Thursday, July 31, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"The engineering is secondary to the vision."
--Cynthia Ozick

OK, time to return to the subject at hand.

I need a cyber plunger to Roto-Rooter the comments on Sunday's entry.

Somehow we went from the definition of KnitDweebs to music. I let Michael speak for himself. Heh.

Let me just say, sotto voce, that he's a real sweetheart. As Joe accuses me of being much nicer in person, I must make that same accusation about Michael.

Tech v. Creative...Tiny Diva: Pick One
I was semi-inspired to think about this by a post that Joe sent to the MenWhoKnit List. One of his points was that, although he doesn't care for Lily's designs, he thinks she's an excellent technician. And that she's pleasant, outgoing, clean, thrifty, reverent, etc. And that some people who dislike her, do so because of her connection with Knitter's and XRX, both of which she promotes.

Or words to that effect.

Well. I'm sure she's not a bad person. I think that she's pretty much one of those obnoxiously Tinkerbell types, an Asian-American Southern Belle, who never has a public PMS day.


But I would agree with Joe--she's most certainly a good technician. Not the best--there are better.

It's just that she takes her technical know-how...and it all comes out ugly. I mean, are there any of her designs that are close to aesthetically appealing?

I've written about this before but I think it bears repeating: As a rule, the knitting technicians are not artistically creative. And the artistically creative designers are not generally the ones who are known for their arcane garment construction.

I am most definitely not a technician. I am not interested in designing a cleverly executed pattern that looks like shit on the wearer. I am a color/texture person, a frustrated watercolorist who can't draw, and I use knitting as my canvas. To that purpose, I use the garment shaping that will convey my design the best and will fit the wearer comfortably.

As with our discussion in the last Comments about Debbie New, it seems pointless to me to develop techniques (or knit tea cups) for the sake of saying "I did it." Yeah, so?

So fucking what.

Does it look good on the wearer? Are the colors/stitch patterns harmonious? I've seen some incredibly engineered garments that look like shit when worn...and in the most hideous colors imaginable.

The engineering side of knitting can be fascinating. And I can think of some brilliant knitting engineers who frequently sucked as designers: EZ, certainly. Susanna Lewis, who is an unbelievable technician but whose designs were strictly from hunger.

There are some designers who are successful at both. But not many.

And to throw another thought out: As far as I am concerned, my knitting is not art. It is a craft. If I could have painted, perhaps then I would be an artist. I consider myself a craftsperson.

I am not opening this up for an agonizing discussion in the Comments of knitting as art/craft because that would be ever so Knit List-ish of you.

And I will just get bored with it and have to ban you. I came within inches of banning someone yesterday.

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

And go off and be handy this weekend. I will be quite busy...and handy...and busy. Heh.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"I have an existential map; it has 'you are here' written all over it."
--Steven Wright

I was in Allentown, PA today...with the Mystery Man. Oh all right, his name is Michael. I'll stop with the coyness, it doesn't suit.

But trouble's a-brewing...if you know what I mean and I think you do.

Far and away better than the German, that's all I'll say. In fact, it's an insult to compare Michael with him. There is NO comparison.

I do learn, you know.

Blog This, Knit List
Oh Christ. The discussion about blogging continued unabated on the KList, finally stopping with today's posts. They really don't understand that writing a blog is NOT akin to putting up your lacy tablecloth pics on PictureTrail.

Writing a journal about your knitting is fine--but I suspect that few of the Klisters who attempt it will be able to sustain it. Trust me, it's hard enough for me to come up with two posts a week and keep us all interested.

I grant you, I have an advantage over the KnitDweebs insofar as I have written and edited professionally for a long time. Plus, it never entered my mind to write a journal about my projects. Jesus, we'd all be snoring, as fast as I get stuff done.

I'd far rather make snotty comments and spew my opinions than tell you about my every little dropped stitch.

Having said that, here's the crib sheet I wrote up on the Forest Path Stole. Read it, use it, don't fuck it up, as I say. I will put it on the Freebies page when I have the time. It is a .pdf file, which means you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it or print it.

Can you handle that? Sure you can.

More Than 102,000 Served
Served with what, I cannot say. But I noticed today that the page counter is now past 102,000.

