I'm working on a project at the moment which has led me to the question: What is democracy as we know it today? I realized that my conception of democracy today may not mirror the general consensus of what democracy is today. I specifically want to know about democracy in America and your thoughts on American democracy. What is America's idea of democracy? I do not want a cut-and-paste dictionary definition of democracy. I am interested in what you think democracy is and how it compares, if at all, with the ideal of democracy, which also means that I am asking you to refrain from responding to other comments or using other's comments as a basis for your response. Please leave a comment about your thoughts below. Thank you very much for participating in this discussion. I will be using your comments to gain a generalized consensus of what Americans think about democracy. All comments will be thoroughly considered and, if used somewhere in my project, will be credited to the author (you), after I have received your permission to do so. Thanks again for your participation.
Edited to add: It has, unfortunately, come to my attention that people think I'm attempting to engage people in a debate about democracy. This is NOT meant to engage people in a debate about democracy or what democracy is today. This is more like a poll in order to gain a general consensus about democracy. I will not be judging responses. I merely want to gain a better-rounded view of what people think about democracy. Thanks again for your participation.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I fell into a funk last week and now I'm out of the funk and into the fire. Yippee! If anyone can accurately explain why people fall into the funk, please leave the explanation in the comments section so I can, hopefully, prevent it from happening again.
Well, dear bloglings and blogettes, I am going to leave you now. I'll be back with some good resources and probably a few photos so stay tuned for more info.
- I made further progress on the Boob Tube (again, tentatively titled) and, if I work on it tonight or tomorrow, I should have it nearly finished. It definitely needs a bit of a crochet border so it stops rolling in on itself. However, after reading yet another book on finishing techniques, I found out a way to prevent that from happening.
- As soon as Amazon has it's server bug worked out, I'll post some good resources for books on finishing techniques.
- I started cutting up some of Travis' old t-shirts to knit up a t-shirt rug for the bedside. It was not nearly as labour intensive as I anticipated so, for now, my plan for covering our space, and potentially others', is in action.
- I wound up a ball of aloo the other day to make shower scrubbie sheets (like, add soap, water, and exfoliate thyself) and started one last night for a test run. If you don't know about aloo, check it out. It's a plant based fiber made from the nettle plant (which has a myriad of health benefits) that feels like, well, a stringy plant fiber. It shows nothing as far as stitch definition goes so groovy stitch patterns are strictly out of the question but that makes for a nice, easy garter stitch project. In retrospect, had I started earlier, I could have joined the Get Stitchy April Showers-along and used that for my project. However, in doing so, I probably would've freaked out and never done it as some sort of strange passive rebellion.
- Travis has now been working for eight days straight. I took Sunday off and cleaned the house like a woman possessed. Seriously. Yesterday when we came in, people were waiting for him. Tattoo vultures! He scheduled most of them for appointments later this week. We watched red vs. blue online for most of the day yesterday and laughed a lot.
- A woman came in on Saturday night with glossy, black eyes the size of quarters demanding a tattoo (three letters on her strangely bruised neck) immediately. She was flying high on something and I kept my distance while she huffed around the tattoo shop for about a minute and a half, complaining about the price ($80) and the wait (20-30 min.) before she stormed out with her posse. Scary.
Well, dear bloglings and blogettes, I am going to leave you now. I'll be back with some good resources and probably a few photos so stay tuned for more info.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
So today's post will be mostly about knitting although as I type that, I just remembered a tale from the tattoo shop that I have to share and a brief word on books as well. So here we go!
- I vowed I would weave in all the ends on the Shortie Jacket and....I Did!! It didn't even take forever, which was nice. Now I just have to do the sleeves, the collar, and install a zipper. I'm thinking of starting the sleeves tonight. I'm still crossing my fingers that I have enough yarn to finish them. *cringe* If I don't have enough yarn to do the sleeves and the collar, I'm going to have to come up with something else for the collar. Hmmm...Any suggestions?
- I changed my Project Spectrum 2.0 project from socks for me to the Boob Tube (tentatively titled so). It's a lingerie-ish type thing that I'm about a third of the way through. Here are some visual aids. Please note the beautiful nearly invisible decreases (I'm so proud of them....yes, that is how nerdy I am) and the vibrant color. Unfortunately, it's a bit, um, boring. I'm planning on doing a nifty crochet edge on top and bottom of it so that will spruce it up a bit but still... It looks a little wonky in the photo (and in real life) so I think a nice, stable crochet edge will definitely help. I keep combing the web and Travis' library for pin-up girl clothing inspiration as well as looking at photos of knitted lace and figuring out a way to fuse the two into something beautiful. I don't want to keep churning out boring sh- stuff.
- I really want to do something luscious in silk or soysilk, like a lacy nightie. I'll have to go to the drawing board for that one. Part of my hang-up is that I have a hard time drawing and when what is on paper doesn't match what I see in my head, I get frustrated and feel silly about my drawing ability. It's annoying. I see fluid, drapey lines in my head and I turn out with straight, rigid, stick-figure inspired lines on paper. Aargh! I might go chart out something beautiful later because I'm better on charts. Go figure. It must be because charts are already square and I can draw square, architectural type stuff.
