Thursday, November 30, 2006

Let's Hear It For New Hampshire!


It's nice to find a state that is doing something to promote women's health.

Cervical Cancer Vaccine
Given the lack of news coverage on the fact that cervical cancer is caused by a virus (human papillomavirus — or HPV), it's wonderful news to read that the state of New Hampshire has decided to offer free vaccines for HPV to girls between the ages of 11 and 18.

For those folks that think that all vaccines have the potential for causing autism, or that vaccinating girls for HPV will make them more apt to have pre-marital sex, I would just say, don't let your daughters get the vaccine. If you're one of those people that says "I don't want to have my state taxes go towards free vaccines." I say, there are a lot of things my taxes pay for that are completely objectionable, so get over your selfish self.

I can only hope that New Hampshire is a trendsetter, and that other states follow their lead on this important issue.

Current Knitting
The Araucania jacket is coming along nicely (it looks like a badly knit scarf so far), as I've almost finished the first strip of 10 colored strips.



I've realized that this jacket will be approximately 3,000 rows of garter stitch in color and an additional bunch of rows in single color. I might have picked a more interesting project, after just having finished a mitered square project.

Current Spinning
I've done a lot of spinning on the third bobbin of multi-color merino singles, despite what pictures might indicate.



Oh look, I've caught Roomba making its rounds near my spinning...that clever little vacuum-bot.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Friend Kathy writes (with way too many question marks, I might add), "I know Carol pretends I don't exist and never did, but you??????"

She is referring to the fact that I didn't include her as one of the owners of Simply Knit in Lambertville. She was in fact one of the founding owners, and great designers of that wonderful yarn store. The reason I didn't include her amongst the owners, was that she had left before the final two owners decided to close down. I also didn't mention a fourth owner, Susan, for the same reason.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Raunchy Girls


If you think the blog title for today is just to get more hits, you are wrong (although, not an unfair assumption).

Girls Gone Wild
I heard a promo on NPR yesterday, for today's Fresh Air show. It was going to be a show about the "age of raunch" for women, and why women today would want to expose themselves in videos, such as "Girls Gone Wild."

I'm not a woman, and I don't presume to speak for them, but the topic of the radio show did pique my curiosity.

Most of the women I've seen in the advertisements for this silly video are attractive enough to entice sexual partners without publicly baring their breasts. I don't think these women get any money for flashing the camera. Other than perhaps shame and infamy, there is little fame or recognition for showing their tatas.

So why would they do it? Are they just drunk and easily convinced? Are they trying to show that they are unfettered by self-conciousness? Are they making a statement, such as my blog name, that tries to reclaim their body with an in-your-face display of their bust? Or perhaps, it's low self-esteem that makes them feel more accepted for doing it?

I didn't get to listen to Fresh Air, so I don't know what their hypothesis is, but I'd be interested to hear what others think.

Current Knitting
I finally decided to start work on a Carol Lapin design that I've had the pattern and yarn to make, for a few years now.



This is the beginning of one of 10 multi-color panels that will be put together as a coat when it's all done. I think this design was published in one of the "Simply Knit" book series, but I don't remember the name, and I don't have my books with me at the moment. The pattern was originally designed using Araucania yarn, and then adapted to Jamieson Shetland, so it could be published by Unicorn.

I'm doing it in the much more interesting and rich colors of Araucania.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the just-finished Aunt Dorothy jacket, Tricky Tricot asks, "What did you do with the collar?"

The neck shaping is done by adding two triangles at the top of the small squares. A simple crochet edging was done around all the outer edges as well, including the collar.



And to answer Ted's question, "You did a row of slip stitch crochet around the edge?"

It was actually two rows of single crochet around the front opening and neck and a few more at the bottom to get as much lenght from the yarn as I could.

Ronni writes, "I have a question. I used to go to Simply Knit in Lambertville and also used to buy fabulous sweater kits at stitches east.
Do you know what happened that they are no longer in business?"

I don't know for sure, and I don't have any juicy gossip about them. I too loved Simply Knit and their predecessor in Lambertville, The Tomato Factory. Carol and CeeCee were the owners of the store, and I think they decided it was time to call it quits, and retire. Nothing more interesting than that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Fiber Bitches


The sewing and knitting worlds include some of the cattiest, bitchiest people on the planet.

