23 October 2010

The Slippery Slope

Please promise me you will never use the slippery slope argument. It's just lazy and its only result can be maintaining the status quo. We don't live in the best of all possible worlds. Therefore, any issue of any importance will be a slippery slope. This doesn't mean people shouldn't take a stand.

Say you're arguing that increasing surveillance, especially on people who have no criminal records, is a slippery slope: before you know it, all our rights are gone. Now just imagine, there is someone making the exact opposite argument. Let terrorists or criminals or whomever have the knowledge that they're not being watched, and it's a slippery slope: before you know it, "they" will be ruling the streets (the pro-surveillance argument reminds me of that old French adage - "you should beat your wife everyday; if you don't know what she's done wrong, she does" - horrible, isn't it).

Between the both of you and your slippery slope arguments, nothing can be done to change the status quo.

Like I said, any issue of import is inherently situated upon a slippery slope. The slippery slope argument just looks at the extreme at either end of the issue, rather than at all that complex grey stuff in the middle. So instead of taking issues to their "logical" extreme, people need to take a stand: come up with a solution, try and break the problem up into smaller bits so they can be addressed concretely. I don't care how you do it. But until we live in a better world, there's no point in looking at theoretical extremes. They're glib and useless.

It's ironic that the slippery slope argument is actually a slippery slope itself: a slippery slope to poor reasoning and intellectual laziness.

I'm now stepping off my soapbox. Back to knitting next post.

04 October 2010

FO - Beau

I finally finished Beau

R said something like, "well, now you can use these measurements for the next jumper you make me." I think that means success.  

After re-knitting with the number of stitches called for by the pattern, I knit in the round, up to the base of the sleeve. Then I knit up the sleeves, and attached them so I could keep knitting in the round, because I am terrible at sewing sleeves in and it would have looked messy and horrible. I used a raglan decrease where the pattern asked to bind off stitches; therefore I decrease more on the sleeve side than the body. I used kitchener stitch to join the front and back at the shoulder.

I had made the body too short, so I had to undo it from the bottom, and while I was there, I did a few short rows on the back. Now it seems to be just right!

Now I think I'm going to make a clapotis for myself - I've made a few, but always for other people.

19 September 2010

New York

I just got back from New York yesterday - it was the first time I'd been in about two years. I think I got a bit of culture shock. It really was like walking through a man-made canyon - it was so loud, and it smelled like grilled meat. I felt like I was the angel in Wings of Desire, I could hear everyone's thoughts, but really, it was just because people have to speak loudly to be heard above the din.

I went over to do some interviews for a couple of profiles I have to write. They're due Monday. Obviously, I haven't started yet - it's still only Saturday... And since the deadline is on New York time, I don't really have to start til Monday morning. Right?

Other things I did while I was there: I had a slice, some sushi and lots of Mexican food. I saw lots of friends, which was nice. I am exhausted!

Oh, I finished one of the socks I was test-knitting:

08 September 2010

It's been a while!

It's been some time since I posted - August just flew by... I've been working away at Beau - I'm altering it. Did I tell you that despite swatching, my first attempt was too big - by about 6 inches!! And Rog doesn't go for teabaggy clothing. So I ripped it all out, and am now making it again with the number of stitches the pattern called for.

I've knit it in the round (you know how I hate sewing seams / am very bad at it), and I'm adding the sleeves now so I don't have to sew them in either.

I'm test knitting some very lovely and cable-y socks:

And the garden continues to make us happy...

29 July 2010

Summer & Beau

Here is my newest project, Beau. It's a jumper for R's birthday. I know he likes things to be very fine, so I've used much finer yarn then the recipe called for - instead of casting on 90 stitches per side, I cast on 140. It'll take me forever, but that's why I started 2 months early!

From our garden:

11 July 2010

Sicily again and FO: Amber

Well, here is the new and improved amber: it fits! I'm pretty pleased with it; we're in the middle of a heatwave here in London, so I haven't really had an opportunity to wear it yet. 

Seriously, we got off the plane from Sicily, and it felt like instead of landing in London, we had landed right back in Sicily. Luckily, the garden didn't suffer too much, though it was desperate to be watered. My broad beans, courgettes and tomatoes were all fine. Thank goodness.

Sicily was lovely, as ever. The town we stay in seems so small, yet every year we find things we hadn't encountered before. This year, we wandered around the historic town centre, which has two churches, a theatre and an old palazzo (apparently built for / by Frederick II). We took photos, were suitably impressed, had gelati. 

We only realised the next day, that this palazzo is the one where my friend lives. In the turret! This is her kitchen, in the turret of her castle, where she lives. I should mention that the whole thing is in disrepair, and in winter she has to drag around a space heater to stay warm. Most of the rooms have fallen to pieces, with piles of rubble everywhere.

This trip, we also went to Erice, an old medieval walled cliff-top town, which was built over the towns built by successive civilisations, going all the way back to the Phoenicians. It was too touristy, but still well worth it. 

View from below, looking up at Erice

View from the Norman castle in Erice, looking down

And some pictures of the olive estate where we stayed, again:

The compost bin, Sicilian-style:

25 June 2010


I had to frog Amber, because even though I knit the smallest size, I was absolutely drowning in it. I've resized it, dropping the cast-on from 56 stitches per front and back, to 40 stitches per front and back. That's 32 stitches less than the pattern called for, in total! And it's just right, I think. Now all that's left is the cowl neck.

Here's our mini-conservatory, where we have breakfast.

My broad beans. 

I planted these cossack tomato seeds a few months ago. The plants are towering - there's one that's taller than I am now. They're the weirdest tomatoes I've ever seen, and in fact, I'm not entirely sure they are tomatoes.

If anyone knows, please tell me!

My mom went to visit my sister in Edinburgh for a few weeks, and one afternoon, I met her halfway between there and here, in York.

01 June 2010

Yet another trip to Scotland

Not that I ever tire of it!

And here is amber, so far:

I'm not sure what to think about it. It's soft.