Saturday, October 27, 2012

Smile Saturday

You know, Readers, John and I have decided to hold off on having children until we own a house and have a set amount of an education fund saved. But, when I watch something like this, my ovaries start screaming at me. It appears that biology likes to play dirty.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Fly Me To The Moon 8-pt

This is the first of many "re-works" of the original Fly Me To the Moon pattern! I thought an unusual flake shape might make the finished work a bit more interesting.

I must admit, though, that the little "moons" look a bit like albino bananas.

ch 6, form ring or use magic circle

Rd 1; ch 3, 15 dc in ring. Join with sl st to third ch of beginning ch 3. 16 dc.

Rd 2: ch 1, sc in same st. *ch 4, skip next dc, sc in next dc. Repeat from * around; (ch 2, dc in last sc) to form last ch 4 sp. 8 ch 4 spaces.

Rd 3: ch 3, hdc, sc in same sp.(*) sl st in next sc. sc in next ch 4 sp, ch 6, sl st in second ch from hook and in next ch. sc in next ch. (ch 3, sl st in second ch from hook and in next ch, sl st in sc) four times. sl st in next two chains, sc in same sp (^). sl st in next sc, in next ch 4 sp work sc, hdc, dc, ch 1, dc, hdc, sc.(@) repeat from * to @ twice, then from * to ^ once. In last sp work sc, hdc, dc. sc in third ch of beginning ch 3 to form last ch 1 sp.

Rd 4: Ch 1, sc in same sp. Ch 13, sl st in 2nd ch from hook, ch 12. sc in next ch 1 sp; ch 8 sl st in next 2 ch from hook, sc in next 2 ch. ch 5, sl st in next 2 chs from hook, sc in next 2 ch. Sc in the middle of next sc, sl st in next 3 ch. ch 1, sc in same ch 1 sp. Repeat from * around, omitting the last sc when you finish the last "moon". Join with sl st to first sc.

Block using 8-pt pattern. The little "stars" require one pin in each point.

Use whichever stiffening method you like, Readers!

*Note: Crocheters, you may do whatever you like with the snowflakes you make from this pattern. However, please don't change or sell the pattern (but feel free to share it all you like!)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Smile Saturday

Witness, Readers, the beautiful story of Ed, who was searching so hard for his friend Bob.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: buh dhu du dooooo *buurrrhhh***

Well, Readers/crocheters, I've done better. 

Third flake, though!

I don't have a pattern for this yet...because, quite frankly, I'm less than thrilled with the finished product here. I showed this flake to my husband, and he thought the little "moons" were supposed to be birds or Nike swooshes.

The stars might need a bit of tweaking as well. Granted, this flake hasn't been pinned or starched, so we still don't know QUITE what it's going to look like when all finished.

I feel that the middle part could use some visual interest. I have some beads that I could incorporate, OR, I could change the whole dang thing from a 12-pt star to a 10-pt star, putting a little star shape in the middle. I'll play with it and see how I feel :-P

In addition to not being 100% satisfied with the end result, I find that it is super, SUPER hard to put into words how I did the little moons/nikeswooshes/bird things. I probably broke every crochet rule in the book; I was double crocheting in the middle of stitches! YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO THAT! SHOCK AND HORROR!

I'll keep on working on this pattern, and will keep you updated, Readers!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

Haiku Friday: In which I struggle to talk about sexual harassment without sounding like an angry bra-burner.

I wish I did not
have to guard my self, but dumb
men give me no choice.

Image found here:

At the risk of being labelled an "Angry Femi-nazi", I am going to just put this out there:

It should never be a woman's responsibility to put up with the creepy, disrespectful, and downright DANGEROUS behavior of men who have zero self control.

Street harassment needs to stop, and sexual harassment has to stop. Enough said.

I debated whether or not to bring this issue up again, Readers. I find that I have a lot of difficulty when it comes to writing and talking about sexual harassment, partially because the subject itself isn't exactly pleasant, and also because of how often I am dismissed as being "overly-sensitive" or "unfair" whenever I bring it up. I guess this speaks to my constantly brewing frustration with men who just don't seem to understand how honestly HARD it is to be female; how something as routine as a bus ride is made so much more stressful because of nothing more than my gender.

It's difficult to put into words just how much an effect harassment has on me, personally. There is nothing, NOTHING, that makes me feel more vulnerable, afraid, and frustrated than being harassed by strangers. I've written before about how outwardly rude and perverted behavior makes me feel angry and afraid, but I've never really talked about...the not-so-outward stuff. The unspoken stuff.