Button Search
I had to go into a neighboring town (Doylestown, PA) on Friday of last week. They have a large fabric/sewing store there, so I brought the completed Dorothy jacket, to try and find two large, interesting buttons.

I was met at the door by one of the rude ladies I've seen there before, who told me the store was closed (yes, closed on Black Friday), and she closed the door without further comment. I noticed signs that said the store was moving on December 4th, which I think is why they were closed.

Fortunately, I had a backup plan. I was going to stop at Twist, to see if Deb carried buttons. She does, so I pulled out my sweater, and got a few very nice "oohs and ahhs", and then started trying different buttons on to see how they looked. I mentioned to Deb that the sweater was easy because I had based it on Nadine Shapiro's design, at which point a customer in the store, who I've never seen or met before, claimed loudly that Nadine had stolen her design, and that she was shocked to see her sweater design show up in a Jamieson book.

Knowing Nadine, I'd have to say she's the last person who would steal a design, so I told the woman that Nadine and I had been to a Barbara Kerr seminar on mitered squares, and Barbara was probably what inspired Nadine to come up with her design. The customer claimed that she had worn her sweater to Simply Knit and Nadine had examined it closely, and then came out with her design. She did also admit that there are limited things that can be done with mitered squares, but her accusations of a friend still annoyed the hell out of me.

Fortunately, it didn't sour my feelings about Twist, because, as usual, I found exactly what I wanted there.

Aunt Dorothy's Sweater - Complete
I washed and blocked the sweater jacket, and then put on the buttons I found at Twist.



The buttons are done by a local woman who using felting techniques. I think the buttons add the exact amount of flair and contrast that I was looking for.





These last two pictures are the most accurate representation of the color of the Brooks Farm yarn that I've been able to capture on my digital camera. Pictures of this sweater often come out much more crayon-bright, when in fact, it's more muted and smokey in its colorway.

Current Knitting
I didn't feel like starting a new project over the holiday long weekend, so I worked on test-knitting my the pattern for the Celestine Shawl.



This was my second time through test-knitting, since I find it extremely difficult to proofread my own knitting patterns. I was very satisfied with the result, so I've posted the pattern design on The Knitting Vault, and Fredda has already gotten it put up on her site (if you ever considered getting the pattern for the Koigu Cross Stitch scarf, or any of my other designs, you can search by Designer Name = "DoublePointed"). I have a feeling that this pattern is going to be a big seller, largely because of the color of Carol's laceweight yarn.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving



To all those celebrating the holiday today, I hope it's a wonderful day. Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm Almost Done


Or as Thaddeus would say, "I'm almost finished...a cake is done, a person is finished."

Either Way, He's Right
I'm off work all this week, so I've been doing things like dental check ups, my annual physical (god, healthcare in the country sucks, getting my car maintained and working on fiber projects.

Current Knitting
I did finally finish the last sleeve of Aunt Dorothy's sweater.



I also seamed the shoulders.



Now I just have to attach the sleeves, sew up the side seam, find a couple of nice large buttons and do a simple crochet edging that incorporates button holes.

The end is clearly in site.

Current Reading
I also got the time to relax and do a little more reading completed.



Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs is a frighteningly funny biographical book about the author's upbringing. What is both so frightening and funny at the same time, is the incredible chaos his life was as he was raised by a psychotic single mother, and then later by his mother's therapist, who is by far the craziest of the lot.

I think most folks would find this story to be mostly funny, but I have to admit, I worried for the main character and his friends all throughout the book. I've heard other folks tell a much less humorous version of being brought up by crazy people, and the results aren't always quite so positive as becoming a famous author.

I also found the writing to be simple and not overly sophisticated, so while the story makes the book worth reading, I wished it had been a bit more literary. You'll understand why this is if you ever read the book.

I can't imagine I'll go see the movie, but I'll probably see it when it's out on DVD.

Current Spinning
I've finally made it through the second of three bobbins with the multi-color merino.



I've just barely started on the third and final bobbin, at which point I will begin the much quicker process of plying the yarn.



Erssie writes, "You should see Daniel Craig in the screen version of Ian McKewan's novel Endurance, it is intense! You can also compare the buff with the buffer, before and after....this is getting confusing!"

I did, and Enduring Love, which is the name of the movie, is a wonderful film. Thanks for reminding me that Daniel Craig was in it.

