, I've definitely rambled on enough. I blame it on the general cruddy feeling which is currently pervading my skull. Hopefully sugar and caffiene will help. Pictures one of these days...

Friday, April 08, 2005

The Coffee Table

I'm devoting an entire post to my new coffee table. One, because it was a gift. Two, because I have no real knitting news.

Andrew's brother Matt offered to buy us a coffee table as a birthday present to Andrew last July (or maybe it was a housewarming gift - sources conflict). Needless to say, it took us a short while to actually pick one out. Finally, after months of "you know, we really should get Matt to buy us that coffee table one of these days," Andrew and I finally picked one out. It arrived on Wednesday night (hence my previous post), and is now put together and gracing our now fully-furnished living room.


Notice what's on the TV. Yeah, it's baseball.

The finished product:


Pardon the phonebooks. We just bought the rug to go under the table, and it's still in that "wavy" stage. The table looks awesome, and is already serving its purpose beautifully. Even better, given that there are two humanities scholars in the house, we already have a ton of coffee-table books laying around. I'm resisting the urge to spice things up with "Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare." ;)

And just for the record, I did help a little with the assembly. I do, after all, have to remind Andrew that I'm not completely helpless when it comes to furniture assembly, just reluctant to get my hands dirty. :)

Thanks Matt!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Bookbookbook!

It's official - the bookbookbook has arrived in Charlottesville.


I'm about 2/3rds through right now. Page 41 is currently my favorite (in which it is suggested that we should remind our significant others, when they complain about our yarn stashes, that we could be collecting cabbage instead).

A later page, discussing the need to accept the consequences of knitting lace without a lifeline, spoke to me while knitting this:


Wait, says you, that's not a knitted object, it's a ball of yarn all by itself. Yes, says I, that is indeed what it is. Hopefully the third time's the charm for me, Helen's Lace, and Charlotte's Web. So far we've stalled out twice, this last time at row 35. Apparently knitting lace and I don't go well together when Buffy is involved. I guess three really is a crowd. :)

One of my co-workers is having a baby in about 6 weeks, so I decided to knit her a baby blanket. It's a great way for me to use up that Patons Grace yarn I bought about 4 months ago.


I'm knitting it flat since I had serious issues with the set-up rows, and I'll seam it up at the end. Right now it's about 26 inches wide, and I'd like to get to at least 40 if possible. Or just knit until I run out of yarn, whichever comes first. Right now I have about 300 stitches per row, so I can only manage about 10 rows per night, but I have 6 days until the baby shower, so... well, I was about to say something upbeat and optimistic here, but I guess that would be misguided. Yeah...

And for tonight's adventure, Andrew and I are putting together our new coffee table:


Okay, okay, I'll be honest. Andrew is putting together the table while he watches baseball, and I'm up here blogging. But I'm providing moral support by not telling him how he's obviously doing it wrong, nor criticizing him for watching baseball when he should so clearly be doing homework. (See all those bluebooks on the kitchen table in the top right of the photo? My darling TA needs to grade all those suckers.)

Okay, back to the baby blanket... maybe I can eek out another inch tonight.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Yarn Porn

Due to the number of photos I took, I've decided to divide my flashing into three parts: Odd Lots, Projects, and Sock Yarn. We'll see how it goes. Oh, and I apologize in advance for the less-than-stellar quality of my photos. I put off the picture-taking until the last minute, so I didn't really have a chance to get creative - such as arranging my yarn into truly suggestive 'yarn porn' poses. :)

Odd Lots Porn:

5 skeins of Patons "Look at Me" and some Peter Pan acrylic sock yarn. Both bought before I knew better. The other 5 skeins of the LaM (yes, I bought a whole bag) became a pair of socks and a baby sweater.


Two large balls. Ahem! Two large balls of mercerized cotton yarn, bought while I was living in Cleveland. The intention was scarves, but I probably don't have enough yardage of either color to make that a reality. Any brilliant suggestions?


Ah, the bag abandoned-but-not-yet-frogged projects. Some leftover Lion Bran Homespun (gak!), the Patons Grace I never used (which will probably become a baby blanket), and the Wool in the Woods silk that was once attempting to become the muti-directional scarf.


Some more Wool in the Wood yarn, this time Wiggly Wool. No clue what I'll use it for, or why I bought it. Some acrylic sock yarn, and lots of laceweight merino bought for a long-abandoned project idea (socks for my cousin's American Girls doll). Maybe I'll get a bit more for a shawl or something. More cotton yarn bought on a whim, and in the middle a wee little bit of glow in the dark yarn.


Finally, the Knit Picks Andean Silk I traded Lauren for. This will actually probably become a scarf of some kind, but right now it's on a back burner.

On to Project Porn!

Project Porn


The Rainbow Jacket, and its accompanying 16 balls of yarn, including small bits where I started this project before.


The contents of my totebag downstairs (minus some cross-stitching stuff). Sock yarn, sock yarn ends, Helen's Lace (destined to become Charlotte), enough Luna for a hat, and more sock yarn.


The contents of my CIC bag. All the yarn in this bag is destined to become CIC items.


My three bags of Koigu for Charlotte's Web(s). God only knows what I'll actually use this yarn for. Probably not Charlotte, though. :)


Twenty skeins of Luna for a VK sweater.


The remainder of my Wool in the Woods yarn. The other 4 balls of the yarn in the middle was used for my Clapotis, and the yarn on the outside is a complementary slubby nylon. No definite ideas on what I'll use this for, but I'd like to keep it all together for one project.


Way Too Damn Much Patons Impressions (and I'm pretty sure that's not all of it). The top 7 skeins are a lighter version of the bottom 18. I'm thinking all of this will become a cardigan or 2.

Sock Yarn Porn

Sock Porn

Ah, my beloved sock yarn. Where would I be without you? (Probably several hundred, if not thousand, dollars richer, and standing in a WalMart.)

My Lorna's Laces and Opal stash. Not much of either, but I've been on a yarn diet. I actually have 2 more skeins of Socknitter's Rainbow, but they wandered off during photo time.


The top 6 (blue and gray) balls are Patons Kroy 4-ply. The rest is all Regia, all the time. (Obviously, I went on a Clown kick at some point.)


The rest of my Kroy (with 4 skeins of 3-ply on top), and 2 token skeins of cotton sock yarn on the top left. I love the color, hate the cotton. They'll probably become baby booties at some point.

What's left? Well several Frankensocks, of course:

Yup. Yarn enough for several Frankensocks. Or several dozen mini-socks. Or one wacky-ass sweater.

Finally:


The end. Three 14x14x14 boxes, one tote bag, and one shopping bag, all full of yarny goodness (some with more goodness than others).