Sunday, April 29, 2007

Paranoia


Did you ever get the odd feeling that you were being completely paranoid, and that the world seemed to be conspiring against you?

Maybe It Is
With all the crazy crap that this administration had done in the name of keeping this country safe from terrorism, and then cleverly trying to make it all legal by calling it "the Patriot Act", it's no wonder I get more and more paranoid.

How many of my phone calls may have been listened in on? How might my internet activity been tracked? Have my library records been looked at to see my book rental activity? How many folks are currently being held as enemy combatants in the various CIA prisons around the world, without access to any legal protections? How soon before the U.S. starts poisoning it's perceived enemies as Russia seems to have done?

You'd never know it, but I think the concept of the Patriot Act is a great idea. Using any tools we can to protect ourselves against religious fanatics.

That is, unless the religious fanatics are running my government, and using anti-terrorist legislation to combat all things immoral.

I have to stop watching PBS.

Current Knitting
I did absolutely no work at all on the colorblock cardigan. I got completely swept up in the new Lavold-inspired pullover using my handspun bulky.



I finished the bottom edge, and picked up stitches and knit up just over the arm hole shaping. It's amazing how quickly a sweater goes on US10 needles.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Blasphemer


I want it to be known that I don't believe the bible is a factual, truthful book.

The Truth
Some of it may be factual. Some of it may be truthful.

But I will never accept the bible as the ultimate authority for anything, just like I would never accept "Gone With The Wind" as the ultimate authority on Southern women, nor "The Bourne Identity" as the ultimate authority on espionage.

In fact to take this thought one step further, I find it unthinkable that millions of people would rely on a book as the ultimate authority on their spiritual, social and political lives.

I could understand being inspired by the writings in the Bible. I could understand choosing to study the Bible. I could understand using some of the stories in the bible as a way of setting my moral compass. I could even understand putting the Bible up on a pedestal as a symbol of one's religion (or would that be idolatry?).

But to take a text that is the consolidation of both pre- and post-Christ writings, that over the years has been censored by men with clearly non-spiritual agendas, and also translated by men (oftentimes badly or purposefully incorrectly), and then use that jumbled mess as the justification for imposing your beliefs on another...that just doesn't work for me. It's almost like circular logic, where the bible is used by many as proof of something because it is divinely inspired.

It doesn't bother me that others hold this book in reverence. I am tolerant that way, even though I don't understand why. But please don't ever try and tell me what is right or wrong in my life based on this mish-mosh of text, just because you've assigned it some holy status in your life.

Current Knitting
I have finished crocheting all the "leaves" of the Boteh scarf, and I'm halfway through with the border stitches that go all around the outer edge of the scarf.



The edging is pretty mindless, and goes quickly (if you look closely, you'll see the bottom edge is finished but not the top edge). I'm hopeful to finish the scarf this evening.

I've also done a little more work on the Lavold-inspired bulky pullover.



Not much, but I've finished another repeat or more of the twining cables design, and I'm trying to figure out whether I will knit this garment flat in pieces, or in the round. I'm thinking flat would be easier overall.

Curmudgeonly Birthday Wishes
Make sure you wish the crankiest knitblogger a HAPPY BIRTHDAY



She officially reaches the age of "too old to mention anymore" on Wednesday, April 25th.

For my straight sister, I wish her the best of years.

Local Knitting Classes
For those interested, my local yarn store, Twist, is having a couple of knitting classes in May.


