Yup, I'm completely ok with the fact that Chippy the Wonder Chipmunk and My Lord Vader from Wyoming are in charge again - and that the fucking morons of our nation clearly wanted them. Its all good - I'm hoping we invade Australia this time. I'm pretty sure they have WMDs.
Ok, I have to sublimate somehow, and so I'm back to talking about knitting. I'm starting a shawl made out of this really, really pretty, very soft, totally inorganic fuzzy stuff that looks like mohair, only much snugglier. If you know anything about my taste in knitting, you know this is not my usual wont - I am pretty much entirely a natural fiber woman. Oh, I've crocheted a few afghans in the nicer artificials, mostly for my Mom, who is allergic to nearly all natural fibers, but for the most part I like my yarn to come from an animal or vegetable, rather than an oil well.
But this stuff was really, really soft. And so pretty - a slightly variegated burgundy. It won't keep me warm the way wool or alpaca will - and in fact, I swear my next shawl is going to be the aran pocketed one (I am not generally a cable person, but I like this one) from _Folk Shawls_ (amazing book, btw) in Artful Yarns's Jazz, which is a wool/alpaca mix. It will keep me terrifically warm, I suspect, and very happy. The current shawl project, umm, will probably not warm me too much.
I knit for many reasons (to keep from eating too much, to do something productive while I watch tv, because I like to spin and you have to do *something* with the yarn, because I'm in preparation for full-time sheep ownership), but mostly because I like people to be warm even in the cold, and because I believe in using as little heating energy as possible. Thus, warm sweaters, socks, hats, blankets, shawls, made of natural fibers that are warm, water resistant, and snuggly, so that you want to wear them. I am not the person to make a fun-fur scarf, or a metallic-polyester poncho. My philosophy of knitting is that the garments should be simple, serve their purpose (to cover one's back or ass or whatever, and to keep it comfortable in whatever temperature it is designed for), and show off the beauty of the yarn and simple stitch work - period. That's all there is to knitting.
Which is why I don't do artificial yarns, picture knitting (except for small kids - although I admit I have considered making political afghans. Do you think people would pay me to knit blankets that say, "Kiss my ass John Ashcroft?"), or anything remotely fashionable (see all previous comments on ponchos). Except that I'm knitting this shawl, which will not be warm, is not made of natural fibers, and which I'm doing entirely because it is pretty, at a time when I have dozens of holiday gifts to knit.
I can't be sure, but I blame this on the Bush presidency. I believe that not only have the Republicans done near infinite damage to people (like 100,000 Iraqi civilians, not to mention our own soldiers - check out www.fromthewilderness.com), governance, freedom, the environment, the national discourse and my children's future (not to mention a whole lot of children's present), but they have also started to ooze into our collective consciousness and destroy useful brain cells. I'm pretty sure had Kerry been elected (no great joy to me, truly, but at least a relief from the pure hell of this administration), I'd be spinning organically raised yarn dyed with natural goldenrod to make my shawl. Instead, I'm making this oil based monstrosity.
It is soft, though. And really pretty. Is this how it starts?