Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You know you are getting old when...it takes five tries and help to blow out all the candles.

The yarn, Peruvian Collection Baby Cashmere from elann.com for my Simply Lovely Lace Socks, tried to come in the post today, but I was at class so I get to pick up the parcel tomorrow. I also promise to get out the camera tomorrow and take some pictures of my past projects including my finished Eris.

I am also contemplating a UFO blog of shame for myself. Perhaps we could turn it into some sort of knitting meme that each person can post a picture and short description of their UnFinished Objects so that other knitters can see that it really is ok to put aside a work in progress (WIP) for a few months or years until they are ready to pick up the sticks again and finish it up.

So I urge you, brave knitters of the internet, share with us your tired tails of knitting neglected. It could be simply that you ran out of yarn, or that the sock turned out ten sizes too small, it doesn’t matter why it’s unfinished, all that matters is that you share it with the rest of the world. Don’t be afraid, I’ll do it with you. If you do see a UFO site-ing, or a UFO post-ing, let me know. I’m always willing to support a fellow knitter in his/her/their endeavours.

Today's picture: JENSHINE

Also, thanks to everyone for your suport with the Simply Lovely Lace Socks.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Simply Lovely Lace Socks KAL

Oh dear, I cannot find a Knit-A-Long (KAL) for the Simply Lovely Lace Socks from the latest edition of Interweave Knits. I think I might have to make my own. It is either that, or I am the only one in the internet world that just loves these lovelies.

How can you say no to these cuties?

Anyway, I created a group on Yahoo! I call it the Simply Lovely Lace Socks Knit-A-Long. I'm really creative. If anyone would like to join or knows how to make a button, please leave a comment.

I ordered the yarn yesterday, it should be here monday or tuesday at the latest. I love elann.com

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Simply Lovely Lace Socks (designer: Karen Baumer)

I received the latest copy of Interweave Knits in the post a few days ago, and have dedicated most of my essay writing time to reading this lovely magazine. (I am starting to realize that I am going to have to put some knitting into my essay if I am ever going to get it finished.) Now I just love this magazine, and you can blame it on my obsessive personality type, but when I get this thing in the post, I spend days looking at it. I carry it around with me. I read it many times in many different ways. The first time I have it my hands, I don't open it. It's like Christmas morning, I want to saver the surprise. Then I'll flip through and look at the patterns, or more particularly the large pictures. After that I'll read the text, all of it, from front cover through to back. And then, after that, I go through again from start to stern reading the advertising. I love to see what sort of companies feel that this is where they want to spend their advertising dollars and who the magazine wants to have in their pages. I love it all, especially during this, the essay time of year.

Most of the patterns I wouldn't knit, they are just not my style. But I do love looking at the techniques the designers use. I did, however, find one pattern that I just have to knit. The Simply Lovely Lace Socks by Karen Baumer captured my attention right away. I've ordered the yarn, but as this is my first lace project, I need to find a KAL (knit a long) for support.

But, right now I have to go to work. It's great I get paid to exercise, spend time with great people, and occasionally relax in the comfy chair. Life is so hard.

Jenshine took this picture of me most of a year ago on our trip to her home town. I was knitting on the train, what a surprise!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Stitch ‘n Bitch

Debbie Stoller changed my life. Last year, about this time, I was quite ill, I came across her book Stitch ‘n Bitch a knitter’s handbook. I learnt that knitting (a craft that my Grandmother taught me) could be fun, easy and actually stylish. I cannot over state how much my life has changed for the better since I learnt to knit more than just scarves. For those of you who know me, I think you can see the difference.

When I was listening to some back issues of
Cast-On, a podcast, much like KnitCast which I love, that discusses so many wonderful aspects (and not so wonderful) of knitting, I heard some of the details about the Stitch ‘n Bitch battle. (UPDATE: found a link, here it is) Well, I can’t find a working link to this debate *Anywhere* online today, but the basic just of it is that a company has copyrighted the phrase “Stitch ‘n Bitch Cafe” and now is using this copyright to prevent the use of the phrase “Stitch ‘n Bitch” in it’s entirety or any variation of these words. Both for people like Debbie Stoller whose books are published under that title and for smaller groups of people who would like to gather and knit and talk about knitting &c. Now it seams to me that this company is selling (or trying to) craft supplies to people who like to stitch things and they like to talk about stitching things. So, the conclusion must be that it is fantastically great advertisement to harm the potential consumers. (Bad Logic! Bad! Bad! Down Boy! – Oh why don’t people take logic in university, or better still teach it in high school? It is so bloody simple!)