Erssie then goes on to ask, "By the way, do tell me if you are a loose knitter."

No, I'm actually quite a tight knitter, but the London Beanie is a much smaller hat that doesn't have much ease, whereas hats for your friend's daughter are probably much looser than the beanie.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Best Bond Ever


A blond Bond? Can you take any more controversy on QueerJoe?



The Late Show
I just got to see the late show of Casino Royale at my local multiplex last night, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. But moreso than being an enjoyable movie, I also thought Daniel Craig, who plays James Bond, did a fine job. I was also quite please with the bad guy in this one, "Le Chiffre."

This movie was a lot less gadgety and required a lot more physical activity from our hero. Other than the premise for the central poker game at the casino, I thought the script writing was very strong as well.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't my idea of an excellent movie, but it was a fun time.

Current Knitting
I didn't quite make my goal of completing the knitting of Aunt Dorothy's jacket.



I'm close, as I only have about 20 more rows to go, and then putting it together. This turned out to be an enjoyable, and relatively quick knit. The result is something I'm quite pleased with.

Readers' Comments/Questions
It was good reading about all your news pet peeves. I too despise "news" stories that center around the latest movie, or asking what the "average Joe" thinks about an issue. As someone I admire once said (and I paraphrase), "Opinions are like assholes, almost everyone has one."

Cara in Exile writes, "Yay, New Hope, we'll be more or less in the area at Xmas, anything happening then?"

The Bucks County Playhouse will be doing a stage presentation of "Miracle on 34th Street", and you might also want to catch the current Harry Leith-Ross exhibit at the New Hope branch of the James A. Michener museum. There's always the shopping and the good restaurants. If you like Mexican, I always recommend "The Blue Tortilla." It has the best guacamole I've ever had, and I don't even usually like guacamole. "Martine's" has re-opened in a new space, right on the river, and it's lovely. "Tastebuds" has changed chefs recently, but it used to be excellent, but I haven't been since the switch. And right across the river in Lambertville, I always enjoy "Andiamo" (make sure you order the butterscotch pot de creme if it's available for dessert...you won't be disappointed).

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Liberal Media


When folks tell me that the news media is left-leaning, I have to honestly say I don't see it.

Possible Reasons
It could be that I'm so far left-leaning myself, that a left-biased media is still to my right.

It could be that I only look for instances of conservative news reporting, and don't notice the liberal reporting.

It could be that I stall too often on Fox News, which nobody could ever convince me is liberal or moderate.

Or it could be that the media is as rightwing as I suspect it is.

The latest example would be the main story of leadership changes in the House and Senate. The Republicans opted to vote in Trent Lott as the Minority Whip of the Senate, despite the fact that he was dumped as the Senate Republican Leader for making "racially insensitive" remarks.

Those remarks came at Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party, where Lott said:

"I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over all these years, either,"

At the time Thurmond ran for president, he ran as a segregationist, and Lott never clarified publicly what he meant by "all these problems."

Despite this seemingly interesting controversy, I saw no mention of this in any television news broadcast. Instead, it appears they opted to discuss how powerless Nancy Pelosi was because she couldn't get John Murtha voted into the House Majority Leader position over Steny Hoyer.

I guess I don't know what sells advertising on news broadcasts.

Current Knitting
I did end up having to rip out the sleeve. The cuff was too wide, and I was fearing that I was going to run out of yarn unless I started it out a little narrower.

I've made a lot of progress on the first sleeve, and still hope to finish knitting this garment sometime this weekend.

Knitting Workshop - Barbara Kerr
For the folks that live near me, Barbara Kerr will be doing a knitting workshop on "Knitting Mistakes And How To Fix Them" at Twist, in New Hope, PA. The workshop is on Sunday, November 26th (the Sunday after Thanksgiving), from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The charge is $70 for the day, and you can make reservations by calling at 215-862-8075, or via e-mail at twistknitting@gmail.com.

This has been a public service announcement to support my local yarn store.

Interweave Knits - Holiday 2006 Edition
I picked up a copy of the Holiday issue of Interweave Knits. For the most part it's either boring or awful.



