Knitting Podcast!

I was on a podcast talking about knitting!

If you know me, you might know my husband Joseph has a podcast called OBSESSED. For his Thanksgiving episode, he decided to interview me about my obsession with knitting.

Sara and Joseph post-OBSESSED recording

It was a lot of fun! I haven’t actually listened to it yet! (But I will, soon!) You can find it in all its forms here!

Extrahappyknitting bonus, yesterday I learned that my 10 year old niece has recently taken up knitting. Like I said in the podcast, people are always knitting (and crocheting)!

 

Disclaimer to those who know lots about knitting: I consider myself a combination product & process knitter. I’m not really a technical knitter. I learn what I need to as I go along. I take pride in doing things well. Or finding a way that works better for me. So if there are errors in my descriptions of things, well–I knit and talk about knitting for enjoyment, not for encyclopedic knowledge. (But if you catch anything, feel free to comment if you are a technically-minded knitter! Just be a nice knitter. Don’t be the angry lady in the yarn store.)

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Annoyed rage becomes a onesie

Today I got mad. Then I decided to channel that negative energy toward something positive.

Here’s the something positive:

Here’s the backstory to why it’s there and what made me mad:

The past few days/weeks/months (I’ve lost track, but bottom line, too long) the trend to make clothes for girls that showcase damaging stereotypes keeps proving it doesn’t want to give up. Plenty of people have talked about this at length–check out this article in Jezebel about the onesies below or this Legion of Leia post about the ridiculous Batman’s wife shirt for more background.

The latest round was sparked by Target Canada selling these onesies:

Canada Target onesies

Photo by University of Waterloo psychology professor Christine Logel

At the moment I work near a tv that plays Fox Business all day. I’ve gained insights into different perspectives and a greater desire for shows where the panelists don’t yell and actually let each other finish their sentences (I’m looking at you, round table whatever your name is). This morning, the question about whether these onesies are sexist came up. I missed the beginning, but I swear, the prevailing argument was that THESE ARE NOT SEXIST BECAUSE WOMEN ARE MORE LIKELY THAN MEN TO THINK ABOUT WHO THEY WANT TO MARRY.

1. I don’t care if that is true. These are for babies. They are not thinking about marriage or dating.
2. The messages themselves might not be as sexist if both phrases were readily available in a variety of colors.

3. There are a lot of great options for onesies and t-shirts that don’t promote damaging sexist stereotypes–to anyone. I added the one at the top and a few others to Joseph Scrimshaw’s Society6 page:

 

Future Partner of a Hero onesie in gray

My response to the original outrage-inducing onesie.

Superhero in training pink onesie

The image says it. By the way, all the images link to the onesies directly if you want to buy them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come on Target. You just released this ad with Cat Staggs and Amanda Deibert. You can help fight gender stereotypes. Continue to be a leader. Make the “I Only Date Heros” jumper in blue. In black. Hang it with the boys clothing.

Better yet, maybe fewer comments about dating for babies?

 

*In case you care, I updated this post on 10/2/14 to add the photos of the Future Partner of a Hero and Superhero in Training onesies.

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Learning

New

Things

Learn stuff doodle

One of many goals right now: learn things.

Why? It's interesting, fun, and good for you (me)!

Also, I work by a tv that plays the news all day, and I feel like my brain needs this as a result. Let's call it comfort food for my brain. Good, nourishing comfort food. Like Brussels sprouts.

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September 24, 2014 · 11:32 am

The words of an insightful friend

This post offers an insight into why Julie Gilbert is one of my favorite people:

A brief meditation on death, writing and gratitude

Recommended action: click and read.

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People I like creating things I like: 5 projects to check out

I’m not always the greatest at mentioning projects that friends are working on. Instead of focusing on why that might be, today’s post is 5 projects that I encourage you to check out!

Wil Wheaton Project - new time!

1. First, because it’s on tonight–if you like geeky things, you probably know about The Wil Wheaton Project on SyFy already. (Quick little reminder, the new air time tonight is 9 pm (PT).) If you don’t know about it, it’s a weekly tv show where Wil explores and celebrates the world of science fiction and fandom. I encourage checking it out (9 pm tonight)! Not only is Wil a friend and person I like, my friend Josh Cagan is a producer* on the project, so I get to promote one project for two people I like! Also, if you live in or visit Los Angeles, you can go to the taping of the show on Mondays!

