Watching & Knitting: Mrs. America

Cate Blanchett as Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs. America

Mrs. America on Hulu tells the story of how the unexpected battle about the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in the ’70s gave rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted the political landscape.

The series is told through the eyes of the women of the era—second-wave feminists like Gloria Steinem, Betty Freidan, and Bella Abzug, and an army of anti-feminists led by Phyllis Schlafly.

We all tend to characterize those with ideas we deem less evolved or progressive than our own as stupid or ignorant. Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly was neither, she was an intelligent, persuasive woman who spearheaded a successful campaign against ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Cate Blanchett is just perfection as the cunning and enigmatic Phyllis Schlafly. Blanchett’s elegance and cool as a cucumber exterior lend a level of gravitas to a historical figure who it seems many did not take seriously until it was too late.

The cast is amazing but Sarah Paulson as an anti-feminist housewife, and Uzo Aduba’s Shirley Chisholm stand out. I appreciate that the feminists and the anti-feminists all seem to be given equally good dialogue and care. This seems fair considering the storyline.

The Music!

You may be too young to remember, but the opening disco music A Fifth of Beethoven was an unlikely #1 hit made popular in 1977 after this entrance by John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. You’re welcome.

The Midnight Special was one of the best things about babysitting in the 70’s. This episode features Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band jamming to some Beethoven.

Watch Mrs. America Wednesdays on Hulu. Catch up before the series finale next week.

Joy of Missing Out

If you know me at all, you know I am happiest at home. But even a self-proclaimed homebody can get a little squirrelly when home becomes both work place and sanctuary for an indefinite amount of time.

I have always been good at entertaining myself, and these days I’ve been happily starting new knitting projects, cooking, and hope to get my vegetable garden ready for transplants.

When this is all over and we all return to at least a bit of normalcy, I hope to report that my garden has been started, I’m halfway finished with the shawl I just started, and I’ve finally finished the plaid shawl that’s been on my loom for a year. Yes, a year. Maybe longer. Definitely longer.

It will come as no surprise that I’m spending a fair amount of time knitting. I’m knitting up all these sock yarn ends into a mash up of a Find Your Fade and the semi circle shawl recipe on this PDF.

I am loving the comforting garter stitch of this simple 4 row pattern. I love watching a project grow from 3-4 stitches and become massive wraps. It’s so satisfying.

Here are a couple ideas for keeping your hands busy and your spirit light these days.

Watch (or Rewatch) Lighthearted TV

Rewatching all three seasons of The Detectorists last week was just the sweet, slow moving non-action I needed at the end of each day while I knit.

Learn to Fold a Fitted Sheet

I’ve always just balled them up and stuffed them in the linen closet, and felt it must be some sort of witchery that gave people the power to fold these nicely. This video makes it seem so simple.

Learn to Knit

I seriously don’t know why everyone does not knit. Aside from all the lovely hats, shawls, sweaters, and blankets, it is meditative and calming. Even for those that are nearby.

I love having a project with me when waiting for an oil change, an appointment, or a flight, or just need a break from staring at my computer screen. Ask any knitter how much they love airport and in flight knitting. It’s the best.

Don’t wait, knit.

I taught myself to knit with the modern knitter’s bible Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook before there were thousands of YouTube how to videos. Search there for help or sign up for a free two week trial of Bluprint, and learn from one of their many classes.

Learn Anything

I’ve been a longtime fan of Skillshare. I’ve taken classes on everything from email marketing to hand lettering.

Friday Favorites: Knit Porn, a Party & Food for Thought

BBC Knit Porn is a thing, right?

This week I’ve been knitting and watching Sir Edmond Hilary, Everest and Beyond and making comments about every hand knit sweater that appeared. Steve asked me if this was a thing with knitters, and did we all talk about it online. There usually is quite a bit. I remember we all went crazy when Bletchley Circle aired. I’m surprised to not find a lot of discussion about these knits online, as they are all spectacular.

Food for thought

I’m embarrassed to admit this but we waste a lot of food in my household. And by we, I mean me, because my husband is far less particular about eating deli meat and leftovers that have been in the fridge for 3 days. I was made very aware of this when I was volunteering at our community food pantry and humbled by how happy the clients were to receive a clamshell pack of almost gone strawberries that I would have tossed or thrown in the compost heap. Ahem, the compost heap is one way I rationalize waste.

I’ve recently started utilizing curbside pick-up at my local grocery during the work week. Not only do I believe this is saving us money, but it’s virtually impossible to get distracted by all the lovely berries and fresh greens when I’m adding things to my online shopping cart.

This Real Simple article has great tips for reducing food waste at home. Keeping a “waste audit” is a great idea.

Knitting together community for 11 years

Tomorrow our favorite LYS Yarnorama (that’s local yarn store for the non-knitters) is celebrating 11 years of (insert fiber metaphor here) community in the tiny town of Paige, Texas. Weavers, knitters, spinners, and fiber obsessed have been making the weekly trek from Houston to be part of a community of fiber enthusiasts and friends.

The other night at our She Creates Union meet up, Susan talked about what the community she started has come to mean to her. It’s not my story to tell, so that’s all I say. Perhaps she’ll elaborate herself on her own website. It was lovely, and made us all bit misty.

Everyone who knows Susan and John, knows they have created something very special, and so obviously needed. Susan is a brilliant, patient, talented, and funny woman who nurtures us all in our endeavors to make beautiful things with our hands.

I like to brag that I was her first customer. Susan reached out to me on this blog before she even opened her doors, inviting me to her opening.

Let’s go back in time to read this blog post about my first visit to Yarnorama. I obviously felt that something special was going to happen there. Read the post here

Find out more about the weekend festivities here.

www.yarnorama.com

My fellow makers of She Creates Union will have a Pop Up Shop at Yarnorama tomorrow. Come on out and support women artists and enjoy the bluebonnets along the way.

www.shecreatesunion.org

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Let’s keep in touch