Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stitches Midwest 2006 Part III: All Dressed Up and No Place to Pee

I Have No Class

On Friday I was signed up for no classes and drifted lazily about, stringless as Pinocchio, enjoying whatever and whoever was in the vicinity.

My few idle moments during last year's Stitches weren't what you would call social. I was terrified to open my mouth. I didn't know anybody, felt like I knew nothing; and this blog was barely six months old. When I wasn't with Jon, I mostly stood in corners and watched. This year, to my delighted surprise, people spoke to me. Lots of people. Nice nice people, most of whom I'd never met.

Indeed, even while we waited in line before the Market Preview on Thursday night, a darling woman thirty feet away waved to me and mouthed, "I love your blog." I just blushed and waved back. I never found you to say thanks in person, darling woman, so thanks.

Thanks to every single one of you. I am still glowing. Being spoken to without having to speak first was a shy person's delight. It took all the pressure off. I've never felt so at ease in a crowd in my life.*

Of course, one does make a few friends in the course of a year. Busy as the Market was, I still bumped into Meg and Jonathan, the Two Sock Knitters; and Chicago's own fab designer Bonne Marie Burns. While I was chatting with Marcy from Arcadia Knitting and her delightful pal Susan (from Colorado), Karen happened by and I got the three of them into a photograph.



I was pretty nervous about having my camera confiscated** by the Mondragoons, so here's my only other photo from that day, of Susan. I found Susan's knitting notebook captivating. She doesn't like white, so before she began using it she painted all the pages with watercolors. Her color charts and sketches are laid on top of them. The book itself is a work of art.



Still Not Buying Yarn

If you read my account of Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp, you know I succumbed to the siren song of Bavarian Twisted Stitch. At the Market, the good ol' Yarn Barn o' Kansas was selling all three volumes of Lisl Fanderl's Bäuerliches Stricken in one cosy set, and I decided it would be prudent to procure them at this time. Bäuerliches Stricken is German for "stitch patterns that will make you rip off your eyebrows in frustration and eat them."

So I'm something of a masochist. So what?

I also bought a little sock yarn. Buying sock yarn doesn't count as buying yarn. Everybody knows that. Stephanie said so in her book.

Pissed Off

Friday was also the day we discovered that XRX had turned the men's bathroom in the classroom area into a second women's bathroom. No signs indicated where men ought to go, nor was the Stitches map in the registration materials any help.

Upon inquiry at the registration desk, we were directed to follow a complicated path to a remote men's room in another part of the building. It was, said the woman at registration, "right over there." And so it was, in much the same way that when you are standing in downtown Chicago, the west suburbs are "right over there."

I try like the dickens to keep my temper, I truly do, but this was unfair and I object. Apparently women complained last year of needing more restroom space, and so it was decided that the men must give up theirs, since there aren't so many of us.

I asked the women at the registration desk: would you mind if you arrived at a male-dominated event and found the women's room had been commandeered, with no convenient, alternative accommodations available? Would that not be considered sexist? They admitted I had a point, but they didn't do anything about it.

XRX already makes Stitches a needlessly gender-biased affair. The lone man who ever shows up in the promotional materials is Mondragon, and he only counts on a technicality. If he wishes to be the only rooster in his henhouse, that's his prerogative. I'll simply withhold my business in future. I paid full price for my admission, and I expect equal treatment.

Meat, Men

Jon, the soul of generosity, provided the highlight of the evening's entertainment for us: a trip to Morton's Steak House. I've only been to Morton's once, for a birthday years ago with Mr. Ex. That visit paled in comparison.

I was so caught up in the gemütlichkeit I even had a drink. My first in more than a year. And I've toughened up. I downed the entire rum and pineapple juice over the course of three hours and didn't
  1. pass out cold,
  2. proposition the waiter,
  3. tell everybody at the table what they should do to be better people, or
  4. throw up.
All of which have resulted from previous attempts at drinkin' with the boys.

Morton's is Chicago at its best. A handsome room, good service, excellent food. We three were in solid agreement about such vital matters as which side dishes to order. I consumed my own weight in creamed spinach while talking about knitting with two handsome men. I was happy. It don't take much.

*Except while talking to the lady who seemed truly, seriously suprised that Dolores was not walking around the Market with me. That was a little freaky. Honey, I'm so glad you like her, and I hate to spoil the illusion even for a moment, but have you ever noticed the dark black line around Dolores in all the pictures? That's India ink.

