The Celebratory Undead

Last night I ushered for our community theater’s performance of Dracula. My job: check every patron’s vaccination card to verify they’d been fully inoculated against Covid-19 before they were allowed entrance to the theater. (They could also show proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, issued by a government entity or health provider, within the last 72 hours.) They should also be masked and would remain masked for the entire show. The theater’s entire last season had been cancelled because of the pandemic, so this was the compromise in order to have any season at all. Patrons were notified of the requirements when they purchased their tickets and had been sent a reminder email before the show. The restrictions were on the website. In other words, there should be no surprises.

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Covid Crochet

I decided to learn to crochet during the Covid-19 pandemic not because of boredom after months of quarantine, but because of this:

Fruit Garden CAL by Jane Crowfoot

I saw no fruit in the so-called Fruit Garden CAL Blanket and didn’t know what CAL meant, but, I HAVE TO MAKE THAT, I thought-yelled when it crossed my screen during my rabbit-hole internet searches for macramé wall-art patterns.Read More »

The Serial Killer Suitcase

Me (in pearl earrings) with Gacy clown, H.W. Mullins deer, Damien Echols handprint.

In 1998, when new friends found a cache of memorabilia collected by a fan of serial killers, they thought of me. They dragged a couple of garbage bags and a suitcase of the soggy collectibles over to our house in the Irish Channel of New Orleans.

Gee, thanks?Read More »

The Jazz Hat

[A blog post that took me two years to finish, hence the outdated reference to a class crammed into a tiny room: remember those days?]

The Jazz Hat takes itself for a walk to the Farmers Market, aka Selfie Snafu

I signed up for a color-knitting class, failing to realize that color-knitting was the same topic as the disastrous first knitting workshop I took three months after first taking up needles.

You might be thinking, “Isn’t all knitting color-knitting?” Unless your yarn is, um, white?Read More »

Accidental Luddite Life While on Lockdown

Teddy Bear the Talking Porcupine: why the internet exists (c) Zooniversity

With our recent move out of the Land Of Microsoft and Amazon and into a small town and a house built in 1900, I’ve backslid–coincidentally with a pandemic–into the distant past, like as far back as the 80s, even. At this rate, I’ll be grateful to have zippers by year’s end. Not that I can zip any of my pants, anyway.Read More »

Covid Cowl

©DROPS Design Lovely Feathers Neck Warmer

The “Lovely Feathers Neck Warmer” comes nowhere near the neck, and it doesn’t look like any feather I’m familiar with, not even a flamingo’s. Obviously I agree it’s lovely or I wouldn’t have chosen the knitting pattern.

I never knit patterns with the colors specified by the designer. My motto is, “Why knit something that looks like you could buy it in a store?” So far I’ve reached my aspirations in spades. The motto might be, “Why knit an accessory that makes you look sane when you could look eccentric instead?”Read More »

March of the Penguin Sweaters

On knitting a garment I hope will never be worn.

Ill-fitting

I’ve come to understand one of the primary reasons I’m passionate about knitting: As I knit, I visualize the person the garment is intended for. If it’s the holiday season, I visualize friends, family, and a flock of juvenile-service professionals who will get to choose from a knitted pile of accessories.

This is a relief after a quarter century of writing: nobody wants a draft of a bad poem in their holiday stocking—although the Man I Married might have preferred a slim sheet of paper over the seven-foot-long scarf I knitted him as my first ever knitted project.Read More »

Mistakes, Making It Up, Moving Forward

Brachiosaurus hat?

Or lumpy bowl?

My friend’s sister said, “I have no problem ripping a knitting project apart if I’ve made a mistake. After all, it’s knitting I love, so it doesn’t matter if I have to lose a bunch of work and practically start over. It just means more knitting!” A rumbling of assent, like the hubbub at British parliament, reverberated around the dinner table of women crafters who had been meeting weekly for a few decades.

Not I (though there IS something pleasurable about the sound and feel of ripping out rows of knitting, perhaps the vegetarian’s version of ripping flesh off ribs with our teeth).Read More »

Circles

Clever Kates cavorting with crapper cylinders

“Why am I doing this?” I asked the Man I Married as we fastened the backseat seatbelt around my new bundle of joy.

“Isn’t knitting enough?” I continued. “Why take this on, too? What am I thinking? Clearly I’m not thinking.”

MIM knew better than to answer. He squeezed my hand and let me wind myself down.

The orifice hook rattled against the strapped-in spinning wheel as we pulled out of the cul-de-sac far from home. The bobbins clattered on their Lazy Kate—which should be called a Clever Kate—a wooden stand on which the bobbins perch and spin while yarn is plied (when two or more individual strands are wound together to make a stronger, thicker yarn). This one was a step-up from my improvised and borrowed Lazy Kate: a shoebox punctured with shish kabob skewers, on which hung cardboard toilet paper rolls.Read More »