This Week in Yarning

I hooked on that tank top I was in love with from Crochet Today this week.  There are a couple mistakes in the directions for the gauge swatch, so beware.

Speaking of gauge swatch.  I have this problem with crochet that I don't have with knitting.  No matter what the pattern, yarn, or other people say, when I have a pattern I want to make, I just assume whatever yarn I've got will work, and that whatever hook is closest is the perfect size.  I've got no idea why I do that.  So the yarn I wanted to use is some Mystery Yarn, that's about dk weight, and I think is cotton/linen.  Oh, and I have no idea how many yards I have.  So it's an adventure! 

Oh, and while I'm still in love with Crochet Today, WTF?  My mother would say that looks like a circus tent.  And, it already makes that very skinny, very pretty model look shitty.  Why does this exist?  I guess I could see maybe if it didn't have the stripes.  But still, I dunno.  


Another Dude says things, I say other things post

I've been linked to this blog at least three times in the past week.  Dude's got a cute enough idea, and clearly people like it.  But so much of it is inane fucking bullshit.  Like this post on makeup. 
The Misconception: Makeup serves no deeper purpose than to enhance culturally-defined concepts of beauty.
The Truth: Makeup has a deeper value; it enhances the contrast of the human face, allowing for faster recognition of gender.
Wait, what?  What sort of idiot thinks that a multibillion dollar industry's product has no significant influence on our culture and how we interact with people?  A clueless fucking dude who's never pulled his head out from his own ass long enough to observe how women in ladydrag vs women in neutral getup are treated, I guess.  Someone who's never wondered if it would be worse to be judged as unacceptably natural or unacceptably clownfaced at their job interview.  Somebody who's never dropped 20 bucks on a tube of tint and shiny crap because they hoped it had the perfect balance of of, "I'm not some uptight bitch, but I'm also not a whore.  Please don't talk about my tits when I leave the room."  But I'm getting away from my point.  This myth/truth are both utter bullshit.

With women, for example, anything which can be immediately recognized as a feminine characteristic often has the volume turned way up.

What is a feminine characteristic?  Since we're talking about makeup, I'd guess it's red lips, cheeks, and long eyelashes.  What makes those features so inherently, naturally feminine?  Fucking nothing, that's what.  We're wading into the bullshit ocean here.  He then references some androgynous computer pictures that are supposed to prove that when we look at "high contrast faces" we think they're female, and think "low contrast faces" are male.  The only big difference between them is that the high contrast face has paler skin and darker lips.  Now, to me, this proves that we expect female faces to be paler, and have darker lips, the same expectation that most makeup, barring spray tans and frosted lipstick, tends to give.  Is that really true?  I dunno.  I sure as fuck wasn't born with naturally rosier colored lips than my brothers.  I'm digressing again. 

Whats His Face uses this study to prove that this is the natural order of things, rather than how we've been trained to discern gender. 

In cultures where many men are clean shaven, this natural, hard-wired shortcut has helped to motivate the adoption of particular kind of face painting.
Cosmetics enhance this natural contrast. Lipstick and eyeshadow make the eyes pop and the mouth stand out.
 Wait, is it our mostly clean-shaven dude culture, or is it hard wired?  You can't have both. 


Cartoon ladies are often drawn in high contrast. Have you seen those commercials for Esurance? Yeah, the animated action lady in those ads looks like her nose was clipped off in a terrible farming accident. Yet, she has a huge cult following on the Internet – and it’s mostly NSFW. Head to Google to see for yourself.

So, women wear makeup to enhance the bullshit attributes that somebody decided are feminine.  We recognize that faces with more of that bullshit are probably the female ones, the same way we know that a sexed up cartoon face probably represents a female character.  Dudes on the internet have fantasies about these imaginary sexed up characters who exist for no reason other than to please dudes and sell insurance.  Oh and despite the fact that they're drawn to meet some made up ideal it's still hilarious to make fun of their looks the same way we get to do with real women: casually and just cause we can. 

