Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Gee, Wouldn't Have Seen THAT Coming

And I turned on the little crapped-out Nikon camera last night, expecting the usual 20-minute grapple with the lens cover (error! error!) and the damned thing turns RIGHT ON. Sunuvabitch. Why do all electronic things taunt me so? Now that I've spent money we didn't have on a new camera, this one's going to be just fine. Pfft.

Oh well. Better camera, can't hurt anyone. Two functioning cameras, also useful. Technology mocking me at every turn, unsurprising.

So, the big news: I had my first sewing class last night!!! I finally sucked it up and admitted that while teaching myself to knit went just fine, there's not much complicated machinery involved in that process, and when there are motor-driven fast-moving sharp pointy things involved, maybe best to allow a professional in on the process. We learned some basics, and actually MADE a real THING in class:

OMG I made something!!!

A pillowcase! A pillowcase!! I sewed an entire pillowcase! (I am so. stupid. excited. I was bouncing around with this when I brought it home - you'd think I sewed a knockoff Christian Dior wedding gown. It's a freaking rectangle. But dammit, it's MY rectangle!)

I'm going to make more pillowcases. Pillowcases for every room in the house! Pillowcases for everyone! Heal the planet with pillowcases! I can cure world hunger, one sewn rectangle at a time!

I might be overemphasizing the critical importance of the pillowcase on the world stage. But. I'm excited.

We got to pick the fabric we wanted out of ANYTHING IN THE STORE. That is AGONY. (And yet, who is surprised by my selection of orange and brown? Anyone? Anyone? Yeah, who woulda figured. I know it's a quite, um, noisy print. But orange! Brown! Orangebrown!!) Next week we get to choose between an apron and a tote bag as our project. I'm leaning toward apron, with tote bag as homework. (We get both patterns.) But more importantly, oh my, what fabric will I use for my apron?? I'll need to get there really early to start the selection process....

I still knit:

Wollmeise Knee sock

My Wollmeise knee socks - I've finished the calf decreases now, so it's just a regular old sock from this point on. This is my going-to-the-movies sock, the one I don't have to see to work on. I knit most of this during Horton Hears a Who! and Baby Mama. There's no deadline on these. But here they are. Just for the record.

I'm also still working on my Silky Cowl Tank by Zoe Valette from Sensual Knits in Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple. I have about nine or ten inches of the body done - I'm knitting even tighter than gauge, so it's slow going (and also not guaranteed to fit, but that's not really my ultimate goal, obviously, or I'd put it on waste yarn and check it):

Silken Cowl Tank

I'm sorry I didn't take better pictures of everything I'm working on - I got all excited about the camera working and figured I should drag everything out and photograph it while I could.

By now you've no doubt seen the Knitty surprises. How awesome is Kristi's Froot Loop sock?? I want to knit it nowish.....

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm Growing Suspicious Of The Bluegrass State

My camera has shipped out - hurray! And this is the information I get when I track it:

Label/Receipt Number: **** **** **** **** **** 85
Status: Shipment Accepted

Your shipment was accepted/picked up at 7:03 PM on April 28, 2008 in LEXINGTON, KY 40511.

Et tu, Kentucky?!

We meet again, for the first time, for the last time....

Monday, April 28, 2008

Let Me Bore The Crap Out Of You

Let me make you sigh
Let me do some lame tricks
Some old and some older tricks
Nothing too worthwhile....

(Points to anyone who picks up on the lyrics and their source. I'm expecting success from at least one reader.)

Things to talk about aren't much fun without pictures. My little Nikon camera finally took the big crap. It's been frustrating me more and more with its petulant little "Lens Cover Error!" message ("but the lens cover is open! take the picture dammit!") and then I smacked it a little too hard on the desk trying to shake the lens cover into place and whoops! busted the battery holder-inner-tabbie-thing (technical term) and so the poor thing is finally just tired. It was not the best camera I've ever owned anyway - I'm sure fixing it won't take much, so we'll probably send it out for repair so we'll still have a pocket point-and-shoot, but I've finally thrown my hands up and allowed myself to purchase the Canon digital SLR I wanted. (Well, not the one I wanted - I'm not made of money - but the lower-end one that really only costs a little more than replacing with yet another point and shoot that we can drop into a waterfall or slam on a desk...) I'm considering it a business expense, since it's largely necessary to get better photos of my wares for the shop.