BEGINNING KNITTING
Learn some fun techniques while you get started on a great scarf that knits up quickly with bulky yarn and big needles, or pick another project suitable for beginners.
Sat. May 5, 10:30 until noon FEE $25

FINISHING TECHNIQUES with LISA
Bring in a sweater or any other project ready to finish and learn techniques that make your piece look professionally done!
Sun. May 6, 1 until 4 FEE $50

TRADITIONAL CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES FOR FAIR ISLES with BETH BROWN-REINSEL
Level: Intermediate (Experience with double pointed needles and carrying a color in each hand is helpful.)
The classic details and traditional construction of the Fair Isle sweaters will be taught in this two-day workshop through the circular knitting of a small cardigan. Techniques to be learned include choices of different corrugated ribbings, shaped and unshaped knitted steeks for two different armholes (shaped and drop shoulder), stranding and weaving, cutting steeks, picking up stitches for sleeves two different ways, underarm gussets, buttonbands, and finishing steeks. Discussion will include different pattern families (seeding, peerie, border, OXO, stars, and all-over patterns), and designing a Fair Isle.
Sat and Sun, May 19-20 (12 hours total)
Deposit required FEE $175

Sunday, April 22, 2007

A Fiber-Filled Weekend


I started two new projects, got a yarn birthday gift from knitfriend, Carol S., and met up with the Wolverinas to show off knitting and gab for an hour or so.

KnitFriend Meet-Up
Today, I met up with Marilyn, Carol, Kathy and Marilyn's granddaughter, Liz.



It was a fun time, as usual. Marilyn told funny family stories, Kathy regaled us with wonderfully funny gossip, Carol was hysterical, and poor Liz had to put up with four old fuddy-duddies. At least Liz looked amazing, and was fed extremely well. I hope that made it worth the trip for her.

As part of the get-together, Carol very generously gave me a belated birthday gift from her stock of incredibly dyed yarns.



This is a fine Peruvian Merino that she hand-dyed (like all the Black Bunny Yarns). If I had only had this a few days ago, I would have used it for one of my new projects.

Current Knitting
As feared, I worked not even one stitch on the colorblock cardigan. Instead I stared two new projects that I was just too excited not to start.

New Project 1
The first one was the Boteh scarf that friend Kathy designed and was in the latest Interweave Crochet.



I'm knitting it in some mystery cone yarn that I've had hanging around forever. The pattern is addictive. Have you ever worked on one of those projects where you want to just keep making it to the next part. The Boteh scarf is one of those projects.

I'm not an expert crocheter, and the pattern has some areas where it's a little unclear. But as soon as I was finished the second triangle, the rhythm was set, and I have already finished 10 triangles (the picture wasn't updated in time for blogging).

New Project 2
I couldn't resist starting something with my latest homespun, and with my recent purchase of a couple of the Lavold books, I found something that I thought would be perfect.



Lavold does hers in a DK or sport-weight yarn, and mine is in bulky, but I stole her edge patterning completely. It's making the colors of the bulky multi-color merino stand out incredibly well (this one looks better when clicked on to enlarge). The fabric is also incredible soft and warm.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Readers Zaz writes, "I could not find your email, i wanted to thank you for the willy warmer pattern."

I was so grateful to hear from Zaz, as she had a copy of the Willie Warmer pattern that I had lost in my last migration to the latest version of blogger. The pattern is linked in my sidebar for anyone who might have been looking for it. Thanks Zaz.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Day Of Mourning


Yes, it's a time to mourn the loss of lives in the beautiful town of Blacksburg Virginia, but it's also time to mourn any chance of rational legal decisions coming out of the U.S. Supreme Court.

When The Bible Is More Important Than The Constitution
Justice(?) Kennedy's majority opinion was filled with shrill emotionalism and moral justifications for the decision, rather than basing the decision on sound legal principles.

I fear a lot of things based on this one critical decision.

First of all, this decision is the first in-road into eroding a woman's right to govern her own body, and also the erosion of civil rights.

Second of all, and I never thought I'd ever write this, but I miss Sandra Day O'Connor. This "Robert's Court" is going to be just as dreadfully fanatical as I had feared.

Third, it's just another example of how the harm this dunce-of-a-president has done to this country will be very long-lasting.

Current Knitting
I did end up finishing the first sleeve, and I've made my first attempts on starting the second sleeve.



While I would honestly like to say that I would hope to finish the second sleeve sometime this weekend, I don't think I really will. I keep thinking about my bulky handspun, and what I want to make with it, so I think I'll be working a little bit on a new project in addition to trying to make some progress on the colorblock sleeve.

