Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Can you cotton to this?

The brown cotton when from lint to this

The color is even darker than last year's, so I guess no crossbreeding between the brown and white took place. [whew]

One boll of the white was ready to be picked

The green is still opening. This was the color I was most interested in, since I still have some of last year's white and brown to spin. At last count I should be getting 18 bolls of the green, which means lots and lots of seeds for next year. The picture just isn't getting the true color of this--a beautiful light sage. My tahkli is itching to get this wrapped around it.

While I was busy knitting and gardening, The Spouse was busy writing. This is a megillat Esther he recently finished, along with a case he helped customize. Wish his grocery list handwriting were this beautiful!

We squabbled yesterday--too high expectations and too little planning to fulfill them.

To make up for it, The Spouse designed this--my name in the shape of a carnation. (We grow carnations in a planter outside our front door, and every few mornings he brings one in for my desk).

To make up for it, I finished his Amble socks.

One project down, next started: yarn for the Middle Teen's next sweater. Not that she's gotten far in knitting sweater #1...

Monday, September 26, 2005

Ostrich in the cotton patch

Too much local politics makes a girl's heart beat way too fast, and since I don't want to up my heart meds. I spent my lunch hour in the cotton patch.
The white's not quite ready

but the brown was ready to meet my cotton pickin' fingers

Cleaned off my tahkli, and tomorrow it's morning brown, right off the seed. Yum!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Another day, another bomber

This is getting old. It seems like every day a bomber tries to slip through the checkpoint near my home.

On a broghter note, I'm glad to read that my hosts for the last Shabbat I spent in Houston got out of town OK.

Moze and Muse discuss the issues

Cross posted to Shiloh Musings and Me-ander.

This started as a private e-mail correspondence. It has not been edited or spell-checked. The discussion is not yet finished.

The original post is in response to the Is it only in my shul? post on Shiloh Musings.

Flush left, green comments are by me, indented, purple comments are by Muse.

I think much of the difference is our outlooks is generational. Muse saw Israel win the 1967 war and is a Zionist. I grew up seeing Israel defeated tie after time (1973, Lebanon, Intifada #1, Intifada #2). I never saw the State of Israel as anything but a doddering old man, incapable of protecting its citizens. She saw the Likud come to power, the emergence of a body of hesder students in the army and religious men moving into the ranks of politics. I saw two political parties, one of which hated us and talked about that a lot, and the other which hated us and took our homes away, in Yamit and this summer. I saw hesder students marginalized in the army and "leaders of the religious right" trade their electorate in for a little more power and perqs.

Muse grew up in a time of idealism. I grew up in a time of practical cynicism.

Muse still thinks there's something that can be salvaged of the wreck that is the State of Israel. I don't.

Are you saying the way your shul behaves is a good thing or a bad thing? In my shul weekly pulpit speeches rail against serving in National Service and are beginning to advocate not serving in the army, either.

Actually I agree with what's happening in the shul.

I am against the trend not to serve in the army. It was one of the aims of Disengagement to disengage us from the state. We're all suffering because the chariedim kept out of the army and many national affairs. We all have to be strongly involved and not let the anti-religious, anti-Eretz Yisrael continue to run the country. This was a battle, and we have to fight harder to win the war.

Do you really think the Charedi back the dati leumi except as allies
in their battle against the chiloni?

No, I think that they should see themselves as part of Am Yisrael, instead of as a superior waiting on the side.

And being part of Am Yisrael means fighting in the Israeli army?

Yes , becuase to boycott it means to only have others there making decisions and risking their lives.

We've been here since 1970, during the Yom Kippur War, when my husband worked pr in Shaare Tzedek, they had to take turns being there Shabbat and chag. The rav of the hospital poskened that only religious workers could work then, because they would be doing it "shem shamayim." And they had to dress expesially nice. Someone donated ties for the men, at a time when ties were never seen.

> Yes , becuase to boycott it means to only have others there making decisions
> and risking their lives.

Maybe the risk is there because those who hold the State holy allow it
to do suicidal things, stepping back from the brink of true protest
because "we can't break with the State--the State is the people"?

How can the Israeli government/army/institutions be Am Yisrael when
most of Am Yisrael doesn't even live in Israel?

By the same token, many blame America for forcing Israel's hand. How
can we, particularly we who are American citizens, sit back and let
others have to work to influence American policy while we soak up the
spiritual benefits of living here? Maybe we should move back to NY and
try to influence the American givernment from the inside?

