Knitting: keeping women down or road to romance?

sometimes half finished is the whole story

Discovering the potential fun and flirtation of a half-finished sock.

It took me a long time to knit my first pair of socks. I grew up watching my mother knit endless pairs of wool work socks for my Dad. For years I listened to my Dad’s complaints. He hated knitting. He hated the sound of needles clacking. And more than that, he hated the complacent look on women’s faces as they knit their lives away instead of rising up and taking their rightful places in the world. My mother taught me to knit, but I didn’t  start knitting until after I left home. And I didn’t make my first pair of socks until my niece gave me a sock kit for Christmas.

bit of sock glamor

That’s when the memories came back. There I was learning to turn my first heel and measuring the length of the foot. That’s when I remembered Mom putting the half finished sock on Dad’s foot. I remember how he giggled. It tickled. He actually giggled. She giggled back. Those two old farts, giggling together over half-finished socks. Now I know why she kept on knitting with that complacent look on her face, totally ignoring his complaints for all those years. Thanks to my niece for this gift.

romantic socks?


This dog understands english: He is part Labrador Retriever and part “big white dog”. He is 14 years old and has been with me since he was 3 months old.

These are his nouns; Moose (that’s his name), Treat, Kitchen, Supper, Toy, Ball, Stick, Bed,Penguin (a hand puppet not a real penguin), Car, also the names of around 5 people that he sees most often.

These are his verbs: Go, Walk, Wait, Stay, Sit, Lie Down, Car Ride, Get, Stop, Pee (as in urine), Dump (as in feces), Bring

You can combine different nouns and verbs and he will know what you are talking about, but he doesn’t really pay attention to adjectives, adverbs, or participles. It works best if you give the nouns or verbs excitement and character with the tone of your voice rather than additional words.

He speaks back with body language. He does not like to wear clothes.

Doggy Dictionary

Storm Cloud Scarf: An Idea in Your Hands to Wear Around Your Neck

giving shape and structure to an idea

The notion of giving shape and structure to an idea is so compelling that I had to make this stormy, deep convection cloud scarf not once but twice. It’s a hyperbolic plane made by regular increases in each row.

It felt like creating the dimensions of a cloud. Stitch by stitch it moved through my fingers gradually getting bigger and more complex until finally the texture changed as I added the rain droplet beads on the last row.

thinking about representations of heads and clouds

Made me think about the power of storm clouds.  It’s power that comes from teeny, tiny things, invisible to the naked eye, playing out a story that we can only see through the lenses of our instruments.

I hold this idea of a cloud in my hands and through it I feel intuitively connected to actual clouds that are both too small and too large for me to really grasp.

storm cloud on a scale I can handle

Moebius Cowl: Reality, With a Twist


mobius cowl: a one-sided nonorientable surface

The twisted cable stitches give a continuous waving edge to this moebius cowl, a twist on a twist as it were.

Twisting the cowl and joining the opposite edges together during finishing is what creates the Moebius strip. The Moebius is an interesting structure that doesn’t have a right side or a wrong side, once you get on the Moebious highway, you can follow it and go round and round forever if you like.

This cowl is made up of 3 cable sections (24 stitches each) & 2 rib sections (12 stitches each) The cable sections on each edge create the reversible waving border. You can make your own Moebious strip longer or shorter depending on how much wool you have on hand – or how much cashmere you can afford. Just do the twist and finish it whenever you run out of yarn.

Finished Size: 44 inches long, 9 inches wide

Yarn: Worsted weight, wool & cashmere blend.

Needles: 4mm or whatever size give you a soft rib: a nice soft texture is more important than precise sizing on this pattern.

Notions: Waste yarn for provisional cast on. Crochet hook if you do a crochet provisional cast on. Tapestry needle for Kitchener stitch join. Third needle if you do a 3 needle bind off. Cable needle.

Gauge: 12 stitches = 2 inches in K2, P2 rib

Size: Adult

Stitch Guide:
24 stitch front cross cable; 12 stitch K2, P2 rib

Reversible Cable Moebius Cowl

Use your favorite provisional cast on, and waste wool, cast on 96 stitches.

Row 1. With main yarn work K2, P2 24 times.

Rows 2-5 Knit the knits and purl the purls (rib stitch)

Row 6: Cable Row

Slip 12 stitches onto cable needle and hold to front of work, (K2, P2) 3 times, (K2, P2) 3 times from cable needle. (K2, P2) 3 times. Slip 12 stitches onto cable needle and hold to front of work, (K2, P2) 3 times, (K2, P2) 3 times from cable needle. (K2, P2) 3 times. Slip 12 stitches onto cable needle and hold to front of work, (K2, P2) 3 times, (K2, P2) 3 times from cable needle.

Row 7-11: K2, P2 rib stitch

Row 12: Cable Row

Do 12 row repeats of the established cable & rib stitch pattern until you’re down to the last ¼ of your last ball of wool.

After final cable row, K2, P2 rib stitch for 5 rows. Do not bind off.


Unzip the provisional cast on, and put the live stitches onto a needle. Lay the piece flat, then give it one twist so that the end stitches of cast on row, line up with the beginning stitches of the last row, this creates the Moebius strip. Join the two rows of live stitches with a three needle bind off, or kitchener stitch, or your favorite invisible graft technique.

The Funny Thing About Faces – Recognition

seeing faces where they aren't

I love my Tinker Tote because it’s so nostalgic, and because he has a face. Yes, it’s a he, with a face like that what else could the little guy be? I love the way we humans see faces everywhere, even when they’re only caricatures of faces and not real faces at all.

but without the face it's still a nice tote

Generations of Human Socialization – For This?

generations of human socialization - for this?

Really, if my brain was switched on common sense would’ve told me that no baby was going to be the right shape for this sweater long before I sewed it together. I didn’t pay attention. This is what happens to the numbers when the observer just isn’t observing. You end up wasting time – making the dog wonder, all those generations of human socialization – for this? He’s a pretty smart dog, but he doesn’t do numbers.

The numbers don’t lie. If your gauge isn’t right the sweater won’t fit. But gauging gauge isn’t an exact science. It’s relative. If you knit when you’re angry the tension in your hands will change and that will make your gauge tighter. If you knit when you’re relaxed then the opposite happens. The numbers don’t lie, but that doesn’t mean that they’re always right either. When you knit you become part of a fluid dynamic between your hands, the yarn, the needle size, rows per inch, stitches per row, and your brain.