Whenever the new camera meanders its way here from Amazon (no doubt by way of Kentucky) or I can coax my Nikon into getting a few shots for me, I'll have some fiber to go up in the shop. I wish with all sincerity that I'd gotten Travis to get video of me wrestling with this fiber - I'm sure it was hysterically funny. It was like bathing an old English sheepdog - by the time I was done just with the soaking and draining, I was covered in fuzz, sopping wet, and cursing up a storm. It does get easier, but DAMN if that wasn't something I was unprepared for. I spent the better part of the morning and afternoon muttering variations of "somebody better buy this crap or I'm gonna pile it all up on the lawn and light it on fire because OH MY GOD WHERE IS THE END OF THIS EMMEFFING ROVING????" I did calm down eventually and have resolved to not set anything ablaze.

We went for a nice long bike ride yesterday and then took to the el-cheapo ghetto theatre for the matinee of Baby Mama. I was prepared to find myself a drooling mess by the end, all the dumber for having seen it (but hopeful that geek-hot Tina Fey would smart things up just enough to save me from having my frontal lobe dribble slowly out of my left ear) and honestly, we both enjoyed the hell out of it. There's a pleasantly surprising also-starring actor who I wasn't expecting at ALL, and it was nice to see an entertaining movie in the theatre for once. It helped Travis recover from his rather painful face plant from that morning - hence the movie outing, it was a special treat to make him feel better. (I told him he should wear a helmet. I told him he shouldn't try to ride up the side of the bridge embankment so close to the edge. But what the hell do I know, I'm just the wife. I just provide fudgesicles and movies when things go badly.)

No kittens yet. I'm hoping she can hold them in until the Canon gets here - I did avoid the super saver shipping, lesson learned, so hopefully she'll be able to hang...

Happy Monday, all!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

On The Twelfth Day of Sweater

I finished the sweater and got to wear it twice during the brief "cold front" here this week! Yay! Then I finally got around to taking some decent photos of it, once it got back up to over 80 degrees. (Clever, aren't I?)

What's that over there?

I'm happy with it overall - I could have used some patience and made it just about a half inch to an inch longer, but I'm still quite pleased.

What's that back there?

I think I like the way it looks from the back even better!

What's that out there?

This was a very quick knit - with a bulky (the label says worsted, but forget that) yarn and size US10 needles, it wasn't really tough to finish this in less than two weeks. Probably could have done it even faster if I hadn't been dyeing yarn and cooking in between. Oh, and working. I do that sometimes.

Mr. Jay says I overthink my poses

Well, now I'm just being silly.

Pattern: Cozy V-Neck Pullover by Stefanie Japel (from the book Fitted Knits)
Yarn: Mirasol Sulka
Needles: US10
Size: XS (36.5")
Start: April 2
Finish: April 14
Mods: Made the neckline a bit deeper, didn't change needle sizes for ribbing, started the ribbing sooner on the body than pattern stated, adding bust darts, knit sleeves cuff up and grafted to caps....nothing really major, mostly just accommodating for my body type and how I prefer to knit.

Since I'm on a garment kick, I've already started my next one, the Silken Cowl Tank by Zoe Valette from Sensual Knits in Tilli Tomas Pure & Simple silk:

Progress 4/19/08

(I've made modifications to work it in the round to the armholes, then I'll split and work the rest flat on each side.

And Travis, however briefly, managed to rig up a working electric skeinwinder:

Electric skeinwinder, Prototype B

Adjustments may be needed, but there's definite progress. My little evil genius.

