Friday, March 30, 2007

Questioning Myself

Some folks question themselves because they're uncertain or have low self-esteem. I question myself and my motives often, because I think it shows an interest in self-improvement.

Accepting Feedback
With the recent comments from Anonymous, I've had a few responses that I'd like to share with y'all.

When the first brief comment about my colour sense came through, I thought I had pissed someone off again, and this was their childish way of trying to insult me. The comment provided no actual feedback, it just really stated an opinion, albeit stated as fact. I know my sense of color isn't for everyone, and I'm glad for that.

Then, when the more detailed description of why my color sense was strange came in, my immediate reaction was one of annoyance, and defensiveness. After getting past my initial emotional response, I thought through what the commenter was saying. I still think the comments are childish, but in a different way now. For someone to have absolute opinions about something as subjective as color sense (rules such as a piece must have harmonious colors, or a color theme to pull colors together), and then try to impose those rules on others, seems sophomoric to me. Kind of like the absolute, black & white opinions of an adolescent.

And with the final sentence of the comment, dictating that I "need to look at colour theory," seemed to indicate that the commenter was either trying to get back at me for something I've written in the past, or is one of those people that thinks there is only one true religion, or one right way to knit, and would tell someone they must accept Jeseus or take a proper knitting class.

Just to be clear, I reject the color sense of the commenter completely. I purposefully steer clear of conventional (boring) color combinations that I could purchase in Brooks Brothers. And even if I created a multi-color garment that didn't end up working out to be what I would consider appealing, I always feel I've learned from the exercise. To be even clearer, I don't think the commenter should change her/his opinions on colour theory if that's what makes the person comfortable.

Current Knitting
I have finished the fourth pair of felted clogs, and I'll probably knit one more pair before felting the whole lot at once.

I am working on finishing up a very finicky collar on the dark tweed pullover, and as soon as I'm finished with that, I'll start the fifth pair of clogs.

Yarn Remnants

Is this my latest purchase from my favorite yarn store, Twist?

No. I have a friend who has a friend who knits cuffs on the ends of plain knitted gloves and sells the result. My friend asked if I had any remnants of wool yarn that she could give to her friend to help build a stash of yarns for her. Since my Hefty Bag of remnants was overflowing, I was only too glad to get rid of this bag full of yarn.

Readers' Comments/Questions
In addition to hating Hillary, Leslie writes, "Colorblock sweater looks really nice - both sides. Isn't it a pain keeping all the bobbins straight?"

No, not really. The butterfly bobbins help with that a lot. They keep the yarn ends short and tangle-free, but let out the yarn loosely enough to let me knit smoothly and quickly.

Miss T writes, "Your colorblock cardigan looks wonderful! Are you weaving in the ends as you go?"

Yes, I always weave in ends while I knit if I can. If I had to go back with a darning needle with all these ends, the sweater would never get done. I've gotten very accurate at breaking off the yarn at the end of a square to the exact length it takes to weave it into the following block.

Dawn writes my favorite comment in a long time, with, "When I see such vehement opinions like Leslie's and Carol's I can't help thinking that something else is going on. Have their opinions been affected by some smear/propaganda campaign. I juat can't imagine anyone talking about GWBush like that, and he deserves it. Their language seemed out of proportion for talking about a political candidate. Any ideas?"

That is a fascinating idea. I personally like Hilary, and I would love to see her in the White House as the first female president in this country (it's about time). Although, I think the rhetoric on this blog about dubbya can be equally as vitriolic, I also think he's much more deserving than Hillary. So, I guess I do have to believe that some folks' response to Hillary is due to the constant anti-Hillary bashing she went through during Bill's presidency and the NY senate elections. I must admit, I get weary of her vascillating sometimes, but I still think she's a brilliant politician who would be an incredible president.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Presidential Election Prediction

I know the election is more than a year and a half away, but I wanted to make my prediction now.

I predict that the 2008 presidential elections will have the lowest turnout of any presidential election in U.S. history

Here's Why
None of the candidates on either side of the aisle have any poll-magnetism.

Think about it. On the Democratic side, you have:

Clinton - Outside of the Northeast, even Democrats seem to hate her.
Obama - No experience, and it takes more than "likeable" to get voters to the polls
Edwards - Same likeable factor, without as much magnetism as Obama

On the Republican side, you have:

Giuliani - He's way too liberal for the conservative voting block
McCain - He's pissed off Republicans with his support of the war
Romney - Conservative Christians would rather hang a cross upside down than vote for a Mormon

So, unless something completely unforseen happens, like Jeb Bush joining the Republican candidates, I think most Americans will sit home on election day 2008.

