Shawly not

I’ve bought some beautiful yarn that I want to use to stitch up a shawl. I may or may not have been watching the BBC’s Pride & Prejudice adaptation at the time this decision was made *clears throat awkwardly*. Anyhow, that set me off on the long and arduous trek of navigating Ravelry. For your perusal, then, I present…

WHAT RAVELRY THINKS SHAWLS ARE:

1. A fancy tablecloth. Your grandmother's fancy tablecloth.

1. A fancy tablecloth. Your grandmother’s fancy tablecloth.

2. A Medieval banner.

2. A Medieval banner.

3. A beach tunic of some kind.  A multipurpose beach tunic, no less.

3. A beach tunic of some kind. A multipurpose beach tunic, no less.

4. A trap.

4. A trap.

5. A doily.

5. A doily.

5. A hammock.

5. A hammock.

6. A cardigan, because hey, it's just a shawl with buttons, am I right?

6. A cardigan, because hey, it’s just a shawl with buttons, am I right?

7. The world's unhappiest person.

7. The world’s unhappiest person.

8. A really big scarf.

8. A really big scarf.

9. A combination cardigan, scarf AND shrug, because individual items are just a waste of time.

9. A combination cardigan, scarf AND shrug, because individual items are just a waste of time.

10. An opportunity to pose as a butterfly.

10. An opportunity to pose as a butterfly.

11. A shrow - yes, that's "shrow" as in "shawl" AND "throw".

11. A shrow – yes, that’s “shrow” as in “shawl” AND “throw”.

12. Seriously lady?

12. Seriously lady?

13. Fine, just get it out of your system.

13. Fine, just get it out of your system.

14. A spiderweb.

14. A spiderweb.

15. The texture equivalent of nails on a blackboard. *slips fingers into holes; screams and screams*

15. The texture equivalent of nails on a blackboard. *slips fingers into holes; screams and screams*

16. An invisibility cloak.

16. An invisibility cloak.

17. Pending molestation charges.

17. Pending molestation charges.

18. The northern night skies (really).

18. The northern night skies (really).

Oh no you knidn’t!

It’s that time of year again, when I am fleetingly bitten by the knitting bug and end up searching Pinterest for ideas. Some ideas are…more equal than others. Here are some of the items that didn’t make the cut.

The stellar thing about this top is that it will stop most projectiles, and at least the most basic of magical attacks.

The stellar thing about this top is that it will stop most projectiles, and at least the most basic of magical attacks.

Because who knows when grandma or Voldemort might call.

Because who knows when grandma or Voldemort might call.

This is the brave story of I, Icecream.

This is the brave story of I, Icecream.

Time to rescue Princess Leia.

Time to rescue Princess Leia.

It's not often that one garment can be worn in four different ways. It's not often that you'd want to. It's not often that it looks terrible every way.

It’s not often that one garment can be worn in four different ways. It’s not often that you’d want to. It’s not often that it looks terrible every way.

Stylish, and will prevent minor concussions.

Stylish, and will prevent minor concussions.

This isn't weird, you're weird. Gross.

This isn’t weird, you’re weird. Gross.

Sure, you say you'd never want to look like you are wearing a doilie with ribbing now...

Sure, you say you’d never want to look like you are wearing a doilie with ribbing now…

Pretty sure this counts as a form of parental neglect. Malice is at play here.

Pretty sure this counts as a form of parental neglect. Malice is at play here.

The poster optimistically calls this the "Katniss cowl". So I presume the gap there is for a quiver of arrows or as a cache for dead animals or bread or Peeta's broken, weeping heart.

The poster optimistically calls this the “Katniss cowl”. So I presume the gap there is for a quiver of arrows or as a cache for dead animals or bread or Peeta’s broken, weeping heart.

Also doubles as an execution hood, flotation device, and the Golden Fleece.

Also doubles as an execution hood, flotation device, and the Golden Fleece.

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I could be a three

My friend Izzi put met onto Revenge. I’m about halfway through the first season and hello new obsession.

Part of it is the series’ resident rocker of the Kinsey Scale, Nolan Ross (actor Gabriel Mann). I did the obligatory “new fangirl” trawl on Pinterest and was surprised and delighted by the variety of sexy, especially since I’m still on S1 hair.

For your appreciation and perusal:

Yarn Shaming: November Lot

I wasn’t planning on yarn shaming today, but I made the mistake of searching the “knitting” tag on Pinterest. Here are just some of the things I found. Please be warned: these images may disturb sensitive viewers.

1.

k1

“Oh please excuse us as we blaze past in a tornado of yarn!” I especially like the fear in the eyes of the model on the left.

2.

k2

This man’s super power is not constantly fidgeting with the off-center buttons. It may be why he has that slightly “medicated” look about him.

3.

k3

Today knitting; tomorrow levitation.

4.

k4

I’m concerned for the orbital cavities of her friends and family members.

