For the look of Relax in a worsted weight yarn, take a look at Worsted Boxy.

Finding the Right Words

margaretskirt.jpg
Dear Kay,
On Tuesday night, as I worked on this Margaret sweater, I thought about my sister-in-law Mary Neal, who designed this sweater for our book. She was texting me from Grant Park in Chicago, telling us about the crowd and the energy and which Jumbotron she was near, and I thought about the words I’m supposed to be figuring out to chain-stitch on this sweater. I realized that the words were going to come along before too long, and it was going to be a good sweater.
Sorry to be out of touch the past few days, but I’ve been BIZZY.
Busy talking on the phone to voters in parts of Tennessee I’ve never visited and having the most incredible conversations that followed the question I was told to ask in my script: “How are you doing today?”
If you ask, people will tell you about their fall-downs, their breakups, and the miserable son-in-law who took off with the car so now she can’t go vote. I know a lot about one woman’s three jobs all of which she hates and the health insurance that she does not have.
I’ve been very busy watching TV, and extremely busy zoning out and considering where we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going.
It’s extraordinary, this election of Barack Obama. I think a lot of us who live in the south find it especially gratifying. But as much as I celebrate the fact that our country has managed to elect its first African-American president, I have to say: my elation has more to do with the fact that we’ve just elected a writer.
I’m no presidential historian–maybe Millard Fillmore was good with a quill, I don’t know–but I can say with certainty that we have not had a writer in the Oval Office during my lifetime. Obama has given many speeches in the last two years, but none more elegant, appropriate, and spare than the one he gave on Tuesday night. Anybody who accuses Obama of demagoguery needs to go hear how he addressed his supporters in Grant Park. There’s none of that in what he said. It was sober stuff. (Text here.) I think it sets the tone for the months ahead. This is no picnic we’re heading toward. There’s no easy fix to be found.

This victory alone is not the change we seek — it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers — in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

I keep thinking about one of the voters I contacted in Hardin County, a rural part of the state that went 71%-28% for McCain. This guy, who sounded about 400 years old, had already voted for Obama, and he was remarkably cheerful. “I’m praying like heck for the guy. We all are. He’s what we need.”
I also had conversations with McCain supporters, one of whom reminded me that there wasn’t an Obama sign to be seen in all of Hardin County.
On the eve of the election, I got an email from Cat Bordhi. She sent along her thoughts about the knitted Moebius and the way it makes a sort of symbolic knitting as we work to overcome our divisions. Here’s her meditation. She writes:

The Moebius appears to have two surfaces and two edges–i.e., 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.

As I listened on Tuesday night, I heard Obama expressing those same thoughts:

While the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

Love,
Ann

120 Comments

120 Comments

  1. Proud Chicagoen here. A good friend gave me a KNITTERS FOR OBAMA PIN. My daughter took it from me! Four big votes Obama here at our house. My son turned 18 sunday and was thrilled to vote in this election.
    Proud to know ya, sort of, in a blog follower kind of way!

  2. PROUD MCCAIN FAMILY HERE!!!
    The way OBAMA supporters have mistreated MCCAIN supporters is very unkind considering they want to “HEAL” the rift between parties. Sick and tired of all the political rhetoric….

  3. I didn’t get a chance to watch obama’s speech, but reading the text just made me cry (right in class….god bless the Sidekick). I’ve been feeling overly sensitive lately for some reason, but the fact that someone “real” is in the oval office makes me proud to be an amrican when I’ve been ashamed of it for so long.
    Kudos for an excelent post :)

  4. Very well said. If we could have voted over here (the Netherlands), Obama would have been our choice as well. I hope all your expectations will come true and that this spirit of oneness may prevail in years to come.
    A Dutch knitter

  5. Wonderful post, and I couldn’t agree more. I loved how serious Obama was in his speech and how he called on all of us to work on healing our divides and improving our country. It was very inspiring, and I think that with his leadership we will be able to do it.

  6. Thank you for the wonderful post. Obama’s speech brought me to tears. I truly believe that he will be the man who will unite this country and restore America to our former glory. It won’t be easy and we are fighting an uphill battle, but we will prevail. After he had given his speech I turned to my family and said “You know for the first time in years I can honestly say I am truly proud to be an American!” God Bless President Obama!

  7. I have been thinking about that sweater but no clear choice of words was slowing me up (she says ignoring all the other issues…) I’ve got some words now!
    Thanks for post. Those get-out-the-vote calls were revealing to me. There were often loud crashes on my end as a stereotype would fall. Then there were the other sort of call but despite some of the responses, it felt like a great way to connect to community.
    DH and I have wedding rings that are mobius strips.
    Gerrie in StPaul

  8. Ann, very well said. We can all hope and pray and strive together as one America. Very proud indeed!

  9. It’s not often that you’re given the privilege of watching your country become better than it was, right before your eyes.
    I’m so happy my kids will be able to tell their grandchildren that they were there, they saw it happen. As I kept my younger one up to watch the election returns (older son was in Grant Park with his dad) I told him “My parents kept me up to watch man land on the moon. This is your moon landing.”

