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Hiiii, I haven’t been around much here, or on Ravelry, or even knitting all that much, and I don’t expect that to change too much, but I thought I’d just say I added a couple of patterns here:

And I put my stuff up on Etsy and Loveknitting (sorry, don’t know how to direct link the latter). Nothing special, just had these sitting around and figured I might as well put them up on the internet.

Maybe I’ll come back and write some more things sometime. I’ve been busy. Here are some things I’ve been up to:

Getting married… that was a while ago now! You can see the shawl and dress I made for my wedding here on Ravelry.

Making music, here and here and here and here. It’s time-consuming, so I’ve been spending far more creative energy on this than crafting in the last few years.

Learning to make iOS apps.

And last but not least, the Chain344 Podcast reviewed Latitude and Longitude in Episode 43, and they are giving away a copy of Here Comes the Sun here!

WOW. I found this Ravelry thread linked from a post by the Magpie Knitter (via a Facebook post by Knitting Kninja)–the original post was 4 hours ago, and there are already about 750 posts/30 pages in the thread. 

The General Counsel of the United States Olympic Committee sent a cease and desist to Ravelry about the use of the word “Ravelympics,” and also this: “The patterns and projects featuring the Olympic Symbol on’s website are not licensed and therefore unauthorized.  The USOC respectfully asks that all such patterns and projects be removed from your site.” (The Ravelympics is an annual event that’s been going on since 2008, in which knitters watch the Olympics while working on particularly challenging projects.)

It includes this passage:

“The athletes of Team USA have usually spent the better part of their entire lives training for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games and represent their country in a sport that means everything to them.  For many, the Olympics represent the pinnacle of their sporting career.  Over more than a century, the Olympic Games have brought athletes around the world together to compete in an event that has come to mean much more than just a competition between the world’s best athletes.  The Olympic Games represent ideals that go beyond sport to encompass culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony.

The USOC is responsible for preserving the Olympic Movement and its ideals within the United States.  Part of that responsibility is to ensure that Olympic trademarks, imagery and terminology are protected and given the appropriate respect.  We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

Unbelievably humorless. Also incredibly insulting to knitters. And what about that whole “culture and education, tolerance and respect, world peace and harmony” thing? If they want to go after each of the individuals who have put up unlicensed Olympics-themed patterns for sale because of trademark infringement, that’s one thing, but it just seems ridiculous and mean-spirited to go after the “Ravelympics” phrase with justification about how the individual knitters/crocheters’ goals and personal achievements are so laughable and paltry that just associating them with the Olympics is a grave insult, the equivalent of spitting in the face of an Olympic athlete. 

As an aside, while anybody can knit and not anybody can be an Olympic athlete, I am pretty sure some of the knitters participating have spent more time knitting than any of the Olympians have training for the Olympics. 

It’s the New Year! So here’s where I poke my head up and go “Oh, I still have a blog?” I haven’t posted in the last half a year, but I have been knitting, albeit slowly. I lost or misplaced my camera, which still hasn’t turned up, so I kept putting off updates since I couldn’t take any photos… it still hasn’t turned up, but I finally got on the smartphone bandwagon with an iPhone 4S, so I can take photos again. Aside from the iPhone, which is obviously the biggest news, I did a couple of other exciting things in the meantime:

Got engaged. Check this out.

Got a cat. Her name is Lily.

She likes climbing in bags. Sometimes she gets picked up while she’s in a bag. She’s not really crazy about that.

Anyway, yeah. I will try to get back to posting more regularly this year! For now, I’m blaming all flakiness and distraction from the last half a year on one of the following: a) fancy phone, b) new cat, or c) wedding planning (which I actually haven’t really started, to be honest, but it’s a great excuse). Mostly (a), and of that, mostly Words with Friends, but I’ve had it long enough now that I may get better at tearing myself away from plotting triple word scores in every free moment.

Anyway, just a note to say I’m still around and will hopefully post a bit more until that “new year, new start” stuff wears off. Happy 2012!

