Friday, March 30, 2007

Pretty pretty

My Sahara for the Sexy Knitters KAL is coming along. It doesn't look like much here, but the bodice is down to my waist. I also have about 50 yards of the accent yarn beaded. Hooray for something nice today.

Still not merry

What a shitty day!

Really. No merriment going on here. First of all, there is a situation at my very important government job that makes me miserable. The problem is a weasel in people clothing there who wants to see my job eliminated. Every two months or so I have to defend myself against his attacks. Today was one of those days.

Then I came home to find cat shit. On. My. Bed. Yes, Duncan shat on my bedspread. I have to close the bedroom door during the day so Scott TC won't hang himself on the blinds, but Duncan has a habit of running into my room and hiding just as I'm leaving for work. I don't know why he does it, but once every few weeks I miss him and he's stuck there for 10 hours or so. And today he shat right on my bed. And then I discovered it by putting my hand down in cold cat shit.

So now I'm putting on my big girl underpants and running off to the store to get quarters for the washing machine.


The good news is that I'll be working on the Sahara tonight. I'll post the progress later.

Captain, I must protest. I am not a merry man!

Well, I'm not. That's me right there. I'm neither a man, nor am I particularly merry. In fact, I'm just an average 30 year old Jewish lady whose parents unfortunate foray into child naming creativity resulted in my being branded with a name that is a homophone of the name of this blog and a Christmas carol. Oh, the irony.

But since you're here, I'd like to take a few minutes to enlighten you about a few things.

First of all, did you know that an estimated 178,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to occur among women in the United States during 2007 and 40,460 women will die from breast cancer this year? Pretty depressing, but there's good news. Thanks to medical research, breast cancer is more survivable than ever. That research is expensive, folks. But you can help. Just click over there to the right. Yes, on the "Save Boobs" button and make a donation to the Komen for the Cure breast cancer research foundation in any amount. Seriously. It only takes a minute. And yes, you can donate a buck. After you've donated your $1, $5, or $100, you can come back here and continue reading. I promise you'll find what you're looking for.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Thanks for doing that. Now I'll share something else with you. I bet you didn't know that there are droves of sexy young knitters lurking about in America. Yep. We're young, we're beautiful, we knit, and we're everywhere. The media's been publishing it everywhere lately. In fact, WTTW's Chicago Tonight did a feature on us last week. That's actually what this blog is about. Knitting's not just for your grandma anymore.

And now for why many of you have come here. "The Merry Gentleman," a movie starring and directed by Michael Keaton is filming in Chicago this March and April. The film is Keaton's directorial debut and is described as an "Indie drama." I have no idea what that might mean. There's almost no other information on the Web about the film right now, but I'm hearing that people all over the city are seeing the filming in progress.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Extra! Extra!

Froebe Fibers gets a plug on the website of their local brick and mortar distributor:


Knitting movie review

This weekend I watched two movies from my Netflix queue whilst knitting: Borat and A Good Year. Borat came at the recommendation of several (male) friends. Of course, I picked A Good Year because Himself was in it.

My response to Borat is this: I want those two hours of my life back. I was appalled. Yes, I knitted during the two hours the movie was on, but the experience of the movie was so horrifying that I've blocked most of those two hours out, and so they are lost from me. I actually heard an interview with Mr. Cohen on NPR last week that prompted me to put the movie in my queue. I recall the interviewer commenting on how she expected to see an awful lot of poorly done knockoffs from this movie in the marketplace soon. I wonder how she proposes to tell the difference. Perhaps I don't get the humor because I don't have a Y chromosome, but I can't see how the naked scene in the hotel room was in any way entertaining, nor can I see the humor in presenting one's dinner guest with a bag of sh*t. The one mildly amusing thing about the movie was that Sasha Cohen was speaking Hebrew most of the time when he wasn't speaking English. In the name of human decency, don't rent this movie. It will only encourage the making of more crap like it.

A Good Year of course had the benefit of some eye candy. Apart from that, it was an average romantic comedy. It wasn't a great and engrossing movie, which is good because I was splitting my attention between it and the yarn. I'd say it was a good knitting movie.

