You know? There’s something to be said for easy-peasy garter stitch. It seems to be the perfect antidote to stress. It’s calming to be able to knit the same thing over and over, to be able to knit without looking or thinking, or to get into a calming rhythm. I know there are people out there who really don’t love doing garter stitch, because the monotony of it drives them batty. But the thing is that I don’t think I am one of those people.
All Day Event
June 13, 2009
Check this website to find an event near you.
The Bowie Borders Knitting Meetup is not listed as an official event for the day, but to honor the day we WILL be meeting on the 13th in our usual spot at 2 p.m. That’s the Borders Books in Bowie MD, located in the same strip as Target. See you there!
I am just about fed up with knitting right now. Do you see this yarn? It mocks me. I’ve been trying to make a mitered square a la Vivian Høxbro, and for some reason, no matter how easy it seems, I’m always messing up. Somehow one leg of my square is always bigger than the other. They’re supposed to be, well, square, which would, of course, imply that the sides must be the same size. Why, oh why can’t I seem to count?
I have this goofy idea of making a mitered square knitted version of the Babette Blanket, where, instead of crocheting individual squares, I’ll be knitting mitered squares and knitting them onto each other as I go. I’ll use the basic layout of the Babette blanket as my guide, and various colors of Noro Kureyon yarn. I can see it in my head. But this first square is going to be the death of me. I’ve started it, and ripped it out completely, twice now. I’d love to see this idea starting to take shape, but here I am, months into the project, and I still only have this yarn ball to show. Can you hear its maniacal laughter? Dr. Demento is running through my head right now. (“They’re coming to take me away, ha ha, ho ho, hee hee, they’re coming to take me away.”) Shut up. You know you hear it. Stop laughing at me.
My daughter, on the other hand, is having much better luck with her knitting. Tonight Diana knitted two more little hearts! Only this time, she got my huge bag of polyfill out of the closet (we call it, “monkey butt,” in honor of the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Monkeys that I hope to knit and stuff their butts with it someday… ok, don’t ask). So she made this teeny little heart pillow as practice, because she wants to make a bigger one. I think she’s getting the idea of the heart shape down. Cool, huh? My daughter is a knitter!
Today was a good day. Her Highness the Tween was the only girl in her class invited to participate in a regional math competition at the University of Maryland. She and DH skipped ice skating lessons today and headed out early, which meant I got to spend the morning with BoyZilla. He was being wonderful and goofy. He spent the morning making silly faces at me (I submit this photo as evidence), showing me his best moves from yesterday’s first grade dance party, and telling me excitedly about his favorite scenes from last night’s episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I never was more than a casual observer to the whole Star Wars thing, despite being married to a Star Wars fan (who would never miss anything related to the genre in the theaters, but would never go so far as to clad himself in costume and wait all night in line). So now, thanks to heightened interest by a 7-year-old boy, I am learning more about the characters and their comings and goings, who is whose enemy, and practically every punchline along the way. It’s ok, though; I don’t mind that my son is discovering something new to spark his own creativity.
I even got a haircut today. You have no idea what a big deal this is. I used to have a stylist that came out to the house, and she’d do all four of us at once. Now, though, she no longer comes here, so my family goes to her shop, which is inaccessible to me. Which means I have to go somewhere else separately, which I wouldn’t mind, except that it seems hard to work my little appointments in. But, I went today. Not that I needed it or anything… my spiky hair was getting too long to be spiky and I was desperate. So, I do feel better.
But, you see, I’ve got this overarching sense of dread. This weekend is the 81st Annual Academy Awards, an event which I never miss. I am brought back to wonderful memories of dinner parties with my good college friend on Oscar night, where we’d sit on the sofa with plates of cheap spaghetti in our laps, lights out and eyes fixed toward the TV for more than three hours. Or the day in 1990, when Daniel Day-Lewis won for My Left Foot, a source of particular pride as his portrayal of a person with CP was flawless, and then later that same year, the Americans with Disabilities Act became law. Mr. Day-Lewis came for a special screening of the film in Congress that year, as part of the final push toward passage of the law. I was there. It was wonderful. So to see him win the award just a few weeks later, that was the best ever Oscar night for me.
But this year, I’m dreading the whole thing. You see, Jerry Lewis will be receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award because of his longstanding work with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He is being commended, they say, for raising millions of dollars to help find a cure for what some only know as a “terrible disease.”
But to those of us living with disabilities, Mr. Lewis’ selection this year is like a slap in the face. His use of pity and negative stereotypes of people with disabilities in the name of raising money has done a great disservice to the community at large, those of us who battle to break down those old stereotypes every day.
Jerry Lewis would have you believe that people with disabilities should be pitied, and that because our bodies don’t work, we should learn to be happy being “half a person.”
He is known for saying this about his methods: “If it’s pity we’ll get some money. I’m just giving you the facts. Pity … if you don’t want to be pitied for being a cripple in a wheelchair, don’t come out of the house.”
