Saturday, May 31, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"If toast always lands butter-side down, and cats always land on their feet, what happen if you strap toast on the back of a cat and drop it?"
--Steven Wright

Sadly, Milo did not land on his feet. I had him put down yesterday. He had stopped drinking, was unresponsive, and it was clear to me that he was not going to pull this one off. Thanks to everyone who commented or wrote to me. I can't tell you how much those gestures meant.

So here's to you, my mangy bag o' fur. I know you've left a bit of yourself in every piece I've knitted for the past 11 years. May there be many balls of wool for you to play with, wherever you may be.

And unlimited shrimp too.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Hi knitting people of the ether....

I'm taking a short hiatus until at least this weekend. Got one very ill Milo kitty on my hands and he needs tending back from the brink. Potential renal failure from an infection, according to the vet, but he's (Milo, not the vet) improved vastly since yesterday. Still, Milo's 11 and with this serious a situation, you never know.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"The French are just useless. They can't organize a piss-up in a brewery."
--Elton John

Allons enfants de la patrie, le jour de gloire ete arrive. Sorry, no accents grave available.

Edith Eig's True Roots Story
You know, every time I've read about Edith Eig and her La Knitterie Parisienne on the lists and elsewhere, I've always wondered if she could be the same Edith who once owned The Canvas Pad on Rte. 46 in Parsippany, NJ, where I used to go to buy the occasional needle and sock yarn.

Well, after all, how could it be the same person? After all, Edith Eig is the LYSO to the Hollywood stars, such talented knitters that they aren't (Goldie Hawn excepted).

So I did a Google to see if I could find out if my hunch was correct--that Parsippany Edith was one and the same as Beverly Hills Edith. I mean, Martha Stewart grew up in Nutley, NJ. Why couldn't Edith Eig get her LYS start in Parsippany?

Well, son of a bitch. It is the dear, sweet, continentally confused and badly bleached blonde Edith that I knew who sold all the crappy French yarn you didn't want from her shop. Anny Blatt, Phildar, Pingouin, and a host of other, totally unappealing glitzy Euro-trash "fibers." Here's her story--it's a bit long, but does show a picture of her shop on Rte. 46, although it mentions neither Parsippany nor New Jersey.

It's apparently only cool to be from NJ if you're Bruce or Jon or Jack or Bruce Willis. It doesn't fly for the ladies, evidently.

I remember well when she decided to sell the shop and move. It must have been about 7 or 8 years ago. She simply couldn't flog her stuff to the local knitters and told me that she wanted to move out to California to be with her kids. I only went into The Canvas Pad occasionally (she did sell needlepoint) because the place was such a disorganized mess, only she and her husband could find anything. That precluded meandering around looking and feeling stuff. And she'd follow you around if you decided to be independent and wander off upstairs where she couldn't see you (like there was anything you'd want to steal). The Canvas Pad was an old Victorian house and the store occupied both floors.

I'm glad to see that La Knitterie Parisienne seems to be a tad neater than her old digs. And clearly she's making far more money and getting far more publicity than she ever would have in Parsippany. I never found her particularly helpful when it came to knitting advice. But then, I never asked.

Ah, Edith Eig. Knitting purveyor to the Knitting Curmudgeon.

Now, is that rare, or what?

Saturday, May 17, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"A cap of good acid costs five dollars and for that you can hear the Universal Symphony with God singing solo and the Holy Ghost on drums."
--Hunter S. Thompson

Rumor has it that Jean Moss is gigging with the Purly Kings at the Knitting Factory in NYC tonight...

(Thanks to the KnitFlame list for this link. Tune in, turn on, drop out. Or maybe just puke.)

Down the Forest Path
OK. So in a fit of startitis, I picked up some JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk 2/18s today in an off-white and started swatching.

Hit the gauge on the nose. Gauge will matter to some degree on this stole, particularly row gauge. Read the pattern. It's in the latest issue of IK. You'll see why if you're sharp.