Current Spinning
With the completion of the multi-colored bulky yarn, I decided to start working on spinning up Madelyn, the lovely alpaca roving that Mel sent me.



The fiber is soft and silky, and I am enjoying spinning these singles. I can't wait to ply them up and knit them into something lovely. I think I may dye the fiber and maybe even make Kathy's Boteh Scarf from the lates Interweave Crochet.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Emma in France notes how Kathy's Boteh Scarf in the latest issue of Interweave Crochet has generated a lot of excitement, and then asks "Do you (and possibly Kathy) think that the new editor of IC (Kim Werker) is going cause a change for the better?"

I know Kathy put a short answer in comments, and I also agree with that. I don't follow crochet magazines as closely as knitting, but the latest IC definitely seems to show some interest in a higher class of design. It's encouraging, and I'm hopeful that Kathy's thoughts are correct about the new editor. I will also be making one of Kathy's Boteh scarves. It looks like fun, and I think would make a nice gift.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Expensive Politicians


Dawn left a comment asking for my thoughts on the millions and millions spent on election campaigns in this country.

Are They Worth It?
First of all, I'm not that well-versed in campaign financing, but having little or no understanding of something, rarely stops me from commenting.

As an overall statement, I agree with Dawn, and think the amounts of money raised for campaigns is obscene, and that that it would be great to see that money go towards more charitable or social causes.

From a more pragmatic standpoint, the reality of this country's election process almost always favors the candidates with the most money. We could have the most perfect candidate campaigning for an office, and if the opponent decided to launch an advertising smear campaign, the perfect candidate would need to be able to have the monetary resources to defend against it.

What do I see are possible solutions? This is the area where I am extremely unqualified to give an opinion. Do you just put a maximum limit on campaign spending? Do you disallow television advertisement, or any electronic advertising? The loopholes that get created whenever campaign financing rules are brought up, seem to be overwhelming. Limit a candidate's spending, and the party spends on behalf of their candidate. Limit the candidate and the party's spending, and special interest groups spend on behalf of their candidates (many recall the Swiftboat group that sideswiped Kerry).

I don't think many people like the way campaigns are run in this country, but I also don't think many folks have a lot of answers to address it...including me.

Current Knitting
I've almost completed the first sleeve (I'm about halfway through the sleeve-top shaping. I'm expecting to finish the sleeve this evening, and start the second one. I'll post a progress picture

Current Spinning
I finished the last hank of the multi-color merino.



I now have about 1,300 yards of bulky yarn that knits up beautifully on a US9 needle. I started swatching a new garment using this handspun, but I messed up the stitch pattern and had to start over. I'll keep you posted.

New Magazine
I always love seeing friends succeed, so I'm happy that Kathy Merrick has the cover design on the most recent issue of Interweave Crochet.



Friends have always called Kathy the queen of crochet. She understands how to make fine crochet garments that don't rely on vintage looking granny squares. Kathy also has an exquisite scarf design in this issue. Although I need to warn readers that there are a couple of dreadful garments in this magazine, it is definitely worth buying.

Hit Counting
I just realized that this site has almost had 1,000,000 hits.

I never could have guessed three and half years ago that anyone would care to read about my political leanings and my knitting and spinning. It has been an incredible experience that has allowed me to grow and learn in ways I never could have without it.

A million thanks.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Child Avoidance


Thaddeus and I went to the ballet in Princeton today...one of our many places that is typically child-free.

My Child Hating Ways
I don't really hate children, but I prefer to not have to deal with them unless it's an appropriate setting.

Unfortunately, the woman sitting next to me at the ballet, felt it was appropriate to have a four year old child at the ballet.

Perhaps it's understandable to think it would be okay to bring a child to such an event. It was Sleeping Beauty and it was a sunday matinee.

But from my perspective, the child was very distracting. She insisted on sitting in her mother's lap, which kept her constantly in my periphery. She spoke frequently throughout the show, despite the mothers' hushes, and she was extremely fidgety, including pointing at the ceiling, kicking my leg or the seat in front of her, or clicking her large-bead bracelet.

