Monday, August 27, 2012


Oh No, You Di'nt!

Those of you who have met me in person (and there are lots of you) are usually surprised when you meet me. I mean, despite the vigorous cussage that occurs here and the strong opinions, I'm actually generally quite a gentle person and easy to get along with -- although I will admit to a great love of inappropriate comments and slightly-over-the-edge-of-good-taste humour.

I have opinions, sure, and some of them -- as I said -- are quite strong. But just because I don't like a particular yarn or a particular design or whatever doesn't mean that I'm going to tell you you're a total assbadger for liking it when I don't. (Except for the hexipoofs. If you like those, then yes, you are an assbadger, even though I've dyed a ton of mini-skeins for just that sort of project -- but I digress).

In almost any field there is endless bitchery and the stabbings of the backs. I think we all know people who know the "right" way to do things. I've had several people offer to teach me to knit the "right" way.

I knit Scottish Production style. It's not that common, but it's what I learned. I don't hold the right needle -- it's propped somewhere on my body -- usually caught in the fold of the right hip (yeah, some call it "crotch knitting". Get over it -- it's nowhere near my crotch. It's more like groin knitting.)

I don't tension the yarn. I drop the yarn with my right hand after every stitch.

I'll try to explain in words ... when I learned to knit the mantra was "in, over, through and off". So the right needle (which is held somewhere on your body and I'll do a video of this one day if my daughter ever finds the charger for her video camera) goes in, the yarn is picked up by the right hand, it goes "over" between the needles, you hold the yarn in your right hand as the right needle goes "through" and then you give it a bit of a tug as it comes "off" the left needle. That's where the tensioning occurs.)

And, like I said, some folks think this is "wrong" and have tried to help me see the light. I tell them that off they must fuck, as my tension is perfect. No matter how you knit, if you do the same stitch the same way every time, and it always looks neat and tidy and exactly the same, then your tension is perfect and you're doing it right.

So there.

And there are tons of other little bitcheries that occur in the world of fibre. I had someone hang around my booth a lot the first time I did Sock Summit. At that time I was selling my sock yarn as "Toe Jam". I figured that if an entire chain of shoe stores could be "Athlete's Foot" then I could sell Toe Jam, you know? And she kept picking up yarn and then putting it down and going away and coming back and she finally said "I'd buy some because I really love the colours but I can't buy it because it has such an awful name." And I said "oh, I'm sorry about that," but what I really felt like saying is "no, you wouldn't. You really wouldn't. If you loved it, you would buy it. You just wanted to make me feel bad." But being a vendor we can't say that sort of thing.

But now, seeing I seldom vend, I can say it. If that lady is reading this? No. You just wanted me to feel bad. And it really didn't work ... other people have the beautiful yarn and you don't. Go away.

And of course there are all sorts of things to do with pecking order and so on.

But that's not what this post is about.

I've recently entered the equine world, having somehow become a horse owner, and I expected all sorts of snobbery here and there. The dressage folks look down on the eventers or vice-versa, the folks who own this breed look down upon that one. These folks don't talk to those folks.

I wasn't surprised at all. When you're dealing with huge animals, some of whom command huge prices, there are huge issues. Some of these gorgeous creatures are very high-strung, and the owners and riders are equally so.

Really, I expected to walk into a giant vat of bullshit. Or horseshit, to be more accurate.

But I didn't expect any of it to be directed at me. Not yet. I'm just a little kid in this world. I've owned a horse for what six weeks? Totally new. And my little horse? She's recovering from neglect and from being a track horse. She's pretty much totally new, herself. Neither she nor I have ever done anyone in the equine world a moment of harm.

This is what my love looked like, less than two years ago. She was skinny and filthy and dispirited. Completely depressed and so horribly malnourished. She used to race, and then she blew out a knee. Once she couldn't make money for the people who owned her, they basically threw her away. They abandoned her, after she had worked her heart out while she was still a baby (horses don't mature until they're at least six years old. Today, at five, she's still just a baby).