Fuck the happy dance, if I'd charged everyone admission to the blog, maybe I'd be financially solvent. Or at least, you could have paid for my yarn. Heh.

A dollah-three-eighty a read? Rare and handy and extremely unlikely.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"In a real estate man's eyes, the most exclusive part of the city is wherever he has a house to sell."
--Will Rogers

I live in Beverly Hills then...or desirable Budd Lake.


I'll See Your $379K and Raise You $10K
So my house went on the market yesterday, had real estate agents and their clients swarming through my private parts, as it were...and now, an offer for full price.

I'll be making some bucks from this. And no, I won't be spending it all at Stitches East in October. Just a little.

However, my disposable time is being eaten up by real estate doings (and a remarkable man, the one I won't tell you about). Hence, I think there'll be a paucity of posts from me for the nonce.

But I keep on truckin'.

Shroud of Turin Warshcloth
Amber is the only one, to my knowledge, who actually finished this. Go see it on her blog. It's a masterpiece.

I started it on vacation, did 4 rows of blue and white (my color choices and what was available at Wal-Mart), got totally bored with it, put it down and...

Starabella, Jenn's cat, romped and stomped all over it. It was good, clean kitty fun. But totally tangled by the time she had finished.

And so, it is fin. Thank God.

Blasphemous knitting is great in theory.

As I predicted a few months ago, the KnitDweebs are playing at arrivistas and thinking that blogging is a way cooler thing to do than PictureTrails can write your thoughts on your knitting projects too.

The KnitList says so, so it must be true Virginia.

Mystery Man
Just so he can see what I, Michael?

He's a rare and handy guy. So don't fucking ask, OK?

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"Ooh, a wed wose. How womantic."
--Lili von Schtupp, Blazing Saddles

God, I love this character. I know. Twice in a row, WTF wid dat? Bite me. It's my blog.

Floral Arrangements
Having finished my summer sock extravaganza, I'm really crunching on the Forest Path Stole. Probably against my better judgement (although I did poll friends and decided what the fuck), I will put up a picture of the FPS (that's what Kathy calls it, although I'm thinking it sounds like a vaginal deodorant or some mysterious disease).

I will, of course, run the risk of being attacked by KnitDweebs who are knitting this. If you ask a thoughtful question, I'll be happy to answer. If you don't know WTF you're doing, find another project.

(Blogger is pissing me off tonight. I wrote a whole dealie on the FPS and it didn't get published...and I lost it. Fuck me. So here I go again, probably a bit shorter than the original. It's fucking past 11 p.m. and I lost an hour's worth of writing. So bite me twice, I'm crabby.)

Anyway, here's the shit I wrote before, more or less.

:: Don't do the fucking stole if you're a beginner. It's not for beginners. If you don't know either entrelac or lace, don't think you're going to learn on this.

:: The instructions are correct. If you've fucked up, it's your fault.

If I feel like it, I might write up a quick bit about how I've handled certain aspects and post it as a .pdf later this week, maybe sink the picture I have into the .pdf as well. I have written about my hints in the Comments somewhere but I forget on what date.

Caveat Idiots
Beware of sock knitting wenches posting their fabu 64-stitch fingering weight basic sock patterns to the Socknitters list. You get what you pay for, kids. The wench, in all her yippee wenchiness, forgot a few minor details because she was more interested in wowing the list with her bravura writing, to wit:

:: Gauge
:: Sizes (I guess one size fits all feets)
:: Foot measurements (well, if there ain't no sizes, I guess her directions to knit the foot until it's 2" short of the toe will really help the blind followers)

There was no tremendous e-applause upon publication. Um, gee, wonder why.

Nothing like re-inventing the fucking wheel.

And with that, I pray that Blogger is going to be rare and handy and publish this fucking thing.

Oh yay. I just realized I wrote the F word numerous times. Tells you what kind of mood I'm in.

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
I've been with thousands of men. Again and again, they promise the moon. They're always coming and going, and going and coming, and always too soon. --Lili von Schtupp, Blazing Saddles

It's Mel Brooks Day. Sometimes I get nice and do something for a friend who can quote Mel's movies even better than I can.

Kahn's finest moment, in my opinion.

Fall FCEK on the Stands
Every time I see FCEK, I think it's "fuck" mis-spelled.