The Doubleclicks - Dimetrodon - cover

2. The Doubleclicks released their new album, Dimetrodon, last week. Aubrey & Angela Webber are wonderful women that I am proud to call friends. The album was produced by Mike Phirman, also known as the nicest person on the planet, who I also am delighted to call a friend. Plus they all make music. Fun and smart and interesting music that you can listen to and purchase lots of places! Also, they are touring to many (mainly west coast) cities in July and August, including San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles–details on their website!

Regret Labs logo

3. Comedians Levi Weinhagen & Aric McKeown recently started a new podcast about science: RegretLabs. It’s about liking science, wishing they remembered it better (or had studied it), and bringing in guests so they can ask science-related questions. And it’s funny. As a fellow science fan, this podcast is right up my alley. In my early 20’s I subscribed to two magazines, one of which was Discover. The other is not relevant to this post. Instead, listen! Laugh! Learn!

Sharon Stiteler, Birdchick4. My buddy Sharon Stiteler, The Birdchick, has a new YouTube series, Digiscoping with Clay and Sharon. I’m not a birdwatcher, but Sharon is great at sharing her excitement about birds and as a result, I find myself noticing birds far more than I used to. Score 1 for Sharon! If you are a birdwatcher, there’s some great footage of birds in the videos and technology that looks really cool to me.

Joseph Scrimshaw with santa hat

5. I know I occasionally mention projects that Joseph Scrimshaw, aka my husband, works on. As you may know, Joseph is friends with many musicians and a fan of mid-twentieth century comedy shows. What do these two things have in common? Holiday specials. Joseph is currently trying to raise funds via his Patreon to do a comedy holiday special. Not familiar with Patreon? Check out his blog post about the site and his holiday album aspirations.

 

Finally, if you want a new mug to sip your coffee/tea/water/whiskey/wine while you watch Sharon’s webseries, listen to Aric & Levi, listen to The Doubleclicks, and watch Wil’s show, Joseph has started adding projects to Society 6, like this:

Society 6 Coffee mug

Cheers!

 

*Blog updated 6/18 to correctly credit Josh Cagan as a producer on The Wil Wheaton Project.

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Memories, photos, and my uncle Phil

I’ve been thinking about memories a lot lately. When we want to hear other people’s memories and when other people want to share their memories with us. About where and how we share our memories. The places that inspire people to remember what happened there or to share what happened someplace similar. The beach. A park. The state fair.

I was going to post something yesterday, but Evernote ate my notes, I couldn’t find the right approach, and other things filled up that space in my day. This morning I heard the news that one of my uncles passed away last night, so I decided to start my new memories category with a post that includes Philip Holt Zimmerschied, 1927-2014.

1938 Yellowstone Mt Washburn with snow

 

1938 Yellowstone Mt Washburn photo text

Phil is the young boy standing in front of the car. If you can’t make out the text on the back of the photo, it reads:

Near the top of Mount Washburn Yellow Stone Park July 3d 1938. The snow bank behind us is about 10 feet deep near the front of the car. The snow on the other side of the road about the same. Elevation about 9600 feet top of Mt Washburn 10,317 feet.

 

Photos, national parks, transportation, and weather all make great prompts for sharing memories. Please feel welcome to share your own memory about any of these topics in the comments, or use this post as inspiration to ask someone else about their life.  We often ask people older than us about their memories, but I think it’s important to share the stories of people of all ages. I’d love to know what 11 year old Phil thought about this trip through Yellowstone.

 

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Tumblr breakfast always makes me hungry

A few weeks ago I was searching for a friend’s Tumblr and (mistakenly) thought it had the word “breakfast” in the title. So I entered “breakfast” into the search bar. This is what came up:

(Warning, photo might make you want to eat ALL THE FOOD)

4-30-14 Breakfast on Tumblr

Not only did I instantly want to eat most of the food depicted, every time the photo pops up in my picture gallery, I crave breakfast food all over again.

Nutritionists often cite the benefits of a healthy breakfast. There are more uncertainties in my life right now than I would like, so maybe this picture subconsciously prompts a desire to constantly eat breakfast in hopes it will give me extra energy to tackle everything.

Or I really like looking at pictures of breakfast food.

 

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Learning from life

A year ago my friend, choreographer, and fellow dancer John Munger passed away. I wrote about it last year, which you can read here, or watch the memorial video created by James Peitzman here.

Mosquito dance ARDC

John and I dancing “Mosquito” with the American Russian Dance Company at the Festival of Nations

I’ve thought about John a lot this past year. Moments of missing him. Thoughts about his embracing life with joy, excitement, and frustration. Thinking about his perspective on life and the zeal with which he always ensured dance was part of that life. And thinking about the fact that life comes to an end for all of us, and there will be a moment when we are the ones that others are reflecting on. Thinking about what we said we wanted, what we did, and whether we were happy.

