Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Cindy Sheehan's Resignation

I'm still in the musing phase of trying to understand the implications of Cindy Sheehan's resignation from a life of activism. Bless her heart, you can hardly blame her. She lost a son. I can't even look at the kind of pain head-on; it's too terrifying. And then, how defeating to know that he died for absolutely nothing. How much worse does that make the grieving process? How much courage did it take (and where did she find it?) to stand up and try to make his death more meaningful?

And why quit now? She had to, I think.

She's on to something here.

"This system forcefully resists being helped and eats up the people who try to help it. I am getting out before it totally consumes me or anymore people that I love and the rest of my resources."

"The system" started protecting itself in a very particular way the second she became the accidental face of the anti-war movement. Systemic change doesn't require any one person. It requires someone, many someones actually, but not a particular person. If we agree with the person, we crown her "saviour of the movement", hoping that she can show us the way. Except we have a lousy history of crucifying saviors; we set them up to fail by forcing them to be one-dimensional. Crowning someone is just another way of abrogating our own responsibility for the movement. If we disagree with the person, the temptation is to set up a straw-man-savior. When that person is worn thin by activism, QED... the movement failed.

Except both of those positions are nonsense. We want people to know more that we do, to see more clearly, to show us the way. Yet we don't get that very often in this world. Nor should we really want it. Instead, we should keep our hearts alert, keep our eyes open, and use our brains. If all of these nudge us towards anti-war activity, the form of that activity will be uniquely ours.

Bring the gifts that you offer to the table. The movement has always needed them. And should anyone offer, resist the inclination to become the poster child for any movement or group. We'll be only too happy, unfortunately, to chew you up and spit out the bones.

And, in the meantime, thank you for your work, Cindy. Go. Parent your children. Rest. Grieve. We'll take it from here. You're welcome back whenever you feel up to it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Gentlemen, Need Help Slaying that Dragon?

I've ranted. I've raved. I've yelled here, at conferences, and in classrooms. The abstinence-only sex education programs are dangerous and...well, the word evil certainly springs to mind. But now I'm close to speechless. I can apparently still type, but I tell you it's a near thing.

I was looking over the materials on "secondary virginity." (Does the mind reel, or what?) And they're lame enough, heaven knows. But amidst the drivel, I spot a fairy tale intended for younger audiences. It's in the Choosing Best series. There's a prince, a princess, a village maiden (literally -a virgin) and a dragon. Clearly, the prince and princess are destined to live together happily ever after, after he slays the dragon. I've read this one. Except, the princess -tramp that she is- gives the prince too many suggestions as to how to kill the dragon so he marries the village maiden instead. The commentary after the story says, "Occasional suggestions and assistance may be alright, but too much of it will lessen a man's confidence or even turn him away from his princess."

What the bloody hell? First off, how is this sex education or abstinence promotion? Secondly, let's say hypothetically there are reasons for young people to abstain from sex -and I think there are plenty. Is it impossible to imagine that we could start from the position that strong and self-defining girls don't need to be in early sexual relationships? Why do we have to go back to "whatever you say, dear" models of relationships in order to keep young people safe from the consequences of premature sexual activity?

And that's bad enough. Really. But the notion that women who have the audacity to have thoughts, suggestions, and opinions aren't sexually upright purely pisses me off. If the poor princess had had her own sword and just gone off and killed the dragon herself, they probably would have burned her at the stake. Moreover, it's just deranged to suggest that girls who aren't virgins won't be able to snag a husband. They haven't even considered the possibility that women are perfectly capable of living alone, for crying out loud.

Who writes this stuff? And why? And how are we allowing this shaming, blaming, and girl-diminishing stuff to be be disseminated with taxpayer money? Here's the book you need instead of uppity princesses permanently damaging men's egos -and not getting marriage, sex, or security for their efforts: S.E.X.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Eyes Wide Open on Memorial Day

Yesterday was Bike the Drive in Chicago -one of my favorite events of the year. Watch this girl go... she's going to try to embed video:

Holy crap, I think I did it.

I rode the first 32 miles with the serious bikers, which always sort of cracks me up. They were riding slowly for them, of course. And then, this biker-guy I'd been chatting with said that they were going to go back to the beginning and ride the first 16 miles again, VERY slowly, to encourage the slower, beginner riders and the kids and did I want to go? Sure. I found this family that had 5 daughters. (Cue music from Fiddler on the Roof.) They had a tandem bike with one of those tag-along bikes and a burley, so 5 people were on one bike. The two older girls had bikes of their own, so I rode with them to keep them more or less in sight of their parents.

