Friday, April 11, 2008

Just Shut the Fuck Up, Already

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Jesus! Where will it end? How low do you have to stoop in this country to be President? —Hunter S. Thompson

As always, the Duke is the best source for a pithy comment. Whatever happened to gonzo journalism? That was writing that teetered on the edge, always radical, always insightful, if you dared to accept it. Now it’s nothing but talking heads. And talking, bickering candidates of the Democratic Party persuasion.

Prior It Tease
…are becoming skewed, slivered, and fricasséed. At this point in time, it would appear that my life’s list is as follows:

1. Work—write endlessly boring text about how to click buttons, track vehicles, run reports. And becoming an expert on DOT regulations for “motor carriers.” Trucks. Of all shapes and sizes.A thrill of a learning experience.

2. Sleep and food, the latter generally provided by Neal, the former by medication.

3. Knitting and spinning

4. My family and friends

5. My blogs

One month since I posted. Sheesh. Work is sucking the life blood out of me and that’s going to come to a screeching halt. I need this job, especially with the recession enveloping us, but they need me more, in a way, than I need them. So I’ve decided what my priorities will be and make sure all of them get equal attention.

Traveling Mar
Yeah, it’s going to be one of those months—just spent two days in Uncasville/Taftville, CT, working with a new client. However, I stayed at Mohegan Sun, a place glitzy enough to cause epileptic seizures. Staying there was the idea of our high-roller VP of Sales, who got us all rooms on the cheap. I played the slots for approximately a half hour and lost $30. That was more than enough. God, what a mindless activity.

Off to Newburgh, NY, then Indy. That’s April. In May, off to Russellville, Arkansas. Bleah. But that may do it for the travel until next fall. I hope. I’d druther stay home these days.

Technology Roolz or Droolz, Take Yer Pick
Kinda. For the first time, I’m using Word 2007 to publish my blog entry. Think about that. Blogs have so proliferated that Billy Gates figured he should add a blog publishing feature in the latest version of Word. You connect Word with your blog account—Word gives you a number of blog publishing choices—and then you can click “Publish” when you’re finished and up it goes. We’ll see. This could be a good thing.
Obligatory Knitting Shit
I finished the Icelandic Lace Shawl. My one comment on this freebie shawl is that I would have decreased the crocheted chains on the edging by 25%. Too many—they should have been spaced more equably. The pattern itself is somewhat on the odd side, constructionwise. It was not terribly straightforward, with a center stitch that disappeared in one stitch pattern, resurfacing in the next.

I’m busy working out the sock designs for the book—Chantilly Lace is charted and I’m proving it out. Born in the USA’s prototype is done. Two down, 16 to go.

I also finished the Las Vegas Brights silk, plyed it, and skeined it up. From 4 ounces, I got 853 yards of laceweight. Not enough for a shawl, too much for a scarf. So maybe it will do for two scarves. And yes, Sissy Scrappy, I might give you one.

As soon as the LVB was off the bobbins, I started spinning some black alpaca I bought from Mel and David at Rhinebeck. Now of this, I have 14 ounces, more than enough for a shawl. Yes, I know. Knitting lace in black is a bitch. And your point would be? It’s too HARD, as Junior Bush has said? I can handle it. Although I may whine about it at some point, once I start knitting lace with it.

Thoughts on Lace
It dawned on me the other day that of late, meaning the past two years, I’ve only really been interested in lace. Hence the newest train knitting project, the Cobweb Crepe shawl from Sharon Miller’s book Heirloom Knitting. This is constructed in the center square/diamond-border-edging method, one that I like very much. This is done in Helen’s Lace by Lorna’s Laces, quite nice to knit with. It does look like a bag one might buy in the Salvation Army store.

Sharon offers different ways of working this construction—you can pick up around the edges of the center for the border, then knit on the lace edging. Or you can work the damned thing flat, with seams to sew. Supposedly working this in the round is HARD, or at least for “experienced” knitters. Nonsense. In my mind, working something in the round and eliminating seams, particularly in lace, is far easier than fucking around with flat pieces. It is truly not at all hard, as long as you pay attention, work the edge stitches of the center properly so that they can be used in the border pick-up, and remember that garter stitch in the round is knit one round, purl one round. No big deal.

So here’s the “bag” so far. The border is a simple Old Shale derivative, the edging Clematis. This is a construction that is relatively easy to design with. I worked the center diamond as written, in garter stitch, but a scattered eyelet pattern would be nice. I wish I had thought about doing that before I started. I particularly like what I call “columnar” edgings, ones that are vertical rather than horizontal. I think that the symmetry found in these types of borders lends itself well to the mitering of the shawl’s corners. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.

Well, I bought the new Vague. About the only design I found appealing was Kaffe’s cardigan. Other than that, it was the usual snoozer. However, you spinners out there—buy this issue of Spin-Off. It’s one of the best they’ve published in a while. With most of the other fiber magazines thudding along, Spin-Off has pulled itself together with the new layout, new editor, and it’s well worth buying. I highly recommend Abby Franquemont’s article on plying. I found it extraordinarily good and enlightening. The article on making cabled yarn was the one that intrigued me the most, although it’s rather a belabored process.
A Franklin Extravaganza, with Hot Wolverinas Attending
My darling gay son will be in Philly in a week. (I'm stealing from his lovely mother, and Franklin is the same age as my daughter Corinne, so he could be her gay twin brother--except that she's blonde.) Read all about his shoot at Wool Gathering in Kennett Square, PA. And if you live within driving range, getcher ass there. It's Saturday the 19th. I'll be there, as will Carol Sulcoski, maybe Joe, maybe some other Wolverinas, although Liza can't make it.
I don't recall ever hearing of any other knitting gaggle (or is it a murder of knitters?) quite like the Wolvies. And who are the Wolvies? I will give big kudos (such an oily word) to any reader who can name all 8 members of the Wolverinas. You've got 4 already if you read carefully. Now, come up with the other four. I bet ya can't do it

Anyway, kids, my lunch hour is well over. But it’s Friday, so fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke. I’m glad to have had a few minutes to write something that means more to me than any other prose that leaks from my electronic pen. Here’s some close personal Hoboken friends, who greet me every morning as I walk towards the Light Rail that takes me to Jersey City.

Some rare and handy birds, although they shit all over the place. But my Oma always told me that bird crap on your head means you’ll be lucky. I can do without luck in that instance.

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