Apparently, there is a movie called "The Merry Gentleman" that is filming in Chicago this year. Since this blog is attracting a lot of traffic for people who want to know about the movie, I'll try to keep you updated. After all, the movie is getting people to look at my little ole knitting blog.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I've been on some kind of manic knitting binge.

Sahara is done to the armpits. The Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora is soft, shiny, and has a nice drape. It's really perfect for this sweater. Whoa.
The arabesque trim will be some of my Kool-Aid dyed silk throwster yarn. I'm threading some metalic glass beads on for fun. This yarn should work nicely if it doesn't get too fuzzy.
Lastly, one of the Rock and Weave socks is done with the exception of buttons. AAAAND, I finally managed to graft the toe properly. This sock took no time at all, and is my favorite so far. I'm going to have to resist the urge to hurry to make the second one. There is still a Roza's Sock and a Froebe Fibers sock not done. And yes, I did just hike my foot up onto my bike for the snap.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Why do I knit?

Why do I knit? It's certainly not to save money on socks.

I know, I know. I promised an answer to this question days ago, but the answer I've been formulating is so deep and profound that it required days of thought and this warning:

***Warning, the following post includes deep thoughts, grandiose social theorizing, and yarn induced mishegas. Proceed with caution.***

I knit because I have a profound need to make things. Whether it's a bowl of soup or a pair of socks, I have a need to create something with my hands and use the things that I make. I do not knit for relaxation or to achieve a state of zen-like inner peace. Knitting certainly does not put me into that altered state of consciousness that some knitters achieve rivaling Indian fakirs laying on beds of red hot nails. In fact, knitting often makes me nuts. That's why my knits spend so much time in jail. I am not a process knitter.

This could suffice to answer the question, but I'm not going to let it.

What put this need to make things into my psyche? As much as I totally hate to admit identifying with the label, I'm a Gen-Xer. Yup. I was born in the 70's to Baby Boomer parents. I'm a member of the generation of over-educated, underpaid, cynical misanthropes. Gen-Xers grew up seeing our parents make a mess of things. Social security is raided. Our faith in traditional modes of life is shattered. Our parents are divorced. They told us that we could have the American dream through education, but now we're in debt up to our eyeballs and need a second wage earner to afford a house. Worst of all, we pay $4.00 for coffee at Starbucks. With a hole in our hope for the American Dream as big as the one in the ozone layer, we're looking for something, but know not what.

Faithful reader, I can tell you "what." Gen-Xers who have realized our pain and disillusionment are seeking authenticity. Some of us, yes, are buying luxury homes with 50 year mortgages and getting upset when there's not enough foam on our lattes. However, others have acknowledged our sense of loss and disappointment with not being able to achieve the 1950's version of the American dream that our parents grew up in. We detest the "me" attitude of the 1980's. Some of us are neither slackers nor misanthropes. Or rather, we're reformed slackers and misanthropes. We've accepted our financial insecurity and embraced our independence.

Generation X is looking for something meaningful on our terms. Gen-Xers want to experience a meaningful and authentic life, but we're distrustful of the ways our parents and grandparents did it (and farked everything up). So we're going about things in ways that our parents didn't. Some have gone crunchy and prefer to eat only organic food rather than scarf down Bird's Eye frozen frankenpeas. A few found meaning in new age spiritual movements instead of going to church. I choose to make socks instead of buying those nice nylon ones that will one day live forever in a landfill.

So that's why I need to make things. I'm disillusioned with the single serving culture that I've lived in all my life. I want things that take effort to achieve and bring lasting pleasure. So I knit socks.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday update

What have I done all week with my knitting? You'll see.

Green Tea Raglan
I recently stared on the Green Tea Raglan using the Classic Elite Bam Boo from the frogged tank top. This project and the next one are basically embodiments of my desire for spring to come, lightweight garments using airy drapey yarns. The raglan is very slow going, as the entire thing is in seed stitch. However, I'm managed almost 6" up to the waist. This top is coming out way nicer than the last project I made from this yarn, and I totally can't wait to wear it.