All of which ended up putting me very far from where my car was actually parked. And thus, we get a blog post for today.

I sort of accidentally ended up at the Eyes Wide Open exhibit in Grant Park.

The American Friends Service Committee's exhibit on the human cost of the Iraq War features a pair of boots honoring each U.S. military casualty and a field of shoes memorializing some of the civilians killed in the conflict. In January 2004, Eyes Wide Open was displayed for the first time in Federal Plaza with 504 pairs of boots symbolizing the lost lives of U.S. soldiers in Iraq. With each passing week, and each stop in a new city, more pairs of boots are added to represent the newly fallen. Now the exhibit includes more than 3,233 pairs of boots. The program includes the voices of those touched by this war - Gold Star Families Speak Out members whose loved ones died as a result of the war in Iraq; Military Families Speak Out members whose loved ones are currently deployed, soon to deploy, or have returned from Iraq physically and/or psychologically damaged; members of Iraq Veterans Against the War; members of Veterans for Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War; and active duty troops who are participants in the Appeal for Redress project.

It's a worth a trip into Chicago, just to make yourself see what we have wrought. I know you know, but really, see it anyway. And if you want to ride your bike along the lakefront while you're there, let me know. I'll go with you.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Save the World; Ride a Bike

I knew we could save the world by riding bicycles. What I didn't know was that I could save myself. Stephanie wrote it better than I can.

Math-Man and I are really struggling with these last few months of separation. It's nothing to worry about, really, but it sure isn't fun, either. We've got ourselves smack in the middle of a lose-lose situation. How clever of us to work it out like that, huh? Sigh....

So, finally, the other day, after snarking at him sort of randomly I decided that he has to hear me on the real issue (oddly involving his bike... this gets twisted). He couldn't have a long talk right at that minute, so we rescheduled for a little later in the afternoon. I seriously wanted to throw things. Okay, not seriously. I could never be so un-repressed. But I think that's what some other people might have done with the towering feelings I was feeling. I didn't so much think that riding would make me feel better, but I knew that my irritation was seeking a target. Passers-by might not be safe, so I should remove myself from polite society. Off we went, my rage and I, on the cute red bike.

Magic. When Math-Man and I finally talked, I was a reasonable human being. We are still stuck in an unhappy situation, so I'm not sure what good talking did. But there for a few minutes on my bike, the wind was blessedly at my back. As metaphor and actuality, that was a gift I really needed.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Avoidance Behavior -a Meme

There's a lot on my mind -generally circling around the theme of the stories we tell about ourselves to ourselves and to each other. But mostly to ourselves. So, what does it take to strengthen the "Andrea is competent and strong" story, which is at the very least one of the true stories about me? And how do we get the "Andrea is weak and incompetent" story to concede defeat and go bother someone else?

Heck if I know. So, rather than think about it, I'm eating pizza, drinking a glass of wine, and contemplating the following meme. Jump right on in.

(Nicked from A Cunning Plan )

Bold for stuff you’ve done, italics for stuff you plan to do one day, and normal for stuff you’re not planning on doing.

Afghan/Blanket (baby)
Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk

Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles

Knitting with your own handspun yarn (before this happens, the results of my spinning will have to be something other than ugly blobs)
Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental Knitting (This is how I knit now, mostly.)
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns

Publishing a knitting book (patterns I developed for preemies and another book about knitting styles with patterns written in different ways based on your learning style)
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental -This is how my grandmother taught me.)

Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colors
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cozies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on two circulars (this is my favorite strategy for socks, but I almost always do sleeves and hats on DPNs. Habit, I suppose.)
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with DPNs
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit

Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dyeing yarn (Well, I've done Kool-Aid dyeing and some stuff with walnuts and onion skins. I decided not to count those, because they were ugly. But this is something I want to get better at.)
Knitting art
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO

Knitting and purling backwards

Machine knitting
Knitting with self-patterning/self-striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere

Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO

Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/arm warmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift

Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair (why?)
Hair accessories
Knitting in public


Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday Random Ten

You know the drill. Take out your iPod and set it to shuffle. Tell us the first ten songs that appear -and no fair leaving out the ones that make you look like a dork.

