Joy and Affirmation

This will be a quick one, but I can’t help but share how happy I am with the work we’re doing at the Pride Employee Resource Group I help run at work. We just sponsored a Q&A session with a trans woman who’s been a legislative activist for trans rights, and also works in the high tech industry. I was a little concerned, because the speaker has been a friend of mine for almost as long as I’ve lived in Texas. I didn’t want her to have a bad experience or feel unwelcome.

I’ll just share some lovely plants from around the office to separate my gushing pargraphs. Hydrangea.

Far from it! My heart is full of joy, and I feel like at least one little part of the world is becoming a better place every day. I served as moderator and asked my friend questions that we’d come up with, plus some of the 75+ attendees also asked really thoughtful questions, from which we all learned a lot, including the speaker.

Rock rose

People shared their thoughts and experiences respectfully, but we also laughed a lot as we enjoyed just being people getting to know each other. I really feel affirmed, welcome in my workplace, and and genuinely pleased at the kindness I could feel coming from all those square black Zoom boxes.

Japanese maple

My friend re-iterated what I always say, and what certainly shone through during today’s discussion, which is once you get to know someone as a person and you find things you have in common with them, things like gender expression fade into the background.

Beautyberry

Yep. The world is not all bad and people are not all afraid of anyone who’s different. I will try to keep remembering moments like this.

My companion on my stroll. He or she did not move as I walked right under the tree three times.

Cozy Transition Shawl

I’ve interrupted my planned cadence of knitting projects to finish with the leftover yarn from the afghan. I have a long-time friend who’s transitioning from male to female, and I wanted to make her something to feel cozy and loved in while recovering from surgery at the end of the month. The yarn happens to have colors pretty close to the trans flag, which is a nice coincidence.

The only image on my stock image site that has the trans flag on it. Plus a Harvey dog! Image by @arty_kat via Twenty20

I figured a shawl would do the trick, and that it would work up quickly in the bulky yarn. Ha ha, that WOULD have been true if I hadn’t started the darned thing three times. That’s to be expected if you’re making something up, of course. The first time, didn’t like my cast-on, so I ripped out a few inches.

The second time, I set off to make a stockinette stitch (smooth on one side, bumpy on the other, for those non-knitters who made it to the third paragraph) triangular shawl. I got into the third stripe, but started doubting myself, and thought maybe I was increasing wrong, because the straight side didn’t look like it was straight. I ripped that all out (it’s called “frogging” because you rip-it, rip-it).

All annoyed at myself, I looked for a pattern on Ravelry for a simple, triangular shawl, so I’d be sure to make the right shape. Of course, when I found them, I realized I hadn’t screwed up before. Sigh. But the good news is that I found a pattern with a little texture in it that might look good with the stripes, called LaLa’s Simple Shawl. I knew I’d have to adjust the pattern, since as the shawl gets bigger, the stripes will get more narrow. Here’s what it looks like so far:

Bonus Carlton head! You can see it has some garter stitch and eyelets (that look like lumps right now).

Sure enough, by the time I got to the white stripe, I was having to add more yarn from the other ball. That’s just fine, because I have the yarn. Once I finish the next color, the purply-pink, I will switch it out and do one stripe in stockinette and one in garter until it’s the right size.

Stitches in extreme close-up

I am hoping to have enough yarn left by the time it’s long enough to bind off in a cute picot (little sawtooth kind of shapes), which will look nice and make sure the shawl is flowy. We’ll see.

This is a picot bind-off. Image from this article in Knitty 2006.

My goal is to get finished by next weekend, which is plenty of time. I hope to see the recipient in a few weeks. If not, I can mail it to her.

I hope this description of trial and error gives any of you who are not very confident knitters the courage to just give things a try and start over again if they don’t work out. Sometimes you get something a lot better than what you started out trying to do!

Snow Update

This isn’t enough for a whole blog post, but I wanted to share that the roads in Milam County were fine, and I made it to work. We lost a big tree limb at the office, but it didn’t hit any cars or the building, so that’s good. The power was out at the Bobcat Lair house for 7 hours, but Anita and Pickle survived.

The sun is now busy melting the snow!