  10. I didn’t get a chance to watch obama’s speech, but reading the text just made me cry (right in class….god bless the Sidekick). I’ve been feeling overly sensitive lately for some reason, but the fact that someone “real” is in the oval office makes me proud to be an amrican when I’ve been ashamed of it for so long.
    Kudos for an excelent post :)

  11. I made so many calls around Louisiana, and I got a lot of bed-ridden people (turns out that’s who answers their phones during the day) but I got a lot of black families who had all already voted early as had anyone they knew. It was lovely.
    Your script sounds better than ours. I never knew when to say things like “How are you doing?” and how much of the “Obama is the change we need also please vote Democrat down-ticket” it was OK to cut out.
    And I certainly agree with you that the speech was so moving. I listened to it on the radio by myself, but I work in a largely African-American public school, and the teacher was showing them the speech (and occasionally pointing out parallel structure, allusions, and emotional language in order to make an educational experience) and the kids were just so excited that it was all worth it. Most of them won’t get to vote in 2012 (they’re 8th graders) but they really do believe they can do anything.

  12. A good day for all Americans, when Hope wins over fear. Healing from the election will come… after all, we Democrats somehow survived 8 years of what even Republicans admit was the worst President ever.
    We need to get past the race issue; President Obama will be the most ‘melting pot’ president we have ever had, a mix of the best of all of us. Let’s pray for his success, because his success will be our own.
    I knit feverishly through the Tuesday returns, then had to rip all out yesterday. That’s OK; it kept me from biting nails!

  13. With this election I feel that a deep and infected wound has been cleaned and bandaged. The wound is sore, but no longer festering. The wound will be tender and will take a long time to heal, but now I have the right healer looking it over. There will be a scar no doubt, but over time it will fade and this wound will become a story, then legend.
    I have so much hope, so much optimism that we will be safe, healthy and challenged to be our best.
    To the hurt McCain supporter, you are not cast aside, you are not scorned, you are an American and as your country-sister I say let’s work towards being the best that we can be…together. True bi-partianship, just like this election, comes from the ground up, from the roots of our society. If we demand that our leaders work together to better this country then we should too.

  14. I knew that you would hit the nail on the head and do so with great eloquence. Thank you for putting words to the feelings I can’t shake.
    From one very grateful and hopeful American who feels lucky to know someone like you.

  15. He brought me to tears with his humility and the way he reached out to all Americans. May we all follow that lead.

  16. For me it really comes down to this: We did the seemingly impossible by electing an African American president. (yes, we can!) Almost anything seems possible at this point. It’s given me new hope for this country and that we can get on the right track.
    And to the McCain supporter up top– I don’t agree with you, but let’s get beyond he said-she said and move towards that reconciliation.

  17. Just want the PROUD MCCAIN Family to know they are NOT alone. I appreciate the sentiment of Cat’s quote, but I don’t feel it right now. Obama still needs to prove himself to many of us.

  18. Wonderful post, Ann!

  19. Thank you for the beautiful post, Ann.

  20. What a great post. I am still exhausted from the elation. It is hard to describe to my kids what they have just witnessed. But it’s a joy to know that by the time they are voters, it will be commonplace to have people of color and women on the presidential ticket. Now I’ll have to knit a symbolic moebius.

  21. I agree that Obama is an unproven and unknown entity to many of us McCain supporters. As a Southerner and parent of bi-racial children, I would have loved to have voted for an african-american for President, but it would have been racist of me to vote for color alone when my own political views are so different.

  22. Independent moderate evangelical twentysomething who voted for Obama this year. It feels really good. :D I do have to give props to Senator McCain, though, for his concession speech. For real.
    What we need to do in the next four years is support the next president as much as conscience allows–but also remember that what makes America great is not her government, but her people. Let’s all be good Americans, regardless of what good or bad the future may hold.

  23. Not to take anything away from Obama (still elated, here!), but are you too young to remember the Carter White House? I think Jimmy Carter was and is a pretty darned good writer! :)

  24. Great post. Thanks. Tuesday night was one of those times in my life I will never forget. To the McCain supporters who are offended, I believe that Obama’s words included everyone. His point is that we can’t move forward as a country unless we all pull in the same direction.

  25. Very well said. In my opinion we have the right guy coming into office – but there is a tough road ahead for our nation.

  26. Beautiful. Thank you.
    (And WOW I’m excited to see that sweater).

  27. I was hoping this was an Obama/McCain free zone. It’s the first time I stopped reading a post before the end. I’m exhausted with politics.
    Can we go back to talking about pretty yarn I can’t afford to buy?

  28. I”m sure Obama has speechwriters, so the credit is not all his.

  29. There were a few, vocal, NASTY groups on _both_ sides (although I’ve only heard the death threats from the republican rallies…did only Obama have the bullet proof glass at his speech, or did McCain have it too?). It is, however, unconscionable to claim that someone is doing things that the average American thinks is bad or illegal, based soley upon rumor….this includes the stuff about birth certificates, socialism, and religion…all the rumors have been unfounded. We need BOTH Democrats and Republicans to stand up and tell all those rumor-mongers to knock it off. He IS going to be our president, and spreading rumors like that is UNPATRIOTIC. I’m sure he’ll make enough mistakes, they all do, so we will surely have enough facts to complain about!
    But after all that….WE DID IT!