5.

k5

Let it never be said that her vampirism held Octavia back from a fruitful career as part time knitwear model, part time matador.

6.

k6

(They’re frowns.)

7.

k7

I like how baby knitwear designers always prioritize practicality and skirt needless whimsy and hats bigger than the child wearing them.

8.

k8

Hipsters can’t be choosers.

9.

k9

You can now buy knitting needles that look like they have little olives/zombie nipples at the ends.

10.

k10

This is actually a very clever design. The top half is to keep the mohair yarn away from that delicate, itch-prone skin around your neck and face, and the bottom, mohair, half is to keep other people’s delicate, itch-prone skin away from you. It’s like a rape whistle, but with wool.

11.

k11

I think there’s someone else in there.

12.

k12

I like how both the turkey and the sweater match each other in terms of terrible taste and questionable judgment.

13.

k13

The kids hate when creepy Aunt Jenna makes her lambs bo peep them.

14.

k14

I think it makes more sense when you realise that it doesn’t and never will.

15.

k15

I feel very strongly about not making whatever this is.

16.

k16

For those days when you want to look like the lint and dust bunnies under your bed.

17.

k17

Excellent! You already have all the kindling we need to set it on fire and watch it burn.

Procrastinator like me

There’s no time like a deadline to indulge longform.org, an archive of long form articles on every topic imaginable. Yesterday I read about how Wired writer Evan Ratcliffe tried to #vanish while being manhunted by the entire Internet (this was back in 2009; “not following it live” is now among my top five worst regrets of all time, a list which includes two perms and most of my friendships up to age 21). I also read about orgasmic meditation which is surprisingly even dodgier than such a moniker would initially suggest and, for bonus points, includes this gif:

Some other interesting finds include the (now popular) Pixar theory; an old article meticulously detailing just how creepy Woody Allen is (in all fairness, not a hard gospel to sell); how feminism in Denmark cockblocked a “professional pick-up artist” (still not as creepy as Woody Allen); and a skeptic’s report from an “afterlife conference” (which is exactly what it sounds like).

And, whoops, I’ve opened up six other articles while scanning the website…

Paranoia

We who are

your closest friends

feel the time

has come to tell you

that every Thursday

we have been meeting,

as a group,

to devise ways

to keep you

in perpetual uncertainty

frustration

discontent and

torture

by neither loving you

as much as you want

nor cutting you adrift.

Your analyst is

in on it,

plus your boyfriend

and your ex-husband;

and we have pledged

to disappoint you

as long as you need us.

In announcing our

association

we realize we have

placed in your hands

a possible antidote

against uncertainty

indeed against ourselves.

But since our Thursday nights

have brought us

to a community

of purpose

rare in itself

with you as

the natural center,

we feel hopeful you

will continue to make unreasonable

demands for affection

if not as a consequence

of your disastrous personality

then for the good of the collective.

–Phillip Lopate (from Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott)

When bad needlework happens to good people (and truly unfortunate models)

1. bd 1It’s so tempting to wear your bedspread when it’s cold outside and a full working week looms, I know. Still, I think we should at least try to resist, yes?

2.

bd 2Well I for one can see what Joseph’s brothers were all so jealous about.

3.

bd 3This ‘crochet jewelry’ doubles as a paper weight for friskier tops.

4.

bd 4Let this erect doily crown your head, har har har.

5.

bd 5Nothing says ‘intimate wear’ like acrylic yarn. Nothing sweats out cooties faster, either.

6.

bd 6

There are so many textures, I’m not sure which one to rub up against first.

7.

bd 7This isn’t too bad a look…if you’re a wood sprite.

 

Writing

“But how?” my students ask. “How do you actually do it?”

You sit down, I say. You try to sit down at approximately the same time every day. This is how you train your unconscious to kick in for you creatively. So you sit down at, say, nine every morning, or ten every night. You put a piece of paper in the typewriter, or you turn on your computer and bring up the right file, and then you stare at it for an hour or so. You begin rocking, just a little at first, and then like a huge autistic child. You look at the ceiling, and over at the clock, yawn, and stare at the paper again. Then, with your fingers poised on the keyboard, you squint at an image that is forming in your mind—a scene, a locale, a character, whatever—and you try to quiet your mind so you can hear what that landscape or character has to say above the other voices in your mind. The other voices are banshees and drunken monkeys. They are the voices of anxiety, judgment, doom, guilt. Also, severe hypochondria. There may be a Nurse Ratched-like listing of things that must be done right this moment: foods that must come out of the freezer, appointments that must be canceled or made, hairs that must be tweezed. But you hold an imaginary gun to your head and make yourself stay at the desk. There is a vague pain at the base of your neck. It crosses your mind that you have meningitis. Then the phone rings and you look up at the ceiling with fury, summon every ounce of noblesse oblige, and answer the call politely, with maybe just the merest hint of irritation. The caller asks if you’re working and you say yeah, because you are.

Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott