Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Crochet Drink Cozy and Wrist Cuff

Hello, dear readers! I don't know how many of you are hookers like me, but I decided that I need to share this crazy easy pattern with you! 

Dav had a party a couple Saturdays ago. It was an old video game and beer party! He handed me my first beer of the evening and it was cold- as beer should be!- but too cold on my hand. So, I grabbed my yarn and a hook and whipped up a cozy for my bottle. I made another one for someone at the party too. They work up fast and will also fit around a soda can or a water bottle and possibly even a travel coffee cup. It's stretchy enough to fit over some hands so you can wear it around your wrist when you're in between drinks! 

Crochet Drink Cozy and Wrist Cuff

Worsted Weight Yarn
US size G hook
Yarn needle

Gauge is not important for this project, but you do want to work somewhat loosely

Work in back loops for the entire project

Chain 27, turn

Row 1: hdc in third ch from hook and in each ch across, turn (24 hdc and a ch 2)
Rows 2 through 8: ch 2 (counts as first hdc), hdc in next st and in each st across, turn 
Fasten off, leave long tail for sewing.

Fold in half and sew the short sides together (you could also sc them together). Weave in ends.

That's it! For the two-colored green and brown one, I made 6 rows of green following the pattern above and then added the brown as the 7th row and one on the other side of the foundation chain. You could also start with brown, crochet 6 rows of green, and switch back to brown for the final row. That was the first one I made and 6 rows was a little too narrow to protect my hand from the cold of the bottle, so I added two more rows. You could also add or subtract rows as you wish. Larger handed or wristed people may want to add stitches to get it to fit as a cuff, but keep in mind that may make it too big to fit snugly around a bottle. 

About gauge and tension: I never ever measure gauge. I describe the tension as loose, but remember I'm used to amigurumi, almost everything else is 'loose' to me! If you really want to be sure, test your foundation chain around a bottle or your wrist, and add 2 ch for the first hdc. My gauge ended up about 3 hdc and 2 rows for an inch square. Finished dimensions are about 8 inches by 2 5/8 inches.

Happy crocheting! 

Legal stuff!
It is NOT okay to sell my pattern. If you wish to copy these instructions and post them to your own blog, include a link back here. You may print this out and pass it out among your friends for free. You may send people to my blog for a copy all you want.
Do not use my photographs without my permission.  
You may sell items made from this pattern, but you must credit me as the designer. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Discovery

If you're one of my friends on Facebook, you've seen that my boss has finally decided to take issue with my head covering. Her argument is that it is a hat, and we have a "no hats of any kind" policy - of which I am fully aware. I first attempted to counter that my scarves are not hats, but she maintained it was. I explained it was part of my religious observance, she wanted to know what religion, what part of it requires me to veil, if I would be ejected from the faith if I did not veil, if there were any times when I did not veil. She implied that if I were a member of some faith that she had heard of and knew had a veiling practice, like Muslim or Quaker, than it would be ok, but because I'm a member of a faith she's never heard of and she doesn't understand why I veil or think that it is important to the practice of my faith, she's going to talk with Human Resources and see what they say.

I do not trust her to be unbiased about it, based on our conversation. I believe she will present the matter to HR in such a way as to interject her personal beliefs - it's not important to the practice of my faith, it's not required by my faith, no one has heard about my faith anyway, and a scarf is a hat. She will fish for the answer that she wants by making judgments on the validity of my practice, instead of accepting that exceptions to dress codes for religious observance need to be made. When I told her I could have my clergy write a letter to HR, she said that was not necessary. I suspect because once I get clergy involved it becomes an official matter of religious discrimination, and she won't get the answer that she wants. I have asked for that letter anyway.

I have also asked to meet with someone in HR. Because I can't trust my boss to be unbiased, I have to be able to present my case directly. I will also write a letter for them to have on file officially requesting the accommodation of my religious dress if they're going to argue that a scarf is a hat.

I was speaking to my Plain Quaker friend, Valerie, about it. She has offered to write a letter on my behalf as well, stating why Quakers veil and quoting scripture. But I'm not Quaker. Valerie explained thus:

"In my heart, everyone's good enough to be a Quaker, they just don't know I made'em one

I figured, we have Buddhist Quakers and Jewish Quakers and Muslim Quakers, there's enough room for ever'body in my boat, LOL

We have four types of Quaker meetings--pastoral, non-pastoral, which sounds like one's in the countryside but means with a preacher, or not.

And, we have Conservative, and Liberal. Conservative is me, I'm a Jesus hugger, and Liberal, which fits in other faiths as Quaker and doesn't require a belief in Jesus.

Overall, using society's terms, we are Conservative in that we believe in protecting the environment, being somewhat self-sufficient in caring for ourselves, pretty much against killing in any form (war, death penalty, mercy killing, etc.) But we are all very liberal in that we believe in protest, following what we feel is right rather than what a law says is right, direct line to God without intercessionaries, all men are created equal (to the point we do not use titles, even Judge or Doctor)."