Also, we got a good shot of Rambouillet's most adorable feature, with Travis assisting to keep her a little more still than she wanted to be - she kept trying to jump up and snuggle or rub my chin, so I couldn't get a picture of her face. I swear he's not strangling her:

Rambouillet in peril

She has black whiskers on one side and white whiskers on the other! Argggghcute!

Finally, I updated the shop with some new sportweight yarns - here's a few thumbnails of some favourites, click for big or visit the shop:

La Nouba Heart of Darkness Sky Is Cryin' Drink The Milkshake Malachite

Happy knitting!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Rambouillet had a vet visit on Saturday. Nervous, trembling, mewing in terror, we arrived. I'm referring there to me, not to Rambouillet. She was perfectly calm, purred and snuggled the vet and her tech the whole time. She couldn't even be bothered to stop purring while having her blood drawn, and they actually had to try to get her to stop purring so they could check her heart - the vet couldn't hear it over all the rattling! I was a complete wreck, however - things have been less than stellar at Travis' job lately, so we really couldn't afford for her to have so much as a scraped paw that needed antiseptic - we still haven't even finished payment on Bitty's pre-Christmas surgery, so Saturday's office visit and routine check was challenging enough. Fortunately, all checked out, and she's healthy and very well. She's not even a year old - not yet out of kittendom herself, and already pregnant, poor girl! - and Travis was just a hair off in his estimation of due date: she'll be birthing in a week or two!

They did an x-ray, too, in order to see how far along she was and if they could determine how many to expect in the litter, and it looks like we're expecting twins! (Thank God I don't have to find homes for a litter of nine.) I had names for up to five kittens, so narrowing it down is going to be tough. We'll see what they think when they're born.

We also noticed something absolutely precious about Rams last night - her whiskers are black on one side of her face, and white on the other. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

By tonight I should have a completed pullover sweater, so I'll hope for FO photos tomorrow - the brief cold front should last until roughly Wednesday, so I think I'll wear it tomorrow. Nothing like a heavy worsted weight merino/alpaca/silk sweater over a blouse on a frigid 60 degree day. *snort* But I have to get at least one good wear out of it before next fall! (I could have made it with short sleeves, I suppose, but as heavy as the yarn is, it might look sort of strange. Plus, I've not yet knit a long-sleeved sweater for me, and I'm really short on sweaters that I can wear when it IS cool outside - most of the warmer outerwear I have isn't particularly feminine - boxy ski sweaters and things like that - so my wardrobe has a bit of a hole in it on chilly days.)

I did get something done on Saturday, after tripping just about every breaker in the house until we found the right combination of pots and kettles and burners to extension cords. Here's a little teaser:

Red Hues

All told, I have a total of 20 skeins of sportweight (most not shown). Everything should be dry by, ohhh say, three weeks from Tuesday (I love the Florida humidity) by which time I should have some fingering weight yarn to dye up as well. Whee! Travis is currently attempting to electrocute himself designing and building me an electric reskeiner with strange-looking electric devices he scrapped together from God knows where - wherever men go to procure these contraptions. We'll see how that goes - I may be married to my niddy noddy for a while.

Casting About: I really need someone with mad graphic design skillz - I am in need of a logo, a banner, and an ad or two. Nothing super fancy - I do have some thoughts on logos, and some are more complicated than others. If you have these sorts of abilities and would be interested in bartering for yarn/fiber/money or any combination of the three, please let me know - I'm sort of at a loss in the fancy designin' department.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Bring Me The Head of Chip The Delivery Guy!

Old business first - the contest closed Tuesday night and I picked two winners at random. I've contacted the winners and heard back from them, so congratulations to Paula M. and Megan! I want to thank everyone so much for all the wonderful uplifting tales and inspirations you shared with me. It really did bring me up and remind me how nice people truly are. :-D

So. Louet. Right? Yeah - since this isn't some big ol' secret, my current fiber and yarn supplier is Louet. (That's the Koigu yarn base, yum. My yardage will be more generous though.) Anyway, I've been anxiously awaiting my order - it's partially backordered, but the sportweights and fibers were shipped out and due to arrive on Wednesday. I work from home on Wednesdays, so I spent the whole day tracking the package like I was SWAT and then I saw a blip on the FedEx radar: Delivery failure, invalid address.