**Photography was tricky this year. After the Market Preview was over, a sign went up threatening anybody caught with a camera with explusion from the premises. Apparently in spite of the cost of attendance, XRX doesn't feel we're entitled to take snapshots.

76 comments:

Beth said...

Well, I, for one, would not have been offended if you just let go into the urinals in the "wo"men's room. Having gone to a college in which several buildings had more men's rooms than women's rooms, I wouldn't blame you.

M-H said...

I can see why you were surprised that anyone would expect Dolores to accompany you. She would be much more at home with truckers than knitters.

Mel said...

On road trips as a kid, when my brothers (and later, even my sister) and I complained of needing to pee, my father would often tell us to "tie a knot in it". Aside from the fact that I could have had a veeeerrry different career track had I been able to do so, it seems that XRX shares my father's philosophy.

une fille charmante said...

first, i have to tell you that i love your blog. referencing panopticons and yarn all at once makes every single bit of my nerdy self happy.

and *so* many reasons to get knitters on board the gender neutral bathrooms movement!

badmommy said...

Puh-leeze. EVERYBODY knows Dolores is out of town.

Elisabeth said...

India ink? Is that some kind of perfume?

*giggle*

twig said...

*gasp* Are you suggesting Dolores isn't real?

pacalaga said...

LMAO @ badmommy's comment. Too funny.
I'm glad you protested the bathroom issue. Maybe next year they'll give it back, since there were complaints. Maybe we ladies can drink a little less coffee.
It certainly sounds like as much fun as one can have while Big Brother Knitter is watching.
(And I will expose my idiot side here by asking this - what does XRX stand for?)

Pixiepurls said...

that's so shitty about the bathrooms and photo taking!!!

(long time lurker hollerin out!)

Anne said...

Darlin, I say you should've commandeered the men's room right back. Heaven only knows, in the last year you've gotten to where you can make some nice sized waves in their XRX kiddie pool if they have a fit. You paid your money and you should get to pee like everyone else!

sogalitno said...

woo
i wonder how they convinced the hotel/convention center to let them do it? it seems so wrong on so many levels.

well, now i guess i dont have to moan anymore about not having gone to a stitches ever - think of the money i will/have saved. hmm i just may have to go see what's on sale at elann to celebrate.

love your blog
i would so talk to you anywhere (come visit us in ny)

oh and where is dolores today?

Angela said...

I did happen into the formerly men's room and turned a corner to face a wall of urinals. Despite all of the women in there with me, I did have a momentary panic attack that I was somewhere I shouldn't have been..

I saw the signs so I didn't take any pictures despite wanting to.

Mmmmm....creamed spinach.

Margot said...

Morton's creamed spinach - oh yes, that's a very good choice. I've been to the one in Nashville several times. That side is a standby. YUM.

Sorry about the bathroom sitch - I agree with those who came before who said you just should have used 'em anyway.

Carol said...

Ah yes, the eternal women vs men bahtroom problem. When I was in college, us braver girls used to just walk into the mens room at beer parties and the like. If the guys didn't like it, they could just *tie a knot in it* hee hee. Actually, nobody seemed to care, boys or girls.

Sean said...

I would love to have had the chutzpa to use the "men's" room...just sidle up to a urinal and pee! LOL.

I could have made a meal out of the sides at Morton's...I mean, don't get me wrong, the bone-in rib eye was amazing...but the salad, creamed spinach, mashed and asparagus were sensational.

But nothing, NOTHING compares to the great company and conversation.

knit_chick said...

I wonder what XRX has planned for next year.

"Excuse me, can you tell me where the men's room is?"

"Yes, it's right here." [hands unsuspecting male empty Gatorade bottle]

Maureen in Fargo said...

Well, I'm sure glad I've given up Stitches for Knitting Camp! At least there we had Dolores, and despite your being the only guy with 50-some women we didn't need your rest room...

Lara said...

I concur with Beth (first comment). My previously-uni-sexed college simply made almost every bathroom on campus "co-ed". Everyone shuts the stall doors and no one gets offended. Anyone bothered by it can go to the one-stalls in the basement.

Sherry W said...

Sorry to be unsympathetic about the loo, but that is what it's like to be a girl %90 of the time. They never make enough stalls. I have taken over the men's room- maryland sheep and wool anyone?

Marilyn said...

