Chitchat and the occasional in-depth analysis about fiber, knitting, spinning, crochet, cooking, feminism, self-image, and a modicum of personal blathering.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Admiration diminished

I was in an interesting and rather disheartening email exchange with a local newspaper opinion writer. This guy is someone I've admired for years. He has a great writing style. He's almost as liberal/progressive as I am. He's sensible and forthright and does not suffer fools. And today, he called me a fool, in not so many words.

This editorial started like most of his others that I've read. Interesting, self-deprecating to a degree, humorous, informed. Then I got to the last sentence.

Maybe my feminism is lame, but I'd like to think I'm moving in the right direction.

Since I've always seen this gentleman as an informed and sensible advocate, I did not feel anger or offense or anything but mild surprise at his use of the word "lame" as a derogatory term. I figured he would probably want to know that many disabled people take issue with this usage, so I sent him the following email, thinking he'd appreciate the word-up.

You'd be moving further in the right direction if you did not use
"lame" as a derogatory statement. It's similar to saying "that's so
gay!" or calling someone "retarded". As a person with disabilities,
including permanent structural leg damage, lameness is my default
state. It does not make me less.

Maybe I was too terse, I was in the middle of a highly frantic work day, but I could not have been more wrong about how he was going to take it. I got this in return.

Hmmmm. Considering that I have never heard the term "lame" applied to a physically handicapped person, I doubt very seriously it can be equated with "that's so say (sic)" or "retarded," Jamie. It doesn't have that currency. Could it be that you're being extraordinarily touchy today? You're choosing to find offense where there is none. That's just silly, don't you think? I've heard from all sorts of PC-oriented folks today, but no one has raised my use of the term "lame" as an offense against people with disabilities. That's just a stretch, dude.
Still, I will bring this up with several disability advocates I know.
If they agree with you, then I will have learned something. I suspect you're overreacting, though. In a way, I hope you're exaggerating for the sake of droll comic relief.
Thanks for the note (and the uncomfortable bout of laughter) ;)

I replied that I was not offended but contemptuous, as at that point, I was quite contemptuous. I think he got the Derailing for Dummies bingo on the first try. I then PS'd to say

PS, if you are interested in educating yourself instead of being defensive, you might read this.

He then replied that he might read it one of these days, but that right now he just wanted to be rid of me.

I was saddened by this. I thought this fellow was someone who could handle a gentle callout but apparently not.

Something similar happened to me a few years ago when a friend of ours made some comment about French kindergarteners being taught how to surrender. He also stated at that time that stereotypes existed because there was truth in them. It's ok though. I hold his wife in very high regard so I can ignore how far he fell in my estimation that day. Maybe it's best to have people we admire fall off their pedestals from time to time. And I hope that someday, Tony will read that link at Amptoons and learn something. Sometimes, we push back hardest when our unacknowledged privilege and prejudice is pointed out. I know I resisted the concept of white privilege for a bit. But I got over it.

On a happier note, look what finally turned up in our yard today.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring asleepening.

I'm tired but I feel incredibly guilty for not blogging in so long, so here's a bit of an update.

I got back together with my old doctor. I could not be more happy about that. She's trying me on a low dose of elavil for my neuropathy and it's working a bit. Not great, but better than nothing, and so far minimal side effects. Lyrica sent me spinning, so no good there. I've had to fend off vertigo a couple of times but it's nowhere near as bad as it was on the lyrica.

Knitting-yes, I've been doing some.

Finished older daughter's sweater.


Made a pair of mittens for my bus friend Dianne. I don't have a picture of them finished though. I thought I did. Here they are in progress.
The yarn...
Photo Feb 16, 2 32 31 PM

and the mitten.

Photo Feb 25, 3 54 04 PM

Here is the completed "insomnia mittens" and hat too, I never posted this when I finished them. They went to my younger daughter as the mittens were a tad too small for me.
Photo Jan 26, 11 35 41 AM
Currently working on another sweater, this one for me.


The color's a bit more intense than it looks. The pattern is "Arm Candy" and can be found on Ravelry. The yarn is Malabrigo worsted weight in Emerald Blue. It's great to work with but I fear it will pill frightfully. Oh well. I will love it regardless.

I decided on the greens for the mystery knitalong and finished the first clue Monday morning.


I spun a couple more yarns. This is from a fun Good Karma Farm batt I got at Rhinebeck.
Three ply, worsted weight, about 300 yards.

This is BMFA BFL/silk.
Photo Feb 23, 3 43 55 PM
Three ply again, sportish weight, about 500 yards I think.

Other than that, work has been very busy and my hands have been hurting pretty badly. I think the data entry at work is mostly at fault because I never had this kind of pain from knitting. We recently changed interfaces to one that requires a lot more "mousing" and the pain started after that change.

My mom went to Vietnam and Thailand for two weeks, she had a blast but lost her camera. My older daughter is currently in Japan-she gets back in a week. She's been posting pictures here. She also posts photos of her art there so I highly recommend perusing it as she is quite talented. Younger daughter is finishing up grad school and student teaching so I don't see her much. Bob's job ends in a couple of weeks and we are not sure what will happen after that other than he should be eligible for unemployment until he finds something else. I'm trying not to panic.

That's about it. I'm not making any promises but I'll try to update more often.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Decisions, decisions

In lieu of actual blogging content, which seems to have gone missing lately for various reasons, I'm asking opinions.

I'm doing a mystery knit along, a semicircle shawl in two colors. It's the first I've done from this designer but I have a few friends I trust who trust her designs so I said what the heck.

I could use some input choosing colors. I have no idea how the colors are going to play in the shawl, whether it will be stripes or what. I'm a little nervous about that as I have never done real color work. It does say to go for contrast in the yarns.

This is Yarntini sock and Wollmeise 100%. The purple is a bit more purple than shows in the photo and they are a good match in texture and intensity.


This is Life in Lilt sock yarn and Sanguine Gryphon Eidos. Again, a pretty good textural and tonal match.


This is Madeline Tosh sock and Crazy 4 Dyeing swanky sock. The tosh is a tad more tightly twisted and the C4D is a wee bit shinier but I still think they play well together.


I don't know how to feel about these two but I kept putting them together and going "hmmm". Tosh and Sundara sock.


This is Wollmeise Twin and Turtle Cove sock. They are actually a bit further apart in shading than you can tell by the photo and while the Turtle Cove is slightly fuzzier and less tightly twisted, I think they'd work.


And finally, just for the heck of it, two Dream in Color Starrys.


So. What do you think?

Edited to add this photo taken this morning in natural light. Not helpful at all as they all look good, IMO.

Photo Mar 16, 11 01 26 AM