Friday, September 28, 2012

Knitting is a Gateway Craft...

Just so you know. When it comes to Yarncrafting, knitting is totally a gateway craft. You start with some sticks and string. Learn the knit stitch. Then learn the purl stitch. Find out that with these two basic stitches and with various methods of manipulating them you can make anything from a basic garter stitch dishcloth or scarf to the most intricate and complex lace and cables. And once you start making these cool things, you realize you want to do more.

And it occurs to you that if you learn to crochet, you can put a simple edge on your stuff. Which leads to more complex edgings. And accents. Because crochet is awesome for things like flowers and other such items.

Then you decide that the colors you want just aren't quite there. But you have the picture in your head. So you start dyeing. It begins with kool-aid (doesn't it always?). And you get fun colors with some kinda cool scents. Then you move up to various other dyes and mordants to set them and playing with mixed fibers and such.

Then you decide that well, the color is right, but now that you're playing with the way different fibers react and work together, you want something that's just *so* with squishiness and twist. So you start spinning. And even that starts innocently enough... a little drop spindle and a bit of roving. Or silk hankies. Something small. And you like what you can do, but want to do more. So you get a spinning wheel. And now you can spin in project quantities...

And somewhere in there, some wool ends up in the wash, and gets fulled (aka felted). And you start thinking about doing it on purpose. And hey, you know what, a bunch of that roving can be needle felted to make more cool fun accessories...

And your friends realize that you're never without pointy sticks of some variety.

And your stash of fiber gets out of control...

And that's without going into adding embroidery to your knits... stitching over the knit item to fake intarsia... which makes you wonder why you ever put down that old embroidery hoop and aida cloth and dmc floss in the first place...

You're mixing your crafts now.

It's a dangerous obsession.

And it all started with a couple sticks, some string, and two little stitches... the knit and the purl.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You think US Elections get vicious?

Try a Tribal Election process. I am a registered member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. This year was an election year for the tribe. Every two years half the board is elected, 4  year terms. The Tribal Chairperson is up for election every four years, coinciding with US Presidential election. Tribal election is held in early summer.
This year, Aaron Payment was elected for his second, non-consecutive term. I can't tell you much of what happened over the past four years, because I am not a resident of the regular tribal service area. I am allowed to vote in the elections, but it requires that I register with one of the 5 Units of the Upper Peninsula. Unless I actively stay on top of things, it's far too easy to slip through the cracks. I don't have the numbers right now, but I know that tribal members living outside the UP's service area vastly outnumber those in the area. And since the Tribe is a nation within a nation, getting things done requires even more finesse than most other political situations. Just wrapping your brain around all of the factors involved can be a workout.
Fortunately, Aaron is a hands-on Chairman. I don't know him personally, but followed what he was doing during the beginning of his last time in office. He actually established regular meetings in the lower peninsula. He acknowledged that there needs to be separate representation for the members not living in the 5 units. He also recognized that you reach a point where blood quantum isn't as important as knowing your heritage. He was a break from the lackadaisical status quo that had previously reigned over the tribe.
I don't know what lead to him losing re-election. I don't know what happened over the past 5 years or so with the tribe. But I know that those outside the 5 Units were once again forgotten and ignored.
Now that someone is in place who is willing to help the rest of us be acknowledged and informed, I'm looking forward to being active with the tribe. Because it's about time for the rest of our voices to be heard.

As far as the voracity of tribal politics goes... look at back issues of the tribal newspaper. Start with the first issue listed in 2005, page 4, Aaron's update. Yeah. It gets better. I'm going to have to skim through the following issues to see where things went from there.

So this is a heads-up to you... I will continue posting about knitting and baking, but don't be surprised if there are posts about the Sault Tribe and things going on with that. I'm not interested in starting a new blog, because this is all about me, and about all of me. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Get out of my HEAD!

Let's talk about head pain. Migraines and otherwise. A dear friend posted a picture on Facebook... the following:

(Let us briefly thank the people at for the joys of being able to make our own snarky e-cards.) She tagged me in the post, but only because she knew I do get TRUE migraines. I thought it was funny. Others thought she was making fun of me, but I knew otherwise. (So others... no need to bug her... she was standing next to me when I pointed out I wanted to fall down and cry earlier that day, but I kept working because the work wasn't going to do itself, and saved the rest for when I got home... she knows I was amused by the card.) The point of this is when people say they have a migraine, but it's not a migraine.

Because unfortunately, a lot of people think a bad headache is a migraine. Tension headaches are not migraines. Rebound headaches are not migraines. Sinus headaches are not migraines. They all hurt like hell in their own ways, but they are not migraines.

I go to the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute to participate in migraine research studies, in the hopes of helping them build a better mousetrap, as it were. In order to ensure that people who are testing the medications really do have migraines, they go through testing and extensive questioning to make sure it's not another form of head pain. My file lists the frequency, triggers, even the *side* of my head that the migraines generally affect (left, in case you wondered).

So you think you have a migraine?

Here is the official symptomology to determine whether you do or not:

"IHS diagnostic criteria

Migraine without aura (MO) diagnostic criteria

Migraine with aura is similar, just with an aura. Click on the link, it also gives the official criteria for other debilitating headaches. Think you have a migraine but it's across your whole head and a stabbing pain? You can probably figure out what it really is there... and from there, you can figure out how to get rid of it. Because naming the enemy brings you one step closer to defeating the enemy.

What's REALLY fun is when you have a migraine layered with a tension headache. Or with a sinus headache. Those bring me great joy. If, by joy, you mean "the urge to go hulk on the world and smash things". 

Right now, I'm on day 4? 5? of a migraine/tension headache roller-coaster, triggered by monthly hormones. Throw in a bit of PMDD, and I'm just a fun person to be around right now. But I'm still doing laundry, taking care of my kids, making sure food has been prepared, doing all the stuff I'm supposed to do. 

But it's not as fun. I want to be baking and knitting and sewing and washing all the wonderful dishes that came with the china cabinet I got from my parents last week. (You know... the stuff that, as a kid, you know you aren't allowed to touch, but you look at through the glass and make up stories about... I got that stuff.) Instead, I'm sitting in the living room, in the semi-dark, with sleeping dogs around me. Work this afternoon for a bit, that's all. If I'm lucky, the worst of all of it is behind me now, and tomorrow I will be refreshed and alert and a whole new woman! (*snort*) Or something like that.

But for now, seriously, all this pain can just get out of my head. Please.