Is anyone reading this blog in the Boston area? I’ll be there next week for work, and would love advice on any must-see yarn/fiber/fabric or miscellaneous shopping stuff, or any fun events or concerts going on the weekend of June 5-6. (Preferably anything accessible via public transit that does not require a huge amount of walking… the knee is getting better but I’m still not very mobile.) I have Windsor Button on my list but not much else.  I’ve been there a few times before, so I’ve already gotten my fill of the Freedom Trail, Great Molasses Flood memorial plaque, Legal Seafood, etc. What else–Ravelry HQ? A good Stitch ‘n’ Bitch? Let me know if you have any suggestions 🙂

I’m not sure if I mentioned this on the blog before, but I have been rock climbing for the last 6 months or so and really loving it. And “love” is really not a word I apply too often to any kind of athletic activity. But it is really fun–good strength training (and for me, decent cardio; after a few months of it, I found I could run about 4 times as far as before without getting winded), fun to work out strategies for how to get up the wall, customizable to your particular skill level, highly social but without the “oh God I’m letting everyone down” feeling that comes to utter non-athletes like me when getting involved in competitive team sports.

For many people, particularly my parents’ generation and older (since rock climbing before the 80s or so was the real deal… on rocks that can crumble or saw through your rope, not in a gym with plastic screw-on holds and padded floors), the reaction when I would mention this was “Wow, isn’t that dangerous?”

My hubris-filled reply: “Oh, it’s perfectly safe, it’s in a gym, on ropes, with a padded floor.”

I bet you see where this is going.

My friend Liz and I signed up for an Advanced Movement class at the gym and I was really excited about it. Finally, we would advance into new and wonderful realms of climbing! Moving in an Advanced way! Learning fabulous new skills!

The first class was basically a diagnostic where we were told to just climb normally, and the instructors would watch and get an idea of our climbing styles so they could tell us what we were doing well and what we needed to work on. So the doors of climbing enlightenment didn’t really crack open on Tuesday.

For the second class, last Thursday, we were supposed to pick out the routes we would be working on–a problem that was just above our skill levels to complete–and we would figure out how to do each piece of it until we could complete the whole thing in one smooth climb.  Finally! Soon we would be levitating up walls blindfolded, like true climbing masters.

I picked out an overhanging route set into a corner that I had gotten about halfway up before, and set out. I needed a few tries to get onto it, but I got past where I had been stuck before, and was doing some beautiful moves to get up past the trickiest part. I was doing great! Finally, I was at the very last move of the climb. I had to reach up really high along the overhanging face to get the next hold.

Facing the corner, I put my left foot on the left wall, right foot on the right overhanging wall, and executed a drop knee maneuver by dropping my right knee down, which should have given me a few more inches of reach on the right side.

Unfortunately, as I pushed up with my right leg towards the final hold of the climb, I felt a horrible wrenching sensation in my knee–aside from the horrific pain, when I briefly put my hand on it I could feel that something was very, very wrong. Pop! goes the kneecap. So I had an exciting ambulance ride visit to the emergency room, will be putting a good chunk of change towards my health insurance deductible this calendar year, and am stuck on crutches for probably 4-6 weeks… and will be out of the climbing gym for even longer. Plus, now that I have dislocated my kneecap once, I’m at a high risk for it happening again.

All this happened while I was “perfectly safe,” in my harness, on the rope, being held by a certified belayer. And I was doing a move I’d done before with no ill effects. I guess I just had my knee twisted a bit too far, or was just too forceful this time, or something.

As if to taunt me, the weather here has been gorgeous. Rahul took me on a walk down to the park the other evening (we’re only a couple of blocks away, but on the crutches, it probably took an hour to go a quarter mile) and it was just filled with people enjoying their knees, zooming past on Rollerblades or bicycles or just jogging along. Much like this scene from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, but substitute a working pair of legs for the bikes.

The possibility of getting lots of knitting done is basically my only consolation. At least I can bend my knee again so I can sit up in a chair again instead of having to lie flat on the couch or in bed like I’ve been for the past few days… not that I’ve gotten a lot of knitting done; I finally started my second Interlocking Leaves sock–the first one has been sitting around for ages, solitary and lonely–but I screwed up the instep so had to frog back about an inch of it already. Bah.