The New IK
The Forest Path and the cover camisole by Joan McGowan-Michael of White Lies Designs were the two items I found of interest in this issue. And Annie Modesitt's knitted wire necklaces, although I have no interest in knitting with wire, myself. (Incidentally, Ms. McGowan-Michael does some fantastic lingerie designs for knitters. And in larger sizes. She makes the Tiny Diva's stuff look like the shit it is.)

Otherwise, feh.

Why did we need an article on knitting camps? As the French say, quelle blague.

The wedding dress was ridiculous. The skirt is nothing but a huge Pi R Squared mess. I mean, if you're going to design a wedding dress, why make it EZ-Goes-Bride's-Magazine? With the amount of time and knitting involved, wouldn't it have been a more intelligent design move to do it in a lace pattern? Or something totally outrageous?

KnitU With Extreme Prejudice
I think the XMen David (Espresso) and Alexis (Wolverine) better do a list membership count. Either that, or Espresso spends his evenings deleting 90% of the posts that come in saying "Knitter's sucks."

Remember last year when Knit U celebrated the 5,000th member by giving the poor soul a copy of every single, error-ridden XRX book? Um, where are all these people? According to my KnitU folder, I am averaging between 25-30 posts a day. And the content is even more uninformative than that of the Knit List and the Socknitter's List, if that's possible. The designers who used to post on Knit U--Meg Swansen, Joan Schrouder, Sally Melville--have all disappeared. Only Schrouder posts occasionally. Melville's probably up to her eyeballs in the next volume of XRX's KNITTING BOOKS OF THE UNIVERSE. Sheesh. And no, I don't count the Tiny Diva as providing any content to the list whatsoever.

Not that I'm conducting any scientific survey here. But on May 9, for example, Knit U had 21 posts, the Knit List had 54, Socknitters had 34.

I'd love to see Knitter's circulation numbers. Because I bet they're shrinking almost as fast as the Tiny Diva can crochet.

And with that, I'm off to begin the cast-on for the Forest Path, hereafter to be known as the FP. Because I'm fucking lazy, that's why. If you're asking.

Rarus utque handius. My motto.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day"
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger.
Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die."--Mel Brooks

When IS Mel going to make another movie again? He's needed...

Fanaticism Amok
You know, maybe I don't get it. I find fanatics of any persuasion suspect, not worth my time, and always huge bores. But the Knit Flame list has been home of late to a religious fanatic who's been burning up the list with dire threats of hell and damnation. And has engendered a ton of flambays. Considering that probably 45% of all the major knitting lists consist of religious freaks, the KFers should consider themselves fortunate with only one.

There's some very sharp people on that list, and it's the only list whose posts I really read consistently. I wonder that they're wasting their time trying to explain the real world to a nut.

Blog Me
But there was one interesting question posed amid the flying brimstone this week on this list. Why do people read knitting blogs?

Good question. And then there's its corollary, why do people write them?

I know why I write mine. I've been writing since I was eight and it's what I am. I've spent the better part of 30 years in the fucking "knitting universe," as an insider and an outsider, and knitting is also what I am. I figure longevity has its rewards. I care enough about the craft to say what I think. I care little enough about what others think about me to do that publicly.

I know why I read other people's. There's some very interesting people out there knitting, creating, and generally thumbing their collective noses at the knitting establishment. And I've met some true soulmates through blogging--QueerJoe, Annie Modesitt, StaceyJoy, Jen Tocker (although I've known Jen for eons, since the good KL days), and a bunch more.

But in truth, the KnitDweebs have discovered the world of blogging. It was inevitable. You'd think that blogging would keep them from posting on the knitting lists. Hardly. Everyone's a fucking writer. So now the KnitDweebs not only clutter up the lists, they're sucking up bandwidth. What's even worse--not only do they ask idiotic questions on the knitting lists, they're now posing the same genre of questions on lists devoted to the technical aspects of blogging. Holy crap.

