Wow! Those are some regular hats that I just really think are nifty. Nope, no ulterior motives for posting them here. No sir. **
Are there any regular old hats that you like?
** For the love of America and everything/everyone in it, if you haven’t already voted, please, please, please vote tomorrow. Voting is always important, but this year it’s insanely important. And, while I usually try to say “Vote for whichever candidate you prefer,” this year, I’m going to say “Please vote Biden/Harris.” Because, frankly, this election is literally a matter of life and death.
If you’re not sure where to go, this is a great resource.
(Note 1: This post was written two weeks ago, so if there is anything important that I’ve missed, that’s why.)
(Note 2: Oof. I definitely missed some important stuff.)
You guys know I try to keep this blog as knitting-focused as possible, I don’t share a lot of baby pictures or TV recommendations (unless they’re knitting-related) or recipes. And I really try not to talk too much about politics. Not because politics aren’t important or interesting, but because lately they get me worked up, stressed out, and anxious. Knitting (and this blog) is my way to unwind and relax. I can control my knitting. My stitches make sense. I can imagine a design, plan it, work it through and execute it. (Usually.)
All that is to say, I’ve had a lot of extra time to knit this week. Which is great- my current project, which you’ll hear about soon, is almost finished.
But the reason I’ve had so much time to knit is that I literally haven’t left the house in 6 days.
6. Days. Stuck inside with a toddler. No walks around the block, no trips to the park, no play-dates with the one other family in our pod. Nothing.
And why have I been inside for that long? You might think Covid. Which would be partially correct. We’ve been in fairly heavy-duty lockdown for the last 6+ months, but we were able to go outside, work in the yard and visit the beach to look for crabs. Our library has been closed and we have preschool over Zoom. My 2-year old hasn’t been on a playground since March.
But this last week, the few things that were left to us were taken away when wildfires sprung up all up and down the west coast. Washington is on fire. Oregon is on fire. California is on fire. My parents (who live in Chicago) are feeling the effects of the fire; it’s sending so much smoke up into the air that even 2000 miles away, their sky is overcast and smoky.
And here, it’s been “Very Unhealthy” for almost a week. Today is the best I’ve seen in 5 days, and it’s still on the high end of “Unhealthy.” Our air is like pea soup. I went to grab the mail yesterday, and my eyes watered and itched from being outside for only a minute.
And the crazy part is, we’re the lucky ones. We’re healthy. Our part of Washington is not in danger of burning up. We have a comfortable house and plenty of space inside. We have enough food and water and access to the internet.
There are usually wildfires in late summer, they’re a natural part of the seasons in this part of the country. But the last few years have gotten out of control. This year is the worst I’ve seen since I moved out here more than 10 years ago. This is not normal.
It’s also worth noting that this year’s hurricane season is going crazy, there have already been fires and snowstorms out in Colorado, and there was (essentially) a hurricane in Iowa (Iowa!). Climate change is real, and it’s making itself known in a really obvious and scary way.
All this is to say, this fall’s election is vitally important in a way that has never been more clear. If we reelect climate-change-denying elected officials (Trump foremost among them), there’s absolutely no way for us to come back from this, or even slow down its progress. These will become the “good old days” when we “only had to shelter for a week every fire season” and “only had to worry about one pandemic at a time.”
If you haven’t registered yet, and don’t know how to do it, let me know! I will literally help you register. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me! I will help you figure out how to vote and where your polling place is and if you have access to absentee voting in your state!
If you haven’t figured out who you are voting for yet, also let me know! From national office to state or city- I will happily research anyone you need more information on. (Looking for candidates that support the Green New Deal is a great way to start.)
So, please, please, please register to vote this year, and if you can, please vote early. And (it should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway), please vote Biden/Harris.
Or, at least: Hi everybody in the US over the age of 18 who is eligible to vote!
Guess what tomorrow is! That’s right, it’s election day! (You can tell I’m excited by all the exclamation points!)
I try to keep this blog pretty low-key, politics-free, and full of knitting. But, sometimes I have to bend the rules.
Like today. (Get ready, I’m getting up on my “You should vote” soapbox.)
So, unless you live in a vote-by-mail state (Hello, Washington), you’re probably aware that voting is tomorrow. You should know where to find your polling place. You know that you should vote, too. You know that voting is important. You already know that every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection, not to mention a third of the Senate, three dozen Governors and more local officials than you can shake a stick at. Plus, if you live somewhere like Seattle, you’ve probably got a handful of ballot initiatives up for a vote that could directly influence your lives in the coming months and years.
You already know that less than half of eligible Americans usually turn out for midterm elections, and you already know that those voters that do turn out are overwhelmingly older, richer, and whiter than the average American.
And, of course you know that if you’re unhappy with how this country is being run (and there’s plenty to be unhappy about), you’ve got to go out and vote to tell those in charge to change the way things are going.
You already know all that. So I won’t tell you about it.