Here are mine for the week:

  • Amapola; Monte Ray (my great-grandmother used to sing it to my mother as a lullaby)
  • Misguided Angel; Cowboy Junkies
  • She Let Herself Go; George Strait (I know it's country and I know it sounds like it would be awful. But it's not.)
  • Shima, Shima; Deva Premal
  • Take My Breath Away; Berlin (Sigh.... I am ALWAYS embarrassed at this game.)
  • Autumn in New York; Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
  • Ordinary Miracle; Sarah McLachlan
  • Sewing a Name: Claudia Schmidt and Sally Rogers
  • Lord Help the Poor and Needy; Kate Campbell
  • Vatican Rag; Tom Lehrer

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stupid People Try to Save the World

OK, intelligence isn't all it's cracked up to be. And saving the world isn't just for the smart ones among us, anyway. That said.... I think these people might be serious, and I'm just spewing my coffee.

Apparently, some impoverished girls don't have the body of their dreams. The poor dears. Hunger, homelessness, lack of education.... these are limiting, I suppose. But the real problem is that these girls are flat-chested, or worse yet, have saggy, draggy breasts. Free Breast Implants wants to change all that. For the price of your morning newspaper, you can change a girl's life, helping to pay for the perky boobs that will surely change her fortunes.

Oh, for the love of Mike. It's so gratifying to know that we've devoted our lives to creating a just society, to empowering women to take up space on the planet and claim their destinies... and we've come to this. Lives well spent, boys and girls.

Insert eyeroll here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Making a Home

I'm gathering my thoughts as I write, so brace yourself for complete nonsense. As usual, my life is making me muse -and fret a little- about issues that probably aren't big. But they feel big.

For the past year, Math-Man has been living in a third floor apartment in an old house. It's literally a converted attic. It has a kitchen, a big living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom. He has a card table, a mattress on the floor, a rocking chair, and one chair at the desk and one chair at the card table. There might be a lamp, but I'm not sure. And he's not "making do" with this arrangement. He's thriving. He thinks, with John Ruskin, "Every increased possession loads us with new weariness."

Of course, it's not true that it's a completely ascetic lifestyle, either. He puts flowers on the card table. He thought to shop for a tablecloth (round, for a square table, but he gets points for giving it a shot) and two cloth napkins. So, even he has some urge for beauty in his surroundings. Or possibly even the slightest (oh so VERY slight) urge toward "nesting", towards making a home rather just a campsite.

So, in the course of time, it became clear that I'm living there next year. We both knew that I would not be happy in that environment. What exactly that meant was less clear. It was hard for me to articulate what wouldn't work about his current space. I'm not sure that I have done it yet, even though we've chosen a new space already. It wasn't square footage. Two people can live comfortably in an apartment the size of his. I will need more furniture and curtains and "things" than he has, but that's not really about the space itself. Well, it kind of was about that particular space, because you couldn't really get much furniture up the twisty, windy stairs. If a passle of geometers tell me that there is no configuration that will allow a couch to pass through this space, I'm inclined to believe them.

Although.... come to think about it, I've gotten in some trouble believing mathematicians in the past.

So, what does make a home? I would have told you it was just the people, but that turned out not to be true. Now I'm looking at each thing I touch in the house and wondering if I'll take it with me. If not, why do I have it at all? There could be a good reason, but perhaps I should either figure out the reason or donate the thing in question.

And what do I need to gather my life around me, while remaining open to creating new adventures? Yarn.... my yoga mat... a few family pictures.... I'll be curious what else makes the cut.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cue the Annoying Music

It's a small world after all.

Here's the story. Running errands/time in the car is my "catch up on podcasts" time. So today I was listening to last week's Cast On. (Pause for a reverential love-fest about Brenda Daynes. Okay... I'm over it.) She's delightfully interested in sharing the news of other podcasts, websites, and other people's projects. I usually listen with half an ear to that part of the podcast, because I have about a jillion projects already.

But this time a name, Sandi Caldrone, caught my attention. Sandi was part of my knitting circle for a while. She caught my eye the first time I met her because she was wearing a Knitters Against Bush t-shirt. A knitter, a feminist, and a do-gooder.... clearly Sandi and her friends were a delight to me. Unfortunately, they graduated and moved away -to Japan, last I heard. But Sandi's still at it, apparently.

Through Brenda, she encourages us to knit blankets for Cast On for Kenya. The blankets are donated to HIV-positive children in Nairobi. They're a way to keep underweight and feverish children warm, but also a tangible sign that the children are not forgotten. Someone cares.