I joined the sexy knitters club this week. Don't worry, I'm far from knitting silk panties and posting them here. I signed up just in time for a knit along for the Sahara sweater, a top down number with arabesque detailing on the edges. This should be a quicker knit than the raglan, as most of it is just in stockinette. When I saw the KAL announcement, I recalled a yarn in the depths of my stash that should be perfect. Some time ago I got a real deal on a full bag of Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora in a beige-y color. I want to do the detailing in a contrasting color with clear beads. So I went stash diving for some other crazy yarn and found several skeins of undyed fingering weight silk throwster yarn in there that I'd like to use. The problem is the color. I dyed a little with blue Kool-Aid this morning. Take a look at the yarns side by side. What do you think? I'm terrible with color matching, so please give me feedback.

Sari Yarn Jacket
Bon Voyage sari yarn jacket! This knit is taking a long holiday. It has not misbehaved, but it's getting frogged and put back into the stash until I work out a better pattern and fall is nearer.

Rock and Weave
I love this sock. I love this sock so much. However, it committed a series of serious crimes. By yesterday afternoon, I had finished the gusset and was able to try it on. The sock was found to have gotten two baggy for my tiny foot and to have a totally messed up heel turn. So I had to rip it all back to the cuff. Normally a knit would have gotten a very harsh sentence for such a heinous crime spree. However, I immediately re-knit it back to its pre-frogged state. If you suspect bribery and official misconduct in the sentencing of this knit, you may be right.
Melon Ball Sock
The melon ball sock is in a holding cell for contempt. The knit is a material witness in the case of the missing stitch, but refuses to talk. It will remain there as long as it continues to conceal the location of said missing stitch. The judge will evaluate the case daily, and the sock will be released and finished immediately when and if the stitch is found.

Roza's Sock
Roza's sock #2 is still only two rows big. I'm only human.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lost stitch

As I am still without authorization to move forward with my next very important government project, today I occupied myself with menial labor at work all day. Specifically, I babysat a copy machine to make thousands of flyer's for one of our community programs. Seeing as how I am on the payroll of the communications department and am socialist at heart and therefore find dignity in all work, I didn't mind the babysitting. It gave me time to knit. Between pressing the START button every 25 copies, I worked on Tzurriz's second sock in Froebe Fibers's Melon Ball colorway. It was very productive, as I completed my first short-row heel.

Scott TC is modelling the sock here. He's such a handsome fellow. With a little work, I think he'll have a career in modeling. Just look the the high cheekbones and vacant stare. Marvelous raw material.

There is a missing stitch on the instep. I can't see a dropped stitch anywhere, so I turned the sock over to Scott TC for questioning. He first tried a mind meld, but the sock would not give up the location of the lost stitch. Nada. Then he and Duncan moved on to the good-cop/bad-cop routine. Scott was the bad cop. I'll tell you what. Tzurriz has created some very strong yarn here. It resisted the harshest interrogation techniques. I mean look at this guy. He can be very scary when he wants to. He broke me down years ago. After the questioning, Scott sentenced the reticent knit to the weekend in jail.

With that mishegas out of the way, there is a more interesting announcement to make. For those of you in the Chicago area, Chicago Tonight aired a story on knitting in our city on March 21. I just watched it for free on Comcast On Demand. If you have this service and want to see the several minute segment, go to On Demand and look for the Get Local button. Access that menu and find WTTW. Chicago tonight will have about a week's work of shows there. The episodes aren't labelled, so you'll have to watch the first few minutes to find out if you've got the right one, you'll have to watch the first few minutes.

The segment included interviews with knitters at the Stitches Salon, some LYS's, and a men's group. Several of the interviewees talked about why they knit. Their goal was to show that knitting is not just for old ladies anymore and explored the origins of the knitting boom. One woman proposed that it was sparked by the September 11th attacks, but I'm not sure I buy that.

The show made me think about why I knit and what do I think led to the current popularity of knitting. I shall ponder this and report back tomorrow. Stay tuned for my purls of wisdom...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Totally uninspired

I feel totally uninspired to write anything today. And I'm bored. Just bored.