With me so far? It means I could be a Pagan Quaker, or a Wiccan Quaker, and I would be considered a Liberal Quaker. Then she sent me to this site and this site which led me here and here. (Click on these links, dear readers! I'm soooo excited about these!)

Frankly, the more I learn about Quakerism, the more I love it (this is true for me of Sikhism as well, but that's neither here nor there) and I'm fortunate to have such a fantastic resource in Valerie. While I'm fully committed to my pagan path, I am aware that I've had Quaker leanings for years. I'm utterly fascinated by this Quaker Paganism development and I can't wait to do more research on it!

How does this tie into my upcoming discussion with HR? If they decide I need to be a member of some known faith with specific tenets about veiling, I'll have no qualms about claiming Quaker Pagan as it fits my purpose, and I can provide a letter to that end.

But, research! I get to do more research! And I am amazingly elated about what I may find. Something somewhere feels *right* and I need to know more. I'm almost shaking with the excitement of new knowledge and discovery!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy New Year!


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

What Do You Say?

I've worn a head covering to work every day for three months. None of the higher ups have challenged it (and I'm prepared to fight if they do). People have started to notice, though. And noticing means curiosity, and curiosity means questions. There's nothing wrong with questions per se, but what I thought would sufficiently answer just keeps going.

Coworker, "Time to get coffee, huh?"
Me, "Yep, it's either that or a nap!"
Coworker, "Why do you wear that thing on your head?"
Me, "It's part of my religious observance."
Coworker, "Oh, what is that?"

And here's where I falter. Not in suddenly needing to describe my faith, but in that it's not something that can be summed up in the 30-60 seconds of water-cooler office interactions- especially to someone who has absolutely no familiarity with a non-mainstream religion. I could say eclectic pagan. "What is that?" I could say Hermetic Wiccan. "What is that?" I actually had to specifically tell someone who just kept tacking on the whats, "if you've never heard of it, it's not something I can explain in a few minutes."

Now, I was entirely expecting to have to field questions about my head covering, but I honestly thought 'part of my religious observance' would be enough. After all, my faith and anyone's faith is completely irrelevant to my job. If I were being asked in a job interview, 'religious observance' would legally be sufficient and I would say so under the scrutiny of further whats and whys. I'm not ashamed of my faith and I'm not afraid to talk about it when there is ample time to devote to the subject, but that's not the point. Here, where we all have a job to do and are expected to be at our desks doing it, there is not ample time.

So under more whats and whys, I start stammering out things that make me sound utterly uncertain of what I'm saying, just in an attempt to give some kind of answer that would make sense and be enough of an answer to be accepted without further inquiry. That's never worked. There are always more questions.

Me: "I'm pagan."
Coworker: "Oh, pagans cover their hair?"
Me: "um, no, they don't have to, um, I do, because it's in line with my beliefs, um, because my matron goddess asked me to." blubber blubber blubber.
Actually, once I got an awesome response to this, "Oh, so it's like a sign of devotion." Yes! Like that!

But the "I'm pagan" follow up can go several ways.
Coworker: "What is that?"
Me: "well, uh, mine is a combination of Wiccan and Hermeticism that --"
Coworker: "What's Hermeticism?"
Me: "Um, it's a - a faith practice based on ancient Greek philosophy -- "
Coworker: "Oh, and they cover their hair?"
Me: "Well, not as a rule, no, my beliefs are based on that."
Coworker: "So, why do you cover your hair?"
Start over.

Coworker: "What kind of pagan?"
Me: "I practice a combination of things that resonate with my beliefs."
Coworker: "So, it's made up?"

Coworker: "I have a friend who's into that stuff."
Ok, I'm throwing this one in here simply because I hear it often. It really has no relevance to my head covering, but it is likely to launch me into a very defensive tirade about how very offensive it is to dismiss my religion as something I'm "in to." You can be "in to" skiing. You can be "in to" gardening. You can be "in to" woodworking but stop doing that and suddenly be "in to" knitting. "In to" is a hobby, it connotes an impermanence and a recreational importance. This is not religion, and if you view your religion that way, you're doing something wrong. But I digress.

Where was I? Oh, let's go back to "what kind of pagan"
Me: {more stammering, because this answer is not accurate. Not incorrect, just not the full picture} "My faith focuses on hearth goddesses, like Hestia."
Coworker: "Oh, what does that mean?"
This one prompted the 'I can't describe it in the time allowed' response.

I think all this means I need to compose an answer, something more thorough than "religious observance" but still offers enough information to curb further questions, or to at least be able to describe enough so that 'I can't describe any more' is acceptable.

So, if I extend my original answer to "It's part of my religious observance, it's an act of devotion to my path and my deity." There's plenty of room for "what is that" questions if I have the time, and still a sufficient enough answer that "I have to get back to work, there really isn't time to go into further details here" should be satisfactory. Right?