Current Knitting
Despite having to carry around eight different colors of Araucania, I decided to bring the Colorblock Cardigan to Massachusetts with me this week.

As you can see, I've finished the left/front side, and now it's time to start the right/front side. For those of you that like to see the "ugly side," here is the required reverse side photo.

I've always enjoyed intarsia, and this simple pattern with rich, interesting colors, is making the current project enjoyable to knit.

By the way, Twist is having an intarsia workshop with Lisa Fuelleman on Sunday, April 15th from 1:00 to 3:00 for anyone interested. I've never taken a class with Lisa, but I know her from my Simply Knit days, and she's a real sweetheart for anyone that's interested.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Setting Expectations

For those of you who don't fly often, or who haven't flown in a year or two, I thought I'd let you know what to expect.

Amateur Travelers
My flight home on this past Thursday was filled with what I call "amateurs." It's a standard commuter flight, so usually there are less than 20% of irregular fliers on board, so with about a 50% amateur to pro ratio, I was able to realize something I hadn't seen for a while.

If you fly into or out of any major airport, and you have any of the following expectations, you will most probably be disappointed:

- There will be any food or drink served on board
- The gate crew will be civil, helpful or not cranky
- The flight will board on time
- The flight will push back on schedule
- The seat will be comfortable
- The plan will be clean
- There will be plenty of empty seats next to you
- There will be enough room in the overhead bins to store your carry-on
- There won't be at least 10 planes in front of yours waiting to take off
- The plane will take off on time
- The plane will arrive on time at your initial destination to meet any connecting flight
- The ground crew at your initial arrival will help you make your flight in any way
- You will be provided any vouchers for food or lodging if you miss the last flight of the day
- If your flight gets cancelled, you will get any compensation whatsoever

Don't get me wrong, there are times when many of the things on this list happens, but you can't expect them to, or you will often be disappointed.

I felt awful telling the woman next to me that landing at 5:45 at the F terminal in Philadelphia airport, would not allow her to make her 5:58 connecting flight out of C terminal (the flight was supposed to be in Philadelphia before 5:00).

Current Knitting
This past weekend, I spent most of my knitting time working on (and finishing) the secret project that I can't discuss or show pictures of.

I also searched for, and found, the pieces of the dark tweed pullover, and sewed on the sleeves, and sewed up one side seam.

After this picture was taken, I finished sewing up the other side seam and started knitting the collar. I also weaved in all ends, so all I have to do when the collar is finished is wash and block this sucker.

Another wool sweater finished just in time for the warm weather.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Ellie writes, "Since you do a lot of spinning I wonder if you might help me with a question. I wondered why yarn like Noro Silk Garden and a few others I know of come through with really bad strands of yarn. Very very thick in spots and very thin in others."

There are many reasons for thin and thick yarn, most of which occur because of the preparation of the fiber prior to spinning, or the spinning or plying itself. Even though I've used Noro a lot, I'm not sure what specifically happens to Noro, but I consider it to be part of the yarn's charm that it's uneven. Especially with the Silk Garden, it gives the knitted fabric character.

Lorraine asks if I'd like to sell the Handspun Treasures from Rare Yarns book.

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I just took a look at the book this past weekend, and I think I'd like to keep it in my library. Getting it second hand looks like the way to go, if you can. It never seems to be discounted from the $25 price.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I'm The Decider

You know, when President Truman put a sign on his White House desk that stated "The Buck Stops Here," it seems he actually tried to live up to those words. I only wish our current administration was willing to take responsibility for their actions.

The Cloak Of Secrecy
If everything this White House is doing is above board, why would they care if any of the White House advisors had to testify before Congress under oath? What would it matter unless they have dreadful things to hide...or should I say more dreadful things to hide.

The President says that the Congress will regret any partisan fishing expeditions if they subpeona White House advisors. Maybe we should put Kenneth Starr on the job. I can't even remember what he was supposed to be investigating before he got his hands on the spooged blue dress. Travelgate? Whitewater? Talk about partisan fishing expeditions.

I guess I just hate to see when cheating and lying seems to get some people ahead. It just seems so unfair. I think this is the main reason that folks would love to see Rove get crucified.

Current Knitting
Work has been inordinately busy, and it seems all I have time for is working, eating and sleeping (and of course, pooping and peeing).

I have started the third pair of felted clogs, but I've only just started the upper portion.