  30. With this election I feel that a deep and infected wound has been cleaned and bandaged. The wound is sore, but no longer festering. The wound will be tender and will take a long time to heal, but now I have the right healer looking it over. There will be a scar no doubt, but over time it will fade and this wound will become a story, then legend.
    I have so much hope, so much optimism that we will be safe, healthy and challenged to be our best.
    To the hurt McCain supporter, you are not cast aside, you are not scorned, you are an American and as your country-sister I say let’s work towards being the best that we can be…together. True bi-partianship, just like this election, comes from the ground up, from the roots of our society. If we demand that our leaders work together to better this country then we should too.

  31. We are thinking of you all in New Zealand and hoping that indeed a new way of doing things will happens in the USA.

  32. I haven’t been so proud to be American as I have been this week – in many, many years. Where else can my neighbors, friends, and I have (very) heated disagreements on Monday, vote on Tuesday, and go back to being friendly neighbors and friends on Wednesday?

  33. I’m tearing up all over again.

  34. Beautifully said, Ann. And Yes.We.Can.
    (((hugs)))

  35. thank you for such a beautiful and eloquent post. i felt the same teary eyes i had on tuesday night coming back while reading.
    when i reached the end of your post i found myself looking around for the love button…
    love(1)

  36. thank you for such a beautiful and eloquent post. i felt the same teary eyes i had on tuesday night coming back while reading.
    when i reached the end of your post i found myself looking around for the love button…
    love(1)

  37. Every single knitblogger I read has revealed herself as an Obama supporter. What is it about knitters? Here in Massachusetts, the populace votes so reliably Democratic, that we feel we have little to do, aside from calling potential voters in other states; it must have felt quite different in Tennessee. I’ll be interested to see what phrases you put on your sweater. Speaking of phrases, the possibility exists that Obama wrote his own speech. He wrote his own books, after all. I wonder if McCain wrote his concession speech? It was also a very good speech.

  38. Well I guess us MCCain knitters just need to find another place to go and chat and share about our knitting, since the majority of this web community is obviously for Obama. I am very disappointed that The political rhetoric is continuing to spew. John McCain is a very classy (just like his wonderfully gorgeous wife), smart, hard working, prisoner of war, and has the more class and intelligence than Mr. Obama wishes he had. Would MR OBAMA, volunteer to serve his country in a time of war like John McCain and his family did.. I think not. He would probably be out orotesting. I am very disappointed that there is still veiled one sided unity… I guess this wondeful nation will soon be known as The United Socialist States of America. I might just go out and turn my flag upside down… for you who do not know, this means Distress.. We are now a country in Distress. Biden will be telling Obama what to do just like Cheney tells Bush. MCcain has already forgotten more than Obama could begin to learn, let alone the real life experience he has had including .. being shot down and brutally beaten and having the option to be let go early and he chose to stay… he didn’t want the other POW’S to think he was using his dad’s military connections.

  39. I’m pleased with Obama’s election, but heartbroken that my state, California, has voted to explicitly write lesbians and gay men out of its constitution. I would love to see Obama appoint an out lesbian or gay man to his cabinet as an example of respect for all–and have written and called him to say so. Interested in joining me?

  40. I’m pleased with Obama’s election, but heartbroken that my state, California, has voted to explicitly write lesbians and gay men out of its constitution. I would love to see Obama appoint an out lesbian or gay man to his cabinet as an example of respect for all–and have written and called him to say so. Interested in joining me?

  41. Dear Emerson, I hope you’ll be feeling better about everything soon. I’d like to assure you it’s not so bad living in America under a president you didn’t vote for and don’t like; I did it for eight long years. Obama won’t turn our country into a socialist hell any more than Bush turned it into an oligarchy run by his corrupt friends (though you probably don’t remember being afraid of that, LOL). Everything will be all right.

  42. that post seems too long for the sweater. I admire you for calling strangers (for whatever the cause). I live by caller id, don’t answer unless I know who it is, though wild horses could not have kept me from voting this time around.

  43. Funny. I’m a professor and the first thing I thought when I heard Obama was a former professor is “where are his writings”? Not much of a writer if you haven’t published anything as a prof.

  44. I can’t wait to see the finished sweater, with some of these fine words. I was very impressed with the election results (except that prop 8 business) and will be watching from north of the border with hope!

  45. I had the same experience, calling rural counties in SC. I’ll always remember the old lady who told me: “I’d crawl through fire to vote for Obama. You sound too young to know what it was like 60 years ago. Don’t you worry about me,honey, I’ll be there.”
    She’s right, I have no way of comprehending what it was like.

  46. This post made me cry all over again. My god, it is a great thing, not only to have a president who seems to embody the best of us, but also what that also means, which is that a majority of the country thinks so, too. I am only slowly realizing, over days, what that means to me.

  47. you are so on target and make me proud. Love, Dad

  48. you are so on target and make me proud. Love, Dad

  49. As I watched the election results come in, I had a profound sense of hope come over me and I cried. I had not felt that for a long time and did not realize how deep I had fallen. I cast on for some mitts for Afghans 4 Afghans. A small start towards looking out for each other.

  50. It was a great day for us all. I am very pleased with the outcome, and I say that as a person who admires many things about John McCain.
    Now the work begins!
    To your point about writers, I have not read Mr. Clinton’s biography, but I hear it is really quite good, and written by the man himself, as one would expect from a Yale- and Oxford-educated president.

