Category Archives: knitting

Favorite Stories Starring Women: Agent 355

In a world where 99.999% of the population is female, the comics are still about a man.

I have a hard time writing about Brian K. Vaughn’s Y: The Last Man. The last time I did it (scroll down, I put the article in the chum section), it was this same character and I published the post the day the final issue came out. I’ve never been the same. That last issue was so perfectly final that I’ve never felt the need to come back to the series. I have closure and very little left to say.

The one exception is Agent 355. When it comes to comics about women there is no one else who comes close to what she means to me. It’s not just that she’s a Knitter (and is shown knitting realistically in the beautiful Pia Gurerra art) and yet, it’s also entirely that she’s a Knitter.

There’s one line that sums up my feelings about Agent 355 and it’s one she says while giving Yorik the scarf she’s knitted throughout the series, “I f%&%ed up a lot and had to start over a bunch of times.”  355 is a highly trained and skilled agent; she kicks all kinds of ass. Heck, she even stabs a pirate with her knitting needles, but she still makes mistakes, she lets her emotions get in the way, and she doesn’t realize what she wants out of life until it is tragically, painfully too late.

Through it all, Agent 355 knits that scarf. She makes progress slowly, over the five years covered by the main plot of Y: The Last Man. The scarf is supposed “to keep [her] hands busy,” but, for 355 it’s more than that. The scarf is a connection to a family she lost long before the men were wiped out. Her grandmother taught her to knit and her father made clothes for a living. They were all makers, they all created things. If you ask me, that’s the central message of Y: creativity is the most important thing.

When the fighting is over and 355 has delivered her charge to his destination (and long-lost girlfriend), she makes a choice. 355 chooses creation over destruction. She trades her gun to a tailor for a beautiful dress.

For the world of Y: The Last Man to survive (spoiler alert: it does), the people needed to embrace the choice 355 makes. They need to create new human beings, they need to find new ways of governing,  they need to choose to create a new world, rather than destroy the old one.

Of all the wildly creative people in Y, it’s 355 who speaks to me. It’s not the wacky escape artist or the brilliant biologist, it’s neither the rebel nor the mother, it’s the Knitter. The one who puts one stitch in front of the other, who f%&%s up and starts over, who perseveres through everything to create something new.

Thanks to the Women Write About Comics blog carnival for giving me the excuse to blather on about one of my favorite characters for 500 words. You should go check out the other entries!

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Filed under Books, Comics, Feminism, knitting

Dear Blog

Dear blog,

I’ve missed you. I know, I know. I left you for Twitter and I’ve dallied with Tumblr for years as well. I truly love microblogging and I left you in the dust.

I really do love it.

That being said, there are some things only a blog can do. I miss writing “Profiles in (Fictional) Knitting” for the late lamented Daily Chum and I’d like someplace to spew whatever incredibly pretentious thoughts careen through my head while I try to figure out how to write a book, and I frequently get annoyed at reviewers of just about anything because it seems like no one gets why things I love are great. I don’t knit as much or as steadily as I once did, a side effect of graduating school, working all day, and not watching much TV. It’ll still be a part of what goes on here, but less than it was in the past.

I also keep hearing that writers write better if they warm up and sell better if they engage.  So, dear blog, I’m giving this another go. I won’t commit to anything, I might lose interest again in about 10 minutes, but you are like a robot created by a very add scientist living alone on an asteroid, you don’t have anyone else to work on you, so you have to wait for me to get my butt in gear and work on you.

Thats more I’s than anyone should have to bear with, blog, so let’s close with the hope of more to come, forgetting how very often your author has abandoned you in the past.

Ever Cordially,

~Erin

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How much good can Baseball do?

I promise, I will write about something other than Baseball the next time I blog.  This continues from the last post though, so bear with me (note that I really love Baseball, so until October throws me into the depths of despair it’ll show up).

When last we left our heroine (me) her baseball knitting was a plain sock that looked like this:Plane Jane Sock 2 Progress

Immediately following that post the intrepid knitter headed to the last home opener at the Metrodome.  Upon reaching the stadium she knit on her sock, enjoyed the view from center field, watched the fastest man in baseball drop a two run homer 30 yards in front of her, and suffered through a devistating loss for the Minnesota Twins.  Upon reaching home her sock looked like this:img_0217

Clear progress, though not as much as the night before.  However, on Sunday I was in the lounge watching on TV whereas on Monday I was at the stadium.  When I’m at the game I find that I make less progress because I keep doing things like talking with other people, cheering, eating, the wave, and enjoying the view.  Still, I made clear progress and my sock is getting closer and closer to becoming the second of a pair.  So there, conclusive proof that baseball time is great knitting time.  I’d go into the other multitudinous virtues of Baseball (common topic for conversation with most American males, excitement, drama, general kick assness) but to my fellow knitters out there “three hours of minimally interrupted knitting time” really beats any other reason.

On the topic of my dearest, darling Minnesota Twins, well, I’m not sure what to think.  We’re down two catchers, both of whom are incredibly useful bats as well.  The Twins have struggled with run production for the last couple of seasons and it pains me to see pitchers like Nick Blackburn and Glen Perkins get the L when they only let in one run.  I’m of the opinion that better discipline at the plate would fix a lot of the Twins scoring problems, but you could easily make the case for more power or a stronger bullpen.  I can’t wait to see what happens as the team settles into the regular season, especially once Joe Mauer returns to his rightful spot behind Home Plate.  I would also like to note how delighted I am by Carlos Gomez’s improvement since last year. I love watching him play (he moves so beautifully) so I’m happy when he gets more time on the field.