We have to keep pushing into the system. That's what's behind #143, that they are trying to disengage us, and we must hold fast, because they don't have the numbers of kids we do, and they're scared and fighting dirty.

Who are we going to push in? What are we going to end up with? A
Mafdal MK as PM? What will that help? How many decades did "we" have
control of the educational system, and what did "we" do with it?

What party do you feel you could vote for if the elections were to be
held in a few months?

I was never for mafdal..

We push ourselves, and it has been happening, when so many army officers are religious or their parents are. Other professions where you rarely saw relgious people are filling, and we can't give up now. The burden was always on us, since chareidim just took the money for their silence..

Can we turn this discussion into a post that we'd crosspost? I'm sure that others are asking the same things. I've been writing about the issue a lot.

> I was never for mafdal..

Then who for? Not Leiberman, I don't think.

And even off the national level -- Moetzet Yesha? That's no model for
our young people. I can't think of a yishuv which is run totally
honestly, either. Where are the kids to learn the ideal way to run
things? Are there any role models out there at all?

Or is it the system, the "magiah li" mentality, the problem, and not
the number of bare heads? Might it not be so rotten that it has to be
torn down and built anew rather than shored up with our help?

> We push ourselves, and it has been happening, when so many army officers are
> religious or their parents are.

And did that help us any? We've been pushing since 48, very strongly
since the 70s. It got us Yamit, it got us Gush Katif, it got us North
Shomron, and it's getting us the wall. Why shouuld I allow my son to
go off and defend the people on the other side of the wall, the ones
who are leaving me vulnerable so they can feel (feel, I said, not be)

> since chareidim just took the money for their silence.

And meanwhile they get the money and the perqs. We get stepped on and die for our troubles. Maybe they had the right idea all along. In a
world of "magia li," take what you can and always ask for more.

> Can we turn this discussion into a post that we'd crosspost?

I'm not sure how, but it would be fine with me. I'm always looking for
blog fodder.

There wasn't any pushing until the mid 1970's. Mamlachti dati used to be a mafdal "pie," and Cherut the Begin componant of Likud, pre-Likud, had nothing.

I'm for Arye Eldad. I used to vote "Begin" then Techiya and since then Moledet, especially now I'm for Arye.

We have more power than you think.

I don't respect Moetzet Yesha.

> There wasn't any pushing until the mid 1970's. Mamlachti dati used to be a
> mafdal "pie,"

As you say. Do you think that if "we" get the power of pie again we'd
use it any better than mafdal did? We do have religious hot shots in
the army--the head of AKA for one--is it making any dent?

Obviously it's hurting them; that's why they've been trhreatening the hesder yeshivot. They won't have any koach adam without us. Each year we're stronger.

But stronger at what? Playing their game their way? Is that what we want to do?

The system is rotten at the core. Replacing Sharon and Bibi with
Bentzi and Wallerstein won't get us anywhere.

By the time "our people" work their way up the ladder of the system,
they'll be as thoroughly co-opted as today's "pet religious." Fie on
that. I have more choices than Sharon or Peres -- I can choose to work
to topple the whole house of cards.

Bentzi and Pinchas, yuch and double yuch.

Remember, the "powers" were hurting; that's why they disengaged. You can't imagine how much.

But again,

> what is it you want the kids to engage with? Business as usual?

learning, working and settling etc
never give up

> learning, working and settling etc
> never give up

But you also want them to make their future in *their* institutions--the army, politics, etc.

So what happens to all the education we give them, when they get the conflicting message of "Torah" and "obedience to government" all their lives? How do you expect these kids to play the game by *their* rules and survive long enough with *our* values intact?

Not easy, but Judaism is the integration of all aspects of life.

> Not easy, but Judaism is the integration of all aspects of life.

Judaism is against the hilul HaShem which is the inevitable result of
working with corruption, and Israeli institutions are riddleed with
corruption. In Judaism, when a house is infected enough, the only
solution is to destroy it.

You're saying that we can save the situation by putting our good nails
int a rotten wooden house. I say fie on that--let's build our own
sturdy building.

And you still haven't said--can you name one person--just one--from
"our camp" who'se made it into public recognition through "their"
system and who hasn't been co-opted? Can you name one yishuv that
isn't riddled with corruption problems, for example? (I know the
situation on our yishuv. I've heard residents talk about yours, too,
but there may be another side to that story. And look at Karnei

Maybe I"m crazy, but I just try to look foward. this summer I kept thinking of Nachshon and Avraham and Yitzchak and their perfect faith. It's said that the water came up to Nachshon's nose, and Avraham was less than a fraction of a second from sacrificing Yitzchak. We can't look around and get bogged down in the corruption and filth.