They can't manage anything past the Einstein coat, so now they're going to try some code and then post more stupid questions to other lists?

O happy dance.

Simple Shit
Thanks for all the generous comments on the QAL. But I realized that I'm getting numbed out with it and that I have no stupid knitting to do.

So I'm making a pair of Traveling Wilburys. This must be my 20th pair. But I have the pattern memorized.

So handy. You can't always be rare all the time.

Saturday, May 10, 2003

Addendum to the Masquerade

I think this is not a good idea.

I'm getting mail from KDweebs trying to help me. Why should I have personally addressed clueless e-mail?

So perhaps I need to rethink it. Besides, I'm bored with it already. Always a bad sign.

QAL Picture

This is so incredibly addictive. I'm liking this better than the Grand Ave. vest (but not as much as the Morning Glory vest). Frankly, it's pretty easy as Fair Isles go because the contrast color is always the same--only the background changes. Well, now that I've put this up, I'm going back to watching "America's Most Wanted." And wishing that damned German would come home. I'm keeping the audio clip on the blog until he does. You don't like it, you know what I say.

Yeah. Bite me.
Best Quote I Heard All Day
"Things are seldom what they seem;
Skim milk masquerades as cream"--Gilbert & Sullivan

And so, the masquerade begins...

I told you I'd do it.

I did it.

Let's see who picks up on it...and me. I've hit the Knit List...soon it will be Socknitters. Where else? Knit U? If I can hide my true identity, I'll go for it.

Forest Path
So Loopy turned me on to the Forest Path stole in the latest IK. Not that I've bought the issue yet, since it wasn't at B&N as of yesterday. So I can't comment on the issue. But this lace stole is magnificent. And will be a nice complement to the QAL. Ten rounds to go til steek time.

Cast On
Which I did buy yesterday, only because it has an interview with Annie Modesitt, who's a friend. The interview was good--Annie's a very talented person with a very interesting background. I mean, anyone who's worked for Martha and lived to tell about it is OK in my book.

Otherwise, it's a gobbledy-gook of unredeeming designs. And please tell me why some people think that knitting sweaters with flag motifs is so damned appealing? "Thank God I'm an Amurrican." I won't even dignify the finally (I hope) finished free-speech We're American and We Can Say Anything crap that's been the food for "thought" on the Knit List with my opinion of THAT attitude. And Cast-On brings me to:

The For-Profit Knitters Guild of America
I have to admit, I did have a membership for a year, during the time when the magazine was published sporadically. Not that it mattered, since it was for shit anyways.

And I will also admit that I almost considered doing the Master Knitter thing. But those stupid swatches really turned me off. And then I got to thinking, "What's the point in this Master Knitter bullshit?" So I could fund TKGA? Nah, I don't think so.

I know I'm good. I don't need a profit-making organization to give me a seal of approval. Shit, I oughta be good, I've been doing this for long enough. And still learning new things. But not from TKGA or its gawd-awful magazine. Well, I'm just not a joiner. "Any club that would have me as a member..." And I really thought that the mag was getting better while Helene edited it. But no more.

I guess people need some kind of official validation for their knitting skill level. Shoot, they can pay me $25 and I'll send them a nice certificate suitable for framing that states they're a swell knitter.

How's that for business acumen?

Friends and Family
I'm glad Sissyboo Karen (we call each other Sissyboo--don't remember where that came from) wrote some comments. Karen prefers to wheedle Elly into making her sweaters, although Elly tends to make them more for my nephews, Alex and Nick, than she does for Karen. And a wise woman she is, too. Karen spends three times as much money on scrapbooking crap than I do on yarn. And that's not even figuring in the cost of the photos that go into those albums.

I know my friend Bob reads this blog regularly to see what I'm up to. (Nothing much, Bob. House will go on the market the 15th, still working hard, have a problem with my neck now, kids still here, haven't heard from Willy in a month, etc. If Achim gets back, I'm hoping we'll make it to your barbecue.)

