Reblogging the much more rational thoughts of a friend–I’m still too angry about this whole affair to write it for myself, and besides, she says it very well. When a corporation can restrict free speech by sending C&D letters to a non-monetized social network that lacks the wherewithal to defend itself in court, we are truly under the boot of moneyed interests. Olympic spirit, my ass. This isn’t how you celebrate the efforts of athletes, this is how you kiss up to sponsors. Deeply disappointing. But to denigrate knitters by suggesting that the Ravelympics somehow denigrates athletes? Hypocritical and plain mean. Read the letter for yourself. I’ll be back when this vein in my forehead stops throbbing.

knitprints

Once upon a time, a little knitting and crochet website called Ravelry ran a fun competition encouraging excellence in the fiber arts to coincide with that worldwide juggernaut of culture, education, and athleticism, the Olympics. Knitters and crocheters and spinners and weavers are all encouraged to park their rears on a comfy couch and tune into the games while crafting away. Advertisements are enjoyed, athletic feats are celebrated, and some good-natured ribbing of the rivals takes place too.

Then, one day, a very large organization sent a letter to the little fiber arts website so as to defend their trademark, which is normal practice. Admirably, it states that “the Olympic Games represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony.” Not shockingly, many knitters support these values too. I mean, we can’t ALL be uncultured criminals hell-bent on war-mongering.

But wait!…

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SockFail

I actually had several uninterrupted hours yesterday to knit something Serious, so I decided to once again set myself up for failure with socks. I could do another whole blog called SockFail after the last year. One pair of plain came out well for my older boy, but other than that, I have a legacy of single socks and half-finished first socks. It’s a very good thing we aren’t depending on me. 

Another knitter would decide that socks just aren’t her thing and move on to something else, and to be fair, I have done that a little. I have successfully completed other things. And I have come around on blankets, which someone I know has been kind enough not to point out that I once thought were a complete waste of time. So I don’t know why I keep torturing myself by falling in love with sock patterns, attempting to make them from my considerable stash of sock yarn, and failing. 

New Knitty is up! I got as far as the article on Lion yarns and the middy jumper pattern by Franklin Habit, and then the website informed me that there are too many users, and so I must wait until later. I’m going on with towels and dishcloths, attempting to use up the bag of cotton yarn sitting in my room, being messy. Did I ever tell you that though I am messy, I can’t just surrender to it and be happy? It’s like I subconsciously enjoy the reproach of my messy house. I would adore to live in a house that was in a constant perfect state of cleanliness, especially if I weren’t charged with maintaining it that way. I dream of a house where there is room for things to be used and then put away easily. One half of my family lives like this, and the other half does not. So I’ve grown up with the desire, but not the will. I do need to clean out this place, though. We’re here seven years in September, and we’ve added two kids and a veritable mountain of clothes and gear for them. And it was none too large a place to begin with. Some things have got to go. I think I’m going to go room-to-room with a plastic bin and just focus on decluttering–by completely emptying to the bin, sorting, and putting back only what goes there–one thing at a time. It’s too bad the two-year-old will want to help. He wanted to help me write a blog post today. He does this by slamming the laptop on my hands as I type.

Makers are knitters too.

A scientist friend shared this article from Slate about Maker Faire on her Facebook, and I really loved the concept, but wondered why it had to be only about robots and other mainstream science activities. The exact same thesis as applied to knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, quilters, sewists, and a host of other crafters would fall flat–in fact, has fallen flat, since all of the aforementioned that I know are good evangelists for their work, but it’s always dismissed on the basis of being too much sitting still for active children. Please. Last I checked, there’s an awful lot of sitting still and thinkwork involved in building a working robot, so that isn’t why. And if you want to argue that it isn’t just sitting still because it’s tinkering, you can certainly tinker and socialize with sticks and string. Okay, it’s not everybody’s tinkering, but still. Neither is robotics.

The article is absolutely right that making is an authentic experience and should be done in schools. That place has a former metal shop?! That is a problem. I get itchy when the kind of making is restricted to a narrow view of what is worth making. Authentic experience comes from a lot of different kinds of creative manual activities. You know what I’d love? A room like that with equipment for a lot of different kinds of creative making, and kids can go in for an hour or more every day and choose what they want to do.

We’re on the second month of Cabinet of Curiosities, and it’s getting so interesting (and making me more interested in embroidering than I’ve been in a couple of years). I’m not much of a designer, but it’s exciting to think of picking out my own motifs to put on the outside of my casket. The instructor demonstrated the concept of establishing a pictorial narrative with Star Wars characters! A lot of people are talking about doing more than one casket. I’m not sure I have that many lifetimes left.