Well, it’s the end of February and that means that it’s time for the Warm Hats not Hot Heads sendoff. I have to admit that we jumped the gun a little and sent my hat on Friday, because today’s schedule was all up in the air and we wanted to send it out on time. So it is off and running, wending its way through the postal system to deliver its message and to find a new home (maybe) with Rep. Hannabusa in Hawaii. I don’t imagine they have much use for wool hats there, but not being used to the cold must make meetings in Washington D.C. all the harder to bear.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, there is a bit of a ruckus going on in Madison about the latest budget amendments being pushed through by our new governor. All the surrounding political discourse has given me plenty of opportunities to reflect on just why WHNHH is so important.
I’m pleased to say that the protests have (so far) remained peaceful, but tension is high and tempers are growing palpably shorter by the day. I was snapped at in the grocery store just yesterday by a disgruntled protester annoyed at having been closed out of the Capitol building, and it wasn’t a pleasant experience. It certainly didn’t further his cause in my mind, even though I was predisposed to agree with him.
I have been disappointed by the level of “discussion” that filters out to me from the crowds that surround the capitol building every day. There have been lots of jabs about Gov. Walker’s (lack of) college education, many statements designed to impugn his character and minimize him as a person, but not a lot of intelligent discourse about the right way to do things. I don’t know about you, but a large group of people chanting about how I’m so dumb I never made it through college would be unlikely to change my mind about much of anything, much less inspire me to engage in open public discussion about contentious issues.
And so, I knit, and think of the ideals embodied in the WHNHH campaign. I hope that they find their way out into the world, not only to our politicians and our public figures, but into our own lives and attitudes as well.
My knitted hat is on its way to Hawaii, but my (metaphorical) hat is off to Ellen and to Allison for beginning what looks to be a truly central part of this ongoing political debate.
This week, I’ve taken a brief pause in my regularly scheduled knitting, in the name of sanity. As many of you already know, Ellen is hosting a “Warm hats not heads” campaign to remind our elected representatives (and perhaps ourselves as well) of the value of civil discourse and mutual respect in public debate. And so, I am knitting a hat.
This may look familiar to you, as it’s the second iteration of the hat I tried to knit for myself and ended up giving to my sister. Knitting it a second time through is giving me a chance to work out all the kinks, and who knows? It may end up being a pattern someday soon. As with all good collaborations, Ellen’s challenge is helping me finish this project now; without the extra push, it would probably have been shelved as a partially finished chart for months to come.
And though I have been pausing just a bit, other things are making progress, too. I finally plied some singles that have been waiting patiently on their bobbins for a couple of weeks now. This brings me up to seven skeins of medium worsted weight wool from the fiber I bought this fall at the sheep and wool festival. I’m about half way through the fiber, so I should have plenty for a sweater in the end. It’s spinning up beautifully soft and fluffy, as only a lightly processed roving can. There’s just no way to get this much loft from a commercially prepared fiber (or no way that I’ve found, anyway).
I’ve been off of spinning for a couple of months now, for no apparent reason. But it is good to be back again, and it will be even better when I get to knit with this yarn.
Not one but two of my friends are taking their first drop spindling classes this month. That seemed like good cause for celebration, so I’ve been playing around in the basement with this today:
(Hint: It’s not white anymore.)
I’m hoping that everything comes out well; some of the dyes were acting a little funny today. I’m not sure if it’s just because the basement is cold and it’s hard to keep the solution water warm, or what. They’re steaming away in the kitchen now, and I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll come out of their wrappers in good shape.
And finally, my sweater may actually get a finished first sleeve soon.
The sleeve itself knit quickly, but the cuff is a little difficult to work, and so I’ve stalled out again there. But I am hoping that I will get that done this afternoon, and possibly even begin the second sleeve. There may be hope after all!
Funny how much gets done when I try to “pause”…