Saturday, April 18, 2015

In Which Religious Freedom Equals the Right to Be a Jerk

To the ultra conservative Jewish men out there...

There have been recent reports that certain members of your group have been holding up planes - not with guns - but with refusals to sit down and behave themselves.

Why? Because you don't want to sit by women. Apparently women have cooties.

You claim religious freedom.

I'm all for religious freedom. Until it infringes on someone else's freedom. And holding up a plane because you can't sit down and behave yourself is infringing on every one else's freedom to get to the place that they already paid to go to.

Furthermore, dear airlines, stop asking and pressuring women to move to accommodate these men.

Sure there are those who say "why can't she just be accommodating. Moving is not that big a deal."

I'm all for being accommodating. If you are a mother who wants to be near your children so you can keep an eye on them, I'll move for you. If you're a couple who wants to sit together, fine, especially if I can have a window seat.

But if you're asking me to move, not because of a specific need, but because of who I am, then that's where I say no.

Imagine if the airline asked a black man to move because the KKK member refused to sit next to him because his "religious belief that God hates black people" prevents it. Or if a member of the Westboro Baptist church insisted that he can't sit by a gay man, would the airline ask the gay guy to move?

I highly doubt it. And nor should they.

But it's perfectly fine to ask a woman to move. Women are nice. Women are accommodating. Women aren't that important anyway. And if the woman would just get up and move then the nice Jewish man can sit down and the plane can get up in the air and everyone will be on their way.

It's always the woman's fault.

Seems to me gentlemen, if you want to play ring around the rosie with seating plans, then buy your own plane. If you really don't want to sit by a woman then buy two tickets. Or talk to the airlines when you purchase your ticket. Or bring a friend who isn't afraid of girl cooties. Or walk, bus, drive a car, or swim to where you're going.

And if you fear that if you sit by her she will jump your attractive as you think you are - it's unlikely to happen. Don't believe those letters about the mile high club that you read from the secret Playboy you stash under your mattress.

And if you can't control yourself when you sit by a woman, then you should not be in public at all and perhaps should check yourself into an all male facility where they treat sex addicts. You might want to sit by women after that as the safer alternative.

Look, when we get on a plane we all may have to sit by people we don't want to. The guy who smells like he rolled in whiskey, the four year old with the full on tantrum, the man who looks at you like he has a chain saw in his luggage and he wants to take you for a drive when you get off the plane, the woman who chews gum with her mouth open. It's part of the whole airplane experience along with body cavity searches, lost luggage and travelling with our knees up at our ears.

Airline personnel, the next time a man refuses to sit down because he has to sit by a woman, either give her a seat in first class (because it is insulting to be told that you are unclean and she sure deserves first class, free drinks, and a foot massage, just for being humiliated), or strap the guy to the wing of the plane. He can have a seat all by himself out there.

Ladies, please, if you are ever asked to move your seat because you are a woman, don't. Please don't. It is not okay. It is not acceptable. It is not being nice to other women to cave in like that. You are only feeding the egotism that these men have and you will perpetuate the problem.  Although - if you are offered a seat in first class you are more than welcome to take it. We don't want to be unreasonable here. Just remember to drink to the rest of the people in cargo who have to travel with the guy who believes that one touch of a woman will cause him to turn to dust.

Oh, and for the rest of you ladies who have to travel with this guy, touch him over and over again. He just might turn to dust.

Friday, April 10, 2015

The Stash!

I have not given up writing!

Okay, got that out of the way.

I work at an LYS (local yarn shop) and occasionally I write something for the blog there. I thought I would share it here. Just for those of you who get high on yarn.


Let's talk stash. Specifically yarn stash.

Maybe you are one of those ultra disciplined people who only buy enough for one project at a time. You finish that project and then head down to the store to buy just enough for your next project.

I admire you. I used to be like you.

But then for some of us, the collection bug hit. We go into a store and see a yarn we love, we go to a sale, we buy a magazine and find several projects we want to do, and before we know it, we have...


We're not talking about a couple of lonely balls of stash, we're talking...


I'll bet that no one has as much as this lady.

The World's Biggest Stash?

That's her private stash. Not store stash. She did an interview later.

The World's Biggest Stash Update and Interview

I'm sure you're all feeling better about your stash, unless you want the Guinness World Record.

Although we call it all stash there's different types of yarn stash.

Leftovers: This is the stash that is unavoidable. It's the leftovers from those projects you made. It may be half a skein. Too much to throw out, but not enough to do something with. If you have a skein or more left over you can make a matching hat, or mitts, or a cowl. But it's the bits and pieces that make up this pile. One day, you will make a crazy scarf out of it all, or an afghan. Or something!

Staples: You know that it's designated for socks but you haven't picked out the pattern. You love lace shawls so you collect beautiful lace and fingering yarns, you just need to pick the pattern. You have a ton of dish cloth cotton and you know you'll make those dishcloths one day. Those skeins of yarn are for scarves. These ones over here are your basic worsted weight that you go back to again and again, and that pile over there is your baby yarn because there's always a new baby on the way. You know where it's going, you just haven't decided on the project. But you are ready for the pattern when you find it.

Ingredients: You know specifically what you're doing with this yarn. You have the pattern, you have the needles, you may have even put it in a special spot. You just haven't got around to making it yet. But you will. You will.

Gourmet: You were in a yarn shop and fell in love with an exquisite skein of cashmere and silk that was way too much money but you bought one ball anyway. You went to a sale that was so fantastic that you walked away with an entire bag of gorgeous alpaca. You have five skeins of that really lovely Debbie Bliss but you don't know what to do with it. One day you will find a use for this yarn but right now, it just sits quietly in your yarn pantry waiting for you. It calls out to you sometimes, and you gaze at it, and you may even go looking for a pattern for it, but the perfect pattern hasn't appeared yet.

Expired: And then there's the stash that you just don't know what to do with. Someone handed you their bag of leftovers. Or you thought at one point that the color was nice but now you don't. You bought up the big box store yarn in your early days of knitting but now you don't want to touch it. There's that skein of yarn that was all the rage but now it's dated. And then there's the project of shame. The yarn that you tried out on a pattern but found out you hated it. Either the yarn or the pattern or both. There's really nothing wrong with any of the yarn. It hasn't gone bad. It's just taking up space. But you spent money on it so it's hard to give away. (Hint: You know that worsted weight acrylic that is looking resentfully at you for not using it and you really don't want to - we'll happily take it and donate it to wonderful volunteer knitters who will make blankets for Canada).

And if you give away stash you are perfectly justified to buy new stash!

It's okay. We all do this - well except for those one project at a time people.

One piece of advice. Never show anyone your stash. They will either think you're crazy and want to send you to therapy, or they'll want it. They will bug you about it. They will ask for it. They will pout if you don't share.

I even heard of a woman who would sneak into her mother-in-law's basement where her stash was kept and take what she wanted without asking, because it was in the basement. We do not approve. We think people should have their own stash collections.

Whatever your stash situation, we understand. At the beginning of the year I thought I would go on a yarn diet. No more new yarn until I made a dent in the yarn I already have.

I work in a yarn shop. Do you know how crazy that resolution is? My boss brings in a beautiful line of tonal alpaca and common sense goes the way of the dodo. She has a 50% off sale and the yarn I've been eyeing for months is now in my studio. Kaffe Fassett does a knit along, and I want to knit along. I found a wonderful pattern and none of my yarn works for it.

So it would help if everyone came down to the store and bought yarn so it would quit yelling at me to take it home.