Boredom is a terrible feeling. It's such a waste of time that it's a sin. I've been trying very hard to not waste time and to be aware of the passage of my life. To be greatful of every moment that the Creator of the Universe has granted me. To make even restful time productive, even if all that it produces is just revitalization. Blah, blah, blah. (I've been reading a lot of Rabbi Pliskin's stuff)

So now I'm sitting here bored to death, dreaming of being able to go home where I can run in the woods and knit socks. Oh. Running and sock knitting. Bliss and Nirvana. I wonder if I can combine the two activities in a way that will not result in my death? I'm very accident prone in my running, and tend to break my body parts on a regular basis. I have a vision of being found dead on the trail with a size 1 DPN to the heart and a skinned knee. At least I would have died happy and productive, blessing the Creator with my industry.

To change the subject, I have to complain about my very important government job. I can't really complain about it in a specific way because, well, they might find this and read it. Anyway. Do you know what I hate? While I'm sure that you could go through the archive for this blog and come out with a list of my mishegas, I will tell you here and save you the trouble. Today I hate when I'm asked to do something for work and not actually given the authority to execute said very important government task. I am sitting here and bored because I'm waiting for the authorization to do my job in a specific case.

I wonder if I could speed things along by brandishing pointy sticks. I'm afraid, however, that that would be another way to lose my life as a result of the pointy sticks. There are a lot of men with guns around here. But at least it would be fun and not boring.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So many socks...

This is becoming...something. Is it bad? Really?

I went and cast on three socks this weekend. From left to right, Roza's sock#2, Rock and Weave in Socks That Rock colorway Jewel of the Nile, and Becca's second Melon Ball sock. Speaking of Becca, she and her mom have finally launched their store, Froebe Fibers. I hope this sock turns out ok, it's my first toe up attempt. I just couldn't not start the second socks of the two pairs. But the Jewel of the Nile was calling me from my sock yarn box. I could hear is whispering to me from across the bedroom at night, "MB, knit me. We'll be so happy together..." So I cast in on and made the cuff. My GAWD, it's beautiful. Just look at the detail here.

These are ankle socks, and there will certainly be lots of yarn left over. OOOOh. What will I make with that? Certainly something with this yarn in the stitch shown here for the cuff.

So, three mismatched socks on the needles. That's got to be bad luck.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Real yarn porn

I have knitted a breast. And I've done it for a good reason.

I've started the Knit-a-Tit knit-a-long to raise breast cancer awareness among knitters and to create comfortable and pretty breast prosthesis for women whose lives have been touched by breast cancer. I'm told that these handmade breasts are more comfortable, and comforting, than the traditional silicone prosthesis. All funds and boobs collected by the KAL will be donated to the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for breast cancer research this summer.

So now you've found a use for that little hank of angora you've been petting in your stash. Or an excuse to buy some new yarn! Knit big ones and little ones, colorful ones, and fuzzy ones. Check out the KAL to find out how! Then steal the button and link to your blog or website.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-day

Several friend and I will be walking in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day this year, and we've alread started our training. We'll be walking 60 miles through the Chicago area to raise money for breast cancer research. Please click below to find out why I've decided to take on this challenge and to give your finacial support to the cause in any amount you're comforatble with.

Click the link. Save a boob.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Covetting Koigu KPPPM

I need a skein of Koigu! Well, I need another skein of Koigu. I have one beautiful skein in a dusty pink and blue colorway. I adore and pet it regularly, and covet it. My prrrrecioussss. I am saving it to make something for MMMEEEE!

I made a purse out of Koigu for a very good friend of mine for Christmas. I had two, now I have one. Well, Sarah wants a hat of that yarn for her birthday in May. And I don't wanna give up my only skein.