I know the battle has been online for some months now, but it seams to have gone quiet. I feel that we must not let this happen. My limited knowledge of copyright laws tells me that individuals using words in daily conversation or small groups of individuals using terms to define themselves (provided they do not benefit from the good will (like there is any left) associated with it). An example would be the soap called Zest. I assume that this is a copyrighted word, although it is a good honest word in the dictionary from before Zest Soap came around. Now there was an advertisement for some spicy food at a big chain restaurant that ran for most of a year where they described the food as having zest. This is not, to my limited knowledge a copy write violation although they did benefit from using this word in their advertisement.

I do understand that things are far more complicated than what I have said here. As it stands, I see no reason for me not to uses this phrase in my daily conversation (including my semi-daily blogging), nor will I support a company who thinks it is appropriate to take words out of our vocabulary. Freedom of speech and all that!

Correction (I think): the phrase that is copyrighted is "Stitch and Bitch Caffe", not "stitch 'n Bitch Caffe" if that makes a difference to anyone.

Deirdre Flint - Music and information - MUSIC

Deirdre Flint - Music and information - MUSIC

So, this is now my new favorite singer. Have a listen to The Boob Fairy, it's funny.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Supervenience, Globalization, Knitting, & Cat.

About University:
Well, I’ve decided, I will write my Anthropology paper on Globalization about the internet, or more specifically about how this “global” method of communication; or as Andreas Weigend put it on a recent edition of Mobuzz, I’ll talk about “architectures of interaction” and use examples of knitting online to create a more concrete element to my usual abstract philosophical style of writing.

About Philosophy (supervenience):
Energy as the basic stuff that makes the universe, eh? Now that is interesting. That would mean that physics no longer holds the place as most ‘basic’ of the sciences in which all things can be reduced to and explained by. hmmm.... that makes me think... I would love to read more on that, do you have any suggestions where I might start? I’ll see if I can bring it up in class this week and see what Dr. F has to say about it. Yet, I’m not certain how this is going to help me understand supervenience; it just changes what supervenes on what. I also wonder – energy is pretty natural stuff, It doesn’t ascribe any meaning to itself, and if it is the only basic stuff of the universe – so, how does this get us away from natural monism? Just wondering.

About Knitting:
It has been a year this month since I became a prolific knitter. I have knitted before, but never with so much enthusiasm. In all that time, I have only three projects that I did not finish, two of which I will actually finish eventually. I think it is about time I branch out, so I have ordered this starter embroidery kit from Sublime Stitching. I’ll let you know how it goes when it gets here. It looks like it will be fun.

About Face:
My cat is pretty. When she runs on our new wood floor, she slips and slides and ends up running almost on the spot. It makes me smile.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Again with the supervenience - Eartha Kitt rocks my world.

Here is something from Donald Davidson's paper Mental Events:

"...mental characteristics are in some sense dependent, or supervenient, on physical characteristics. Such supervenience might be take to mean that there cannot be two events alike in all physical respects but differing in some mental respect, or that an object cannot alter in some mental respect without altering in some physical respect. Dependence or supervenience of this kind does not entail reducibility through laws of definition: if it did, we could reduce moral properties to descriptive, and this there is good reasion to believe cannot be done; and we might be able to reduce truth in a formal system to syntatical properties, and this we know cannot in general be done."

Right, I don't accually have time to talk about this right now, but I would love to hear/read what you have to say.

Also, is Eartha Kitt still alive. I love you eMusic.com, now I know that cat woman (the original) had a singing career.

Big exam tomorrow.

sad queen
You are the Sad Queen! Somber, quiet, softspoken

and yet beautiful, you hold your subjects in

awe of your silent but forceful nature. You

are jaded and tired of this world because you

are so different from everyone

else.Possible Name: Tristyn

Element: Shadow Color: Grey

What Queen are you? (Beautiful Pics)
brought to you by Quizilla

Quiet, Smart Girl - You're the quiet girl that

hardly anybody notices, and only talks to

when they're failing a class and need to copy

from someone. You probably hate it, but you

also probably enjoy any attention that you

can get. You're remarkably inteligent and

very studious, but also very quiet and

reserved. Your cold, mysterious appearance

can be intimidating, an attribute that drives

people away.

