Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Brian on the Economy

It's no secret I think Brian is one of the smartest people I know.

That said, I totally did a FemmeCast Minisode about the economic crisis, starring Brian. Clickie here and go to episodes, it's 4.5.

I totally said I'd blog when I had Brian on the show. So here it is.

In terms of fiber related items, I have been knitting hats for my neicephew. There's another bunny face hat but I forgot to photograph it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Missing my MoJo

It's true, I've been missing. So has Brian.

I am not sure the status of Brian and knitting, but his Wii is going strong and he has this game called Link's Crossbow Training. Which does not have a crossbow but has some sort of attachment for the wiimote that looks like a white plastic crossbow handle. He and his BF Boomer had a friend over and her partner ended up being a total racist and was really crazy on that game, using racial epithets to describe the characters he was shooting. Needless to say, he has not been welcomed back Chez Sooner and Boomer, but he left many high scores on the Link's Crossbow Game. I have made it my stated intention to defeat all of his high scores. So far so good.

I miss knitting. I barely pick up the needles anymore. While my social life has picked up in ways that prevent me from ever watching television (I've gotten through 9 episodes of this season's L Word since February and that's all the tv I've watched) I have plenty of time to knit while waiting for certified checks for work or on subways. But for some reason my ability to get together a small project for traveling like that has left me. It's so bizarre that something I was so passionate about isn't at my fingertips anymore and I'm not sure what that's about.

I miss the sense of accomplishment. The peacefulness and sense of purpose in the downtime. I don't know where it went. I've been working halfheartedly on a modified scarf from the Knitting New Scarves book (the cover project) in the gorgeous Angora I bought at Rhinebeck last year. It's soft and perfect but moving along only a small inch at a time.

Two of my old, good friends are expecting a baby in February. This will be the first baby of any of my good friends, the first who is going to call me Aunt. And I am thrilled beyond belief. I've decided to knit it a wardrobe of hats. Easy, small projects, good stash busters and useful. I'll make lots of sizes so it can grow into them. I also have a blanket I'll finish for it, since I've had 2 on the needles since 2005 that need to get done.

I've had this craving to knit lately. Every time I pass my table and chairs behind my apartment building, where I used to knit all the time at my old apartment with my scoundrel fiance, I think about getting a cup of coffee and enjoying the morning shade with my knitting. But I don't do it because I'm always in such a rush.

And I'll even bring my knitting with me places and then never pull it out. I don't understand what happened to my mojo and why I don't feel as compelled to knit anymore. Do I need a new hobby? Do I need to knit other things?

Anyway, I am in the process of re prioritizing my life and trying to figure out my passions and excitements and fitting them in and making it work. I am really happy, by and large now. And when I am stressed or overwhelmed (which is a lot now, too) I am even still happy because it's good stress, and good busy. I feel really productive, like I am making a difference in the world and becoming more of the woman I want to be.

I can definitely knit while I work on the podcast (which does take about 30-40 hours per episode to produce). I'm not making some grand sweeping gesture that I will absolutely change or anything, I am just taking stock of how I prioritize my time and how to better use it in order to add (even) more joy. I just need to figure out projects that add joy to me and don't feel like something I need to finish, you know?

Brian is featured in Episode 2, talking all about his break-up strategies. And Episode 3 is about self-esteem. Forthcoming Episode 4 is on Health at Every Size (it's all done on my end, my technical editor, Anna, is off in the woods). I am joining her in the woods for Michigan again. Part of packing is, of course, figuring out what to knit in the dirt. I hope I do it.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wavy Gravy Scarf and My Podcast

Lately I have been pretty monogamous. With my knitting. Mostly I am working on this wavy scarf from Knitting New Scarves. (Called New Wave and the yarn is Artful Yarns Shakespeare merino.) It's pretty sexy and I will share an enumerated list of the reasons why it is sexy.

Number one, because when you're knitting it, you're working in the round on two sizes of double points so it looks really complicated. It does require the use of my ears to hold the extra needles. In that way I feel like I am really doing this in honor of people who do not have ears with which to hold their extra knitting needles.

Number two, it is really sexy because essentially it creates a wavy stockinette tube which is joined together every few rows. This is ideal for the yarn I am using because it shows off the variegation without getting too boring to knit.

My cat, ALF, agreed to step in as a model for this project because Macy, the Official Spokesdog of the Totally Knitting Universe (TM), was being uncharacteristically prissy.

Number three, once you figure out the instructions, the repeats are easily memorized and it makes a great subway knit for that reason.

Number four this yarn breaks a lot if you tug even a little too hard. But since you're knitting a tube, you can tuck the ends in there and they disappear. Genius!! I didn't figure this out until about halfway through but I have saved a lot of end weaving even still.

