In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

I Gots Ears

Two sets of ears, actually.

Mac sent me this lovely piece of hand-knitted kitty kitsch this weekend. Should I have saved this for Friday Cat Blogging?

Thanks, chica!

Knitter’s Hands? Take Note

Since I started knitting primarily with wool, my hands have been cracking and my nails have been falling apart. My hands look like a cross between an ancient mummy’s and an alien’s. During the monthly jaunt to the health food store, I ran across Badger Body Butter. My hands actually feel human again.

And who can resist a picture of a berry-picking badger?

Not-So Tiny Bubbles

The house came with a rarely-used Jacuzzi tub, a bath that leaves one not so much clean as gritty. I’ve tried a million ways to clean the damn jets to keep them from spitting out flakes of soap scum and other goop. Tonight I decided to consult the internet for cleaning instructions.

This is what one teaspoon of dishwashing detergent and one tablespoon of Comet will do in your whirlpool tub.

For the spatially-challenged, the bubbles reach an average height of one foot above the edge of the tub, topping out at an impressive two feet at its highest points. I barely missed a flooding catastrophe this evening.

Your webmistress, living on the edge.

Bedroom Art

After the Great Cleaning of 2005, I realized that my bedroom was unforgivably bare. The only things in there were my bed, a dresser, a hamper, a lamp, and an alarm clock. While I’m all for living simply, I felt like I was sleeping in a jail cell.

The vintage clothing store I wrote about earlier this year, is going out of business, partially because of a lack of customers and partially for a lack of time. I went in this week to find their going-out-of-business sale. I wanted to chat with the owner for a bit, but my shopping buddy was limping around on a bad knee. Long, rambling story short, I bought three framed pictures of children on park benches doing kid things.

Does this picture not rock? A little girl knitting in the great outdoors, a ball of yarn spilling out of her bag? Awesome!

If you don’t like it, keep your mouth shut.

Something about the other two are a bit disturbing. They look like big-eyed, big-headed emo kids who are, shall we say, “on the nod.” Peaceful and at the same time disturbing. I’ll try to get non-glaring pictures if anyone is interested.

At least my room feels less like a jail cell.

Fin: Skully Bag

I finally finished the Skully bag tonight after fighting with it for at least two months, a project undertaken to use up the masses of super-thick wool I had from a previous failed project. This is a picture of the final blocking process – very precise, as you can see.

I basically made a massive Booga bag with an attached strap that can be lengthened or shortened as needed, knitted a large pocket in red for the front, and then made an intarsia pocket using a skull pattern I found on the internet. I felted them all seperately, sewed them together, then very, very lightly felted them as a whole piece.

It’s kind of raggedy-looking, but big enough to carry around books or knitting projects. And it’s done. Done. One more thing to check off on the to-do list.

In other news, I cleaned the hell out of my kitchen tonight after making more chili and a large spinach and mushroom lasagna. Ethan topped it off by making blueberry and banana nut muffins. I don’t want to cook a stitch this week. In my quest for cheap, healthy living I’ve decided to try and cook ahead, using good but inexpensive foods that are easy to reheat throughout the week. I’m freezing the chilis and soups that I make for later. In addition, I found that at the grocery store I can have large, single-serve custom salads made for about three dollars a pop. It sounds expensive, but I never eat the salad stuff I buy separately and it beats paying five to ten dollars for a salad in a campus restaurant.

The most important thing is that this method saves me a whole lot of time. Time is something that is repeatedly brought up with Half Changed World’s government Thrifty Food Plan experiment (Week 3 of the experiment has been posted). If I had more time, things around here would look and feel much different. If anything, I’d occasionally catch a few winks that have nothing to do with the flu.

Snow Day

We are under warning of a Winter Storm, but the snow is so peacefully falling that “storm” is wholly the wrong word for this bit of natural serenity.

