Thursday, August 24, 2006

Go Beth Go!

Have you seen the crazed shawl racing over at Seed Stitch? There's voting and prizes (roving, fingering weight yarn, Lorna's Laces, charity) and there's serious schmack being thrown around the blogosphere. Drama, drama, drama. I love it.

I voted for Beth, primarily because I commute with her almost daily and I'm afraid of her sharp DPNs, but also because she's a women's college graduate, and that means she's a fierce competitor. In just one hour I'll get an update. Go Beth Go!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Starry Sky socks

Status as of last week. Aren't my glowing pastey legs just too sexy for words?

Flash forward, after commuting and camping knitting, and the socks are within shooting distance of being an FO. Yesterday was deemed "Finish the Socks for Christ's Sake" Day, and in an uncharacteristic example of mise en place, I printed a new-to-me bind off (EZ's Sewn), ate lunch at my desk to maximize my knitting time, and plopped myself in a nice shady patch of grass with all tools at hand. I bound off. Easy peasy. Stretchy. I was delighted. Until ...

I tried the socks on. Eff-ing Mafia! The socks are primarily stockinette, and in my hurry to finish them, I forgot to add some ribbing. Of course the socks rolled like mad. Rolling socks may be fine for some people, but not for me. Especially not for socks that will be worn under drapey work pants.

Also, in my enthusiastic weaving of ends, I didn't notice this silly mistake (that white line - it's called lazy weaving):

So I spent an entire hour picking out all 128 cast off stitches. Tedious doesn't begin to capture it. With Beth as my witness, I nearly chucked the whole project. But once I was curled into the corner of my couch, I added a teeny bit of ribbing and worshipped at the altar of EZ's Sewn Cast Off again. That's a perfect toe-up sock cast off, by the way. And of course I have Danielle to thank for pointing it out. I was too tired to snap a picture last night, so I'll recycle another from last week. They're slighting taller and they don't roll.

Before someone asks, yes, that's my first tattoo. She's a pink rose (in honor of my grandmother) with the stem woven through the symbol for woman. At age 11, I decided I wanted a pink rose on my ankle. At 18, after all the changes that years 11-17 bring, I still wanted the same thing. So I got it, with one addition. As a raving feminist, I added the feminist symbol. A few years later, I realized that the provincial Scranton, PA tattoo artist knew something I didn't, because the flower looks exactly like labia. Since then, she's faded and blurred a little, so I'm heading to a parlor on Saturday for a touch-up and for Tat #2.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Lazy Monday

I'm too lazy to tell a Favorite Things story today, because this weekend was the annual camping pilgrimage to celebrate my FIL "Big Time"s birthday. The weekend was great, but without going into extruciating detail, suffice it to say that I'm tired, mosquito-itchy, and everthing in my house is either damp or soaked. The drive was long (5 hours), but the campsite was stunning*! Prior to arrival, I had no idea where we were going. It's Wifey's family's gig, so I just drive and I'm always pleasantly surprised. This year we met at North Hero State Park, which is located on North Hero Island, situated in the northern section of Lake Champlain. Yes, I was very close to Canada, and yes, Wifey and I had long conversations about expatriation. We seriously considered it. Our strategy involved Wifey's Uncle "Big Rock" - the republican boat owner and our nautical guide for the weekend, and the perfect diatribe that would earn us passage to the land of univeral health care, federal marriage rights, mild summers and yarn. Alas, I'm back in Cambridge this morning, part of One Nation Under God. Argh.

While hovered over the 'beacon of hope' lantern, huddled in our tent to avoid the scattered showers downpour, I made progress on my Starry Sky socks. In fact, I'm hoping to post FO pics later this week. Unfortunately I couldn't snap any pix this weekend because our camera battery died and so did Big Time's. Trust me, I looked very Victorian and burned many brain cells wondering how our knitting ancestors managed to create such beautiful items while knitting by candlelight.

*Blogger has apparently upgraded itself over the weekend. I can do lots of crazy things (like bold) directly from the create window. No more HTML tags. Thanks Blogger.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Wilde & Mead

The BFF&exGF#2 Wilde and her current GF Meade visited this weekend, and it was absolutely incredible! We did some copycat cooking and traditional baking; strolling through my favorite quaint New England town; window shopping; a serious search for a feminist-friendly version of Little Man's new princess & dragon obsession [found!]; a toddler-ized short trip to the beach; and a hike through the woods up to a castle, where Little Man and his BFF freely frolicked around the grassy hilltop.

There was snuggling, cuddling, discussions about community, and visions of collective living. But alas, despite my strong opposition, Wilde and the lovely Mead returned to home and work.

My longing to live near her is deep and strong.

Friday, August 11, 2006

All Fabric, All the Time

Love.Love.Loved the Lowell Quilt Festival. It was so much more extensive than I expected, so I only had time to skim the surface of the city-wide exhibits. Next year, I'll plan a two day trip.

I went alone, which was an incredible gift from pregnant-Wifey. She's so tired all the time, so releasing me from my Mommy duties for several hours was very sweet. I whipped up her favorite ginger snap cookies as a Thanks.

I wandered. I thought. I tried to connect with Kat With A K, but despite swaping cell #s and identifying clothing choices, we never found one another. Did I mention that this festival is huge? My first stop was the main juried show at the Tsongas Arena, followed by the New England Quilt Museum, the Whistler House Museum, the Brush Art Gallery, and a swing through the American Textile History Museum with plans to return when I have more time to see the quilts from Quilt National '05.

There were many many stunning quilts at the show, and I ran out of memory on my camera long before I finished taking pictures. Still, there are a lot of pix, so I'll post my favorite here and the rest on my Flickr set.