  51. Wow! You’re really booking on that Margaret Sweater!! It looks great!

  52. I wish that I could be as starry eyed as so many are, but I’m afraid that the reality of Obama as President is going to come as a shock to most of his voters. Knitters are wonderful people, but lots of us voted with our hearts instead of our heads.

  53. AMEN SISTER!

  54. Obama has speech writers. Where possible, his words are on idiot boards left and right for him to read. He’s not so good extempore.

  55. Obama has speech writers. Where possible, his words are on idiot boards left and right for him to read. He’s not so good extempore.

  56. I have to defend our Southern presidents, both Clinton and Carter, who are quite eloquent writers and orators, although some would say Clinton is more a storyteller than a writer…
    Dear McCain ones, some of you are in my family, and you are still trying to hurt, not heal, and seeing hate where there is no hate. The one thing about Obama that truly impressed me these last few weeks was his ability to ignore, to a degree, the fiction others were attempting to create about him.
    I guess I’ll have to go read his books now… secretly, away from my family…

  57. If Obama is such a good writer, how come he didn’t write any legislation while serving as a Senator? Or as a state Rep? Guess there are no advances for legislation like there are for book deals….

  58. Thank you so much for your wonderful post. I have long been a fan of your books, your blog, your humor, your art and creativity – and now your humanity and political views.

  59. There is new information coming out that he did not actually write his own books. Bill Ayers apparently was heavily involved, according to analysis of writing style, vocabulary, sentence length, etc. Just saying.
    I don’t think McCain voters are hateful – we are worried.

  60. Well said, Ann, a great post. I did a bunch of calls myself. Had to be at the Obama office at 6:30am on election day for my last hurrah (and for a night person this was painful!!!). I want to add to the comments from the McCain supporter. When McCain mentioned Obama in his concession speech, his crowd booed. I was taught that was rude and something you just don’t do. When Obama mentioned McCain in his speech in Grant Park, the crowd cheered. That’s class. Who’s mistreating whom? It was an historic moment and I’m proud to have been a small part of it. I have hope, finally.

  61. To McCain supporters: I respect the sacrifices made by Sen. McCain, and my vote for Sen. Obama in no way diminishes that respect. Neither Sen. McCain nor his supporters were rebuked or insulted in anyway by Ann’s post or by Obama’s speech. In 2000, President Bush called for the country to come together and in the initial years of his administration, even people who had worked hard to defeat him at the polls tried to answer that call. (I speak from experience!) I hope now that we can find areas of agreement where we can work together to help heal our country which, by any measure, surely is grievously wounded right now. It all starts by finding areas of agreement – which might start out being a topic as inconsequential as knitting – and talking respectfully together.

  62. Excellent post. This time reminds me of what Gerald Ford said when he took the oath of office: “Our long national nightmare is over.” We are hope-filled again.

  63. Actually, I feel sorry for anyone who would have been elected President these next four years. They have a very tough road ahead of them. One man alone cannot save the whole country.

  64. Thanks Quinn for the president Carter reference. The only name that came to mind was President John F. Kennedy, for Profiles In Courage (before your time, Ann), but I was thinking there had to be more.
    I, too, appreciated the Cat Bordhi e-mail. I forwarded it to several friends. None of whom knit, but I didn’t give a hoot!
    Ann, the sweater is looking goood! I know you’ll embroider something wonderful on it. If I had a vote–and i don’t ‘cos it’s not my sweater–I’d hope to somehow see a bit of your wonderful humor sittched (no pun intended)on there…
    LoveDiane

  65. I’m sad that some McCain supporters are feeling so frightened. I remember how I felt 4 years ago, and no one should have to go through that.
    Cat’s words are beautiful. Let’s start tracing that edge together.

  66. Beautifully stated. As someone who was in high school during the tumultuous 60s, it was with a great deal of pride that I cast my vote for a person of color: pride that our country has come so far, despite its flaws and despite the many social justice issues that still remain unsolved. If this has happened in my lifetime, then surely I will also live to see a woman prevail at the polls. In the words of Bruce Springsteen, whose song was played after Obama’s speech at Grant Park, “Come on up for the rising!”

  67. I didn’t hear the speech on Tuesday night, but I read a transcript Wednesday and watched it this morning. I’m still tearing up, just thinking about it. I never really expected to live through one of those moments in history when something great is achieved, the sort of moment that I’ll be telling my kids and grandkids about some day. I’ve never been prouder of my country or prouder to serve it (I’m a naval officer).
    I also thought McCain’s concession speech was one of the classiest I’ve ever heard. His behavior of the past few days (from Saturday on, pretty much) has restored my opinion of him to where it was a few years ago, before he started letting his party push him around. I think McCain has a good sense of the cooperation that is required now to achieve our goals and that he will work hard to encourage that cooperation.
    I think we all know that there are hard times ahead, but I firmly believe that with patience, humility, humor, and hard work we really can rebuild our country and start living up to our potential instead of down to our fears.

  68. I too was busy making ‘get out the vote’ calls on Tuesday. No campaigning, just asking folks to vote. It was wonderful to hear how enthusiastic everyone was about voting, if they hadn’t already. I appreciated Sen. Obama’s challenge to us to expect hard work and a challenge to answer the call. Although I was disappointed in many of the things said by the McCain campaign, I found his concession speech moving and encouraging. At the end, I turned to my husband and said, “THAT is the man I might have voted for.” I pray that we can all realize we have larger and more serious things to work for than picking at old wounds. But it is a matter of how each person chooses to live their own life. No?

