August 29, 2012

Knitting Mishaps

It's not been the best week here.  I was very excited to finish the cable on the Tangled Yoke sweater.  Then I realized that I'd somehow lost 2 stitches early on in a crucial place, so the entire center back was off center.  The only way to fix it was to rip out most of my work and reknit it.  I considered undoing a portion, enough to add back the stitches, but 1) lots of work and 2) finding the mistake isn't easy.  The sweater is in time out for now.

My hands and arms are very sore from arthritis and I need a new rheumatologist.  This one isn't concerned that osteoarthritis is destroying my hands, my last functional part.  Also my elbows, wrists, toes..  Insurance changes are afoot in the next few months, and then I'll be able to see a couple rheumatologists who specialize in connective tissue disorders, which is me!

Mostly I'm tired, hurting, lonely, and dating has just been another source of unpleasantness.  I'd rather find out the guy turns nasty before meeting, but it still hurts.

August 26, 2012

Let's Yarn Bomb a House!

What would it look like, you may wonder, if someone did yarn bomb a house?  A little like this:

I was walking to the grocery store on Fri night, past an abandoned house/store, and was amazed to see it almost covered with knitted goodness!  I went by today and even the porch roof and gable were bombed.  It is truly amazing.  The exhibit will be up for 2 months so I'll have to stop by during daylight and get some photos.
I love my neighborhood!

They have a Facebook page

August 18, 2012

A Friend Needs Help

Kim and Sketcher 2010

A friend of mine, Kim, really needs help.  You can read the whole story here.  Her service dog Sketcher is dying of liver failure.  The illness is sudden, Kim is chronically ill and unable to work, and she has no savings to buy and raise another dog.  Kim's medical problems are the result of three automobile collisions, none her fault, which have caused serious injuries, brain damage, mobility problems and pain.  Sketcher is trained to do everything from remove her socks, bring her medication or phone, alert to medical emergencies, and support her in public, and Kim just can't function without this help.  She is hoping to buy a puppy while Sketcher is still alive so that he can help train the pup and, as important, die knowing there's someone to take his place.  Sketcher is more conscientious than many people.

Kim is creating knitted and felted items for sale to raise money for new service dog.  After speaking with the dog breeder the timeline was changed from months to weeks, however, and she cannot raise $5000 in that time without help.

Sketcher in healthier times


Kim's service dog budget, first two years: 
$2000 = dog and shipping fee
$600 = mobility harness
$500 = food 
$1000 = vet care, shots, neuter, emergencies 
$500 = puppy kindergarten, puppy obedience, one advanced course at local training/rescue, and Good Citizen course.
$1000 = training treats. Lots and lots of training treats in the first two years 
$250 = toys 
$250 = training aids (collar, cabinet pulls, wall protector around lightswitch, scents for training, etc)

August 14, 2012

New-Old Sundress

Years ago, when I was maybe 15, my mom sewed me a sundress.  Since I have a long torso the waist was a little short, and I was too self conscious to wear something that not everyone else was wearing.  I kept it, though, planning to at least reuse the fabric.  I unpicked the main seams a couple years ago.

Now I'm gong to sew it back together, adding a waistband for extra length if necessary.  It's a cute fabric, a polished cotton floral, with cut-on sleeves and a gathered skirt.  The buttonholes have already been worked all the way up the center front, with pink flower buttons.  If I can finish it quickly I'll be able to wear it this summer :)  We're having hot weather and tomorrow seems like a perfect day to stay indoors and whip up a sundress.

August 8, 2012

Sweater Progress

I've been working on the Tangled Yoke sweater since late June.  The pattern makes a cardigan but I'm changing it to a henley.  Thankfully another knitter documented her henley variation so I'm not flying blind.  The original neckline is fairly high in front and I'll be lowering it, and keeping the fit quite close.

Today was the day I joined the sleeves to the body!  All that's left is to knit the yoke, with the interesting cable design :), and then wait until autumn to wear it.

The actual color is shown in the bottom photo.  It's very difficult to catch, and changes depending on the light (which I like).

Lower sleeve

Body progress
Yarn's actual color, courtesy

August 6, 2012

Men and Women's Fashion

Peter asked a question (actually my question): Why are men the arbiter of women's fashion?  His answer, and the answer most commonly given in comments, is that men are bored with their own clothes.  I don't see this as an acceptable reason to tell women how to dress, and with it how to act, how to walk, and so on.  If men's fashion is boring, make it interesting!  Peter's toile jeans and cabana wear attest to the unexplored possibilities in men's wardrobes.

In my opinion, it's a quantum leap from "men's clothes are boring" to forcing women into painful and impossible molds.  Maybe women's tenuous roles over the last 150 years made us easier to manipulate.  What better way to do this than by reaching into the core of how we feel about ourselves?  Male designers may mean to create something new or make women beautiful.  But by decreeing what's hot and what's not they draw a line down the middle of each woman that separates her strength and intelligence from her fears of not measuring up.

The unrealistic standards that proliferate in the West today, and have been rampant for over 50 years, make sure that women can never measure up.  This is not a world I want to live in so I stopped buying into the dominant paradigm.  By rejecting the idea that women look like ageless 16 year-olds, have beauty before brains, and sacrifice everything just to look good, I've created a more healthy space to create my own self-image.  Yet I'm like an avalanche survivor: you can create an air pocket with your hands, but eventually you run out of air.  Maybe by joining together we can save each other.

August 4, 2012


Every summer Seattle has Seafair, a celebration of the ocean, the city and country, and our amazement at warm sunny weather.  The Blue Angels perform, Navy ships visit, there's a Pirate parade, and hydroplane races!  I'm especially aware since the Blue Angels practice over my neighborhood.  Nothing like seeing a formation of F-18s flying past your window!

I went to the waterfront on Wed to watch the Navy Ship parade, and got a sunburn.  But it's the first time all summer that I'd been in the sun long enough to risk a sunburn so I'm feeling philosophical about it.  I'm still dealing with migraines and trying to find a new balance to life.

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