Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
I took up knitting from time to time as a relaxation, but I always put it down again before going out to buy a rocking chair. --Beatrice Lillie

Knitting and rocking. When will we see this as a thread?

Or will it be knitting and rocking on the cat?

Varugated Yarn and Other Like Media
Got the Herrschener's Yarn Shoppe catalog in the mail yesterday and as I flipped through it, I realized why I don't buy much handpainted yarn or "fashion" yarn.

Fashion and handpainted yarns do the thinking for you and provide the colors for you, then demand that you use them in nothing more than the very basic of patterns.

I'd rather knit a plain raglan in plain old wool and revel in the raglan shapings than to do the same in some glitz or some multi-colored handpaint. Koigu being the possible exception and even with that, you're limited. Plus the pattern support for Koigu is awful. And I will admit to having knit 8 pairs of socks in Opal.

But that's just socks. I guess I'm just an old traditionalist. Or I can't find room in my dresser drawer for a TouchMe thong.

And You Thought Knitters Were Psychotic?
Here's a scary link to an interview titled "The Woman Who Couldn't Stop Scrapping" that was originally broadcast on NPR via PRI, courtesy of Sissyboo Karen, the Scrapper. She insists that ScrapDweebs are even more insane than KnitDweebs.

After listening to this, I agree. But a caveat: You do need high-speed access and Real Player to listen to this interview. And the interview runs about 10 minutes or so.

But this woman is a sick fuck.

By the way, Sissyboo has graciously agreed to do a cameo on the blog one of these days and offer up her own thoughts on Dweebism and other related topics.

It's because she's a chickenshit and won't do her own blog. Karen's concerned about the morons on her lists and that they'd know it was her writing her vitriolic thoughts.

Like that ever bothered me.

September Bizarro Link
Anyone want to contribute? I'm not finding anything exciting. Nothing excessively kinky, though. I already did the duct tape site last year, so forget that one.

Of course, full fashioned stockings and what you can do with them is always fun. But I digress.

Send me your links and I'll put up the winner. So I'm fucking lazy. Bite me. You get entertained here, now it's your turn.

Le Salon
The Comments are turning into a veritable salon of shit being discussed. And I for one am encouraging it. Nothing is so off-topic that I have a problem with it except the following:

:: Your fucking cat and how it gets into your stuff (Just for Lauren, so she doesn't get emotional)

:: Your medical history

:: Cute stories about your kids

:: Anything cute

:: Any list thread that I've trashed in previous entries

:: Anything French

And with the bait set, I return to the world of the real and the living, feeling quite quick and dead but...

still rare and handy.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them.
--Penn Jillette

And I've met a few of them...

Do I Really Need This?
And If So, Why?

This is my question du jour or possibly du month. It's moving time: September 22 I'm out of here. So I'm taking a break from packing boxes to write the blog. I have no life.

Why did I buy so many books?

At last count, I have 10 boxes of knitting literature alone. And that's just one bookcase. The other knitting bookcase will fill about the same amount.

Do I need The Sacred Art of Knitting? Granted, it's a curiosity and has been out of print for years and years...but do I need it? Guess so, because it went into the box.

We won't even discuss the magazines--Threads, Knitter's, Interweave Knits, Vague, pre-80s Vagues, Spin-off, Piecework, various McCall's Needlework & Crafts, American Home Crafts, Family Circle Knitting, assorted pattern books from the '20s through the '60s.

Oh God. And that doesn't count the other fiber and needlework books on quilting, embroidery, and textiles.

I did discover a very interesting book that I'd forgotten I owned on Russian Revolution textiles.

Thirty years of indiscriminate collecting. I swear I'm going to catalog everything as it comes out of the box and put it all on a database. Really.

And then there are all the other books downstairs.

It's Alive!
Well, sort of. I went to the abominably organized XRX web site because the pictures of the Fall Knitter's are up. No, I will not give you the link to the Knitting Alexisverse. Go do a Google.

It's not totally hideous, amazingly enough.

There is one completely awful vest by Cyr that is so misshapen, I could cry. Besides the yarn, which looks like it was lint spun by a cretin, one side of this thing seems to be smaller than the other, especially above the armhole. Gack.

And of course, the Tiny Diva has some bizarro offering, an asymmetrical vest that looks just like other things she's done. Perhaps David Letterman will enjoy it, though.

But on the whole, the issue is blandly inoffensive.

The Elsebeth Lavold vest is exquisite. I will buy the magazine for that alone and make it.

And Speaking of the XRX Web Site...
While I was there, I thought I'd also take a peek at Melville's Purl book. Figured there'd be some preview pictures. Not.

But the really funny thing that I discovered was that on some of the XRX book pages, you are invited to write a review and rate the book.