Current Spinning
I have been able to get quite a bit of work done on the bright multi-colored merino roving.

I really liked the idea of one commenter about plying in a solid color to try and make the tweedy colors show up more. I have a boatload of merino singles in different colors that would be perfect, if the technique actually works for this yarn. I can't wait to finish my second bobbin of singles to start experimenting.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Franklin writes, "Damage your reputation? With this blog? I can't think of a single thing you've written that would make any clear-headed person think ill of you."

At one point in my "100 Things" list, I included someone's name and an activity that could be considered negative by a person's employer. Some asshole did a google search on the name, and sent his employer a link to my list and cc'ed me when she did it. Fortunately, it wasn't the same person that I mentioned in my list, and it would have been easily verified that it was a different person. It just surprised the hell out of me that someone would go to the trouble of being such a dick.

Cynthia writes, "Please comment on the consistency of felting. I did slippers, but one is considerably larger than the other. I am not sure why--same yarn, same needles, same machine at the same time to felt."

I'm using Cascade 220, which I have always used for felting projects. They have a boatload of colors, it's not overly expensive and it seems to felt quite uniformly. Only once have I had an issue where one slipper felted faster than the other, so I just took out the finished slipper, and continued agitating the unfinished one until it was about the same size.

BJREST asks, "Speaking of the ummm Willie Warmer... I can't find the pattern for that though I've seen your name linked to this frequently in my search. Can you tell me where I can find it?"

I used to have a pattern posted to Blogger, but when they converted to the new format, I lost many of my pictures and web files. I no longer have that pattern, but if anyone saved it off at any point when it was available, and they forward it to me, I'd be glad to re-post it to the web.

Finally, StampinSue writes, "What do you prefer for felting yarn? I've tried a number of brands, just curious about your favorite!

As noted above, I have only used Cascade 220 for regular felting projects, and I like it a lot. I used Noro Kureyon for a couple of felted purses a number of years ago, and that worked very well too. I've considered using KnitPick's worsted wool, but never got around to ordering any, so I don't know how that felts.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Anonymity And The Internet

Overall, I am very much in favor of the anonymity that the internet can provided. But like all things, folks will always find ways of using anonymity in less-than-positive ways.

Anonymity In Comments
I am fine with folks leaving anonymous comments on this blog. Unlike friends Marilyn and Kathy, I think it's perfectly fine to attach no name or e-mail or web URL to your comments.

In ways, it makes it a bit more difficult to respond to anonymous commenters, such as my last post, where I wasn't sure of which pronoun to use. But I consider the downsides to be minor inconveniences.

When I first started using the internet, I opted to create two on-line ID's. One that was mostly for family and business, which included my full name. The other one, QueerJoe, which was used for all things personal (and has now extended to this blog). Having the anonymous moniker allowed me to redefine myself in an on-line forum, and I have to admit, I gained quite a bit of self-confidence as a result of being able to self-define.

I personally believe that well-written folks who can type quickly have a strong advantage in web settings, such as blog forums, newsgroups and chat rooms. Since I've always felt confident writing, and I can type pretty quickly, I've always been able to present myself very well on-line. Moreso perhaps than in person.

Most folks who read this blog, don't know my last name, and I'm glad for that. There have been folks that have tried to damage me or my reputation in the past using this blog as ammunition, and I'm glad to say that no one has been successful yet.

Current Knitting
This past weekend, I spent time on three different knitting projects. The first one is a secret, so I can't go into it. The second two, blog readers are already aware of.

First of all, I finished my fourth willie warmer felted clog.

I think I'll complete at least two more pairs before I felt any of them. I'm figuring that the more crowded the washing machine is, the faster they'll felt.

I also made so more progress on the colorblock cardigan.

This shows that I've made it past the armhole shaping, and I'll soon be doing shaping for the neckline.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Carol asks, "Joe, do I count as immoral if my third kid was a twin and therefore born along with the second?"

Normally, I would say it was completely immoral, but yours are so cute, they make up for their overpopulating parents.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How Rude!

Have you noticed how insulted people are when you ask them to look at any aspect of their behavior?

God Forbid... should mention that someone just dropped litter on the street. should ask someone to be quiet in a movie theater. should point out a possibly inadvertant inference someone makes in a blog comment.

