Thursday, June 29, 2006

Impromptu KIP

Well, Bonne Marie is a little swamped with work, but having missed Tuesday I'm hankering for some KIPping! Anybody else want to come out and play with me?

Thursday, June 22, 2006


First: Respectful of Otters is back. I'm thrilled! She does good analysis.

I'm getting more and more distressed by Ozzie Guillen's homophobic comments the other day, and by Sean Tracey's reprimand for NOT hitting the batter when Ozzie told him to. He got sent back down to the minors, and in the future he swears he'll do as he's told. The Sox are a stellar team, but their priorities are all messed up. Is it any wonder I root for the Cubs?

Tonight was the Midwestern Ladies' Auxiliary Love Review at the Hideout! Fabulous authors Jami Attenburg, Wendy McClure, Emily Flake, and Hana Schank all read for me. For me! And some other people too. I came home with some magazines and a reading list, though my book budget is still pretty thin at the moment. C told me to go on out and have a good time while he cooked dinner. I felt like Cinderella going to the ball.

Amazingly, another day has flown right by. As Ron says, we'll try it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Where have I been?

I've been a bad, bad blogger. What have I been up to?

First, I've been reading. "Anansi Boys," books on Scotland, and "Persepolis"--the latter of which I canNOT recommend highly enough. It's tough to read and write at the same time. For the last couple years, however, I've been writing down the books I read and making a few notes on them. I love this little ritual, and I love that it's not online. (I've kept it offline because I don't always want to get into book-group discussions, and because if I choose to trash a book I don't want the author coming back and finding my notes at some later date.) Writing on paper in a book feels strange and lovely lately, just like it did when I first started keeping my many journals and diaries. I also got to hear "The Bonesetter's Daughter" by Amy Tan, and just loved the bits that were about the process of writing. Jane Smiley writes today about product placement in novels, and turns down the idea. I'm nervous to think about authors being bought (or rented) by companies. I wonder if we will begin reading disclaimers on the copyright page?

I've also been tuning into the breastfeeding ad debate, outlined more eloquently than I could manage by Julie at a little pregnant and L. at homesick home. This, to me, is wrapping into one large debate which includes CDC preconception guidelines, state funding for "crisis pregnancy centers", Louisiana's abortion ban, and a huge argument between two of my coworkers over whether mom or dad should administer the three a.m. feeding. We had a good discussion in my church over "choice issues" last week, but the speaker focused pretty exclusively on abortion legislation and I feel it's so much bigger than that now. It frightens me and for the first time I don't feel comfortable writing about it online. I guess I should crack open another blank book.

Or, the best remedy for my stress: knitting. Especially finishing a project.
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Now, with customized short row shaping, added in real time. This is the project where I got gauge the first time, had plenty of yarn, followed the instructions mostly, didn't have to rip back, and took notes to record my project. Verily I say unto thee: this is a gift from the knitting gods. I'll not get another like it this year.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

D'oh, a sock, a stretched-out sock

Well, the Green Gable is going swimmingly, and may even be finished tonight, but I've been stressed at work and working on a sock heel that is never going to end. (I know! A sock heel! A little square flap and some yarn-overs, what's to that anyway?) And as I was wrapping up work I had to move the sock to shove my work-related projects back in the bag, and decided to pick it up and hold it for some comfort. Usually, this leads to knitting two rows, scolding myself, and stuffing it back in the bag.

Green Gable has a little spell on me, and I've been trying it on every few inches to get the right length. Which works out okay--I used to thread the stitches on some yarn, and lately I've just decided to breathe deeply and slip the stitches off the needle and then back on when I'm finished. This has only wrecked me once, which is in my acceptable level of risk for a cotton tee. Well, I tried the same thing with the sock, to see if this (ginormously large) heel flap was shaping up to fit well. It was a tight fit. I tugged. Something went "pop". Maybe it was in my mind. I tugged again and heard the "pop" again.

I knit myself a sturdy sock, yes I do! The stitches didn't break. It was the needle that bent. Who says a double-pointed needle has to be straight, anyway? I'm sure there must be some benefit to it.

I set down the sock and breathed quietly, so it was another twenty minutes before I saw the stitches on one side that had unraveled. I'll deal with that later, maybe after a nice glass of wine.

Thoughtful content (and pictures) to resume shortly.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

(vaguely yarn-related content below)
Chicago folks: go to or read this:


This Wednesday & Thursday marks the opening of Vaudeville Underground's Sixth Stupendous Season! Featuring the newest Logan Square Dance Company: Chicago Ballet! Ottavio Canestrelli summersaulting on stilts, Luna Blues Machine singing up a storm, crowd favorite Zetta the Clown, all that, and a whole lot more! Logan Square's very own top banana is back!

