Weekly Readings

weekly-readings-from-wooly-witchy

I am on vacation in Florida right now, you guys!  True, I wrote this little note the morning before we left, but as you read these I will be hopefully avoiding sunburn but warming my cold New England self at my aunt’s house in Florida.

Interesting Read from Offbeat Home: Scrubbing a Stranger: my twist on Tinder’s disposable dating culture.

I’m thinking of changing up my cleaning plans to using Castille soap now.  Except for windows 🙂

I NEED this hat pattern.  And then the neon yarn to knit it.

More learn to knit socks resources:  Knit Picks sock school.

more from Offbeat Home:  A scientist breaks down some useful resources to stay engaged and stay sane.

Clinging to Naomi: Reclaiming My Faith as Republicans Continue to Weaponize Christianity.

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Help ♥

Boosting this for a friend, if you’ve got a little extra cash and you can help out these lovely queer ladies it would be amazing. If you donate $20 or more and forward me the donation e-mail I’ll do a reading for you.

Bridget Essex, Author

You guys know that I was homeless when I turned eighteen because of “what” I am. Being a lesbian, alone in the world BECAUSE you’re a lesbian, with no place to go? It is so scary. So terrible. You know that this is something that I wouldn’t wish on ANYONE IN THE UNIVERSE.

But I would super, SUPER not wish it on two really awesome people.

Sarah and Alexa-Lee are both really awesome ladies, and really need your help right now. Their living situation became unsafe, as queer women, and they have three days left before they don’t have a place to go.

This. Is. Not. Okay.

Because I really, really want to make sure these ladies are okay, I’m asking you to donate. Not only will you get the satisfaction of helping two people who need your help, but what about this? I’ll send you any one…

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Weekly Readings

Weekly Readings from Wooly Witchy

This report shows that Girl Scouts is freaking awesome.  If you were wondering if you should sign up your daughters, the answer is yes 🙂  Being in the Girl Scouts did more for my self esteem and sense of empowerment than anything else in my life. – “These girls display more positive life outcomes compared with non-Girl Scout alumnae. These outcomes pertain to sense of self, life satisfaction, leadership, life success, community service, and civic engagement.”

Why the Resistance Must Be Accessible.

Saturday Morning Cartoons on Autostraddle: Finding your place at a protest and in the resistance.

Some self care that I’d like to indulge in – Make your own lotion bars.

Magic School Bus: Ms. Frizzle as a Queer Legacy.

Make your own Honey tea stirrers.

Worts and Cunning has a great tea recommendation for easy evenings and self care.  And I really loved, and needed to hear and share this advice:  “When I’m feeling out of sorts, my self-care reassessment includes the following: Acknowledge you’re probably running on some false narratives. Case in point – if I take 30 minutes to stretch and meditate I will let down the entire radical movement attempting to overthrow the patriarchy. Guess what? That’s just not true.”

And from that above link I came to this one:  The World is on Fire, but You Still Need to Eat Lunch.

4 Things Men Need to do Before Calling Themselves Feminists.

Get Started Knitting Socks

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I read an article this week called 14 Things You Need to Get Started Knitting Socks, socks5
and it’s definitely got some good information in it, but I don’t really think you need fourteen things.  Sure, a lot of those things are useful if you’re building a sock knitting kit, but you don’t need them all just to get started or give it a try.  So I decided I’d give you my little low down on getting started with socks.

I avoided knitting socks for a long time because I’d heard that socks were Hard®!  And I was scared away from them.  But I’m here to tell you that if you can already knit in the round, you’ve got the hardest part conquered.

Okay so here’s what you really need: a set of sock needles, a tapestry needle for weaving in your ends, and some yarn.  And I’ll talk a little bit more about each of these things now.

sock1Needles: There’s a lot of debate over what needles to use for your sock knitting.  I’m a DPN girl, myself, but there are lots of other options.  You can use a single circular needle for magic loop, two circulars, or even a tiny 9″ circular to jut knit that sucker in the round.  No one way is better than the others, it’s entirely up to personal preference.  For me, that’s DPNs 🙂  You should get a size needle that suits the yarn that you want to use for your socks, more on that below.

Tapestry Needle: This is just a larger than average sewing needle.  You can get them in plastic, metal, and other kinds of materials if you want to get fancy.  Any will work.  Choose one that you can be threaded with the yarn you’re planning to use.  Too tiny and you can’t get the yarn through the eye, too big and you’ll stretch out your stitches as you weave in ends.  This article shows some images of different types.  Those clover needles would work for most of our needs.