So, please, all you Chicago knitters. Please tell me where in the area I can get one more skein of Koigu. Make my lifelong friend happy without putting me through the separation from my precious. Where can I buy it? Please don't make me drive down to Indy to get it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

New strategies

Stash management

I'm working on a new stash management strategy since the stash took over a drawer in my dresser. The new scheme involves photograph boxes purchased at local craft stores. I just bought three and transferred some of my stash into them. The transfer will take place as I get more of them. Pictured here is the first phase of the implementation. From left to right, we have sock yarn, weird orphan wool, and pink alpaca horde. Additionally, the sari yarn jacket (which really belongs in the sweater holding cell) is in a burlap rice bag. I will also need boxes for crappy wool, silks, sweater holding cell, and jail. Jail is currently in my work in progress basket in my living room. Clearly, a project sentenced to long term imprisonment does not deserve to be mixed in with well behaved knits. These evil creations may contaminate the nicer projects and cause a mutiny.

Dealing with bad guys

I'm thinking of taking a page out of the history books for dealing with bad guys. This page would be something I learned from King Tut, actually. I find learning from him fitting, considering that my greatest childhood ambition was to discover King Tut's tomb. On my trip to the Egypt museum in Cairo back in the day, I saw all King Tut's treasures. And let me tell you, that guy had a lot of stuff. Well, I saw a pair of shoes that the king had. He actually had at least a dozen, more than I have. But the ones pictured here are of special note. On the insoles are pictures of his enemies placed there so the king could walk on his enemies wherever he trod.

With my fair isle skills, I may be able to employ a similar strategy when dealing with bad guys. I could knit the likenesses of people who anger me into the soles of socks, and walk on them with a smile on my face. This could be not only fun, but cathartic.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Why there'll be no red brisket on my plate this St. Paddy's Day

Yes, I'm a Jew. But I'm also Irish. My da's family is from Ireland, and a do strongly identify with my Irish heritage. And I'll not eat the red brisket (corned beef) on St. Paddy's Day.

First of all, corned beef of every type is nasty. Second of all, the red brisket (beef cured in pickling salt with herbs and garlic) is not an Irish recipe. It is an Eastern European, possibly Jewish food. This does not make me like it any more. Corned beef is nearly unknown in Ireland, and it's certainly not the national dish. It seems that the Irish did go through a period of eating a dish made of salted beef scraps and cabbage during The Hunger of the mid-1800's. This would have been famine food made of cheap and plentiful cabbage and low quality meat scraps. Certainly not a feast. It was a last resort meal brought about by a manufactured famine. And nothing to be nostalgic about. But somehow here in America it became a big Irish deal. This is all notwithstanding the fact that St. Paddy's Day comes during Lent, when traditionally the very Catholic Irish would not have been eating meat of any kind.

So, you may be asking, "What is the national Irish dish?" I would have to name The Pint at the top of the potential list for this honor. In Ireland, two pints make a good lunch. If you don't have the constitution to have only The Pint as your St. Paddy's day supper, try starting off with one of two much more authentic and cherished Irish dishes. One nice celebratory meal would be a boiled dinner of a bacon joint. Or you could try a nice fish pie if you're observing Lent. Then continue with your Irish pride by lifting a Pint to honor St. Paddy!

Depressed in the morning

Does this happen to anyone else? I feel very depressed for the first hour or two after I wake up nearly every morning. After I'm up and around, I feel fine. But, man, getting out of the house is hard. This isn't anything new. It's been going on for as long as I can remember. Blah.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Aleta, I'm walking

Ah. It's days like this that I really appriciate the way life is getting back to normal for me. It's really too bad that a relationship had to end for me to get back to this place. Today was great. I woke up this morning and walked three miles, and ran one mile later in the afternoon. I'm feeling rested and refreshed. The weather was perfect today. I was a bit sore afterward because of my winter of stoth. But never fear. The Lush Marathon Bar was to the rescue! And now I'll stop blubbering on and get down to knitting business.

One. One Roza's sock. Ah, ah, ah. I finished knitting one Roza's sock today. Scott TC only snipped the yarn twice, once 1/2" from the top and once 1/2" from the bottom. Duncan is helping me model it here.