Anyway, I picked up Family Circle Easy Knitting for my friend Mary, who is one of my former students and who's been twiddling around with knitting for a year.

You know, for a magazine that touts itself as "easy" more than 75% of the designs are for Intermediate and Advanced. What wid dat?

Of course, that's if you believe those ridiculous "skill levels" that the Craft Council seems so bent on propagating. But we've had this conversation before and you know where I stand on that.

Total bullshit.

And you'd think that a magazine that's supposed to contain easy-to-make sweaters and knitted ephemera would at least include line art to illustrate knitting techniques for all the newbies they are focusing on. You'd think so.

You'd be wrong.

The designs were pretty OK, some nice ones, some dogs. The chosen colors were rotten, by and large. But then, I'm not a big fan of olive green.

And FCEK included the infamous pic of the Tiny Diva presenting David Letterman with his upchuck schmatteh. FCEK reports that Letterman was "delighted."

Not based on what I perceived to be his reaction, which was slightly bemused and somewhat put off by having to model it.

I'd like to see the Tiny Diva crochet something for Chris Matthews of Hardball. Now his reaction would be worth an admission price.

Short post tonight. Work is hell, as Matt Gruening says. Too much documentation bullshit going on at TCI.

If they think I'm rare and handy, where's my fucking promotion to Corporate Operations Manager (I made up that title myself, looks good on a resume). Beats the bejesus out of Operational Procedures Analyst, I think. No raise this year, officially.

But then I'm German and we like titles. Jawohl.

And it's a national trait to be rare and handy, dontcha think?

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any."
--Russell Baker

Those were my thoughts too. And now I'm back. Writing at work, writing here.

Yer Birthday
The blog is 1 year old today. Happy birthday, blog. We did it. 52 weeks of sheer unadulterated crabbiness and snotty comments about the KNITTING MULTI-VERSE.

Oh yay. Send me presents. I accept cash.

I'm too lazy to look for sparkly birthday graphics or sink a happy birthday .wav file into the blog's code. So bite me.

Down the Forest Path
So I'm waiting with bated (or perhaps baited) breath for the next list-o-rama extravaganza to come along.

That's right folks. There's a new one in the offing. Some idiot on the Knit List (or was it Knit U--I forget) wants to start a list for those who are knitting the Forest Path stole from the summer issue of Interweave Knits.

This could possibly be even more exciting than OpalChatterers. O be still my beating heart. There's nothing that spells instant ennui quicker than a one-trick-pony mailing list. And heaven only knows that if any of the KnitDweebs are attempting the stole, they will need to e-mail each other constantly in the hopes of assuaging each other's ineptitude.

I'm making this stole. Here's the deal.

The directions are excellent, so far. The stole is A) entrelac which is comprised of B) 3 fairly easy lace panels of 20-21 stitches and 39-40 rows--Lily of the Valley, Birch Leaves, and Fern. That's it.

How I've mucked with the directions? I changed the 2-row bobble in Lily of the Valley to a 1-row bobble. I refuse to keep the panels not in use on stitch holders.

Those are my tips. Now you don't need a mailing list.

Virus? What Virus?
Server? What Server?

So today, Knit U's Tim The Unix Guy sent yet another message to the Knit U list about .dat attachments. And the server may be down this weekend because he might be installing a new box.

They have more damned technical trouble with their server, with viruses, with Unix in general. If the X-men weren't so fucking worried about censoring "unpleasant" opinions of Knitters and Stitches, they could run the list from Yahoo.

But then, they couldn't steal people's posts and use them in their magazine as freebie filler, could they?

Tiny Diva Reality Show
Yes, it's true. The Tiny Diva has announced with much flitty, breathless excitement that she's talking to a "major broadcast tv network about a spot on *prime time* for a new show in the fall !"

Um, and that would be on what "major broadcast tv network"? Speculation runs rampant, I'm sure.

Probably Peoria Local Access, no doubt.

As Loop said to me in an e-mail today: "Chin? Prime time? Is this the one where the *audience* is the survivor?"

Oh yeah.

Do I see an Emmy in my crystal ball?

Or will Hollywood be so agog they'll rename it the Lily?
Chin should only wish she were that rare and handy.