I may in fact go to Baltimore this year, if I can handle the mere thought of seeing DragonBoy in his hideous getups. And I have a new Razr that takes not half-bad pictures.

The Gallery of Ghastlies will rise from the ashes.

I thought Knit Chick's suggestion of a Gatorade bottle bears some merit. Perhaps you might wish to submit a design to Knitter's--a lovely, knitted Gatorade bottle cover, perhaps in some bilious Mondragonesque shade. Knitter's is full of color suggestions.

You could knit in the words "Drink Me" on the front of the cover.

Bobbi said...

Last year I was one of the women who used the men's room. No one was in there when I went in and if someone came in, I waited to leave so as not to make them feel uncomfortable.
The ones I felt bad for were the ladies who had to endure the hike between the convention center and the XRX approved hotel. My pedometer clocked me at 1.5 miles from the showroom to the hotel room. I passed one poor woman lugging her oxygen tent in the skyway! The Pheasant Run resort was a much more pleasant environment for Stitches. After attending 4 years in a row, I gave up this year and plan to return to Meg's Knit Camp instead next year. See you there!

Mary B said...

Franklin, Franklin, Franklin. Don't you know you're a star??? You are recognizable anywhere there are knitters gathered.

I'm with you on the bathrooms--how awful! To take over the men's room--that's unbelievably rude. Even Dolores would see the inequity in that.

Mary B

Christina said...

Franklin, I sorry for your toilet-mishap. I would also like to know why the Knitter's Magazine's logo is "XRX." Is it like railroad signs, or what? And- does Morton's put nutmet in their creamed spinach?

marylee said...

*I was happy. It don't take much* That's really the trick of it, isn't it?

Julia said...

You're more of a gentleman than I. I think I would have integrated the potties and felt righteous doing it.

Susan (from Colorado) said...

I am delighted to see the picture. Marcy is the best, and I enjoyed meeting Karen. Thank you so much for the chance to talk with you! I'm sorry about your kidneys!

Ted said...

Some years ago, David Xenakis was on a couple of maillists I was subscribed to, and he was taken to task for the limited number and quality of the designs for men in Knitters. His reply was that their customer surveys indicated so little interest in knitting for men that they concluded the market for menswear was so insignificant that it was not really worth having in the magazine. Apparently the same reasoning applies to men's washrooms at Stitches events.

Since it might be that bloggers' activities resulted in a camera ban at Stitches events, perhaps similar blogger activity will result in the installation of conveniently located Port-a-Potties for use by men.

Every so often I think "Next year I'll make the pilgrimage to Stitches", but from reading the reports from Jon, Sean and you (this year and last), I'm now very discouraged from attending. Bad classes, poorly organized, expensive, and crowds of frantically aggressive shoppers.

Helen said...

I may be as offended as you were about the confiscation of the men's bathroom. I'd have put signs up declaring them unisex before doing that. Hell, there are STALLS, each of which has its own door.

As for photographs -- totally their loss! (well, ours too). They should have hired you as a candid photographer!

Yet another moment of stupidity in the XRX collection.
I sure wish I didn't enjoy the classes and market so much.

Shall we start a letter writing campaign? Bury them in requests to be civil to ALL knitters...

TrickyTricot said...

I saw XRX at Book Expo... and I walked up to them and was like, "Hi, I'm a man who knits! And I design! And, I am part of menknit.net!" and they were like, "Uh, can we help you?" I was pretty pissed off.

This bathroom issue bugs me - second class citizens for sure... I saw we start a revolution. It's totally sexist.... If they do the same thing in Baltimore, I swear to freaking G-d, I have no problem going all Carrie in that hotel.

spinneret said...

Favorite bathroom remedy (from when we used to have a quilt show in NYC out at the pier);
1) March past the 3 block long line at the women's room to the men's room.
2) Surprise the guys at the urinals (And welcome to the quilt show - what are you working on?).
3) Announce "It's OK, I'm a Doctor" (not, but it starts their water running again).
4) Use the stall and remember to rinse my mitts in best surgical fashion.

Truly, in Europe the rooms are marked "bathroom" in the appropriate language. No skirty figure, no stick man.
Along Knit Chicks line, eye to eye with XRX rep; (One eyebrow raised significantly) Are you advocating I perpetuate a nasty stereotype?

Liz said...

I'm sure a whole bunch of women will stand with you on your bathroom protest. Its totally unfair and XRX should kiss your %&$# and give you free yarn for the inconvienence.