Okay, let's just clear up here that I may be delusional about a great many things in life, but the valid existence of my residence? I'm pretty clear on that. I called FedEx. I called Louet. Louet called FedEx. I provided explicit directions (turn right off the major cross-state highway, take a left, it's the first rather imposing home on the left. Not rocket science, pretty tough to miss.) I waited. Next day, I track again. Not on a truck. I call. "Huh. Uh, we'll put it on the afternoon truck." I track again mid-afternoon. Kentucky.

Wait, what? Kentucky? How fast does that afternoon truck move?? Does the truck have wings and turbine engines? 'Cuz that's a PLANE. And I don't recall my directions including "take a right at Kentucky"!!!

I call. I get, "Huh. Kentucky. That's weird." Yes. Yes, it is. Not only is it weird, but if you determine my residence does not exist and you decide to start an exhaustive door-to-door search, Kentucky would be an unusual choice of starting points, as one of the few places in this country to which I've never been. So. Kentucky. Okay. Can you please bring it back? "Yes. You'll have it tomorrow." Gee, will I need to pick it up or will you deliver? "Call in the morning and we'll let you know." I was kidding, are you serious? "Um. Um..." Okay, fine. I'll call you. I call Louet. Louet calls FedEx. I get home.

Wouldn't you know it. Behold, my stuff. But ... if a package is in Kentucky AND on my front door step....wait.

I am on the porch.

The package is on my porch.

The package is in Kentucky.

Thus, by the transitive properties of the package, my porch is in Kentucky.


We'll be sitting on the porch this weekend, dyeing yarn, sipping mint juleps, and listening to bluegrass music.

But wait, it gets better. Get a load of this box.

FedEx guy, clearly top of his class

Snort. Scribbled notes back and forth, and finally, a big color printed Google Map. (I really wish there was a star and the note, "Moron, it's right HERE.") I'm sure the driver is really a very smart guy - it simply appears he was expecting a business, not a residence, and is obviously keenly unaware of the ability to operate a very tiny business from a home. (It's not like this is a crate of international goods, guy. It's a 15 pound box of fluff n' string.)

I have enough to get me started this weekend, though, so that should be fun. And while I wait for things to soak / heat up / strike / set (it's a lot of waiting, this process), I have the rest of this to do:

Cozy V-Neck Pullover

Lookit! A body! I still have the collar to do, plus a sleeve and about a third of another sleeve. Then there's all the end weaving - knitting a sweater of yarn in 55-yard put-ups means a LOT of end weaving. I got half a sleeve out of one skein. Ugh. (But it's so PRETTY.) So far, I think I'm content with the fit. I could have been patient and added just one more inch to the body, but with the alpaca and silk element, I think it'll probably stretch a bit anyway.

There's supposed to be a cold snap this weekend - I really hope I can finish this tomorrow, because I probably won't have a chance to wear it again until about October. (This was indeed a well-planned project on my part. But pretty!)

And in conclusion, ohmygod Flickr is awesome:


Heheheh. Heheheheheheh. Heh.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Latest Edition on the Latest Addition!

Well, here she is:

Hi, I'm Rambouillet, and I'm So Cute

This is the latest potential addition to our family - our pregnant little kitty. Travis figures she's about three weeks along, so we have about another month or five weeks before the kittens make their way into our world. I do have to get her to the vet before I can introduce her to the home, so for now she's settled in to the guest bathroom downstairs. She has everything she needs in there, except for constant companionship, so I try to go spend plenty of time with her.

I tried to not name her right away, but that lasted all of about two minutes. We're calling her Rambouillet. Well, I'M calling her Rambouillet - Travis is calling her Rambo, Ratatouille, Baba Booey, and "What's her name again?"