  69. Thank you for this wonderful post and for the wisdom of Cat Bordhi as well. As an outsider to US politics, it’s interesting to read these comments as well – I don’t think any of the obvious “pro-Obama” commenters (so far) have attacked McCain or the Republicans, whereas many of the obvious “pro-McCain” commenters have attacked Obama or the Democrats. Such a shame. Both Obama’s and McCain’s speeches on Tuesday were inspirational and I hope the people of the US can take the best things of both and work together.

  70. My brother holds me personally responsible for the fact Virginia went Democratic. It was a wonderful night. I registered voters in Alabama in the 60s. And I never thought I would see this day.
    I was very sad to see McCain supporters booing him. Very sad.
    I think Obama is the right person to try and heal the nation. If he can overcome the nastiness of talk radio. I am hoping he can help people to turn away from the hate fest that has been going around the past eight years.
    We shall see

  71. Might I suggest that everyone visit Knittersreview.com, and read the article about the common threads that bind us together as knitters? There is commonality.

  72. Lovely post.

  73. Personally, I am sick at my stomach in relation to the election and sick at my stomach regarding all the pro-BO rhetoric I am reading here. You all are going to be SO disappointted in your “golden boy” in a year’s time.
    As for me, as a knitter, I am not a blind follower of the status quo. I haven’t bought the new book yet and have no intention of doing so now that I have read all the BO love-fest crap. I know you will never miss my money, but I could never buy it in good conscience now.

  74. Deb, Emerson, Cindy, anyone else who feels hurt and angry:
    I wish I could explain how it feels to have lived in a formerly communist country where people’s votes did NOT count, and to watch them take to the streets and demand that their voices be heard. I feel so proud of our country for our unique and *stable* democracy. President Bush has signaled his (more-than) willingness to work with the president-elect to ensure that a transfer of power will go smoothly. Do you know how rare this is in this world?
    Those of us who were disappointed in Bush’s election did not hesitate to stand behind him when our country was threatened. We did not move to Canada. We stayed and worked for change because we love our country, not because we think it is perfect, but because we love it even in its imperfect state.
    I cannot share your anger and disappointment now, and I know that I cannot ask you to simply offer it up and move on.
    I do, however, hope that one day we will all be able to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. And in the meantime, we can knit.
    Love,
    Mary Neal

  75. Deb, Emerson, Cindy, anyone else who feels hurt and angry:
    I wish I could explain how it feels to have lived in a formerly communist country where people’s votes did NOT count, and to watch them take to the streets and demand that their voices be heard. I feel so proud of our country for our unique and *stable* democracy. President Bush has signaled his (more-than) willingness to work with the president-elect to ensure that a transfer of power will go smoothly. Do you know how rare this is in this world?
    Those of us who were disappointed in Bush’s election did not hesitate to stand behind him when our country was threatened. We did not move to Canada. We stayed and worked for change because we love our country, not because we think it is perfect, but because we love it even in its imperfect state.
    I cannot share your anger and disappointment now, and I know that I cannot ask you to simply offer it up and move on.
    I do, however, hope that one day we will all be able to agree to disagree without being disagreeable. And in the meantime, we can knit.
    Love,
    Mary Neal
    P.S. To Mary K. in Rockport, ummmmm, I have to say that I don’t think you’re right about the political leanings of knitbloggers. Plenty of knitters are conservatives, and to imply differently is, I think, a bit disrespectful. Please try to play nice, everybody, there are some really wounded feelings out there, and to say that those feelings (1) are not legitimate, and (2) that people with those feelings need to “get over it” is profoundly disrespectful.
    Just sayin’.

  76. TO those (including my parents) who are saying “just wait a year and you’ll be sorry” and “Obama supporters were so mean to McCain supporters”…
    Please stop with the hate-mongering and revel in the hope with the rest of us that this change will make a difference, and that difference will affect all of us as a WHOLE, in a positive way.
    We cannot hate each other and move forward from this place of pain. We cannot have a president whom people loathe so wholly and grow.
    We cannot be a progressive nation, one that changes and evolves as necessary in today’s world with people threatening the man who, like it or not, is our leader.
    He’s a man. Trying to do a very large job in turning this derailing train around and make it better for ALL of us, not just the oligarchy, as mentioned in an earlier comment.
    We cannot be a UNITED States of America without the Red, White AND Blue.
    Please love your neighbor, love your family, and attempt to at least tolerate your president.
    I am proud today to say that President-Elect Obama is MY president too.

  77. Thank you, Ann. You are truly a writer.
    I teach second grade in a school where we did not talk about the candidates beyond their personal stories that were available in picture books. It was so interesting to hear (and read in their journals) their reactions to the election.
    “No matter who our parents vote for, it will still be history. Either the first girl vice president will be elected, or the first boy African American president.”
    From a kindergartner whose parents (who told me this story) were fervent Palin supporters on the morning after the election, “I guess we all should cheer for Obama now!”
    “Can you believe we actually elected Obama??”
    “Do you think they will write about this election the way we read about Jackie Robinson?”
    *************
    I appreciated the words of McCain’s speech on Tuesday night. He, too, seemed to understand the time and the need for reconciliation. I live in one of the reddest states in the country, so the election was not all over the TV and radio until the last days. So, unlike other elections (when we were counting every vote and chad), I did not feel the rancor that others have.
    I just watch the images of all those older African American voters and I am moved to tears every single time. I have always loved voting, even when I knew my person was going down to defeat. Watching so many Americans vote makes me truly proud to be an American. My father was a career soldier in the US Army and a naturalized American. He fought so that people everywhere could vote and he would be so pleased with those long lines and high voting percentage.
    PS Are you going to wear your sweater to the Inauguration parade, Ann?

