Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Off-Yarn Post

I don't always agree with NY Times columnist Frank Rich, but I enjoyed his take on Justice Clarence Thomas and his new whine-a-rama memoir. An excerpt:

Justice Thomas, elevated by Bush 41, was the crucial building block in what will probably prove the most enduring legacy of Bush 43, a radical Supreme Court. The ''compassionate conservative'' who turned the 2000 G.O.P. convention into a minstrel show to prove his love of diversity will exit the political stage as the man who tilted American jurisprudence against Brown v. Board of Education. He leaves no black Republican behind him in either the House or Senate.

My favorite bits of this paragraph:
1. "Radical Supreme Court" = hyperrepublican, highly politicized, activist conservative judges. Warren had nothing on these guys. God bless Ginsburg.
2. Minstrel Show. No kidding. See below.
3. No black folks remain the Republican party in Congress because, well, duh. Republicans are scary.

"Minstrel Man" by Langston Hughes

Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
and my throat
Is deep with song
You do not think
I suffer after
I have held my pain
So long?

Because my mouth
Is wide with laughter
You do not hear
My inner cry?
Because my feet
Are gay with dancing,
You do not know
I die?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mohair Cable Scarf

[Update June 18, 2008: This pattern is called Bryher. It's now available on Ravelry, for free.]

Here's a project I just finished. I bought an odd lot skein of Artful Yarns "Portrait" mohair blend and mixed it with a worsted weight merino. I used size 10.5 needles, and realize now that I could have used an even bigger size, because the gauge is still a little tight. But it's not too tight by any means. Just a note for future ref., or for anyone interested in making something like it.

The pattern I stole from an episode of Knitty Gritty, when Lily Chin was on talking about a nine-block baby blanket. She showed us how to make a double-sided cable using k1-p1 rib (otherwise the rest stays the same). Brilliant!

I ran the cable off-center for kicks, and kept it skinny because it's fairly warm here down south and this is mohair, and now I just want cool weather to kick in.

This Alpaca is Killing Me Softly

Here's the latest and final reincarnation of the Classic Elite "Alaska" yarn, yarn that has seen two prior lives on this very blog here and here.

I tried another pattern out of Twinkle's Big City Knits, the Magic Shawl. I was, as I said before, careful with this pattern.

I can't decide if I like it.

My sister, my M.A.P., and my friend Rinku from San Francisco love it.

My friend K. from Austin called it "The Flying Spaghetti Monster." Because it started out looking like this:


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Don't Sweat This Stash

For a long time, I felt embarrassed by how small it was, how pitiful and pathetic. I worked so hard to make it bigger, more respectable, so I wouldn't be ashamed if other people saw it.

Well, here it is:

Complete with it's own closet and organization system.

Sometimes I just stare. Sometimes I shut my eyes and rub my hands all over it.

(Get your minds out of cesspool, people.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This made me laugh

So I thought I would share it, since we all need more laughter, I think.

New York times columnist, law professor, one-time Milton scholar Stanley Fish writes this week, regarding questions put to him for a BBC interview:

The final question put to me was, “Whom would you vote for as President of the World?” I know whom I’d like to vote for. Someone wise, learned, strong, courageous, compassionate, authoritative, incorruptible, inspiring, capable and good-looking. No one living (or dead) came to mind, so I settled for a fictional character, Atticus Finch, at least as he was played by Gregory Peck. (Morgan Freeman in any number of roles is another possibility.)

Yeah. Atticus.

Although I could, for a while, dismantle the ethics of Hollywood's obsession with white male hero lawyers saving black men from wrongful murder convictions (Mockingbird, A Time to Kill, and Amistad come swiftly to mind), he's well, you know, Atticus.

I think I'm breaking my blog's "no politics" rule with this post.

It's a good thing I'm in charge here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yarn Ethics

M.A.P. and I are on our honeymoon in a delightful little metropolis in the south. We stumbled upon a yarn store on our way to dinner while tromping around town, and I exclaimed, "Honey! A yarn store! Can you believe it?" and dashed inside. M.A.P. said, "I have been flim-flammed," and sat down in a chair to read Harry Potter.

I limited myself to the odd lots basket and dug out some darling Noro and mohair blends and funky Cascade, loading my shopping basket to the brim, thinking of my pregnant friend as a justification for at least half of the yarn in the basket. I called out to M.A.P. when I reached the counter, seeking his help in curbing my addiction.

Once, twice, three times I called to him. And he never came.

$111.00 later, we stood on the sidewalk; I was accompanied by buyer's remorse, M.A.P. by a rumbling stomach. I blamed him for the remorse I felt, insisting that in the ethical contraptions that shape our relationship, it is his duty to limit my spending in high-risk situations like shoe stores and yarn shops.

(Similarly, given my training as a lawyer and in the area of close-reading, and given we double-tipped the waiter at the resort restaurant last night because an 18% tip is included by the resort on all purchases and M.A.P. doesn't tend to examine receipts, it is my job to ensure that all annoying paperwork is read completely and filled out properly. See e.g. our life insurance documents.)

And he didn't fulfill his duty today. Even though I asked thrice.

Apologies were made and accepted. Shortly thereafter we stuffed our faces on half-priced appetizers at a fun little bistro and drank fruity beer.

M.A.P. then observed that it isn't like we threw the money away on the yarn--like with the double-tipping--since we did purchase worthwhile items that I will certainly turn into other, even more worthwhile items with my knitting.

Did I marry a winner, or what.