And even beyond that, Brenda and Sandi (and Marissa, who seems to be involved and is also from DeKalb) want to explore how knitters' circles really can be about changing the world. It's not just the knitting. It's the consciousness raising and the careful and respectful engagement with sometimes difficult issues. It's the statement that something slowly and carefully home-made is not just "as good as store bought" but quite a bit better, thank you very much. It's the belief that we don't have to participate in the Gross Domestic Product to make a difference.

So, go raid your stash and make a baby blanket. Tell Sandi and Marissa I sent you ;) It's a small world.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Random Ten

You know the drill. Take out your iPod and set it to shuffle. Tell us the first ten songs that appear, and no fair leaving out the ones that make you look like an idiot.

I confess I already skipped one, before my list even started. (They say that confession is good for the soul.) It was a yoga workout. There... I feel better already! Here's the rest of the list:
  • Dream All Day; The Posies
  • The Women Gather; Sweet Honey in the Rock
  • One Day in Your Life; Anastacia
  • Add Some Music to Your Day; Kate Campbell
  • Pon De Replay; Rihanna (Oh, dear! It's really good in one of my workout playlist, so it stays.)
  • Keeper of the Stars; Tracy Byrd (It's a long story, but I have an excuse.)
  • Go Where I Send Thee; The Weavers
  • Open Arms; Journey
  • Morning, Noon, and Nighttime; Jane Olivor
  • Overload; Alfie Zappacosta

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Early Warning Systems

Dropping some junk....errrr, other people's treasures.... off at the Goodwill, I see this bumper sticker:
Save the Whales; Harpoon a Fat Chick.

I'm stunned, indignant -and a little envious of the on-the-nose writing skills. Seriously, how many people can you insult in seven words? This bumper sticker has to win some sort of sick prize.

One thing I do with students is to walk into a classroom and ask them immediately to write down what kind of car I drive. (I got busted once for not knowing the answer, but that's another story.) Of course I don't care and they don't care and the "test" isn't graded. The point is that we all make instant unconscious assessments of people with very little information. And if we were consistently wrong in those assessments, we'd stop doing it. In fact, it's a useful tool a lot of the time -especially if we become aware of the process and acknowledge that sometimes we're wrong, too.

Bumper stickers are part of the information we gather about people. Yes, they are frequently sound bite answers to complex questions, even when I agree with the sentiment. And yes, it's a little aggressive to publicize your political viewpoint in an arena where there is no possibility for dialogue. Nonetheless, I think I'd rather hang out with the person whose car says "Coexist" or "Will Teach for Food" or "Greenpeace" or has a big W with a slash through it than with the guy who advocates (even as a joke) harpooning fat women.

I'm glad, a little bit, to have a clue about what an interaction with this person is apt to be like. I know, for example, I'm not crazy about driving around a person with an NRA sticker on his car. I'm exhausted, sometimes, by how much not-quite-latent anger people are willing to carry around and publicize. I'm almost defeated by the cruel stereotypes we all walk around with.

And damn it, I'm going to get a bumper sticker for my car that says "This bumper isn't big enough for all the thoughts in my head. Let's talk." Or perhaps "Honk if you Like Critical Thinking". Maybe what people will assume about me is that I'm a thoughtful person who is interested in what other people think, too -a person who doesn't claim to have easy answers to hard questions.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothering Day

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

-Juliet Ward Howe

My favorite bit: "We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allowm our sons to be trained to injure theirs."


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Andrea: Still Disorganized

So.... I walk into work, bedraggled, dropping papers here and there, trying valiantly to keep my coffee cup upright. Pretty much the way it always is. Everyone is laughing at me, and seriously, I don't know why. Is my zipper unzipped? Am I dragging toilet paper from my shoe? Any of these things is possible, but not, as it happens, true.

WHAT???? I ask, in some distress?

More laughter.

I get to my office and start up the computer. CNN provides headlines in a crawler across the bottom of my screen:


Oh great.... I've made the international news. And my personal favorite...


This is news????

OK, it's apparently some kind of tropical storm that can't quite get its act together to be ferocious. Kind of like someone else I know. Or.... it's a tropical storm too polite to do real damage, but wants you to know she exists, thank you very much. But everyone I know, it seems, thinks this is hilarious.