I hope you had fun despite having to walk too far to pee.

Jon said...

Oh but darling, you did buy some yarn that was decidedly not sock yarn. Remember Jojoland? Full disclosure is a must.

Personally, I think we should have ordered two salads. After that first little taste, I wanted more tomatoes and blu cheese.

Lee said...

Many years ago a friend took me to a gay club in San Francisco. I went into the Women's Room and was shocked, *shocked* to discover *men* in there. Yes. They laughed at me. Yes. I am a dork. Thanks for asking.

Gail said...

The men's bathroom situation is completely unfair. I honestly don't remember there being much of a line last year for women's restrooms.

I missed the threatening sign, and took out my camera to take a picture of the very adorable notions booth. The booth owners swooped down on me with much wrath. So I put my camera away after that. Which was a shame.

Norskybear said...

I wandered around looking for the men's room and couldn't find it the first day, so I just went in these steel urns someone had left on the floor. Imagine my surprise at the first coffee break. Hope no one had the decaf!

MonicaPDX said...

Just as great as last year's report, with the addition of making me rather glad I can't afford to get to any Stitches events. The bathroom sitch was totally ridiculous. Shite. Next year? Just send Dolores. [veg] Imagine her following the Draggin' around during the entire event... (Only be sure she hasn't lifted your credit card.)

Can hardly wait for your very last report segment, in which I'm sure we'll see all that yarn you didn't buy!

KnitNana said...

Hmm...I was thinking of Stitches East next year (already have plans for this year - oops!). Now I'll reconsider. Discrimination on ANY level is inappropriate!
Pee where you need to - we ladies will allow...lolol!
And I'm just CRUSHED that Dolores is created from india ink!
(sigh)
;)
And thank goodness sock yarn doesn't count...
(((hugs)))

denny Mcmillan said...

gay knitting camp

we can piss in the woods


and take all the pitures we dam well want.


I just need to talk Rachel H into being my lover.

she is cute.

Anonymous said...

What is it with we North Americans and our inability to use co-ed bathrooms?

Hey, we've all got bits, and we all use them to do roughly the same things.

denny Mcmillan said...

Also careful with that indian ink stuff, you may need to over-dye the fleece (after it's been shorn,oh god the pictures on that day, can hardly wait)

christine said...

You're kidding me, right? A woman actually believes that Dolores is "real"? Well, I know that she is "real," but rather illusive, and seldom in your company publically......


Oh, yes, the creamed spinach - to die for........and the desserts! Did you get that far?

Sweet Caroline said...

I can see that I won't be attending any more Stitches events. Actually no great loss!

Commandeering the women's restroom, prohibiting snapshots, and other totalitarian behaviour on the part of the Xenakis-Rowley-Xenakis regime (I believe that is the meaning of XRX, although I am not sure where Rowley is anymore) has completely put me off spending any more money with them.

Now, if we can just get Meg to run more camp sessions every summer, because her camps will clearly be over-run with the hordes of knitters abandoning the XRX evil empire.

PS - You can share the restroom with me (and a whole lot of other women, apparently) anytime.

Free to pee! You and me!

PostPS - Book! Book! Book! Book! Book! (but bypass XRX as your publisher - k?)

AuntyNin said...

Many thanks for your reports on Stitches. After reading them, my initial interest in attending one of these events has completely evaporated. Obviously XRX has not the first clue as to what's really happening in the knitting world.

Anna-Liza said...

Geez. Not only do I not buy Knitter's mag, but now I'm not going to Stitches ever. Doesn't sound the least bit like an organization I want to support. (Unfortunately, there are one or two of their books I like, but I guess I'll just live without them).

WTF is wrong with unisex bathrooms? They could put a screen in front of the urinals if they're that damned delicate.

Come visit Jon in Denver, and let us all know, and we'll all come and fawn.

spinndiva said...

YAYY !!! I have those books too! they are AWESOM!!!!
hope you like them as much as I do!

brewerburns said...

I,for one, support your right to not have to trek to the other side of the world (or in this case, the conference) to pee. What assholes.

Second, no pictures? Why? I would think that XRX and the vendors at the conference would like to get free publicity. But what do I know? I'm sorry that you had such frustrations there. Sounds like you're a little sour on the whole experience.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be less than sympathetic, Franklin, but now you know what women go through, when we try to find a bathroom and male dominated activities. And here's another pet peeve of mine, how is it that a man can drink a 6 pack of beer and never have to pee? Most women I know can have a half a beer, and they're walking cross legged, looking for a bathroom. I think 'tie a knot in it' is more fact, than fantasy.