  78. Lovely. Thank you.

  79. Lovely. Thank you.

  80. If anyone looks at the different political groups on a popular knitting and crocheting website,it’s quite apparent where the majority of hate speech comes from.On the radio and TV hate has spewed forth in the name of parody the past 8 years towards a man who is far from perfect, but has kept our nation safe. Hopefully your “messiah” will be able to do the same.I also hope when mistakes are made, Omama will be able to take the criticism as well as George Bush has.
    May GOD continue to BLESS America

  81. If anyone looks at the different political groups on a popular knitting and crocheting website,it’s quite apparent where the majority of hate speech comes from.On the radio and TV hate has spewed forth in the name of parody the past 8 years towards a man who is far from perfect, but has kept our nation safe. Hopefully your “messiah” will be able to do the same.I also hope when mistakes are made, Omama will be able to take the criticism as well as George Bush has.
    May GOD continue to BLESS America

  82. Although Ohio was a blue state this year, my county was so red it vibrated. It is just a wonder to me that, no matter which party is elected, we are still one people, one country, one state, one county, and one family all still working and hoping for the best for all of us. and my first ammendment rights still allow me to say, “God Bless America.”

  83. Right on.
    *(showing my age a bit)*

  84. Obama supporter here. McCain showed his lack of judgement by choosing unqualified Palin. If he had had a better vp lots of people wouldn’t have been so turned off.

  85. Ann has made a very thoughtful post and expressed her views kindly and politely. Unfortunately, this sometimes brings out a few very negative comments, some insults, and even shouting. If you refuse to buy her book(s) because of some comments posted here, you are unfairly punishing her.
    I am a conservative, I voted for McCain, and Ann has written nothing here that offends me. I like her and Kay and their books.

  86. I couldn’t have said it better, Ann. And thank you to the Obama supporters and most of the McCain supporters for being so mature about the posts. Let the healing begin!
    Knit on!

  87. I was very moved by your comments today. I have been wanting to write to a group of friends, some of whom have become very polarized, and you have provided some wonderful material to draw upon. Thank you! Jo

  88. All 3 of your excerpts gave me chills!
    I want to commend you for using this blog platform in a positive way, and I also want to say that you have some very articulate comm enters/readers in this listing who should be quite proud of their OWN writing skills. I imagine their knitting is similarly well put-together.
    Thank you!

  89. Couldn’t agree more with this post. I loved Letters From My Father so much. And as an Illinoisan (Oak Park) who frequently emails her reps on issues that are of concern, let me say that Barack Obama has sent thoughtful responses that delineate his position not just “yeah I agree with you” replies. I’ve loved that, not only does he share my values & positions on most issues, but he explains why he thinks that way. He give complex responses & I for one really appreciate that. I will really miss having him as my senator but I think we all felt that we wouldn’t have him to ourselves for long & I’m happy to share him with the world. I think that he may have the most difficult task any president has ever had & I may not always agree with him 100% but he will have enough respect for the electorate to honestly explain his positions (& not change them with the polls).

  90. If you’re going to write about your political preferences you have to be able to take the heat from the other side. If you can’t you shouldn’t be doing it. I am amazed at the “craft” bloggers that choose to get into the political arena and then are surpised that some people have heated opionions. You get what you ask for!

  91. The proof is in the pudding. He says one thing, but his record hasn’t support his language. I hope he comes through and is truly bipartisan. If they pass a “Fairness” Doctrine, we know it was all just pretty words. If they pass the Freedom of Choice Act, we know he didn’t really want to be everyone’s president.

  92. i was born 1930 depression days
    in mrs brokows rooming house
    and some of my family in the midwest
    held office state and local
    this is now the year 2008 soon 2009
    except for this internet connection
    nothing new has been said and is
    this all you have to offer me
    so many people are hurting again
    and it will get worse been there
    done that – do better this time

  93. Thanks for such a wonderful and thought-provoking post Ann. I was not only struck by Obama’s speech, but also by McCain’s speech as well.
    It is also extremely helpful to read Cat’s take on the moebius and the political scene today. It stresses the importance of how things are not black and white, but more like shades of gray.
    Still, I can hardly believe all that’s happened these past few days and everytime I read another account of it all, it brings tears to my eyes. I remember standing in the voting booth, marking in the boxes, quietly taking part in a historic moment…it’s just amazing that we can all participate in this democratic act. Thanks for writing such a great post. ek.

  94. :) thank you Ann.

  95. I’m so glad you wrote about your wonderful new president-elect. I read about him in the Globe and Mail and the United Church of Canada Observer. I feel it is a victory for intellect and compassion. Well done!

