Monday, September 29, 2008

Glad I'm Not Episcopalian

Yes, it's great that they have gotten rid of a hate-mongering bishop.

But What Now?
Now the church will have to contend with all the other hateful pricks in their ranks that want to be divisive because they can't stand the thought of a pious gay man.

How is it that they can't see their own hypocrisy? Or is it political posturing for power in their church? Well, I guess that's still hypocrisy.

Kinda makes me hope the rapture comes sooner rather than later.

Current Knitting
Believe it or not, I finished the final rectangle for my niece's afghan.

Now I just have to sew up all the pieces and weave in all the ends. I'll probably knit some kind of border as well...mostly to give the edges a cleaner look...some of them look a little raw.

It's nice to be out of the closet as a knitter...folks sometimes give you things.

A client/co-worker was cleaning out her mom's things and thought I might like this copy of America's Knitting Book. It's actually very nice, and I definitely didn't own a copy.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Anonymous asks, "I've been watching your afghan come together. What will be the dimensions of the finished 20-square project?"

Not really sure until I block it all out. Actually, the pieces aren't square. I did light blocking of all the rectangles to get them all to about the same size and they're around 12"x10" which would make the final afghan about 48"x50" (without border).

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

And The Crowd Turned Ugly

Wow...Anonymous is quite right when she notes that I'm a "hit whore", but I really had no idea of the uproar my admission would have caused.

Could you imagine what would have happened if I admitted that I found Bill O'Reilly">Bill O'Reilly hot or something?

What I Said
  • I like Sarah Palin.
  • I think she's smart and well-spoken and opinionated.

What I Didn't Say
  • I agree with her views on abortion, drilling in ANWR, treatment of gays, sex education and abstinence or Christianity - I don't.
  • I think she has integrity - I don't.
  • Sarah Palin would make a great Vice President - She wouldn't.
  • She's a good mother - Wouldn't know...don't care.
  • I think she's hot and I'd like to sleep with her - Not even with Enzyte.
  • I want her as a friend - I wouldn't...although I wouldn't want her as an enemy either.
  • I have respect for Sarah Palin - I don't.
  • She's not mean-spirited - She is.
  • She's not scary - She is.
  • She's not a dreadfully vindictive person who refuses to wield her power for personal gains - She is and does.
  • She's equally as capable as Hillary Clinton - No where near.
  • Palin has any concept of foreign policy -
  • She's not a puppet of the McBush presidential campaign - She is.
  • She was vetted well by McBush's team of idiots - She wasn't.
  • I had joined the "dark side" - I haven't.
  • I was going to vote for McBush/Palin - Not ever.
  • I encourage others to vote for McBush/Palin - Not ever ever.

I did find the vehemence against saying anything positive about her quite interesting. I will do everything in my power to persuade folks to vote for Obama/Biden in November, but I can't imagine that saying something mildly positive about the opponent team is in any way antithetical to that viewpoint. I like what twinsetellen wrote about being able to like someone and still be vehemently opposed to their viewpoints. Is that not possible for folks, or did they just think that by not having negative things to say, that I supported her in any ways specifically unstated?

The readers her are never boring and always showing me interesting aspects of life that I might never have experienced.

Current Knitting
I'm back to work on the Kureyon sock again.

I finished the first sock, and I like the way it looks on me. The second sock will move along pretty quickly until I hit the ribbing section again.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Just had to note that I loved what a lot of you had to say:

Mel noted Ann Richards is the true strong woman...not Sarah...totally agree...loved Governor Richards.

Julie characterizes Sarah as "Frankly she reminds me of those mean girls in high school who were just slightly slutty."

Pam wrote a censorship comment that I liked and ended with, "I have never really figured out how to pick when I purl, so I throw. (What an odd sentence!)" - loved that.

Fiberqat cracked me up with "So would throwing from the left hand be Contlish method?" - don't be trying to say that drunk.

Dear Carol replied to my offensive comparison with "Also, like McCain, you are a big loser!" - from your lips to god's ears.

Karine comes up with "Moosealini" - ha!

Finally, M-H writes, "Incidentally, there is an election looming in NZ as well as in Canada. I'll bet you didn't see that in your news either."

No, sorry...we don't get much news from the Scandinavian countries here in the states. I guess I could go to the google and check it out in the interwebs.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Have a Confession

Forgive me readers, but I like Sarah Palin.

I know it's odd, but I've always liked strong, opinionated women who are well-spoken and a bit sarcastic. I mean really, aren't Carol and Marilyn a little like Sarah? My sisters are a lot like Governor Palin in many ways too, I work with women that are like her. There's just a certain comfort level I have every time I hear her speak.

I even like the fact that she (allegedly) fired the chief of police because he wouldn't fire the guy who was divorcing her sister at the time. Wouldn't you do that for your family if you had the power? A little hint of vengeance or spite always spices a person up in my mind. And you can't tell me it wasn't impressive how she handled Charlie Gibson. Even when she was given a "gotcha" question about the Bush doctrine, she held her composure extremely well. Much better than Quayle ever did, even under much less stressful situations.

So yes, I admit it...I like Sarah Palin.