What kind of girl are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


You are the dragon. A dragon,

in western lore, is a giant lizard with

wings. It usually has the capability to

breathe fire. The dragon symbolizes immense

power, physical strength, and courage. The

dragon has also been a symbol of wisdom and

of protection. Dragons may also appear to be

greedy as many a tale depict them as keepers

of vast hordes of treasure.

Which mythical creature resides in your soul? (11 Results + Pictures)
brought to you by Quizilla

Right, that's enough for one day. Back to the books with me!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I love Eartha Kitt and eMusic

And now for some philosophy:

I have been thinking lately about supervenience. Before I go too far into it, allow me to give you some background and for those of you who are just here for the knitting or because you are my friend, feel free to tune out for the rest of this entry, it is just philosophy.

Terence Horgan in his paper “From Supervenience to Superdupervenience” provides what is actually, unbelievably, the most simplistic and easy to comprehend explanation of supervenience.

“Supervenience is a determination relation between properties or characteristics of objects. The basic idea is this: properties of type A are supervenient on properties of type B if and only if two objects cannot differ with respect to their A-properties without also differing in their B-properties.”

Now that’s about as clear as mud, but not at all bad for a philosopher of the mind. I have been spending the last few weeks attempting to understand what the meaning of supervenience is, how to apply it in a real life example, and most importantly if there is a categorical error in its usage in philosophy of mind.

A “break in the case” came this past weekend when we had the opportunity to host the most amazing house guests, one of whom researches music, among other things (all of which amazing). That got me to thinking about music (and Plato, but that’s another story). Could one say that music supervenes on the physical properties of the instrument (including sound waves &c.)? Or perhaps it supervenes on the activity of the instruments and player? Either way I will say that music supervenes on the instrument for short. Thinking about the instrument, we can say it is an acoustic guitar which (I think) is made of wood, strings, glue &c. Therefore one could say that this particular guitar supervenes on the pile of wood, strings, glue &c when wood, strings, glue &c. are combined in a specific way in a specific context.

This progression of supervenience can keep going down to the atomic level which is explainable by physics (I assume). Each level of supervenience has its own explanatory ‘powers’ whose meaning is lost as you move up and down the chain. Therefore each level of supervenience is irreducible to a ‘lower’ level (or to put it another way, the more complex the supervenience – the further away it is from a purely physical explanation – the less reducible to a lower level it is). For example, if one were to attempt to explain a really great Eartha Kitt song by way of the sound waves that the song supervenes on, one looses the added ‘meaning’ of explaining the song qua song. To put it Aristotle: the song qua song has different ‘meaning’ then the song qua sound waves. End Aristotle.

Yet, each level of supervenience is explaining the same thing (with different categories and different size categories (see Aristotle Cat. if this actually interests you)), so perhaps each level of supervenience (working from an idea my house guest put forth) is logically isomorphic (yes, I know I am assuming the universe is a) explainable and b) logically structured) but irreducible to each other – but we all know where that leads: neutral monism.

I had best brush up on my Kant, Spinoza, Leibnitz and Parmenides; unless of course I could find another way out.

Or, of course, I could learn how to put foot notes on my blogger entry so I don't have to continiously interupt the flow if ideas with brackets.

Whichever, it's all good... or is it all neutral?

Monday, February 13, 2006

What a funny thing to be...


You have Raven

Positive Traits: Intellectual,

Wise, Experienced, Honest,

Negative Traits:

Pompous, Condescending, Withdrawn,

Pessimistic, Depressed

Your eyes are the windows to your soul. What type of eyes do you have?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Knitting Meme 2006

List your finished objects, or just list your favorite FO. Armwarmers and a palm cozy are among my favorite FO's, though, I do have a sweater, a hat, several scarves and bags. Also there is an Elephant Tea Cozy that was lots of fun to design.

List your works in progress.
At the moment I am working on yet another bag and the Elann sweater from Girl from Auntie.

What skeletons are in your knitting basket?
There is a knitted tiger that was intended as a Christmas present. It's really cute, but the patter is difficult to follow and there are no pictures.

What’s your favorite project?
I like projects where I can learn new skills or perfect old ones. That normally means anything I end up designing myself.

What project(s) will you never knit again?
striped knee length socks! They took so much work and I realize now that I will never where them. ops.

What was your major knitting accomplishment for the last year?
Making a sweater. It's such a large project but I finished it. Now I am on my second one.

