Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Looking for a book

So at the end of work today we started talking about different countries, cultures, ethnicities and races. All very confusing stuff for me. I have been discussing this topic with many Americans since my freshman year in college.

I was saying that I knew a Guatemalan girl who looked Asian, but did not claim Asia whatsoever as a nationality, race or heritage. She was born and raised in Guatamala, her mother tongue is Spanish and she participates in Guatemalan culture. A co-worker said Asian is her "ethnicity." And I had to ask myself once again "What is ethnicity?" Or do I even know what that means? Does a person decide what their ethnicity is? Or do people decide the ethnicity of someone based on they way they look and if so is this what "race" is? I am not sure myself.

A couple of other examples:

I worked with a girl from Jamaica and she said people would always refer to her as "African American" and she didn't like it because she wasn't American, she was Jamaican. So is her ethnicity African even though she identifies with Jamaican Culture?

Friends from Spain were here filling out paper work which asked their race/ethnicity and she asked me "Do I check caucasian? or Do I check hispanic? She is whiter than me (as most Spaniards are, even though people do not believe me) and she speaks Spanish but it is not her mother tongue. If you google ethnic groups of Spain they list Basque, Catalan, Galician, etc. So within each country there ethnic groups that Americans don't even refer to. Hi Anna!

What race/ethnicity are people from Brazil? I know they have a lot of ethnicities within their own country. But to the American, what ethnicity is a Brazilian? The national language is portugeuse, they have many natives (indigenous), blacks, and are surrounded by a largely (hispanic?) population. I put a question mark next to hispanic, because what is Hispanic? I think that Brazilians living in American are often referred to as "Latino" or "Hispanic" but I think this may be incorrect as they do not speak Spanish and their ancestors are not from Spain.

What is my race/ethnicity? My great Aunt has a family tree/recipe book that says my great great great grandfather is Moroccan. My dad's family comes from Poland, France, Ireland, and Russia. But those are all nationalities...can they be ethnicities too? Or can I reach further and have an ethnicity from all the Countries listed? Or since I don't identify with those countries, am I without Ethnicity? Is my ethnicity "American" because I largely identify with American culture? Or is it just my nationality?

What about natives from Mexico that don't speak Spanish but rather the Indigenous languages such as Nahuatl. Are they Hispanic? Language lesson: Nahuatl is the language where words like "Chipotle" and names like "Xochitl" come from. NO Chipotle is NOT Spanish.

Anywho, if anyone knows a good book they can recommend, send it my way. The web is no help. I need something serious, not just blogs. This is one giant question and not intended to hurt anyone. I don't have sited sources, and this is not a literary masterpiece...just my own random questions.

Thanks for reading. Crafting to come.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No crying over dropped stitches

I am knitting up a rather large project right now and I am about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way done without any mistakes. Then tonight I totally goofed it up. It seems that I am clumsy on Sundays. I should just sit and watch TV and not do anything else. For the last 3 Sundays I have succeeded in hurting myself and messing up my crafts. It all started 3 weeks ago. I was walking the dog and fell on my back and injured my tailbone. That night I went home to knit a scarf and messed something up (still haven't fixed that one). Then last Sunday I started to do 1x1 ribbing on a Knit Only blanket then proceeded to burn my fingers to a blister (couldn't knit myself into any mistakes after that). This weekend I popped some ligament out of socket to get around some trick or treaters and came home to drop some stitches. I literally almost cried, started to frog it and I believe (cross fingers) that I have inserted my needle correctly and have saved the project (hallelujah).

But this further confirms I need to take a knitting class. I have learned quite a lot from the web but there are mistakes that I cannot describe to google to get me the answers I need. But there are so many classes I need to take...I wish they had sampler classes like you have when you're a kid. I would take Knitting, Spanish, Yoga and Dance. It could be like 2 hours and you get 30 minutes of each. Perfect.

When I fix all my mistakes in the past week, I will post them. Halloween costumes are on my list this week...stay tuned!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Brown Hat

It's officially hat season in Chi-town, so Justin requested another hat. Pattern found here.

I modified it by doing 11 rounds for Justin's head and adding one black stripe using single crochet front loop only.

Mona is looking at me like "Where is my hat? And why are you on the internet when you should be walking me?" Must walk that beast! Hope everyone's weekend was as nice as mine!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Celebrity encounters

Another memory entry! I never thought I would be interested in celebrity sitings...but its pretty fun. Shallow post...I know! But I saw the following celebrities during my 2 year stay in LA:

1) Robert Downey Jr. at the Rose cafe in Santa Monica.
2) Orlando Bloom at Runyon Canyon
3) Skipper from Sex and the City on Abbot Kinney
4) Joshua Jackson on Abbot Kinney
5) Jamie Lee Curtis at Euro Grocery Market
6) David Spade on Abbot Kinney
7) Dog the Bounty Hunter + Wife on Venice Boardwalk
8) Cheryl Hines on Santa Monica Promenade
9) Chris Klein at French Market Cafe in Venice
10) Owen Wilson on Abbot Kinney\

*Updated (Thanks Alicia)

11) Nathan from Heroes at a play he directed at the Geffen in which Justin's uncle and friend were doing the set design. I actually met Nathan (aka Adrian Pasdar) but he was kind of a douche.
12) Umm... if it counts, I went to a screening of Hot Fuzz at the Hammer Museum and Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and the director had a Q&A.
13) Also if it counts, one of our clients was Thom Beers (director of all things History/Discovery Channel) and I helped in turning the famous "Monster Garage" into editing bays.
14) Oh yes, I attended High School with Michael from Barney.

Man shallow posts are fun!!!!

I'm sure there are more so I will update this post as I remember them. Anyone else have celebrity sitings?

Oooh....I also saw Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, and bumped into Woody Harelson (he is short) all on the same night at Martini Ranch in Dallas.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

K1P1 tip

In the case that any new knitters should come across my site, I wanted to share a tip I have just learned. I am a new knitter myself. I am much better at crochet and I am used to the counting you find in crochet patterns. I even count in simple crochet patterns because that is just how I learned. The first time I tried a Knit 1 Purl 1 ribbing project, I tried counting because I thought it would help me. But DO NOT COUNT!!! Some advanced knitters might disagree with my advice.

First I tried counting...one, two, one, two
Then I tried counting...knit, purl, knit, purl

Neither worked and I ended up with a lot of mistakes.

So....the best advice I can give is:

1) Start with a small project
2) Just get used to the ribbing rhythm
3) Watch a television show and try to forget that you are knitting
4) Learn what a knit and purl stitch look like, in case you do need to stop and restart

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Crocheted Canister

I had some wool yarn that I accidentally bought, MEANING I bought it without a project in mind. That is illegal from now on, because I am running out of yarn stash space. So since it was wool, I set out to try a felting project. Felting failed! I don't own my own washer/dryer so I tried the stove top boiling method and it didn't work for me. I think maybe a special felting wool is the trick, I bought wool of the standard variety.

I had made a Pink canister. I liked the way it turned out. Now to find a use for it! It's out of my stash, but now I need to find shelf space for it.

This is not a pattern by any means, but if you want to try and replicate it, here's how I went about it:

1) Crocheted a flat circle using single crochet
2) Crocheted a tube using single crochet
3) Single crocheted the 2 pieces together.
4) Blocked it using a cookie jar with the hard edge bottom on the outside