Number five? Bring this project to a group of knitters and everyone wants to know all about it because it is so weird and different yet made of awesome. I busted it out at a muggle party and all of the knitters in the room flocked to the project.

In other news my podcast just dropped!!! I am so thrilled. There's not even a lick of mention of fiber arts in the first episode. Brian is going to be featured in episode 2.

If you're interested in fat fashion, queer culture, good music, sex, you know. That kind of stuff. You should totally listen, subscribe, tell all of your friends.

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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Franklin and the 1,000 Knitters

Ever since Brian moved to Central Jersey, we like to have an elaborate adventure now and again. Sure, sometimes I just go visit him and his BF* Boomer to play wii on their 122" television screen, but we tend to have the most fun when we go out and make mischief.

Knowing that Franklin was coming within 2 hours of us to shoot for his 1,000 Knitters project, I thought this was the ideal road trip. We love to have brushes with knitting celebs, like our time on the Yarn Bus with Vickie Howell. Plus, I noticed a decided lack of cleavage in the 1,000 Knitters previews Franklin has posted. Seriously, it's a waist-up portrait mostly of women! I know for a FACT that there are a ton of not-so-prudish knitters out there.

I opted to wear my new ruffly spring fling dress with little army planes on it. I got it as a gift from Re/Dress NYC, a new plus-sized vintage store, for modeling for them.

We arrived in Kennett Square, PA and were charmed by the quaint street that Wool Gathering calls home. We were also promptly chased down the street by the Obama supporters since the primary is on Tuesday.

Wool Gathering had everything together for the shoot. Complete with a sitting area outside, a numbered system not unlike a deli counter, a raffle and a 10% off coupon. I would like to think that it was fate that enabled me to be knitter number 69 for the day.

Brian and I spent our time waiting on the sidewalk, got some delightful french toast flavored coffee from the chicken cafe next door, and met up with some interesting knitters hanging outside the shop.

We met Catherine and Joyce from the Philly Burbs SNB. Joyce was selling beaded stitch markers from a sheep purse. So cute. Brian and I both bought stitch markers.

The main event was, of course, our time in front of the lens. Franklin immediately recognized my name when I introduced myself and asked if I was Bevin as in Bevin and Sooner and I pointed to Brian and said, "He's right there!"**

Franklin was so nice and fun. He was wearing sheep earrings, which was totally cute. I wonder if he wears bull earrings when he goes to the gay rodeo? Or if his thematic jewelry is exclusively to the fiber enthusiast crowd?

The scarf is ultra long already and Franklin has plans for a gallery show and a book. My vision for the gallery opening is for Franklin to make his entrance mummified in the scarf and then have a bunch of people dressed as sheep do a sort of maypole dance undressing him.

We also met the Knitting Curmudgeon, who was knitting on a chair behind Franklin's studio set up. She was also very nice and delightful.

I thought I saw a naked ball of sock yarn hiding under her feet but I couldn't be sure. I definitely didn't meet a chain smoking Romney Ewe, which was disappointing. But Franklin more than made up for it. He liked the planes on my dress and my vision of more cleavage for the 1,000 Knitters project.

Things you may not know about the 1,000 Knitters project: The scarf is not actually all garter stitch. Though I chose to knit my row in garter, there were stretches of stockinette, a couple of fugged up stitches here and there, and, of course, the Lucy Neatby memorial hole. Also, Franklin does the entire shoot on his knees. As a girl who has spent a good bit of time on her knees*** I know that is no easy feat.

Brian and I are both really excited about Franklin's project and can't wait for its release.

And, by way of announcement, I am starting a podcast!! It's called FemmeCast: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Life and will feature Brian as a regular contributor to the Cast (he is my Big Gay Agenda correspondent).

While the knitting content is likely sporadic, it will definitely have a lot of queer content, fat girl fashion and series of mine and Brian's letters to various people, including a reading of our Tyra Banks piece from Gayety, the Queer Comedy Cabaret Brian occasionally joins me for.

The first episode launches this week hopefully, so stay tuned to the site for more info! I'll post an announcement here when we do fiber related features. There may be an expose about how we feel that crochet is bullshit.

**Franklin said our blog was one of the first he was reading before he even started his own! That was awesome and will probably jog us to blog more.
***Get your mind out of the gutter, I was raised Catholic.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quite Unexpectedly

Unexpectedly, I had the intended recipient of the lizard ridge scarf come into town 2 days after I posted my blog entry about it and when the scarf was already bundled up in a package to head down south. I was so happy I had this project finished because I could welcome her with cuddly warmth to off set the otherwise really awful circumstances that brought her here.

That scarf is perfect and Frankie loved it.

Over the weekend, Frankie saw a hank of Blue Sky Alpaca's Bulky Naturals sitting next to my computer. She picked it up and read the price tag "Thirteen dollars!?!"

