Wednesday, November 28

Fun with Dyeing

Here's what playing with saturation can do:


Store updated with these new colors and a few repeats.


and some new laceweight:

Tuesday, November 27

Because they went digital and mothballed the mobile units.

Note to self: When planning the bus route to take you to your early morning mammogram appointment in a part of town you've never been to by bus and the bus turns out to be a commuter express, stop and consider that commuters stay all day and that route might not run in both directions in the morning.

Fortunately, from First Hill it's downhill everywhere, including Capitol Hill. I know how to get home from Capitol Hill. And the weather was nice and I wasn't in a hurry. And if I had researched an optimal ride home, I might not have found out that __________ _________ now sells ____ _____ and therefore would not have found ___ ___ _____ that will surprise _____ on Christmas.

Note to coffee shops. How about moving the tip jars to be accessible to where one picks up the coffee? Aren't tips based on service? Tipping when one pays means that one gambles on getting good service. Unfortunately the coffee shop near where I work has terrible service. I stopped automatically throwing money in the jar. Now I hold coins in my hand and watch the barristas work. The longer it takes and the more inefficient they appear (ie chatting and flirting with one another), more coins move from hand to pocket. If there are any left in my hand when I get my drink, they go in the jar. Jar is on the counter where you pay, but is on the side where the drinks are served. So it's not too rude to reach over and tip. Yesterday I got coffee in a new neighborhood and automatically followed my tipping routine. Service was FAST! But then, the tip jar was completely inaccessible unless I was willing to push a whole line of people out of the way. (Sorry! Next year I promise to tip double!)

Tuesday, November 20

I found my stitches!

It's not that they were lost, I didn't remember they existed.

Readers may remember I am working on a large shawl with a long name from Victorian Lace Today. After finishing one of my three skeins, I calculated that I would be 82 stitches short. However, the border gets knit on smaller needles, so I was carrying on and not worrying too much.

Yesterday I was rooting through my swatch bowl and stumbled upon this:

A swatch of Domy Heather. This is at least 25 stitches by 25 rows, at least 625 stitches. Not only is 625 greater than 82, I can add 625 potential stitches to my calculations for skeins two and three. I have a surplus of 1,793 stitches.

Speaking of looking for stitches... I am a member of an on-line social networking site for knitters and crocheters. A place to share information, finished objects, search for patterns, yarn and especially pattern and yarn combinations. It's really cool and useful. One thing about it bugs me though: its slogan. I don't get it. Why would people who probably do not speak in a particular (and controversial) vernacular adopt it for their slogan? Why would two White kids from Boston think it would be attractive to knitters around the world to use improper English grammar emulating a particular segment of Black culture? A piece of "culture" that has negative connotations and a checkered history. (See Thomas Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals. He argues that Black English is really an adoption of the White Cracker redneck poor English, not something that denotes any proud African heritage.)

I mentioned this to a friend, a much younger friend, who also is a knitter and participant of this very useful site. Her reply surprised me, but it did explain things. It turns out that the slogan was not just some random bit of Black slang turned into a knitting/crocheting context, it is from a hip-hop song. One of those songs with words derogatory, offensive, shocking to some and just plain incomprehensible to many (including me). So now I understand better why those four particular words were used for the slogan, but I don't really understand. Why would a worldwide community of men and women, mostly women, who share a love for creating beautiful and useful objects with their hands want to use a slogan that is tied to a song with lyrics that are nasty, especially nasty towards women? Actually, there's more than one set of lyrics. I am not sure who wrote the song, who wrote which version, who came up with the line in the first place. Seems to be popular though, with cafepress t-shirts and everything. I've tried to read and reread the lyrics to see, perhaps the song is really a homage to women or a particular woman? A love song? I honestly cannot tell.

Tuesday, November 13

Accentuate the positive

Checking in with a few random notes.

  • I ordered a laptop from the Buy One/Give One program of One Laptop Per Child. We've been following the OLPC program for years and happy to see that it is moving forward. Be a philanthropist and a geek at the same time for only $424 including shipping ($200 is tax deductible).

  • I made Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika from Elise's Simply Recipes blog and it was delicious.

  • Progress on the Cambridge Jacket! I got the sleeves seamed acceptably and cut the steek and sewed in a zipper. By hand. My first zipper installation and it worked. The sweater fits Franz well and just needs a collar. How long will that take?

  • I've been knitting other things as well, including lots of progress on the Large Triangle from VLT.LTfVLT11_13

  • Erika and I are doing well with our Hand Dyed Yarn Adventure. We've collectively sold 52 skeins of hand-dyed yarn. Oops, make that 53!