Monthly Archives: February 2014

I just wanted to read a magazine…

I happily made it to the library just in time before the last snowstorm to stock up on readable, watchable, and listenable materials.  Our small suburban branch of a large county library system is fairly mediocre, so I don’t expect to find much when I go, but this time I discovered that they carry Interweave Knits magazine, so I checked out the whole lot.

I settled in to read a few, only to immediately turn to a defiled page.

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Though I consider myself a feminist, I am not without humor, and I quite like occasional trashy bawdy bits.  But this?  I sort of feel like a knitting magazine is the equivalent of a women’s college – I will be safe, protected from the predatory male, accepted and uplifted by my peers, and free to not care how I present myself.*  So I felt a bit shocked to see it.  But then I realized it just really doesn’t make sense – why would she say “Pop ’em out?”  Is she saying that to someone else in the room?  Is she speaking to another person about his pop-out-ables, or another lady about her’s?  Or should it have said, “Would you like me to pop them out?”

It is unclear.

And the writing is a bit shaky, which could suggest that the author is a man with a G.I.’s racy sense humor from the Greatest Generation (as there are many older folks around here).**

Does it seem a little less creepy that it’s probably from an old dude, or more?

I pondered that while I flipped some more pages, until I was stopped again.

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This has no ambiguity.

Anyway, it sets my blood to boil when people deface library materials…

So wanting to clear my mind, I chose some different reading material that took me back in time to the days when the author of the graffiti may have been a wee thing.

I had some bad news lately – nothing involving death, illness, or further financial ruin, but soul-crushing in its own way, so I soothed it with a very minor ebay shopping spree of a couple of lots of vintage knitting magazines (that I got for a song).  Included with them were more issues of Minerva which I added to my growing collection.

But what do we have here?

magazines 008 - Copy

A very demonic baby shouting commands…

I agree with the sentiment – I find no reason to merely sit, you should at least be doing something – be it reading or knitting or whittling.  But the ugly little thing kept alternating between yelling at me and feigning sympathy with my potential knitting frustrations page after page.

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But I also don’t quite understand it either – the baby is criticizing the magazine in which it is printed/housed – essentially biting the feeding hand.  Perhaps this is the beginning of the current obnoxious parenting trend of believing a young child should have say over a parent…

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Then my feminist hackles began to rise once more…

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I know this is minor, and over 50 years ago and thus considered “acceptable” at the time, but why must a wedding band be on the sketch of the hand demonstrating how to knit?

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That’s what I say to the whole thing.

No more magazines for me – I’ll just go back to knitting.

*I know this is an inaccurate (and probably stereotypical) portrayal of women’s colleges, and I didn’t give a sh*t how I presented myself throughout my own co-educational academic career.  And also I know that there are some male readers of knitting magazines and male knitwear designers, but they seem to know how to behave themselves in this largely feminine sphere…

**I guess the WWII folks aren’t so abundant anymore – I’m not keeping up with the passage of time, so the dude is more likely pre-boomer, but not by much…

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Hitching dragons

I finished up my second Hitchhiker scarf out of my handspun “Dragon Days” mixed BFL from Pigeonroof Studios.

PRS-dragons-beach1

You might think it’s just like my other one.

Mimsyhiker & acquedotto

And they are close, but the new one is more green, more intensely hued, and I spun it a little too thin, so the gauge is half the size of the other – or is it twice the size?

PRS-Draghitch1

I made it for a gift, but I was reeeaaaaally tempted to swap it out for my old one.

PRS-dragons-beach2

The colors are iridescent and change depending on the light, though sunlight is my favorite because it is at its greenest best then.

PRS-Draghitch5

I love the striping from the spun singles.

PRS-Draghitch4

And the size is good too – bigger than my other one.

PRS-dragons-beach3

I’ve got a few more gift knits to complete in the next month or two, so I’m going to continue to be busy with unselfish knitting for a bit (I’m not counting the selfish spinning) but there just might be a startitis explosion soon after though…

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Snowed in… AGAIN

I’m done with this winter.

snowy trees*

Last week we lost power for a few days.  My brain became more fogged than usual and I started shifting to the left.  I guessed I was getting hypothermia in my own apartment so I laid under a couple of down duvets until clearer thoughts came back… if you could call them that.

N keeps getting snow days from work; I don’t since I work from home.

We’re also sick and I’ve been feeling too crappy to make stuff.

I used to be used to being snowed in from time to time.

I’d take it as an opportunity to do wonderful things like take a bunch of random knitting needles I’ve gathered from thrift shops and yard sales –

needles-pile**

And pair them up.

needles-paired

And of course put them back in the old pasta tin I keep them in and they jumble themselves up once more.

I almost never use straight needles anymore, at least the long ones, but I like them as artifacts.

My red Formica table is in storage and I miss it.

I made a little heat-able pillow filled with cherry pits a few years ago.

cherry-pit-bag

I love cherries and eat pounds of them each June and early July.

It’s about 6″ x 8″ and filled with nearly a pound of pits.  It’s great for warming knitting-sore wrists or cold hands.

I’d like another, but I don’t think I want to go through boiling and scrubbing and scouring and sanding pits again.