Like when a man sitting next to me on the bus decides to drape his arm behind my seat, letting his fingers brush against my arm as I'm desperately trying to scoot as far away from his wandering hand as possible without being too obvious.

Or when I'm walking home from work, and a slightly intoxicated middle aged man stops me, and asks, "Miss...could you do me a favor and just SMILE?", then taking a not-so-discreet look at my rear end as I walk away.

When I'm standing in line at Starbucks, and out of nowhere some ass-wipe standing behind me decides to lean forward and SNIFF MY HAIR.

Or when I'm simply approached while I'm on some sort of public transit, ALWAYS by a man, who is either unable or unwilling to read my body language, (which is screaming "PLEASE LEAVE ME ALONE,") wanting to strike up a conversation that inevitably leads to:
A. Me being uncomfortably hit on,
B. Me being accosted by a Dooms-Day prophet, or
C. Him trying to sell me something.

Readers, I either walk or commute by bus to my job every day, and usually, I am alone and it is after dark. I take every precaution to send out as many "Please Leave Me Alone" signals* as I am able, but I still get approached (always by men) CONSTANTLY.

I find it much easier to deal if the weather is nice enough for me to walk. When I'm walking, I know that I have an "escape route". If somebody is being stupid, I can just walk away. Simple as that.

Where I REALLY start to feel afraid; not annoyed, not frustrated, but honest to God AFRAID, is when I'm riding the bus at night.

That "escape route?" No longer exists once I'm on public transportation. When I'm in an enclosed space and some guy decides to ignore my body language/monosyllabic answers to his attempts at conversation, I don't have the option walk away, and I am quite literally TRAPPED.

Now, gentlemen, I understand that the majority of you who try to talk to me on the bus are not rapists. But Jesus Tap-dancing Christ, fellas,  LEARN TO READ MY BODY LANGUAGE AND RESPECT MY PERSONAL SPACE!

What makes the above situations exponentially worse are the ridiculous implications and consequences of my non-interest. I almost always ignore guys when they try to approach me, and almost always, the guy in question gets offended when he realizes that he's being ignored. If the guy is hitting on me, I'm accused of being a "stuck-up bitch." If he's trying to save my soul, I'm accused of hating God. If he's one of those "Children's International" cretins, I'm accused of not caring about children.

It wears on you after a while, Readers. After three years of riding the bus, it still gets to me how often I get called names.

I wish that I could give the guys wanting to talk to me the benefit of the doubt. I really, REALLY wish that I didn't have to put up a protective "bubble" whenever I'm traveling alone at night. But sadly, because I don't have what one of my favorite bloggers, Dianna Anderson, calls "rape-dar", I am not willing to take the risk of being friendly. Lots of men have ruined it for you, fellas. When I was a bit more naive and outwardly "friendly", I've been called names, been loudly and rudely made fun of, and have been groped twice. (Both times, the douchenozzle responsible was exiting the bus and was out of reach before I had a chance to react). 

I occasionally have to put up with creepiness while I'm working as well. When I'm at my job, 99% of the time, I feel completely comfortable and safe, but there are times when I feel like I should invest in a can of mace.

I work in a skyscraper downtown that, for the most part, is not open to the public; most floors require you to swipe your key card before you can get in. My floor is one of the few that can be accessed by the public during business hours so that clients and visitors can easily see their attorneys.

On Tuesday evening, a seemingly normal-looking guy came up and started to aimlessly wander around the reception space. I did my receptionist thing and asked, "Can I help you?"

This butt-stain of a human being came up to my desk, leaned over,  started STARING AT MY CHEST and (in what should be ranked as one of the world's very worst/creepiest/stupidest attempts at flirting with a receptionist) asked, "Well, what kind of services do YOU provide?"

My face looked something like this after he said that. Image found here:

I lowered my voice a half octave, put on my "bitch face", and informed him that he had wandered into a corporate law firm. He then tried to make a pitiful attempt at a lawyer joke, all the while looking like he wanted to eat me. I called for security, but before they could come up to assist, this pustule on the face of humanity had taken one of the bottles of water at the reception desk and left.

Those are for CLIENTS, asshole!

Women who work in customer service, I feel, have an especially difficult time when it comes to these creeps.  When a lady is working at the cash register, behind the check-in desk, behind the Burger King counter, she has an obligation to give "good customer service" she always should. However, in my experience, I find that a woman's hands are tied when faced with a situation like the one I had: We are trained to keep smiling and giving "good customer service", even when the customer is being a disgusting creep.