  96. A political comment from one who usually only has opinions on whether it’s too hot to be knitting wool: I was raised as a white child in a south that didn’t treat black children the same. A good friend of mine marched with Dr. King as a young man. He lived in that south and suffered that discrimination. Working with him helps me know what a breakthrough Tuesday night was. Voters I know did not chose a candidate based on race but based on what they believed about his ability. I love people on both sides of the blue/red discussion. At no time did I hear someone say they thought that one candidate was not capable because of race but instead they formed their opinions based on experience or issues. That’s the miracle of 2008 in my mind. That’s why the timing of the Margaret sweater is right on too. We can all say something from our heart using our two sticks and a string. And I think both Ann and Kay would want us to pick our own thing and say it loud. Ok back to those needles now.

  97. A thought. The words for your sweater…could totally come from Obama’s speech. There are so many great thoughts in there. Did someone already mention this? I didn’t have the time to read through all the comments.

  98. Politics aside, I’d like to hear more about those moebius wedding bands mentioned by Gerrie early on in the comments – I’ve never seen such a thing, and they sound cool!

  99. Thanks for a lovely post. This is a moving occasion not because of Obama the man but because of where we are as a nation. (But he is a writer! He writes most of his own speeches. His assistant (one primary one) has learned his style and ideas, and makes suggestions–the product is his own. Not an “in-basket” kind of guy. And he was never a professor who would have had to publish, he was a lecturer. Big difference. I found his books well worth reading, he’s been thinking seriously about policy for years and is suprisingly centrist and practical.) I hope we all will give each other a break. As was said, it’s we who will be doing the work, and now is not the change, it’s the beginning of the change.

  100. Thanks for a lovely post, and it’s so good to see how the positive comments outnumber the negative ones. So hard to understand the hate, even harder to believe it has nothing to do with racism. I hope that when Obama proves to be one of, if not the best president we’ve elected, some of these folks will be able to evolve. I can’t imagine how anyone could listen to Obama’s speech and not “get” that this man has nothing but the best intentions for leading our country. After 8 years of lies and a senseless war, I feel so blessed to be alive in these times!

  101. Loved what you said, Ann. I did the Pennsylvania calls, and held signs in New Hampshire. My husband and I watched Obama’s Grant Park speech and as I glanced over at the DH, I saw tears running down his face. President-elect Obama touches people from every age group and heritage. Hopefully, we can all put the nastiness of this election behind us and be patriots, supporting our new president.

  102. Voted for McCain, loved both his Concession speech and Obama’s acceptance speech. Both very gracious…I was proud of both of them (and their speechwriters of course!).
    As for the post…I thought it was very nice. I really, really liked the part about the Moebius.
    I swear, someday I really am going to take up knitting…

  103. Thank you to everyone who took the time and thought to post their opinions here, and especially to Ann. Yes, this is a knitting/fiber/crafty blog, but I love that we get to hear about the intersection of knitting with the rest of Ann & Kay’s lives. I love the stories about the adult holding area at the skatepark, refinishing the chairs at the cabin, craft rivalry, and heart-lifting optimism during a time of political change. It is just so refreshing to hear what real people think it means, rather than be told what to think by political professionals on TV. The media will never be able to convey the real diversity of our experiences, so I’m happy to hear it straight from the people here.

  104. I know you try to keep the blog and politics separate but I am so glad you put this post up. This election victory means so much not just to the United States but to the rest of the world. I am so pleased you voted in your first African-American president I can’t tell you. I always knew that America was better and could aim higher than the US government policies of the last eight years seemed to demonstrate. Welcome back.

  105. I know you try to keep the blog and politics separate but I am so glad you put this post up. This election victory means so much not just to the United States but to the rest of the world. I am so pleased you voted in your first African-American president I can’t tell you. I always knew that America was better and could aim higher than the US government policies of the last eight years seemed to demonstrate. Welcome back.

  106. P.S. to Mary Neal. I would like to clear up a misunderstanding. I did not say, or imply, that ALL knitters are progressives, nor did I voice any disrespect to anyone. What I did say was that the knitbloggers whom I read, an obviously self-selected group, have turned out to be pleased with the election of Barack Obama. There is plenty of room in the world for voters and knitters and opinions of many sorts.

  107. Reading this thread made me laugh all over again thinking of this week’s SOUTH PARK. While the main action happens elsewhere, in South Park the Obama supporters all get drunk and run around screaming and dancing, while the McCain supporters weep, wail and fight for space in a bunker. Even if you don’t normally like/watch the show, this one is hilarious.

  108. I’ve always been a big fan of deeds over words, so I did not swoon over President elect Obama’s fine speeches ever. I feel that conservatives did not have a dog in this fight and that McCain is really not a leader with sound and clear principles, which is why he failed so miserably on the financial bailout and lost this election.
    That said, both men performed admirably on the campaign trail. For all of you who think that McCain was nasty or negative, just remember that he was doing the work that the media should have done long before the primaries. Tom Brokaw had the gall to said to Charlie Rose last weekend, “We really don’t know this guy. We don’t know what he reads or who his political heroes are.”
    That was their job, and in that comment both men proved that they failed the American population dismally.
    I’m happy that so many Americans are proud of their country – I’m proud that we have almost put race behind us. I understand the inclination to vote for someone who finally broke the last hurdle, but we as members of a democracy have a responsibility to look beyond the pretty rhetoric for substance and true leadership. I sure hope that Mr. Obama can demonstrate that in teh months to come. His history does not demonstrate this, and his choice of Chief of Staff puts all thoughts of a bi-partisan WH to bed.

