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Alarming Female - not keeping my opinions to myself

It’s so crazy, it’s sane

I love knitting books; I love the patterns, the commentary, the yarns used, the photography. They inspire me to try my hand at new projects, and they give me an escape into another world for however long I can immerse myself into their pages. According to my Ravelry library, I own 90 books on knitting and spinning, and that doesn’t include the few that aren’t in their database from Germany and Japan. So I’m easily approaching 100 books–many of them concerning knitting lace.

My most recent acquisition, however, is altogether different from any other lace knitting book I’ve read. Myra Wood’s CrazyLace: An Artistic Approach to Creative Lace Knitting is, in fact, diametrically opposite every other lace knitting book I’ve read. From the section “What Makes It Crazy?” —

The whole concept is wonderfully simple. You have complete freedom to decide what to do next with each stitch you knit, row after row. Every row is a new opportunity. Using charts or not, there are an infinite number of ways to knit lace with very little planning. It sounds crazy, but you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, with very little to no planning ahead.

Wood begins with a fairly thorough introduction to lace knitting, teaching the concepts of lace as well as providing some common charted stitch patterns. She briefly discusses the cultural history of lace, and gives nods to Margaret Stove’s Creating Original Hand-Knitted Lace and Mary Thomas’s Book of Knitting Patterns. She genuflects to Elizabeth Zimmerman, describing the Pi Shawl as a “wonderful building block for creative lace knitting.” Indeed. She also recommends Mary Walker Phillips’s Creative Knitting: A New Art Form, which is, unfortunately, out of print.

Wood also covers overall shaping, as in how to create a triangle, circle, half circle, or square. She teaches the Russian join and crochet cast on and bind off. Her stated ultimate goal is to get a knitter “to the point where you go wild doing uncharted, free-style lace knitting to your heart’s content,” but she starts off with “sampler style knitting, combining different charted lace designs,” to teach some traditional stitches and give the knitter a foundation in the structure of lace fabric and and understanding of how lace stitches work together.

I must admit I am intrigued by the concept and by the interesting and beautiful creations she displays in her book. However, her carefree approach is not for everyone. I’m fortunate to know many extremely gifted lace knitters, some of who create beautifully intricate patterns for publication, and they may not be comfortable with the randomly irregular crazy lace approach.

Wood has convinced me, though, and I can’t wait to get started.

FO’s of 2009

It’s been a LONG time since I posted here—I’ve been focusing on other projects, including getting my life back on track after a nightmarishly long divorce (still not entirely resolved. . .sigh)—but I’m going to blog today. Feels good.

Here’s a record of the knitting I accomplished in 2009:

Shrugigan – I finished the knitting in October of 2008, but waited for the buttons well into 2009. ravelry

Exploring Waves – I knit this for the S’nB Anniversary One-Skein Swap. ravelry

Rib & Cable Socks – I should write up this pattern; I really love these socks. ravelry


Shibuiknits Scarf – The colors of this yarn work so beautifully together. ravelry

Portland Tote – I love the colors of this bag. ravelry

Weaver’s Wool Mini Shawl – A treasure from the stash. ravelry


Hemlock Ring – The second Hemlock Ring I’ve knitted–I like this one even better because I finished with the knitted-on border, which is gorgeous. ravelry

Spring Forward – Susan’s beautiful Branching Out Scarf. ravelry


Portland Tote 2 – I knit this as a shop sample and taught the class. ravelry

Kureyon Scarf – Knit this using a feather-and-fan stitch pattern. ravelry


Neapolitan Socks – I LOVE this yarn. I adore these socks. ravelry


Elemente Socks – Knit these while teaching a summer school class–kept the students hypnotized! ravelry


Red Scarf – Knit for the Orphan Foundation of America’s Red Scarf Project. ravelry

Slouch Hat – Made this as a favor for one of my son’s friends. ravelry


Garter Ruffle Shawl – Got the idea from mustaavillaa’s Ravelry page. ravelry

At KFC, its not only the chicken that’ll get you


Honey “Sauce”?

Honey Sauce is apparently a cousin to “cheese food*.” Except cheese food has to have at least 51% cheese. Check out the ingredients:

Bummer. Just when KFC is debuting it’s “Kentucky Grilled Chicken” option. Which, by the way, isn’t exactly grilled; it’s actually roasted.

    * Pasteurized process cheese food is a variation of process cheese that may have dry milk, whey solids, or anhydrous milkfat added, which reduces the amount of cheese in the finished product. It must contain at least 51% of the cheese ingredient by weight, have a moisture content less than 44%, and have at least 23% milkfat.
    from Chemical & Engineering News.

    Let’s not even talk about “Buttery Spread.” They don’t even list the ingredients, except to say it’s “artificially flavored.”

“Boner of the Day” has a long reach*


This morning I woke up to local radio station X96 and the “Radio From Hell” program (this is how some of us in SLC survive the cruel joke which living in Utah sometimes is). As is the case every weekday morning, dj Bill Allred read the candidates for Boner of the Day:

1. I Can Screw You Over
2. Pee Money
3. Your Child’s School Attendance Record is Unacceptable

The BOTD candidates are meant to be examples of “bad, stupid, or funny human behavior.” While Candidate #2 was never a contender, Candidate #3, the story of parents who received a letter from their daughter’s school criticizing her attendance patterns, though the girl had been found dead in her home two months earlier, was a major faux pas (that’s French for “fuck up”).

However, today’s winner was Candidate #1, the story of Ryan Moats, who, when rushing to the hospital with his wife and family to be with his mother-in-law in the last moments of her losing battle with breast cancer, made a decision to run a red light. He made sure there was no oncoming cross traffic before he entered the intersection to continue the race against time to his mother-in-law’s bedside.

Dallas police officer Robert Powell pursued Mr. Moats and his family to the hospital parking lot and drew his gun on Mrs. Moats when she got out of the car to hurry into the hospital. Even after hospital staff came outside to inform the officer that yes, indeed, Mr. Moats’ mother-in-law was near death, Officer Powell refused to allow Mr. Moats to join his wife. By the time the Officer Powell was finished issuing a ticket to Mr. Moats and bade him free to go, it was too late. Mr. Moats’ MIL had passed away. The video of the stop, as recorded by the police cruiser, is available here.

Officer Powell surely abused his power; everyone agrees on that. Mr. and Mrs. Moats are African American. Over zealous abuse of power by a cop against a Black suspect–not a rare combination, sadly.

Here’s the “long reach” part: I have a friend in NYC who co-hosts a sports radio show called LA Batchelor, which looks at college and professional sports and how they intersect with issues of race and racism. I emailed the link about the story to him wanting to get his take on it. He was planning to cover it on today’s show. I told him about the BOTD situation on Radio From Hell, and he ended up mentioning X96 as part of the intro to the story.

I love the Internets for exactly this reason–it’s a means for real people to pass real news to other people. Because you know, sure as hell, that The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

*hey, this was the cleanest title I could come up with. There were just so many possibilities!