yokoo

November 30, 2010

i try not to blog more than once in one day,
but i cannot keep quiet on this one.

it’s no secret,
at least i don’t think it is,
that i love miss yokoo.
years ago, when i first started knitting,
veronica brought her to my attention,
and i fell immediately in love.

there is just something about the way she portrays herself,
not only yokoo the real person,
but yokoo the real persona,
the brand,
the icon.
i found and find her mesmerizing.
the way she constantly evolves, lives her art form,
and somehow makes a living off of it . . .

i know it’s a total cliche but she’s one of my biggest inspirations.
her dedication and perseverance motivate me to do the same,
to sit my ass down and write,
or knit,
or write about knitting.

over the past couple years,
i’ve purchased a few original yokoos.
we’ve also become internet buds,
giving each other a supportive comment,
tweeting our appreciation of each other’s crafts.
(or maybe i’m just an overzealous fan lol)

she made a name for herself on etsy and flickr,
and today, etsy released a “handmade portrait” of miss yokoo.
i was totally nervous to finally hear her voice,
and i in no way expected to hear the old soul in the video.
(though why i don’t know).

and i just felt i had to share it with you.
so here it is bitches,
the handmade portrait of yokoo:

seriously yokoo, congrats.
and in the immortal words of rupaul,
don’t fuck it up!

ps i would give a million dollars if someone can help me make the video fit within my blog column.

nice package

November 30, 2010

while mo may not have given up on waiting for the mailman

i have.

i got the package i was hoping for from yokoo.
she even sent me a bonus package.
they
are
fabulous!
perfect for my upcoming birthday trip to nyc.
i can’t wait to do a ‘thank you’ photo shoot!

i was expecting two others,
but i think i may have to give up on them for now.
which is a bummer since i love a good package,
and am unusually invested in receiving mail.

hopefully you are too.

since i’ve got a couch full of packages going out today.

if you guessed the right book in my “livid” post,
want a skein, and haven’t sent me your address,
better send it soon!

(of course, you had to have posted a comment with the correct guess before i revealed it in “fuel for the fire”)

in knitting news,
i’ve been feeling a bit uninspired.
any suggestions for something i simply must knit?

fuel for the fire

November 25, 2010

let me just say how thrilled i was to see so many of you guess the book.
it is,
indeed,
knits men want:
the 10 rules every woman should know before knitting for a man

by the stupendously sexist bruce weinstein.

all of you will be getting yarn.
a promise is a promise.
my poor stash!

this book made me so angry so often,
i found it nearly unbearable to get through.
i was constantly shouting things like,
“oh my god! that is so offensive!”
“who the fuck is this guy?!”
“are you kidding me?!”
or simply a high-pitched “AHHHHHHH!!!!”

i know i know.
if something is bad in the knitting world,
we’re supposed to shut up and smile.

fuck that noise!
there’s no way i can keep my mouth shut for this one.
but since eviscerating this book line by line would take too long,
let’s just look at some highlights.

i shall call it, the 10 most offensive excerpts from “knits men want”

1. “When men don’t wear what women make them, they’re just being men−with their own quirky likes and dislikes and an inability to express them. When they abuse the garments knitters make them, they’re still just being men−hardwired not to think about feelings, not to think about how much work went into making them, and not to understand why their behavior is so upsetting. Women can’t expect to change these make characteristics, but they can change what they choose to make for the men in their lives.”

i can’t believe in the new millennium people are allowed to make sweeping, generalized, essentialized statements like this.

2. “Men and women behave differently; we all know this to be true. In general, women cry and men don’t. Women share their feelings and men don’t. And women try on clothes and men don’t.”

sneaky bruce! using “we” as a rhetorical tool in an attempt to put the reader on your side by including them grammatically in your argument. unfortunately all i did was scream, “HOW ARE PEOPLE STILL ALLOWED TO WRITE THINGS LIKE THIS?!”

3. “Ideally, he’ll also try on the sweater you’re making as you go, though this can sometimes take some convincing. Here are a few tricks: […].
• Never ask him while he’s watching TV, reading the paper, or engaged in some other activity that’s important to him. Instead, ask him to try on the sweater in the morning as he’s getting dressed or in the evening as he’s getting ready for bed. With his clothes off already, he may be more willing.
• Bribe him. If you’re dealing with a romantic partner, tell him you’ll take something off for every piece he puts on.”

yes women, use your sexuality to get what you want.
make sure you teach your daughters this lesson as well.
and honestly. how important can watching tv or reading the paper be? do people even still read the paper?