But, here's my really important question--where did Rick go to pee?

Lee, the same thing happened to me at a gay bar. I was shocked into immobility when I realized that the feet pointing towards the back of the stall, were attached to a man. I thought it was a woman doing the usual useless straddle-the-toilet pee.

Anonymous said...

>>Apparently in spite of the cost of attendance, XRX doesn't feel we're entitled to take snapshots.<<

That's the booth owners. God forbid that anyone should take a picture of how the booth is arranged or, even worse, snap a shot of some stunning style that is on display. They're worried that someone will grab an idea, make a pattern, and distribute it w/o them being able to charge a fortune for it.

lucia said...

What a pain about the rest rooms. Seems to me the majority of conventions are either 90/10 male female or the revers. Sometimes I think convention centers and sports complexes should be built with three sets or restrooms "XX", "XY" and "X?". The "X?" can be used by either sex to accomodate whichever group happens to have the long lines currently.

(Or we could just go unisex all toghether.)

Wily Jeneric said...

I see Dolores was missed at Stitches. She certainly would have sorted out the bathroom mishap in a flash (and probably by flashing). As a 7 month pregnant woman, I feel your pain (also, why can't I get a seat on the train?? Am I not pregnant enough?). There is a lack of courtesy racing through the country.

Freecia said...

It'd be nice if they kept a centrally located "on-floor" (not outside the venue) bathroom for the gents. Surely there is more than one male and one female bathroom inside the venue...

The photo thing is sad, isn't it? Maybe XRX should consider giving out a few blogger press passes. After all, if it makes it to some famous blog with a positive blurb, that's priceless advertising!

FiberQat said...

They commandeered a men's restroom for a classroom? I'm sorry girls but that's wrong. If they need more facilities for the women, then they need to either 1) set up some portable toilets or 2) provide an attendant for the men's room to give the all-clear for women who need to use it if needed. And I'm female.

kbsalazar said...

You'll enjoy the Bauerliches trilogy. I got it a couple of years ago in a book trade with a German knit-penpal. You'll find that the notation is a bit ideosyncratic. I find regraphing anything I want to knit from those books to be immensely helpful. Especially because I didn't have the English cheat sheet that people who bought the things here received. I'm especially intrigued by the delicacy of the interlaces.

I'm dying use them to do a fingering weight tunic with the patterns that are usually used to frame sock clocks and "seaming" instead used to frame the neck slit, shoulder area, hems and cuffs.

In any case, enjoy your road trip!

Lizzie said...

That's so wrong about the men's bathroom! Knitting men should be encouraged, not driven out to pee way out in the suburbs.

Maybe next year you should take a long a stunt sheep.

Adrianne said...

Come on Franklin, isn't Delores just a codeword for "girlfriend"? JK heehee

I love love love love love your blog! Thank you for all of your fabulous insight into the knitting world. And you definately have my sympathy on the ridiculous restroom raquet.

Cathy said...

Thanks for reinforcing my decision not to renew "Knitter's". I'm not giving those people another dime of my money.

The bathroom situation reminds me of something that happened to my husband at the rodeo 26 years ago. After a few beers he tried to go to the men's restroom. There was a line of women leading up to the door. When he tried to go in, a woman stopped him and said, "You can't go in there. There are women using it." My husband told her if HE had taken over the women's room like they had taken over the men's room, he would have been arrested. He barged on in. Modesty be damned! He had to GO!
Cathy

Kat said...

I will say this.... I have been known to use the men's room when the line for the ladies has been longer than my patience would allow. I have done this at motorcycle rallies and at bars.

I say next year, if you return, you should decide to just use the newly assigned "women's room" - just because there is no suitable men's room.

Riin said...