I'm glad that the performance wasn't very good, otherwise I would have been incredibly annoyed. As it was, I was moderately annoyed.

Current Knitting
I've made some progress on the first sleeve of the colorblock cardigan.



I was hoping to have finished the first sleeve this weekend, but I found myself distracted by other things. I even came up with an idea for the recently plied bulky merino handspun. I'm planning on swatching that soon to see if I like the concept.

Belated Birthday Prezzies
James never ceases to make me feel incredibly special. For my birthday, he sent me a lovely package all the way from New Zealand. This is what I saw when I opened it.



And this is what was inside.



It includes some delightful chocolate, and an even more delightful little sheep story about a sheep named Selma.



I have to admit, if James hadn't written a nice note in the little book, I would have definitely considered re-gifting this little gem to knit-friend, Selma.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the sleeves on the colorblock cardigan, Leslie asks, "The colors seem to also match at the seam on the first and third row; will the colors continue to meet on alternate rows or was that just serendipitous?"

Completely serendipitous. That kind of planning would have taken way more energy than I care to expend on a sweater.

Erica writes, "This may be a totally lame question, but how come you're not knitting that sleeve in the round?"

Not a lame question at all. Many folks love knitting sleeves in the round, but I'm not one of them. I don't like the patterning that the increases (or decreases if you're knitting from the top-down) make on a sleeve knitted in the round. I know it sounds strange to some, but I'd rather see a seam than uniform increases.

Also regarding the colorblock cardigan, Cara writes, "Do you sketch out your design (in color) before hand, or do you like to be happily surprised with the FO?"

If I'm not sure my color scheme will work, or if I'm trying to make sure the finished sweater has a balanced composition, I will mock up the design using MS Excel, or PowerPoint. I needed to do that for the Fiestaware Pullover and for a baby blanket I knit for my sister-in-law a while back. But for this sweater, I knew I would like the color scheme, and wanted it to be random with no apparent composition, so I didn't do any pre-planning.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

One Of The Things I Loved About Bill Clinton...


...was his ability to speak the language of whatever group he was addressing.

A Good Salamander
Being everything to everybody doesn't always work out well, but trying to be everything to everybody by having no opinions is one of the worse things you can do. And from what I've seen of Hillary so far, that's how she seems to try and deal with any controversial opinions...by not having one.

John Edwards, on the other hand, just recently stated publicly that he is honored to have the support of many respected gay leaders.

Two more points in his favor, as far as I'm concerned.

First, he's comfortable using the word "gay" and tries to curry favor with our community in his campaigning.

Second, he's not afraid to have what some might consider to be a controversial opionion.

I've always said, that while I despise folks like Pat Buchanan, I absolutely respect that he holds firm to his opinions. Of course, I vehemently disagree with most of his opionions, but I love that he has them. The only left-leaning presidential candidate in the recent past that I can recall who wasn't afraid to state his opinions, was Bill Bradley...unfortunately, it didn't seem to do him any good. Hopefully, it will put Edwards in better position to take the White House in 2008.

Current Knitting
You can finally get to see the pathetically lame amount of knitting I've been able to complete on the first sleeve.



I hope to accelerate the pace for this sleeve and the last one over the course of the next few days.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hard And Fast Rules


There are times when rules set in stone work out well, but mostly I find that rules without reason can lead to stupid decisions, such as examples of political correctness gone wild.

Nappy Headed Ho's
The recent kerfluffle about Imus, the radio show host, calling the Rutgers Women's Basketball team a bunch of "nappy headed ho's" is a perfect example of how it doesn't always work to apply rules without at least looking at the intent of the rules first.

Before saying anything else, I have to say, I don't listen to Imus, I don't care what happens to Imus, and I have no idea of the context of what Imus said on his show, except what I have seen excerpted on various news shows.