4. “Rule #6: Men don’t want anything cute−except you.”

got that women?
if you’re not cute, men won’t want you!
so make it a priority.
just not in his sweater.

5. “Women often suffer for fashion−eyebrow tweezing, bikini waxing, chemical peel, stiletto heels−the list goes on and on. […]. Most men, on the other hand, won’t put up with discomfort for any reason. Dare we call them babies? […]. For men, comfort trumps fashion and all sentimentality. So what does this tell you? […]. No matter how much you like a yarn (or how much you paid for it), your guy isn’t going to be interesting in wearing it−no on his back, his feet, or even his hands−if it doesn’t feel good next to his skin. Despite his five-o-clock shadow, calloused palms, and disinterest in romantic comedies, this is one way in which men are sensitive.”

yes women, men are babies. make sure to mother them!
it’s the best way to get what you want
and i hear it’s quite the turn on!

get real bruce!

i think every single woman on what not to wear is guilty of choosing comfort over style. it is SO not exclusively a male trait.

i have worn 7″ platform pumps for an eight-hour stretch. yes by the end of the night, my feet were in agony. but the same is true of my prada loafers. and every day when i came home from my job in the business world, i took off my dress shoes with a loud sigh of release from another day of discomfort.

uncomfortable shit hurts, and we all wear it because it’s socially required of us. when we don’t, we forfeit social rewards for choosing our own comfort over fashion.

6. “Men can’t fake it. Not in bed, or anywhere else. Take him to the ballet on the night of a championship basketball game and he won’t even pretend to enjoy himself. Same story if you knit him a sweater he doesn’t like−he may put it on once or twice to please you, but ultimately, it’s destined for the back of the drawer or the charity pile.”

i have no words.

7. “Men aren’t dainty. Therefore, they need manly buttonholes, which are stronger than standard buttonholes and able to withstand some bullish abuse.

so if you’re male and dainty, you’re not a man.

8. “Women love to impress, stand out in a crowd. Men love to blend in, not call attention to themselves.”

how about theses stereotypes: all those men with fast cars, flashy suits, trophy wives, and all the men of jersey shore. yup. just trying to blend in.

and to give a knitterly example, i’m reminded of the fact that adrienne martini’s husband has requested that she knit him the the henry viii sweater by alice starmore. clearly a wallflower sweater.

9. “[…] men don’t communicate as well as women do, so you’ll rarely get him to tell you up front what he likes. But if women want to succeed at knitting for men, they’re going to have to find a way to extract this information from the male brain.”

that’s right, i have all these thoughts and feelings and no idea how to tell you. don’t bother asking me. just use subterfuge and elaborate stratagems to figure me out.

10.

to me this cover says, “behind every good man is a good woman”
trained by a bruce weinstein to bend over backwards to change who they are to meet his every knitterly need

some things this book taught me:
• everyone is straight.
there is no room for anyone who isn’t, even in the knitting world.
• women will find fulfillment by spending a lot of time figuring out the needs of their uncommunicative men and then spending hours and hours knitting them something. if they do everything right, they will be rewarded by the men wearing the garment. if not, expect heartache.
• you don’t need a degree in neuropsychology, genetics, human behavior, human biology, gender studies or any other qualification to speak about the complexity that is gender. nor do you have to provide any hard evidence to back up your work. you simply need the y chromosome to speak accurately about male behavior. this will also be all you need to teach women to behave properly.

the thing that is actually so dangerous about this book,
or any book that talks about gender in this way,
is that it is never merely descriptive,
but also prescriptive.

by saying, this is how men are,
you are teaching them how to be.
you are saying, if you want to be a man, you must behave this way.
hearing this over and over makes people believe it to be true.
even if everything he writes describes every man in your life,
it is dangerous and irresponsible to think all men are the same.

if you expect a man to be uncommunicative,
he will be.
if you expect a man to know nothing about fashion,
he won’t.

the sad part is,
there are some nice patterns in this book.
it is well put together, and lovely to look at.
(quelle supris, jared flood did the photography. shame!)
why then must it be coupled with some of the most sexist writing ever?

seriously, i could go on and on.
i won’t because my readers, as few as they might be in number,
have proved they are intelligent.
you don’t need me to point out how outdated thinking like this is.

here’s my final two sense on the subject:
if you found this book as offensive as i did,
ask the owner of your lys to take it off the shelf.
i did.

and if anyone in your life doesn’t appreciate your knitting,
man, woman, child, or other,
fuck ‘em.

finally, we have a FO: nancy in her vest:

pattern: dr. g’s memory vest
yarn: wool from isis, a sheep nancy helped to sheer,
spun up by stonehedge fiber mill
a pattern written by a woman for men
knitted by a man for a woman.
how’s that for a knitting gender fuck?

