Saturday, June 07, 2008

Goals for today...

OK, since I have this whole day to myself (such luxury- I'm not used to that!), I want to write down my goals and have them stare at me all day from the computer screen. Putting them here, instead of on the whiteboard, means I need to report my progress, and be accountable.


  • Goal: Spin the cotton! I've determined that a good skein on the SpinTech is 40 punis. I haven't been counting the yardage, on purpose, but I estimate that I get at least 200 yards per skein.
  • update: finished the current skein, resisting doing a total count of everything done so far, but this skein is 228 yards. I think I'll try to find a more comfortable spinning arrangement. Right now I spin sitting upright in the recliner, and I can't go for more than 3-4 punis.

  • Goal: Finish weaving the first sample.
  • Sub-goal: Take pictures of the weaving!! I have a lot of insecurities about it, probably natural, but I'm also having a resurgence of the PMS-y anxieties that were a sign of the ovarian cyst last year. (sigh- hope I don't have to worry about another surgery.)
  • update: here's the pictures!

    Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
    This is the backstrap loom, and my weaving. If you look really carefully, you can see my slippers... I have the other end attached to a tray table, and I tension it with a foot. I've invented recliner backstrap weaving.

    Originally uploaded by OriginalTwistedSpinster
    Here, you can see that the weaving's a bit uneven. However, the yarn has been sized and woven very loosely, so it should be amazing once washed!

    The cat. Need I say more? The weaving survived intact.

  • Knit the saddle shoulder straps for the RocketGanseyDottir. They've been OTN (on the needles) for almost a week, but it's slow going. It's been almost a week. I went down to size 6 needles for stability, because a sweater my size tends to be pretty heavy. The density of the knitting tends to be hard on my hands, though.
  • Take pictures. update: done!
  • Post the pictures. Here you go-

  • Goal: Prepare the warp sticks for a couple more backstrap looms.
  • update: marked the warp sticks for one more... realize I need to size and wind the warps before binding the warp to the sticks.

Enough. I'm going to resist the urge to list all the unreasonable things, like organizing the Fiber Euphorium (the Roketman thought up that name for the room where I shove all the fiber stuff).

I'll come back and edit this post through the day, so check back. I promise that I'll only add stuff, not delete!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Otaku- a new (to me) Japanese concept

One of my most cherished rituals is reading the Los Angeles Times on Sunday morning. No rush to get to work, or even to household chores.

Is it sad for me to admit that I get most of my cultural awareness from reading the newspaper? (shrug) It is what it is.

I'm reading the glossy section called "Los Angeles Times Magazine" (sounds redundant, doesn't it?). This is loosely called "The Travel Issue." It's more like "what I remember most about my vacation to Paris/Tokyo/Big Sur/Hawaii." Written from the view of a travelling writer, not the travel agent. I skimmed through it the first time, and decided that it was worth a second, slower read.

The article on Tokyo is what captured my imagination. The title is "Tokyo with a Twist" by Bruce Wallace, and if I get the chance, I'll go look for the online version.

The first few sentences:

"The Japanese have perfected the art of obsession. Japan, after all, is the place that gave us otaku, that wonderfully elastic word that refers to people obsessed to distraction with the details of a single thing."

The article goes on to talk about manga and anime, and the author tours some gritty Tokyo bars themed on their owners' otaku. (usually a video game from the 70s, but movie themes are also common.)

By now, I'm sure you've guessed that my own personal otaku is fiber. I hear snickers from my co-workers when I demo search engines with the keyword "cotton." I bought a larger tote bin for all the cotton I've hand-ginned and carded into punis. (my technique is vastly improved, and the punis draft very well now, thank you for asking!)

Here's another quote from the article:

"The retro fascination is just part of the otaku culture, but it shows the degree to which purists take personal obsession to the deepest levels: ever more specialization, never reaching fulfillment, never collecting that last collectible. "Completing the quest would be problematic for an otaku," Lewis says. "That would suggest that it was time to do something more serious with your life." "

hmmm. Suppose that would explain why I don't like to actually *finish* a project?