  109. Thanks for this insight, Ann. I enjoyed meeting you briefly in Seattle last month; I think it was only then that I realized you, too, are primarily a writer–and one of the funniest people around. I knew you were funny on the internet, but in person too–wow. Wish I lived in Nashville, almost.
    I can’t pretend to understand the folks who are upset with this post–I’m trying, but I think you & Kay do this for us, work hard on this blog and your books, and it’s your space. You’re not public servants, elected and paid by us, for example.
    I guess I feel kinda annoyed that after 8 years of feeling shut out–remember 2003? If you don’t, watch the Dixie Chicks movie, to remember how it felt to be voiceless in our country, to remember how we suddenly weren’t supposed to have a right to free speech if we disagreed with the president–and Obama’s speech directly said “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.” That let me know for sure that the voters made the right choice.
    So let our voices rise and be heard!!
    xox

  110. I’m back with hilarity from my husband (glad I married him after 9 years of living in sin). “Too bad they’re not [elected officials],” he quips while making breakfast for me, my sister and her twin babies. “Maybe then we’d see a return of wig-wearing in politics.”
    I didn’t tell him yet about the wigs going MIA. Would hate to upset him before he finishes cooking.

  111. Although I did not vote for Obama, I hope his vision comes true. I hope he can pull this country up by it’s bootstraps and get them marching in step together. It won’t be easy and people are going to have to understand that everyone is going to have to take action and it won’t be just us working people sharing our wealth with those that don’t want to work. It took a lot of courage and determination for both of these candidates to run for office of President. Seriously, in the shape our country is in, who would want to take that kind of responsibility? In good shape, running our country turns your hair gray.
    I’m ready to put my big girl pants on and help make things better. Put your hard feelings and disappointments in the closet and pitch and maybe, just maybe we will all win.

  112. I am a blue voter in a blue county in a blue state. I am surrounded by people who think it’s OK to put “F*CK BUSH” on their bumper and all manner of unkindness. It bothers me, and I address it when I see it. We’re not going to get anywhere with hateful, fearful speech on either side. It wasn’t so long ago we had the “Impeach Clinton and Her Husband Too” rhetoric…the pendulum swings, and it’s the classy folks who keep the crap off their shoes.
    When I heard some of my students were taking McCain magnets off of cars, and that my conservative students didn’t feel comfortable wearing McCain t-shirts to school, I talked with my students about it. Dialogue and diversity and civility (along with public schools and freedom of the press, but I digress) are the cornerstones of our democracy.
    I didn’t vote for Bush, but I respected him because he’s my president and half of my community, my nation, voted for him. I worked to change some of his/his parties policies, but I worked within the system. I tried to understand his appeal, and I thought hard about how my own party can overcome some of its own weaknesses.
    Thank you for sharing your experience, Ann.

  113. The Bush imposition has been a dark time for these United States. Obama gives me new hope that our country will again live up to the collective promise of America instead of retreating into state-sponsored and state-stoked fear of the Other.
    McCain supporters have a right to feel disappointed about the election. However, it pains me to see how misinformed so many of his supporters are about Obama’s life, views, and policy positions. There is a wealth of cognitive dissonance and a dearth of critical thinking. I wish people would use their brains (and snopes.com, and factcheck.org) just a bit more. Ignorance is NOT strength!
    I will happily buy the new M-D book to offset the commenter who said they would not.

  114. Tennessee will turn blue next time, let’s hope! Thanks for the good work you did. I’ll buy your book too. Better luck next time, McCain supporter, but it’s hard to feel sorry for you after eight years of Bush leaving us with a big ol’ mess. McCain deserves great respect for his service to this country – but it wasn’t his time. And Palin? A joke, and we would have been the punch line. So come on over where it’s warm and sunny, on the right side of history. Thanks Kay and Ann!

  115. I totally agree.

  116. We have elected America’s first black president. Americans of all ethnicities decided that the black man was the best person for the job. This means we are evolving into something better.
    I can’t stop thinking how ironic it will be, when a black man will be the person who brings us together and leads us all out of the mess we are presently in, after black people had to fight for their civil rights in this country.

  117. I really love the sweater and where you’re going with it! That’s impetus for me to finish the…let’s see…4 sweaters I’ve got started right now and start that one!
    (I think it’s just lovely. As are you.)

  118. I wish that the people who are unhappy about the results of the election could have seen what I saw on Tuesday night. Thousands of young people took to the streets in Berkeley, CA, waving flags, singing the national anthem, high-fiving and embracing each other. I’d never seen anything like it and found it more moving than anyone’s words that night. And this scenario occured in communities throughout the nation.
    McCain was very gracious in his concession speech. Time for his supporters to learn from his example.

  119. Sorry to be late to the party. Loved your post even more than usual. WRT other presidential writers, though, I’ve read George Washington’s correspondence with his gardener (while he was fighting the Revolutionary War, no less) and I have to say I would like to have known that guy and talked plants with him.

  120. Great post …one of my favorites. I think our country is up to the challenge. Soon we will settle down and realize that, as always, we do rise and fall together.