When I see Tzachi Hanegbi on TV I want to cry, because I love Geula Cohen, trust and respect her. To think that her son has become such a disapointment. There's "nothing" in his eyes.

I do trust Arye Eldad; he's a credit to his parents. And I think that a "mesorati" leader suits us. He's not a politician; he's a world reknown plastic surgeon, and he was head of the medical department in the army, despite his politics.

I read the Uzi Landau 18 points, and there are some red lights, like his support of a referendum. He's not a leader; he's being run by a "committee."

I just keep doing my thing and saying what I think and feel, and I'm amazed every time someone tells me that I've put in words exactly what he/she believes. That gives me strength, and that's why I write and send things out without making a bloody cent on it.

> Maybe I"m crazy, but I just try to look foward. this summer I kept thinking
> of Nachshon and Avraham and Yitzchak and their perfect faith. It's said
> that the water came up to Nachshon's nose, and Avraham was less than a
> fraction of a second from sacrificing Yitzchak. We can't look around and
> get bogged down in the corruption and filth.

Exactly--Nachshon broke the paradigm. Moshe did, too. He was in a
position to "work his way up the system" and didn't. He broke the
cycle of slavery from the outside, nearly ruining Egypt in the process
(according to our tradition). Maybe Israel should have tried to get
more babies adopted into the royal household instead of the
destruction of the 10 plagues?

And Avraham--he's worked outside the paradigm his whole life, and then
G-d tells him to go back into it, to perform a child (man) sacrifice.
And if G-d hadn't told him to go back out of the paradigm and leave
Yitzchak alone, where would we be now?

Jews don't generally play inside the box--especially a box taken from
the non-Jewish world, which is the box you want our kids to try to
take over and I'd like to see our kids replace with something more

> When I see Tzachi Hanegbi on TV I want to cry, because I love Geula Cohen,
> trust and respect her.

I wonder if she thought, as she saw her son take his first steps in
politics, that he was the first of a generation of "our camp" who
would eventually take over the country? See what I'm afraid will
happen to our kids?

> I do trust Arye Eldad; he's a credit to his parents. And I think that a
> "mesorati" leader suits us. He's not a politician; he's a world reknown
> plastic surgeon, and he was head of the medical department in the army,
> despite his politics.

He's coming from outside the system. Again--any "rose in the ranks"
who are worth the electrons to discuss them? I'd bet not--by the time
they get any prominence they've been thoroughly corrupted.

Tzachi was raised in Tel Aviv and Arye in Jerusalem and both in different family situations.

Tzachi was not the first, the first were Olmert, the Meridors, the Netanyahu brothers etc.

The older generation, post independence, took the discrimination against them (for being Lechi, Etzel, Revisionist etc) as normal and didn't fight it. So they suffered and their kids like Tzachi and Olmert were raised thinking that you have to bend laws to be successful; that's what the elite do.

The Mafdal crowd were "Uncle Toms." Yosef Burg was king and look at his son and the Herzogs even worse. I see them as the same mentatlity.

The younger generation, those born and raised after the 6 Days War are different. They're a higher madrega, level. How many more stages do we have to pass? I have no idea, but I'm in awe of these kids.

G-d willing, we won't have to wait much longer, but thinking back to the Bible. Things went very slowly then, too, slower than now. Shiloh was the capital of the Jewish Nation for 369 years before David made Jerusalem the capital.

Shabbat Shalom

> The younger generation, those born and raised after the 6 Days War are
> different. They're a higher madrega, level. How many more stages do we
> have to pass? I have no idea, but I'm in awe of these kids.

You're talking my age, maybe two or three years younger than me. I look around at my contemporaries and I see few Nachshons. The few that are there are getting their...nether regions trampled by our own "religious leaders" (who are not far off from the 'younger generation' -- maybe in their mid-40s?).

If you're looking for true leadership, look to the under-20 set. But again--how to keep them pure?

And, frankly, I think you're attributing too much idealism to some of the kids. Do you really think most of those thrown out of Gush Katif will rally to the defense of Gav HaHar or Drom Har Chevron? If yes--where are they now for North Shomron? Netzarim is already fundraising for itself. The Katif job site doesn't even mention the 4 non-Gush losses. Do you recall an "I heart N. Shomron" bracelet earlier this summer? Nope, neither do I.

