Thursday, January 23, 2014

Forced march

I realized last night that I need to make a change in my knitting terminology. There is a technique that sounds like the simplest thing in the world to do: "slip stitches onto stitch holder". Doesn't that sound like the stitches will travel smoothly downhill to their new temporary home, with smiles on their faces? Perhaps it could be done one-handed. But in my experience the stitches are loath to leave their home needle and in transition would rather unravel or split on the point of the new holder. They are recalcitrant and sullen. They do not "slip" to the holder but require a carefully aimed stab-slide to get each stitch over. While I was feeling frustrated I realized that matching my terms to more realistic expectations would reduce my anger. New possible wording: march stitches at gunpoint to new holder. Force/impel/stuff stitches onto holder. I think I have settled on "cram stitches onto stitch holder". It's economical, same number of letters, and lets me know what I'm in for.

I thought I could use slightly larger knitting needles and bulkier yarn and make adult sized mittens. However I ended up with a giant oven mitt-sized mitten. Acrylic yarn won't shrink at all so I ripped it back and started over. Now I have one reasonable adult-sized mitten and have started the second.

Cooking has fallen off my radar for the moment. I suppose the rise in knitting corresponds. Maybe I only have a limited amount of traditional women's work in me. Once it's spent there's no more. Noodles and jarred marinara sauce is keeping Kat alive. Bun is working through a package of hotdogs. Both girls are eating school lunches. Kat says she'd like to get back to making lunches but then tells me she wants to get grocery store veggie sushi. It's expensive and fine for a treat but we'll have to come up with some other
quotidian lunch fodder.

I am waiting for more sun and more warm. This is the armpit of winter and yes I would go south if I had big pots of money.

Reading an off-hand reference to "the ideas of Bentham" I followed some bread crumbs and ended up at the University College London site. Not only do they remember Jeremy Bentham there for his Utilitarian ideas and writing (of which I don't have enough understanding to comment) they also enjoy the company of his auto-icon. It is his skeleton dressed in his clothes (or replicas) with a wax head. The actual head was preserved, badly, and exhibited (with bright blue glass eyes) under the chair on which his simulacrum sits. So many places I could put exclamation points in that sentence. After student shenanigans in the 70s the actual head was removed to more secure and possibly more respectful storage out of public view. But we can all still enjoy the auto-icon. Another thing to go see when I get to London next.

You may know that duck penises are shaped like corkscrews and are as long as a third of the bird's body length. But why? This UCL page discusses the reasons and the surprising fact that while female ducks are often subject to forced copulation they rarely have offspring as a result. They are overwhelmingly likely to have offspring from chosen mates. Oh internet, I love you.



1 comment:

Joolie said...

This whole post was pretty funny, but the giant oven mitt made me snort. Best wishes for a matched pair of normal-sized mittens!