Knitting as subversion
Quail Ridge Books & MusicWant change you can believe in? Betsy Greer suggests, in addition to whatever Barack produces, that you step away from the computer, declare your independence from mass everything, and knit. Her book, Knitting for Good! A Guide to Creating Personal, Social & Political Change, Stitch by Stitch, is as much about the subversive side of knitting as the how-to. When the culture speeds up, says Greer, that’s the time to slow down, simplify and recognize that most of the crap flying by on the radar screen is taking the world, and you, in the wrong direction. Whereas that sweater you knit for your niece, nephew or favorite charity takes you in the right directionand you can make it while contemplating the really important things, like friendship, love and wool. Ms. Greer, a resident of Carrboro, earned her master’s degree in sociology with a thesis on knitting, the do-it-yourself culture and community development. That led to craftivism.com (craft + activism = craftivism) and a philosophy of craft as “a way of rejoicing, passing time, meditating, harnessing power, sharing and keeping creative forces in motion.” Plus, you get leg warmers. She’s at 3522 Wade Ave. at 7:30 p.m. Bob Geary

Christmas Traditions
Pullen Park and the State CapitolLights and decorations, carousel rides, visits with Santa. It’s not at the mall, it’s at Pullen Park, where the annual Holiday Express event kicks off in Raleigh tonight. Maybe you think you’re too old to ride the Santa Express Train, but in this economy, who doesn’t have a couple of requests for the jolly guy. The fun happens 4-9 p.m. through Dec. 14. Advance tickets, highly recommended, are $5 at the Pullen Park ticket office (831-6468).

Tonight is also when outgoing Gov. Mike Easley lights the state Christmas tree on the Capitol grounds at 5 p.m. Visitors can tour the Capitol building, decorated for the holiday. Then on Union Square, Bicentennial Plaza and in surrounding museums, the Junior Women’s Club of Raleigh hosts music and kids’ activities, all free until 7:30 p.m. Fiona Morgan