Monday, July 27, 2015

Healthy Opposition or Hater?

It's been truly eye-opening as I expanded my friends on Facebook that there are many more haters than I would have thought, who were willing to accept my friend request.

Definition of Hater

To be clear, opposition to the ideas of progressives, liberals, the President, etc. are healthy and I am open to listening to what they have to say.

I am, however, growing less and less tolerant of the folks that look for every opportunity to insult, undermine, smear or destroy the current White House administration or other liberals or progressives.

You may be a hater if:
  1.'ve ever insisted the President is a Muslim.
  2.'ve ever stated that the President is a socialist.
  3.'ve ever said publicly that the President is "race baiting."
  4. think the President is trying to "take away our guns."
  5.'re planning for the day when you'll need to defend yourself against our government.
  6. think it's okay to pay oil companies huge subsidies, or give them multi-million dollar tax credits, but we should drug-test anyone on social welfare.
  7.'ve ever flown or displayed the confederate flag as a symbol of "Southern pride."
  8.'ve never once...not once...given the President credit for doing anything good for this country.
  9. think it's okay to allow Donald Trump to call Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, but not okay for former Attorney General Eric Holder to ask for reviews of police brutality toward the black community.
  10. believe we should guard against all Muslims when Mohammad Abdulazeez shoots multiple people, but didn't say the same thing about Christians when they gun down doctors at abortion clinics.
Please don't stop opposing laws and practices and points of view you're opposed to...but you might want to reexamine your motives if you find yourself in any of the 10 situations above.

Current Crochet

Moving right along on the Rowan LDK crochet blanket (no, I resisted starting a new, smaller, faster-moving project to make the blog entries a bit more interesting...sorry).

I added nine color stripes to the afghan, and now I'm at about 38 inches long.

I also paused for a little bit of time working on this project to weave in a few ends and wind balls of yarn for future color stripes

Believe it or not, after this project, I need to start another niece of my nieces saw me giving her younger sister a finished blanket last week, and she was all like, WTF!?!? I assured her I would be glad to make one for her as well...and I am.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chantarelle Mushroom Season Again

The most abundant edible wild mushroom in our area is the beautiful chantarelle mushroom and Thaddeus is in his glory during this time of year when they appear.

Nature's Bounty

This lovely egg-yolk colored, trumpet shaped mushroom keeps us in mushroom goodness for a while each year.

Thaddeus went out foraging this past weekend with a friend of his and they brought in a huge haul of these beauties.

Here are his:

Here are his friend Lena's:

And they also found some of my favorites at this time of trumpets!

I already ate the black trumpets and lived to blog about it...they made an excellent omelet.

Current Crochet

Continuing work on the Rowan LDK Afghan.

Again, I'm sure from a blog reader's perspective, this progress is like watching paint dry (yes, I think I've added 3 color stripes since last blog post photos), but I really like the ease of working this project and I've always thought persistence is the main quality a knitter needs to be successful and prolific over a long period of time.  Persistant, I am.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Ambition and the iPhone 6

One of the things I didn't realize when I bought my iPhone 6, was that it had a health tracking app built in.

Constant Improvement

Given that I'm a bit ambitious when it comes to tracking my health, I check this dashboard often, and I"m constantly trying to increase my average steps, average walking/running distance and number of flights each day.  Ideally, I'd like to keep my average walking/running each day at about 3 miles and climb at least 12 flights of stairs per day.

If I get too obsessed with these figures, I may just have to try and delete this app, or hide it.

Current Crochet

More "continuous improvement" when it comes to the Rowan LDK Crochet Afghan.

This one I'm completely okay with being obsessive/compulsive about.  I've only added 6 color stripes since the last update photo.  This project definitely grows at a snail's pace, so I may need to start a new sock project, or get back to spinning or design a new scarf to have some project(s) where I can show obvious progress.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Family and Family

Many in the gay world have both family-of-origin and family-of-their-own-making. I have both, and I'm extremely grateful that both are wonderful and loving.

Texas Family Visit

My brother Steve is turning 60 next week and decided to bring his brood up to visit.  He's not in the photo above (he took the photo) but he and his wife Lori have done an amazing job of parenting and now grandparenting a new generation of Wilcoxes.

Based on the photo he took, I have a tip for anyone getting their photo taken by an iPhone...make sure you're more to the center of the photo than the outside edges...the lens on the iPhone 6 camera definitely makes things on the outer edges wider!

Project Open Hand Family of my non-biological family organizing a HUGE project in support of an amazing organization called Project Open Hand.

He's asking for any donations of handmade shawls or wraps that could fetch $150 or more in an auction.  Read all about it here and especially what a great cause it's supporting.

I opted to donated a Niebling design I did years ago in a gorgeous silk yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm.

More photos can be seen from the original blog entry here.

Current Crochet

I saw a crochet stitch pattern on Pinterest that incorporated a crochet stitch called The Solomon's Knot that I thought might look good using one of Koigu's amazing colorways:

While I love the way the colors look fantastic, I am not overly thrilled with the stitch pattern itself.  I'll have to keep working on it...but I did realize one thing...I love colorway P801 in Koigu KPPPM.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Always Listening - Always Learning

Or at least trying.  Somehow recently, I acquired a talent of listening intently and with great interest to others, hoping to learn new and interesting things I hadn't know up till now.

