Election by Judy @ 8:09 AM

Obama 08

Yes we can!

This morning I am so proud to be an American.

Last night we made history.

I have such hope for the future – hope I have not felt in a long time.

Even McCain’s concession speech was inspired.

In the center of my moebius is an O.

Election |Knitting by Judy @ 7:29 AM

double-knit moebius
double-knit moebius

It all started at the Island Retreat a couple of weeks ago. Some well-meaning knitter – I forget the exact context now – said something about double-knitting a moebius. I immediately wanted to do just that. Because I never had. And it sounded really cool. And you could have a moebius that had no purl side, but only a smooth knit side. And different colors. And what would those colors do when swirled around a non-orientable surface that has only one side and one edge?

I immediately headed to Island Wools for yarn. Cat, who is wiser than I, perhaps saw the gleam of scientific inquiry in my eyes because she smiled and nodded and said nothing but sounds fun.


Thus began a quest for how to cast the darn thing on. It kept twisting around itself in strange and other-dimensionally ways. After much frustration and frogging bad words were said in my out-loud voice several false starts, I finally hit on a method that seemed to sort of work: I cast on two individual moebii, knit 1 ring on the white one and purled 1 ring on the green one. Remember it takes two rings to make a round, so I had worked 1/2 round on each. Then I threaded both on to a single long cable needle by alternating stitches.

Gentle reader, I have learned more about topography in the last week than I ever expected to in my wildest dreams.

I turns out that when you take two moebii and attach them along the edge, essentially what I did when I threaded the two on to one needle, the result is a torus (that’s a fancy word for a doughnut) with a moebius twist in it. And that’s one representation of a non-orientable surface called a Klein Bottle. And such beasties do not live in 3 dimensional space without some contortion. And I haven’t yet figured out the knack of knitting in 4-space, where they live happily but I do not.

So what I knit in my little experiment is a Klein Bottle represented locally in my particular patch of 3-space by letting what I thought would be a moebius intersect with itself – which it wouldn’t do in 4-space. You can see the insertion point – it’s the point at which the green suddenly changes to white.The green has actually crossed through the white to reappear on the other side (if it could be said to have sides, although it really only has one), and the white has crossed through the green. But if you trace either color by itself, ignoring the other color, you will find that each is, really, a moebius. And together they appear to be a moebius. Sort of. If it weren’t for that pesky insertion point.

I don’t think there’s any way to get around the color change, short of knitting the whole thing in one color. But then what would be the point of double-knitting? I’ve decided instead to make the intersection a design feature by adding in random ones scattered about various places. We’ll see how well that plan works out. I may end up with a mess. And I have no idea how I’m going to bind this thing off, but I’m open to suggestions.

I hope I don’t sound like I understand what I’m talking about, here, because really my math is not good enough to understand it in more than lay-person’s terms. All of this stuff makes my brain hurt. But, nonetheless, this is the sort-of-moebius that’s on my needles and that I will be knitting today with healing intentions.

I do think it’s cool that, even though there are two colors, there are really no sides. And although the green and white started out as completely separate entities, they have now merged in new and unexpected ways.

Knit on!

Election |Knitting by Judy @ 11:46 AM

This morning I received the following email from Cat Bordhi. It was sent to the participants of her two island retreats. Cat has asked that it be passed on to knitters all over the US, and I think it’s a lovely idea. I currently have a moebius on my needles, and I will knit along with Cat tomorrow with healing intentions.

November 3, 2008

Heal the Election Wounds and Embrace Humanity with a Moebius

By Cat Bordhi

I awoke this morning realizing that publicly knitting a beautiful Moebius scarf as I begin to float (I live on an island), drive, and fly toward Stitches East on Tuesday would be a beautiful and profound public expression of my hopes and dreams for the world, as well as a symbol of the healing that our country will need after the election.

If you want to follow along, I recently made a Youtube video which will clearly teach you how to knit a Moebius whether you have my books or not. Here’s the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVnTda7F2V4

So – here is why the Moebius is a perfect expression of the best of humanity, and the healing of the fractured country and world that I trust is coming:

1. The Moebius appears to have two surfaces and two edges – ie, polarities such as black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, Republican and Democrat – but when you follow the surface around you will run right into your starting point without ever having changed to the other “side.” For there isn’t one. Everything flows into itself. Polarities are an illusion. What lies beneath the apparent polarities is oneness, beauty, and grace. In a Moebius you can see it, hold it, be awed by it. Once the frenzy dies down, hopefully those with opposing views will slowly rediscover their common humanity.