Yarn: Okay, this is arguably the best part, choosing your yarn.  I often suggest thatsock2 a first timer who is nervous should knit their first pair of socks in worsted weight yarn.  This makes a pair of socks that is a bit more like slipper socks, thick and squishy and easy to finish quickly.  But if you really want to, there is no reason not to knit with fingering weight yarn, which is what most sock knitters prefer.

I would encourage a wool and nylon blend for your yarn for a few reasons: wool is delightful, it’s warm, it has memory (which means that it can bounce back after being stretched out), it keeps you warm even when it’s wet, and then nylon because of it’s toughness.  A little nylon blended in helps a sock to stop from wearing out so quickly.

sock3As for the color of your yarn, here is where I echo my advice on choosing your tarot decks.  Find something that delights you, something that you can’t stop thinking about, something that makes you smile every time you see it.  Because you’re going to be making a lot of stitches with it!  Some options: Knit Picks Hawthorne Kettle Dye, Speckle Paint, Madeline Tosh sock yarnOpal sock yarn, and Cascade Heritage. And there are about a thousand more from indie dyers all over the internet.  Have a wander through Etsy and search for sock yarn and you’ll find yarn in ever hue and blend you could have ever imagined.

Okay, now Patterns: For your first sock you definitely want a pattern.  Once you’ve knit a bunch you can probably start riffing on them and making some things up as you go.  But for your first sock stick with a well written pattern that can walk you through the steps.

Here are some of my suggestions:

Susan B Anderson’s fingering weight socks
Susan B Anderson’s worsted weight socks

I also really like this one:  The Humble Sock because of that awesome diagram labeling all the parts of the sock.

Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Knit my First Pair of Socks:

The Heel Flap – when you get to this point, yes, you really are going to knit this sock4weird rectangle section back and forth on two needles.  No, really.  I know it looks insane, but when you hit the heel on a sock it’s time to take a deep breath, relax, and just go ahead and do exactly what the pattern says when when it looks crazy.

Picking Up Stitches – This is way easier than people make it out to be,  You’re just going to look at the edges of that weird rectangle and slide your needle into a handful of edge stitches to create loops you can knit into.  There are as many ways to pick up stitches as there are knitters, try out a few and find one that you like the best and just go with it.  The manner in which you pick up your heel flap stitches won’t have a huge impact on your sock, so try not to sweat it and just go for it!

Finishing the Toe: Kitchener Stitch is a beautiful thing.  It can be a little fiddly the first handful of times you use it, but it more than makes up for its fiddly-ness with the simple beauty of those finished grafted toes.  Here’s a lovely tutorial with great pictures to give you confidence that you can graft your sock toes!

So that’s it.  All you need to know to get started on your first pair of socks.  So get knitting!   And then show me 🙂  Because you might not have noticed, but I am crazy about knitting!  Mine, yours, anyone’s.

Weekly Readings

weekly-readings-from-wooly-witchy

Punch more Nazis.

An article about why it is SO important to make the women’s march more inclusive.  Talking about issues of racial justice is NOT a distraction from the issues the women’s march was trying to raise.  Some thoughts from the black woman who had that viral sign with the white women on their phones.

Five things White People Need to Do right now.

I SO needed this:  On Being and Doing Enough for the Resistance.

From Autostraddle – ways their staffers are keeping themselves sane and active.  Downside – now I want a passion planner and can’t really afford it. 😉

Witches Resistance Action List

On Giving Up Multitasking.

Journalling 101

Cute Gay Mermen – because we could all use more cuteness!

Nine things you need to know about organizing a protest.

It’s a little early, but Imbolc is coming up and it’s a good time to plan:  Growing your own salad garden.

 What it means to be a secular witch.  She mentions that just because this is how she defines herself, it doesn’t mean every witch will.

Boy Scouts allow Trans kids to join.  FINALLY.  Girl scouts has been on that for ages, not without issue, but SERIOUSLY, guys, about time.  And this step isn’t perfect, but it’s progress.

Knitting as a Political Act.

Why Queer Advocates are worried about the Trump Administration.
“Trump talks a big game on his support for LGBTQ people, yet he has filled his cabinet with people who have literally spent their careers working to demonize us and limit our rights,” he said in a statement. “Claiming ally status for not overturning the progress of your predecessor is a rather low bar.”