For US$7.99, there are a total of about 23 patterns, but most of the designs are for small, not overly complex things:

2 Scarf Patterns
Felted Fruit - Pears
Square Sachets (this requires a pattern?)
Heart Shape Sachets
Hat and gloves
Hat and scarf
Hat only
"Gaiter" (turtleneck-just the neck)
2 Sock patterns
Afghan
Four Holiday Stockings
2 Mitten Patterns (open top, both)
Felted Purse
Baby Ponchos
Small Lace Wrap
Ribbed Cardigan
Crochet Slippers
Embellishments
Teddy Bears
Lacy Kerchief Scarf

Definitely not worth the price in my opinion. I like the cover design of felted fruit by Nicky Epstein, and I thought the Ribbed Cardigan by Kate Kuckro
was very nicely done. Some might like a couple of the holiday stockings as well, but other than that, nothing worth even looking at.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Both Thaddeus and I were grateful for all the nice wishes for our anniversary. Kathy was quite right, that our faces look very shiny in the picture, but I will have to blame that on the flash of our friend's camera. Neither of us has an oil slick on our faces.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Happy Anniversary To Us


Speaking of same-sex domestic bliss, today, Thaddeus and I celebrate our 23rd anniversary.



For What It's Worth
Most folks will tell you that communication is the key to a successful relationship. I tend to believe it's more a matter of setting expectations.

The media represents love and intimacy as a warm, feel-good type of thing, where two rational people talk out their feelings in a caring way. No wonder folks have such unrealistic expectations for their intimate relationships.

Intimacy and openness can be very awkward, uncharted territory. It can be painful, embarrassing and/or humbling. It often doesn't feel great. It is, in fact, work. Consider how it is for your partner to hear you chatter endlessly on about your latest entrelac sweater, or how to diplomatically tell your partner how much it pisses you off that she lets her toe-nails grow too long. It ain't all pretty.

So if expectations are that a relationship will be all warm caresses, wrapped in a hand-knit Manos afghan in front of a crackling fireplace, there will be significant disillusionment.

When I first starting taking pilot lessons, the plane would sometimes lurch and bump up and down in mild turbulence. Without any frame of reference as to what was normal, I had to find out through experience what kind of movement was normal, and what kind I should worry about.

Similarly, in relationships, we get very little frame of reference for what kind of turbulence is normal, and the time it takes to figure it out is a part of what it takes to build a strong relationship.

To the love of my life, "Happy Anniversary, Thaddeus."

Current Knitting
Moving along on the sleeve of Aunt Dorothy's jacket.



I've done about 120 rows of garter, and it will take about 170 rows for each sleeve. Even as I continue, I'm questioning the width of the cuff (it might be too big) and how quickly I'm increasing.

I may have to take out the sleeve and re-do it.

Other Anniversary
This coming December 8th, I will have been with my current company for 10 years. Since my company has a "Service Recognition" program, I got to choose a gift from an on-line catalog, which has already arrived, and I'm more thrilled than I can tell you.



Yes, I know it's way too practical, but I love my gift. It's a Roomba Discovery robotic vacuum. This particular model will bounce off walls and furniture and avoid cascading down stairs while it picks up amazing amounts of cat hair and spinning/knitting fibers. When it's done, it returns automatically to it's base, and recharges it's battery for it's next assignment.

I am in total love with this new little gadget, even though Thaddeus is the one that used to do all the vacuuming.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Contentious Debate For My Blogiversary


I'm glad that after four years of publishing this blog, the readers still open my eyes to new ideas and better ways of stating long-held beliefs.

I still believe this blog has one of the most interesting, intelligent and creative readership of the knitting blogs. Thank you for participating as much as you do.

Usually, when controversy occurs in the knitting world, I just shake my head and think, "How ridiculous...it's knitting for godsakes."

Political/Religious Debate
I wish I could feel the same when it comes to how this country is run, but I just can't.

Evidently, neither can some other readers...I've never seen such verbose comments, but I enjoyed the interaction. It gave me a much clearer sense about why I feel as I do about the bible, religion, queer rights and politics. I also feel as though I understand more where folks like Susan are coming from.

I disagree with much of what Susan believes, and most specifically, her comment that if folks don't believe the bible was written through divine inspiration, then we were talking past each other. If what she means by "talking past each other," is that we wouldn't be able win the debate, then I do agree with her. However, hearing the rationale for her conviction was very eye-opening for me, and while I still hold true to my beliefs and ideas, I was glad to finally have a somewhat better understanding of hers.

I was also grateful to have my ideas and beliefs so eloquently described by folks who think more like I do.