The other development continues:

Cozy V-Neck Pullover by Stefanie Japel

I have a few inches left on the body, and I'm mixing up the rest of the directions - the pattern indicates that the sleeves should be knit from the caps down, flat, and seamed, then the collar knit. I'm going to do the collar first so I have less stuff to lug around while I work the collar, and I'm going to work the sleeves cuff-up and graft them to the caps so I don't have to drag the sweater around while I knit those too. This yarn is definitely going to be pilly, so the less agitating of the fabric I do by circling it around and around in my lap, the better.

Final alert - the contest closes tonight! (More accurately, it closes whenever I wake up and check my email tomorrow, which will be around 7:30 eastern time.) Email for an entry!

Monday, April 07, 2008


I am cranking right along on my v-neck sweater from Fitted Knits!

Cozy V-Neck Pullover

This picture was taken Saturday, and I'm about six or seven inches of ribbing down the body from this point now. I determined based on my knitting and body styles that minor modifications to the pattern would be necessary: I'm knitting the smallest size and have added bust darts to compensate for the girls (I always have to knit larger sizes so I don't end up with ridiculous sweater kittens, but then the rest of the top will fit me more loosely than I like - so this time I'm using my head and knitting a small size that will fit overall, while adding consideration for my bust size.) I also started the ribbing much sooner than called for, so it begins directly beneath the bust line, rather than at the natural waist. I think it'll do my figure more favours that way.

The yarn, Mirasol Sulka, is gorgeous, soft...and hairy. So hairy that if I were to wear this over a white collared shirt, you wouldn't be able to tell a difference when I took the sweater off because it leaves behind so much fluff. Fortunately, it's very receptive to a lint roller, so I'm not too concerned. (I do think it may pill like a mother though. Time will tell.) I love the heathered look of it - a beautiful dark mahogany colour with strands of multi throughout, mostly red and yellow shades, which I assume is in the silk content.

I was hoping I could even have this sweater started and finished within a week, but I didn't take the bus to work today so I think I lost too much knitting time there to make up. Still, I bet I can have it done by the weekend, latest - a sweater in ten or eleven days would be nothing to sneeze at.

(Yay I'm awesome! I CAN knit a sweater! I CAN!!!)

New Hot Blog Alert: A very good friend of mine has started a new blog-with-a-focus, and I'm pretty excited about it. If you're a vegetarian, broke, lazy, or any of the three, you may want to add it to your blog subscriptions - she's going to be covering topics and recipes of interest to those of us who are short on cash and spare time or the inclination to spend it in the kitchen. The blog is called A Lazy Vegetarian on a Budget - hey, that's me! I'm one of those! - and I'm already planning to try out the first recipe she's posted.

Awesome shop alert: I ordered a TON of supplies for the dye studio last week - my purchase order was three full pages - from Earth Guild in Asheville, North Carolina. I've shopped there in person many times when visiting my parents, but now I'm just stunned at their service - in a good way. I placed the order by phone on Tuesday around lunchtime. They had it packed up by early afternoon - again, three pages of order - and it was on the porch when I got home Thursday. TWO DAYS. (And some of my dyes were backordered, so they'll send those along with free shipping when they are available.) Plus they offer both volume AND cost-based discounts, so I got one discount for ordering so much stuff and another additional discount for the amount I spent. And the shipping was cheap. I'm officially a devotee. They carry all kinds of stuff - not just supplies for dyers, but all kinds of yarns and fibers and books and goodies - big fat recommend.

Okay, I'm putting this off. It's confession time: We seem to have acquired another cat. Uhhh...whoops. I found this pretty little girl sitting in our tree, mewing for help. I climbed the ladder (it was the treehouse tree) and she hopped right into my arms. I fed her and gave her some water, and she was just the sweetest, most loving thing. She hasn't budged from our porch and laundry room for two days. I'd already decided it was our responsibility to take care of her for the time being (she won't be allowed into the main house with everyone else for a while, at least - I need to take her to the vet first.) Then Travis walked in, took one look at her and groaned.

"You do realize she's pregnant, right?"

Oh. Wow. You know, I thought she seemed to have a really tiny head in proportion with her body.

