Sunday, February 26, 2012

Branching Out - Slightly

I'm not one for resolutions or bucket lists, but I've had it in mind for some time to learn some beading. And, like anything new, the mere thought terrified me. Yesterday I took a deep breath, followed the instructions, wielded my "4 in 1" pliers tool thingey, and produced these marvels. They're not all perfect, but I will be giving one set of earrings to a friend tomorrow as a belated holiday gift. The knitting continues, but don't be surprised if there are a few more bead interludes in the works as well!

Friday, February 24, 2012

See No Evil

Baer, Robert (2002). See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA’s War on Terrorism. New York: Three Rivers Press.

If I had read this book when it first came out, or even before I saw the movie Syriana (that is loosely based on this book), I don’t think I would have given it quite the attention and thought it deserved. So, first of all – go see Syriana. It’s a terrific story, and it is done very well.

Secondly – read this book, and think about what Baer is telling us. That, through a series of unfortunate accidents and bad policy decisions, the United States has been, by design, woefully ignorant of the cultures, languages, and peoples of the Middle East. That, because of our stubborn dependence on oil, we are also dependent on what goes on in the Middle East. And that, because we have failed to learn about the people that live there, we are helpless and foolish and stupid.

Rating: Three Oogs (because evil – especially as described in this book - is truly the stuff of nightmares)

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Science of Evil

Baron-Cohen, Simon (2011). The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty. New York: Basic Books.

This book had so much potential: a great topic, the availability of cutting edge knowledge and research, and a scientist who can also write well about these complex matters. Too bad none of these things aligned within this book. The author, an award-winning scientist and writer (and, indeed, the cousin of the famous Sacha), is far outside of his area of expertise here, and it shows. I can’t even begin to tell you how disappointed I was when he started to incorporate Freudian theory in a serious context. A. Volk’s two-star review of this book on the web site captures a great deal of my perspective. I’ll stop there.
Rating: No Oogs

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Kylie is also relieved that both pillows are finally complete.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Kylie With Mittens

Here is my latest FO - Cloisonee Mittens, made with leftover wools. I didn't love pattern as much as I thought I would - too many ends to work in, I think. Kylie was happy for the attention.

Somewhat Finished

These are more October Fair Isle pillows. You can see one is still deflatedly unfinished.


I cast on 3 pairs of socks on New Year's Eve, and haven't made much progress on any of them. I powered through my indifference on this one earlier this week, at least it is now looking like I'm doing something. The colors are pretty, the pattern is nice - I'm just not thrilled about it for some reason - perhaps not enough endorphins compared with the colorwork excitement?

Coloring My Own

Here we go - I'm about to cast on the first sleeve for what will also be my first steeking experience. Hold onto your hats! This is a kit I got from Philosophers Wool several years ago; until now I've been too chicken to give it a try. Inevitable adventures to follow!

Waiting in the Wings

I couldn't resist this beautiful piece of art. It's made of more then 200 4" squares. All the things I hate - sewing and ends, but it was too pretty to pass up, especially during the Year of Color. Plus - Knit Picks yarns are awesome.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

More Hats for Vince

The grey hat in this photo may look familier - I made it earlier this year for Vince, who was just beginning cancer treatments. However, Vince didn't start losing his hair until last week, and I hadn't given him the grey hat yet. And then this week I went a little crazy and made 3 other hats for him. Variety is always a nice spice, I think. (Left to right, they are: Turn a Square, Regular Guy Beanie, Strib Hat, and Regular Guy, all made with leftovers of Elann Highland Wool and WoolEase).