What I’m knitting: Still socks, always socks 🙂
What I’m writing: intentions into my new journal, also postcards to my elected officials about things that are important to me.
What I’m eating: Soul Soothing African Peanut Stew.  So GOOD.

Help Fight Trump and Get a Wooly Reading

wooly-thoughts I saw other people doing this over on IG and I wanted to do something too.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I think it’s past time for me to just do it.  So, I’m doing it.

If you donate $10 or more to an organization that is trying to prevent Trump from harming people, I will do a small reading for you.  Suggestions for organizations that are close to my heart:  Planned Parenthood, ACLU, The Trevor Project, or Black Lives Matter.

I’ll keep this up as long as I can.  Forward your donation receipt (or a screen cap with payment methods blacked out) to me (woolywitchy (at) gmail (dot) com) and your question (or if you’d a more general “message from the universe/deity” reading that’s okay too).  And I will lay out some cards for you and e-mail you a reading.  I’m not sure what time turn around I’ll have, it’ll depend on how many requests I get.  And I’ll do as many as I can.

So get donating and check out my Code of Ethics to make sure my reading guidelines will work for you.

Background Music: The Fool – Try Everything

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Welcome to Background Music: an occasional series where Wooly finds songs that remind her of Tarot cards.

It’s a new blog series I’m going to start working on.  As part of her Alternative Tarot Course, Beth asks students to “choose three cards and find three songs to match them or if you prefer, choose the songs first, then search through your deck to find a card that seems to match it.”  And by the way, if you haven’t taken her course, it’s fantastic and I highly recommend it.

I was sitting at my desk yesterday listening to my Pandora Disney station and a song that I love started playing and boom, I immediately knew it represented The Fool.

It’s called Try Everything and it’s by Shakira for the Zootopia movie (which was adorable).  It’s just this cute sugar sweet pop song about trying even if you might screw up.

It just rang so true to the Fool for me.

“I won’t give up, no I won’t give in
‘Til I reach the end and then I’ll start again
No, I won’t leave, I wanna try everything
I wanna try even though I could fail.”

~*~

“I’ll keep on making those new mistakes
I’ll keep on making them every day
Those new mistakes”

Wooly Wednesday: Pussy Hat Edition

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I made myself a Pussy Hat for the Womens’ March.  And I wanted to talk about it this week.  Because I wasn’t going to knit one.  I saw other activists all over the place knitting these hats and I just didn’t see the point.  What the hell was a damn pink hat going to do given what we were facing.  And what the hell was the point of all the damn #NotMyPresident tweeting and stuff.  I wasn’t going to bother going to the women’s march, anyway.  I guess I just wasn’t feeling it, what was the point of all these protests, shouldn’t we be spending our energies on doing something that actually did something?

p-hatWell, I was wrong.  These ‘silly’ hats are something.  I did end up going to a march on Saturday.  And I saw a sea of pink hats and protest signs and it made me feel cautiously hopeful for a few hours.

And then I saw the sea of pink hats at all the other sister marches across the country and in other countries too. And I guess I realized something about the marches and protests.  Something my wife has been telling me since November when I started feeling so defeatist about marches and protests.

The protests make us feel better.  It lets us know that we’re not alone.  We aren’t in this fight by ourselves.  It’s scary as hell out there right now, between the gag orders on Scientists, the removal of the LGBT section from the white house page, the promises to defund Planned Parenthood, the violence being perpetrated against people of color in this country, and the disastrous excuse for a human being that half the country voted in as president.

These are the times when we need to have marches and gatherings, and yeah, we need to make pink damn hats, because we need to be able to see each other and to know that we’re not alone.  Safety pins turned into a cluster fuck and I’m sure given enough time the hats could turn into one too, although, I’ll have a hell of a good laugh watching the white supremacists trying to take over the pink kitty ear hat thing.

If the hats help us hang together in this shit storm of an administration then that’s what matters.  And when I say together I mean an inclusive together where we include ALL marginalized groups, trans folks, sex workers, people of color, disabled people, we all need to help hold each other up.  If bringing yourself up throws someone else under the bus it’s not good enough.

So, if you don’t already have one, it’s an incredibly easy pattern even if you’re not an accomplished knitter.  You should absolutely give it a try!!  Also there are crochet and sewn versions too if needles aren’t your thing.

And in the meantime, let’s punch some nazis.