And so, doing my Happy Dance, I go off to my deck to do something handy with the Queen Anne's Lace.

Peace and quiet. How rare.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"Tontant Weader frowed up"--Dorothy Parker

Tontant Weader been weading the latest on the lists. And Tontant Weader tempted to write a series of posts to the lists about the following, just to make things lively:
:: Knitting on Planes
:: Copyright
:: Knitting in Public
:: Spit Splicing (oh shucky darns, the KL has that going already, again)
:: Lily on Dave (like flies on shit)
:: What Kind of (pick one) Needles, Yarn, Tote Bag, Magazine, Reference Book do you like the best?
:: Regia
:: Can you put Koigu in the dryer?
:: Who taught you how to knit?

I just might flood the market here. Just start a bunch of well-aged, well-worn topics, one on the Socknitters List, KList, and KnitU each day. You'll know it's me. You will, I swear. I'll let you in on the screen name after I do it.

Although probably some dimmie will beat me to it, and not on purpose, either.

PW Redux
I was telling Elly about the comments on PW--I had forgotten that she also had bought the Trillium kit (we tend to buy a lot of the same things) and I had given her my color chart. She can't remember what she did with the yarn--ditched it, probably.

When I mentioned PW, her first comment was, verbatim: "Oh, THAT shit? Gawd."

You gotta like this woman.

Plodding Along
I've not been a very joyful camper lately. Achim is still in Korea, no communication whatsoever with him (they have no cell phone service there and his laptop is disfunctional). Got a card, so I know he's OK. But have not seen him now in 3 fucking months. He's way overdue to come home. He thought it would be the third week of April, last I talked to him. I will not know when he's coming home until he lands in the US.

When he gets home, you won't be reading my blog for a friggin' month! I loves that man o' mine.

Once he's back, writing will be rare since I'll have to be more handy. Heh.
After the

Saturday, May 03, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day

The only way you learn about life is looking at things that don't go well.
--David Letterman

A garment worthy of skeining for sunnies in Budd Lake...

Hey, I'm willing since I'm from
the school of any publicity is good publicity--Tiny Diva

Listen, gang. I'm not posting any rules about what you put in Comments but...

I sure hate to have to go and delete a comment that appears 4 times.

If you piss me off enough, I will ban you. No questions asked. No written rules. Noblesse oblige.

The Good, The Bad, and The Just Plain Ugly
Now that I'm 14 rounds short of steeking for the Queen Anne's Lace armholes, I'm ruminating over what other Fair Isle designs in my library appeal for the next project. And I'm inclined to do this one from Poetry in Stitches, only because I've not attempted any Scandinavian designs ever.

(By the way, Nordic Arts kits up all the Poetry in Stitches designs and carries the Norsk Strikkedesign book as well.

That's The Good...

Now here's a design I've also been considering doing...bad in the good sense of the word.

This is from the second Jamieson book of last August, designed by Ron Schweitzer, who is a fantastic Fair Isle designer and perhaps even more talented than She-Who-Cannot-Be-Named.

And now for the in, their yarn is ugly to work with and their directions are worse.

Sorry, but I'm not enamored of the Philosophers Wool people. I got suckered into buying one of their kits when they were first starting out and the yarn has a hand that's like Brillo. Not only that but the directions and chart for the Trillium (see photo above) were the worst I've ever seen.

Now, if it had just been me, I would have chalked it up to a bad experience and just forgotten about it. But since that time, I've had two good friends who were also suckered (Loop being one of them) and we all decided that the kits were junk and not worth the effort. In my opinion, doing Fair Isle in worsted weight is a major mistake anyway. Just too damned heavy.

But to expect your customers to figure out the colorways themselves, with no guarantee that they'll have enough yarn in the kit to "do their own thing," is irresponsible.

So while the designs may be nice, the delivery is very ugly.

And not at all handy.