Wednesday, October 07, 2015

QueerJoe's Moment of Zen

Whenever someone seems to be a voice of sanity in a crazy World, I find serenity in that voice.

I Miss Jon Stewart

Don't get me wrong, I think Trevor Noah is a great choice for taking over for Jon Stewart and I find him incredibly funny.  I also think the show is still written extremely well.

But I grew to love watching Jon Stewart...even his mediocre shows were better than most choices on television.

I also think Mr. Stewart made a smart choice as to when to turn over the reins to someone else.

Can you imagine anyone that could ever have the whole package that was Jon Stewart?  He's smart, insightful, willing to call "bullshit", fearless of backlash and exceptionally funny.

I will continue to watch the Daily Show and I will also continue to miss Jon Stewart for at least a little while longer.

Current Knitting and Spinning

I have added about a foot to my current scarf project (Ric Rac Scarf) and have about one more foot to go.  I have also done a bit more spinning on the Luscious Longwool.

Since spinning is like my Tai Chi, I'll leave you with a video of me just spinning for a couple of minutes with one of my favorite Namoli Brennet songs playing in the background.

Monday, October 05, 2015

The Satisfaction of Persistence

I have always said that the most critical character trait for being a successful knitter is persistence.

About 13 Years of Persistence

In October, 2002 (one month before I started writing this blog), on US2 needles, I started to knit the kid alpaca bed spread.  I can't tell you how happy I was to mark this one as complete in my Ravelry projects.

The photos above show the blanket spread out on a queen size bed.  The final measurements of the blanket are 64" x 78".

I finished weaving in the last of many ends yesterday and sometime this week I will gently wash this blanket and lay it out to block and dry.

I honestly never envisioned the day when this blanket would be complete.  It requires me to decide on whether I want to set a new persistence challenge for myself in the area of knitting.

The feeling of accomplishment on this project was certainly very satisfying.

Current Knitting

In addition to finishing up the kid alpaca blanket, I also get some additional inches added on to the Ric Rac scarf.

So far, this project has been a lousy project to blog about.  I can't seem to get a great photo of the scarf, the colors aren't blending quite as well as I had hoped they would and it's impossible to get across how soft and drapey this scarf is.

But if I can stick to knitting a project for 13 years, I can certainly finish this scarf.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Joy and Serenity of Fiber Preparation

Every step of any fiber-related craft that brings me closer to the sheep or animal where the fiber came from, is one that I enjoy the most.

Sheep Love

Years ago, I had the privilege of taking a workshop with Nelda Davis on "Fiber Preparation."  It was an amazing day of learning and I learned about everything from "sheep to shawl" when it comes to how wool and other fibers are processed to become fodder for knitting.

I learned words such as skirting, carding, crimp, staple, noil, scouring, top, woolen, etc.

I find incredible satisfaction in working with a fleece, or carding fiber or blending to fibers on a drum card.  It can be truly wonderful to watch a matted, clump of fleece turn into a cloud of roving that is worthy of spinning into a fine yarn.

Current Fiber Preparation

I decided I wanted to start preparing some of the glorious first-shearing mohair from one of Mindy's goats, Adama.

I plan on blending this beautiful, silky mohair with some other fiber, but I haven't decided what it will be blended with yet.

I almost did a short video so I could show the movement and the luster and the silkiness of this lovely fiber.  It is going to make an a beautiful yarn and it made me feel like a magician being able to convert those wavy locks into a fluffy cloud of roving.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Christian Bully

Ever know one of those assholes who are in a position of power and use their position to lord their religious convictions over their underlings?

Bullies of Every Type Suck

When I was consulting, one of my clients was a very respected newspaper organization.  I had the opportunity to work at one of their newspapers in the Southern U.S.

I was conducting training for their Human Resources department...five employees of the newspaper, including the head of HR for the newspaper, who seemed to wield a lot of power in the organization.  She was smart, but she was also a mean and vengeful bully.

At one point during the training, someone pointed out that my computer screen, that was being displayed on the big screen in front of the class, had gone to a screen saver.  As I went to fix the issue, I muttered, "Good God."

At this point, Ms. Self-Righteous stands up and says, "Yes, He is good, and stop using His name in vain." (I inferred the capital H's)

I didn't have any rebuttal or clever retorts for this, so I just replied, "Got it." and continued on with my training.  But I was pissed.

In a room with only her direct reports and an outside consultant, she could afford to be a soldier of Christ and defend his good honor from a heathen like me and try to make me look foolish in front of the group.  I have to admit, if she had said, "Excuse me, but I'm uncomfortable listening to someone use His name in the way you did."  Or if she had pulled me aside to tell me the same thing, I would have taken full responsibility for being insensitive to my audience.

As a consultant, I opted not to respond in any way, but I also didn't look for any other opportunities to go back there.  To me, that kind of behavior goes against all of what Jesus taught and it was completely self-serving for her to puff out her chest in public and demonstrate to all the little people how important she is in her Christian faith.  And if there is a heaven, and that woman is going there, then I'd prefer not to go, thank you very much.

Current Knitting

Made a bit of progress on both my two knitting projects.

I've got about 2 feet to go to finish the edging on the blanket (so exciting for me!) and I've completed about 2 feet on the Ric Rack scarf. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Where are the Catholic Boycotts Now?

With all the hate coming out of Rush Limbaugh, Fox News other conservative media about the pope, it's shocking the Catholics aren't saying "Enough!"

Why Is It?

Where is Representative Joe Wilson, yelling "You Lie!" when this man is in front of the nation?  Why is it that this man commands more respect than our president?  Why is it that Christian conservatives hate the very ideas Christ would be espousing if he walked the Earth today?

Hypocrites...selfish, hateful, hypocrites each and every one of them.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not a big fan of the Pope...I don't see that he has effected any of the change he speaks about, but I am a HUGE fan of his ideas about the poor, about capitalism and about climate change. 

Current Knitting

Since Wednesday, I've made minimal progress on the fourth and final edge of the kid alpaca blanket and the Ric Rac has been a bit crazy lately.

But I am thinking that Rowan is making a big comeback lately and I need to get back to my Rowan Tilt Cardigan I started a while ago.

I've heard the latest Rowan Magazine (58 if you're counting) is quite good.  Need to go grab a copy of it.