When I was a bakery clerk way back in the day, my boss would tell me about how she would get goosed on an almost weekly basis by a customer who had wandering hands. She was so afraid of getting "written up" by her managers that she didn't say a single word.

A lot of time had passed since that incident, (she told me that it happened back in the mid-nineties, in a different store located half-way across the country), and I had received a great deal of "safety and awareness training" from our store. All the same, it always kind of got to me how much of this training was focused on waiting for the creep to go away.  If I didn't feel safe (and if the creepy customer was within earshot), I would call whatever manager was on duty and say, "I'm going to take my break early". This was our stores' "code phrase"  for when one of us was feeling seriously creeped out and didn't want to be too obvious. I would then go to the back room and wait for somebody to stay with me until the customer in question left. Under no circumstances were we to confront the creepy customer. That wouldn't be giving very good customer service, would it?

From a liability standpoint, I completely understand why the grocery store forbade us from confronting the creepers. Be that as it may, it still really bothers me. It felt like the grocery chain was more concerned with keeping a customer than they are with keeping their employees safe and sane.

It's WAY beyond the scope of one blog post to explore street harassment, the culture that allows and excuses it, and possible solutions.

I guess all I have left to say is this: I do not owe it to men to be friendly. I do not owe it to men to be conversational.

I will not compromise my sanity and safety for a man's need for attention and validation.

I am so sick of this crap.

*(when I'm walking I wear my headphones, and when I'm on the bus I either knit, read, play with my phone, or stare out the window.)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Sand dollar box lid!

Is it a button?

A coaster for a shot glass?

Just a cute round THING?

NOPE! Readers, for this week's Lace Doodle Thursday, we have a LID! For a BOX!

I'm still working on the, well, BOX part of this teeny tiny keepsake. I went ahead and used a size 10 crochet cotton and upped my usual crochet hook size to 1.25 mm, which makes for a MUCH stiffer end result that doesn't require starching!

It did turn out super teeny-tiny. 

Enjoy, fellow crocheters!

"Sand Dollar Box" (Lid)

Materials: Size 10 crochet cotton
Crochet hook size 4 (1.25mm)
Special Stitches:
Beg. 3 dc popcorn: Ch 3, 2 dc in the magic ring. Remove hook from working loop, push through both loops of the ch 3 and dc and pull the loop through.
3 dc popcorn: Work 3 dc in the magic ring, remove hook from working loop, push through both loops of the first two dc and pull the loop through.

Make magic ring.

Rd 1: Work beg. 3dc popcorn in ring, ch. 2. (Work 3 dc popcorn in ring, ch 2) 3 times, join with slip st to beg. 3dc popcorn. Pull magic ring tight.

Rd 2: Ch 3, 3 dc in same sp. Ch 1, 4 dc in next sp around. sc in 3rd ch of beg ch 3 to form last ch 1 sp.

Rd 3: Ch 3, dc in same sp. (dc in each of the next 4 st, 2 sc in next ch 1 sp) around, join with sl st to third ch of beginning ch 3.

Rd 4: ch 1, sc in same st. Sc in each stitch around.

Bind off and weave in ends! :-D

Folks, you may do whatever you like with the miniature box lids you make from this pattern, but please do not re-publish or sell the pattern. Thanks! 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Smile Saturday

Rescued ducks discovering water for the first time! If you don't feel ten times happier after watching this, you have no soul.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Haiku Friday.

"It's okay," they say,
yet My hands still shake. I must
get over this fear.

...of plugging in appliances that don't have a clear "On/Off" switch. It's ridiculous, I know. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lace Doodle Thursday: Naomi's Star

Good afternoon, Readers!

Now that I'm a boneh-fiday married person, I think that it's time to amp up my lace-making skills. I am officially on a "lace schedule", Readers! You can expect a lace doodle every Thursday!

The first four of these "doodles', Readers, are little "Thank-yous" to a few of the people who helped make our wedding wonderful!

The first of these is a snowflake inspired by my parent's wonderful neighbor, Naomi:

Ladies and gentleman, the Fairy God Mother is alive and well and is living in the Pacific Northwest. Her name is Naomi, and she's been a close family friend for about five years now.

If a person were to go to a dictionary and look up the words "Hospitable", "Giving",  and "Welcoming", they would find Naomi's picture. While I was planning my wedding, Naomi has been UNBELIEVABLY helpful!

This Fairy God Mother in disguise planned my bridal shower, down to the tiniest detail. She also helped address our invitations, and she HANDMADE these amazing leaf-shaped brooches that my bridesmaids wore.

This flake/star has a pineapple lace motif in the center, to serve as a symbol of welcome and hospitality, the very same kind that Naomi gives to each and every person she meets!