- I'm making slow but sure progress on the MAN socks. I'm afraid they are going to be too wide and baggy at the top and Travis has already informed me that he hates baggy socks (who doesn't, really?) so they may be destined to being ripped out and redone with ribbing all the way down to the heel (which will be a short row heel) and then straight stockinette stitch at the foot so they'll fit and not bag, sag, and other things that rhyme with bag and sag, like lag, drag, and flag. On a side note, I was about to start this little bikini with this other yarn that I'd already swatched for and found that I'm using the DPNs I need for the MAN socks. The bikini can wait...unless I frog the MAN socks. Aargh again!
- Last but not least on the knitting front: My yarn from Emily B. Isn't it beautiful?! It's not quite as bright as in the photo. It's more subtle but just as beautiful. Mmmm....new yarn. *drool*
- Phil, the other artist here, did a tattoo on Thursday (I believe) of last week that was a portrait of Colonel Sanders with crossed chicken legs. Hahahaha....Yes. I'm serious.
- On a side note, rant: Tattoo artists (or tattooers, or tattooists, or, if they totally suck and are not looking to improve, scratchers) do not tattoo with a "tattoo gun." It's a "tattoo machine" not a gun. It doesn't shoot ink bullets. I can't begin to explain why, exactly, this bothers me (and Travis and Phil, et al.) but it does. End of rant.
- I read a bit more in The Russian Debutante's Handbook and laughed out loud on numerous occasions. I love that, laughing out loud while reading a book. I think it's a good sign.
- We are at the last disc of Season Two of Quantum Leap. I noticed that at the beginning of Season Two, they started having a female narrator at the beginning to tell viewer's what's going on with Sam leaping around in time. Now we just have something else to fast-foward through. Fast-forwarding and cheesy theme music aside, it rocks.
- I am aghast at the news of the shootings at Virginia Tech.
Friday, April 13, 2007
And that would describe me at the moment. I'm totally mellow, chill, relaxed, somewhere floating in the zone. It's been dead at the tattoo shop lately. Every single one of Travis' appointments cancelled this week for one reason or another. Weird. On to other news...
- I got my special dyed yarn in the mail last week from Emily B. and I LOVE IT!! It's so luscious and tasty looking. I will have photos of it later tonight and will post them for all to behold very soon. I've been negligent about it and I feel wretched for that. I can't even begin to describe the subtle changes in tone and hue of the yarn so I'm hoping a photo will do it justice.
- The MAN socks are going quite well (and simultaneously giving me a helluva crick in the neck but anyway). I'm knitting them at the same time (like I said before) and I've got a little over 2" done on the pair. I started with a 3x3 ribbing on the top for 1" and switched to stockinette stitch after that. So far, so good, with no stitches connecting the two layers. They are for Travis and he wears a size 12 shoe so they seem ENORMOUS but, then again, he has big feet so it makes sense he would need big socks. He's a big guy too so if he had small feet he might fall over a lot.
- I've done nothing to the Shortie jacket since I finished the body. I keep telling myself I'm going to weave in the ends and start the sleeves and I keep neglecting to do that. Today, I vow I will weave in all those damned ends.
- A lovely chica for whom I'm working up some custom lingerie/nightwear finally came in to the shop yesterday to be measured. I'm so glad she came in! It's hard to custom make something for someone when you don't know their measurements....
- As I said above, every one of Travis' appointments cancelled this week so it's been slow. Time is idling by...literally. People are busy little bees right now. I'm blaming it on tax season. Taxes suck!!
- I just finished reading "The Single Mother's Companion" for a book project I'm working on at the moment. It was potentially the most depressing bit of tripe I've forced myself to read in a long time. I was raised by a single mother. I know the drill. However, it was very biased in the sense that all the essays seemed to be written by exceptions rather than the generalized population. There were a lot of essays by lesbians, African-American women, and women living on the fringe of society, like senators. I'm sorry but the entire population of single mothers is not comprised solely of African-American women, lesbians, and senators. Because of this book, I could go into a whole, disparaging exhortation of baby names but I'll save that for a later date, I suppose, as I'm too mellow now to exhort much.
- I'm in the middle of reading Arthur Conan Doyle's "A Study in Scarlet" on JollyRoger.com while I knit the MAN socks. I'm such a sucker for whodunit novels and the like.
- We've commenced to watching episodes of Quantum Leap again in the evenings. We're halfway through the third season. *Insert Quantum Leap theme music here* The travails of Sam Beckett are endlessly amusing to us. Intersperse those with some CSI (the Vegas version, not any of the cheap, Walmart brand cousins), the Simpsons, and the new episodes of Lost and we are an entertained couple.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
So, as promised, I come to you bearing photos and other goodies...little nuggets of delicious knitting-ness. On a random side note, the word "nuggets" just reminded me of these amazing corn nuggets you can get at this bar on Ft.Myers beach. They are crunchy and delicious and covered in powered sugar. Mmmmm....corn nuggets. Anyway.