It isn't right that Northern Shomron has been ignored. Strategically it's so important. Davka that's where Arye and his wife made their home this summer.

Of course not all the post-67 generation are idealists. And many won't go back to this sort of protest.

Democracy, majority rule has always been a danger with us. Moshe and later Shmuel had to fight to rule. And that's besides the classic example of the spies.

There are some unbelieveable psukim in the TaNaCh, where Shmuel complains to G-d that the people aren't listening etc, and G-d replies that He knows, since He has the same problem.

> It isn't right that Northern Shomron has been ignored.

But it makes perfect sense. My son is in school with several kids from Gush Katif, and what they say about their "leaders"--it doesn't surprise me that GK was targeted first or that it got all the attention. What does surprise me is how much communities in Shomron and Binyamin are cooperating in hushing-up the expulsion of N. Shomron--my daughter's off for 2 days to plant in GK hothouses, but there's never been a volunteer day for NS communities, though some of their teachers were from there!

I may be getting into Barry Chamish territory, but I don't think the primary targeted area was random at all. They knew who would get the media attention yet go quietly.

But back to the main topic. I spent a lot of time talking to my son this Shabbat. He's due to go into the army in the summer. He sees the army as his enemy. How can he be expected to follow orders when he considers the army as the corrupt enforcement arm of Sharon's plans? Most of the boys his age who are already are in the army, he says from conversations with them, are in it only for the shooting (occasionally) and access to the "mizron plugati" (most of the time). Why on earth should I encourage him to swim in a cesspool? In the hopes he can clean it out before he gets covered in muck? What are the chances of that happening when it hasn't happened over the last 30 years?

True there wasn't equal focus to the two areas of Disengagement. Northern Shomron was never a "moetzet Yesha stronghold." I guess that's why Arye Eldad ended up moving there. At some point in the near, pre-election future, I must have a good talk with him. I'm on the anglo moledet yahoo list, and it's not serious. I'll drop from digest to special notices. I don't know what party influence it has, but I'm disappointed. The powers ignore me. Ok, it would help if I wrote in Hebrew, but maybe I'm safer this way.

From what I was able to hear on Shabbat from Rav Elchanan Bin Nun's drasha in my shul, the state and army should still be supported. Rav Elchanan is Rosh Yeshiva of Beit Orot, near Har HaZaitim. Maybe your son should speak to him, and you, too.

> True there wasn't equal focus to the two areas of Disengagement. Northern
> Shomron was never a "moetzet Yesha stronghold."

And GK was?

> From what I was able to hear on Shabbat from Rav Elchanan Bin Nun's drasha
> in my shul, the state and army should still be supported.

Why? Could you give me a short summary of his reasoning?

GK had mafdal and MY people. Northern Shomron had none of that.

Sorry, I only heard snippets from Rav Elchanan. He generally bases on Rav Kook. I'll have to ask around.

> Sorry, I only heard snippets from Rav Elchanan. He generally bases on Rav
> Kook.

Ah, well, then, it wouldn't be of much help to my family. Our philosophy is Talmidei HaGRA, and you'll find that most of the Old Yishuv people had serious disagreements with R' Kook, though they might have shared a Shabbat chulent with him.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Cinxia KAL

I've reached the next stage in my blogging career: co-hosting a KAL.

Katie and I are hosting the Cinxia along (no button yet. Our talents lie elsewhere). Visit our blog or Yahoo group.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Watch out, Las Vegas

Chappysmom blogs about the recent series of disasters and near disasters in the US.


LA--we were there in the spring of 2004.
Minneapolis--we were there in the winter of 2004/2005.
Houston--we were there in the spring of 2005.

The only city we've been in recently where there hasn't been a disaster or near-miss in the past few days is Las Vegas. The whole city might consider battening down the hatches.

And for a small fee, we can be convinced to stay away from a city near you...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

WIP Wednesday

Here at Chez Moze we're all about the details. For years the unfinished concrete base of our house has annoyed the whole family, and now Wednesdays are for doing something about it. It's amazing what we can do with broken bottles, glasses, and plates.

My contribution:

And The Spouse's, just under the front door -- our surname:

The knitting WIPs:

Why, oh why, did I marry a man with the world's highest arches and longest feet? Amble will go on forever.

It's supposed to be 4 repeats for the leg, 1.75 repeats for the heel flap, and 4 for the foot. Ha! I'm on repeat 6 for the foot, and no end in sight.