Anybody want a kitten? :-D

You still have until tomorrow night to email for an entry to the contest. More entries = more winners. Give it a shot! (Contest prizes not likely to include kittens.)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Nah, Enough Already

I'd typed and saved a third installment post for this space, but I've decided I'm done devoting my energy to negative people. So instead I..............have nothing to say. Sorry, that was really all I had to talk about, I guess! Heh.

Ooh, no, I did start a new sweater, and thanks to the miracle of heavy worsted weight yarn and US 10 (6.0 mm) needles, it's progressing at a pretty impressive rate. I'll have to get a photograph of it - it'd normally take me a week to get this far on a garment, and I just cast on for this thing Wednesday night.

A few more contest details occurred to me. Sometimes I wish I could get all my crap together at once. So let me see if I can get everything boiled down here so you don't have to wander all over this place to get all the details:

To enter: send an email to this address - details are an option, I'm fine if you just impart niceness on your honour.
Deadline: April 8th, Tuesday, at midnight (eastern)
Prize: will suit you, as I shall make it so because I want you to be happy.
Number of winners: depends on number of entries. I can't pick only one winner out of sixty entries!
Method of winner determination: at total random, a pull out of a hat.

And how lovely is the timing - Sheri just revved up her Random Act of Kindness contest, too! I am totally fine with our RAOKs overlapping, feel free to copy and paste your entry for her to me. ;-)

In closing: Behold! The Fluffies - Together in a Rare Moment of Peace and Serenity!

Oh hai.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

I Know, I Know....

Neat! Thanks for all the support and awesome contest entries so far! I forgot to give a deadline - let's go with April 8th, Tuesday night, at midnight. (Also, with regard to prizes - your prize will be selected based on your own wants/needs/desires/loves.)

Now, continuing on my two- (or more-) part installment on this - feel free to not read it if you're not interested, I know sometimes a blog topical miniseries can get to be a little too much - I got a few comments that made me feel a little negative-nelly. I don't think that was the comments' intention, but I re-read my post and felt like I was focusing too much on a few negative voices, made it seem like it was all I ever saw.....I should point out that I still think Ravelry is nothing short of awemazingsome, and nothing will stop me from visiting it no fewer than 87 times daily. It's only the fact that I spend entirely too much time floating around on the forums and stumbling into these rather touchy areas.

And to be very clear, there are at least 100 super nice and encouraging people for every one crappy downer person, and then another 1000 quiet people who know to not say anything if they can't say something nice. It only takes one jerky post to kind of bring me down - really, it's kind of like going to a party where there's 20 awesome folks and one REALLY obnoxious person. It's not that you're TRYING to focus on the negative, but isn't it hard to walk away from the party and not say, "Hey, what was with the jerk who argued with everyone all night long?"

Last year I attended a seminar on negative language and the power of avoiding it - for example, saying "Look up," rather than saying "Don't look down," because negative language has such an immediate and visceral impact, and people can't help but respond to it. It's so simple, but the power of turning negative words into positive words can be huge; like saying "I could use some energy!" rather than "I'm so tired." Even the smallest negative will only serve to bring you down further, where the positive can change your whole attitude. (Duly self-noted that I talk a good game, but I could use a refresher course...)

I guess my biggest problem is with people who don't think or care that even on the Internet, it's still a real person on the other end of that computer. And I can't stand the "Why do you have such a problem with honesty? Why should I only speak up to compliment and kiss ass?" argument. No, no. You're honest when someone solicits your specific opinion. There's no need to jump in with snark just because it popped into your head. And on the second point, that's simple: you compliment someone because it's nice. You avoid putting someone down because it's mean.

There were some wicked good points made in comments or emails that I think are worth mentioning, so I'm generalizing some of them for reflection:

1. Really? Mean people? I haven't noticed.
Good!!!! I hope you never do - it does tend to be concentrated more in some of the longer threads on the "main" boards. If you don't spend much time lurking around in known trouble zones (see also: copyright threads) then you're not likely to stumble across much nastiness.