Join us, won't you.

When: June 7th & 8th Wed & Thurs 7:30pm

Where: Glade Memorial Hall
2640 W Altgeld Ave
Admission: 12 dollars for adults
6 dollars children ages 6-12

The amazing and talented performers for the June show include:

Luna Blues Machine, The Chicago Ballet, Zetta the Clown, AMEBA: Aerial & Acrobatic Dance Co., Ottavio Canestrelli, Dharmesh Bhagat, Matiss Duhon, Abu Ansari, and Two Girls and an Audience.

To reserve tickets call 773.782.9471, or for additional information visit

Vaudeville Underground: is a modern day variety show consisting of nine short, entertaining or intriguing acts predominantly unrelated, usually odd, beautiful, funny, or grand. Come join us! A Whitman's sampler, if you will, of all the best performance Chicago has to offer! In the community; For the community!

Vaudeville Underground has been highlighted in the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, NBC Channel 5, The Daily Herald, Citylink, CTA TV, UR Chicago, and The Nude Hippo Show!

Vaudeville Underground is presented in partnership with Nazareth UCC, which is committed to building bridges in the community, and so generously shares its space with us and you.

Bake Sale After the Show!: Featuring lots of goodies and a chance to meet the artists, meet your neighbors, and discuss the work! Proceeds benefit Nazareth UCC and Fine Arts for Kids of Logan Square.

The Arts Alliance is committed to bring quality performance into Logan Square. This show is for you. We look forward to seeing you: Our neighbors and our friends.

We went tonight. It was fabulous and strange, and the small quirks in performances were graceful. Real people decided to put this show on, and they did it mostly very well. I kept imagining the rehearsals, and decided that the planned wackiness made the show even better.

one of these things is not like the other

Remember how I bought all that closeout yarn? And how I wanted to make tank tops with all of it? Well, I got a little sidetracked. After Dana's lovely example, I wanted to make a Green Gable top. And neither of my two new yarns were nearly the right gauge for it. So, being a thrifty knitter, I recycled!

This project, ostensibly a shawl but in real life a closer cousin to the table runner, was not working out for me after two years.
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RIP, shawl. I worked on this project in the hospital, while trying to recover from a spinal tap. Good times? Nah. Frogging is more fun than knitting, lately.

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So I made ramen noodles out of them. Yum!

One of these things is not like the other...
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I got so excited that I had to wash and dry one right away, so I could begin knitting it. For once, I made gauge the first time out!

I don't feel like I've made very much progress, but actually I just finished some short rows for the bust, so I guess I'm clipping right along. (Yes, I'm measuring, and yes, I'm still getting gauge. When does this ever happen to me? Are the knitting gods planning a takedown soon?) Will post photos when the thing grows far enough down over my ribs to not be scandalous. Right now on the needles, it's a lumpy mess. But I can't wait to see it finished!

Thursday, June 01, 2006


I've been thinking, and questioning, the primacy of marriage for people my age lately. Newsweek admits it's wrong, finally, on the whole "women over 40 will never get married" thing. And they've revised a bunch of their statistics about marriage rules that turned out (oops!) to be wrong. These statistics may be right or wrong, but the fact that they, and we, are still obsessed with them is the real story. I also am bemused by the way the Newsweek article speaks directly towards women at the end. Perhaps they realized that women who are romantically bitter or simply bought into goals besides marriage are no fun to date. This tea-leaf reading on divorce is similarly women-focused: don't get married too early or too late, don't skip college, don't marry a second time, or you'll get divorced. Gah. I've been thinking a lot about marriage recently. Is that common, you think, for a woman my age? Should it be? I can only speak for my own experience, but--for once--I won't go generalizing.

I'm back to reading the trashy RedEye at the gym in the mornings, and it's got a little blurb about Kevin Federline. Mr. Britney Spears has been fussing in public about "if I stay home and take care of my kids, then I'm a loafer, not a good father. If I try to have a career, nobody thinks I am caring for my family. I can't win." Also, "I wish people would ask me about my career... [my family] is my pride and joy. But it would be nice for people to look at me like an artist." Somebody call NOW and get that man on the women's issues mailing list. Welcome him to our world.

I've got a lot of fascinating things going on this week, both wonderful and terrible, but none of them are good blog topics. I'm sorry, y'all. Work on the Green Gables sweater proceeds apace, and I'm considering an attempt at short-rows on the bust. (Wish me luck.) The spinning is mostly on hold for the moment, though I've discovered I can make wee bitty skeins with just a few yards of yarn and carry them around like talismans. I'll never knit anything out of them, but dude, it's art. Maybe.