(Don't pay attention to the safety pin. Somehow, sipping the twisted stitches off the RH needle, I dropped one, unknit. But I still had the right stitch count, so I must have knit it. Oh, well, I'll tack it in on the wrong side. Just don't tell The Spouse, OK?)

Yesterday, while walking around Tel Aviv, I continued the pink tank top. It's an easy pattern--miles and miles of a twisted rib in the round.

The only mystery is why the first two balls each did about an inch and a half and the third is doing 3 inches, with the end not yet in sight. (See those slip knots? That where new balls are tied on; I'll weave in at the end.)

Alien Illusion scarf is going strong, too--anyone know how to photograph glow-in-the-dark yarn so it looks good? At this point the scarf photographs in black and white, which is decidedly uncool.

Princess wants to know: "Where are my socks?"

Friday, September 16, 2005

Can you keep a secret?

Picture heavy post!

Hi there, Secret Pal! It was good hearing from you. Now I'll add my plea to others I've been reading this week. Please, please, please don't drop me like a hot potato (or more accurately, like my SP5 pal did) -- it really depresses a girl. But I'm totally sure you won't be like that.

Speaking of secret pals, here's some stitch markers from Sandra Strain (no blog, so I can't link to her)

and from a Stitch Marker Secret Pal in Nesconset, NY. Aren't the charm adorable? Especially the yarn and needles.

(Note: I've moved the camera away. Still not getting good pics of stitch markers. Must. Try. Harder.)

Amble v.2 fits Mr. Arches Higher than a Mickey D on the Empire State Building Observation Deck. Yes! Time to finish this baby and go on to sock #1, which will be reknit as sock #2.

Why is it that whenever I knit a Clapotis it turns into a rush job? First was my Clap, which needn't have been a rush job if I'd bothered paying attention when I read the pattern. Then the Middle Teen saw what I was knitting for her and wistfully stated, "If that were finished by the weekend, I could take it on our school trip to Zefat with me and show it to all my friends." So I knit like a fiend and -- whew -- had it blocking Thursday morning. (Pardon't the state of the Oldest Teen's floor. He is a teenaged boy, after all.)

Speaking of the Middle Teen, look what she made for the Oldest Teen:

It's the logo of the World Ju-Jitsu Federation; the Oldest Teen is a member of the Israeli branch.

The Sockotta socks? The ones stalled at 99% on my WIP list for about a month? Done. Why do I always put off Kitchenering? It's really not all that bad.

And since I cast off on one project, I had to cast on for another, the Alien Illusion Scarf from Stitch 'n Bitch. Made with a MC of black and a CC of glow-in-the-dark yarn from Caroline Homespun.

The only problem is the glow-in-the-dark yarn. Yarn? More like roving:

Unpsun fibers. What a joy to knit with. I sure hope the kid appreciates the scarf when it's done.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Political round-up

Since I haven't gotten my SP6 match yet, nor do I even know who my hostess is. Help me, I think I've fallen through the cracks...

If you only watch one video clip about what Gush Katif was (and is), download this (wmv format, 2.41 mb). Set to the remake of Ze haya beiti (This was my home), a song which speaks of Israel's last worthless amputation, Yamit.

Meanwhile, the Israeli security services are shocked, I tell you, shocked that the Palestinians aren't abiding by agreements. What a surprise, especially after the way they've honored every other agreement they've ever made!

The Gaza border with Egypt wasn't wide open enough for some some so pulled it down.
"We view the situation as extremely serious and expect the PA and Egyptians to take immediate action and restore law and order," a source said. "If the situation remains unchecked, Israel will be forced to take steps."

Take steps? A waltz? A two-step? Maybe a little tap and jazz? Mofaz has said we'll have a plan of "zero tolerance."

Need that turned into English? It means we'll tolerate anything and in response we'll do zero.

Face it, guys. We're in the unique position of watching a country commit suicide one limb at a time. Think you're safe because it's someone else being sacrificed this time around? That's what the people of Netiv Ha'Asarah thought, too -- until the bombs started to fly and they could see the whites of the enemies' eyes.

The UNRWA is going to expand operations to Gaza. Tell me, how come Gazan Arabs, born in the towns where they now live, living in an autonomous zone under their own government's control, are refugees, but the homeless and jobless families of Gush Katif and North Shomron, living in limbo and moving every few days, are not?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

SP 6 Questionnaire

SP6 match-ups are due out today. A lot of the answers are the same as last time. Some are significantly different.

