Sunday, March 27, 2011

900 meter dash

One week ago today, I was really hungover. Almost too hungover to knit, but I girded my loins (I'm listening to a historical yet trashy audio book can you tell?) and cast on: Knitting huge items and then throwing them into the washing machine to shrink them on purpose is amazing: See? Look at this circle that I started yesterday and finished today (that's 300 m in 24 hours): What a lovely bowl I've now got. I'm not sure if I want to put it in the china cabinet to hold yarn or in my bedroom to hold jewellery. I'm leaning towards the china cabinet - I have a feeling that the cats will want to sit in it. So, that's 900 meters knitted in 8 days. And during a week where I was frantically busy at work. Wow. Occasionally I even amaze myself.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring cleaning

This yarn has been sitting in the stash for four years. I bought it my first winter here in Chez Peepee, when I was broke, lonely, miserable at work and completely overwhelmed: It's time to get it out of here. I cast on for a basket, and now this is what is left, and the rest is disappearing in a hurry: I fancy a new spring handbag. That dark pink will do nicely.

Friday, March 25, 2011

We're having an election!

Let the shouting at the television and the computer screen begin!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Just in time for spring

I finished a bulky-weight cowl. Given the weather forecast, I won't be wearing this until next December:

And apparently, I'm well over due for a cut and colour.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Something completely different

I'm sure most knitters I know are familiar with my oft-repeated phrase, "the tinier the sticks and string, the happier I am." I really, really like making lace and socks. I like the fiddly-ness of lace and and the portability of socks.

So, I surprised myself when I bought two skeins of Cascade Magnum. At 123 meters and 250 grams, this is seriously bulky yarn. Totally different than my usual preference. I even bought the skeins two years apart. One was for a travelling scarf and the other... it was on sale.

So, with those two skeins taking up a whole bunch of real estate in the china cabinet, I went looking for a project. Seems 225 meters of really fat yarn is only good for accessories (no surprise there, actually).

I went looking for cowls, because that is something missing from my rather impressive scarf and hat collection.

The pattern I liked best was in French. Google translate was actually kind-of helpful, and after a couple of false starts, I managed to figure it out:

And the coolest part is I'm now trying something even more new - Kitchener stitch in ribbing. It requires concentration, because I can't use my little knit purl, purl knit groove, but it's working.

I'm glad I'm sober. It really requires concentration.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The F word

It's a day late, but I had an experience tonight that I can recount that maybe explains my inarticulate rage when it comes to talking about feminism.

I was sitting in a meeting, and as usual we wandered off topic, and my friend mentioned that she'd loved the clip I posted yesterday. I tried to respond to her, but other people started talking, and International Women's Day was mentioned, and the person to my right, a man that I love and respect, kind-of rolled his eyes.

I tried to not derail the entire meeting, and said something about how I wasn't going to let him wind me up. But, I couldn't let it go. I rattled off the lovely statistic from the video, that worldwide, women do two-thirds of the work, earn 10% of the income and own 1% of of the property. I really tried to be polite about it.

He rolled his eyes again, I think. And, this is where it gets hazy, because if I had actually had the ability to get all muscly and green to make my point, I would have done so. But instead, the following happened. It may not make sense, but my mind was so full of rage that I really did want to HULK SMASH the table. Except the table was holding delicious adult beverages. I am angry, I am not a fool:

I said no, this is important, that's why we need to talk about this, to work towards improving the situation... he said something to the effect of... but you live here. I said, I don't care, this is about the planet, it's about all of us. He said, but you aren't in... Ghana. I said no, but there are women in Ghana and they are having the same problems. He said, but you are here, not Ghana, and that's the third world anyway, it doesn't matter. I said that location and economic opportunities are irrelevant (well, that's what I meant, but what I said was more like...but, sputter, sputter, I'm not gonna talk about this with a bonehead, so there!) He said that it's not going to change in my lifetime. I said that doesn't mean that I shouldn't try, that the fact it's an uphill battle should not stop the fight. I said it's like stopping war. It's unlikely, but you have to try, to make your voice heard. He said that wasn't going to happen in his lifetime, never mind his. I said that doesn't matter, I have to try.

What I got from that rambling conversation (and I wish I was clever enough to elucidate this verbally) is that he was demonstrating in a real honest-to-god conversation why feminism is necessary. The fact that he thought it didn't matter because I'm here in Canada, and I've got it pretty good is why International Women's Day and feminism don't matter.

No, no it's not. His apathy and ignorance, and goddammit, the patriarchy is why things like International Women's Day and feminism are necessary.

Two thirds of the work. 10% of the income. 1% of the property. 52% of the population. How is that, in any way, equal?

No. Just no. I have a responsibility, as a human being (never mind having two X chromosomes) to speak out about injustice, prejudice, fear and ignorance whenever I encounter it. To point out privilege where I find it and recognize my own. This is why it's important, even though we've got it pretty good (though no where near equal, though that's a rant for another day) from where I'm standing. There's a whole developing world out there. Those people count as well.

Don't even get me started on violence against women. We didn't even touch on that, and that is a real big problem right here in the first world. Argh.

MISSTEA HULK SMASH! if that only solved the problems.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The work isn't anywhere near being finished

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.
- Cherise Kramarae and Paula Triechler

This video is why I shout to the heavens, constantly, that I am a feminist.

Today is International Women's Day, the 100th anniversary, in fact. I've been thinking about that quite a lot this week, and given some of the over-privileged opinion pieces (and downright ignorant comments on those opinion pieces) and bone-headed judicial decisions I've been reading, I have quite a lot to say.

But, as usual, time is short and I'm so full of HULK SMASH rage over how bad the F-word is that I can barely see straight. So, in lieu of coherent prose, go here. The Yarn Harlot pretty much sums it up without the profanity that I am liable to spew right now.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tossing the stash

Last week, when it was time to start another pair of bar and bus socks, I had a good look at the china cabinet.

It was time for a decent sort. I had been stuffing things in willynilly for months.

My instincts were wrong, when I thought that I didn't have any sock yarn:

I also have a little bit of lace yarn. I should get cracking on some of those shawls in my favourites:

Now that things are organized, or as much as it will be until I find some new baskets, I am inspired. I can't wait to get going on some things. Some things that I've been thinking about making for years. Isn't it amazing what you don't notice because you see it every day?

My aim is to knit up a lot of the stuff on the left. Some of it was purchased when I was married (10 years ago, ouch!). Gotta make room for those new baskets I'm dreaming about.