Current Knitting
For the readers that haven't abandoned me in shame by this point, I can at least say that I've made steady progress on my niece's afghan.

If I can count right, I've completed 14 of the 20 squares. If I push really hard this coming weekend, I might even be able to finish the last 6 squares, but that's a stretch, so I'm not promising anything.

Here's a different view of the stack of afghan squares. I just liked all the pretty colors.

Readers' Comments/Questions
The "New Girl in NYC" asks, "where do u flea market at?"

I only flea market at one place on both Saturday and Sunday morning. It's a place in Lambertville, NJ called the Golden Nugget. Mostly I go so that I at least get a small walk in first thing each weekend morning.

Regarding how slowly I do knit/purl ribbing, Joe in Wyoming asks, "Have you ever tried holding your yarn the Continental way?"

I just recently watched a video on YouTube that shows quite clearly how to do ribbing in what seems to be a much more efficient way. Like most things in knitting, it will take me a while to practice this technique until it feels comfortable. I tried it a few times with my sock, but couldn't maintain it for more than 20 stitches or so.

The ever-observant Marilyn writes, "You don't knit Continental? I never noticed."

Actually, I hold the yarn in my left hand like most Continentalist knitters, but I throw the yarn instead of picking it. It's the result of having taught myself knitting by watching Americans knit and reading how in a British publication.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's All I Got

If you compare this sock picture with the last one, you'll see a minimal amount completed.

No Promises
I said I'd be posting blog entries more regularly...I didn't say I'd have much knitting progress to post about.

Actually, I consider the progress I made quite great since I haven't had a lot of time to knit and I am not very fast at ribbing...I need to find someone who can show me a more fast/efficient method of switching back and forth between knitting and purling.

Latest SEX
Have I shown you this yet?

You're going to consider me a pig for getting more, but I just couldn't resist. Not only that, but I have also asked Carol(Black Bunny Fiber gal) to do some custom dyeing of laceweight for me. The yarn in the picture is Angel Face yarn from Briar Rose Fibers. Chris at Briar Rose was nice enough to custom dye some fine laceweight yarn for me, and I can't wait to start a man's lace wrap of some sort that will keep me warm and toasty during the Winter months.

Readers' Comments/Questions
The ever-intriguing, international reader Ted writes, "By the way, Joe, did you know that we're having a national election up here in Canada?"

That is fascinating news...I'm shocked all the major networks here in the states haven't mentioned a word about it. Are you sure? Perhaps I should google this and find out more about it. I love the lead quote on this article.

I love what Amy Scott wrote about not voting for Obama because of his Marxist ideologies. I would love to know how she categorizes McCain's ideologies. Perhaps after almost eight years of corporate-loving, middle-class hating, imperialistic government rule, a shot of Marxism might be just the ticket.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ebbs and Flows

Sorry for the sparse, single posting last week, but life just got the better of me.

Back To My Normal
My life is still somewhat frantic, but manageable. Hopefully I'll be able to get back on a 2 or 3 post per week schedule.

I'd like to say that all the flying and driving and traveling I've been doing in the last few months has increased my knitting output, but that would be a lie (as you'll note below in the "Current Knitting" section).

Mostly, I just felt exhausted many of these last days, and wanted nothing more than to go to bed at 9:00 and go comatose for as many hours as I could until I got up the next morning.

Anyway, I'm back.

Current Knitting
Completed some minimal additional work on the Noro Sock...yes...still singular unfortunately.

I'm quite annoyed to have found a knot in the yarn that screwed up the color gradations. You can see it in the section of the ankle section where the color goes from aqua to almost black with no transition at all.

I also got some more work done on the afghan for my niece.

This is going nice and quickly, and I'm looking forward to seeing the overall result of all these great Manos colors.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Regarding my annoyance with some of the stitch patterns in the block afghan, Franklin writes, "It would fascinating to know why some of those patterns tickle your brain and some don't. Is there ANY commonality you can see to the patterns in either group?"

I think it's a few different factors. First of all, any pattern that uses frequent "Purl 2 Together To Back of Loop" stitch combinations is annoying. I also don't like stitch patterns where I'm unable to see how the current row is adding to the stitch pattern. Other than that, no commonalities.

VTKnitBoy asks, "hey, aren't you the one who posted about obama and called us 'obamatrons'?! ; )"

Yes, and I still think that a lot of the fervor that put Obama where he is today is similar to the reaction of the conservatives to Palin. Don't get me wrong, I think there were some folks that looked very closely at Obama and his record before voting for him in the primary, while I think the large majority were bowled over by his well-delivered enthusiasm. I just hope that the Obama fervor people actually decide to vote in November.

Maureen writes, "Here in Australia, voting is compulsory - do you think the electorate is more, or less discerning because of this?"

That's a fascinating question, and I really don't know, but even if voters here have to have some rationale for bringing them to the voting booth, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are capable of discerning who would be a better president.

Jeff writes, "Wow. Snap judgements abound, Joe. I could probably stand in for that guy by your physical description of him and his luggage. And, according to your assessment, I'm untravelled and going to vote for McCain and Palin...none of which is true. I find your comments about his habitus and luggage a bit much. You seem more intelligent than this. However, it's your blog, you can judge if you want to..."