Uh...why no picture taking? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

From another point of view: When XRX got so many pleas for more women's restroom facilities, they succumbed to trying to please and ended up trying so hard that the male students ended up being highly inconvenienced. I was sorry to see the amount of overall negative rants on XRX. They really really do try to please. They are a relatively small company that is doing big things. I've been doing Stitches across the country for about 7 years now and these events have grown tremendously, complete with growing pains. Elaine Rowley is still very much an active part (the "R" in XRX) as she is The Book Editor. Their books are beautifully done and while I'm far from being a fan of Anything Victorian, that book will still be better than the so many "junk food" knitting books coming out by the dozens these days. And, don't fault XRX for no photos in Market. They're trying to please the vendors that have spent megabucks to be there. I personally prefer the XRX "Camp Stitches" where one class lasts 3 days instead of 3 hours, and there are only about 5 vendors, but the big Stitches events DO offer a smorgasbord of delectable classes and delightful teachers and irresistable shopping that you can't find anywhere else all at once. Peace.

marcia in austin said...

The "no photos" thing is handled a little differently at the Quilt Expo in Houston: You can photograph the display/gallery area with the exception of a few sections (like Kaffe's area, because there was a book coming out). But in the market area many vendors have signs up forbidding picture-taking in their booths. (It isn't market-wide, though.) And yes, Anonymous, it is precisely because the vendors don't want people scarpering their design ideas. Maybe we and our friends wouldn't but there are people who do, including other vendors. I don't see what's wrong with wanting to protect one's livelihood.

needlefingers said...

We considered coming over to say "Hi" on Sunday, but figured you had been nothing but mobbed all weekend. ;)

Have you considered/been to Michigan for the Fiber Festival? Very natural, relaxed, wonderful atmosphere.

Kristi, downstate knitblogger

Anonymous said...

India ink? And here I thought I just saw Delores the other day in my hometown. She was chatting up a guy who looked very much like Elvis.

Kate said...

In "Stitches Midwest 2006, Part I", was Sean knitting lefthanded that incredibly complicated cable? I gasped when I saw the photo!

You should have done what I did in a similar situation - swanned into the toilet and said, "I have a bladder condition that will result in a urostomy if I don't go when I need to". Few people have an answer to that....

TrickyTricot said...

I dunno. I stand by my comment about XRX seeming to be a bunch of sexist bastards when it comes to knitting...

But (and I may have just drunk the wrong Kool Aid this morning - so bear with me), it's not really XRX's fault. I mean, sure they chose a poor site for their meeting - if there was only a mans and womans bathroom near the classrooms in the convention area. But that's really the meeting space and I kind of feel like I can't hate them as much as I want to.

Anyone who's ever organized a meeting knows what a Sh8tload of work it is - to organize the space, to make sure everyone's fed, to see that the rooms are set and that people get paid and all that jazz... I kind of think if it were me, I might have thought about doing the samething - hell, when I worked at a theater, and 10,000 gay men and 2 women came to the gay men's chorus performance, we closed the women's bathroom too... I dunno...

Tomme said...

I had to explain to my boss (the Judge) why I was laughing out loud as I read "Bäuerliches Stricken is German for "stitch patterns that will make you rip off your eyebrows in frustration and eat them." Oh, I didn't go into detail - his eyes would have glazed over as soon as I said "knitting." I just told him I was reading something funny.

I have no doubt that I'm enjoying your description of the event more than I would've enjoyed being there!

Lynne said...

After having a small go round with MR Mount the Dragon I swore off Stitches. I think Delores should have a shoulder bag with the above pictured on it. But if ever you go again I would gladly bite the bullet and go just to meet you.

Musclemom said...

In some places in Canada, Toronto and Montreal at least, there are occasionally bisexual washrooms (no -- they don't swing both ways, but they accept both genders). Why not make that previously males-only washroom a two-gender washroom, with a prominent sign on the door indicating it as such. Any women who find it awkward could use the women's only washroom, unless they are really desperate, and then they can relieve themselves, knowing what they might encounter behind the door (ah! the horror of three men among thousands of women being able at any time to be there!!). That is, if men don't mind sharing (but surprisingly, they usually don't). This gives a choice to women, makes more washrooms available to them, while not making men walk 3 miles to relieve themselves. Or is this not an acceptable custom in the US? Just a thought. I have walked once in a men's washroom because my bladder was going to explode, and actually nobody minded. I did say I was sorry to barge in, but the women's line-up was a mile deep and I knew I could not last much longer (it was at a rock concert, and I am sure everybody has experienced the agony of these pee lines). Tolerance and flexibility are a great help when nature calls, no?

dragon knitter said...

how annoying. on all counts. no pics of your friends? your fans? how atrocious! and the bathroom thing. . . well, apparently, because you dangle, you get to go hang, as well. sheesh.

i would withhold my money, as well. makes me not want to go to stitches next year.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem (in theory) with unisex bathrooms. I've used a few mens' rooms in my life, when desperation won out, and I've stood guard while a group of male friends commandeered the ladies' at an overwhelmingly male event.