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?
I used not to be a snob. But now that government ministers are beginning to assure us that there will be no more expulsions from Judea and Samaria, or that it will be several years until more expulsions, the more I'm convinced I'm going to become homeless in the not-too-distant future. So I'd better start thinking in terms of what stash is worth paying the army's enormous storage fees on. I'm not paying $1,500 per truckload per month to store acrylic.
So--short answer: yes, very much so.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
Yes to both. Spindle and wheel spinning, yarn and thread crochet.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)
I don't, but The Spouse is allergic to smoke, pets, and perfume. I only wear perfumed products during the months he's out of the country.

4. How long have you been knitting?
About 15 years, though intensively only 6 or 7. I've been crocheting 35 years and spinning 3.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Yes, I have an Amazon wish list.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
Rose, and after that citrus.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?
Yes, but I keep strictly kosher, so any sweets must have rabbinical certification (like the OU, OK, Kof-K, etc.).

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
I weave with a Kromski rigid heddle, I do some basic beading and want to learn more, I sometimes cross stitch (less than I used to, but since my daughter's gotten into it, I've started again), and I garden. I love miniatures, but don't have time to learn as much about them as I'd like.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
My computer can play MP3s. I like contemporary Israeli music, Broadway, and the music I grew up with--the 1970s and 1980s.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I'm getting back into black, and I still like orange and deep purple. Before that it was shades of blue. In general, I prefer stronger, more saturated colors. I don't totally hate anything, though I can't say I'm particularly fond of chartreuse. (Except as a word. I adore the word. Just say it a few times, roll it around your mouth. Doesn't it just have the best bite?)

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married and have one teenaged son, two teenaged daughters. We also have a 2 year old cat.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)
Not to be made homeless by unilateral decision of the Israeli government, chasing an unrealistic fever-dream.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
So far my favorites are anything I've spun myself. In Israel I don't have access to most of the name brand yarns, so I might like them were I ever to try them.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Audio tape's a pain (literally) to work with. I also don't like very plastic-y acrylics, and I can see only very limited uses for fun-fur.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
Knitty's Cinxia, because I'm itching to get it on the needles.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Socks. Quick and easy, and they don't become UFOs.

17. What are you knitting right now?
Amble from the 6 Socks KAL, my second Clapotis, and a tank top for myself. And, as always Mariah and the Mystery Stole, which isn’t a mystery any more.

18. What do you think about ponchos?
In theory I like them, but since I cover my hair for religious reasons, I can't really wear them; when I take a poncho off, my head scarf tends to go along for the ride. Pity, because the poncho from the Knitting Pattern a Day calendar which was featured yesterday is exactly the poncho I've been thinking of making myself for about 30 years (minus the fringe).

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
Circular--they can do what a straight can, but backwards and in high heels.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
Yes, please!

21. Are you a sock knitter?
Unredeemably so.

22. How did you learn to knit?
I saw a sweater pattern in a women's magazine, liked it, and asked a neighbor to teach me knit and purl. The rest I taught myself.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
Mariah. 11 months and counting.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
Tweety bird, cartoon mice, and flamingos, real or cartoon.

25. What is your favorite holiday?
Sukkot--the guys do the hard work, and we have most of a week to hang out with the family.

26. Is there anything that you collect?
Dust bunnies and worries. Frequent flyer points. Buyers' club cards which can be attached to keychains. Scripts from the 1976-1981 TV show Eight is Enough.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
None. When I'm in the States I load up on whatever looks interesting. I do subscribe to Spin-Off, though.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Double Weaving on the Rigid Heddle Frame Loom. I've got to learn how to produce cloth for sewing. Any books having to do with my kids' family histories.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??
The silk corset pattern. Rouge. I'm getting into downloadable patterns now, because I won't have to pay the army to store them when they steal my house.

What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?
Ankle circumference 9.5" (24cm), back of ankle to top of big toe the same. I love me some knee socks, but generally am too lazy and make the tops between 6 and 8 inches.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Welcome to the Middle East

Jews should never forget last night.

My grandfather and father had to watch our enemies burn down our synagogues, and with the rise of the State of Israel, many vowed, "Never again."

Last night my children and I had to watch our enemies burn down our synagogues. If I felt any loyalty to the State of Israel (as opposed to the Land of Israel), it went up in flames with the syangogues of Gush Katif.

In case anyone says the Arabs simply didn't know what they were destroying, notice the sign:

At least they're honest; they said they had no intention of keeping the synagogues safe.

