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qotd, antipsychotics and chickens edition

"Charlie Ledley and Ben Hockett returned from Las Vegas on January 30, 2007, convinced that the entire financial system had lost its mind. 'I said to my mother, "I think we might be facing something like the end of democratic capitalism,"' said Charlie. 'She just said, "Oh, Charlie," and seriously suggested I go on lithium.'"

-- Michael Lewis, The Big Short, which you should all go read even if you don't know squat about the whole sub-prime mortgage debacle. It is a remarkable book, both in its depth and simplicity. 

... and since I saw this this morning and couldn't resist...

"I don’t think it’s silly. It sounds like fun. But for a woman in the prime of life to stay home to do it? To be dependent on a man so you can grow your own vegetables? I don’t think that’s a wise life plan for women. And the way it is moralized bothers me too. Like, if a woman said “I’m going to stay home so I can play cards with my girlfriends” that would sound really frivolous, but if she’s growing organic salad for her family that’s a challenge to the capitalist system. It’s not. It is incredibly difficult to opt out of the system. That’s what makes it a system."

-- Katha Pollitt on Peggy Orenstein's NYT's piece about wealthy women who leave the workforce to raise chickens.

true confession

On a very, very serious note, which I will offset in a minute with a post about something frothy, please pray, offer good karma, think kindly on, etc., for my friend Katie and her oldest boy Henry. I can't even imagine what she's going through -- and wish that she wasn't where she is. 



Yes, even though I am almost 40 and a respectable (sorta) and responsible (mostly) mother of two, I watch America's Next Top Model

I know. *

I bring this up only because last night the photo shoot revolved around two of my favorite things: New Zealand and sheep. I am completely ready to hop on a plane, jump in some wellies and swan about a pasture while having my picture taken. Anyone else?

Casual response, tho, to one of the comments a contestant made: Sweetheart, if you don't know where New Zealand is, please give your ticket to someone who does. It isn't near Canada. 



* I also watch The Real Housewives of NYC but am significantly less comfortable with announcing that. FWIW - I'm totally on Bethenny's side and think Jill has a total mean girl thing going on. Don't even get me started on the Countess...oh, wait. You didn't.

random knit notes

Hold the presses: The Twist Collective folk really, really liked Sweater Quest! I am more pleased than I can say. W00T!

Also, Gig Moineau sent along her picture of the Mary Tudor at the Porter Square Books event:

2010-04-15 19.46.56 

It is nice to know that I didn't imagine it. What a gorgeous sweater.

Also, I've been working on a little pretty scarf, with whom I am smitten.


Close-up of the beads:


What the pictures don't convey is how soft and drapey this yarn is and how glorious and lush the color is. I'd picked this up two KR retreats ago and finally got around to doing something with it. It's String Theory's 50 percent merino/50 percent silk (100 percent yum). * The beads were some I've just had kicking around from a project that didn't work out so well. What the pictures don't quite show is that the beads have a citrine-colored core. It's purty all put together. 

This makes up for the last thing I started. It died a quick death and shan't be mentioned again.

* I don't see this exact composition on their site, which is good, because I'd probably buy it all. The tag tells me it's the 3-ply fusion lot T02. 

many things make a post

* This gored skirt formula makes me itch to sew something. That is not a good sign. Talk me out of it in 3...2... (Also:  I want these shorts but am trying to figure out if I have the skills to make them. Nothing ventured, eh?)

* I wonder why Fortune decided to not run this Chris Ware cover. Note: this is sarcasm.

* New Maureen McHugh story! And there was much rejoicing.

* The Fried Chicken Cook-off: Pioneer Woman v. Keller. Tongs at dawn.

* Hard to imagine that a mere $10 could do so much. And, yet...

* Nom. Ramen noodle chocolate. Nom. Nom.

* A recipe

* What if the tea partiers were black?

* If I were to have another wedding, this is the cake I would want.

* Seuss Army Knife.

* Don't treat an awake baby like an awake adult.

* Knitting makes you a better fill in the blank. (Hat tip to Dave*)

* I've been reading Michael Lewis' The Big Short (review: read it!), which makes this post about Goldman Sachs even more interesting.  To quote Jon Stewart, "those fuckin' guys."

