Saturday, June 30, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2012...

... has begun... And we are off!

Tour de Fleece is a challenge for spinners organized at Ravelry and coincides with the famed Tour de France. Spinners who sign up for Tour de Fleece may join one of hundreds of teams. Last year I spun with "Team Men Spin" but since I don't see them this year, I'm spinning with "Peloton", the main group.

The challenge is to spin something every day the Tour de France is on (this year it's June 30th through July 22nd). Additionally, we are challenged to spin something challenging on July 18 to coincide with the toughest high mountain stage for the bikers.

I had such a blast participating last year that I could not resist it this year. It is a tremendous motivator. Much enthusiasm is generated in the threads at Ravelry with oodles and oodles of fantastic pictures and write-ups of everyone's spinning. It's just phenomenal.

I got in about 2 hours of spinning today, starting the tour with 4 oz. of lovely Blue-Faced Leicester/Silk blend roving. It came as 2 separate colors in a colorway called "Cinnamon Toast". I am spinning the 2 colors separately and will ply them into a barber pole yarn. For that reason I will 3-ply using 3 separate strands of yarn instead of Navajo plying--which I am so fond of. It is not possible to create a barber pole yarn using Navajo plying technique.

I spun up 2 bobbins today and will spin the 3rd and ply tomorrow. This is a picture of a little corner in the backyard where I like to spin. It's so heavenly relaxing to sit in the shade and spin listening to all the bird chatter (the wild ones and my own). Tomorrow evening I will have a pic of the finished skein.


* * *

I have a new subway project under way. Yippee! It's another lace project called "Print O'The Wave Stole" that I'm knitting also in Malibrigo lace weight in a luscious color named "Brllante". So far:

* * *

Tomorrow, I hope to begin warping my loom for a broken twill pattern called "Dornik". My plan is to weave cloth with the possible goal of turning it into a vest. We'll see how it goes. I found the pattern in a Book titled "New Key to Weaving" by Mary Black.

I do not know what consitutes a "broken" twill. Must add this to my list of things to research.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

FO once, FO twice...

FO time. It has been a good week. I finished weaving the twill sampler. The first cloth woven (by me) on my new-to-me loom; my first twill and my first 4-shaft project. I am more than happy with the way it finished up. I soaked it in hot water in the tub with a bit of Eucalan and swished it back and forth gently. It fulled beautifully. I'm amazed how the web closed up in this process. The Harrisville New England Shetland has produced a beautiful wool cloth that is light as a feather and comfortable.

There are some imperfections in the weaving--it is a learning experience after all. Some of my beating was a little uneven and some of the slevedges have runners at the edge. This is because some of the patterns don't grab the outermost thread and it is left hanging in those patterns. When I first observed this, the whole topic of 'floating selvedges' suddenly made a lot of sense. A floating selvedge is an extra thread that is warped along side the actual warp but is not threaded into a heddle and therefore floats round about the middle of the shed. If a shuttle is thrown over this thread on one side of the warp and under the thread on the other side, then these edge threads are guaranteed to be caught in the web every time. For this sampler, seeing how it's all so new to me, I simply caught the outer most thread every so often to secure it to the cloth.

I am also pleased with the way the colors worked together...

There's a glimpse of the soaps from last week in this pic:

Exciting, exciting!

I also managed to finish Quercus Alba this weekend. Had a few hours on the train to CT back and forth on Saturday and lo, it's completed. I'm well pleased with this as well. Another very enjoyable knit. At the moment I feel lost because I haven't a subway knitting project on the needles. What to do? What to do? Will have to find a new pattern asap, that's what!




Sunday, June 24, 2012

Pride day 2012...

It has been that day once again... Pride March. 2012. Although it could be argued that the word "parade" would be as suitable now days, I think we should stick to calling it a march if only to pay homage to those who paved the way ahead of us. A huge thanks out to those who literally marched ahead of us and who have fought for LGBT rights thoughout the years. With deepest gratitude.