It’s useless when the power goes out too.

*That picture isn’t even the most recent snow – I’ve given up, I can’t be bothered, I don’t want to have any documentation of this sh*t anymore…

**This doesn’t look right, seems like it should be the other way around, but that didn’t look right either and this is the direction I took it – deleting and re-attaching the variously oriented pics was the high point of the day.

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Come armageddon, for everyday is like swants day

The other day N mentioned he was culling some old sweaters and asked if I wanted any – of course I did (all of them).  And to my surprise, he had a swants-able one in the pile – a forgotten cosy but quite misshapen semi-felted/fulled thrift store find from a few years ago.

I immediately began to cut and sew.

swants-unworn-detail

I didn’t follow the official swants tutorial because I wanted to make some interesting shapes with the pattern, and the shoulder seams already conformed to my hips.

Swants-apocalypse

And then I impatiently set off for the beach, not quite accepting the fact that you can’t really shoot your own trousers while wearing them.

I love the beach in winter.  I love the emptiness and sometimes the ugliness.  I love that the surf washes away the ice and snow and sloggy sh*t that prevents you from walking normally and safely on an inland path or sidewalk.

And when I’m at a wintertime beach in a semi-urban area, I can never stop Morrissey’s Everyday is Like Sunday from playing in my head…

So while the day was chilly, but the sun warm, I filled up a thermos, packed up my ass pad and some knitting* and hit a favorite spot while it was at its most opposite of a smooth summery romping ground.

Swants-beach

One of those rusty pipes helped hold the camera, but all of my swants photos are shite.

But the swants aren’t – I love them!

Swants-pipe help

  Mine are more knickers though – swickers.

Swants-front

The color is truest here – they are cranberry and maroon.  The front has a somewhat provocative triangular point – though how sexy can sweater pants really be?

Swants-ass

And the back has a squared-off shape not unlike old-timey ass flaps on union suits.

I practically had the beach to myself, but the boardwalk was busy with those just waking up from cabin fever and those who have jolly thick-coated dogs (who must suffer through the hot summers).  But no one bothered me – there’s usually a small motley band of panhandlers and nutters who think being unwashed and under various chemical influences is appealing to a woman – but the swants proved an effective repellant!

Swants-cocksoxonrock

Perhaps my new cock socks** helped too…

Now I look like the nut-job.

Maybe on a colder day I’d wear these under my swirt

swants-unworn-front

Now I can’t get everyday is like swants day to the tune of the above out of my head…

swants-unworn-back

*Yeah, still a little too chilly for outdoor knitting – but it was a good place to take photos of it too – coming soon.

**Smartwool, a gift from N.  I told him I didn’t need anymore socks, he told me I needed these.  He was right.  In the few seconds Morrissey leaves my head, cock socks on the rocks repeated chant-like over and over comes in…

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Filed under hiking, recycling, sewing, thrifting, travel

Not too busy for a weekend jaunt…

I am busy these days.

I’m working on some knitting that is taking far longer than I’d expected, but must be completed in a certain amount of time, so I’m monogamous with it.

I’ve been work-working more hours.  And I’ve been doing some blogging for work that fills up that little writing time and space brain-hole that usually gets stuffed here.

But I’ve also been away due to both work and pleasure.  Recently, we had a nice long weekend in my old city visiting our old haunts.

We bought lots of delicious (and cheap) Italian foodstuffs.

weekend-meat

Basked in the warmth of radiators (I haven’t yet mentioned how I entirely [and somewhat irrationally] abhor forced-air heat).

weekend-radiators

Had properly made espresso drinks at our old neighborhood cafe.

weekend-caffe

Visited the lovely WPA mural in the post office again – it even has a spinner!

weekend-mural

And though I didn’t [cannot] visit my old LYS [due to potential uncontrollable purchasing] I did pop in another shop just out of town.  It was one of those tiny places where you’re the only one there and suddenly face-to-face with the owner who seems hopeful and maybe slightly desperate, and either way she’s friendly and helpful and you feel obligated to buy a little something.

weekend-yarn

So I did.

(I’m tempted to make another Honey Cowl with it, but I know it will be an oh-so-soft, but pill-crazy yarn, so I’ll either mix it up with something more durable, felt/full it, or most likely,  just sit on it for awhile… The color is more in the forest berries/cranberry range and less purple and pink than it appears – I think the colorway is “currant.”)

And what trip isn’t complete without a thrift store stop?

weekend-coat

This is such an entirely uncharacteristic garment for me in terms of color, but it’s a great vintage find.

weekend-coatdetail

I bought it to re-sell, but I just might keep it since it fits… winter greys be damned!

(It kinda hurts the eyes though).

(I got it in a small chain of regional thrift stores that absolutely have their heads up their asses when it comes to pricing.  Something that is a “better” department store or preppy shop brand will be priced astronomically, while vintage  and actual high-quality label things are often a steal – which is often a happy coup, but lousy when you find a holey and felt-able or harvest-able sweater and it’s priced at $19.99 but should be no more than $2.99.   The coat above was only $4.99, handmade in wool, in perfect condition, and from a fancy downtown shop that no longer exists…)

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