I also made one side of a chair cushion cover. This will be my official SNB cushion because those seats are hard.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Ah, the snow is melting and the sun is shining. That means running season for MB. This is a picture of the view from my 4th floor window in suburban Chicago. Ignore the screen. Actually, if is wasn't for the trees, this would be a view up the Stevenson to the Chicago skyline. I was running down there just now. The idea was to run two miles (I have to be able to do 10 in under 1 hour 40 minutes by Memorial Day). However, it was do sloggy that only one mile was possible.

Roza's socks are coming along. This photograph is enlarged to show texture. Ignore the Ducan fur.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gurgle gurgle

I'm coming to you shortly after the end of my day at my very important government job completely covered in spit and water.

Our very important government cable director called me down to his office today because he needed me to do some very important government work. Namely, to make water gurling noises with my mouth. He's going to be putting the noise into something he's filming. I'm sure that whatever it is, it's very important and for the benefit of our constituents. Probably he's making something about the new sewer pipes on the north side of the town.

I was happy to oblige. I endure much butt kissing every day, and this couldn't be any more harrowing. It turned out to be an unfortunate mess because my gag reflex is about 1/2" behind my teeth. I almost yak when I bush my teeth in the morning. Of course, gargling water caused a great spouting of water all over myself and on the floor.

And you wondered whether civil servants actually make sacrifices for thier jobs.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

SNB in the South Suburbs

Warning - this post is full of Yiddishisms, Chicagoisms, and general crudeness.

Last night I went to my Wednesday night SNB with the girls in Tinley Park. Woo, that was a hoot. Perhaps someone was working with hemp yarn, and we were all getting a contact high. Theresa was the leader of the scandal, but I have to admit a great deal of guilt in egging it on.

Schlemiels on wheels
To start with, I arrived all in a shtuk. Usually, the drive from my very important government job to SNB takes about an hour. Maybe and hour and fifteen minutes. Last night the schlep took two hours! And it was all the fault of idiots! Idiots on wheels! There wasn't even rain! I mean I know that I live in Chicago, and we have shitty traffic. One traffic snarl up on a major road effects everybody commute. OK. OK. But this was re-in-donkulous.

First of all, there was a jackknifed semi on the Tristate Tollway (that's I-294 for non-Chicagoans) at 95th street that had things blocked up all the way to Irving park. This is at least 15 miles of traffic jam, and during the rush hour no less. The jackknifed semi was blocking the three right lanes right after the toll. Personally, I think that when a semi (this is a tracker trailer) jackknifes on the expressway (the freeway, folks), they should make everyone stand back while they blow the fucker up. In only a few minutes the flames and debris will be gone, and people can drive past. It would cause less delay and difficulty than the enormous process of righting the thing and towing it away. Besides, any trucker who manages to jackknife on dry pavement deserves to have his rig blown up.

So I heard about this mess and decided on the next best alternate way home. Illinois Rt. 83. Pshaw! That was backed up all the way from Roosevelt to the Eisenhower (I-290). I thought that the problem must be that so many people where using it as an alternate to the Tristate. But I was wrong. I got to the hugely enormous intersection of Rt. 83 and Roosevelt road to find that the whole mess was being caused by a stalled pickup right smack in the center lane at the intersection. Like he'd been waiting first in line for the light when he ran out of gas. Now, this intersection is very busy and hard to get through anyway. And this guy had been blocking it up for at least 25 minutes, because that's how long I was sitting in traffic trying to get around him. I have no idea what he was thinking, because he must not have called the cops. None were yet in site to get him out of there. I mean, if I were blocking that intersection during the rush hour, I'd call the cops straight away so that they could protect my life from all the commuters I was pissing off as a result of forgetting to put gas in my car.

Finally, I got off that road near my place and discovered that several of the north-south streets where closed off for a chemical spill! I'd been giving thought to skipping the Essing and Beeing in favor of a bath and TV after the driving ordeal. No such luck for MB! Basically, I could not get near my home. I found my way to LaGrange Road to start going south toward Tinley Park, and that road was all jammed up with idiots. As I progressed through the traffic jam, I discovered the reason for the problem. That's right. The reason was fuckall. It was just a traffic jam for good measure with no cause. Getting past that one, I discovered another on the Cal-Sag road heading east. But at last I arrived at SNB.