When I was born, homosexuality was "illegal" (as if one can legislate an innate trait!) Growing up in the closet is painful to the breaking point. I know some who poo-poo the idea of marching, but not me. I will continue to march as long as I am able to. It's been a long and hard road. Just because we are now benefitting from better recognition and legal protection is no reason not to celebrate, in my mind. In fact, it's all the better reason to. And why not!?

I also know that to some extent pride "parades"--if you will--are not well understood by a large number of people, if only because they are remote. News coverage tends to foster the wrong impression of what pride parades really are these days, and if that's all some people have to go on, they aren't going to get a good idea of it all. I've heard them called sleeze fests, exhibitionist displays, raunchy, self-centered, immature, acting out. For this reason I have listed at the end of this post the line up for today's parade. I'll hope you'll be pleasantly surprised. Have a look.

Yes indeed, it's a big parade and a ton of joy. I always cry at least once during the day. It's very emotionally charged. Bright colors, thumping music, happy people, cheering crowds. Celebration!

It's also a bit of theatre and I think that's important too. There's still a few sites to see that will jog a bit of a jolt. Good! It is after all a march about sexuality. Let's not sanitize it too much. Let's see who we are--all of beautiful homo sapiens. It's good.

... So I got to our staging area early this year so as not to be in the predicament I was in last year... The march is incredibly well organized, just phenomenal, but when the police get the notice to lock down the staging areas they do their job--also incredibly--maddeningly!--well. So being early I was able to walk about quite freely for a while.

I snapped pics starting with my ride into the city: the subway platform at Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. I think there is a bit more than 50 pictures, most of them pre-march (it's hard to take pictures of a parade when you're in it! Also, these pics only portray my immediate surroundings--a handful out of hundreds of groups.). When I got to the block with the LGBT Center staging area, it was still quite empty--just a group of flag throwers doing last minute dress rehearsals. You'll see the block fill up little by little, and eventually -- it's always a thrill -- that moment when we turn on to 5th Avenue. Enjoy! (P.S. There is one picture which some might consider obscene--but it depends on your point of view. Otherwise safe for work.)

NYC Pride Parade, 2012... (hint: if you click a picture, the display will change to a slide show.)
























































































































AND, the groups marching in today's parade (it's long) ...

