Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wedding and Something Old

This past weekend was spent with family in Texas, celebrating the wedding of my first niece to get married.  I also found something old (I'm sure I could have come up with something new, borrowed and blue, but I'm not going to).

Stacy and Mike
Honestly, as a gay man who can't legally get married in the state where I live (which wouldn't be recognized federally anyway), I am not usually a big fan of weddings.  I also usually find them to be a complete waste of money.

My niece Stacy's wedding to her now-husband Mike was a delightful change from all that.

Her mom organized an exceptionally beautiful, non-formal wedding that allowed everyone to enjoy themselves.

Here's Stacy looking fabulous.



And here's the happy couple.



Current Knitting
Well, hardly any...I know...pathetic.

But I did find this cool old vintage pair of sock forms at our local flea market.



I like that they're adjustable for foot length.






They're made by a company called Lee & Rowan.  I can't wait to display my next pair of hand-knit socks on these!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Angry Post

I fear I'm becoming a bitter, angry, old man who only complains about how much better things were in the good ole days.

Hoping To Have Some Impact
No one wants to read some whiny blog all the time, but I just have to write this.

Doesn't it piss you off to see drivers in the cars around you texting while driving (badly)?

Some guy in Montreal is blogging or Facebooking (is that a verb?) about his dead girlfriend who crashed into the back of a truck whilst texting to him.  I obviously think his message is valid, but will it really help?

I don't think there are many people that believe texting while driving is dangerous.  But I think many folks think, "What harm could a quick glimpse at my iPhone cause?"  But before you know it, you're desperately struggling to add a triple-letter word on "Words With Friends" whilst navigating around pedestrians in the mall parking lot.

My suggestions:

  1. If you don't use your cell phone while driving, keep it that way.
  2. If you lied to yourself about question 1, or if you must talk to people while driving, use a hands-free device.
  3. If you don't read/text on your cell phone, keep it that way.
  4. If you lied to yourself about question 3, or you do read/text on your cell phone while driving, stop it (even a little), and if you're so addicted to doing it that you can't stop, find a fucking 12-step program or a rehab for it.

I don't say this for your safety...I say it for mine and my family's and friends' safety.

Current Spinning and Crochet
I've plied up a lot more of the Optim Merino.



I'm almost up to a full bobbin-full of this lustrous yarn.  At this pace, I'm going to have to start coming up with ideas for what I'll do with the yarn.

I've also made a bit of progress on the Kauni Spiral Square blanket.



This is one of those projects that keeps me saying...just a little more until the yarn starts to turn orange.  It's also an odd fabric...the outside edge always curls, but flattens out the moment it's no longer on the outside.  I'm sure a simple edging will make it lie flat and blocking never hurts.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Katie writes "Do you have a link to the heal you use? I am a new sock knitter ( only been knitting 18 months total lol) I have made 2 pairs of ww socks one toe up and one top down. I prefer toe up and am working on my first sock weight yrn sock. I am having trouble with the tiny yrn adn tiny needles doing the m1's though. Any tips on that as well?"

Yarmando has a good recipe for the heel.  As for M1's, I almost always do what a designer called an "Invisible Increase".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Busy Season

With work and the associated travel as crazy as ever, and Men's Spring Knitting Retreat coordination starting up, life gets a bit hectic for me during this time of year.  So, sorry for the brief blog-absence.

Knit and Retreat With Guys
Many of your already know that I coordinate the annual Men's Spring Knitting Retreat in Upstate New York each year.  This year is no exception.  Right now, we're culling the talents of the participants to have them volunteer to lead workshops on various fiber-related skills.

There will also be a visit to a local sheep farm where they breed Cotswold sheep.  There will also be an unofficial visit to a local wool spinning mill.


Suffice it to say, the excitement and anticipation for this event hasn't waned at all for me over the years.  I look forward to this weekend more than any other.

There are still spots open in the East Coast retreat in May, in case you know of anyone who might like to join us this year, and registration for the West Coast Retreat  on Labor Day weekend just opened up as well.

Current Knitting, Crocheting, and Spinning (please note the Oxford comma for Carol's sake)
I ended up finishing up the ends of the Koigu Linen Stitch scarf by just using a simple rolled-up hem.

I first secured all the ends by sewing down a line of zig-zag stitch, so that the fabric would still be somewhat stretchy, and then I folded it over and secured it down with another row of zig-zag stitching, and then I snipped off all the ends.



My sewing isn't so great, but I'm satisfied with how it turned out.

I also started plying up the Optim Merino, and it's creating a soft and lustrous yarn.


The surprising part about the resulting yarn is the slight haze it has.  Soft and fluffy, this yarn will knit up just beautifully.

Finally, I started a new crochet project.  It's a spiral square blanket, done in a Tunisian crochet stitch.


I'm using a ball of Kauni, self-striping yarn, and it's a fun project. Once I finish the ball of yarn, I will probably knit or crochet a border on it in a solid color, but I'm not sure yet.

Current Reading
A number of folks told me I "HAD" to read "The Help" by Kathryn Stocket.




It sounded like a stupid idea for a book and something that only a book club filled with elitist, liberal leaning women would enjoy.  But finally, one of my favorite sources for books said I should read it.


It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.  I was sad to finish it.  It's very well-written, and the story is wonderful.  But mostly, the character definition was superb, and I grew to love or hate every character in it.  The surprise for me, was having some of the history in the book become so real for me.  In the context of the book (and I'm sure, of the time), I read about Jim Crow laws and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a way I never had before.