What’s your favorite yarn from the last year?
I can't remember the name, but it is mostly alpaca with about 20% silk made in Peru and sold by elann.com. It is affordable and becomes softer every time it is washed with no pilling. happy happy yarn!

What’s your favorite yarn overall?
I think Peruvian Highland Wool (or a variation of it) from Elann.com would have to be my favorite, simply because it is so versatile.

What new knitting techniques have you learned?
Short row shaping, cables, and several new ways to cast on. I have also learnt that anyone can design their own pattern, you don't have to be a professional knitter to create something new and unique.

What are your knitting goals for 2006?
I'll start by finishing my Eris sweater, then who knows, the sky is the limit!

I found this meme at http://www.guzzlingcakes.com/2006/01/06/end-of-the-year-knitting-meme/ . The answers are my own but the questions come from that link.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Cartoon Debate - The case for mocking religion. By Christopher�Hitchens

This is prity darn interesting:

Cartoon Debate - The case for mocking religion. By Christopher�Hitchens

Here is a quote from the article (don't worry it's not all like that):
"I am not asking for the right to slaughter a pig in a synagogue or mosque or to relieve myself on a "holy" book. But I will not be told I can't eat pork, and I will not respect those who burn books on a regular basis. I, too, have strong convictions and beliefs and value the Enlightenment above any priesthood or any sacred fetish-object. "

Monday, February 06, 2006

The End of the Internet?

Could this be the end of the internet - as we know it?

The End of the Internet?

Imagine, an internet without free blogs. Web pages controlled only by the wealthy. The great thing about the internet is that it is the great equalizer of our time. Everyone (with internet access) has an equal voice with no regard for status or financing. It is only the merrit of interesting what you have to say is which governs your popularity. With this kind of controll - one governed by the service provider, not the governments - it could allow great windows of oppertunity for wealthy lawless individuals who would normally fall under legal action for displaying certin pictures (you know what I mean).

Little bit scared here: don't forget the new improvement on spy programs that would become a necessarsary feature of the internet usage.

For more on this, check out this Mobuzz video.

Yes, I know not all the people of the world have access to the internet, yet. I just don't want them robbed of the oppertunity to have their voices heard when their day comes.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Living the Life: Through Veiled Eyes

Living the Life: Through Veiled Eyes

I wonder what it would feel like to wear a garb and veil like that. It is a culture foreign to my own and even in my travels, I have never been anywhere near a Muslim community.

We had two Islamic sisters in my high school. My high school was a posh as a public school can get, full of one thousand white (mostly wealthy) teens, 3 Chinese girls, and these two sisters. The older one was more respectful than the majority of my peers, she also wore the (I don't know the name of it) outfit. The younger one, my age, dressed western, and she was the most obnoxious and disrespectful person I have ever met. She took great pleasure picking on her classmates. She was a real life bully.

I guess my point is that the only two (obviously) Muslin woman I have met were distinct individuals. Looking back at it, I don’t know that I thought of them as anything else. I have a hard time understanding the generalized stereotype that the Western media portrays.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I know she is ready for it, but I sure hope that Scotland is ready for her.

I miss everyone so much. In the last six months so many people have left and so many things have ended. It feels that all that is close to me is falling apart. At times, it is all I can do not to fall apart as well.

Sometimes I feel very empowered; when I was a child I was always told that I can do anything I put my mind to. It has proven to be true, after a fashion. I know I am very intelligent and that I can (and on occasion have) do any career I wish and excel at it. That sounds arrogant, I know. The thing is - I thirst for knowledge. I am always in competition with myself. If I succeed it is expected – yet, if I fail, I am miserable.

Due to a defect in myself, there are many things I cannot do that others take for granted every day. Unfortunately for me, what I love to do requires that I struggle with my defect. Every aspect of what I love requires the greatest effort as I fight against my nature. Doing what I love most makes me miserable. It also makes me happy, because in some ways, my defect makes it easier to understand the concepts that others simply cannot grasp. My conceptual framework is as fluid as it needs to be. And still – being more successful than others, being more intelligent than others (in some ways) – this also makes me miserable.

I hope that Jenshine has fun. Moving to a new place is always difficult, but I think she will do fine. She is one of the smartest, friendliest people I know. She also has a fantastic choice of music. Two years is such a long time, I take comfort in knowing that we will see each other again.

You guessed it, today's pictures of from my trip to Scotland. I can't wait to see yours.