A.N.S.W.E.R Coalition
ACT UP
Affirmation New York City
Africa In Motion
African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change (AALUSC
AID FOR AIDS INTERNATIONAL
Ali Forney Center
All Souls Church
American Veterans For Equal Rights New York
Amnesty International
AOL
APICHA
Armenian Gay & Lesbian Association of NY
Arts & Letters Gay Straight Alliance
Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal
AT&T
AXIOS Eastern Orthodox LGBT Christians
Bailey House, Inc.
Bank of America Metro-NYC LGBT Pride Employee Network
Baruch GLASS
Beacon Light Fund, MGNJA, Inc
Big Apple Dodgeball
Big Apple Softball League
Bikram Yoga Grand Central
BJU Unity
Boxers NYC
BrasiLGBT/Cidadao Global
Brearley School, The
Bring It On: The Musical
Broadway Bodies
Broadway Impact
Broadway United Church of Christ
Brooklyn Intercollegiate Network of Queer Students
Brown University Transgender, Bisexual, Gay & Lesbian Alumni (TBGALA)
Bud Light
Butch/Femme Society, The
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
CAMBA Inc.
CANDLE's Youth Pride
Caribbean American Pride
Center for Inquiry - New York City
Center Lane
CHARLIE THE MATCHMAKER
Cheer New York
Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority Inc.
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Chris Salgardo 2012 Grand Marshal
Church of Saint Francis Xavier
Cirque du Solie - Zarkana
Citibank
City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, The
City Of New York Administration for Children's Services
Closer Than Ever at The York Theatre Company
Club Evolution
Coca-cola
COLAGE NYC
Colin Higgins Foundation
Collegiate Churches of New York, The
Columbia Queer Alliance
Communicative Training Services Nonprofit
Community Healthcare Network
Congregation Beit Simchat Torah of New York
Congressman Jerry Nadler
Congresswoman Carolyn Mahoney
Constantine's Crew
Continuum Hospitals of New York
Cornell University
Council for Unity
Crunch
CRUX Climbing
CUNY LaGuardia Community College
CUNY LGBT Task Force
Cures Not Wars
Cyndi Lauper 2012 Grand Marshal
Da Urban Butterflies Youth Leadership Development Project
Dalton School, The
Dance HIT Radio
Delta Airlines
Delta Lambda Phi
Diageo
Dignity NY
Door-A Center of Alternatives Inc., The
Dragon Pride
Dykes on BiCycles
Empire State NORML
Empire The Series
Empower Yourself (I AM GOD)
Episcopal Church, The
Fast and Fabulous Cycling Club
FDNY Recruitment & Diversity Unit and Fire Flag / EMS
FEDERAL BUREAU OF PRISONS LGBT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM--NEW YORK
FIERCE
FIESTA NEW YORK
FLAGGOTS
FLAMING SADDLES SALOON
Foster Parent Advocacy Foundation Inc
Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women
Friends of Michele
Front Runners New York
Gay Activist Alliance in Morris County (GAAMC)
Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats (GLID)
Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
Gay City News
GAY GEEKS OF NEW YORK
Gay Men of African Descent, Inc.
Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC)
Gay Officers Action League
Gay Peruvians Of The Americas
Girls Support Group, The
GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)
Glowing With Pride
Go Magazine
God's Love We Deliver
Google
GOSHIKO
Gotham Knights Rugby Football Club
Gotham Lasik Vision, Gotham Skincare, Gotham Beauty Lounge
Gotham Volleyball League
Grace Church Brooklyn Heights
Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance
Green Chimneys Children's Services
Harlem Pride, Inc.
Harlem United - BMI
HELP PSI Family
Heritage of Pride
Heritage of Pride Lead Banner
Hetrick-Martin Institute, The
Hispanic AIDS Forum, Inc.
Hollaback!
Hombres Lounge
Homo The Musical
HoopRain
Housing Works
HSBC Bank - North America Gay & Lesbian Employee Resource Group
Human Rights Campaign
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch
IAMpowerment Project/Les Divas
Identity House
Imagination on Ice
Immigration Equality / Immigration Equality Action Fund
Imperial Court of New York
In The Life Media
Intact America
Iris House Inc.
Israeli Delegation, The
It Gets Better Project
J.P. Morgan Chase
JCPenny
Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
JJ and friends
Judge Barbara Jaffe
Judson Memorial Church
Kaleidoscope
Kiehl's
L.G.B.T.S. Club Of Passaic County Community College
LAG Lesben in NRW e.V.
Lambda Legal
Las Buenas Amigas
Latinos D - Latino Commission On Aids Inc