2. The smaller group boards don't seem to have that problem as much.
I agree. I don't know what it is - even more similar interests, a feeling that these people are more like kin and are treated as such? But yeah, the more focused groups tend to seem more aware of their manners.

3. But Ravelry's so great!
It is, it is, IT IS!!!! There are 483,926 reasons to love Ravelry, and more reasons come up every day. Jess and Casey work SO HARD. Occasional mean spiritedness is one tiny part of Ravelry that, granted, can be overlooked. And I shouldn't single out - I mean, it's not just Ravelry - any place where you throw 15,000 different people with free will into a room, real or virtual, there's gonna be some conflict. I've certainly seen worse. (I used to be a moderator for the chat room of the official website of two popular metal/rock bands. Now THAT was a hostile room. Ravelry is a field of freakin' daisies compared to that scene.)

4. You know, I actually find it's easier to be nicer than usual on the internet, not meaner. People don't get as weirded out on the 'net as they do in real life.
Now THIS stopped me in my tracks. What a great point! I frequently will think in my head, "That girl is so pretty" as she walks down the street, but I'm not usually very likely to run up and tell her, because, uh, yeah, it's awesome to be paid a compliment, but she also may be like, "Wait. Is that person crazy? How long did she have to chase me down the sidewalk to tell me that? Is she sweating? Uhhh...find a way out of this situation." On the web, it's easy to just drop a comment that says, "Oh, you look GORGEOUS in that sweater!" without wondering if you're going to look like a stalker. Net-induced niceness - I like that!

5. People don't realize they're being jerks, and when you point it out, they're not likely to agree and/or care.
That's true. To give a parallel example, someone with an atypically unattractive puppy would never agree if you said their mutt was troll-like, would they? (Ugly puppies?! Never!!) So if you say, "Wow, you're being a jerk," that person may be ashamed, but more likely they'll disagree for some reason. They're being honest, it's their right, they don't see it that way - so basically all my words are doing no good, is what I'm saying, other than to serve to placate myself via jaw-flapping. Isn't that useful? I'm really contributing something to the world here. ;-)

I AM happy. I DO look for the good in the world. I DEFINITELY see more friendly, kind people everywhere I go than those who are not. I hate prescribing to the "one bad apple spoils the bunch" theory, but it's hard to ignore that one grating voice of dissent.

And there are bigger problems in the world than rudeness on a message board, certainly. But then again, really, when you boil it down - if everyone in the world was just more considerate of the feelings, opinions, and right to joy of others, we kind of wouldn't have any problems whatsoever, would we? I know that's Pollyanna - but hey, it's still kinda true. (Without dissension, though, there could be a spike in boredom and certainly a decline in creative new ideas - there's something to be said for a stimulating and constructive disagreement, and beneficial suggestions are almost always borne out of those situations - but constructive and respectful are always the best ways to go when framing a discussion.)

Maybe tomorrow I'll continue to beat this to death make use of finally having something I feel compelled to write about by posting the silly example of a sample conversation I came up with last night when Travis and I were discussing this issue. (As a male knitter and general renaissance man who works as an auto mechanic, where it appears he is expected to be a hairless ape, he is well acquainted with the mind-boggling ability of others to be complete verbal-diarrhea jackasses.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go write in my diary about all the people I can't stand. ;-)

(On an unrelated note: Nope, we're not pregnant/trying - the baby sweater is a gift for Travis' good friends, who just had a baby last month. Sorry for the false alarm - I should have noted the recipient.)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What's Eating Me.

You know, we are, as a whole, a very nice people. A very kind people. A very generous, loving, giving people. I love being a knitter, because I love the group of which it makes me a proud part. I'm a fan of all of you, and I get so much wonderfully positive feedback from knitters, both out there in the real world and here on the webses.

