Monday, April 7, 2014
Sunday, March 16, 2014
I've been finishing up some long-term knitting, and it feels good.
JEEVES & WOOSTER and TYPEWRITER:
I'm currently knitting the Holden Shawlette. Tosh Merino Light, in the Tart and Oxblood colorways, is a soft, plush treat to knit with. I'm also loving my Hiya Hiya US 6 (4mm) needles & small cable connector.
The Hemlock Ring Blanket is a fairly straightforward knitted doily-turned-blanket. (Except for the central medallion, which taught me oodles.) So fun! Mine is knit in Cascade Eco Plus in the Amethyst Heather colorway on Hiya Hiya US 10.5 (6.5mm) needles & a large cable connector. A/A+
I used the Chained Picot Cast-Off via The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt.
I also finished another delightful knit for the beautiful yarn and the fantastic pattern: Fish Lips Kiss Heel socks in Ladybug Fibers' Magic Carpet colorway sockyarn, knit on US 1.5 (2.5mm) needles (I think). A/A+
Congratulations to the winner of the strawberries and watermelon project bag, sewn by me.
Mary Donaldson-Evans discusses the ways in which literary depictions of sewing and embroidery often subvert the traditional picture of feminine domesticity. Current knitting and fiber arts may or may not be subversive. The current craft movement is part of Third Wave Feminism, yet it appeals to all sorts of crafters. Are you a subversive knitter?
Donaldson-Evans, Mary. "Pricking the male ego: pins and needles in Flaubert, Maussapant, and Zola." Nineteenth-Century French Studies Spring-Summer (2002): 254. Literature Resource Center. Database. 16 Mar 2014.
Also of note are these titles:The Subversive Stitch by Rozsika Parker
Craftivism by Betsy Greer
Subversive Cross Stitch by Julie Jackson (This is the book my neighbor has.)
Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome.
Thanks for joining me. See you next time.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Here's the latest from the knit.theory podcast.
What would you knit right now if you had an infinite number of "right nows" to fill with yarn?
Enter the 100 member giveaway at the knit.theory Ravelry group.
I am loving the Noodlehead wide open zippered pouch tutorial.
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Glynis socks by Cookie A. knit in Dream in Color Smooshy in the Grey colorway, knit on US 2 (2.75mm) circular needles
vanilla socks knit in Ladybug Fibers in the Magic Carpet colorway, knit on US1.5 (2.5mm) circular needles
Garter stitch hat of some sort, knit in Noro Haniwa, knit on US3 (3.25mm) 16" circular needles
Knitters Almanac by Elizabeth Zimmermann
(Join the knit.theory group on Ravelry to enter our current KAL/Contest, the Baby or Bee KAL.)
I share Mukomba wa Ngugi's request that those invested in literary studies explain their work to the public and invite their communities to understand why literary theory matters.
(Here's the citation for the article that has resonated with me.)
Ngugi, Mukoma Wa. "Breaking out of the Prison House of Hierarchy." World Literature Today 87.3 (2013): 36+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Episode 12 is available on libsyn, iTunes, YouTube, and here.
Today is Wednesday, January 22, 2014. This episode is weighted towards the Literary Theory segment as I introduce Ngugi wa Thiong'o's concept of globalectics, which is his instructive answer to the ongoing problem of racial hierarchies within literary theory and literature studies. This past Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, a holiday in the USA. Though I didn't intentionally plan on discussing race theory because of MLK Jr. Day, the timing is good.
Queensland Collection Rustic Wool DK in a teal/green colorway, US 3 needles.
Glynis socks by Cookie A.
Dream in Color Smooshy in Grey (I think), US 2 needles.
vanilla socks with Fish Lips Kiss Heel
Ladybug Fibers superwash sock base in Magic Carpet colorway, US 1.5 needles.
Here is a link to my version of the basic ribbed hat.
After Ngugi was hired on with the English faculty at the University of Nairobi, he and a colleague coauthored a paper calling for the department to change its name to Literature and for the curriculum to emphasize African literature over British. This seems to represent a symbolic and literal change of focus.
From Wikipedia, “His novel A Grain of Wheat (1967) marked his embrace of Fanonist Marxism. He subsequently renounced English, Christianity, and the name James Ngugi as colonialist; he changed his name back to Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, and began to write in his native Gikuyu and Swahili.”
In 1976 he was imprisoned by Kenyan V.P. after initiating radical, uncensored theater in Kenya. He was released from prison and then exiled to the U.S.
His most recent books include In the House of the Interpreter (2012) and Globalectics: Theory and the Politics of Knowing (2012).
Globalectics, as a system of selecting and organizing literatures, is multiglottal, multivocal, multilingual, and multicultural. It is encompassing rather than alienating or dissociative.
Globalectics seems to me very positive, progressive, and activist. Globalectics is aided by imagination, which is for Ngugi a truly democratic tool of the arts. “Imagination is the most democratic attribute of the human: kings and plebeians, adults and children, graduates of the ivory tower and of the street are equal before it; money cannot help one accumulate and hoard imagination. Imagination crosses boundaries, even those imposed by the present.” Imagination is free to all individuals regardless of when or where they live, who they are, or what they have.
Ngugi points out that the state tries to “limit the imaginative space of a society” and will imprison, exile, and censor artists (symbolically, and, in Ngugi's case, literally) to do so. Imagination can also be stifled and restricted by unintentional and not obviously political means.
