Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Knit a Uterus for Congress: Government Free V-JJ


As so often happens in life, apparent serendipity stepped in to play the role of narrator this week.  The day after I published entries on scientific and anatomic knits, the web exploded with a new grass-roots movement among fiber-crafters to protest the new trend towards restricting rights of women in the US. A group was founded in Ravelry called, Government Free V-JJ, which advocated a visibility campaign in which people knit/crochet/craft female parts and send them to their governmental representatives in hopes that giving them their own uterus may help them get their laws off everyone else's.  Thus, my hand knit Uterus in fleshy vintage pure VIRGIN wool.

Under the auspices of "religious freedom," the new political conservatives are attempting to restructure our society to conform to their interpretation of living a religiously sanctioned lifestyle.  Recently in the US, we've had votes attempting to elevate the rights of a fetus equal to those of its mother (in the "Personhood" initiative which aims to define "person" at the moment of fertilization), to allow empower employers to choose their employee's use of contraception based on their own religious beliefs, to allow employers to ask whether birth-control pills are prescribed for the purpose of contraception (and thereafter allowing them the choice to retain or fire said employee), and most recently to amend Wisconson Law "requiring the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect."  By contrast, the men who enjoy sex with these women, or who impregnate them, are free to utilize Viagra (and have it covered by insurance) without question...even though their erectile dysfunction could, by their standards, be viewed as "God's Will."  Regardless of one's beliefs, I deeply hope that everyone can see the inconsistencies in this argument and the dangers for ALL WOMEN of walking down this new conservative path.

Though the knitting of a uterus does not ipso facto accomplish anything, it is a brilliant "Visibility Campaign" which helps diffuse the anger so many of us feel by giving us a method to illustrate our beliefs in a humorous way.  At the end of this month, the organizer hopes to have all contributions delivered...many by hand...and filmed - ultimately creating a YouTube video to continue spreading the word.

If you would like to contribute to the movement, first craft a Cervix (pattens here), or a Uterus (the WOMB pattern I used is here on Knitty), join the Ravelry group or Facebook group, fill out the online form, and await instructions.

"Let's knit a uterus for each male rep in congress. If they have their own, they can leave ours alone! Tell the male government representatives: 'Get your pre-historic laws out of my V-JJ! Better yet, here’s one of your own!'"

Monday, March 5, 2012

Anatomic and Scientific Knits for Kids

My sons have grown beyond the age where I could dress them in anything I wish and now eschew sweaters altogether in favor of mass-produced sweatshirts.  How, then, to continue knitting for them without creating conflict at home and disappointment/rejection for me?  The answer lies in knitting to THEIR interests.  Luckily, the web is full of great ideas for projects kids would enjoy.  As my sons (like their physician parents) love science, my searches have found these delightful projects made by some incredibly talented knitters out there.  I hope you will find them as inspiring as I have...and maybe share some of your own science-knits!
Knit Skeleton,

Ben Cuevas'

"Transcending the Material, 2010"
"The Knitted Brain"
Karen Norberg
aKNITomy
The Crafty Hedgehog.  Copyright 2007 Emily Stoneking
Christine Domanic, crochet lungs
New Zealand knitters' Knit the Period Table, in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras Swap 2012: Part II

Well this year's swap was another delight.  Just when I thought I could not feel any more glum about being away from my beloved New Orleans for Mardi Gras, my swap package arrived ON THE HOLIDAY!.  I tore it open and found lots of goodies to delight...thanks, Criquette from Kansas, for making my day!

IMG_0044IMG_0041 First, she must have known of my love of cooking...AND of those crazy old traditional mixes to which New Orleaneans are faithful.  I got a treasure trove of mixes...and even made the Jambalaya on MG night! I put on CD she made of favorite home-town music and tossed the PGG Fleur-de-lis sprinkles on the lawn (would have been pretty on the snow...alas, no snow this year).

She made me some beautiful PGG stitch markers and packaged them along with this magnificent enormous glass bead fob in a pretty round box enticingly wrapped.

IMG_0039IMG_0040 This is an absolutely gorgeous skein of Mardi Gras yarn hand-dyed by my talented partner...love it! Most wonderful of all was the designed-and-hand-knit item...a scrumptious and soft Malabrigo cowl which I wore all Mardi Gras day. IMG_0036 It is festooned with sparkly psychedelic buttons...a real weakness of mine! IMG_3937 Thanks, Deborah, for organizing ANOTHER great Mardi Gras swap...and to Criquette, a kindred spirit displaced daughter of New Orleans. Happy Mardi Gras, all! IMG_3940

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mardi Gras Swap 2012

Best PackageBest Water BottleBest BroochBest T and KThe 2012 Mardi Gras Swap is here!  This year I had the uncommon pleasure of actually KNOWING my swap partner.  It is ironic that we are both knitters who lived in and loved New Orleans, LIVED for MG, and now both inhabit the American arctic tundra known as New England.  Best hatThe first project I made was the "Side-Slip Cloche" (by Laura Irwin) in MG colors...topped with a vintage Fleur-de-lis broach (the symbol of New Orleans).  Ironically, Knit1eattoo had in her possession the identical vintage broach...though without the enamel...  Kismet had to be at play here....What are the chances!  The next part of the ensemble was a cowl which I improvised using a slip stitch in order to maximize color play with "windows" of purple and green beneath sparkling frames of Soft Payette (Rozetti) in 14 Karat.  Best CowlThe last knit gift was customized...created using Photoshop and Avery Printable Fabric...to satisfy my partner's infatuation with Saints-era Jeremy Shockey.  "I'll Keep You Warm," he says hotly from the side of a felted hot water bottle.  Mmmm...  Packaged up with some yummy Araucania Antu Multy (colorway 12...available at WEBS), Real Tasso from Savenor's (a Boston meat source), a Vintage Cajun Cookbook (Knit1eatoo is a cookbook author AND collector of those Junior League-style cookbooks), Stitch markers and a poem just for her, Best Markers Zapp's MG chips, a traditional French King Cake from Boston's own Cafe Vanille,T and King Cake and of course, BEADS...and it was done.  Well almost...

Best Tracie and SuzieBecause what made this package fun was that I got to deliver it...by hand.  As Knit1eattoo now lives in Portland, I elected to make a day of it.  Fridays are fun day at KnitWit LYS in Portland, ME.  As the Flagship store representing Quince Yarn, it enjoys a permanent relationship with the greatest "Knit Local" crafters in Southern Maine.  Quince Yarn is a locally produced and New England spun yarn , the new lifework of fiber artist, Pam Allen (as well as Carrie Bostick Hoge and Bob Rice).  Ownership of KnitWit was recently assumed by the lovely and Stash52...pictured here with my package recipient.  We sat and knit all afternoon, in the good company of at least 25 knitters who filtered in throughout the afternoon.  I met other doctors, lawyers, moms, runners, and knitting instructors...LOTS of them.  Help was abundant.  No wonder Friday afternoons at this fabulous LYS are THE event in the mecca of Knitterville, ME.

Thanks to dearest 7LetterDeborah for organizing ANOTHER fabulous swap...AND for making the yarnie pilgrimage and a treasured night with a friend possible.

...and One More Book to Add.

IMG_7439 by dr.knitter
IMG_7439, a photo by dr.knitter on Flickr.
I nearly forgot a favorite...gifted to me by a fellow boy-mom (shout out, Lisa). Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep is a fabulous rhyming book which tells the story of how a sweater is made...beginning with its agricultural roots and sheep. Each step is lovingly personalized (as in, "Mr. Peale, who owns the finest spinning wheel") and illustrated energetically.