When anonymous wrote:

"...if you're going to say that 'deciding what is moral or immoral is a very personal thing,' do you not then have to grant General Pace the right to decide what he personally finds to be moral or immoral, on the basis of whatever code of morality he follows? And if he considers homosexuality to be immoral, wrong, a crime, whatever--doesn't he have the obligation to try do something about it? I assume you believe that, for example, murder, molesting children, and stealing cars are immoral acts. If you knew that someone was committing murder, molesting children, or stealing cars, wouldn't you feel compelled to voice your objections to it or do something to prevent it?"

As Cortster pointed out, anonymous did compare homosexuality to "murder, molesting children, and stealing cars." Even if unwittingly.

I actually believe that anonymous is everything s/he says s/he is (in terms of liberal leanings), and I appreciate the point trying to be made. However, I don't agree with the point at all. Yes, I do agree that General Pace has the right to determine for himself what is immoral. But the comparisons you make, in addition to being illegal, all of the activities mentioned are socially agreed upon as immoral, and therefore I would speak out against them. There is no such socially agreed upon morality about homosexual acts, and for those areas, no, I wouldn't feel compelled to speak out, or try to prevent them...especially in a legal sense. For example, even though I truly believe that bearing more than two children is immoral, I also realize this is a personal view, and not one I would ever attempt to point out to people that exceed my limit.

My real point of General Pace's comments, was that I believe many folks confuse the term "moral" with "distasteful," and just because Pace (or his pastor) find homosexual acts distasteful, there is no generally agreed upon immorality about them at all.

In summary, I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to clarify my original point, but I would also suggest maybe taking a look at what you compare homosexuality to.

Current Knitting
The third slipper is finished except for the outer sole and bumper (and no, Kathy, I don't have three feet...I will be making multiple pairs of these slippers for family members).

Like someone mentioned a while ago, I like this pattern. It knits up quickly, it requires some level of attention, and it makes a great slipper.

Current Spinning
I finished the first bobbin of singles using the bright multi-color merino.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Mel writes, "And if you don't already have someone in particular in mind for 'In Sheep's Clothing', I've been eyeing it for a while. I'd even pay for it."

I don't, and I couldn't think of a better recipient than a vetinarian. The book is all about different breeds of sheep and the wool they produce. Send an e-mail to and let me know where to send it, and I'll put it in the mail this weekend.

Cortster also wrote, "I'm not sure I understand (or, perhaps, I'm being deliberately obtuse) but I don't understand how "receiving" is any more emasculating than "taking" considering it would seem one would have to possess more trust, will power, strength, etc. to receive than take."

Technically, in a physcial way, you may be correct...but emotionally, being penetrated, such as in prison, is clearly seen by most men as "being the woman," and extremely emasculating.

What Is Immoral?

I've been told by General Pace, the head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, that what I do is immoral.

How Does He Know?

1 a: of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior : ethical (moral judgments) b: expressing or teaching a conception of right behavior (a moral poem) c: conforming to a standard of right behavior d: sanctioned by or operative on one's conscience or ethical judgment (a moral obligation) e: capable of right and wrong action (a moral agent)

Deciding on what is moral and immoral is a very personal thing. I don't ask General Pace to suck dick if he finds it wrong. And I would never consider declaring that sex between he and his wife was immoral.

So why does he not only feel it necessary to declare homo-sex as immoral, but also support a completely idiotic military policy, that requires homosexuals to lie about who they are? Isn't lying immoral?

I honestly think that most men have an abject fear of being considered anything less than totally masculine. Especially military men. And what could be more emasculating than being penetrated by another man? And I believe that this is the main reason that folks like General Pace decide to label this kind of activity immoral. Terrifying?

Current Knitting
I finished the sole and the "bumper" of the second felted slipper and I've started a third slipper in different colors (blue sole and black upper). So far, I've been able to finish the upper part. I'll post progress pictures later in the week.

Flea Market Finds
The local flea market had a cache of books from a knitter and spinner. None of the knitting books appealed to me at all (quick, trendy, bulky, 1-hour project knitting books). And a couple of the spinning books, I already had.

But at fifty cents a piece, I still had to buy all the spinning books.

I already owned Spinning Designer Yarns by Diane Varney and In Sheep's Clothing by Jane and Nola Fournier. Both are excellent spinning resources and I will end up giving them both away to aspiring spinners who could use them. The two other books, Handspun Treasures from Rare Wool and Socks Soar On Two Circular Needles, I've never really cared to own, but at fifty cents, I figured, "why not?"

I also found this little gem.

Spinner's Companion by Bobbie Irwin is a condensation of a ton of wonderful information from the publishers of Spin-Off magazine. I am actually reading through the entire book to both refresh information I already know, and also learn a lot of new things.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Knitting Innovations

Maybe having been involved in the on-line knitting community for about 10 years makes me think that "knitting innovations" is an oxymoron.