Thank you all.

Current Knitting
I'm happy to say, I finished the front of Aunt Dorothy's sweater, and it looks quite fine if I do say so myself.



I have also started on the first sleeve, and I'm hopeful to finish the sweater/jacket by next weekend.

Weavette On Steroids
I got a newsletter from Hill Creek Fiber Studios, and saw a picture that looked like an overgrown Weavette tool.



For those Weavette lovers, like me (he writes with pride), check out their site.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Liz asks, "Do you think that by not allowing gay marriage in this country, that it is a violation of civil rights?"

I do. I am denied many significant legal and financial rights that are given to all legally married citizens of this country. It would be nice to have the community blessing for my 23 year relationship as well.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It Sucks To Be Hated




This is some asshole cheering the vote count to ban gay marriage in Oregon.

What I Will Never Understand
Why do they care?

Is it because they fear we will take over the country with our bohemian, wanton ways?

I don't want that much responsibility, thank you very much.

Is it because it threatens heterosexual marriage?

I promise I won't marry any straight men. And besides, Britney and K-Fed are a much bigger threat to marriage than Thaddeus and I will ever be.

Is it because they fear for our immortal souls and don't want us going down the path to eternal damnation?

I think it's crazy for people to ride motorcycles without a helmet, but I think it's even crazier that you have to legislate mandatory helmet wearing. In the same way, why would folks want laws that legislate the prevention of self-damnation?

Is it because they hate us, and don't want us to succeed in any way?

Based on the look on that guys face above, I'd have to think it's mostly that.

Current Knitting
I finished the left-front of Aunt Dorothy's mitered square jacket, and just started the right-front. I'm very pleased with the pattern. It's well written and easy to follow. Nadine created a nice design and wrote an impeccable pattern.

A progress picture will be in the next blog entry.

Current Spinning
I often think when I post progress pictures of my spinning, it doesn't look like a lot of progress has been made.



But whether this picture shows any progress or not, I did spend a lot of time spinning this week. I want to try and finish this bobbin in the upcoming week and start on the third and final bobbin of this spinning project.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Karla asks, "Are gays looking to have Christian marriages? I can understand how they (Christians) would be upset about that, because it's stated quite clearly in the bible that a man and a woman are the ones who marry and procreate. Right?"

Actually, there are a number of Christian sects in this country that don't interpret the bible as you do. Some Christian churches here would be glad to marry same-sex couples if they were legally allowed to do so. Except in some of the more archane sections of the Old Testament, I also don't know that the bible says that only men and women should marry, but I'm not a big bible person.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Happy Election Day!


I hope.

The Power of Friends and Family
In my early voting days, I used to be a naive, idealistic zealot, volunteering my time to causes such as political candidates who were anti-abortion (Chris Smith of New Jersey was a newcomer to politics back then), and other pro-Rebublican candidates.

I know...hard to believe.

One day, I went early to one of my regular a twelve-step meetings, and there was a young, vibrant lesbian there and we got to be discussing politics. She made a lot of sense in what she was saying, but one of the things that stuck with me, and changed my personal politics forever was her viewpoint on abortion and civil rights. She basically said that if I cared about civil rights, and the right to choose about one's own body was taken away, it wouldn't be long before other rights were taken away as well.

Mostly, it made me realize that I could be against abortion, but moreso against taking away a woman's right to choose what happens to her body. And that's the way I am today. I don't like abortion. I think it's an invasive, emotionally difficult intervention into the natural cycle of a woman's body. However, taking away abortion as an option, is a much worse thing to do to women and our society.

The reason I talk about this, is, I also realized that day, that opinions could be swayed by talking one-on-one with someone who cares about public issues.

Last week, I took my mom out for her 75th birthday. I asked her if she was planning on voting...she was. I asked her if she was planning on voting for Santorum, and she said she was. I told her what that man thinks about the GLBT community. I told her what he's done to our civil rights and what he would try to do if re-elected. I told her that she was voting for man who truly hated me and everything I stood for. She said she'd reconsider.

I then asked my sister to reinforce these things with my mom, and she did. Last I heard, she's voting for Bob Casey.

Do your part to let friends and family understand the impact of who they vote for.

Current Knitting
The big mitered squares for the left-front of Aunt Dorothy's sweater are finished, and I've started working on the smaller squares.