I would enjoy this view from my back window if I weren’t feeling so under the weather. Some time last night I began to feel that nasty feeling in the back of my throat, the kind where you realize you’ve been draining something nasty on a direct route from the sinuses to the stomach all day long. This shouldn’t have been a surprise. I’ve felt run down all week — achy, tired, like my mind and body are moving through molasses. To comfort myself, I threw together a chili recipe in a crockpot that hasn’t seen the light of day since before I was born. Scary.

I’m almost done with the first of four panels for the Klaralund sweater. Two rows and a bind-off row to go.

I wasn’t keen on the colors after knitting them up, but it usually takes me a full skein to warm to the color repeats. Once I began the second skein, a love affair with Silk Garden had begun. This is exciting – it’s my first wearable object that isn’t an accessory. Conversely, it is also dangerous. After seeing this poetic take on the Clapotis, I could be in for some serious debt. The colors! The drape! Lovely!

I’m also finishing up with massive felted Skully bag this weekend, I hope. I hate sewing and two very large pockets must be sewn onto the front after the bag dries. Pictures to follow.

The rest of the day will be spent watching horrible TV movies on the couch, knitting and coughing, and attempting not to move in any direction further than my arms’ length. And being short, that’s not very far.

Where There Is Nothing Else to Say, Talk Weather and Knitting

Today’s weather was so warm I took a run in a t-shirt and pants. Something is amiss when your January weather, in the span of five days, goes from ice storm to snowman weather to 50 degrees, and then is predicted to be in the negatives by the weekend.

Tonight, thunderstorms rumble over us the way they do in the summertime, the kind wherein I check on Ethan’s sleep after every burst of lightning and thunder. And not being a scientist, I blame it on the Earth’s shifting plates.

I expect to have the Skully bag (of my own haphazard design) felted and blocked by tomorrow, and completely finished by the weekend. I have also started a shadow scarf (alternating two balls of long-repeat yarn by two rows, carrying up the side) with some leftover Kureyon, and bought a heinous amount of Silk Garden #88 to make Klaralund, my first sweater.

In the meantime I have decided that 7:30 am classes do indeed suck unless I nap. But I’m not a good napper. It’s only one semester, right?

Guardian: Debbie Stoller Interview

Debbie Stoller is interviewed by Zoe Williams for the Guardian on the knitting wave, feminism, men, and more:

In person, she elaborates: “Women’s work is never done, and it’s drudgery, and it’s tedious, and you always have to do it again the next day. But you know, here at Bust a lot of the work we do is drudgery. It’s all work. Taking care of the home, or putting out a magazine, or picking up the garbage, it’s all work. Even this job, which is my dream job, is not always so satisfying. This is the thing that I feel 1970s feminists got really fucked-up in. That was the aim of any life – you can become president, you can become anything you want to be, and any fulfilment you’re going to get, as a woman, will be to do with the job that you have.”

And she’s right – I think this might be the core battle in modern feminism. The status of paid employment as an elevated pursuit that would provide self-expression and self-respect, regardless of its nature, held total sway at a time when women were fighting to get into the workplace. Now that we’re in, that ideal – of perfect fulfilment through work – very rarely obtains. Surveys in this country and in America show women often saying that they’d rather be at home with their kids after all. Data points like that are used more and more often by the Daily Mail, by far-right pundits like Ann Coulter, by rightwing, mainly American, academics, as evidence that the feminist revolution was a terrible mistake. Conclusions that would have been heresy in the 80s – women were betrayed by the quest for equality, work just makes them unhappy, they would have been better off at home – are trotted out with alarming shamelessness now. There are far too few people like Stoller, pointing out the obvious – some women find work a grind because that’s exactly what it is. Men find it a grind as well.

The secret to gender parity doesn’t lie in shunting women from one arena of toil to another, then back again; it lies in everybody being able to range freely between one probably partly boring pursuit and another, according to his or her ambition, without certain activities being irrationally denigrated for their traditionally female associations. This point needs to be made, trenchantly and repeatedly, and knitting is as good a way in as any.

This excellent read via Dr. B.