Saturday, November 30, 2019

State of Away

Happy Thanksgiving weekend! I thought I'd made the slow return from the Land of Too Much Travel and was pretty much Back, but perhaps not completely. It's entirely possible, I've found, for my body to occupy one space and my head (or whatever it is that dreams up and posts blog posts) another. For example, almost post-factum I was reminded by Carole's self-care post that for many bloggers November is NaBloPoMo, the goal being to blogpost (at least) once a day for a month. Gentle readers, aside from the meta-ness of a reminder in a self-care post, in a previous life I knew that, yet in this life it's the last day of November and this is "only" my second post of the month. Sigh. No, not really Sigh. Even in a previous life I've never participated in NaBloPoMo; for me the task is shedding NaBloPoMo FOMO. Er, by posting a confessional of sorts... on the last day.

Let me atone move along with "Everything to Lose," a powerful spoken word poem by Wyn Wylie (he/him) as Pattie Gonia (she/her) about the plastic crisis, a particularly dreadful part of our climate emergency.

(For gentle readers interested in more, there's also a compelling companion documentary that shows Wyn Wylie doing the research in Hawai'i, a beach clean up with Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, and how designer Angela Luna made the dresses from found objects – plastic fishing nets hung up on the reef, single-use plastic bags floating in the ocean, and bright, brittle bits of plastic found on the beach.)

Plastic reduction has been a public goal of my knitblogging life pretty much since Year One, more than 10 years ago. Not tremendously successfully, despite concern, intermittent effort, and occasional blogposts. It would seem I'm in good company: the township is finally banning single-use plastic bags, although with many reasonable exceptions for small businesses. Even that small step has been difficult, not least because of the perceived imbalance between the many immediate benefits of plastic and its dreadful long-term impacts. A throw-away culture depends upon an Away to throw on, but it turns out there is no Away, not really, just different headspace.

Simple Skyp singleton

So this Thanksgiving weekend I'm here, if not quite Back, and pondering the state of Away, and knitting a bit (and marveling at how frequently I used to blogpost). I have a singleton sock, Simple Skyp, to show off. While it's DNF on time for SKA, that's OK. I've been Away, and am still coming home.

Friday, November 8, 2019


This post has been evolving a while. When I started writing about my weekend it was the season when the walls between worlds grown thin, and maybe some walls between nations, too. Ahem. To celebrate mark the date, there even was a Halloween sun, courtesy the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Halloween sun, photo credit NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory

Roundabout Exit 151 a bit more Halloween sun would have been welcome – Halloween was warm, windy, and rainy. I had planned to test a survey which claims the most popular Halloween candy in NJ is Skittles. Knock me over with a feather, I like chocolate. But, not wanting to run afoul of the generational friction of ok boomer and mindful of slave-free chocolate concerns, I gave Skittles a try on the sparse handful of trick-or-treaters who braved the balmy storm. Within the small sample size, it would seem it's true, Skittles were very well received. Huh.

After the storm and clean up, I hauled our last TV with a picture tube to the recycling center. The attendant suggested I was nuts for wanting to take a photo (and he didn't want to be in it), but it seemed important to document the occasion. Farewell, faithful TV!

Last TV with picture tube

As for knitting, all I got to show is this Pumpkin Socks singleton. I'm DNF for September/October SKA and feel rather indifferent about that, given everything else that's been going on. And while I'm concerned about it becoming a Singleton Sock of Shame, perhaps there's no danger – some gentle readers (who don't themselves knit) find the term objectionable and stifling, and have had the temerity to demand I find better terminology. Hm....

Pumpkin Socks singleton

Moving right along... For runners, it was NY Marathon weekend, of course. As all New Yorkers well know, it's the weekend when the city is, er, overrun with fleet pedestrians and traffic closures. So perhaps it was only fitting that the president, having declared himself no longer a New Yorker (for whatever good that does), decided to snarl traffic further by attending a mixed martial arts card at Madison Square Garden, where his reception inside and out was decidedly mixed. This on top of his Game 5 reception and followed by an off-year Election Day and some of the crowd at a Trump rally in Monroe, Louisiana leaving early.