Frida Kahlo: Embrace of the Universe
by Brigitte Otto (Germany)

Brigitte Otto created this quilt as part of Marilyn Belford's "Artists Revisited" class. Marilyn Belford is an amazing quilt artist who had several pieces on display at the show and I fell in love with every one of them. I'm dying to take the Artists Revisited class from her. Dying. I've already emailed her and hope.hope.hope I can make it happen.

After drooling over the quilts, I walked the plank vendor loop. Oy. It took every ounce of my being to resist spending an obscene amount of money that I don't have. So I walked around one time, fondled everything and thought through the options. Then I hit the Valley Fabrics and Portsmouth Fabric Company booths hard.

For a baby quilt

Stash-building: for 30s-repro-fun & to represent Little Man's white kitty; for fall trees in the distance of a landscape quilt; and for crazy-mod-fun

Stash-building: because I love Kaffe; and I love batiks with strong geometric lines; and I love green and I LOVE swirls; and there are so many different uses for the blue pods

Stash-building: love Kaffe; good basic purple; teeny pansies will certainly come in handy someday

Stash-building: because I love words on fabric, and the sage accents almost glow

My original intention was to find a bit of this fabric that I've been oogling for months:

It's Alexander Henry's Countdown and I must have it. Also, I'd like to get the multi-colored version too. He also does one of my favorite prints (seen in Nina's wrist cuff-the panel that says "Grace"), the Buckerettes.

While at the Valley Fabrics, I asked them if they carried it. Of course they do, and they offered to drop a yard in the mail. I love them! Go patronize them. They're very very sweet.

Several months ago, I discovered that the folks at Marimekko will send you little samples of the fabrics for FREE! A week after discovering this, I received these in the mail.

Wanna see what happened while I made Wrist Cuffs?

I swear it's not posed at all. Everything is just as I left it.

The craft room is all cleaned up now, ready for more action.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wicked Game

When MTV aired Chris Isaac's Wicked Game music video way back in 1991, I was in high school, and like all other American teens, I was very hormonal. As a baby hetero, I fell silent and slack-jawed every time I caught this video on MTV. There is a section of the video when Helena Christensen is decked out in a black lingerie set, but even as a baby hetero, I was obsessed with the main visual thread of the video, when she's wearing men's white briefs. I mistakenly thought it was the hetero soft porn that compelled me.

A couple years later, after I came out of the closet, I spotted the video when I was flipping channels. Only then did I understand how truly sexy it is. And I realized it was not the hetero soft porn, but it was Helena Christensen in men's underwear.

Several years ago, during the height of the Napster days, I tried to locate this video so I could download it. No dice.

Today, for some odd reason, this video popped into my mind, and I went looking again. Only this time the angels sang down from the heavens, and I found it on You Tube. Not suprisingly, a gorgeous woman in white briefs still does it for me, and the soft porn doesn't hurt.

But there's a also new dimension to this particular obsession. When I checked Wikipedia for the date of release, I found out that Herb Ritts directed the video. Why am I not surprised? He's an amazing artist, one of my all-time favorite photographers, and I regularly flip through the coffee table book that Wifey bought me several years ago. These are two of my all-time favorites:

Can you tell this is Michelle Pfeiffer? I would give my left tit to own it. Seriously.I have another tit.I need this photo.

Woman in Sea, Hawaii, 1988

Little did I know that the MFA owns several of his photos. It's high time to visit the MFA again.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Favorite Things Monday - Inspiration

I am consistently inspired by Lisa Congdon, the artist behind A Bird in the Hand. She's smart. She's sassy. She's unique. She's creative. She's gay. For all these reasons, she rocks my world. For once, I saw something on her blog and thought, "hey, I could make that!" and I did.

I made these two wrist cuffs on Saturday night, not entirely unrelated to my Sunday trip to the Lowell Quilt Festival.

This one's for me. I love the colors and wearing a cuff makes me feel like Wonder Woman. I'll be making several more cuffs, and although a pair of gold cuffs would be so-very-Wonder-Woman, perhaps a red and white star print would suffice.

This one's for Nina, as a swap for the beautiful pin she gave me as part of her SwaparamaMama.

Only after making my cuffs did I realize that Lisa Congdon made her cuffs with one main piece of fabric. When I told Wifey, she laughed and laughed. Of course I had to make it harder on myself. Judging by the laughter, I'm thinking this is a habit of mine. Next time ... I'll keep it simple.

*hand model, adorable freckles and camera provided by my lovely blogging support staff.

The Turtle Knit Along

In the spirit of house-cleaning, I'm retiring this KAL from my sidebar. It's actually in the spirit of A.D.D. knitting because I have too many WIPs over there. If you're a Turtle and have finished, please drop me an email at thefeministmafia AT yahoo DOT com and I'll turn you green. Old posts can be found here, here, here, here, here and here.

The Turtle Knit Along (original post)


The Mafia
An Elephant's Gestation
Bag 'N' Trash
Blue Knits
Crunchy Granola
Day to Day Bullshit
Double Helix
Freckle Girl
Inky Knits
Janey from Nova Scotia
Jersey Knitter
Julie at Knit Geeks
Jen at JenLa
Norsky Bear
Obsession Du Jour
Penelope's Got Nothing On Me
Persnickety Knitter
Sharon Knits Too
Sheeps Pyjamas
Skeintily Clad
Some Bunny's Love
Thorny Knits
To Purl is Human, To Knit Divine

Friday, August 04, 2006

In Love With Wee Toes

When some very important news arrived in my inbox yesterday, I immediately cast on for a very small project.

When this photo arrived in my inbox this evening, I feel deeply in love.

When I got home tonight, there was real progress.

Tomorrow, I'll find even more inspiration.