Laughlin for President - Campaign for Context
Legal Aid Society, The
Legal Services NYC
Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps Marching Band
Lesbian and Gay Teachers' Association
Lesbian Herstory Educational Foundation (Lesbian Herstory Archives)
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
LEZ Factor
LGBT & Friends Network at FedEx
LGBT Catholics and Friends of New York
Little Red School House and The Calhoun School
Log Cabin Republicans of New York City
Long Island Gay Men's Chorus
Love Yourself Project
Lower East Side Harm Reduction Center
Lucky Cheng's
Macy's
Madison Avenue Baptist Church (MABC)
Males Au Naturel ~ NYC
Mama Jean DeVente
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance and Staff
Maranatha- The Riverside Church's Ministry for LGBT Concerns
Mario Godiva Fitness
Mark Otto for City Council
Marriage Equality USA
MasterCard
Mateando
MEN OF ALL COLORS TOGETHER/NEW YORK
Men On Pointe Ballet Company
Mercy For Animals
Methodists in New Directions
Metrobears of New York
Metropolitan Community Church of New York
Metropolitan Hospital LGBT Committee
Metropolitan Tennis Group
Monsters
Montclair State University - LGBT Center
Morris County NAACP NJ
Mount Sinai Medical Center Comprehensive Health Program
NBC
New York Area Bisexual Network
New York City Anti-Violence Project
New York City District Counicl of Carpenters
NEW YORK CITY GAY HOCKEY ASSOCIATION
New York City Gay Men's Chorus
New York Civil Liberties Union, The
New York Law School OUTLaws
New York Legal Assistance Group
New York Life
New York Musical Theatre Festival
New York Ramblers
New York Renaissance Faire
New York University LGBTQ Student Center
NorthEast Two-Spirit Society
NOW-NYC
NV Healthcare, LLC
NYC Gay Basketball League
NYC Pagan Pride Project
NYC Pride Trooper
NYC Public Advocate, Bill de Blasio, The
NYS Assembly Member Daniel J. O'Donnell
Obama for America - New York
Occupy Wall Street
Office of the Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer
OfficiallyHard
On The Cutting Edge Gay Ministries
Our Youth
OutCycling
Pace University: LGBTQA & Social Justice Center
Park Avenue Christian Church
Party For Socialism and Liberation
Peace Corps
PFLAG Eastern PA/Monroe County
PFLAG for Families of Color and Allies (FOC)
PFLAG Kingston, NY
PFLAG Kingston, NY
PFLAG New York City
PFLAG North Jersey
PFLAG Southwestern CT
PFLAG Westchester
Phi Omega Delta Sorority Inc./Sigma Omega Phi Franternity Inc.
Phyllis Siegel & Connie Kopelov 2012 Grand Marshals
Planned Parenthood of New York City
Polyamorous NYC
PopChips
Pride Center of New Jersey, The
Princeton University, The
Project Reach
Project Renewal
Project SOL, Grand Street Settlement
Pure Power Boot Camp
Quakers of NYC (The Religious Society of Friends, NYQM)
Queens Pride Lions Club
Queer & Sober, Inc.
Queer Rising
Queers Against Israeli Apartheid
Queers for Economic Justice
Q-WAVE
Rainbow Heights Club (Heights Hill Mental Health Service, C.A.B.)
RIDE, The
Rita Mella for Surrogate's Court
RITZ LOUNGE NYC
Rocky Horror Picture Show NYC Cast, The
Russian LGBT Group
Safe Horizon Streetwork Project
SAG-AFTRA's LGBT committee
SAGE: Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders
Sanctuary For Families
Sanctuary NYC
Satu Pelangi
Senorita Colombia Oneida (OSCO)
Sergio Tundo
SGI-USA
SHED Project, The
Shoeholics Magazine
Siemens
Sigma Lambda Pi
Sigma Lambda Upsilon/Señoritas Latinas Unidas Sorority, Inc.
SILENCE! The Musical
Sirens Motorcycle Club
Ski Bums
SoulCycle
South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) of NYC
St George's Episcopal Church
St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction
St. Bartholomew's Church
St. Clement's Episcopal Church
Staten Island LGBT Community Center
Stonewall Democrats of NYC, The
Straights In Support
studlyfe ent
Sundance Outdoor Adventure Society
Swish
SWOP/SWANK-NYC
TAINO
TD Bank
Team New York Aquatics
Tenga
The Equality Project
Time Warner Cable
Tranny Strip Events
Translatinas of New York inc
Trevor Project, The
True Colors Fund
TWU Local 100
U.N.I.T.Y.
Unity of New York
University of Connecticut Rainbow Center
Upper Delaware GLBT Center
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
UTOPIA NYC
Veterans for Peace
VIHDA MANZANILLO IAP
Village Voice
Wall Street Boot Camp Trainers
Wells Fargo
Women's Therapy Centre Institute
Workers World Party
WOW Cafe Theater/ Rivers of Honey
Yetta Kurland Live!
Zipcar