There's only one problem. Well, two actually.

First of all, if you click on the "Submit a Review" button, the window text immediately informs you that whatever you write becomes property of XRX. Of course. Stupid me.

Second, nowhere on the pages could I find any link to reviews that had been written.

Does this mean that no one has written reviews? I doubt that, given the sycophantic nature of the Knitter'sDweebs.

I could hazard a guess and suggest that the advertising department is collecting these "reviews" for their multitudinous in-house ads.

But then I'd be a cynic, right?

Back to packing I go. Strapping tape is so rare and handy, I could almost want to wrap it around my naked body and make a fashion statement.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you.
--Francoise Sagan

Agreed. And that thought should apply to some knitted items as well.

Sexy Knitting
Got your attention? Sure I did. You're all craven creatures at heart.

With all the ghastly knitted creations out there in the magazines, I have to say that I really love Joan McGowan-Michael's vintage lingerie and other romantic knits. Her design company, White Lies, features the most incredible stuff, all of it kitted up and most reasonably priced, in my opinion.

Here's what I like. It's on my shopping list for Stitches East. I hope she's going to be there.

Stitches East
Despite the fact that I hate putting money into the X-Men's pockets by paying them their pound of flesh at the Market door, I really don't know of a better shopping experience than SE's Market.

Screw the classes. I don't need no fucking classes.

QueerJoe, Kathy, and I (and Elly too) will be meeting up on the Friday. And hopefully some of the rest of you will join us. Annie? Carol? Lisa? Antonio? and anyone else from the NY-NJ-PA area or wherever who will be there. Wish the Aussie contingent could make it...I will happily put up any of my Aussie readers who can pay for the airfare and their own yarn.

My Old-And-Tired-Thread Predictions
Used and Abused would be more like it.

OK, gang, here's what I foresee as threads in the coming weeks on the major lists. I've decided that now the fun in reading the lists is to anticipate what warm and fuzzy topics the KnitDweebs will be discussing....again and again and again.

1. Holiday Knitting
2. How to Deal with Ungrateful Relatives/Friends/Boyfriends Who Gave Your Felted Bottle Covers/Red Heart Wristers/Too-Short Willywarmers A Lukewarm Reception
3. Copyright
4. What are YOUR Favorite Needles?
5. What is YOUR Favorite Yarn?
6. Copyright
7. My 2003 Endless List of FOs Happy Dancetime!!!!!!
8. My 2003 Endless List of Charity Items I've Donated
9. My 2004 Endless List of Shit I Want to Knit
10. My Totally Uninteresting List of Shit that I Bought at Stitches, Destined to Languish in my Stash or Be Sold on E-bay.
11. Knitting on Planes
12. Copyright
13. Knitting on Planes
14. I'm Going to [fill in destination], are there any LYS?
15. The Great Acrylic/Natural Fiber Debate (already starting now on the Knit List, so hurry!)

There are so many more...and I'm sure you'll all add your dollah-three-eighty in the Comments below.

Except for Michael, whose interest in my blog lies largely in making trouble and making provocative statements in the Comments.

Is he not rare and handy at that, I ask you? But then, I don't want no man who can't stir up some shit.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.
--Florida Scott-Maxwell

Happy 80th Birthday to my mother Elly on August 21st.

She taught me to speak good English, think for myself, stand up for what's right, and work hard.

And she taught me how to knit.

Elly didn't want anything fancy so we had a barbecue on my sister's deck this afternoon to celebrate her upcoming milestone birthday. Here's some pictures.

I don't want to make my blog into a fucking PictureTrail of boring family crap. But there are those who read this and know my family, so it will be of interest to them.

I guess Elly still looks for improvement in her middle-aged girl. But maybe not.

Lights Out, No One Home
You knew it had to happen. I was just waiting until the power came back and the Knit List was flooded with posts whose subject was "Blackout Knitting."

It didn't take them long.

I had visions of some idiot lighting 123 candles and her ball of yarn simultaneously. And then whining to the list that her stash went up in flames so that at least half the list would send her replacement yarn.

It could happen. I'm waiting. For those of you who read the list, would you like to hazard a guess as to who this KnitDweeb could be?

I have my short list, where's yours?

Fortunately, we lost no power in Lac du Budd; however, Loopy sent me an e-mail saying that power was out in her neck of the MI woods. She was running her laptop on the limited battery time she had.

I doubt Loop was worrying too much about whether she could knit or not.

Creepy Chris Stuff
Vis a vis our movie discussion in the Comments of the August 10th entry, Lisa stuck a great Chris Walken link into the last Comments. As she calls it, "All Walken noises, all the time."