- My papa was kind enough to con my niece into taking photos of him in his scarf. I absolutely love how stern he looks in this photo. He's not really as stern...more like a live Buddha figure, very peaceful, very chill, and knows what's up with life. I learn more about him and respect him more with each passing year. When I pointed out he is wearing shorts with his scarf, he told me it was because he wanted to demonstrate the fact that the scarf was an all-weather scarf. God, I love my papa.
- I finished the body of the Shortie Jacket! Now I just have to do collar and sleeves, install a zipper, weave in ends, and block. I block EVERYTHING. Cross your knitting needles and toes for me that I have enough yarn to finish it. If I don't, I'll be on the hunt for another ball of Ornaghi Filati: Red Dune color: 002 Lot: 70954.
- I recast-on the MAN socks. I am, yet again, attempting to do the double-knitting, two socks at once, thingie. Hence the REcast-on. The first and second attempts did not work out. I have high hopes for this pair. Here is a close-up of the cast-on, should you feel like attempting it yourself... It looks a little wonky in the photo but that will iron itself out when I start knitting away at them later on today. And because it's hilarious, I have included a photo of one of the balls of yarn I am using for the socks. It's an unholy mess but not tangled, yet... And the close-up gives a nice representation of the colors of the yarn, which I love.
- That brings me to my Project Spectrum 2.0 April/May project. I've decided to make myself a pair of socks (Yes, something for me!). I have more Plymouth Sockotta in shades of pink (fuschia, bubblegum, and straight-up pink), orange, and a bit of yellow. I might even do a lacy, patterned pair, if I can screw up the courage to do it. I want to make 'em nice and long because I love love love long socks.
- The outcome of the project for my last knit-along, on Get Stitchy, was going along swimmingly. I was right excited because I had "finished" the mitts I made for my cyber chica, who goes by Emily B. I was getting ready to block them and make them smell nice (aka not like my sweaty hands, cat, etc.) when I realized that one of these things is EXACTLY like the other.... which is just no good if you are trying to make a pair of anatomically correct mitts. Unless the esteemed Emily B. has two left hands, I have to make a right mitt, well two right mitts, actually, in order for them to be a pair. I've done this same thing (made two left mitts) on two other occasions while making mitts. Needless to say, I laughed my tookas off when I realized it because such a mistake is such a me thing to do. I am just one step closer to being a certifiable lunatic. I will be casting on for the right-handed mitts here later on today despite the fact that she will now have to wait a whole year to use them (when it gets cold again). *Insert big, sad, apologetic face here* Commence laughter.
- I think I'm done with knit-alongs. I get all stressed out and I don't enjoy what I'm knitting because of the whole deadline thing. I don't mind a deadline if it's for something work related, like the lingerie line I'm working on, but if it's for fun, then I want to poke my eyes out with my knitting needles, especially when I read about everyone's progress on the forums. It makes me feel like such a slacker and I don't like that feeling. So no more knit-alongs for me.
- For my April 2007 UFO project, I will be frogging my sister's pedicure socks and making her something else with the yarn, probably something felted, like a cosmetics bag. The socks are just waaaaaay too stiff and crunchy looking. I learned a lot while making them so I'm chalking them up to a learning experience and leaving it at that. I just realized that I am going to have to get some zippers as quite a few of my projects require zippers. Hmmm....
- So this couple comes in last night and She is asking for a cursive name on her neck or something. Travis quotes her a reasonable price ($80) for it and She commences to ask if it would be cheaper if she put it somewhere else or uses a different style of lettering. Travis explains to her the shop minimum ($40) and that it gets you 1" squared worth of tattoo, something simple, like a kanji. She thinks about this for a millisecond and then starts sighing and asking more questions about the name tattoo. Travis stops her and asks her if She is looking for the cheapest tattoo She can get. She acts all put off. In the meantime, her boyfriend starts laughing at her when Travis asks her that. She shoots her boyfriend a mean-ass look and he immediately straight-faces it. It was classic comedy at its finest, completely unscripted.
- I am still loving The Russian Debutante's Handbook. I read a chapter or two every evening before I go have sleepy-time. Good, funny, interesting stuff.
- I am nearly finished with The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes on www.JollyRoger.com. If you haven't checked out their site, I recommend you do so immediately after reading my blog. They have a ton of classic books available for free online and they are great to read while you knit, etc. No page flipping, no trying to figure out how to make a book stay open, just a bit of scrolling every now and again. Did I mention it's free?
- We watched "Fast Food Nation" and "The Curse of the Yellow Flower" (I think that's the name of that film) on DVD the other night. I had read Fast Food Nation and they did a good job of humanizing a non-fiction book in the film. The final scenes are disturbing and may put you off of beef for a while. "The Curse of the Yellow Flower" was visually stimulating but rather boring. The plot was hackneyed and the action was condensed into about three minutes towards the end of the film. It's a suitable film to have on in the background while you are doing other things.