But seriously, what is going on with the sourpuss misery that's starting to take a vested minority interest in Ravelry?? Every time I open up even the most innocent-looking thread, there's at least a handful of miserable bitches on there ruining the fun for the rest of us. Bitching about a photograph, a pattern, a person, a project, a copyright issue, a snack, someone's goals and ideals, whatever - ANYTHING they can find to bitch about. Well, hey, remember us? We're real people. If you tell us our photographs suck, we SEE THAT. If you say a designer is a talentless hack, she SEES THAT. I know that meanness and negativity have been discussed in one way or another at great and boring exhaustive length by just about everyone other than me, but it's especially on Ravelry - which is totally my happy place, DAMMIT - that I'm getting tired of all the mean spirited natures. There's still a lot more happy than unhappy there, of course - but every forum has someone pissing in everyone else's Cheerios, and I. Don't. Like. It. That's why I think I tend to stick to my happy little Piddleloop forum - most everyone is pretty chipper there, no one tells anyone else that they suck.

I know the easy solution is "stay off the message boards," but then again I think my solution is even easier: Don't be an asshole. Like, you may want to be an asshole. Stop. Type out what you're wanting to say. Read and think, "Does this make me look like an asshole?" If it does, hey, don't click "Post". That's not hard, is it? Not being an asshole? I'm not saying you can't go home and tell your friends/husband/cat/refrigerator exactly how you feel about that pattern/person/issue, but do you have to demonstrate to many thousands of people what an asshole you are? Seriously, THOUSANDS of people are going to read your festering turd of a miserable post, and all but maybe four other people (they're assholes too) are going to think you're kind of a jerk.

And besides, there are boards that are specifically DESIGNED for everyone to go and debate (and scream and disagree and argue at times,) and they're really a lot of fun in their own way, so go get into fights there and stay out of the harmless "This pattern is pretty" threads.

(Uh, I'm certain I'm not referring to any of you. And this isn't any direct slight on me that leads to this. Just making general observations. I'm not linking to anyone specifically or giving examples because that would be something an asshole would do. See how easy it is to not do that?)

Not what you were expecting from me today, huh? I know, I'm usually pretty cream puff. I'm sorry.

So I'm having a contest, dammit. Because it's (kind of) my blogiversary - yeah, I blew right by that, two years on March 17th - and you just had to listen to me gripe, and you should be rewarded. But you have to do something for me. I know, I'm usually pretty easy about the contests, but this time I want you to do a little something. Post something happy somewhere. On your blog, on a forum, wherever. Compliment someone - find something nice to say about something they did/said/designed/showed off. Do that, and then let me know about it - just email me that you were nice to someone today. Or if you consider that too much like tooting your own horn, just send an email that says nothing. I'll know what you mean. I don't expect you to prove it - like I said, I already know that you're all nice people, I don't need an affidavit. I just want to know that people are out there, being cool.

Please do send an email, though - comments are kinda tougher for me to track.

Prizes? Yes, there will be some of those. Probably decent ones, if my history is any indication. I have some books, yarn, handspun, fiber - all sorts of things lying around, so I'll pick a winner or two and we'll see what you get. ;-)

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled daffy YoYo post!

I do have an FO! I'm really excited about this one - I loved the pattern, and I loved how it turned out.

Avery - Front

The Avery Baby Sweater is fini!

Avery - Back

Would you believe this is the first time I've ever knit anything with a button?? And I love seed stitch. Mmm. Seed stitch.

Avery - Front Patterning

Project Details:

Pattern: Avery Baby Sweater by Kristi Geraci
Yarn: Socks that Rock mediumweight in Bella Coola (from the 2007 club)
Needle: US4 (16", 20", and DPN)
Size: Dunno, maybe 3-6 month? Bigger? What's a baby look like?
Start: March 13, 2008
Finish: March 28, 2008
Mods: None really, other than to make it work for sportweight yarn rather than worsted. Oh, and knitting the chart backward so I got a mirror-image version of the sweater. Let's call that a mod - sounds nicer than "big ol' screw-up".

In other news: Well, yeah, I'm gonna be dyeing more yarn. Yeah. I know. (Yikes.) I'm pretty excited - how fun is it going to be to get those first huge boxes of yarn and fiber and fluffy things to play with? Whee!

Okay, enter the contest!