nancy loved it,
and it will keep her warm on thanksgiving day.

personally,

i prefer an old fashioned fire.

livid

November 22, 2010

i can be realistic.
the knitting world is dominated by women.
and there ain’t nothing wrong with that at all.
so it’s not a surprise that there are far fewer knitting books for guys,
and that many are for women to knit for men.

this is all fine.

i can even get over the fact that i’m gonna see a lot of boring grey vests and sweaters designed for men. all this is ok with me, if a little disappointing.

however!
i am currently reading what can only be described
as the most offensive “men’s” knitting book ever written.

it is page after page of stereotypes
that only serve to fullfill themselves!

i.
am.
livid!

but before i finish reading this thing,
and writing my scathing analysis of this bitch,
i thought, why not do something positive, right?

so if you can guess the name of the book i’m reading right now,
i’ll send you a skein of yarn.

let the games begin bitches!

edit: contest CLOSED! thanks for playing.

progress

November 18, 2010

tuesdays and wednesdays compose my “weekend.”
naturally, i tend to take care of business on those days.
this past “weekend,” i spent the majority of that time on my couch;
writing,
knitting,
fielding emails,
filling in applications,
obsessing over twitter,
and generally worrying about my future.

with the vest blocking on my bed,
i even spent a night on the couch.
it’s the best $15 i ever spent really.

suddenly, i found i had nothing to knit.
i mean, i’ve got a couple things hibernating,
but nothing i’m ready to face again just yet.

so i wound up a ball of luscious silk

by hand of course. (see ms. mcphee, i did learn my lesson.)

the next day, a shawl is born.

unfortunately,
my model wasn’t feeling very cooperative.



i know i’ve complained thoroughly about the juneberry triangle in the past,but with two under my belt, i’m kinda having fun this time around.

so thanks to you random grocery store checkout lady!
enjoy that first silver shawl,
but this one’s tina’s.
step off bitch.

i have no idea where the past eight days have gone.
oh yeah!
that’s right.
i’ve been lost in a sea of cables.

finally, i’ve worked my way through most of the knitting.
i mean, i love the way cables look,
but jesus god they take forever!

right now, the pieces are soaking
and i’m stressing over how the hell i’m supposed to block them
when the many t-pins i’ve . . . collected from my friends
are missing. assuming i do find them,
i still have to figure out how to seam the bitch.

when did knitting get so stressful!?!?

in the mean time,
i wait at the window with mo

hoping the mailman has a package i’ve been waiting for.

i feel like a sixteen year old girl waiting by the phone on friday night.

*sigh*

stash karma

November 8, 2010

so i drew a winner for my contest on friday,
and i know you’ll join me in congratulating miss. jen
who has selected this lovely skein of socks that rock.

mo approves.

to those of you who didn’t win, thanks for playing.
i hope you’ll still keep me on your blogrolls.

if there was a particular skein that you were hoping for,
drop me a line. we’ll work something out.

however,
stash just doesn’t seem to want to leave!
in fact, as one skein of blue moon leaves my house,
three more have arrived.

does this yarn look familiar?

it should.

it’s luscious silk in the “manly yes, but i like it too” colorway.
a few months ago, i knit a shawl out of this very yarn
for the lovely tina newton
so why the hell do i have three more skeins of it?

here’s the scoop:

even though we’re both pretty busy,
(tina obviously more than i)
every now and then,
she drops me a line.
or i drop her a line.
sometimes,
i drop her a stack of post-it notes.

in our most recent exchange,
it turns out that she lost the shawl.
she was sick about it, and wasn’t sure if she should tell me.

being a knitter, i immediately offered to reknit it.
i mean, she loved it so much. how could i let her feel bad?
i said my finger was poised above “purchase” button on the BMFA website, and i was ready to dig up the pattern.

she wouldn’t hear of it.
she insisted she give me the yarn.

of course her generosity floweth over
since there is no way i’ll need three skeins.
apparently, the only real way to get rid of stash is to knit it.
any idea what i should do with the third one?

the story doesn’t end there though.
after i got the yarn tina wrote:

“I traced my steps that day over and over and realized that it probably dropped off my shoulders when I headed this toddler off at the pass because her mum was too far behind and not gaining the speed her little girl was.

So I went back to the grocery store that this had happened at a couple of days ago and was about to ask after it when I saw that one of the cashiers had it on.

She was showing it to a customer and was obviously in love and well I couldn’t, I just couldn’t.
I thought you’d understand.