Anyway, so that this post is not all griping and gloom, here are some pictures of my latest finished object–another Latitude and Longitude hat, made for my friend’s 30th birthday. (Rav project link) I only had time to take some overexposed photos with the flash before packing it up to give to her, so forgive the photo quality. This was a stashbuster with only one color striping, on a black background–I made it with some leftover black wool, striped with odds and ends of Noro Kureyon and Malabrigo spit-spliced together into a continous strand wherever possible.

I found this site,, with all these gift ideas that look fantastic. For example, seed tape, hot chocolate on a stick, magic boxes, tissue flowers.

Postcards that assemble into 3-D shapes.

Lace tape. has gone from just English vocabulary to subject matter questions.

I’ve been making my way through Dr. Who and I just bawled at Father’s Day–even if it had the usual ridiculous monsters in it, what a fantastic episode. io9 wasn’t lying.

I clicked on an ad in Ravelry the other day and found this page: Jenny’s Easy Graft. It’s an adaptation of Kitchener stitch worked with the right sides together and fewer individual needle motions (you sew through the front and back stitches at the same time, so there’s only one motion between dropping stitches off the needle). Looks intriguing–I have something on the needles now that requires a LOT of grafting, so I’m going to give it a shot soon. Has anyone tried this technique?

It’s almost time for the drawing. Come by the Knitcircus giveaway post and comment there today if you want to enter the contest. As it stands now, there’s a 19% chance of winning something when I do the drawing tomorrow. Pretty good odds!

p.s. I forgot to add: we found out the reason the sink was constantly clogged and full of bilge. The previous tenants had dropped a fork down the drain and left it there.

I was thinking today about Tiananmen Square.

Today is June 4, 2009, the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. I was reminded of this by, of all things, reddit, which usually mainly serves as a clearinghouse for internet lulz and random cute animals. Yesterday someone posted this Youtube video. Today they’ve created a commemorative Tank Man logo.

Since I was pretty young in ’89, I have only vague memories of this happening at the time, but I remember a plaster statue of the Goddess of Democracy being erected in Portsmouth Square in San Francisco Chinatown. Looking it up, it seems like this must have been the initial model for the bronze statue that stands there now.

In 2007, Rahul and I visited mainland China through a program with his business school. That’s where the photo above (with the Kittyville hat) was taken. It was in March, and Beijing was still very cold–although the sun was shining, the wind was icy, and whipped across the open spaces of the square. All I could think of as we walked through the square, past the soldiers in their uniforms, representing the same government that was in power 20 years ago, was Tank Man.

So I thought I’d post a few interesting links…

Western journalists are currently being obstructed from filming around the square by men carrying giant umbrellas and walking in front of the video cameras. Watch the video–it’s farcical, surreal; would almost be funny if it weren’t so creepy.

Frontline’s Tank Man documentary is available to view online via the PBS website.

Here is a link to an interesting page about current censorship.

The New York Times Lens blog has a couple of really fantastic stories about this. (CNN, on the other hand, has vetoed any coverage whatsoever, in favor of a DEVELOPING STORY!!! about David Carradine’s seedy Bangkok death-by-autoerotic-asphyxiation, and stories with the headlines “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s your neighbor“, “Gator had personal swimming pool“, “Topless coffee shop burns down; official says it was arson“).

From the NYT:

One photo of Tank Man a minute before the encounter, walking towards the tanks. This is the first time this photo has been released to the public,

And the first-hand accounts of four journalists who captured Tank Man on film 20 years ago. One photographer hid a roll of film in the toilet to save it from the PLA soldiers who burst into his room and confiscated his camera. Another journalist had a French student smuggle out the film in a packet of tea. A third smuggled out the film with the help of a long-haired college student wearing a dirty Rambo t-shirt.

The BBC has some interesting interviews with Chinese students about what they know about Tiananmen.

150,000 people gathered in Hong Kong for a candlelight vigil.