Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Singing Revolution

The Singing Revolution

Dear Knittah,

Tonight Noricum and I watched "The Singing Revolution". It was a truly amazing and inspiring piece of history. We were both very moved by the lack of violence in the face of angry mobs and the Soviet Army. Plus the singing is beautiful. If you haven't seen it, I really recommend you try to find a copy to watch!


Monday, October 19, 2009

In which Swatchy gets some Canadian action

This morning, after the kids were off to school, I went looking for Swatchy. I found him here, still sleeping at 9:30.

Poor l'il Swatchy. He was tuckered out, after a weekend beyond his wildest imaginings...

It all started so innocently. He climbed into the car and settled himself on the dashboard, perhaps thinking that this was going to be a wholesome weekend, seeing as he was traveling with a suburban, station-wagon-driving soccer mom.

The drive up was quick (relatively speaking) and uneventful. Swatchy enjoyed seeing the autumn foliage, and was fascinated by the gossip, although he tried not too look too interested.

He was happy to arrive at the hotel, quickly selecting a lovely color-coordinated skein of Black Bunny Fibers Canadian Luxury sock yarn to nestle down in for the night.

I think Swatchy figured, once everyone was in bed by 10:30 p.m., that his traveling companions were nice, if a bit sedate.

He was a good sport as we awoke early the next morning, bundling up and arriving at the show not long after the gates opened at 9 a.m.

He was quite excited to be hanging with knitting designer Laura Grutzeck; I heard Swatchy whisper excitedly to passersby, "See that lady with the pretty curly hair? She has a sweater in Vogue Knitting!" He found faithful traveling companion Jim to be delightful and eminently civilized, too.

Swatchy enjoyed seeing all sorts of beautiful fiber and yarn, and although he found the llamas and sheep a little intimidating, given how big they seemed to him, he quite enjoyed snuggling up to the bunnies, like this one:

(The bunny, on the other hand, disapproved.)

I was having a great time seeing old friends and making new ones, buying some roving, fondling the wools, but then I saw Swatchy surreptitiously yawn. I decided it was time for the big guns. So Swatchy got to meet Jess, of Ravelry fame:

and Clara Parkes, of Knitter's Review and book fame:

and Dr. Mel, of kilt-wearing fame:

I must say that Swatchy was very well-behaved and extremely polite to all the knitterati that he met, except when he mistakenly thought he heard Kristen Rengren

say that she knew a woman with Chronic Fatigue and it was all in her head, and then he threw himself at the table where she was book-signing, screaming stuff about "people who need to go to the CFIDS website before they start shooting their mouths off about stuff they know nothing about" until I was able to pull him off and tell him that she said "I know a woman with Chronic Fatigue and she has to stay in bed" and then he got all embarrassed and I had to leave the author's tent before Melanie Falick kicked the shite out of me.

At that point, I whisked Swatchy away, and we retired to our hotel room for a brief cooling-off period before dinner. Swatchy wasn't very impressed with our favorite Rhinebeck diner:

But he cheered up immensely when he met our dinner companions, including Mindy

(he was all over poor Mindy!); the wild and wooly Ali P (I need your blog link, Ali):

and last but not least, Vé-vé.

I think that those wild Canadian minxes were a terrible influence on Swatchy, because last night I went up to Little Miss's room to kiss her goodnight and I found this:

Oh, Swatchy, lolling in the hot tub with the Barbie twins? What have I done?!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Botswana and Beyond!!!

Some of your gifts to the Botswana Project, delivered last spring.

You have all been so generous and loving in making gifts for children that we have more than our volunteers from Penn can carry to Botswana. The good news is that Botswana is not the only place that Penn sends doctors and nurses.

I am thrilled to announce an EXPANSION of The Botswana Project to Mbagathi Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. This hospital is the only hospital serving the Kibera slum in Nairobi. There are approximately one million people living in Kibera, and less than 500 healthcare workers at Mbagathi. Thousands of children are HIV positive, and thousands more have lost a family member to AIDS. Mbagathi has a large pediatric clinic with a number of children's programs, and some of your future donations will be carried to Mbagathi by doctors from Penn's Global Health Equities Residence track. This video will give you an idea of what conditions are like in Kibera, and the amazing work done at Mbagathi Hospital. NB: the video was made by the group Physicians for Human Rights, not by Penn.

We need hand made hats, sweaters, blankets and toys for children of all ages. Sturdy wool, cotton and acrylic fibers are all welcome. The deadline for this collection round is December 31st. Your donations will be carried to Botswana and Mbagathi Hospital by volunteers from Penn. Please email Knittah with questions, or for the address to send your gifts. Thank you thank you thank you for showing these children that you care.