I will, however, bribe you with a silly little craft project.
I voted last week (yay for Washington’s vote-by-mail system!), but Washington doesn’t give out “I voted” stickers. So I made one myself. (Well, I cross-stitched a little pin.)
And you can make one, too.
Once you’ve voted, download the instructions to make yourself an “I Voted” pin:
I really try not to get too political on this blog. After all, you come here for tips about weaving in ends, updates on how fast I’m making it through my latest pair of socks, and me griping about how bored I get when I pick a pattern with too much stockinette. I get it. You don’t want me hopping up on my soapbox every time someone in office does something I don’t like. (Which is often- ask my husband.)
But today seems like a good day to break my politics-and-knitting-shouldn’t-mix rule. It’s been just over a year since Trump’s inauguration, and (not really coincidentally), a year since the first Women’s March.
Last year, I got to march with my friends down in LA, where I knit and distributed a whole pile of Pussyhats. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the march this year, but you better believe I was there in spirit. And I made sure towear my hat from last year all day (it’s the one I actually finished while marching last year).The last year has been filled with ups and downs of all varieties- issues with taxes and immigration, the widespread acknowledgment of sexual assault in, and questions of women’s healthcare. But, there’s one story that’s been giving me a ton of hope lately.
2018 is an election year, and an important one. Control of both the House and Senate are going to be very tightly contested (heck, the Senate is currently held by the Republicans by only 1 vote!), so this will be a situation where every vote really does matter.
And, with people starting to line up to run for office (state and local office, too- not just national), people have started noticing something amazing.
Women are stepping up to run for office in unprecedented numbers!
Now, of course, I’d never suggest you vote for a woman just because she’s a woman (the same way I’d never say you should vote for a man, just because of his gender). But better representation of women and minorities can’t be a bad thing, right? (Right now, only about 20% of representatives and senators are women!)
If you agree that more female representation in government is a good idea, you might want to take a peek at two groups that are helping women who want to run for election (from local office all the way up to national positions).She Should Run is a non-partisan non-profit that gives women the resources, knowledge and networking that they need to run, regardless of their ideology or party affiliation. They encourage women to actively participate in politics and run for office, something that historically, women have been discouraged from participating in.
Emily’s List is a Democratic pro-choice group that works to give candidates the resources they need to mount successful campaigns. In the last 15+ years, they have run hundreds of trainings for women interested in making a change in their communities and helped many campaigns become successful. If you’re someone who thinks pro-choice issues are important, you can even go onto Emily’s List and look for your local candidates to see if they’ve been endorsed.
Anyway, I suppose it’s time for me to get off my soap box. Don’t worry- my next post will be all about how I can’t stand working with tiny needles, or how my blanket is not growing nearly as fast as I wish it would.
Did you make it to the Women’s March this year? Are you planning on voting in the November election (or are you running!)?
I went out to dinner with some friends over the weekend, and (because it’s November 2016) we started talking about the election. I know, us and literally everyone else. I said that I had already voted, and one of my friends said that, *sigh*, he supposed he had to vote this year. To which I replied, “No, you get to vote.”
Which made me sound like a stuck-up civics-class Dudley Do-Right (who is Canadian, but the point still stands).Voting and politics have always been really important in my life, and it’s always weird to meet someone who is apathetic about the election. I suppose I can give credit to my parents, especially my dad, who has been a professor of Political Science since I was itty-bitty. We always talked about politics and government at the dinner table.
For my 11th birthday, my dad took me on a road trip to Washington DC to watch Bill Clinton get sworn in. DC is very cold in January, but it was still a pretty amazing day. I still have the campaign victory button that dad bought me as a birthday gift.
Some of my earliest memories are going with Mom when she went to vote in our school gym. I loved closing the velvet curtain, and Mom even let me fill in some of the bubbles for her, which may or may not have been a crime… oops!
In high school, I remember leaving school early one day to go watch Al Gore talk at a local university- not as an assignment or a class trip, just because I wanted to go with my parents. (Yes, I am a bit of a nerd.)
And, a little over 8 years ago, I was there (again in the freezing cold) when Obama announced his candidacy for president on the steps of the Old Illinois State Capitol Building.
I’ve voted in every major election since I turned 18, and a lot of the minor ones, too (especially since I moved to Washington, where they do all their voting by mail, so it’s super easy). I even caucused for Hillary Clinton during the primaries this spring! It was a very weird experience, to announce to a whole room of strangers who you were voting for after a lifetime of secret ballots.
I won’t tell you how to vote this year (though my opinions are pretty obvious), but I want you to understand how important elections are, and how amazing it is that we live in a country that lets us vote. I know it sometimes seems futile (“How can one vote matter one way or the other”), or that it is a pain to take time off work or wait in line at the polling place, but it really is a privilege. So, please vote tomorrow.(And if you’re not living in the US, sorry for all the election talk… I promise I’ll be back to knitting on Wednesday.)