2. Like the surface that flows into itself, so too does the Moebius’s single continuous edge – thus everything is recycled. In fact, I would not be the least bit surprised if the ultimate alternative energy involves a Moebius form or dynamic. By the way, the recycling symbols (2 are in common usage, one with a single twist, the other with 3) you see everywhere are actually Moebii (too hard to say Moebiuses – try it!). I think we are all hoping for significant and effective new discoveries in alternative energy – and the Moebius would be a great symbol for this global effort.

3. Once you complete the first ring (it takes 2 rings to make a round – watch the video) of your Moebius, you are in for smooth and happy sailing. All you have to do is to knit the stitch in front of you, then the next stitch in front of you, with not a care in the world for what came before or what has shifted into the “future”. You’ll look at the mysterious shape on your needles and wonder how “those stitches” can ever come to you . . . well, they will, without your needing to understand how. And they will all come in perfect sequence, resulting in a beautiful and graceful Moebius. The Moebius rewards your faith in its mystery with the easiest knitting you will ever do. And the result is always graceful – for this is the very nature of the Moebius. You can knit along while you watch the election results, while walking, while standing in line at the store, wherever you may find yourself during these days to come. You will be knitting the graceful healing and ease that I believe is flowing toward us, requiring only of us that we stay true to the powerful sense of loving kindness that resides in the center of every person. No one could ever possibly understand enough to make the healing happen, but if we all just knit the stitch before us, as they come, marveling at the innocence and sweetness of it all, with our oh so familiar continuous strand of yarn, the healing will happen. We need not understand either one fully – the Moebius or the world. They both operate with inherent grace.

4. I looked through my stash and chose a luminous yarn in deep watery colors from Blue Moon Fiber Arts – LSS (Luscious Single Silk), and did not realize until I looked at the label that the colorway is absolutely apropos: Lunasea. Tina no doubt named the colorway after the moon and the sea – and after lunacy? So let the lunacy of the election months give way to Lunasea – the grace of the moon, the sea, the Moebius, and the beautiful heart of humanity, of all people, the “us” and “them” who merge into one. I shall be winding the skein on the ferry tomorrow, then knitting all the way to Baltimore. I hope to see many, many of you there.

With love from Cat Bordhi

Note: If you alternate sets of knit and purl rounds, you will have purl ridges all around. Then your Moebius will not curl along the edges when you are done.

Election by Judy @ 6:54 AM

Today at the Taipei zoo a man leaped into the lion’s den in an apparent attempt to convert the King of Beasts to Christianity.

“Jesus will save you!” the 46-year-old man shouted at two African lions lounging under a tree a few meters away.

“Come bite me!” he said with both hands raised, television footage showed.

Not surprisingly, one of the lion’s obliged. Fortunately the lion was well fed, or the result might have been worse. But zoo workers were able to drive the lion off with water hoses.

Now, it runs in my mind that this is a pretty damn good analogy to the current election results, such as they stand.

If Bush is elected (and that now seems fairly likely, although not certain), it appears that much of his vote came from grass-roots campaigning among voters who consider themselves born-again Christians.

Although currently apparently dozing, The Republic is a very large lion and it grows hungrier. Be very careful, you in the right-wing who are programming your trained chimp to spout your religion-based messages. Attempting a conversion to a theocracy will get you bitten. And I’m fairly certain that no one is standing by with a water hose.

Election by Judy @ 6:21 AM

It’s just after 6:00 am here in Oregon. So far we’ve had a large number of ballots returned across the state. It appears that close to a record number of voters will turn in a ballot in thie vote-by-mail-only state.

Although I thought it was not OK to show political ads on election day, I just saw one for Bush.

The electoral college counter over on the right-hand side, hosted by Andrew Tanenbaum, a US citizen living and working in The Netherlands, is predicting Kerry over Bush, 298 to 231. His predicted final map shows Kerry 306-218.

I only hope that whoever wins — and I do hope that’s Kerry — wins by enough of a margin that all of the lawsuits and recounts in the world are not going to change the results. We need a President who’s won with a clear mandate.

Remember, if you live in Oregon and you haven’t voted yet, it’s way too late to mail your ballot! You can drop it off at your county election headquarters or a myriad of other drop-off boxes. Click the link or call 1-866-ORE-VOTES for drop-off information.

If you live in another state, please go to your regular polling place and vote. Every vote counts!

Election by Judy @ 8:09 PM

Your vote must be made by 8:00 PM on Tuesday. Every vote counts!

Remember, voting is your license to bitch later when the idjits in Congress do stupid things! If you don’t vote, then you don’t get to complain.

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