Theresa's new husband
Theresa made an announcement last night. She whipped out a cable swatch made of the yarn she bought on The Fold trip from two weeks ago and exclaimed "I love this yarn, and I'm going to have its babies." I'm so happy that Theresa has found her new mate, and we all had to admit that it was a very good choice. I'd definitely sleep with that yarn. And I don't even know it's name.

Theresa also saved the day by telling us that she read about a very good use for those tiny 20-yard balls of super nice yarn we all have and can't throw out. She relayed a story that she read about on one of her hard core knitting lists. Apparently, a woman made an angora willie warmer for her mister. Of course, being a man, he decided to slip in on under his pants one day so he could have a secret reason to smile. Well, it gets rather warm and moist in the nether regions of the pants - and oh, oh, you knitters know what happened next... Yes, the yarn felted to his pubes resulting in an involuntary Brazilian. Oh my. I needed that. You have to wonder about when it started pulling and getting tight, did he just think he was getting excited? I am also forced to beg the question, "Do willie warmers tempt the sweater curse?"

Knitting anthropology
My last report on SNB last night is about one of the new ladies that showed up. I don't remember her name (sorry new lady). She is apparently taking a graduate class in anthropology and wants to do a study on knitters. Now I'm speechless.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


The new knitty is out!

I don't even know what to do with myself! I'm all aflutter. I mean, just look at those bmp's! I gotta have 'em. You remember playing Space Invaders on the Atari, don't you! Now the game can be immortalized in socks! Oh, I'm gonna make those. But I have skiens and patterns for other socks I was in love with last week in my stash Wow. WOO! I'm so unbelievably tickled over this. You should see me. It's pretty disgusting.

I just checked on knitpicks about getting Essential in the proper colors. It looks like the only appropriate color they have is the black (and no white). It looks like I'm going to have to do some Kool-Aid dying on some yarn. Woo!

Is there a 12-step program for me? Maybe no. I certainly haven't hit bottom yet.

I try so hard not to be superstitious

I mean, it's illogical right? Superstitions make no sense at all.

What is that one about things coming in threes? Ah, yes. I'd think it has something to do with the three on a match superstition.

I've had a "three" lately, and all related to people of the male persuasion. In the weeks following my mister-ectomy, I had three blast from the pasts from men I used to know or date (or who wanted to date me).

First there was the guy who showed up at the coffee house where my South Suburbs SNB group meets. I went out with the guy briefly several years ago. We keep meeting at strange times, and he usually doesn't recognize me. Our paths should not cross. We have nothing in common. Yet he keeps popping up. Hmm.

There there is the guy who I worked with at a volunteer job. We've made contact.

Lastly, a certain Scoundrel has made contact with me. (Scott X-BF is not a scoundrel, just a jerk. Calling him anything stronger gives him too much credit for effort.) I never want to see or speak to this Scoundrel again. He's a dangerous and nasty person who belongs in a dark pit forever.

Seeing as how I had this strange string of bumping into people from my past in recent history, I thought I'd see if luck would be with me. Last night I purchased my first lottery ticket since 2002. The jackpot was some outrageous amount like $370 million, and so I decided to test the cosmic forces. Needless to say, superstitions and luck do not work in the real world, because I'm off to my very important government job to earn my paycheck.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

They're giving a grant for...

At my very important government job, I receive a lot of announcements for grants that some agency or company is giving for whatever they feel is important. Some of them are great, and help the little town I work for fund roadwork and police equipment. Others are merely irrelevant to us because they are for things like helping lobstermen buy safer traps or controlling malaria in Tanzania. The last category of grants announcements I run across are the completely inane:

The Hasbro company is giving grants of $50 - $1,000 for college D&D (that's Dungeons and Dragons) clubs to by new chairs and Doritos. The total amount of the awards will be $20,000.

There is another that funds projects for non-profits to start blogs for use as a fundraising tool. Perhaps I should apply for that one.

And then there was the million dollars the feds were giving out to fund potato research.

