Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tricks and Treats

(I forgot one of my biggest knitting True Confessions the other day. Wait for it. OK: I can't stand feather and fan stitch. I know it's one of the basics of the knitted lace world, and, as such, is virtually sacrosanct, but I just don't like it. There. I feel better. Confession is good for my soul, if there's one in there somewhere.)I

It's gotten cold here again, so I got out my Fir Cone Wrap to wash and block. Recently here at Chez SLWY we had a bit of a m*th problem. S & I got this great wool rug for the bedroom which had apparently not been reliably m*thproofed. Hijinks ensued. We did lose some woolens (and the rug), but most of my hand-knits survived, because they're always kept out of sight. None of the stash was affected, either. However, I did have to wash/dry clean every item of clothing I own, bag it up, and wait for the exterminator's voodoo to work before I could unpack everything. I washed up the Fir Cone, but was too busy with all the rest to block it, so I just folded it up and put it away. Here it is, duly blocked:

It's not done drying yet, so I can't give you an artsy fashion pose. I knit this about 3 years ago, from a cone of alpaca/wool fingering weight yarn I bought on eBay. I think the name of the company I dealt with was Alapaca Amore. The yarn is wonderful and the price was great. I bought several large chunks of yarn from them and they were mostly easy to deal with. In one shipment, they even included an adorable little alpaca teddy bear, which Jr. Jr. immediately scooped up, named (aptly) Soft Little Bear, bless his literal little heart, and hasn't let go of since. The wrap is just your basic fir cone pattern from one of the Barbara Walkers, knit on forever.

I'm still working on Miss Lambert's shetland shawl, too. I'm almost halfway done with the main body section. Here's an unexciting picture:

I took a little jaunt to my LYS today, too. I love the Alpaca with a Twist fino yarn so much that I decided to invest in some more for future projects, many of which are swimming around in my head. Look at these colors!

I think the white and off white will be for a doily pattern or two to frame. The purple and the black will be for shawls and scarves. Yum.

Kippi asked in the comments on my last post what I thought of the most recent kerfuffle between Clinton and Obama. To briefly recap, Clinton said something dumb about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Obama's camp is crying foul. Accusations of racism are being aimed at the Clintons, and accusations of unfairness are being thrown back at the Obama campaign. It's an interesting study in the art of campaigning, that's for sure. Hillary originally said something about how MLK Jr. was great and all, "but it took a President, Lyndon Johnson, to get it done," meaning that Johnson was the one who signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Do I think this was stupid? Yes. Hillary, as a longtime activist, knows full well that the Civil Rights Act wouldn't even have been a glimmer in anyone's eye without all the activists who did the dirty work -- sometimes at the cost of their own lives -- of bringing the issue to the political forefront. As a senator, she should also know that there were hundreds of congressmen and senators who did the dirty work of hammering out the bill and getting it passed before it could get to the President's desk to sign. So, no, it did not take a President to get civil rights enacted into law. It took a nation.

On the other hand, do I think that Hillary is racist? Not at all. Both Clintons have worked in civil rights for so long, and have such solid reputations in the black community, that I can't for a minute believe that she's at all a racist. I think she meant that activism and government go hand in hand to get things done, and that she would, as President, continue that tradition. Unfortunately, she didn't say it quite like that.

I am bothered by the quickness of the Obama camp to cry racism. I feel like they're playing the race card here in order to shore up Obama's standing in the black community. Remember, up until recently, Clinton led in support among African Americans. Many prominent black leaders back her over Obama, because they know her and her husband, and what their positions and feelings are.

The Obama campaign is doing the same thing over whispers about his prior drug use. They turn any question about his admitted prior drug use into an attempt to portray him as nothing better than some street dealing thug. Does anyone remember the flap over "I didn't inhale?" Clinton's been there and done that. They've been under that same microscope. So, while it may be unfair of them to do to Obama what was done to them, I doubt it was meant to appeal to people's racist fears.

Bill Clinton has come under fire, too, for calling Obama's allegedly constant opposition to the Iraq war a "fairy tale." He raises some interesting points about things that Obama said early on that indicated he might support the war. Obama says that his remarks were made around the time of the last Democratic convention, when the candidates were supporting the war, and that he didn't want to say anything to contradict or undermine the candidates. That is a reasonable explanation, and I'd like to hear this play out a little more. But spinning the story as Bill Clinton calling the Obama campaign a "fairy tale," meaning that a black man couldn't win the presidency, is again playing the race card.

Until recently, I had been very impressed with the Obama campaign. He had been running with honesty and integrity. I'd hate to see the campaign degenerate to a point where every criticism becomes an accusation of racism. If that happens, they're playing right into the Republicans' hands.

Ultimately, this is a story of two candidates who are very close in the polls and in their positions. They will use anything they can to gain sympathy and voters. The pundits all said that the candidates who won in Iowa won because they didn't go negative. There's plenty of time for this campaign season to turn ugly. Let's wait a little while longer, ok?

1 comment:

kippi said...

Love the fir cone wrap/scarf. Beautiful color. I have not made that pattern yet but I have it here. I have made the feather and fan stole (the big round Meg Swanson one in the lace book). So I can say I've done it and move on. It was a little boring, but it was an interesting excercise in knitting giant round things.

Your color choices in the Fino are lovely. I have a skein of that here, in grey. I have not used it so look forward to working with a yarn you speak so highly of. (wow, bad grammar). Do you wind this with a winder into a cake or do you wind it into a ball? which is easier for this yarn?

one more yarn note: I did finally get my issues with Blue Moon worked out and have my sock club kit. I liked what you said earlier about what looks good in a hank doesn't look so good in a knitted project. I agree.

I agree with all your points on the HRC and BHO kerfuffle. It is interesting to hear your opinion because I'm not really certain that it all was that thought out. I think it was just HRC throwing out a fish and hoping that Obama would bite. He didn't but the press did. In the HRC camp it seems like the tried and true old school workings of Carville and Begala. BHO waited for the press to come to him and in the meantime, the HRC camp had to scramble. I'm not certain any of the voters will look twice at any of all this and file it under 'politics as usual'.

This is where I think that HRC is making a huge mistake.....following the old school pattern of what got WJC elected twice. Proof, as you so noted, that one of the great things of the Iowa caucuses is that they didn't fall into old vat of dirty politics. But now they are all tired and grumpy and the race is too close. So, I suppose they are doing what we all do when we are tired and grumpy: fall into old habits.

I think voters are sick of old habits and if they keep it up, people will tune out in droves. This may have already started. Plus, people should no more vote for HRC because she is a woman than one should vote for BHO because he is black or for JM because he is white. This election has already gotten really personal between the candidates which I think makes them ALL look bad.

Off to do something that directly affects me: cooking dinner. I'll think more on this political stuff and see if I can come up with some other theories. Or I'll just pick out something else to make. ha ha ha