Do I want people with that kind of attitude representing people like me, in any way? You’ve got to be kidding. I do come out of my house, every day. Yes, I use a wheelchair. It’s true, I really can’t walk. I never have been able to. But, I am a wife, a mother, a worker and a taxpayer in this country. I do not want pity. I want equality. And for the millions of people who aren’t disabled, who sit there year after year and listen to him drivel on and on about how sad and incomplete my life must be, and come away with that attitude fixed in their minds? How will I ever be able to compete with them, for fair employment, equal access, and basic human dignities, when somehow my life is portrayed as less than human?
No thanks, Mr. Lewis, I don’t need your help. I’ve spent my entire life trying to shed the negative image you’ve cast upon me. You don’t know me at all. I am whole. Even in a wheelchair. My life is good. It might be hard to believe, but I really don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself all day. I don’t have time for that. Guess what? Other people depend on me. Yes, I am disabled, but I am the one who pays my bills, puts food on my table, takes care of my kids when they’re sick, and does all the other things that just about any other woman, disabled or not, would do.
I will watch the Awards this weekend. But I will be crying on the outside, and raging on the inside. I cannot believe it has come to this.
Many of my friends and colleagues are actively protesting the Academy and its decision to grant this award to Jerry Lewis this weekend. I urge you to visit the following resources:
- The Trouble with Jerry
- LA Weekly: Jerry Lewis Oscar Protest Looms
- The Progressive: Jerry Lewis Doesn’t Deserve a Humanitarian Award at the Oscars
Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll watch this weekend’s awards with a new perspective.
Yesterday I received a package from Knit Picks. While it contained no yarn (this time!), I confess that I caved on the last day of their big book sale. I think I went a little nuts. Over the next few entries I will talk a bit about the books I got and what I like about them.
First up is Knitted Finger Puppets: 34 Easy-to-Make Toys, by Meg Leach. I’ve been on this kick lately where I’ve been wanting to make teeny, quick, little knitted things, and these projects just about fit the bill. I can’t wait to make some of these. There are enough animal designs to create an entire finger puppet zoo, a Christmas-themed set starring Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Some characters that will enable one to act out the stories from several fairy tales, and a whole circus set. I can’t wait to make some of these! They really do look so fun!
Next up is Knitted Toys: 25 Fresh and Fabulous Designs, by Zoe Mellor. I love this lady’s books! The items in here are all so cute. I wish I had had this book years ago when my daughter was younger, because I think she would have liked to play with a lot of the things in this book. I especially love the Dress Up Dolly and the Knitted Snake. But the Kitty Pyjama Bag is also adorable, and maybe if I can get up the gumption this year I’ll make that one for one of my young nieces.
In knitting news this week, I frogged my giant mitered square that has been in my knitting purse for the last three months. It was huge, for one thing, and it was on needles that were too small. Noro Kureyon on 4′s? I am a loose knitter, so when I knit a hat this is what I would usually use since I prefer very warm, tightly knit hats. But the square was coming out feeling a bit like a horse blanket. And that wasn’t what I was going for! So I started over, with half as many stitches and size 8 needles instead. I think I’m going to like it much better. I’ll try to post pics tomorrow.
Happy Friday! Ciao for now.
Tonight I finally finished my Valentine’s Day treats for my co-workers. Phew! I only go in the office two days each week (I work from home a lot!) and the last time I was in was last Tuesday. There was no way I was going to be done by then.
Earlier in the week my daughter was touched by a friend at school who has recently suffered a senseless family tragedy. So, tonight as I was knitting on the last heart of the bunch, she asked me to teach her how to knit them. You could have knocked me over with a feather. Diana can do basic garter and stockinette stitch, and can weave in her ends like a champ. But these hearts, as small as they are, contain slipped stitches, double decreases, and short row shaping. Typically she gets very frustrated when trying new things, but I didn’t want to discourage her from trying. So I bit my lip about saying that really I just wanted to get mine done and go to bed, and we pressed on.
“They’re small, Mom. I can do it, she said.”
And she did. The blue one in the front of the picture is all hers. Her heart came off the needles a little wonky and she wasn’t happy with the shape. But, I suggested that she take out the darning needle, and as she was weaving in, tug here, and pull there, to get the heart into shape. She did just that, and her heart actually came out shaped better than any of mine. (I opted not to weave in any ends, and use them instead as ties around the baggies. Am I lazy, or what?)
I am so proud of her! Perhaps somewhere there’s a real knitter in her yet.
To refresh your memory, the heart pattern is on page 155 of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitting Workshop
Playing with the Blog Again!
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll find that things look REALLY different around here! I’m like my mother, I guess, who re-arranges the living room furniture or the kitchen drawers when she gets restless. (You can’t ever go there in the dark and sit down if you haven’t been there in a while; the chair that you thought was where it’s always been might be somewhere else altogether!)
But for me, it was about more than just being restless. I loved my previous theme. A LOT. But different people come to this blog for different reasons, and I wanted to have a way to highlight knitting content versus family/personal content. This way, hopefully it will be easier to manage just one blog, instead of trying to juggle three. I was constantly updating this one anyway, and throwing in family content, and my others have been sadly neglected. I’m hoping this solution will be the best of all worlds for me, and I would love to hear your feedback!
Thanks, as always, for reading.