Somehow, I think some of this money could go to better use. But perhaps you think you could do a lot of good with some of this money. Perhaps we can work out a deal.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cryptic post

Do you ever want to live under a rock? I do. As long as the rocks holding it up don't shift, you're safe. In fact, I did it for a while when I lived in a religious community. Right now I want to go back under the rock. I understand why people become monks and nuns. Maybe I would be a nun if I were Catholic and didn't like sex.

Sometimes the unsafeness of the world comes up and hits me in the head. It just hit me in the head again. I think I'd be safer under the long as I remember to duck.

Socks and TV

Socks, socks, socks.

This weekend I actually had...a weekend! I rested when I wanted to rest, and I went out and did things when I wanted to. I even slept in as late as I wanted to. It's a big change after months and months of running my butt off every weekend trying to make up for lost time.

As I lay about the house enjoying the solitude and freedom, I worked on socks. No sweaters, only socks. I made lots of progress on my Roza's socks and finished the Song of Joy socks I've been working on for the last month.

During the sock knitting, I had the chance to watch a few movies and some TV. Netflix sent me two movies from my queue, Babel and Tristan and Isolde. Babel was a difficult movie to watch, but fantastic. It tells three interwoven stories about people in different parts of the world, and does a lot of jumping forward and backward in time. Not only was a lot of attention required to keep track of what was happening, but the movie was extremely tense. All three story lines were about people in physical or emotional pain and struggling through an immediate crisis. The tension was constant, and sort of uncomfortable. But that was what made it a great movie. Truth be told, I think I need to watch it again without the needles and yarn. As for Tristan and Isolde, it sucked the big one.

The other mentionable thing I watched was the Discovery channel documentary about the "Lost Tomb of Jesus." I can't pass up biblical archaeology documentaries, even if they are Christian. I have a background in biblical archaeology, having made aliyah when I was 19 so I could study the subject on the ground in Israel. I am fairly familiar with basic methodology and the political issues surrounding archaeology in that part of the world. Frankly, I found the documentary suspicious at best.

The director, Simcha Jacobovici, has a number of fairly impressive Zionist credentials. It turns out that he's a Sabra and involved in a number of Zionist organizations. I thought that perhaps he had some sort of Christian agenda, but I was apparently wrong.

He, however, does not seem to have any archaeological credentials worth anything. His methods were not scientific, and it seemed that he drew conclusions, and then went about trying to prove them. The way "evidence" was presented was also misleading. As a former archaeologist, I know that archaeology is a discipline of circumstantial evidence. There is almost never a "smoking gun" in archaeology. It is a slow and tedious process of learning everything you can from physical and historical evidence, and then drawing conclusions that need to be subject to peer review.

The Jacobovici documentary was plain "archaeo-porn." The sort of stuff of Indiana Jones that excites lay people, but has no basis in the scientific work that is the meat and potatoes of the field. After spending two hours of my life on watching what certainly was an entertaining TV program, I'm left with a question. Clearly, the director had an agenda that he was pushing. Well, he had two. One was money, of course. But what was the political agenda behind the making of this film? I mean, it was made in Israel, where everything is about politics.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Say it Loud! Say it Proud!


Don't let anyone make you guilty about buying and collecting your crack sock yarn.

Thanks to Kris, graphic designer extraordinaire, we can declare our stash pride on our blogs! Feel free to steal the button, but don't be a bandwidth theif.


We're having a particularly nasty spring here in Chicago. There's been one late season snowstorm after another, leading to all kinds of travelling problems. Right now, I'm getting ready for the 20 mile drive to my very important government job, and it's started snowing again. Of course, like any Chicagoan I see the snow as a plot crafted to personally inconvenience me.

By March 1, I am usually well into my training for the summer running season. Not this year! I wanted to run last night, but the trails were impassible with melting snow and slush. Instead, I stayed in and worked on socks and they're finally far enough along to show (never mind the leg stubble. remember, I'm single now):

It looks like I'm actually managing the brioche stitch. It was tricky at first, but it turns out to be very easy. I also love the socks in this yarn. Knitpicks Essential is a very fine weight, even for sock yarn. It's also loosely spun and stretchy, so it's making a very nice sock without a lot of bulk.