There Is a Season, Turn, Turn, Turn
It just seems that nothing new ever happens. Especially with on-line knitters (including me). We just continue to recycle the same stuff.

For those long-time KnitList folks, there was actually a calendar once that was a pretty accurate predicter of general topics that would occur on a cyclical basis. Knitting on airplanes, Christians vs. Non-Christians, Holiday vs. Christmas, acrylic vs. natural fibers, circular vs. non-circulars (I prefer not to use the standard term for non-circulars).

I guess it's no surprise that the knitting magazines provide little or no innovation in their bi-annual offerings. I guess the best we can hope for is a designer who uses existing concepts in knitting in a way that is either interesting, or inspires us to be interesting. Eunny Jang's article on entrelac in the latest IK is an example of that (I just read that she will be the new editor at IK...excellent choice in my opinion). It made me want to pick up the needles and try an entrelac design of my own and see if I could come up with something successful in that difficult medium.

I also take inspiration from folks like Kathy Merrick when she uses crochet to create beautiful garments. If she can use crochet with talent, I figure I could use entrelac to create something beautiful as

Current Knitting
I didn't even pick up the unfinished dark tweed pullover this past weekend. Instead, I worked on the colorblock cardigan.

I started work on the left-front of the garment, and it's moving along quite nicely.

I also finished (almost) my first pair of felted clogs.

I obviously haven't felted them yet...actually, I still have to knit the bottom of the second slipper. I plan on making a few pairs before I felt any of them.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Hateful Speech

Shelly left the following comment after my blog entry about Ann Coulter:

"I'm sorry that your opinion of conservatives is tainted by Ms. Coulter. Rest assured that most conservatives are kind, considerate people who are tolerant of the differences in all of us, but do not want the government telling us how to behave, spend our money, or how to think. Remember, you guys have Al Frankin. Kindest regards. Shelly"

She brings up two important points.

First, I agree with her, that there are a lot of very caring conservatives in this country, although, she describes the Libertarian viewpoint more than the conservative viewpoint in her description. I know a lot of very non-hateful conservatives, so I know what she says is true. My message about hateful speech was really trying to say, why don't more conservatives speak out against that kind of speech, instead of encouraging it by inviting hateful speakers to speak at their events?

Second, her comparison of Coulter to Franklin is truly a "lemons to apples" comparison. Al Franken says things that are meant to raise the ire of conservatives, but he doesn't make shit up about them. For instance, calling Rush Limbaugh a big fat idiot is unkind, but it's not untrue.

I always love when folks try to justify assholes that are "on their side" by pointing out assholes "on the other side." But I bet for every liberal asshole, I could name four conservative assholes. Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Bay Buchanan are all as harsh or worse than Al Franken.

Current Knitting
I decided to finish the neck and shoulder shaping on the back of the colorblock cardigan before posting a picture, so here it is.

I have decided to use the same block pattern for the front two sides of the cardigan, so I don't have to do so much color planning as I go along.

Current Spinning
I did some additional spinning, with the brigther multi-color merino.

I'm almost done with this bobbin of singles, and can't wait to finish the second one so I can start double-plying this lovely yarn. Even moreso, I'm looking forward to knitting with the resulting yarn.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Recognizing Bad Behavior

Whenever I want to write about stupid people, doing stupid things, I always fear I am giving them undue recognition, and I might be better off just ignoring them.

It's no longer news, so many of you already probably have heard that Ann Coulter was asked to speak at a meeting of conservatives, and she ended up calling John Edwards a faggot.

Yes, I find her language hateful and ignorant and like a child trying to get as much attention as possible.

But what I find most deplorable, is that the core group of conservatives not only didn't censor her comments, but some of them even laughed and cheered. They also had to have known she would grandstand in some hateful, ignorant way when they invited her to speak, so they clearly encourage her despicable comments.

It just shows that the folks representing the conservatives in this country seem to enjoy hating.

Current Knitting
I have just about finished the back of the colorblock sweater (I've finally decided that it will be a cardigan). I just have about 5 more rows and a little shoulder and neck shaping before it's finished.

Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture. I'll post one next week when it's done, and I've started the front.

Marilyn's Visit
As Marilyn mentioned in her blog, she and I visited Twist while she was down in my area. I completely agree with her, that it's impossible to enter that store without walking out with at least something wonderful.

Especially, when Deb, the owner, has all the Debbie Bliss yarn on sale for 40% off.