I have no idea how this poor horse came to be on the farm where she was, but my friend Katt saw her and knew that she had to save her. After a year of love and food she was sleek and clean and much happier, although you could still see her ribs. Katt knew that this wasn't the horse of her heart. I've explained in a previous post how she came to be mine.

We've been feeding her like mad. You can only see her ribs, and only just a hint of them, if she takes a big deep breath. She'll never be fat but she's getting a nice decent weight on her now.

She's been training on the lunge line and is learning voice commands (for folks who understand what this means, she's only been on the lunge line three times and already responds to voice commands.) This girl wants to listen and obey and work. She's gaining some muscle, has made friends with the other horses on the farm and is quite frankly happier than a pig ensconced in manure.

And she knows that she is loved.

Yesterday I went to see the Grand Prix jumping out at the Thunderbird Equestrian Centre. It was The. Best. A horse that I had watched several times on YouTube was there (Flexible is his name) and he was MAGNIFICENT. I had the best day and I ate pie and talked about horses with people.

I got some free advice that I didn't want at all, which only confirms that free advice is often worth exactly what you paid for it. A lady told me that I should never hand-feed my horse treats, because it would make her mouthy and grabby. I hand-fed her later anyhow, and when I got home Ben asked me if my horse had liked her Chinese apple/pear. I said yes and told him of the lady's comments. He told me I should have asked her if that was what made HER so mouthy and grabby. I died laughing.

I have no problem with people who don't hand-feed, and if it makes Aviva get mouthy or nibble at me I'll stop it but right now it's something that we both enjoy and she's very polite and careful about it.

Anyhow, the point of this whole rambling post is that ... I found out that Someone. Dissed. Mah. Hoarse.

The "don't hand-feed" lady, who is one of Angela's friends, had asked another of her friends about my horse. The other friend (who is apparently no friend of mine) had said that Aviva wasn't a good horse at all. She was "dumped" on me by Katt because I didn't know any better, and should have been shot for dog meat."

Um. Whut?

What the fucking WHUT?

Does this look like a horse of no value? Does this look like a meat horse? I have no problem with horses being eaten. I wouldn't eat one myself, but there's a zoo out near where she's boarded and there are animals there who eat meat. Often horse meat. There are lots of dogs who eat horse meat. Carnivores eat meat and that's what horses are made of. If it was her time to go, I really wouldn't have a problem with her being used to nourish another animal. It's better than cremation.

But ... and I ask again ...

This horse ... without a miniscule error in her conformation. This horse, who is sound in both body and mind. This horse, who is young and loving and willing to work ...

Does THIS look like the face of a horse that should be shot for dog meat?

I think not.

I'm not going to do anything to her. I'm also not ever ever ever until the day she dies, to anything FOR her. If she's on fire and I have a glass of water in my hand, I shall drink it.

Even if I'm not thirsty.

If she continues to repeat her lies ... well, then, I'm going to introduce people to my horse and let them make up their own minds.

And she's going to look like a total twat. Aviva will never race again; even if she could, I would not permit it. But she's a damned fine horse.

People who are looking for standing in a community should really choose the battles they want to fight. She can't possibly win this one (I'm not sure what the battle even is).

I'm not hurt. I'm offended on behalf of a very good horse who doesn't even know she's been insulted.

Imma keep feeding her and in a few short weeks Imma ride her.

She will be a paddock horse for a while and then we'll likely do some trail rides. Maybe, if she likes it, we'll do some dressage.

We will, however, not be shot for dog meat. Neither of us.

People are asshats. I have a pony that is, primarily, pasture decoration. She's 11 now, prone to founder, gets lunged on occasion, but, basically, is happy and has goats, sheep, camelids, and dogs for companionship. She runs to greet us every day- unless we are accompanied by the farrier, in which case we have to trick her, but she's good for him.
I've found most animal "experts", regardless of species, tend to have tunnel vision and a limited sense of reality.
The more people I meet, the better I like my animals.
i just love you. and Aviva, too.
i just love you. and aviva, too.
Yesterday a friend was telling me how she was having trouble with her first lace project. (Usually she comes to me for help, but I have been unavailable due to health crisis with DH). She went to a LYS only to find that the owner is no longer there every day; she had hired a manager. Owner is a delightful person; manager is not. Manager proceeded to tell my friend -- who has been knitting for 50 years and who is left-handed and knits left-handed -- that she was doing everything wrong. And ripped out her knitting. Also told her she didn't need to put stitch markers between the motifs to help keep track of things. My friend is one tough lady, but the whole thing broke her.