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Filed under Baseball, knitting

Baseball Season is Knitting Season

Baseball season has arrived at last.  The four solid weeks reading Keats hasn’t given me the descriptive poewrs to express how good it feels to have the sounds of a Mets/Reds or a Nationals/Marlin’s game floating out of my speakers (from the MLB iPod app, Game Day Audio FTW).  My family has always been big baseball fans, a situation that has only gotten worse as time has gone on.  It’s gotten so bad that we made a pilgrimage to the Baseball Hall of Fame over Thanksgiving (I lost my camera right after that and I therefore have none of the pictures I took that day or over the whole break)

I would blame the increase of baseball watching on my parents need to keep themselves entertained as my sisters and I grow up and move out, but that would only be a half-truth.  In reality, Mom and I realized that during a Baseball game we can knit, basically uninterrupted, for three hours.

You might think, how much of a difference could three hours of knitting really make, you guys knit all the time anyway.

I could argue with those thinkers for a thousand or more words, but I’ve got a picture that’ll do just fine.

Plane Jane Sock 1This is my mindless knitting, a sock in S.R. Kertzer On Your Toes 4 Ply.  I’ve been working on this on and off since Christmas, I finished this sock over Interim break when I did almost nothing except for sit on the deck of the cruise ship, knit, and listen to all 4 Twilight audiobooks (Shannon Okey expressed worry over my burgeoning addiction, but I’m fine, really, I’m not addicted to the Sparkle!crack at all *twitch*).  Now during Frbruary and March I knit the toe and the first few increases on the instep (which I really should have taken pictures of when I updated Ravelry yesterday), and then yesterday the Baseball season started.

Plane Jane Sock 2 Progress

I did most of the instep and all of the heel turn while I watched the Braves beat up on the Phillies.  That is more progress than I’ve made, literally in months and it’s no mistake that it happened on the first day of Baseball season.  Check out the side view for a better idea of how much I knit.

Plane Jane 2 Progress 2

There is such a perfect chemistry between Baseball and knitting.  If you aren’t watching every second, you might miss some awesome things (my favorite/what I always miss are double plays), but you can certainly follow the game while knitting.  I, obviously, find the expereience pretty entertaining and if the proliferation of Stitch n’ Pitch events throughout the country is any indication I’m not the only knitter that thinks that (the site appears to be down right now, so I think we may have crashed it).

Baseball is a very important part of my life, and I’m so very glad to have it back, it feels like I’ve just put on new glasses and I can really see again (I just got new glasses, remind me to show you guys).  While I’ve been writing this post I’ve listened to the Mets beat the Reds and the Nationals give up 6 runs to the Marlins, looks like they’re headed to their usual place, “First in War, First in Peace, last in the National League”.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the Twins home opener (the last in the Metrodome).  Go Twins!

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Twist of Something or Other

I find it strange how things in my life interconnect.  I pick up a book randomly in a school library, which leads to an obsession, which leads me to learn to knit so I can make a costume replica from the movie of that book I picked up, which leads to another obsession, which leads to me discovering podcasts, which leads to Lime & Violet, which leads to me pitching a column for the brand new Daily Chum, which probably puts me over the top for my Marvel internship.

Now I’m sitting here, older, wiser (though not wise enough to replace the study skills I lost in the 8 months since I last was in school) and these two halves of my life continue to interact in strange ways. Take today for instance: I’m all jazzed because the article I wrote about Kniittiing (A knitting video game for the Wii, seriously) got picked up by CRAFT and Knitty.  Which I was pretty sure it would, because all the Chum girls were chatting about it (that’s often how you know a story will be big, GO CHUM TEAM!), which is why I’m using the last skills I’d ever think to transfer from Marvel to L&V to interview the design team for Kniittiing (I interviewed a couple of video game people while I was at Marvel).

I am of course accepting questions, you can ask them here in the comments, or you can email me, or you can ask me on Twitter, or on Plurk.  Ask away people!

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Filed under Comics, knitting, me me me, Ponderings, Web, Writing

Your Vote Matters!

Today is all about getting you my loyal readers (please exist) to help me out with a decision that weighs on my mind. And knitting (it is What’s on Your Needles Wednesday).  But first, Haiku:

As you may or may not know Wendy is giving away an iPod to the person who writes the best summer themed Haiku.  She decided to do this right after I got out of Creative Writing (i.e. I still know how to write poetry).  The only problem is that I’ve written too many Haiku (we’re limited to one) and I need your help to choose my best Haiku.  There’s a poll at the end of this post and I’ll enter whichever haiku has the most votes on Thursday evening!

Haiku # 1

Humid hours hang

Over oppressed offices

To torture totally.

Haiku#2

Diet coke with lime

tastes better in summer heat

like tropical treat

Haiku # 3

sweat glistened fingers

can’t manage knitting needles

not to mention wool

Haiku #4

I will be a child

as long as I can still jump

splash! Into the pool.

Haiku #5

Sleeping in till noon

through seven hours of sunlight

only in summer.

In Knitting…

Since I do still knit (not often enough, but I’m working on that) I thought I’d have a little WOYNW action today.

IMG_3626

These are my Hedera socks, enjoying the sunshine we’re having today (I was outside today, I pulled weeds and then knit for a while).  They are from Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock on Size 0 Knit Picks metal DPNs, and are technically a Mother’s Day gift (they’re late), but I am so close to the toe that I can smell it, so I’m doing ok.

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Filed under knitting, poll, Writing