However, at the office I'm in now, we changed a single-stall mens' room into a unisex handicap-accessible bathroom, and no matter how many times it's been cleaned, it still smells / looks / feels like a mens' room. It's pretty gross.

IMO, turning a mens' into a ladies' is a terrible solution, in addition to being totally unfair to the men in attendance.

K. Anne said...

When I tried to take pictures of Stitched East last year I was afraid for my life. I mean, really what do they think we are going to do with them?

Any of the yarns there we can order online (except dyed for show only colorways).

The knitwear? They are on display to sell the patterns and the yarns. If we wanted to make a knock-off we could just purchase the pattern and re-distribute it. No pesky squinting at blurry stitches on the photos.*

The gadgets and gewgaws? We can purchase them for prototypes (see * below), etc.

So if there is no "secret formula" to protect, then what's the big deal? A lot of vendors give their blessing when you ask if you can take pictures of their booths/stock. If anything the rule should be "ask first", not we threaten you with bodily harm if we even see you pressing a button.

For one thing the pics on blogs, etc. promote the show. Seeing photos from other peoples trips inspires me to attend an event or travel to a location. So what in the world are they protecting?

Next year: Metal Detectors that automatically filter out knitting needles, but spot those cameras and picture phones at 20 yards.

(* Not that I am advocating that course of action in any way, shape or form.)

PS. It sucks about the men's room. Honestly women wait all the time for the bathroom, so why should it be any different at an event? If they wanted it to be more equal to the flow of patrons of a certain gender, then they should have posted a "look-out/guard/bathroom monitor". Then when a man did need to use the facilities they could say amscray omenway. We have done things such as that at other functions when there was a gender overflow either way.

The Purloined Letter said...

Belatedly, I came up with a solution to try out on you: what if the women's rooms (which are all stalls) were turned into coed bathrooms and the men's rooms were turned into women's rooms?

I'm assuming here that the men who go to knitting conferences are forward thinking on gender issues but that some of the women who attending knitting conferences might not be quite so flexible.)

Anonymous said...

I have read some sites about legislation for women to go in men's room even with men using them when the women's room lines are long. I think that would be wrong. Yes, men maybe facing the urinals doing their business but when most men see women coming in to invade their male privacy, they may do some thing to make these women feel uncomfortable: expose themselves to them, going to the closed stalls to peek at these women, do "strip shows," install video cameras in stalls (and producing these videos online), and other sexual harassment. Most men are not that mature no matter the location (even at a symphony orchestra concert. Many of those concerts serve alcoholic beverages beforehand). Women may even bring their little girls in there as well, which creates a situation for pedophilia. In other words, the entire situation can be a set up for men to get arrested for these indecent acts.

Sexual situations would arise in teenagers, which can result in the spread of diseases and pregnancy. The women's room in school might be empty but some girls may want to go to the men's room to harass, tease, or seduce the boys. These situations also breed and can increase immorality. A lot of females believe that men should not have privacy against females to pee but believe that women should have that privacy against men.

Girls are taught to be private with their genitalia. Boys are not (and they should be). That is not fair for females to invade the privacy of men in the restrooms. It is not fair for males to go into (occupied) female restrooms. Therefore, let's continue to keep them separated by law and ethics.

One solution is to build more women's restrooms. Another is to build those co-ed restrooms where there are floor-to-ceiling doors to separate each toilet. Maybe later once devices like the She-Pee" and the "P-Mate" become more popular among women, more women's restrooms could be built with urinals. These items should be introduced into American society once the female urinals are built, meaning that those companies should give them our free for the first several months before selling them in dispensers. Women should sacrifice privacy if they want to zip in and out restrooms equipped with urinals.

Oh, the thing about restroom doors especially at stadiums where the men's room door is open and they can be seen urinating, these restrooms should be rebuilt. Those sinks (and even stalls) are hidden away from public view but the urinals with the men using them aren't. The men's rooms should be built with some type of barrier to shield outside view of women passing by (or women at the door sticking their heads in calling for their little boys to hurry up). Women and girls should not be allowed to watch men and boys pee. We don't get to watch females pee. Maybe this is an issue that the ACLU should take up.

Anonymous said...