There are assbadgers everywhere.
I am ridiculously pleased to see you back. This has nothing really to do with the content of this particular post, but was what I found myself thinking at the end of it, so there you go.

I hope you and your horse have many happy hand-fed moments ahead of you!
She has gotten so fucking gorgeous! Dog meat indeed. People can just go fuck themselves. Seriously.

Also, if you create a fabric from your sticks and strings then you are knitting. Period.
I had this fear that someone will watch me knit/spin and tell me I'm doing it wrong. I am completely self taught (before I knew I could join online folks and ask questions) and wondered if I'm doing it the right way.

Then I decided I LIKE what I knit and how I knit (or spin) and it doesn't matter what anyone else says. I have a small group at work (a community mental health center-I'm a social worker) and our motto is "do you like it? then it's perfect".

I don't know anything about horses and am always in awe of how such large bodies move around so gracefully on such skinny legs! Your Aviva is a beauty. I'm so glad you found each other.
You love your horse, she loves you. Being together improves your lives. The assbadgers can shut up. Same with knitting, your life, your way. So glad to have you back. Never met you, or talked to you yet you feel like a friend. If you ever want to visit st. Louis, Mo and don't mind sleeping on futons let me know.
Avila doesn't even look like the same horse. She's a beauty.
A long time ago our dog was pooing every night while he was asleep. It was unintentional, and he was always sheepish and apologetic the next morning. I refused to do anything "drastic" because, as I told DH, I didn't want to set any precedents for when I get old and start pooing while I sleep. Perhaps the nasty lady who thought Aviva should be eaten should consider her opinion while substituting "person" for "horse". What an arrogant douchebag. No wait. Douchebags are useful.
Well, besides being BEYOND rude, she is a sad, sad person. I have greyhounds so there is a similar "what can this animal do for us?" thinking and when they can't race, they are booted. I say their loss.

What this poor, stupid woman doesn't realize is that Aviva is a lovely, loving, sweet baby that shares affection with you and that is the VERY best thing you could ever want. The rest of the stuff is just icing. Fun and I know she'll do great because you love her and she'll want to play with you but shot for dog meat? Excuse me?

Let me just share this horsie hug picture and let the sweetness kill you.

I rest my case.
I can't speak to the horse thing, as the last time I rode a horse was well over two decades ago and even then all I knew about them was that when you saddle up, it's likely they've stored some farts in there in the hopes that they'll deflate enough to cause your saddle to wing around to their belly and they can laugh at you.

I can speak to the assbadgery though. There are assbadgers everywhere. I'm a Highland dance mom whose daughter used to dance at a mixed dance school. Uh. Enough said? The main thing is to do as you said you intend to; do nothing to or for them because they're not worth the effort.

I think the biggest compliment I ever got on my knitting was that first year at Olds, when Barb was so fascinated with my weird style of purling that she made me do it over and over. Not once did she make me feel like it was wrong. We need more people in the world like her, and like you.
I too have an apparently unorthodox knitting style but it works for me, is fast and I produce a lot of very nice knitting without making my wrists or elbows ache so I always say "nope- I'm good" when people offer to teach me the "right" way to hold my needles, yarn etc.
The summer before I started HS I bought a QH-Morgan mare for $350 and it was the best money I ever spent. Buttercup was gentle, stubborn, had the heart and stamina of a marathoner and was game for anything. We did fox-hunting, rodeo, some local jumping and showmanship trials, trail riding, and swim meets in English or Western tack or bareback with a halter and leadrope. When I went to college and she went to live on a friend's farm (cuz I could only afford room and board for one of us) she became the well-loved school marm of the 4H'ers in the community as she was passed from one young novice rider to the next. She was 30+ yrs old when she finally passed on, well loved, hand fed (she especially loved peppermints and PB and honey sandwiches left unattended by the unwary!) and dearly missed. You and Aviva are lucky to have found each other.
You will find assbadgers(I believe the term is) every where and in all kinds of ways.
My favorite out of the comments "do you like it? then it's perfect". Exactly that!
That applies to your knitting... which I do similar sounding to you only left leg and with tension.... as well as your horse and what you do with her.

