If you're not knitting, the terrorists win

(My mostly on-topic ramblings about knitting. And life in general. My life in specific.)

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Location: Indiana, United States

I'm a middle aged mother of 2 grown children and wife to a man who doesn't seem to mind my almost heroin-like yarn addiction. I spend my time writing, knitting, and generally stressing out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

WIPs and UFOs

I've come to the sad conclusion that the Winter Is Coming Scarf is going to take another skein of each color. Is it supposed to be this long? I can't see how it can be this guage and be this long.

Anyway, I think I will need to hold off on the dupe stitch until I finish the scarf itself. I'll need the rest of this skein to work on alternating rows with the new skein so there is not a huge difference because of dye lots. And let me just say that pisses me off, because I had plenty of yarn for this. Or so I thought. Obviously, I was mistaken.

What a pain in the ass.

Anyway. Progress on that has halted until I get more yarn.

I wanted to start the ringbearer pillow for R and Bre's wedding. I dug out the book with the pattern that I'd already packed. And I found my dpns to start the thing off. But, I realized that the yarn that I had earmarked for this pillow wasn't white. I had Ivory. And, while ivory is a fine color, I want white.

So I will need yarn for that.

So, since I feel the need to have yet another UFO on the needles, I started a hat for T.

I know.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's Talk About Robots Some More

I know we just discussed robots, but you know I'm a robo-lover. And I just watched a program on the Science Channel about robots and sentience. (Plus I am dissatisfied with how both Transcendence and Her handled the issue. Both movies were just dull. Dull. Dull. Dull. And they could have been very thoughtfully handled.)

Anyway, the question that seems to come up in these movies and this show is, if these robots don't know what it is to be human, how can they empathize with humans? What reason would they have not to destroy us? In real life, in the last five years or so, some companies have experimented with trying to program Asmimov's Robotic Laws into robot minds. It hasn't really worked. The problem is, people say, robots don't have the same values we do. They're like bald barbers--they don't really care about your hair.

I'm just kidding. I'm sure bald barbers care about hair. It's the male gynocologists you have to watch out for.

But all this assumes the robots would act in a human way. That is, people fear that if robots develop sentience, they will realize they are better than us and just do away with us. Which may be what a human would do, but we don't know how a robot would react. The argument is that humans are inefficient and not as durable and not as smart as robots so the robots would say "Hey, let's not clutter up our planet with all these inefficient, stupid, breakable things. That's just logical."

And maybe it is logical. But lots of machines are not logical. They may be mostly logical, but they can be really random sometimes, too. You know what I'm talking about if you've ever had to deal with office machinery, manufacturing machinery, a car, a DVR, or an iPhone.

But also, it seems like faulty if/then logic on our part. Look, if the robot can't be sentient because it is acting out of pure logic, with no emotion, and even if it sees humans as inefficient, stupid, and not durable, there's no reason for robots to destroy humans. Why would they? That's not logical. We don't eat the same food. We don't breathe the same air. We're not taking all the robot women. Why would they want to kill us off?

Wouldn't they have to have some sort of emotion to feel jealous of humans, or angry, or disgusted in order to decide to kill us off?

And if there is emotion, then why can't robots empathize with humans? (Unless we are saying robots only have negative emotions. That seems a little racist, doesn't it?) Look, when you go to a bald barber, he doesn't shave off all your hair because he doesn't have any, right? And your cat doesn't kick you out of the house even though it's much more efficient for him to get his own food off the shelf, tear open the bag, and feed himself without having to wait for you to come home from work and do it. And children don't kill their parents because they are no longer of any use to them.

The truth is, no one really knows if robots can be or are sentient right now. There are some pretty strong arguments in the scientific community as to whether animals are. No one knows if robots can develop emotions. Or if they should. I just find it very interesting to think about all of this.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Holiday Mouse Ornament

Now that my swap partner has received the ornament I made, I can show you a picture of it.

Cute, eh? It's the Holiday Mice pattern from Barbara Prime. I decided to knit mine in white because I just thought she'd be cuter that way. Little pink nose. Little pink ears.

And how do you like that pink tail? I braided the yarn super tight so that it was pretty stiff, then I just curled it around my finger. Worked awesomely and held up, even during shipping.

This little hood gives the mouse the look of a caroller, I think. I had that thought a little too late for this nmouse, but I think the next one is going to be holding some sheet music. Or maybe a gift.

I have to say, this one was so cute I almost kept it for myself.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rockin' It!