You do right?”

can you believe that?
tina is a bigger knitter than i!
i would’ve snatched that shawl off that cashier
faster than a pissed off queen snatching a wig off.

still,
my answer was obvious.
of course i understand!
tina let the cashier keep the shawl
for the same reason i immediately offered to reknit it.
we knit, at least in part, because we love when people love hand knits.
clearly, the knitting gods work in mysterious ways
and that cashier was meant to have shawl number one.

this time around i’m making sure to say all the right prayers,
lighting extra incense, candles, and such
to make sure this one stays on the intended shoulders.
maybe i’ll send a shawl pin to be safe.

oh yeah,
she also hired me to be a test knitter.
can you say, “yarn support”?
can you say, “paid to knit”?!
i’m a lucky lucky man.
stephen houghton of hizKNITS may be the first man on the (blue) moon,
but there were 17 apollo missions, bitches!

when you send a knitted gift to an old friend,

and they send you a photo for your ravelry page
without you even asking.

thanks kevin!

dear knitting,

i know i haven’t spent as much time with you today as i said i would.
but you have to admit i’ve stayed pretty true to you over the years.

i appreciate your tolerance,
and that you recognize that monogamy isn’t my style.
my fooling around with that shiny new spinning wheel at work,
that’s for you. . . for us!

i love you, but today,
you may think i crossed a line.

today, on this beautiful november afternoon,

i took my first steps toward quilting.

my friend lee practically begged me to try it.

and before i knew what was happening,
she was showing me the basics.

yes the fact that i was sitting on a curb

with sewer fumes periodically wafting up
makes it look like i wanted to quilt like a crackhead wants. . . well. . . crack.

and yes,
lee gave me this awesome quilting kit to get me started,

but it’s not what it looks like.

sure i’m sentimental.
i love making things with my hands,
things that are connected to tradition,
things that stand the test of time because i put the effort in.

but honestly,
i’m only doing this so that someday
i can replace the threadbare quilt my grandma made.

one quilt. just one.
two, two at the most!

it’s a temporary thing.
what we have? my love for you?
that’s forever.

i hope you understand.

love,

steven

ps (to the readers). what? like you don’t talk to your knitting. sheesh.
go enter my contest already

(this post unconsciously inspired by the yarn harlot *sigh*)

one of the blogs i try to keep up with is adrienne martini’s.
she has two excellent templates for getting a blog post out there:
“many things make a post”
and, my personal favorite,
“shameless self-promotion.”

today i shall synthesize them for my own shameless, misdirected blog entry.

what the hell!
i think i’ll also make a list like the yarn harlot!

1. i desperately need to destash. in doing so i hope to regain some precious square footage and maybe some even more precious cash.

2. one of the goals i have for my blog is to get it to the number one spot on the first google page when you search for “bitches get stitches.” when i search now, it’s at either 3 or 4. this is unacceptable. as i understand it, people linking to my website (bitchesgetstitches.net) can help move me up the list. must work on this.

3. it’s been a while since i’ve done a giveaway and i feel the itch. though it may be just my chest hair growing back in after my halloween costume i suppose.

4. i think i have figured out a way to kill a few birds with one cyber stone:

the fourth bitches get stitches giveaway!

the rules:
1. add me to your blogroll
2. comment with a link as proof
3. that comment becomes your number and you’re entered!

if you’ve already added me to your blogroll,
you’re one step ahead of the game.

if you don’t have a blog, get creative!
follow me on twitter
or tweet your favorite bitches get stitches post.
i’ll be flexible.

just leave a comment letting me know/linking to confirm.

the winner will get to pick a skein from my destash pile.

the yarns from right to left:
1. socks that rock heavyweight by blue moon fiber arts in the “fall on tap” colorway.

2. tosh worsted (now known as tosh dk) by madelinetosh yarns in the “thyme” colorway

3. tosh worsted (now known as tosh dk) by madelinetosh yarns in the “norway spruce” colorway

4. tosh sock by madelinetosh yarns in the “bungalow” colorway

5. seduction by blue moon fiber arts in the “oregon red clover honey” colorway (a fave skein of mine *sigh*)

6. caper sock by string theory in the “vert” colorway

7. “naturally dyed sock yarn”, 100% superwash merino, 100g/380yds by abundant yarn and dyeworks in the “neon bible” colorway

8. some hand dyed yarn by woven art. the label reads “treadsoft, 100% superwash merino, ~4 ounces ~490 yards.

the winner will be chosen on friday by some random number generator.

who’s in?

ugh i just realized my friend anna is going to disapprove of this shamelessness and call me annie modesitt or something.

oh well.

edit: a winner has been drawn. thanks for playing!

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