Ngugi maintains that a globalectical imagination “calls for a struggle against the view of literatures (languages and cultures) relating to each other in terms of a hierarchy of power. "My literature is more aristocratic than yours.” Ngugi rejects this notion, one which is clearly represented in Frantz Fanon's seminal book, Black Skin, White Masks, which was first published in 1952 in French. Fanon tells the painful story of his self-association with Gaulic explorer heroes—whom he was taught to refer to as “our ancestors—the Gauls”—and his disassociation with and superiority over other blacks, such as the “savage Senegalese” in Africa (147-148). When he travelled to Europe, he was suddenly confronted with the awful truth that he was black himself. He was also—in conduct, attitude, and way of thinking and seeing—white.
Says Ngugi, “Every imperial state has always put its own national literature at the center, conceived as the only center of the literary universe.” Globalectics reclaims the center from the states, fixing them firmly and democratically in the hands of each individual and thus creating a multi-vocal, multi-lingual, multi-centered world.
Ngugi tells a story of how the colonial student “could have been hanged for possessing Marx's Communist Manifesto but hugged for possessing a copy of Shakespeare.” Although Shakespeare dramatized class struggle and highlighted the violence that maintained state power, “the colonial state had faith that Shakespeare could be taught safely as a 'mindless' genius. Thus, they trusted the narrow view of interpreting texts to do its work and mutilate Shakespeare. Macbeth's bloody dagger could be explained away as the result of blind ambition, a fatal character flaw.” Instead, Ngugi asserts that Macbeth's bloody dagger allowed him to grab power via violence. A globalectic reading, however, reveals that “imperial nations had taken power by the sword--maintained it by the sword--and the colonized could only grab it back by the sword. Today, a Fanonian reading of Shakespeare would yield contemporary relevance even for students outside the imperial perimeters.”
Thus, strongly influenced by Fanon, Ngugi presents a globalectical approach that is both interconnected and individualistic, global in the best sense of the word. The globalectical approach mends rather than fragments. And while globalectics does not resolve or eliminate racism, nationalism, and jingoism, it certainly pushes for the eradication of prejudices.
It links individuals to one another and celebrates all starting places. It also shapes and directs imagination. As Ngugi admits, “But the globalectical approach is still a method of both organizing and reading literatures: any text can lead the reader from the 'here' of one's existence to the 'there' of other people's existence and back.” He maintains that the globalectical approach is more ethical than the imperial approach. “In organizing the teaching of world literature, a reader should start from wherever he or she is located. The imperial approach wanted people from whatever corner of the globe to start from one imperial center, the metropolis of the empire, as the only center. A globalectical imagination assumes that any center is the center of the world. Each specific text can be read as a mirror of the world.”
In my next knit.theory episode, I will follow up this discussion of globalectics with Mukoma wa Ngugi's call that those of us who care about literary theory show the public what it is and why it matters. (Let's have a LIP--a "Lit in public" day!)
Next time we will also return to Sue Hubbell's A Country Year and Elizabeth Zimmermann's The Knitter's Almanac. We will continue reading Hubbell's “Spring” chapters, focusing on pages 24-32 and will read Zimmermann's “February: Some Babies' Things” chapter. Maybe I'll get buzzy (groan!) and knit a February baby sweater. . . or at least cast one on my needles. Perhaps we should do a Knitter's Almanac KAL throughout the year to go along with our readings. I bet I could finish a few of the projects this year. ;)
Ngugi wa Thiongo's official webpage
Wikipedia articles about Frantz Fanon and Ngugi wa Thiong'o
An article reviewing Ngugi wa Thiong'o's book Globalectics
A UCTV video presentation of Ngugi wa Thiong'o on Moving the Center
The Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry
Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. Trans. Charles Lam Markmann. New York: Grove Press, 1967.
"Ngugi wa Thiong'o." Wikipedia. 21 Nov. 2013
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Check out today's all-knitting episode!
Jan. 3, 2014
In this special episode, my sister-in-law Candice joins me to talk about our current finished-objects and works-in-progress. The tone is lighthearted and happy, even when a destructive 2-year-old practices the fine art of computer-swatting. We end the episode with the announcement of the winners of the Cascadia ebook and Fantabulous Festive KAL prizes. (Do you want to join in our next giveaway? Enter the knit.theory Ravelry group today!)
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Hello. Thanks for watching knit.theory!
December 29th, 2013.
Today's episode includes Typewriter, Enabling, Plagiarism, Literary Theory, and Story Time. Please feel free to watch it here or on YouTube, iTunes, or LibSyn.
I began an elfin hat using Dream in Color's Calm yarn in the Fortune (not Tempest) colorway.
I am also working on the Tyrian Loop cowl using Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Truly, Madly, Deeply colorway.
Berroco Vintage Chunky in a pumpkin spice-like colorway.
Cascade Heritage in an orangey goldenrod colorway.
Trekking Hand Art in the Costa Rica colorway.
Knitter's Pride Dreamz needles (US10.5/6.5mm) and Karbonz needles (US3)
Dream in Color Calm in the Bitter colorway.
Cascade Yarn Fixation in blue, teal, melon, white, and red.
Mary Triplett's Whale Beanie and Sock pattern and her Metallic Magnetism Beanie pattern.
The Knitting Samurai Plus 1's Yearly Knitting Goals
Today I am joined by Lincoln Cannon and Chris Bradford, two of the fourteen cofounders of the Mormon Transhumanist Association. They define transhumanism, discuss our place in this ideology, and describe transhumanism's aims (using technology ethically to enhance human life). Thanks, Chris and Lincoln, for the fun interview.
I finish reading Chapter 3 of Jerome K. Jerome's _Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)_.