I guess you don't read my blog often. I always make "snap judgements."[sic] What I was trying to convey about the man, was that he seemed to be the average sort of guy, and I thought some of my initial judgmental thoughts about this man might help to get across my personal biases about him. I judge all the time...anyone that says he doesn't is just lying...and honestly, I would have described that man in the same way if he had been a fan of Obama. If folks don't want to read my judgments or get offended by them, they really shouldn't read QueerJoe...unless they want to...

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Brush With The Common Man

Waiting for the off-site parking jitney to pick me up this morning, I had the "opportunity" to speak with a regular guy.

A Bit of Background
First of all, I normally wouldn't have spoken with this man...he initiated a conversation, and it would have been awkward waiting with him if I had tried to terminate the conversation rudely.

Second, like many in this society, the man was overweight and out of shape and had an antique piece of luggage that clearly tagged him as an amateur traveler.

After some discussion of where we were both traveling, and the fact that he was "forced" by his employer to fly home on 9/11, he asked me who I preferred, McCain or Obama. I told him Obama, and let him know I was frightened for the future of this country if McCain got elected. I asked him his preference, and he sheepishly said McCain.

After some additional discussions on various political topics, I realized a few things about this man:

- He didn't appear racist
- He had at least some understanding of the candidates...most likely he listened to the news on TV
- He wasn't overly smart, but he was definitely not stupid

Finally, I realized that this man was going to vote for McCain because he liked him better. Yes, not because he embraced conservative ideals, not because McCain was better qualified, not because he thought McCain's wife was hot. But because he liked him better than Obama. Based on this man's appearance, it was all I could do to let him know that he couldn't afford to have McCain be elected president...unfortunately, neither can the World.

I realized that this man was like the majority of people in this country, and that unless folks start taking a much more personal interest in the workings of government, we are truly fucked.

Current Knitting
I worked on both my travel project and my home project since the last blog post.

I've gotten up to the ribbing on the Noro Kureyon sock.

I was working on it at a picnic yesterday and realized I had lost a stitch somewhere. I was a bit too distracted to try and figure out what happened, so I just put it away and figure it out when I could concentrate a bit more (having reading glasses will help too).

I also got a few more squares done for the Manos afghan.

Why is it that some pattern stitches are a pleasure and seem to have a naturally pleasing rhythm, and others seem like jerky and chaotic? As I practice with lots of different stitch patterns, I can honestly say I don't enjoy some of them at all.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

European Men

Is it just me, or are European men hotter than American men?

Anna Magazine
The picture above is from my latest issue of Anna - Burda Magazine from Germany. After someone on the Niebling list (not sure if it was Yahoo Group or Ravelry) mentioned that they sometimes republish Niebling designs in current magazines, I thought I'd like to subscribe. Here's the latest cover.

Now, I don't speak German at all, and even if I they do publish a Niebling design or two, I'll have to use all the on-line translation resources I have at my disposal to be able to use it.

But for the sweater (and model) above, the subscription was worth it.

Current Knitting
I finished two more blocks on the niece afghan.

I'm enjoying the process of going through stitch dictionaries to pick out various pattern stitches that I think will translate well to Manos del Uruguay yarn. If you've ever made one of Judith Shangold afghan's or throws (I've made two of her design called Vineyard Throw), then you'll know how beautiful Manos afghans and throws turn out.

Only 17 more squares to go.

Actually, since I'm traveling this week and next, I decided to start a different project that's a bit more portable and doesn't require quite as much access to my knitting library. I'll post pictures in my next blog entry.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Indeed

I guess you can't really call knitting labor...well maybe a labor of love.

Productive Knitting Weekend
I did get a lot done this weekend as you'll get to see in the photos below.

I finished blocking the Promenade dans le Fôret lace project. It took a long time to block this thing out evenly. As with all lace projects, anytime you move one pin to straighten the line, you have to move dozens and dozens of pins. I love how this project turned out, but honestly, I have no idea what I'll use it for. It's a bit small to use as a shawl and it's too large to be a doily...hmmm.

I also finished the Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf (using the Noro Kureyon Sock). Another project I'm very pleased with. I got a very elegant and long scarf for a mere US$19 cost, plus quite a bit of yarn left over. I will probably use the second ball of yarn with the leftovers from the first to make a pair of socks.

Finally, I also started work on a Manos afghan that was requested by one of my nieces who just started school at my ole Alma Mater, Rutgers University.

Current Knitting
Here are a few pictures of the Promenade dans le Fôret lace project after fully blocking.

All Pins Removed

A Close Up of the Corner

Window Silhouette

Center Silhouette

A Little Perspective...on a Queen Size Bed

Here are a few pictures of the Noro/Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf.

The Full Length of 64"

A Close Up of the Stitch Pattern

Some Perspective With A Tape Dispenser

Finally, I have finished almost one square of what will probably be a 16 or 20 square afghan made in different colors of Manos del Uruguay yarn (which I totally adore).

Just taking, editing and posting the pictures should be considered labor.