I've volunteered at rescues and rescued my own starvlings at home... bless you and your friend for helping beautiful Aviva. Enjoy your girl and the assbadger can burn.
please slip aviva a carrot, sugar cube or peppermint for me!

i had to give up horses to support my kids with both money and time, but i have great memories of them, and i wish you many years of equine companionship.

(as for the assbadger, i pity the horses in her life. she obviously doesn't recognize their true value.)

and as for the idiot who disliked "toe jam," i wonder what she would have thought of the gorgeous "bloodlines" i bought from you. i found that the name enhanced the colorway in that case, but if i liked a colorway and it was called "frog vomit," i'd buy it and laugh at the monicker.
Fuck. That. Cunt. People like that make me like animals more. Enjoy your beautiful baby.
That stupid bitch would probably describe herself as a horse lover.

I would describe her as only loving the price tag put on them.

Can you start a rumour about how her horses are mistreated?
Your horse is beautiful and she has the spark of her loving spirit in her eyes.

That opinionated bitch can stuff a carrot up her ass (if she manages to pull her head out of there first...doubtful) and go whistle Dixie on top of the manure pile. Dog meat indeed. The nerve of some people.

And I happen to think Toe Jam is a clever name for sock yarn. Not that I'm important in any way at all, but the name made me smile, not cringe.

Some people need more home training perhaps. Or a couple of slaps upside the head.
Dog meat? I can think of someone who IS dog meat. Seriously, if it's not kind to say stuff about peoples' kids why is it OK to say it about animals. Woman needs a good smack.

You doing good chickie. And the sow that attempted to feel bad clearly should go buy production yarn and not indie goodies. Muwah!
Yeah,what they said:
>Do you like it? Then it's perfect.

>if i liked a colorway and it was called "frog vomit," i'd buy it and laugh at the monicker.

>I too have an apparently unorthodox knitting style but it works for me, is fast and I produce a lot of very nice knitting without making my wrists or elbows ache so I always say "nope- I'm good" when people offer to teach me the "right" way to hold my needles, yarn etc.

Anyway, they're right ... and some people think of value in $$$$; those are the ones that miss the value of hunting 4 leaf clovers with their kids, or putting a hand drawing up on the fridge. Feh on her.

Aviva has found someone who values her for herself, instead of for the cash she can't race for anymore.

Brava, Rabbitch!
Damn right, and what the other commenters said, too.
And I drop the yarn after each stitch too, most of the time. I switch styles about every third stitch anyway. I may be slow but I don't get sore either.
Aviva is a treasure.

What a sad, sad lady you ran across. Sucks to be her.

Knit how you knit and let the stitches fall where they may.

Rabbisch--don't let her spoil your joy, and Aviva's joy, too. She obviously will never have a special relationship with any animal ( or human) like you have with Aviva.
She is absolutely lovely, and you are lucky to have found each other! Ignore the assmuppets, and let the chips fall where they may.
She is absolutely beautiful and so lucky to have you! You are hillarious and my new favorite read!
I am so happy to have a found your blog. :D I can see that you are going to be on my list of people to read. I need to try the Scottish Production method haha! And as far as "Toe Jam" what a friggin' hoot! Some people have no sense to humor or the intelligence to appreciate someone else's tongue in cheek brilliance. Screw her.

As to Aviva wtf? She is beautiful and I for one applaud you for rescuing her and giving her a well deserved chance. I don't think there is anything but good karma in store for both of you. As to that bitch screw her and the horse she rode in on. Sounds to me like she could fuck up a free meal.

I have also decided my word for the day will be Assbadger.
This blog can't get much better as far as I am concerned. You love animals, you apparently swear like a sailor (as do I) and you knit! Wonderful to find a cyber-kindred spirit.
:) Peace

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