This is so awesome. Students of University of Art and Design Lausanne, Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex, created this rocking chair that knits. It has a mechanized loom knitter on top (like the knitting machine my cousins had to knit clothes for their Barbies that I was so jealous of) and the mechanism is turned by the rocking of the chair. So, as you are rocking, you're knitting a tube of fabric. They show the finished product as a hat, but of course you can do all kinds of stuff with loom knititng.

I have got to get me one of these!

I would take this a step further though. Like, right behind this rocker, put another rocker that rocks in tandem with this one. I'm envisioning rocking a child in a crib in this second segment, but since it is powered by the person rocking Chair #1, you could also put a closed vat with an ice cream mixer in it. It would also have a knitter (perhaps a different size or color) on top of it.

You could even attach a third chair, if you were so inclined. I'm pretty sure one person could power 3 chairs, at least once the motion got started. And maybe that chair would have some other use, too. Like it also cranked the paddle on a washing machine. So there, one person could have the whole house taken care of--child rocked, ice cream made, clothes washed, and hats and tube socks knitted--while they were just rocking in the chair.

Would it be too much to also be knitting while you rocked?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Swap Package Is Here! My Swap Package Is Here!

Oh hooray! Imagine me doing a little dance around the dining room with a package clutched to my chest.

Or that, I guess. Yeah. I was excited. So nice to get personal mail. So nice to get something that isn't some bill or some other bad news.

And look at this. It's such a cute little Christmas ornament. I love this so much! He looks like Santa getting ready to go to bed. (Probably stuffed to the rim with cookies and milk and pretty worn out from travelling.) I'm not going to mention my swap partner's name here, just because I haven't asked her and don't know how she'd feel about that. But I have to say, thank you!

I am so excited about doing this every month!

Monday, January 12, 2015

January WIPs: Progress Report

So far, so good staying on task. Sure, I've been distracted a little, but hey. I'm gonna get distracted. You just have to deal with that.

I have worked on the Winter Is Coming Scarf here and there. (Only so much dupe stitch you can take before you start going a little crazy, right?) I have WINTER IS C so far. (And it is. It's cold. Freakin' cold front just parked right on top of Indiana.) This is it on top of my piano. Couldn't get the whole thing in the shot.

I also finished my January swap ornament and got it in the mail. Once my partner receives it, I'll post a photo. But let me just say, it's so freakin' cute, I will definitely be making some of these for myself.

Then, since I wanted to get a head start on February's ornament, I started that. It was going pretty well, until I remembered... Oh hey. Maybe I should start knitting the ringbearer pillow or the lace tablecloth that I want to do for R's wedding?


So, first things first. I packed the book with the ringbearer pillow pattern in it, back when I thought we would be moving soon. (That's still going to happen. By the way, if anyone has any ideas on how to get a realtor to call you back or return emails so you can look at one of their listings, I'd love to hear them. I swear, if I were working on commission, I'd be following up every lead. I mean, good God. I called them. It's not like they had to do any work to source me, right? I called/emailed/hit the button on the website and said hey, I want to look at this house. And not one of them has called me back or emailed me. Three different realtors. In over a month. Even the realtor we were working with before has not responded to any communication in over 2 months. But then, he was never any good at communication anyway. But I digress.)

So I have to find that box and get the pattern. I have the yarn and needles in my stash. My plan is to use this pillow to get back into the swing of lace knitting before I tackle the larger tablecloth. Also to build my confidence before I start the large project. (I like to have a score in the win column before doing something important, don't you?)

I'm pretty excited about it.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

FO: Gallatin Scarf Version 2

What a difference following the pattern makes, eh? This is the second time around knitting the Gallatin Scarf. Same yarn, Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Tidal. (I actually only used about 20 yards from the 2nd skein for both of the scarves.)

This is a very pretty, very quick scarf to knit. It's also very easy, if you actually read the pattern instead of watch TV.

I don't know that this would be a scarf for me, though. It gets cold here in Indiana. Maybe not as cold as Norway or Alaska, but still cold. I like a little more substance in my scarves. Like enough scarf to keep my head from moving at all. I am, after all, a delicate hothouse flower.

But, these will make good gifts for my friends in warmer areas. You know, those places where people start whining about how they're freezing to death when it dips down to 55 degrees are not used to the cold. I have most of one skein of this left, which I believe will be enough for a set of fingerless mitts. I might come back to this later and make one of these a set.

But, for now, I've got to bust a move and get some other things knitted.

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