Odd as this may be, today feels like a good day for me to say thank you to the people in my life who have passed away in the past few years. To the ones I knew well enough that I feel like I can have the above thoughts without being a superficial jerk, but instead learning from them – their joy of life, their dreams both realized and unfulfilled, and for sharing their lives with other people. With me.

I always selfishly want everyone I care about to be around forever, but even when they are gone, I am grateful. I am grateful for the remnants of them in my heart, my soul, and my mind as I make decisions about my life. And I know that they continue in similar and different ways for other people.

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes learning from life is even harder. And I’m grateful that others have shared their lives with me so I can try to learn from them, too.

 

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Chipotle is in my head

I read this Quartz article yesterday about Chipotle and their company culture, and it’s been lurking in my brain ever since.

(The short version: Chipotle changed their company culture in 2005 to cultivate talent from within the organization and it’s working really well for the overall company and the employees. It’s not a long article, full reading is recommended!)

Company culture and the effect it can have is one of the side topics my brain visits. It was important to me as a manager, as an employee, and I (like many people) think it can make a big difference. So I like to think about it. Now that my husband and I have relocated and I’m looking for a job, I find it’s on my mind in a new way. As I look at position postings and think about what I want to do next, I find one of the biggest concerns for me is being in a culture of respect. I don’t mean we all sit in a sharing circle to start each day – I might run from that – but I want to be treated with respect as a person. I want everyone to be treated with respect. We’re all individuals with something to offer, and that something will nearly always be better if it comes from a place where we are valued.

Honestly, I’m not sure why this has been such a concern for me. I’ve worked (nearly) always in places where this is true, a given. Although I’ve worked in nonprofits and/or museums for a long time, I’m not sure I’ll stay there now, so maybe that’s part of it.  I’m happy to put in my time in a new industry, but I’m still a person with knowledge and skills, and like all people (I assume?), life is better when we are respected.

Burrito!

Sadly this is an old photo

One other thought from the article. To me the even more interesting part is the commitment to training and developing staff. It inspires me, makes me just a teensy bit jealous, and makes me want a burrito. But it also reinforces my own experience that hiring based on characteristics can be a better indicator of future success than specific knowledge, at least in certain jobs. For the purposes of today’s musings, I was happy to see “respectful” on Chipotle’s list of desired characteristics.

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A Scarf to Keep Me Warm or back to the basics

A few weeks ago I started this post about a scarf that I made. Today I’m in Los Angeles, looking out the window of a friend’s apartment at a lemon tree. Back home in Minneapolis 10″ of snow just fell – so it seems appropriate to post about warm snuggly scarves.

Chunky fun yarn...but what to do with it?!?

Chunky fun yarn…but what to do with it?!?

I have had a skein of yarn I have struggled with for years. A single skein of chunky, multi-colored wool that begged to be something cool. I tried multiple projects over the years, but they didn’t show off the yarn, or I knew I wouldn’t use them (or didn’t have the right person to give it to), so after a few rows, the projects were always ripped out.

Earlier this winter I saw social media post after social media post about arm knitting. I didn’t have time to look into it, but that idea inspired me to remember how to finger knit, something I probably haven’t done since I was 12. One of my favorite scarf patterns last year was a crochet pattern (Artfully Simply Infinity Scarf) that I never had enough yarn to do properly, but I liked the spirit of a long loop that could be worn multiple ways.

“This is it,” I thought. “I will make a long tail of finger knitting. This will work for my chunky fun yarn.”

Midway through the project, I demonstrated the future potential of the project to Joseph, wearing the new scarf over the scarf I was already wearing. He didn’t seem impressed, or more accurately, he was overly impressed with the number of colors I was wearing at once.

Long loop of scarf

The long loop

I have no work in progress photos, but 15 feet of finger knitting later, I had a lovely scarf – made while watching two hours of television and just in time to wear it for one of our lovely polar vortex days with a high of negative-this-is-ridiculous we’ve had too many of this winter.

The 12-hour old scarf, already out in the wild:

Wearing the scarf

Wearing the scarf
(Smile, Sara!)

The tutorial I used when I couldn’t quite remember the proper set up.

Bonus #museumselfie.

Museum Selfie with Scarf

#museumselfie with scarf
(at the James J. Hill House)

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