The two sides of the argument seem to be:

1. His words were hateful, he should be fired.
2. His words were stupid, but intended no animus, and he should just apologize.

To bring this issue closer to home for me, I compare Imus' comments to Anne Coulter's calling John Edwards a faggot.

Here are my thoughts on both situations. Whether Imus had hate in his heart when he said what he did, or whether Anne Coulter was only making a joke, I think it's still necessary to look at the circumstances surrounding their comments. Are either of them able to ignore the fact that there comments are heard by millions of people? Do they not realize that even without a hateful intent, that they give creedence to hateful words? Can they not understand that their words give permission to every bigot that hears even a snippet of their comments, the right to use them in a hateful way. Have they no grasp of how insulting and demeaning their words are to the folks that the words were aimed at?

I think they both do, and I also think Imus should be fired for his comments, and Coulter should be dis-invited to any public speaking engagements (unless the radio stations or forums that would invite Imus or Coulter want to let it be known they support ignorant, hateful speech and folks can decide on whether they care to listen). I say if they can't use their public platforms responsibly, they should be taken away, or at least limited to audiences that want to hear that kind of speech.

Current Knitting
I've barely started on the first sleeve of the colorblock cardigan. Which could be considered decent progress, because I had to do all the calculations for how many stitches in the cuff and the rate of increases.

I'll post a picture in the next post.

Current Spinning
First of all, I wanted to show you the knitted swatch that I used to compare the four different color-plies of the multi-colored merino.



From left to right, it's just the multicolored merino, the multicolored merino plied with bright, cherry red, plied with bright pine green and plied with deep plum.

As you recall, I decided to ply all of it with the deep plum, and I was able to finish the second hank of yarn.



I have one more hank of yarn to ply up before I can get to work on Mel's roving from Madelyn, the alpaca.

Also on the spinning front, I finally got this back from Fingerlakes Woolen Mills.



First of all this is a LOT of fleece. I put the colorblock cardigan in the background to give a little perspective. Second of all, this was from the fleece I bought last year at Rhinebeck, and it's been so long, I don't even remember what breed of sheep it came from. I'll have to go back in archives and see if I documented it. This should keep me busy for a good long time.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding the Fair Isle sampler picture in the last blog entry, Lynne E. asks, " Is this the sort of thing that is supposed to show that you have no color sense?" and Angie Cox, who requested the picture writes, "...it's the one top left of the three. It is really beautiful"

This goes all the more to demonstrate my point to Sofi, that color-sense and beauty is subjective, and not necessary learnable in a color theory class. I originally posted that picture to demonstrate what I consider to be an ugly sweater. I'm not a fan of multi-color sweaters with a white backgrounds and I found this one to be way too busy from a pattern perspective. While I would enjoy the challenge of knitting something like this sweater, I don't find it at all aesthetically pleasing.

Regarding the colorblock cardigan, Anonymous asks, "WIll the sleeves also be in blocks of colors? Are will they be a solid color so the completed garment looks like a vest over a solid colored sweater? Or maybe stripes of the block colors?"

They will be colorblocked exactly like the body of the sweater. I considered doing something different with the sleeves, but none of the options you mentioned seemed like they would look very good, so I went with the safe route.

Janet writes, "Would you think of not doing the sleeves for the colour block sweater? I think it would look good as a waistcoat."

I agree that it would make a lovely waistcoat, but I don't look very good in waistcoats, and I have more of a need for a cardigan. Even if I did want to make it a waistcoat, I would have had to make the armhole much deeper, otherwise, I'd look like I was wearing wings.

Julie writes, "Love the sweaters--the colors are gorgeous. And is that Kafka in the background?"

Yes, Kafka's portrait is a painting by a local artist in Lambertville, NJ, named Paul Matthews. It's one of my favorite art pieces in our house.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Facilitating Text


With the ubiquitous technologies of Blackberries, Voice Recognition, virtual keyboards, and even T9 text typing for cell phones, it's amazing to me that so much effort has been put out to make creating text easier.