Isn't peace grand?

Sunday, September 11, 2005

The penny drops

Knitty is out. Everyone seems to be in love with Samus. Me? Meh. Too Mariah-y for me, and if I can't get motivated for the original, why for the simpler copy? My heart belongs to Cinxia. Love me that jacket, and I have some nice silk which should work for, it, too. I'll have to (gasp) swatch. Am I the only one who loves this? Don't make me host a KAL--right now I don't think I could host my way out of a paper bag.

Stitch Marker joy

Got another set from Marker Mania. Larissa Brown sent me a postcard of her work. It's what I sometime try to do in working with Not-Yarn, but taken much further, and much more thought out. She also sent an Altoids tin, which was super-cool, because AFAIK Altoids does not have rabbinical supervision, and though I've coveted their tins just for storing markers, I couldn't see buying a box and throwing out the insides. So thanks, Larissa!

And inside were the markers. Two nice leaf markers and then another duh, why didn't I think of that moment -- button markers!

The only thing better than great markers are great markers that make you think of the possibilities around you.

Go visit Larissa's portfolio. I covet Meme.

And the first of the September SMSP got here, from Plymouth, MA. Sparklies! These are going to be so good for my next few projects, all of which are black, black, and more black. And a beautiful blue glass bead with a subtle dark swirl.

(Can someone tell me how to photograph little beauties like stitch markers without them looking like they or I spent too much time in the local bar -- if we had a local bar?)

Amble is going nowhere fast. Tried the sock on The Spouse's foot. Couldn't even get the sucker over his heel. Back to the drawing board. Bigger needles? Nah--I like the fabric. More stitches! But 30 more is way too many. So I had to rechart for 14 additional stitches. Good thing is, I now really understand the pattern and am not tied to the chart any more.

Is the Clap a grow-er or a show-er? You decide:

Can anyone explain this hat ? The Coneheads are taking over Interweave?

In local news, Gazan Arabs announce that they plan to deny Jews ever lived on "their" turf.
Senior al-Aqsa member Abu Ahmad told Ynet that leaving the synagogues behind is a trap.

"The Israelis are leaving behind Israeli presence on our land so that in the future they can claim they were here and that it's theirs," he said...

Gee, I wonder if they're also planning to empty every media database in the world to cleanse the lies about our presence in Gaza? Isn't it exciting, kiddies? You get to get in on the ground floor of the Next Big Lie: Jews never, ever, at no time, lived in the Gaza Strip. All that news coverage about the Israeli pullout? Lies, all lies.
Maybe Bush's administration ought to hire Ahmad to handle the fallout over Katrina. He could start claiming that there never was a city of New Orleans in the first place…
Yossi Sarid may be a left-winger, but I'm thinking I may vote for him next time around. he was just on the radio saying to the government "You had no problem destroying 1,500 houses and the lives of 1,500 families, but a few synagogues you're afraid to destroy?" At least you know where you stand with the Left.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Returning a favor and asking for one

When I was in the States Snooze sent my husband a felting mistake which turned out to be a great kippah. She asked only that I take a picture of him in it at the Western Wall. Today we were in Jerusalem to drop the Oldest Teen off at his yeshiva (my son, a yeshiva boy! Black suit, hat, and all!) so we popped over to the Wall.

Does anyone reading this live in the West Palm Beach/Broward area? My husband was taped for WXEL's South Florida Today show, and his segment will be airing September 14th at 7:00 pm then again on the 15th at 5:30 pm. Since we're not exactly in the area at the moment and since my folks think a TV/VCR means a TV with Very Clear Reception, we're looking for someone to tape it for us. Mail me and we can work out details, postage, etc. Thanks!

Knitting? It's true--Amble is much easier to work from the chart than from the written directions. Live and learn.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Goodbye, Zira; Hello, Zira

Zira is gone, off to visit Emy in Singapore. Before she left, we got her addicted to the cellphone, and even took her shopping for a cell.

We miss the little monkey diva, but we got a Zira of our own:

A 2003 Hyundai Getz to replace our old car which died last week after a lingering illness.

Zib? About that cotton? I kid you not.

WIP on Parade:
The pink tank top, a project bequeathed me by Catherine Kerth.

Call the doctor! I've got the Clap again:

And all I wanted to do was Amble along

Loose ends Department: Sew What?
Never did show you all what the Middle Teen sewed this summer, did I?

Not bad for her first dress, is it?

