Saturday, October 18, 2008

Progress report

Ooh, look what is coming along so nicely:

Yep. I am really enjoying knitting my Lady Sweater. I did have to rip out the entire yoke twice, but I figured out my math and it's great. Okay, I admit I only ripped the yoke out one and a half times: I never finished frogging the second time and just started this one from a new skein. I will use the half-frogged attempt for the sleeves. But I haven't knit a single row since that picture was snapped! Well, I have, but on another project..

Yes, I started another one. the Christmas stockings are a kind last-resort project, so they don't count, but I started knitting a white mohair shrug. Jack picked up the yarn for me, and I felt I should start on it right away! I should go snap a picture, actually. THEN I will work on the Lady Sweater. I am excited to buy buttons for it, but won;t let myself go to the button store until it is done; that's just another excuse for procrastination!

ETA: Here's the mohairiness:

Also, I love autumn.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Choke: A FO

Having reviewed the posts on the first page of my blog, I am pretty embarrassed at my seeming lack of productivity! But you know, in the last month and a half, I finished a joint honours degree, started a new job, and have been promoted. So, I've been busy -- but I have also been knitting. I am in this weird stage of life where I come home from work, and there's nothing to do. Sure, there are always more dishes to be washed and more laundry to be sorted, but this is the first time in my adult life where I have not come home and had to go straight to schoolwork or a contract. I have always, since my second last year of high school, been working. The only summer where I did not take summer classes at University, I worked two jobs. Every other summer, I have worked and taken a load of summer classes. So now, when I get home from work, the only balancing act is: Should I knit? Should I read -- for pleasure? Should I do housework?

It is beautiful.

On to knitting! Here is a FO I finished over the summer: a dragonskin scarf for my mother.

Project: Choke, by Ailsa Daly
Made for: Mum's 50th birthday
Yarn: Tanis Fibre Arts fingering weight in Royal Flush

I really liked the pattern (so cool! Dragon scales!) and have gushed about this yarn before.. Both are highly recommended! I intend to make this scarf again, but not with a hand-painted yarn -- as beautiful as it is, I felt like it hid the stitch definition. And, I stand by my earlier assertion: So cool! Dragon scales!!!!!!!

Ooh, look at how beautiful the yarn is!!!!!! The yarn is from the same fibre artist as the yarn I used to knit Jenny's Scarf -- I vowed to never again knit a scarf with sock yarn, but holy moly, it is so beautiful and irresistible! One day, I'll knit socks.. Maybe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This is a few weeks old, but it is a really great essay. Whatever your political leanings, don't forget to vote in Canada's federal election on Tuesday.

To be creative is, in fact, Canadian

What sort of country do we want to live in? What sort of country do we already live in? What do we like? Who are we?

At present, we are a very creative country. For decades, we've been punching above our weight on the world stage - in writing, in popular music and in many other fields. Canada was once a cultural void on the world map, now it's a force. In addition, the arts are a large segment of our economy: The Conference Board estimates Canada's cultural sector generated $46-billion, or 3.8 per cent of Canada's GDP, in 2007. And, according to the Canada Council, in 2003-2004, the sector accounted for an “estimated 600,000 jobs (roughly the same as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil & gas and utilities combined).”

But we've just been sent a signal by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he gives not a toss for these facts. Tuesday, he told us that some group called “ordinary people” didn't care about something called “the arts.” His idea of “the arts” is a bunch of rich people gathering at galas whining about their grants. Well, I can count the number of moderately rich writers who live in Canada on the fingers of one hand: I'm one of them, and I'm no Warren Buffett. I don't whine about my grants because I don't get any grants. I whine about other grants - grants for young people, that may help them to turn into me, and thus pay to the federal and provincial governments the kinds of taxes I pay, and cover off the salaries of such as Mr. Harper. In fact, less than 10 per cent of writers actually make a living by their writing, however modest that living may be. They have other jobs. But people write, and want to write, and pack into creative writing classes, because they love this activity – not because they think they'll be millionaires.

Every single one of those people is an “ordinary person.” Mr. Harper's idea of an ordinary person is that of an envious hater without a scrap of artistic talent or creativity or curiosity, and no appreciation for anything that's attractive or beautiful. My idea of an ordinary person is quite different. Human beings are creative by nature. For millenniums we have been putting our creativity into our cultures - cultures with unique languages, architecture, religious ceremonies, dances, music, furnishings, textiles, clothing and special cuisines. “Ordinary people” pack into the cheap seats at concerts and fill theatres where operas are brought to them live. The total attendance for “the arts” in Canada in fact exceeds that for sports events. “The arts” are not a “niche interest.” They are part of being human.

(Continued here)