As Marilyn noted, some of the pooling in the colors have a nice effect on the sweater, hoever, my pictures of this garment are, by far, the most unflattering pictures of a garment I've done so far. Marilyn would like this garment much better in person than from what she's seen in my poor pictures.

Current Reading
Being at the bottom of the barrel in my bookcases allowed me to read a very fun "gay Western" that I've owned for years, but thought I would hate.



Rattlers - Dakota Series #3, by Cap Iverson, is a well-written, enjoyable, light fiction. The story is appealing, and the characters are compelling. Do I think this book should be studied as great literature?...uh, no. Did I enjoy brainless reading?...yes. I'm putting together a book order, and I'm going to see if I can find the first two books in this series.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Carol asks, "Hey Joe, did you ever hear that old rule of thumb for yarn estimation: 1/3 for the back, 1/3 for the front, 1/3 for the sleeves?"

Yes, that's the rule of thumb I was using to prove out 500 yards for the back, 500 yards for the front and 500 yards for the sleeves. In some of the men's sweaters I've made with fitted sleeves, the sleeves have taken up more than a third.

Also, check out Carol's guest-blogger entry, especially if you're interested in knowing more about how to use Qiviut.

Monday, November 06, 2006

What Kind Of Message Does This Send Our Children?


The not-so-Reverend Ted Haggard resigned Saturday as leader of the megachurch he founded for "sexually immoral conduct."

I Only Wish
I wish the message that this sent was one that a person should be open, honest and out of the closet if they're gay. I'm afraid the underlying message is that homosexuality is very bad, and to be hidden at all costs.

I also wish the media would take this opportunity to discuss the significant dangers of crystal meth in the gay community. Or the harm that sex addiction can have in folks lives. But I guess that would only put a damper on the titillating facts of of a closeted, gay-bashing, meth-taking, married, lying, queer, prostitute-hiring, hypocrite.

A guy can dream, can't he?

Current Knitting
I ended up finishing the back of the Aunt Dorothy Jacket this past weekend.



I was able to finish the full back with just one hank (500 yards) of yarn, and I had this much left over.



Assuming that 1,500 yards will be sufficient to finish this jacket, I continued on and started the left/front of the jacket.



I'm assuming the two sleeves take about as much yarn as the back.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Calling All "Serious" Catholics


There's an advertisement in the USA Today today with a huge heading of Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics.

Incredibly Arrogant Hypocrisy
This advertisement that fills up the entire right side of a page, distributed by a group called Catholic Answers Action, lists five non-negotiable issues, as follows:

1. Abortion
2. Euthanasia
3. Embryonic Stem Cell Research
4. Human Cloning
5. Homosexual "Marriage" (their quotation marks, not mine)

I can understand the first three (although I completely disagree). The bible says not to kill, and the Catholic church believes the top three on the list are all acts of killing.

However, buried deep in the remainder of the advertisement are two issues that are "not non-negotiable", or in other words, the two issues are negotiable. Can you guess what the two issues are?

1. Going to war
2. Capital punishment

Huh? Both of those also sound like killing to me. Or at least as much killing as destroying ex-utero embryos to extract stem cells. And why no mention of genocide in Darfur or or the ridiculously high infant mortality rate in this country? These arrogant, self-centered pricks don't care about Christianity or killing at all, they only care about their own version of morality. I can only say that if there is a heaven, and these folks make it in, then there is no God, or He's one stupid deity.

For each of the Non-Negotiable issues, they have a paragraph explaining why. For the two not-non-negotiable issues, they only say the Vatican urges caution on deciding on these issues.

Finally, if their hypocrisy wasn't ridiculous enough, the rationale for number five on the non-negotiable issues list reads as follows:

5. Homosexual "Marriage"
True marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Legal recognition of any other union as "marriage" undermines true marriage, and legal recognition of homosexual unions actually does homosexual persons a disfavor by encouraging them to persist in what is an objectively immoral arrangement.

So, instead of encouraging a life of "gravely immoral" behavior, they would prefer I become a priest and sexually abuse young boys? Perhaps they ought to apply capital punishment to priests that have repeatedly abused children.

Current Knitting
I've almost finished the seventh mitered square of nine for the back. I'm still not sure if I'll be able to complete nine squares with one hank of the yarn. I'll know this weekend.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the Sasha Kagan scarf in VK, Lucia asks, "I think lining the scarf is a great idea! Are you going to find a shiny silk?"