I have e-mail from Math-Man that says, essentially, this is my shot at the big time. Of course, HIS name was retired the first time it was used as the name for a hurricane. But... really.... I shouldn't feel any pressure. The multitudinous siblings just want to know what I've been up to and is Mom going to find out. My yoga buddies want to know if we're going to move forward to:


I suppose not. But:


is, in fact, true. I'm off to Puerto Rico for Mother's Day with my sisters. Try to behave while I'm gone. Or, if you can't, let me know about it, please. As my Dad used to say, "Keep the peace or keep the pieces." I'll see you all on Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Thinking Bloggers

Mary at The Sour Dough nominated me. I'm honored. It's a little hard to imagine that I've been making anyone think lately. Maybe soon I'll get my "voice" back. Tomorrow. Next week. I can't say with any certainty. But soon.

The Thinking Blog meme was started by Ilker Yoldas as a protest against the inane memes proliferating around the blogosphere. Or perhaps, more positively, it's a support and affirmation of the helpful blogs out there.

So, in the spirit of the thing, here are five more blogs that make me think.

Mike at Musing's Musings blogs about politics, religion, civil rights... and pretty much everything else. The man can write.

David at Reader, I Married Him is a classics teacher, who writes about same sex marriage, books, travel. Here's another guy who can write a damn fine sentence. And besides, he loves books and named his blog with a quote from Jane Eyre.

Jill at Writing or Typing is another one who can turn an elegant phrase -and be mind-bendingly funny and insightful. And she knits and does yoga. What's not to love?

Franklin at The Panopticon can make me cry with laughter, cry in sympathy, and bang my head on my desk in frustration because I want to be able to write like he does. And knit like he does. And think up crazy characters like Dolores. He doesn't do memes, for which I can't blame him, but he deserves this acknowledgment.

Then there's the crowd at YogaLila. This is an ensemble blog that deserves more attention than it gets. Lianne, who got the ball rolling, really has a heart for participatory inquiry, shared leadership, and the role that technology might serve in all of that. All the writers there have a special place in my heart and my yoga practice. "What would Aline or Sophie or Loretta" do? is a frequent mantra in my yoga practice. Go find out ;)

Winners, now you get to nominate five blogs that make you think. Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging.

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

Monday, May 07, 2007

A Feminist Follows Her Man

Well, who knew I was this girl? Certainly I didn't know.

Math-Man has been offered a one-year extension of his contract on the east coast and really wants to be there for another year. Honest to Pete, I don't have another year living apart in me. It has not gone unnoticed that he probably does. Too bad ;) So I'm going to uproot my life here, temporarily but fundamentally, and go live with him in a graduate-student-worthy apartment with cast off furniture. The "trailing spouse" gig will really be mine for a while.


I'm sure that I will have actual reflections on this before too long. What's getting to me now are the details of it all. Random thoughts pop into my head. My cell phone contract's not up until November. What will we do with the rock climbing gym membership? The downstairs toilet still runs if you're not careful. I'll have to fix that before we rent the house. Stupid stuff.

And then I think... and just who have you become, missy? And then I really freak out.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

All Tangled Up

I tell knitting students that all we knitters do is take perfectly good string and tangle it up. The trick is to tangle it so that it becomes something pretty. I also tell them that knitting is a little window into their psyches. Some people are process knitters; some people are outcome knitters. Some are linear and must finish one project before moving on to the next. Others, not so much with the one at a time thing. You get the idea.

Ahem. Physician, heal thyself. Or, teacher, teach thyself, I suppose. I have this project. I'm making a round shawl. Making a circle is just pi x r-squared, after all. It turns out, though, that the arithmetic to get that to happen with yarn is a little interesting; Elizabeth Zimmerman worked it out for us ages ago. I am so very not a shawl girl. I would love to be the person who wears shawls and flow-y skirts and who strolls through the English garden. What I actually am, though, is the bike-riding, rock-climbing, yoga girl with scraped knees and bruises up and down her right arm from the belay rope. (Could I use a shawl to cover the scrapes and bruises, you suppose?)

Nonetheless, there is this shawl. It's going to be a wall hanging above our bed. I thought it would be cute (if only to me) to have a math-fiber arts thing of beauty in our room. I've been knitting for a really long time. I actually knit a lot of lace. I know that lace before you block it looks like the dog's breakfast, rather than the hoped-for thing of beauty. But I may have outdone myself this time. Here it is on the needles:

It's really a sort of heathered pink; I don't know why it looks purple. Anyway, it's fairly revolting at this point. The trick is to maintain confidence that the laws of physics have not been revoked. I will block this mess and it will become beautiful -just like the test swatch before it. Right???

And if I do that, then surely I can take the tangled mess that is my life and turn that into something of beauty. Because knitting is a metaphor for life, right?

(Yes, I see that there's a logical flaw there. Hush. I'm trying to instill some confidence here....)