Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Taking Advantage 

Over the last month, I became increasingly aware that my time here in DC was limited. There are so many wonderful cultural and political resources in this area, many of which I've never been to in my six and a half years of living here, that I knew that I had to take advantage of before I left. The first on my list was the...
visionary art sign

AVAM in Baltimore. Lolly had never been there either, so I was able to convince her to come along with me. This museum is unlike any other art museum I've ever been to. It's entirely devoted to artwork from untrained artists. many of whom were mentally ill, had religious visions or just had an innate urge to create. Any crafter can understand this need to see your ideas turn into tangible objects. What may distinguish these artists from others is their intense devotion to seeing their artistic visions realized, despite limitations of time and materials. I wasn't able to take pictures inside but here are some shots from the sculpture garden.

animal sculpture

mirror portrait

While some of the artwork had a humorous side to it (taxidermied prairie dogs covered in sequins!), much of it was deeply moving in a way I'd never experienced in an art museum. I admired the dedication of the artists, like the one who created a richly detailed model of the Lusitania from 193,000 matchsticks and the anonymous mental patient who whittled a self portrait from a piece of cherry wood before committing suicide two years later. The works at this museum are unconventional and spring from true emotions - I highly recommend a visit.

This week also marked the beginning of the fifth year of the American occupation of Iraq. To commemorate this date and express my continued disdain for this country's policies in Iraq, I joined in the march to the Pentagon last weekend. While participating in this event may have taken me away from some of the packing I needed to do, it was important to me to publicly express my views to our leaders. It won't be so easy for me to to join a political march in the middle of the Nation's Capitol anymore!

Those papers on the ground were tax forms, and they covered the highway in Virginia. I didn't know if it was part of the protest or if someone was really pissed about doing their taxes.


Across the street, you can see some of the counter-protesters who joined us at the Lincoln Memorial that day. While media accounts portrayed them as having a cohesive argument in support of the president, I didn't find them too eloquent when they started yelling gay epithets at the gentleman pictured when he started waving his flag. Nor did I think showing them my tits, as they entreated, would add to the dialogue about the justness of this war.

Bush and Cheney Love

I've participated in many events and marches over the years, so I'm sad I won't be able to attend these events with too much frequency in the future. Fortunately, it looks like they're pretty good at protesting in Seattle, too.

Of course, the knitting continues despites these diversions. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed my newest handknit in Lolly's post about our trip to the museum.

Lacy Rib Cowl

Lace Rib Cowl from The Purl Bee.
Unknown skein of white 100% Silk
Size 6 Denise Needles

First of all, if you are interested in any fiber arts, you must check out the Purl Bee immediately. I've found so many wonderful ideas and patterns on there in the short time it's been around.

Instead of using the suggested cashmere yarn, I used a skein of white 100% silk that was calling to me from the stash. Hooray for stash busting! Because the yarn was a heavier gauge than suggested, I simply guessed at the cast-on number. Unfortunately, the number I chose, 150, was still a bit too much and the cowl is a bit too big. I like it pinned like this, however, because it makes it look like a cravat.

When I first started knitting this, it was a bit like a battle. The inelasticity of the yarn and the lace pattern did not go together well. My hand would be sore after knitting a few rounds. Finally, my hands loosened and this became much more enjoyable to knit. I finished it with EZ's sewn cast off to ensure proper stretchiness.
It's the perfect spring accessory and adds a touch of class to any outfit!

While I'm fitting in time to see some more friends this week, my time to take advantage of all that's in DC is running short. I'm getting through most of the packing in the next two or three days. Cobra flies back tomorrow, yay! The plan as of right now is that we'll be heading out of town on Thursday morning, have a two day stay with my aunt in Chicago, and arrive in Seattle by early next week. Wow, it still all seems so unreal.

I have no idea what my life is going to be like for the next few weeks, but I'll try to get back here as soon as possible. I'll definitely try to at least post pictures on my Flickr page, so check there to see where I'm at.

I hope you all find renewal and hope in this time of Spring and that your needles keep on clicking!

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