Naomi, this lace flake is for you! Thank you so much for being so wonderful!

Naomi's star

worked with DMC cebelia, size 20 crochet thread (white)
steel hook size 8 (.9 mm)

Special stitches:
Picot: ch 3, sc in third ch from hook
Beg. 3dc cluster: Ch 3, (YO, insert hook in st indicated, pull up loop, YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) twice, YO, draw through all 3 loops on the hook.
3 dc cluster: (YO, insert hook in st indicated, pull up a loop. YO and draw through 2 loops on hook) three times. YO, draw through all 4 loops on the hook.

Ch 8, sl st in first ch to form ring.

Round 1: Ch 1, sc in ring. (ch 6, sc in ring) 5 times, ch 3, Dc in first sc fo form last ch-6 sp. 6 ch-6 spaces.

Round 2: Ch 1, sc in same space. Chain 4, *(sc, work picot, sc) in next ch-6 sp, ch 4. Repeat from * 4 times, sc in first ch 6 sp, work picot, sl st to first sc.

Round 3: Ch. 1, (5 sc in next ch-4 sp, ch 7) around, join with sl st to first sc.

Round 4: sl st to third sc from round 3. Ch 5 counts as first dc plus ch 2 , dc in same st, (ch 2, dc in same st) twice. Ch 10, *dc in third sc from round 3, (ch 2, dc in same st) three times. Ch 10. Repeat from * 4 times, join with sl st to third ch of first ch 5.

Round 5: work beg 3dc cluster in next ch-2 space, (ch 1, work 3dc cluster in next ch-2 space) twice. *(ch 2, 2 dc) three times in next ch 10 space, ch 2. (work 3dc cluster in next sp, ch 1) twice, work 3dc cluster in next space, ch 2. Repeat from * 4 times, (ch 2, 2dc) three times in final ch 10 space, ch 2. join with slip st to beg 3 dc cluster.

Round 6: sl st to first ch1 space. Work beg 3dc cluster in same space, ch 1, work 3 dc cluster in next space. *Ch 3, sc in next sp. ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sp, ch 3, (2dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sp. Ch 2, sc in next space, ch 3, work 3dc cluster in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, work 3dc cluster in next space. Repeat from *4 times, ch 3 sc in next space, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 space, ch 3, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next sp, ch 2, sc in next sp. Ch 3, slip st to first cluster.

Round 7: Sl st to next ch 1 sp, work beg. 3dc cluster. *^Ch 4, skip next ch-3 sp and next ch-2 sp, (2dc, ch 2, 2dc) in next ch-2 sp. Ch 2, sc in next, sp, ch 2, (2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 sp. Ch 4, ^ work 3dc cluster in next ch-1 sp. Repeat from *4 times, repeat from ^ to ^ once. join with slip st to first cluster.

Round 8: Ch 1, 2 sc in next ch-4 space. *^(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 space. (Ch 2, sc in next space) twice, ch 2. (2dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch 2 sp. 2 sc in next ch-4 space, work picot, ^2 sc in next ch-4 space.  Repeat from *4 times, then repeat from ^ to ^ once. Join with sl st to first sc.

Round 9: sl st to first ch 2 sp. ch 3, dc in same sp. ch 3, 2 sc in next space. In next space work (sc, picot, sc), 2 sc in next space. ch 3, *(2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc) in next ch-2 space, (ch 2, 2 dc) twice in next ch 2 space. Ch 3, 2 sc in next sp, in next space work (sc, picot, sc), 2 sc in next space. Ch 3. Repeat from *4 times, (dc, ch 2) twice in next ch-2 sp, 2 dc in next ch 2 sp, ch 2, sc into first dc.

Round 10: Ch 6, * in next sp work (sc, hdc, dc, tr). (ch 12, sl st in 6th ch from hook) 3 times. Ch 12, sl st in 6th ch from hook, (ch 6, sl st in same st) twice. (Ch 12, sl st in 6th ch from hook) 3 times, ch 6. Work (tr, dc, hdc, sc) in next sp. Ch 3, dc in next ch-2 sp, tr in next sp. Ch 7, (begin little heart), sc in 6th ch from hook. Ch 3, sc in third chain from hook, sl st into first sc (the one you made in the 6th ch), next ch and top of last tr worked. dc in next ch-2 sp. ^ Ch 3, repeat from * 4 times, then repeat from * to ^ once. Join with slip st and bind off.

You can do whatever you like with the snowflakes you make from this pattern, but please to not republish or sell the pattern. Cause that's not cool. 

Until next time!