Saturday, December 28, 2002

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Really, all you need to become a good knitter are wool, needles, hands, and slightly below-average intelligence. Of course, superior intelligence, such as yours and mine, is an advantage.--Elizabeth Zimmermann

Well...I dunno, EZ. "Slightly below-average intelligence" hasn't helped some "knitters" much.

Knit It and FCEK Reviews
Gave them a down 'n' dirty review on the No Affiliation page.

Sweaters From Camp and Ruminations About Fair Isle
So one of my best Christmas presents came from DM Elly, who gave me the aforementioned book. Thanks, Ma! (There's nothing better than having a mother who is your knitting partner-in-crime and general enabler.) I'd been wanting this since Stitches East but Elly decided it would solve her what-to-give-Marilyn problem.

I've got all the major Fair Isle books--Starmore's, Feitelson's, MacGregor's--and a few other, lesser-known books on the subject. Sweaters From Camp has the best technical section on Fair Isle that I have ever read, bar none. There's info here that you'll find nowhere else. So for my money, that's worth the price ($39 or so) alone. I was somewhat less enchanted by the designs...not that in 38 patterns you're not going to find some uglers. And really, most of the designs are nice enough and some are spectacular. The Shirt-tail Tunic by Feitelson, Autumn Color Fair Isle cardigan by Betts Lampers, and the Fair Isle Pullover with Vertical Stripes by Jane Hill are three that I thought were totally splendiferous.

But there are a fair number of designs that use the most garish of colors...and historically, if you look at the famous painting of Edward VII wearing his Fair Isle vest, it would seem that would have been the case. Certainly, it's a matter of taste. But shades of aqua and then a firehouse red border? Nah. Didn't do it for me. In fact, there were two other garments where bright aqua plays a leading part. But that's a small quibble and I won't be making those sweaters anyhoo. And I figure, if there are at least five that I do want to make--and there are--then the book is welcome on my shelf.

I think that what really makes a Fair Isle sweater appealing and challenging to knit is the subtlety and the amount of shading used in progression through the motifs. Starmore understands this concept fully, as does Ann Feitelson and Ron Schweitzer, one of my favorite newer Fair Isle designers. It's a rare talent, putting together color artfully, that few designers possess. I can only wish that I had it.

Gettin' Knitty-ish
I'm really pleased! Amy has accepted a sock design AND an article from me for the next issue. The socks are done, the article is written, and no, I'm not giving anything away except to say that the socks are done in Koigu. Only Loopy has seen them at this point. Everyone else waits until March publication. This is one magazine that I happily support and have from the beginning. Would that the others learn by example...but they probably won't.

Achim's Socks Redux
I really am tired of making socks at this point, though. I've made 4 pairs of Achim's Socks now, plus the design for Knitty, and I think it's back to sweaters for me. In the meanwhile, Achim's in Brisbane, it's 110 degrees there and I betcha he ain't wearing the socks! Heh! Beach weather! I should have knit him one of those sexy bikinis European guys wear...but that's way too HYUK-ish and Chin-ese for me.'s another thing. I had given some thought as to doing directions for some of the Staples' ad knitrocities, just for a yuck, particularly the hat, which I loved. My friend Pat thinks I would be better served by knitting the mousepad, but that's referred to in the ad as macramed. If I can get a good look at the hat, I can do the directions. Don't egg me on...not that I need egging.

Do you think people were screaming bloody murder about the ad because THEIR knitting looks like that? Some kind of transcendental recognizance or some such shit? Methinks the knitters protesteth too much.

A green knitted octopus.

How handy! And not as rare in knitting as we might think, I think....

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