Here's what I ended up with.

First, I bought some of the Debbie Bliss, Baby Cashmereno. I thought these colors would make a great baby blanket. Deb, the owner of Twist, made a blanket with similar colors in linen stitch. That sounded like a very nice idea.

Like Marilyn, I was also quite pleased with two of the Lavold design books, so I picked up the two that I like.

Finally, I bought some additional Cascade 220 to make some long overdue felted clogs.

Like I said, I love that store.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Wily Generic writes, "I know you have a Robin spinning wheel in birdseye maple and I wonder what maintenance measures you perform?"

Very little. I only tighten the two allen-wrench bolts...nothing else.

Wily then goes on to asks, "Any hints for this particular wheel?"

Only one hint. Because of the type of tensioning this machine has, it sometimes pulls too hard on my singles. Someone told me that if you criss-cross the yarn back and forth a couple of times between guide-hooks, it reduces the tension-pull significantly. Other than that, the wheel works exactly as I had hoped.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Aesthetic Taste

Thaddeus and I had a visit from the infamous Curmudgeon this weekend, and one minor event piqued my curiosity.

Common Factors of Beauty
Whilst passing an antique store in Lambertville, Marilyn, Thaddeus and I all commented how much we liked a folk-art sculpture of a fish. Even though we saw lots of other folk art in the store windows, we all agreed that this simple fish sculpture had a certain genuineness to it.

There was nothing extraordinary about this fish, but for all of us, it seemed to have all the necessary components that made it a successful piece of art. And yet, none of us could tell exactly what it was that made it so successful.

I guess good art is kind of like know it when you see it.

Current Knitting
I finished the last sleeve on the dark tweed pullover.

I didn't end up sewing it together (although the shoulders have been together for a while now. I kept debating on whether I wanted to scour the pieces first (to remove the spinning oil), before sewing it up, and I never ended up doing either the scouring or the sewing.

I'll finish it this coming weekend by sewing it up, and then scouring it.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding my review of Patricia Highsmith's A Tremor of Forgery, M-H writes, "Did you know she wrote the first US lesbian novel with a happy ending (The Price of Salt) under a pseudonym? It's since been republished under her own name."

Yes, my friend who gave me the book told me the whole history of the book, including her pen-name, Claire Morgan. I wonder when someone will write the first gay man's novel with a happy

Sonya writes, "i'm very interested in your men's knitted briefs pattern. I'm wondering if you can help me locate a similar pattern or the same one."

The pattern is available here:

Friday, March 02, 2007

Singing Praises

I know I usually write with a critic's voice, but today, I want to rave about a singer and some upcoming events she has coming up.

Namoli Brennet
When I was working up in the Albany, NY area, a friend of mine, who happened to be one of the judges for the "OutMusic Awards", convinced me to go see Namoli at a local coffee shop.

I have never been the same about music. And now he tells me that Namoli is having an East coast tour (she's from Tuscon, AZ). I checked out her tour dates, and she's going to be performing at a little coffe house in Trenton, NJ on March 16th (about 30 minutes from where I live). I am definitely going to make it my business to be there with as many friends as I can convince to go see her.

Click on her site to hear samples of her music, and if you like it, click on the "Calendar" link to see if she'll be playing near you anytime soon. You'll be glad you went.

Current Knitting
I've finished about 15 inches on the second sleeve of the dark tweed pullover. Still working diligently to finish this up.

Current Reading
Over vacation, since I didn't do any knitting, I was able to finish quite a bit of reading, so I thought I'd take a minute to review the two books I was able to finish.

The first book, was a recommendation by my mother. Key Witness by J. F. Freedman is an enjoyable, although rather formulaic legal thriller.

It reminded me a lot of Pelican Brief. Freedman does an excellent job of character definition, especially with the protagonist. Like most dime-store novels, which I consider this one, I was thoroughly engrossed in the story (perfect beach reading), although I felt that the author got lazy at the very end, and created a rather ridiculous "walking into the sunset" ending for the hero of the book.

The second book was from a friend who was with us on vacation. I finished my only book way too soon, and she gave me one of hers after she finished it.

The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith is everything I want in a book. It's got a great plot and not in the least formulaic, the characters are interesting and out of the ordinary and the writing is practically perfect in every way. This book was published 1969 by the author of The Talented Mr. Ripley. She lived in my neck of the woods for a while, and the mother of the friend who lent me the book, used to edit some of Ms. Highsmith's writing.

I will definitely need to check out some of her other work.