"Yeah," I answered. "Yarn ain't cheap. That scarf I gave you was really expensive." She shook her head. I don't think she realized even that the hank she was holding was only 45 yards of yarn and that won't even make a hat! Every time I bring a new Muggle into my life the process of indoctrinating them into the knitting fold is like seeing knitting anew.

You know the best thing at a party? Meeting another knitter. I met this great girl at a cupcake roomwarming yesterday. When she confessed to being a knitter Frankie grabbed the scarf I made her and showed it off. There is no better pride for a knitter I think than having other people brag about your handknitted goods.

The girl from the cupcake warming knew immediately that the scarf sported by my friend was made of Noro. I told her the story about the Blue Sky Alpaca and she laughed and said, "Yeah, that scarf wasn't cheap!!"

Other people at the party brought me a gift set. It was a Posh Pooches gift set. A book of dog sweater patterns and a set of #8 needles with dogs on the tops. Super cute. I am going to do a doggie argyle sweater for a chihuahua next.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The O Pile!

I have a new knitting term, y'all. I decided, as I was unpacking my Yarn Room, that almost everything in my pile of "UFOs" is really finished except for the finishing.

I've decided this constitutes my O Pile, which is Finished Objects that haven't been finished yet. There's a baby blanket where all the squares are done, it just needs to be assembled and bordered. There's another baby blanket that needs a border. There is a dog sweater that is knitted, all the pieces are stitched together, it just needs some decoration.

Well, here's the story of my wavy scarf, which was just rustled up and is, right now, blocking. I hate blocking and I am totally doing it to get down my O pile.

I took the pattern from the Lizard Ridge afghan pattern on Knitty. Basically, the afghan is done up in strips–I just did one strip, added a border pattern from Nicky Epstein’s Knitting Over the Edge and voila! A scarf.

The pattern is easy to memorize and really fun.

This is the scarf pre-blocking.

This was my first Noro project. At first I loved the colorway, then I hated it, and then I just focused on one color that every time it repeated it pissed me off. Seriously. I wasn’t sure what to do with the scarf so, for the longest time, it languished in my O pile, all knitted up with no place to go.

Then I met a girl who I was really sweet on. She was visiting me from out of town but only brought one scarf with her to combat the cold NYC climate. Every time she put on her scarf I got sort of pissed at it. I couldn’t pinpoint the reason. But I realized later, after she flew back home, what I was so pissed at about the scarf was the colorway. It was a commercial scarf with a lot of the same colors as this one. But totally different and not homemade with love or whatever.

I knew, right then, I had to pull this beast out of the O pile, weave in the ends and get to blocking.

She’s going to love it.

And you know, I am going to sound all hippie woo woo for a second, but even though I didn't make it for her, as I was pinning it out to block it, I totally saw so much of her in the piece. It even prompted me to write a poetic accompaniment to the gift.

I will see her soon, at that time you'll get a modeling shot.

PS to Last One Skeining. Thank you for the prompt to post something in my blog. Even though you're in Australia, I am totally updating in your honor.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Checking in!

Here's the one great thing about being in a knitting group. No matter how crazy your life is, you have a scheduled time to go sit and knit. My life has changed so dramatically in the last 2 months. I moved, suddenly, and as of an email received November 1 I am no longer engaged or partnered. Glad I never started that engagement sweater!

The good news is, I still have a yarn room! I somehow got a unicorn place within 2 miles of Manhattan where I have a great railroad style apartment, one room of which is for yarn and crafting! I am excited to get that in order, but of course it is last priority after the living spaces. Seems a little odd, as knitting usually centers me in times of strife, but I have been exercising and distracting myself by going out with friends a lot.

So the great progress I have made during my Tuesday knitting dates is on the Tulip sweater. I used the for real kit and I must say the Dream in Color yarn is totally divine. The colorways are just slightly variegated and so pretty and soft.

I went to WEBS on a visit to Northampton a couple of weeks ago. I bought a cable needle. That's it! I really am only looking for yarn I love and specifically want yarn for that darn Emerald sweater! The pattern calls for yarn that would retail at over $200!! So I am on the hunt for a reasonably priced but gorgeous bulky yarn in a subtly variegated colorway. My dream yarn? The bulky version of the Dream in Color light blue/cloud looking "Some Summer Sky". Not subtly variegated but totally delish. However, that would retail something like $300 for 1500 yards. HA!

Knitting group serves to bring more hilarity. Last One Skeining taught herself to crochet. As though she wasn't already a knitting savant! She actually said, "Crochet makes me feel powerful." Wow.

Beth kindly brings her swift and ball winder to group when she is asked. I wound up my bunny yarn from Rhinebeck and just need to find a nice pattern to go with it. Maybe one from Knitting New Scarves?

I'll post pictures of my pink yarn room soon.