Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why I Support Obama

I've never gotten into politics on this blog before, or even substantially deviated from knitting, but I feel the need to for a couple of reasons:
1. Ravelry just makes knitting blogs a bit redundant.
2. I'm a policy student, this stuff is my life.
3. Why should I limit my blog? It's not like all I think about is knitting!
4. Writing about stuff helps you to think more clearly about it.

So I watched the Democratic debate tonight. Despite being a bit of a political junkie I hadn't watched a debate since, like, April. I figured that getting exposed to all of the mudslinging in the papers, on the radio, on TV, and in daily conversation was enough. This time around I thought it would be amusing. You see, the Democrats are down to Obama, Clinton, and Gravel. I assumed that all of them would be invited to the debate, Gravel would actually get to talk a little bit, and hilarity would ensue. I'm amused by how nuts that guy is. CNN apparently isn't so amused by his insanity becase they prevented him from appearing in the debate.

Back to the point, I realized why I find Obama so refreshing. It's not the issues- his positions hardly differ from Clinton. I would anticipate very little policy difference between each of their presidencies. The reason that I find Obama appealing and Clinton repulsive is their approach to governance. Obama, rather than the usual petty disputing of facts, seems to realize that differences in political preferences are a result of differences in fundamental values. Rather than exploiting these differences by jumping right to the fundamentally divisive issues (abortion, size of government, distributional justice) he focuses on the values that are held in common. He emphasizes dialog and coalitions, which is exactly what we need if we are to work past our deepest divisions.

Clinton, on the other hand, seems to thrive on the back-and-forth, divisive politics that have dominated since the Regan era. (Or so I hear- I'm 22 and I've only been paying attention to politics for about 7 years. I'm fortunate enough not to remember Regan.)

Bottom line: divisive partisan politics don't get things done. (Ex: SCHIP). After all of the damage that the Bush Administration has done over the past 7 years, we need a President that can move past petty party identity and ideology to bring about the progress that our country so desperately needs.

Why We Knit

Yeah, I'm knitting another pair of socks.

My favorite hand-knitted pair got a giant rip in the heel.

Lately I've been finding it somewhat redundant to post my project both on this blog and on Ravelry. (If you're on, look me up- the SN is also wildthreads). It leads me to question what this is all about, why I'm putting my words and my projects out there on the internet. Online social networking is revolutionary and I love that it has brought knitting into the modern world and that communities exist to unite modern knitters. Ultimately, though, the revolutionary aspect of the internet is that it enables individuals to have a voice as never before.

So what is my voice? Pretty pictures of my mediocre knitting followed by half-assed analysis?

To me knitting, like the internet, is about upsetting the power structure. By making our voices heard or creating our own fashions, our creative input is challenging the mainstream media or the fashion industry. Although most of us make small contributions- by updating a blog every now and then or wearing a hand-made hat- we are telling the traditional powers, like the media and the fashion industry, that their word will not be taken without challenge.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

It's a sweater!

It fits me perfectly. The sleeves generally came out well, but they're a little bumpy around the shoulders.

I'm also making socks:

And last night I started a scarf for Ben.

Monday, January 21, 2008


All that's left to finish my sweater is sewing the pieces together. I HATE this part, partially because sewing is much less exact than knitting, but mostly because it means that the sleeves have to fit into the sleeve holes. I'm on my third unsuccessful attempt to pin them in place. To make it even more difficult, the yarn I'm using says not to soak it. This means no wet blocking, and I don't know how to dry-block. I don't even have a flat surface big enough to block on, anyway. So I'm proceeding without blocking. Maybe by some magical intervention I'll be able to set the sleeves and finish the sweater tonight, and then there will be pictures.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tiny socks, new books, and sweater

Although I can't seem to make myself settle down in front of a computer to blog these days, I've been doing plenty of knitting. Seeing Nellie's brand new beautiful knitting blog inspired me to finally do some posting.

I started off the break by knitting some tiny little warm things for Afghans for Afghans.

I like tiny socks because they're easy, but complicated enough to make it interesting, and they go fast. The hat was a way to use up scraps of different sock yarns.

For Christmas I got two knitting books. My parents gave me Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan. Ben's parents gave me Alterknits by Leigh Radford. Right now I'm working on this sweater from Knitting Nature:

They call it the Turbulence U-Neck Pullover. Of course, I had to make the front and back quite a bit longer than called for to accommodate my giraffe-like dimensions. I'm using this amazing soy-wool blend. It's surprisingly soft- I would have thought the soy would make it rough, but it feels great. Here's a picture from much earlier in the process. Right now all I have left is one sleeve and the finishing.