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Social Contract

Reading blogs and email lists over the last few days I've been astounded to read how many people are horrified by the looting and the reports of crime coming out of New Orleans. The tales of rapes and abductions in the Superdome are shocking, of firing at rescue helicopters are disturbing, but what I don't understand is why people are surprised this is all happening. Do people on the internet, as a group, suspect people of being noble and selfless?

Maybe it's my natural cynicism. Maybe it's because of what we just went through here in Israel. But for decades governments have been encouraging people to give up on self-reliance and trust Big Brother. And people have bought it, whether that means relying on the federal government to build better levees or to provide housing for people they've expelled from their homes. We've given up the social contract for social servitude.

I may be too harsh. I do know how impossible it was for many to get out of New Orleans, because evacuation was primarily in private cars, and the poor often do not have cars. But tell me -- did they not know that they were no priority to the New Orleans government? If social services were so wonderful that the poorer residents thought the government would save them, then they'd already have had the means to get a car. If they were still so poor, so down-trodden, obviously they were not a priority for their government, and so should not have expected help.

Locally, did the people to be expelled from Gaza and North Shomron really expect that the government would quickly resettle them? After months of threats and arrests? After a decade of being delegitimized? Did they think the Left would force the government, riddled with corruption, to suddenly be efficient and beneficent to those they had vanquished?

There's an old saying that from 7 to 70 a person does not change. Neither do governments. The saving grace of society, what keeps things running smoothly, is people's gullibility, their belief that though the Powers That Be may be screwing everyone else, they'd never do that to me. Each individual believes, down in his or her heart of hearts, in their unique merit, and that this unique merit will be recognized and rewarded. But life isn't like that. The social contract has not been with individual citizens any time that I can remember. When push comes to shove, the government will deal with its contractual partner, and not with the down-and-out homeless, even if those homeless were tourists with homes elsewhere or until last month owned mansions.

And once the realization hits that the government doesn't owe you anything, that you have no unique merit that sets you above the crowd, that you are not entitled to anything and that all you'll ever be certain to get is what you take for yourself--why does it surprise people that others act on this knowledge? When you're stuck in a dark wet place with limited food and water, overcrowded and abandoned, in what is something like the seventh level of hell, why would anyone expect you to think about tomorrow? What do you have to lose by satisfying your every base impulse? Fear that you may be jailed for 3 to 15 years? C'mon--does anyone think jail will be worse than what the Superdome refugees are going through now?

So why were the people expelled from Gaza and North Shomron so much better behaved? Why did (with few exceptions) the whole process go off so smoothly? Because they haven't yet realized that it's them, not their addresses, that the government doesn't care about. They still have their bank accounts, their possessions (albeit small amounts thereof, and the rest packed up somewhere, being looted by Arabs and by some soldiers). They are still afraid the government will take away their children "for the sake of the children." Their accommodations, no matter how often they have to move and no matter how cramped they are, how inconvenient, are still better than jail. They haven't yet descended far enough into hell.

But our government is already talking about more expulsions. And since they aren't trying to solve one group's problems before creating a new group of homeless and jobless, sooner or later we will get down far enough. I have a plan in place. I won't rely on "my" government. They've broken whatever feeble contract they had with me; I expect nothing from them and offer them nothing I'm not forced to in return.

Self-reliance: they can't take that away from me.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Angel on my doorstep

An SP5 Angel sent me a great package. Alisa in CT,  stand up and take a bow!

  • A bookmark which is really a ruler (perfect for slipping in to a knitting book. I love multi-tasking!)
  • a skein of royal blue Briggs and Little wool (which the Middle Teen, lover of all things blue, is claiming
  • some variegated pink roving (which I have to test to see if it felts, and if so, I think it will become a Fiber Trends flamingo)
  • some brown roving--is this Romney? It seems a perfect match for some roving I have to spin up, so this will probably be part of a sweater)
  • two herb soaps -- rosemary and Melissa. They're the perfect size for my Lush shampoo tins, so they're going to go on the road with me when next I travel (November, I think: Houston, NY, Baltimore and Boston)

I know who my spoiler was supposed to be, but in the interest of being nice I won't out her (she flaked big time). Instead, I'll just be grateful to my two angels, Alisa and Sly Fox.

I won't say yet who I spoiled. I've sent her a final envelope and an email revealing myself; once I know she's got it/read it, I'll spill. I will say that it was very intimidating getting this person for my very first SP, but she's been lovely to spoil, and I had a great time. Next up, SP6!