Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just an update

I haven't been in the mood to blog, or to write for that matter. If I was to write more, it'd be about knitting. Even with all the knitting books, magazines, and instructions that come out every month, I've discovered that there's a big glaring hole in what's out there; information for people who are beginners who want to graduate from knitting their first scarf (or dozen). The knitting pattern designers focus much on showing off their creativity and expertise, and many of their patterns are too complex for newbies, or at least appear to be so. Knitting instructions look like indecipherable algebraic formulas, and that in itself is enough to frighten off a good many math-phobic people. Add to that that the majority of patterns are written for specific yarn, which is likely too expensive for many people, difficult to find, or has gone off the market, and well. . .even if you're not a knitter and have read this far, you can see there's a problem.

As a longtime knitter, it's easy for me to make up my own patterns, alter existing ones, or ignore instructions and know what will happen if I do so. That kind of information would be useful for beginning knitters. Presenting this information in a lively, hands-on format is something I'd like to begin working on, and I'll probably post some of it here. This idea seems to scream out for another side-blog project, but those haven't worked out well for me. So, since "everything is interesting", you non-knitters who enjoy reading my posts may have to just ignore some upcoming knitting entries, just as the folks who don't care about perfume did the same for perfume entries. In the meantime, I hope to get back to writing entries that are interesting for everyone. Maybe when the summer is over (and I've finally stopped procrastinating about getting my resume done, sent out, gone to interviews, and (hopefully) found a job), I'll be back in the mood for writing up free-flowing entries. I should hope so. This has been great fun for a long time.

A global Christian organization has docked a large sailing vessel on the coast of Maine. I just tried to google them, but they seem to be elusive. I want to know more about who they are. They have tourists visiting the boat all day, and coming to listen to free music at night. Now, discovering that they're hard to find on the web makes me even more suspicious of this group who asks its members to give all their money to them, take a vow of poverty, yet has a sailing vessel worth millions sitting in Belfast harbor. The boat is called the Peacemaker. If you find out something about them, let me know!

Image Note: A Japanese knitting chart. Charted knitting is great, for it does transcend language barriers. I can understand what this chart is saying, but it is a language one has to learn. But no, it is not hard to learn. Try learning Japanese. Now, that's hard.

Addendum: There are a host of books about reading knitting instructions, but that's all they are. Some of them look like fun, like the "Secret Language of Knitters", though this book, as good as it might be, seems like the author is trying too hard to be funny in the way that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is. I love McPhee's "At Knit's End: Meditations for Knitters Who Knit Too Much". It's endlessly amusing for someone who is an avid knitter, but unfortunately, McPhee has actually added to the lexicon of indecipherable knitting abbreviations with her pithy acronyms, such as SSS (Single Sock Syndrome). Ha! I just googled SSS and my own post about knitter's groupspeak came up on page one! Go here to read it. For you newbie knitters, I also found "KnitSpeak:An A-Z Guide to the Language of Knitting." Still, none of the books I've found have it all, and I as much I personally love owning lots of knitting books, but it seems like one shouldn't have to lug around an entire library of books in order to follow one simple knitting pattern. Wouldn't it be nice to have a good all-in-one book with basic knitting patterns and how to read them, execute the stitches, and understand just what the whole process is all about? Yes, what I'm describing is on the market, but they're not the most compelling books.

Okay. I really have to get to re-doing my resume. Unfortunately, I have developed a nasty headache since I started this "just an update" post. Can you believe I have a hangover form drinking one beer last night? Seems that it's so.


BitterGrace said...

Julie, I suspect the ship folk are part of the Twelve Tribes movement--does this sound like them?

Savannah Now

I have talked to some of the original Twelve Tribes people, who recently moved back to Tennessee. Whether they're creepy or inspiring depends a lot on how you feel about dedicated religious communities. There's a pretty good Wikipedia page on them here.

Re the knitting, I find it interesting in a completely abstract way, so post away!

Julie H. Rose said...

Yes, Maria, they are, and I'm going to come back and blog about them. What you wrote - "Whether they're creepy or inspiring depends a lot on how you feel about dedicated religious communities" is something I had planned on writing about after I discovered who they are and thought that my distrust is colored by my negative stereotyping of Christian intentional communities based primarily on memories of Jonestown and other repressive cult-like groups. I have my own biases, too, and need to examine them. I read the Twelve Tribes brochure about their boat, which I found after I posted this, and there was nothing inherently offensive or scary about what they wrote. I just didn't trust it. More to come, and I'll read your link. Thanks.

jmcleod76 said...

"But being pushy isn't their style.

Evangelism, they believe, is done most effectively through hospitality."

Sounds OK to me. The Jesus Movememnt, mentioned in the article as a parent of Twelve Tribes, is an Evangelical movement that grew in the 60s and 70s among hippies and ex-hippies. They tend toward conservatism, but not in the scariest ways possible.

The video at the end of the article was cool. They sort of remind me of the Shakers, another religious community that looks strange to outsiders. If I lived closer to Belfast, I might go check out the Peacemaker.

As for religious intentional communities, I can certainly understand approaching them with caution, but there is a lot of good that comes out of religious people living in community. I think of the Emergent Church - post-modern Christians with, generally, liberal politics and a Zen-like emphasis on our inability to really understand God - and it's new monasticism movement. Young people all over the country are living in religious intentional communities, which allows them to have lower incomes, consume less, and have more time for service in the community. They're not so different from my anarchist friends who practice and promote co-housing.

Dick Fischbeck said...

Hi Jamie

You said:

"They're not so different from my anarchist friends who practice and promote co-housing."

How can that be!! (I prefer the concept nonarchist)


(my nephew's name is Henrik and I decided it was time to change my name. (8^)

Btw, and speaking of design,