Why Hasn't Text Gone The Way of the Mimeograph Machine?
Remember when teachers used to write their pop quizzes on those two-ply master mimeograph sheets, and then then carefully load them into the machine that would make multiple copies...and of course, the fresh smell of mimeograph copies?

I would have thought that in the decades since that technology was current, that we would have moved further away from text as the basic form of communicating in an electronic world.

Some technologies give us alternatives to electronic texting, such as cell phones, Podcasts, MP3 players and DVD's, but we are still primarily centered on text-based communications, especially for business. My cell phone allows me to send text messages, when I could just as easily call a person and speak with them directly, or leave a voice mail. In fact, my cell phone has even made texting (if I can use that at as a verb) easier, by using T9 keying (e.g. instead of pressing the number 2 three times to type a "c", then the number 2 once to get an "a", then the number 7 three times to get an "r" and finally the number 7 four times to get an "s", to spell "cars", I can just pres 2277, and the T9 software translates that to "cars"). There are even virtual laser keyboards that can be used with a cell phone or Blackberry that allow you to project a keyboard onto your desk that can be used for actually typing.

It just seems that we're still stuck in a mindset from the time of heiroglyphics, whereas you'd think we'd have progressed to a more efficient means of communicating.

Current Knitting
I did finish the right-front of the colorblock cardigan this past weekend.



I'll start to work on the dreaded sleeves. I won't even give an estimate of how long I think they will take me.

Birthday Gifts
Knitblogger and friendly vetinarian, Mel, sent me some beautiful alpaca roving from one of his alapacas, Madelyn (it was actually Mel's way of repaying me for a fiber book I sent him, but it came around my birthday, and his book got to him around his birthday, so I'll call them birthday presents).



Madelyn must have been young when she was sheared for this roving in 2005. The fiber is soft and fluffy, and I can't wait to finish my current spinning project so I can spin this up into a web-fine yarn.

I also got an incredibly nice gift from my friend Charles this past weekend. In addition to taking Thaddeus and I out to dinner, he also gave me this beautiful leather portfolio.



It is indescribeably smooth and soft, and the leather just glows. The maker, Bosca, describes it as follows:

"Old Leather by Bosca is a beautifully distinguished leather that exhibits a unique depth of color and elegance. This exceptional leather is oak tanned then colored with hand-sponged vegetable dyes. Originating in the Frascati wine country near Rome, this is a centuries-old method of producing the world's richest, longest lasting leather."

And that barely describes how soft and wonderful smelling this object is. I will carry it into meetings proudly.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Angie described a sweater that I am having difficulty identifying, so I will post pictures of the three most likely candidates that I can locate.




Is it any of these three?

Seanna Lea writes, "Is this latest photo more true to color or is it somewhere between the two (today's picture and the one from last week)."

Actually, April 3rd's picture is the closest on my monitor. It's a little darker, smokier than most of the pictures I take of the garment (I'm no Franklin when it comes to photography either).

Ingrid writes, "I was excited to read your tutorial but was unable to see any of the pictures. Is it just me or should I be able to see them?"

The pictures disappeared from the tutorial (linked on the sidebar) when I switched to the new Blogger...I've updated the link so the pictures should now appear. Hope it's useful.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Revelations From Comments


Thank you all for your comments on Mormonism. I had forgotten the impact of loneliness and the searching, empty feeling some folks have. I had also forgotten how the decision to have faith isn't a pragmatic decision.

Now it all seems clear how someone might make a decision, that to me, would seem to be irrational.

I know what the definitions of atheists and agnostic are, but what do they call someone who has an unclear idea of some higher force that could be considered god?

Book Recommendations
I also appreciated the perspective that some of the Mormons or ex-Mormons provided by reminding me that taking something mystical out of context could make most religions looks silly.

Thanks also to the folks that provided book recommendations on the subject

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer

The Poet and The Murderer by Simon Worrall

Shot in the Heart by Mikal Gilmore

I'll have to check them out and see if I can add them to my pile of books to read.