Receptivity is a Universal Currency

Years ago, Werner Erhardt told me (and thousands of other people at an event), that if you want to be interesting, be interested.

I learned to do active listening as a technique for exhibiting interested behavior, which did seem to make me a lot more interesting, but there was very little curiosity behind the listening at the time.  It worked as a technique for ingratiating myself with others, but it didn't result in much personal growth.

Fast-forward a few decades, and for some reason it has started to become fascinating to listen to others' stories and things that work for them in their lives.  I have a ravenous curiosity and an intense ability to listen and hear what others are doing to grow in their lives.  And I'm learning.

It's amazing to me that this seemingly minor change has become a huge influence on my personal growth, and I couldn't be more pleased.

Current Knitting and Crochet

For the latest Koigu scarf design, the Seven Up Koigu scarf, I wanted to see if the stitch pattern would be as interesting in a single color, so I swatched up one section of the scarf in a single color.  Here's a comparison of the two versions:

Multi-color Front of Fabric
Single Color Front of Fabric
Single Color Back of Fabric
 I actually used a Koigu yarn for the single color...Koigu Sparkle (although you can't really see the sparkly part very well).  But I think the scarf would be equally as interesting in just a single color as well.

I've also started back on the Rowan Lightweight DK crochet afghan.

I think I've added about 12 color stripes to the afghan and I'm a little more than halfway through crocheting this afghan.  It's NOT a fast-moving project.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mixing Descriptives

It's always impressed me when someone uses a descriptive term that is specific to one of the senses, but uses it to describe a completely different sensory an example..."the light touch of her fingers on my face was delicious."

I Present To You a Cacophony  of Color

I know there are some people that actually experience sound as fact, there's even a word for it - synesthesia.

I have to believe that this experience of perceiving non-color-specific things in specific colors must make for a world that is outside the bounds of what most of us experience.

It's possible, perhaps, that people like Kaffe, experience some version of synesthesia, and that's why it's so innate to experience colors in ways that are so appealing to regular Earthlings like myself.

My knitting design has largely been about trying to see colors in different play, to experiment, to try things that expand my ideas of color.  Perhaps I'll never be as facile with color as people like Kaffe, but I will always strive to exercise that area of my brain.

Current Knitting

The Seven Up Koigu Scarf is complete!

Overall, like almost everything I do with Koigu, I love this scarf.  It's colorful, it's drapey and it was a lot of fun to knit and design.  It's also quite a bit longer than I expected (72") but that's a bonus for many folks.  I was even able to get the pattern written up and published on Ravelry -

Now I just need to buy some more Koigu to more fully expand my brain's capacity to work with LOTS of color!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Can't You Go Somewhere Else for a Cake?

I know it seems simple...if I need a cake for my same-sex wedding, and someone has a religious objection with two men getting married, what's the big deal to just go to someone that doesn't have a religious conflict?

Do I Really Want Spit in my Wedding Cake Anyway?

It really is quite simple.

If the same bakery said, "We don't serve blacks here." or "Jews aren't welcome." or "Women shouldn't be allowed to come in here without their hair covered, so send your boyfriend to buy the cake.", it all gets a bit more simple.  Would you think..."It's their business, they have every right to only serve who they want to."  Probably'd think they need to be punished somehow.  And if you do think that, do you also think that blacks should have just found some other place to eat, other than the Woolworth counter?

Add some complexity to the issue, and I wonder if the same bakery would tell a divorced woman getting remarried, that they wouldn't make that cake.  Or a cake for a couple that had lived together and/or had a child before getting married.

Truth is, that when you have agree to a business license in most locations, you usually give up your right to deny service predjudiciously.

One more wrinkle in this complex issue, is whether a bakery should have to decorate cakes with concepts that are clearly against their beliefs...asking a Jewish baker to decorate a cake with a swastika, or a gay-owned bakery to write "Same Sex Marriage is Evil" on a cake...this to me, is a very different thing and I think a business has every right to refuse to create that kind of explicit statement in their work.  Just like a religious bakery has every right not to have "Happy Divorce Day" scripted onto a cake if they find it offensive.

Okay, maybe not so simple.

Current Knitting

I'm thrilled with my latest Koigu scarf's coming out as well or better than I had hoped.

The scarf is almost finished and so is the pattern!  All that's left is finishing binding off, sewing in ends and blocking.  I also couldn't have been more pleased with the colorways of Koigu that I and vibrant.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Back To The Drawing Board

The last couple of days, I've been trying to design new pattern stitches that will work well blending multiple colorways of Koigu KPPPM

Swatching, Swatching, Swatching

Ideally, I was hoping to have a fabric with the resulting qualities:
  • Lots of drape
  • Great color blending
  • Reversible, or at least look good on both sides
  • Aesthetically pleasing fabric
I tried about three different stitch patterns and hated them all...they just didn't work at all as I had envisioned.

Then I came up with these two swatches:

Neither of the swatches are exactly what I was looking for, but I learned a lot on both of them.  I'm going to re-knit the top swatch with some changes.  While the second swatch looks the same on both sides, I don't think it's quite as nice looking as the fabric in the first swatch.  And the back of the first swatch looks good too.

Hopefully, I'll have a new Koigu Scarf design to add to the Koigu Cross Stitch Scarf and the Koigu Interlocking Crochet Scarf designs.