Sunday, March 13, 2005

The Womb

Womb Sized
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Last weekend I made this little wombie for my girl Nina, who just started her training to become a doula. Mommies across Massachusetts beware, she's fabulously supportive. I would hire her in an instant.

Made with some Lion Brand Cotton Ease, on number 3 Addi circs, it took a bit of tugging and pulling on the tight cotton. But ultimately I am very happy with the little womb. Since it's 100% washable and dryable, little babies should feel free to spit up all over it. Yummy mama life.

PSR and Jury Duty

Sorry for being awol, but my son (aka Typhoid Mary) brought home yet another bout of the Poop-Shoot-Riot (PSR) from daycare. Both Mommies were married to the couch and the loo early this week. A shout out to Nina for coining the PSR. 'Tis such a lovely turn of phrase.

Luckily I resurfaced just in time to show up for jury duty last Thursday. What I thought was going to be a long day of reading and knitting while sitting on a hard metal chair only occassionally interrupted by a court officer apologizing for the slow process of bureacracy, actually turned into a mad dash to fill two juries for two civil trials that were already behind schedule. For some odd-odd-super-odd reason, I was actually selected.

Luckily my employers are extremely supportive of me 'fulfilling my civic duty,' and the court is located very close to my house. So this feels a bit more like a vacation than a 'duty.' I'll be doing a little work before and after my jury days and on weekends (here I am, at work...). Wait a minute -- if this were a vacation, I'd be drinking wine and nursing the inevitable sunburn with lots of wife-love-aloe-rubs. Hmmm... the sun. 'Member that solar body?

Anyway ... how in the sam-hell did I get selected for a jury?? The jury questionaire included many revealing questions. The answers left no doubt that I'm a big lesbo mommy. And we're a [stereotypically, read:kinda true] judgemental and opinionated lot. And I am queen of that lot. I was terribly slack-jawed when Mr. Black Robe declared me fit for service. If I showed up to join the Army, I'd be shown the door in two minutes. I expected nothing less from our esteemed judicial branch.

So here I am ... serving jury duty with a "diverse" group of other white people. If nothing else, it'll give me lots and lots to blog about. Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

"Guru" is a bit much, but ...

Thanks to Mama Cate for posting this.

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Class Yarn

Instead of spending the last three days with my hands guiding yarn and needle, I've spent them flying through Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich. I've been meaning to read this book for years, fascinated as I am by the fact that our alleged classless society remains as segregated by social stata as it is by race. The short version of the story is this -- Barbara Ehrenreich is traumatized by welfare "reform" and wants to see how it's possible for people coming off welfare to make enough money to survive. So she takes low wage jobs in different parts of the country and tries to eek out a living on the meager income. It was a depressing, heartwarming, shocking, hilarious and life-changing experience for her, and for anyone who reads it.

So I'm feelin' Marx-crazy these days, sneering at the well-heeled people with whom I share the train, the sidewalk, the office, and at the same time, I'm hanging my head in shame as I ponder my "need" for new shoes or skeins. But most of all, as I'm trekking through my favorite blogs and miles of links, and sharing people's excitement at their newly finished knitted creations, I am becoming increasingly disturbed.

Crafters were born of meager means. Back-in-the-day, crafters were (mainly) women who learned to stitch as a money-saving technique. Yarn and a couple needles were much cheaper than mittens from the local shop. And I came to knitting for those same reasons. Going through a very rough financial patch, I tried to imagine ways to minimize my costs. With an infant in the house, I figured that sewing and knitting some of his clothes would help a bit. But ... I was wrong. Times have changed since my grandmother raised her babies. Fabric, yarn, and notions are expensive. And the ability to sit still and count stitches is a luxury that few people have.

Now I sit behind my fancy computer, at my fancy job, which rests on my fancy college degree, wearing my fancy clothes, made from fancy fiber, and I am disturbed when I read these knitting blogs that seem more focused on how many projects they can churn out, or how much yarn is in their stash, or how many hours they sit with needles in their lap, or how many projects they have going on simultaneously, or how wonderful their trip to X city was-when they visited X knitting store-and purchased X pile of knitting supplies [see photo of booty]. I can't help but wonder -- how much money does this cost??? And do you understand that most people can't make these same choices?

Writing a blog can be cheap, but generally, it's not. Knitting is expensive, the digital camera is expensive, a high-speed internet connection is expensive, and the luxury of blog-writing time is expensive. Do we yarn snob bloggers ever stop and consider how truly privileged we are?

I would love to read a blog written by someone who is actually struggling to make ends meet, and who happily buys Red Heart and other acrylics because that's what's sold at Walmart for $2/pound.

That blog might be motivated by a true love of knitting, and a true love of sharing that joy through the written word. If you know of such a blog, please let me know.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Ramen Noodle Wool

Ramen Noodle Wool
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
Well into the afternoon, I finished ripping the sweater and found myself surrounded by a lovely heap of variegated wool. Perhaps this weekend I'll wash it and hang it to straighten out. Ramen noodles be gone! Then I'll build a skein-maker and measure my loot. I'm guessing there's about 800 yards. Keep your fingers crossed.

Irish Sweater

Irish Sweater
Originally uploaded by The Feminist Mafia.
A new obsession has pined me to the floor. Yes, I have succombed to the recycled yarn fetish. Ashley Martinea has started a little revolution with her tutorial on ripping out thrift store sweaters and reusing the yarn. What yarn-lovin' Mommy doesn't want to save a pile of cash through a yarn recycling binge? So, after reading her tutorial, I attacked an old hand-me-down Irish wool sweater. I love this sweater. I love the yarn. But it's ginormous! So it flew out of storage and onto the scissors.

However, after an hour of gleefully cutting the good seams and tugging and pulling and hearing the beautiful pop-pop sound of stitches unraveling, I started to sneeze, itch my eyes, and honk my nose. I'd like to think this allergy-fest was brought on by the cloud of dust circling this unwashed heap of hippie fabric, but perhaps I'm allergic to wool (?). Oh the injustice of it all!

Needless to say, I took a Benadryl and kept ripping. Even as my breathing started to require a noticeable effort, I kept ripping.