Current Knitting
I finished another couple of rows of blocks on the front/right of the Colorblock Cardigan.



I'm hopeful to finish this part and move on to the sleeves this coming weekend.

Current Spinning
I opted to go with the deep plum colored merino. The two singles alone had very little differentiation, and looked rather brown when swatched. The bright red completely changed the color of the yarn, and I didn't like it. The pine green seemed to have very little effect

The plum seemed to blend the colors more, but at least it geve the yarn, and test swatch a more plum color, which I prefer over muddy brown. Thanks for all the advice, especially about swatching the resulting yarn.

Here's the result of my efforts.



I'll try to get a decent picture of what it looks like swatched up in a knitted fabric.

Readers' Comments/Questions
First of all, thanks everyone for your birthday wishes. I had a very nice birthday, with an unexpected cake from client project team members. I also got to have lunch with my sister-out-of-law at one of my favorite restaurants in Springfield, MA (Big Mamou's). Thaddeus and I will celebrate this weekend.

Mel asks, "Is it true what they say about you being a hits whore?"

Could you have any doubt? I'm almost up to one million hits since I first started this blog, and I was considering having a contest where the winner would have to send me a screen print of the hits counter on my blog at 1,000,000 or whoever came closest if the millionth hit wasn't recorded for posterity. I'll never be a Franklin or a Stephanie, but I like that folks read my blog.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Mormons...What's the Deal?


Or more specifically, what's the appeal?

I Don't Get It
I know I'm biased when it comes to evaluating the Latter Day Saints (LDS), or any religion for that matter. But I can't understand what would possess someone to join this odd religion.

As part of full disclosure, I have a gay friend who grew up in a Mormon household. When he realized he was gay, they went to extensive measures for about a decade to cure him of this sickness. Including incessant counseling (that sounded a lot like brainwashing), deprivation of food and sleep, and even "aversion therapy" such as attaching electrodes to his genitals and trying to shock the sickness out of him.

I also find the LDS folks who come to my door irritating.

All that being said, even if I try to see their religion from a purely pragmatic perspective, it just seems odd. The creation of a religion by peering into a hat, all the way to magic underwear. Add to that the hypocrisy of things such as their aversion to caffeine, except for Coca Cola, which the LDS organization used to own a lot of stock of.

I'd love to hear from someone who converted to Mormonism, so I could understand what would have someone come to that kind of decision.

Current Knitting
Most of this weekend was spent working on spinning and test plying (see below), but I did get some knitting done on the right-front of the colorblock cardigan.



Like a lot of full-size sweaters, I know I will have to force myself to finish the sleeves on this garment.

Current Spinning
I finished spinning two bobbins of singles using the multi-color merino.



I pulled down a bunch of old very fine merino singles I had done a year or so ago, and decided to try test-plying each of these colors with the two multi's.



Here are what each of the test plies ended up looking like.



The first one (from the left) is just the two singles by themselves. The next one is the bright red, then green, then deep plum.

Any preferences based on what you can see on your monitors?

Readers' Comments/Questions
Angie Cox writes, "On a Google search I found a sweater you made in 2005 .It wouldn't open the page or enlarge the image. It is a patchwork of Scandinavian patterns. I really loved it , would you be able to say which month it is featured in the archives?"

I looked through all my 2005 sweaters, and I couldn't determine what you meant by Scanadinavian patterns, so I don't know what sweater you're talking about. Was it a pullover or a cardigan? Was it multi-colored or single? Unfortunately, when blogger converted to the new format, they blew away all my archived pictures. I still have them stored locally, and I'd be glad to post any that you can help me identify.

"K" writes, "I personally can't stand chocolate brown and pale blue together. I hereby ban that combination forever."

Shortly after reading your comment, I ran into someone wearing that exact combination of colors. It was great, but it didn't look awful either, but it did make me laugh.

Anonymous writes, "To avoid confusion, I will adopt a pseudonym, Sofi, for future comments."

Thanks, a name and presumed gender make it a lot easier to reply to comments.