For several years I had some issues concerning men's restrooms and why many of them are not "private" including when the doors frequently swing open, females that are passing by (or standing there to try and communicate to someone in there) can see men in plain view using the restroom due to the way the urinals are built in front of the doors (and not the sinks or stalls). Recently I have been hearing of rumors of proposed legislation, which, if passed, would allow females to go into male restrooms in emergencies and long lines even while males are using them.

I found a website called restrooms.org, read some of the issues of women waiting in long lines to use restrooms and some even going into the men's room while men are in there. It should be a law that should be enforced because if a man went into the ladies room, he would be ticketed, fine, jailed, ten-to-twenty, end-of-story.

Anonymous said...

As for co-ed bathroom design, I think that when you walk in the first thing you should see are the sinks. next you should see the toilet stalls where men and women use at any time. The last thing on the other side of the stalls should be the urinals since men are practically exposed when using them. Women would not have to walk that far in that co-ed restroom.

That restroom in Costa Rica is gross having the sink in between two urinals where women (and girls) would have a "free show" to see men (and boys) pee. There are no males watching females pee.

And if there comes a time when females are using devices such at P-Mate and She-Pee so that they can use urinals next to men, it is unfair for males to be exposed and the females covered with those devices. Men deserve privacy when they pee just as women deserve privacy.

Anonymous said...

Women, stay out of the men's rooms. why? Because it will cause numerous problems. Women would not be in an environment where they hear men fart , smell their crap, or smell the unflushed toilets with crap overflowing in abundance. Most stalls in men's rooms do not have toilet paper. Perverted men will be creative and think of many ways to intimidate women. For instance, the men will get quiet just to hear how the woman tinkles: "Oh, she's a gusher." "Oh, she may be a little pee-shy." "Oh, that's cute. I want to go in after her just to smell." Then they will look at the bottom of that stall to see what color panties she is wearing (when they are down to the floor). If she farts, the men will respond loudly and the woman will be too embarrassed to walk out of that stall. And she will try and glance at the men's penises at the urinals (or at the sinks if they are pissing in them). It is unfair for women to be granted privacy in restrooms and not men. Men have emergencies, too.

The establishments should do what they have to do to accommodate more women without invading the privacy of men. If there are two sets of restrooms, make one of the men's rooms a women's room, and have a sign pointing to the other set of restrooms where the other men's room is located that men can use. At that set, if there is a line of women at the women's room, have a sign pointing to that first set of restrooms where women are using exclusively. But beware.

One of these days this could lead to making all restrooms for women only and urinals will be built outside of the women's room for men to use (and women and little girls to watch them). To go beyond that, in movie theaters and concert halls where this takes place, there may be a side screen showing these men using these urinals (and the expressions on their faces).

Oh, and what is with the men's room doors are always open but the women's rooms are always closed? Isn't it proper etiquette for women to have doors already opened for them? No, society wants "men to be seen," especially at the urinals.


Okay, here is a great solution on expanding women’s restrooms in concert halls, movie theaters, stadiums, and other large venues where so many of them have to wait in long lines. In one, two or three of these major cities, one of those venues should rebuild the ladies’ room. Take those doggone couches and lounge chairs out of that area and build plumbing there. Install and wall or two full of urinals like in the men’s rooms. Let them have the divider between urinals (not latch doors like stalls).

After reading numerous articles about women can pee standing up (with and without any devices) and how many have done so is some surveys that indicate that over 80 percent have used men’s urinals, this is an opportunity to put it to the test. Take a crowded venue. It’s intermission, halftime, or the seventh inning stretch. A lot of women are standing in line with their bladders about to explode. If the women’s room have a wall of urinals and the toilet stalls are full while they are waiting, the power of suggestion (empty urinals = no waiting) will make women go to those urinals in this dire emergency and use them. The lines go down immediately. Those that don’t want to use the urinals can wait on the toilet stalls.

As more venues rebuild women’s restrooms and install more urinals, more women will know that they are available and can plan their outings accordingly. They can practice peeing standing up at home in the shower or bathtub. The female-oriented television channels and magazines can let women know that there is a solution. Women can insist on having urinals installed by petition, e-mail messages, to building contractors, owners of public establishments, “Potty Parity” legislation, and so on. Take a quote from a baseball story: “Build them and they will use them.” Now let’s see women using urinals in the movies like they show men using them.

online leather jacket said...

HI,I REALLY LIKE UR POST ,ITS ,really too GOOD