Judy also adds her question about the scarf, "I haven't seen the Sasha Kagan scarf, but could it be double knitted? that would avoid the 'wrong side'..."

Actually, I took a quick look at the scarf pattern instructions, and it appears that the instructions call for basically knitting two identical scarves and sewing them together back-to-back, thus eliminating a "wrong side".

Also, thanks to Lucia for that great Fox News link about Ann Coulter. It appears she thinks she's above the law.

AuntieAnn writes, "I must repectfully disagree that their request that you change your screen name is indicative of prejudice or discrimination, since they also made the "wench" change her (or his) name. They may be overly sensitive about screen names that have anything to do with sexuality, I'll give you that, but I do have a certain sympathy even there."

I guess your views on what is sexual and what isn't are different than mine. Most under-10's might know that "queer" is a derogatory term, as many kids use it the same way they'd use "geek" or "jerk." If your child saw my name in a fiber forum, and asked you why I called myself queer, it would be an easy non-sexual answer to just say it was as self-deprecating moniker. While my screen name does have a facet of sexuality implied in it, so do screen names like "JohnnysMommy" or "Crochetin-Husband", but I would bet no one would question them.

I have to believe that is isn't the sexuality implied in my screen name that elicits reactions, but folks' visceral reaction to it because of all it implies for them. I asked the moderator of the group to re-examine her ideas about the rationale for asking me to change my user name, I'll ask folks like AuntieAnn to do the same. I think if they're honest with themselves, their ideas do come down to bigotry in some form.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Should I Be Worried?


With Rove so confident, I struggle with whether I should be worried about the outcome of the election or not.

Moot Point
I guess it doesn't really matter at this point, since I've already cast my ballot, and spoken with as many folks as I can to make sure they vote. But yet, I still worry.

There are a couple of extremely effective advertisements for Curt Weldon, the incumbent representative in Pennsylvania who is under investigation for helping his daughter get multi-million dollar contracts. The ads basically have very sincere, ordinary folk asking questions to the camera such as, "Wouldn't you help out a friend who's going through a hard time?" "Sure Curt Weldon has made some enemies because he's been fighting for us on issues like social security and veteran benefits."

His wife even recorded an advertisement telling voters that her husband is a fine upstanding man, deserving of the viewers' votes.

This kind of stuff scares the hell out of me. Most folks are pretty certain the man is guilty of what he's being investigated for, and yet the memory of voters is so freakin' short these days.

Whatever you do, please make sure you vote. Please don't feel complacent that we will take the House, and maybe the senate. We can't do it unless all those folks that are being polled actually vote.

Current Knitting
I've made some additional, incremental progress on the jacket for Aunt Dorothy. Thanks everyone for the comments on the yardage required. I may need to order another hank and use it for the sleeves. Even with a dyelot difference, I can alternate yarns every other row if I need to.

Current Spinning
I have also been able to squeeze in a little bit of spinning time, despite the sizing setback on my knitting project.



This pictures marks about the halfway point for this spinning project. I will be glad to both have the resulting yarn and to be able to start spinning something different when this is over.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Ted asks, "Did you get the mag articles I sent you?" and then follows up with "And how do they make sodas, anyway?"

I did get the articles. Ted was kind enough to scan some wild mushroom articles for Thaddeus and spinning articles for me. I've printed both off, but left my spinning articles at home when I left for work this week.

Sodas are simply made by adding syrup to a glass and adding carbonated water.

Regarding my comments on VogueKnitting, Mel notes, "I think I may go back and buy it just for Meg Swansen's article on brioche in the round."

I didn't mention that the articles in this issue were either stupid or badly written. The only exception was Meg's. I didn't find her topic overly useful, because I figured out how to brioche in the round by myself, but I enjoyed reading the article nonetheless.

Regarding my positive comments about Sasha Kagan's scarf in VK, Franklin asks, "Would you wear it knitted up in the colors shown, or were you thinking of it as nice to make for somebody else?"

Like you, I would go darker and smokier in colorway. I have a lot of old Rowan yarns that I could play around with. I was also thinking I could line the back of it with fabric to avoid showing the "ugly side" that Lucia mentioned. For those of you who missed Franklin's description of his family at a recent wedding, it is required reading and will be on the test. Please go back and find it and read it.