February 26, 2010

When I was working, a friend of mine and I had our own “WTF”-type acronym to use as an all-purpose response to Baffling Company Decisions, Bizarre Statements by Ex-es, etc.  It was “RUFKMRN?!”   This stands for “Are you f&#$ing kidding me right now?!”  True, it’s not as succinct and pithy as WTF.  But my admittedly unwieldy acronym conveys a sense of deep disgust and moral outrage in a way that WTF just can’t.

I had my RUFKMRN moment this afternoon when I learned of legislation passed in Utah criminalizing certain miscarriages.  How this law could possibly be applied in any sort of fair or rational manner is unimaginable.  Will all miscarriages be investigated to determine whether they were caused intentionally or recklessly?  Really?  Note that the recklessness standard would not require the State to prove that the woman intended to cause her miscarriage.  Wow.

How this law could have been passed by a state legislature is similarly unthinkable.  Thanks, Mary-Heather, for reminding me that women must remain vigilant in protecting our rights.

In crafty news, crocheting potholders continues apace Chez Laura.  I might have bought more cotton.

Edited to add the obvious:

Pattern:  Modern Vintage Potholder by Maryse Roudier

Yarn: Tahki Cotton Classic, Color Numbers 3001 (white), 3805 (bright turquoise), 3856 (navy).

Hook: Susan Bates, size D. (I changed my mind about that Brittany Birch  hook.  The hook part isn’t deep enough, so I kept dropping the yarn.  Kind of hard to get in a rhythm.)



February 24, 2010

Today, a series of random thoughts about this and that…

The crochet craze continues at Cafe au Laine!  In addition to making potholders, I made a little scarf out of some alpaca-acrylic blend that’s been in my stash.  (Related query: why am I incapable of passing up sale yarn when I go into the Big Box Craft Store only for crayons for the Littles and the new issue of Insert-Name-of-Fiber-Mag-Here?)

That’s a Brittany Birch crochet hook, which I just picked up at the yarn shop.   I wasn’t sure about the design of the hook-y part (nota bene the highly technical terminology here), but I like it.  The wood feels nice in the hand.


If you are feeling Very Sad and Small, and things seem not so very good, the Oldies Soul Pandora station is cheering.  Bad moods shrivel and die in the presence of Sam Cooke.  Works for me.


Lending libraries are, in my opinion, one of the great innovations of the modern era.  I’ve been frequenting mine often lately.  I make liberal use of the online catalog and its “Place a Hold” button.  This is very helpful if you like mystery series, and don’t like reading them out of order.  Recommendation if you like that sort of thing: the Charles Lenox series.

How Knitting Saved My Life. Again.

February 15, 2010

When my son was first diagnosed with autism, I spent approximately one year knitting only garter stitch.  Not because I didn’t know how to knit anything else, but because I didn’t have the mental energy for anything more complicated.  It was soothing, and eventually I moved on to bigger things.  Like purl stitches.

When I was a stay-at-home mom, and I was struggling with isolation and depression and a bad marriage, knitting came to the rescue again.  I found knitblogs, and I felt less alone.  I became a much better knitter.  Finishing colorwork mittens and seamless sweaters both distracted me and gave me a little confidence, which I sorely needed.  I found a knitting group and I made some friends.

Now I’m entering my sixth month of being (mostly) unemployed.  All that time I’ve spent knitting over the last ten years continues to pay off.  I have a part-time job at a fantastic LYS, where I am teaching and talking to knitters and inhaling wool fumes for several hours a week.  I didn’t realize how much working had contributed to my General Sense of Self-Worth until I lost my job.  Being able to go to the store and be useful and help people through their yarny muddles gives me a nice feeling of competence.  Plus, new knitting friends!

I’ve seen some low moments in the last few months.  But  I understand that as problems go, mine aren’t that bad.  And I really do wake up many mornings and think, “This is a good day.  I can still knit.

And I still have Malabrigo in my stash.

On Love

September 3, 2009

“Even if I never fell in love again, once would have been enough.  Because once we have given ourselves to another, we are able to fall in love with life itself.  And that can last forever.”   

— Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow

Lunch Break

August 7, 2009

I sat on the plaza outside my office today for lunch, and for once, I had my camera. 

IMG_0754 There was a band playing for everyone.  Their name is Uncanny Xela and they played a kind of psychedelic-funk-soul-60s pop-type music.  Covering “Never Can Say Goodbye” was a good call.  Covering the Muppets Show theme was even better.

Cornhole!As usual, there were people playing cornhole on the sidewalk.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with this game, it involves throwing beanbags into holes cut into wooden platforms.  It’s a lot like horseshoes, from what I can gather.  This is so Ohio.

I had a very colorful lunch.

Primary Colors

I always enjoy seeing a bicycle leaning against a tree.  So pretty.  For some reason, it makes me really happy.


And, with that, I feel the weekend has begun.  Happy Friday!

Stiff Upper Lip, and All That

August 6, 2009

Keep Calm and Carry OnThis poster’s (and t-shirt’s, and coffee mug’s, and lunchbox’s, etc., etc.) message has become pretty cliched, I guess.  But I still like it. 

Wartime Britain has figured largely in my summer.  I have been enjoying the “Make Do and Mend” series on Cast On, for starters.  It’s been my favorite series yet.  London during the Blitz is the setting for a mystery novel I’m reading — Full Dark House by Christopher Fowler.  And the occupied Channel Islands are the setting for the book I just finished and really adored, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Funnily enough, I’ve now the occasion to be inspired and guided by this dedication to thrift and ingenuity and pluck and whatnot.  A couple of weeks ago, I learned that I’ll be out of a job at the end of the month.  The capital markets are still in a crisis, and now is definitely not the time to sell your company.  Which means that there is precious little need in my small investment banking firm for this associate. 

So I’m trying to Keep Calm, Etc., with varying degrees of success.  But I have very supportive parents and family and very dear friends who are helping me.  Over the next few months, I’ll be moving, and hopefully finding a new and better job.  And in the meantime, I’ll have plenty of time to document the whole process.

Carry on!


July 26, 2009

This summer, I started a little container garden on my front porch.

It’s my little victory garden.  I decided I would declare victory if I could eat anything from it.  As an aside, the scent of the green part of a tomato plant is probably my second favorite scent in the world. 

In spite of the fact that Summer seems a little reluctant to come to Cleveland this year, I can proudly state that I have grown and eaten foods from my front porch.

There’s been lots of basil and the rosemary is doing well.  One red tomato has been accompanied by a single banana pepper so far.  But it’s early.  Perhaps our August will be nice and warm.

And there has been knitting.  I seem to be addicted to the triangular lace shawl, probably because summer has been so elusive.  Heather has been the inspiration for both many of my recent projects and yarn purchases.  She recommended the Textured Shawl Recipe  (Ravelry link) for some Malabrigo Silky Merino I had. 

That Heather.  She knows whereof she speaks.  I’ve gone on a little Malabrigo bender lately.  More to come…