Archive for January, 2010

A Very Cool Idea

I love this: embroidered & needlepointed cushions and quilts, lovingly hand-made for you in PRISON.

tattoo cushion

I am getting all sweaty with joy just thinking about certain people coming for a visit and remarking on the loveliness of my new pillow, only to be told that, “yes, I had that made for me by a dude in JAIL.”

Cash pillowMore seriously, if I had to articulate part of what I think is wrong with the world, it’s that “stuff” is not valued. Everything is disposable, crappy, made by machines (or people who are treated like machines); people are disengaged from how things like food, paper goods, and textiles make it to their house for them to use or consume. And when you don’t value stuff, it’s a short hop to not valuing people, their opinions, and even their lives. And then you end up in jail.


So, as a rehabilitative measure, I am all for murderers learning embroidery. It will probably facilitate slowing down, thinking and exploring their own minds, which will hopefully lead to greater respect for others, and, erm, less murder?

Plus, how sweet is that lobster cushion? Many Valentines options too.


January 29, 2010 at 11:25 am Leave a comment

From Horrible, Some Good

Quite a few knitwear designers are donating a portion of their sales from now until the end of the month to relief efforts in Haiti.

The unbelievably generous Ysolda Teague is donating 80% of her (probably not inconsiderable) sales to Médecins Sans Frontières for their work in Haiti. If you were planning to knit any of her lovely designs, now would be a splendid time to purchase the patterns.

I took the opportunity to stockpile Ishbel, which will be helpful in freeing me from the giant pile of sock yarn I’ve managed to accumulate.

I always like Laura Chau (aka Cosmic Pluto)’s designs, and she is donating 50% to Haitian relief, so I picked up her Honey Bee Cardigan pattern. Needless to say, I shall NOT be knitting the short boob-holder version. And some dyeing must take place before I can start it, but what the hell… no time like the present.

You can search Ravelry for other designers who are supporting the Haitian relief effort by looking for patterns tagged “help-for-haiti” or click here.

You can also view the Yarn Harlot’s post on how to direct your donation to MSF, and become one of the  Tricoteuses Sans Frontières.

ETA: On Saturday Jan 23, if you shop at Three Bags Full, 50% of the profit goes to MSF.  Also, I bought Gaenor.

January 20, 2010 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

The Christmas Knitting

I wanted to make sure everyone had their presents before I started posting here, but my brother and his family took off to California (wife=working; bro=not so much). So I’ll skip theirs, and show you some other things.

Pattern: Official Kittyville Hat, by Kitty Schmidt
Leftovers of Eco Wool from the Monster Sweater and Paton’s Shetland Chunky from the Twilight Mitts. Whoops–what Twilight Mitts?
Needles: US 8  (5mm) circs, bamboo,  which was a huge pain in the ass. Sticky? Youbetcha.
Made for: DameSister

Pattern: Transistions Stash-buster Shawl, by Lykkefanten (which is the best user-name. In my (addled) head, it combines licking and elephants. Who would not want to lick an elephant?)
Leftovers of Cascade 220, Elann Peruvian Highland Wool, and Elann Donegal Tweed,
Needles: US 8  (5mm) Knitpicks Interchangeables
Made for: Mater

This thing turned out huge! My mother is not a small woman, and I wanted to make sure it would envelop her. When I blocked it on the folded-out futon, I had to do it in two halves it was so huge. It was a colossal win, though. I think of all the things I knit, this met the happiest reception.

January 18, 2010 at 2:04 pm Leave a comment

A Very Bad Dog

Nobody tell Alice, ‘kay?

January 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

The Inevitable

My friend John doesn’t make resolutions. He chooses a word or two, and tries to incorporate it into his life in every way he can. One year it was “grace”, another it was “balance”. This seems to work for him. For me, not so much.

I need the humiliation of putting a concrete set of goals on the internet, so anyone who cares to can ask, “so, how’s it going with that..?”

I actually have a pretty good track record with resolutions, as long as they’re really specific. I have quit smoking, learned to drive, and quit a crappy job as a result of a New Year’s resolution.

So, here’s a few for this year.

1) Eat better. Just cut out the mass-produced crap. If I’m going to eat cake, let it be cake I made with my own hands (and my new KitchenAid mixer, thanks mum!), not some transfat-HFCS-laden horror from the grocery store.

2) Exercise more. Man, 2009 was not a classic year for exercise. Between quitting smoking, feeling really shitty for six months, surgery, a truly insane schedule from Jan-April, buying a car (I know, boo hiss–it’s a Smart car, so lay off), I am now officially the fattest I have ever been. But! Mr. Dame got me a community centre membership for three months unlimited gym, and the new community centre is, literally, across the street from my office. And Reena and I are going to Tai Chi on Sunday AM. Huzzah!

3) Learn to sew better. Take a class? Dink around in the basement? Dunno. But the goal for 2010 is to make at least one wearable garment that doesn’t look like it came from a ninth grade home-ec class.

4) Hold the line on work. Stop caring how much money other people are making, or how much I used to make. I made that money by never having a stress-free day off, or a holiday where I didn’t have to check the email, for seven year. SEVEN YEARS. It took its toll on my health, mental and physical. No more. I’d rather be happy.

5) Stop dressing like a homeless person. See #2. I sit alone in a room at least three days a week. And have you seen how college teachers dress? For the last year or so,  jeans and hoodies have been my constant friends. I’m hoping to make and wear more skirts and dresses. As well, I’m listening to everyone’s favourite grumpy fashion dude, Tim Gunn, and amassing the 10 essential wardrobe pieces. Tip for the big-boobed–Brooks Brothers seem to have figured out where to put the buttons on shirts so they don’t gap. Plus, they have sizes that seem reasonable to me.

What are your plans/hopes/resolutions?

January 1, 2010 at 12:44 pm Leave a comment

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