* Steven Brust hosts (sorta) a Spinathon. And, yes, we're talking about yarn. If you're in Texas and not busy this weekend, it could be a hoot.

* This picture of the Earth just blew my dang mind.

boys of summer and knitting

On Saturday, I participated in the Stitch and Pitch event at the Baseball Hall of Fame.*

The lighting in the Hall makes it impossible to take a decent picture. It's not me. Nope. 


Those who wandered past who already knew how to knit were invited to add to a group scarf project.

Meredith of Meredith Knitting was on hand to teach newbies and to admire her socks, which had just been added to a display in the HOF.


Not only did we teach knitting, the half dozen of us on hand also taught crochet and needlepoint. The bulk of the morning's students seemed to be Boy Scouts, who really seemed to pick it up quickly and with gusto. They did, however, universally shun the pink yarn, in favor of the more manly red or gray.

Also on hand was swag from Lantern Moon.


A set of these almost came home with me but my inner angel won the argument. Stupid angel.


* I live about 25 minutes from Cooperstown. I am not a baseball fan - in fact, it took me five years to visit the Hall of Fame and I went the first time because of last year's Stitch and Pitch event. I honor your fandom, baseball lovers, but it is not my own. 

ETA: Astute readers will note that I swapped out the first picture for one that crops out the knitter's head. It was a truly lousy picture of her and I decided that I should use my power for good. No one wants a picture that unflattering wandering free in the world. 

qotd, meat and knitting edition

"I always think of butchery to be like knitting. In that it's rote, and yet you have to stay focused on it. With butchering even more, because you could easily kill yourself. So it's this sort of Zen thing that comes up. It's something where I don't need to open a cookbook, I don't need to look at a recipe -- I just need to look at the ingredient."

-- Julie Powell to Eric Steinman in his interview for Edible Hudson Valley

actual knitting content: more socks

And, lo, let it be written that I still knit. 


Basic boring sock formula using exceptionally jazzy yarn. 


The yarn is from Regia's Kaffe Fassett line, color 4454, purchased from a sale bin (because what sensible person can resist a sale bin at a yarn shop) at Natural Stitches in January. I loves them. 

The current knitting project involves beads, because I appear to have lost my freaking mine.

many things make a post

Albany-area peeps: I'll be hosting a knitting circle at the Book House at 6:30 tonight. I'd love to meet you and give you a button.

* I've gotten hooked on Jon "Unitarian Jihad" Carroll. This is one of my recent faves.

* Tim Walker's advice to new parents is spot on. If you can keep these three things in mind, you should do fairly well. As much as parenting success can be predicted, that is.

* The Amateur Gourmet goes to Peekamoose. I *heart* Peekamoose - and not just because it's fun to say. 

* Someone needs to publish the original Alice in Wonderland manuscript.

* Plushie food chain.

* This slide show about "feminine hygiene products" is hysterical.

* If I could, I would plant nothing but ferns in my yard.

*I didn't think I could love Anne Lamott more.

* Perhaps the funniest post about underpants you will ever read. And she's right about VS. I used to only wear their underwear, too, and quit for the same reasons.

* The best solution for airport security.

* I can only begin to wrap my head around this picture of the surface of the sun. The little white bar at the bottom is 5000 km.

* The cookies made him mad.

* Hard to imagine a cat sitting still for this. (Hat tip to my SIL)

a small step

I remembered to take a picture of the crowd while I was in Boston. What made me remember was that a woman was wearing her very own Mary Tudor that she had knitted years ago from Herself's yarns. I wanted a picture of that.


Do you see her here. Yeah. Me neither. Because I didn't frame it well at all. She's behind and to the left of the woman in the gray hat. *sigh* I give up.

It was a very nice sweater, tho. And a very nice group o' folks. It's still a little strange to look up while I'm reading and realize that all I can see are the tops of heads because most people are working on their knitting. Makes me giggle a little bit every time.

In light of that picture FAIL, here's McGregor, who is one of the few cats I've ever met who prefers to sleep in the four-paws-up position.