Reading things like this make me wish I'd majored in philosophy.  I've got a buddy who did, and she can slice through any bad argument with surgical precision, while I just get angry and ramble. 

I was just laughing with my bff last week about how all this evolutionary psychology bullshit is a passel of assholes trying to prove that The Flintstones was a documentary. 

Anyway, that's all I've got to say about that.  Besides, please, if you want to prove your point, don't send me to that dude's amazing reference blog. 


Coming up with post titles is the most tedious part.

It's confession day today at Blog City.  I love hippie looking bags.  When I was a teenager I had too much love for all things hippie, stick-it-to-the-manism, tie died shirts, flowey patterned skirts, and a hippie bag.

I'd bought it at a yard sale, it was woven, or maybe crocheted, out of jute or something thick like that.  It was a big bucket shaped bag with coral stripes and leather handles.  I absolutely loved it.  It had that Mary Poppins fits anything quality necessary in a big bucket bag, and I wish I still owned it right now.  I'd forgotten about my hippie bag until I saw a character on The Golden Girls carrying the same bag in blue colors.  So with my love for giant hippie bags reignited, I went browsing around on Ravelry and found this. It's a bucket, it's big, and I can use what I've got lying around.

So I go digging around in my stash and pull up all the worsted weight extras I've got.  The pattern calls for fingering doubled, so I figured that would work.  Also, it's a granny square, so I can really make it whatever size I want.  And, since I cast on last Sunday and finished it Friday, that makes it the fasted project I think I've ever finished. (Rav link)

I cut the table full of drinking and lobster refuse out of the picture.  While it's not generally a great idea to drink too much and then try to take pictures of yourself and a pocketbook, I couldn't get the colors right with any of the in progress indoors pictures.  But I'm super happy with it.  It's got my favorite types of color, it's striped, and the straps will take a lot of weight, which is important for the way I abuse bags.  

I made some modifications about the straps, because I think all bags, especially big bags, need shoulder straps.  I don't understand how people can put their precious time and effort into a bag and then slap one of those cheap handles on it.  Especially those awful imitation bamboo circular ones.  I've only done it when I've been too lazy and stupid to know better.  

I also added magnetic snaps, because a big bag like this ought to stay closed when you put it down. 

Maybe after I touch up some of the indoor lighting pictures I'll post a simple tutorial on how to modify this bag to give it my terrific more normal straps.

OH YEAH, the other great thing about this bag.  The yarn was all leftovers from other projects or one balls I didn't have any discernible use for, the lining was leftover from another ancient project, and the snaps I bought when somebody was discontinuing them five or six years ago, so the total 2010 cost to me was 5 dollars for the trim I made the straps out of.  Not too shabby, right?


my fascinating yarning

I haven't touched knitting or crochet outside of stitch and bitching for a month or so, I don't know why.  But all the great tank top patterns are pulling me back in.  I love this one in the upcoming issue of Crochet Today.  I won't really know until I've got the pattern in front of me if there's sufficient shaping to make it flattering, but as a casual thing to throw over a bathing suit?  I fucking love it.  Although I'd probably leave off the fringe.  It'd make me feel like I was wearing a throw blanket. 

I love Crochet Today.  They blow all the other oddly named crochet magazines out of the water.  Every issue has AT LEAST one design I love, and even when their designs get dorky, they present them with a sense of humor and appreciation for the craft.


I HAVE stopped believing.

I was sorting through in my head a post examining Glee and its rank unexamined privilege that's been an explicit theme throughout the season, specifically whether having the female and minority characters rewarding the entitled ones just for occasionally thinking of them as human beings were the farty imaginary conversations its white producers/creators/bullshit peddlers wished they could have with members of the oppressed class, or was intentionally half baked and adolescent, like we all were in high school. 

But last night's finale was such a steaming turd.  I'm not going to make the same mistake I did with Heroes, and continue trying to find meaning and sense out of a show that's just trying to fill the time between commercials with another product for me to buy.  Maybe I'll get around to it someday, but I fucking doubt it.