No doubt about it, the times are a-changing, winter is coming, and there's snow in the forecast.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019


It's taken almost all of October to find the right pattern for this lovely sock yarn, and I'm still not completely convinced, but for SKA October/November purposes, here goes: a repeat of Simple Skyp Sock by Adrienne Ku, with a beaded CO in memory of Adrienne Fong aka bellybuttonknits.

Simple Skyp WIP

The yarn, Three Irish Girls Adorn Luxe, colorway Big Bang, is so beautifully cosmic, very nice, although the yarn is not quite as sproingy as I prefer. As part of the memorial sock-along tribute to BBK, I tried knitting up a replacement for my worn tabi-toed Send in the Clowns, didn't like it. Tried Kilauea, didn't like that either. Then I traveled too much, liked that some but didn't like the excess, and I saw Waterlicht, an immersive laser light installation in Manhattan.


My poor digicam was not up to the task of capturing the experience, and when I left I found myself feeling oddly rested yet similarly without words to describe it. The installation was lovely, numinous, wheelchair and family friendly, and well done – one never felt crowded or rushed, there were nice places to sit and contemplate, and helpful ushers with glow sticks to show the way. For all that, I overheard a young art critic sagely opine, "This is very cool, but also kind of boring." Well, the line to get in eventually wrapped around three sides of a city block. What I liked best, I think, was how one's sense of the city never really went away.

Waterlicht and billboard

The sense of rising waters also never quite goes away. So many coastal communities along the Eastern seaboard are experiencing an increase in sunny day flooding, or street flooding from normal tidal action, not caused by unusually powerful storms or even king tides. Indeed, the projections suggest what have been the worst inundations in past will soon simply be the new normal, most of the time. Having slogged through the aftermath of hurricanes and nor'easters and bomb cyclones, even as Western states experiences worse and worse fire seasons, I'm looking for solutions. Of course it's ironic I've been traveling too much when my perennial favorite solution is carbon avoidance, especially transit avoided carbon, but one has to start somewhere.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Rambling On

Oh hai. I've been traveling too much, knitting (and canning and blogging) too little. Some of the travel has been very pleasant, some less so. Here's some of the pleasant.

Autumn roads


Too little knitting is not no knitting, of course. Here's a Pumpkin Sock interposing itself in the sculpture When Anthony Met Stanton by Ted Aub, that depicts Amelia Bloomer (you can barely see her loose trousers, known as bloomers) introducing Susan B. Anthony of Rochester to Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls. The statues are life-sized – it's a bit of a surprise how tiny such looming figures were. And surely gentle readers all know what happened in Seneca Falls, New York, the 1848 Women's Rights Convention, re-enacted annually in July. Something to consider if you're in the Finger Lakes region. (I can't believe I'm nattering on about travel, when I've been traveling too much as it is.)

When Anthony Met Stanton (and Pumpkin Sock)

Next year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or (white) women's suffrage. Much ink has been shed about the racism baked into the women's rights movement, and the differences and intersections between race and gender. I have some thoughts on such matters, of course, but right now I'm going to rest (not quit) and ramble on.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Not Bemoaning

When last seen I was in the basement cowering from a late July heatwave. Time passed. August galloped by, and a major hurricane, and a double plus ungood hurricane controversy that seems to have no bottom. You can see it from space, in rainbow colors, sort of.

And now it's September. Rather than bemoan all I did NOT accomplish this summer, I decided to make an effort to get ahead of the curve and cast on Pumpkin Socks by Nicole Simmons in Claudia Hand Painted, colorway Ink and some Trekking leftover from Ekornsokkene. It's a rather, um, festive look for the second week of September, but with my record of UFOs this year I need as much of a head start as possible. Thus: premature pumpkin spice jokes, Halloween rush jokes – you are banishèd! Begone!

Pumpkin Socks WIP

No doubt it will be October soon enough.