When I saw my sister Karen, the scrapbook creator (or "scrapper," as they call themselves), I told her she missed out on a fine movie discussion. Karen occasionally reads the blog when she remembers the URL.

She's like that.

Karen's found plenty of ScrapDweebs on her scrapbooking lists.

I think she should do the sister blog to mine for scrapbooking. The Scrapping Curmudgeon.

Two rare and handy Sissyboos. Don't ask what Sissyboo means. It's Karen Kode.

And Michael, you're working too hard. Come out and play.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.
--Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin

A small darkened cave, some sticks and string, a CD player, and the Man of Mystery.

Oh baby, that's a what I want.

I'm back to knitting socks exclusively. This makes the 8th pair this summer. What wid dat? I can't concentrate on the FPS. Anyone want a pair of socks?

I seem to churn them out. How many pairs do I need, really?

Don't Follow Leaders, Watch The Parking Meters
I am the proud recipient of an authentic rejection letter from the editors of Knit Lit Too.

Yep, inspected, rejected, dejected. The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles.

Must be a Dylanesque morning.

Only Loopy has read my submission. She liked it. I wrote it back in January and believe it or not, it's a serious piece. I suppose I could let you read it, since it won't be published anyway. So click here.

I seldom write much of a personal nature. I'm used to writing about technical issues, processes, directions, what have you. Reality that's focused away from me. I long ago got used to having my writing inspected and rejected. When you write for a living, no matter what the topic, you get used to other people's fingers in your literary pie.

Saturday's Meet-up
QueerJoe has a great write-up (with pictures) on his blog, so I won't duplicate his effort. Suffice it to say once again that it's good to hang out with other knitters, especially that crew.

They're fucking insane.

Rules on Commenting
There aren't any, although you know that if you say something totally and utterly dweebish, I reserve the right to ban you without notice from commenting.

I've done it before. I have no qualms. This is my blog. This is not a democracy.


I'm actually quite enjoying the movie discussion that we've been having. Michael adds a piquant touch, don't you think?

I'm finished here. Time to continue being rare and handy so the powers that be put money in my bank account twice a month.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"I'm so hungry. Where's the cheese donut?"
--Anna Nicole Smith

Forget Daryl Hannah.

I've got a better celebrity knitter...

Anna Nicole Smith
Nouveau Knitter and Skank Extraordinaire

Anna Nicole Smith in the Pink with her latest washcloth design

"I got a fucking needle stuck up my ass." Bleary-eyed Anna Nicole Smith loves to knit, even though she doesn't consider herself a "real" knitter. "I don't even know how to button my thongs. Bobby, you asshole, pull this needle outta my ass."

We met with Anna in her plushly pink mansion, as she was tossing skein after shocking pink skein onto her bed, trying to determine which colorway she would choose for her latest washcloth project.

"I make these little fucking squares, I need to wash my c*nt frequently an' I need to knit because Bobby says I'm a fat cow and feed my face too much." As she reached for her bowl of ice cream, we were astounded at the dexterity the actress/model displayed as she cast on and licked the sprinkles from her rapidly vanishing snack.

"Those fuckers in Celebrity Scarves make long squares. I make square squares. That's the difference between them and me.

"But they didn't want my washcloth design in their fucking book, so I'm going to market my exclusive line of Cootch Cloths by myself. Fuck them."

Anna's latest design is completely knit in pink eyelash. "I like the little feathery things between my legs, you know? And I make 'em REALLY wide so they fit just right."

And what's next from the Stitchin' Skank? You guessed it! Knitted thongs. "I'm bored with these fucking squares. Bobby, call Edith and order me a dozen balls of Zap. In pink, asshole. God."

As we left the bloated beauty dozing on her divan, skeins of yarn scattered strategically about her abundant figure, we wondered what will be next for the adventurous actress?

"I been knitting in the back of the limo,' she says. "I'm a real fuckin' designer, so go fuck yourselves, assholes."

Anna, knitting, and the back of a limo. Sounds like the sentiment of a "real" knitter, doesn't it?

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Best Quote I Heard All Day
"Art is making something out of nothing and selling it."--Frank Zappa

I'm inclined to agree...which is why I consider myself a craftsperson.

However, that does need to change.

Knitting Haiku Redux
Loop sent me a post from the Knit List that offered a knitting haiku--I'm deleting posts in large batches because I'm too fucking busy to read most of them.

I have only one answer to knitting haiku. Or haiku in general.

Thoughts of WMDs
Ersatz poesy beckons.
Bite me twice.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wax On, Wax Off: Cast On, Cast Off
A mere "feh" is not sufficient to describe the contents of the TKGA's latest publication. At least, I don't need yet another Noro garter stitch design in my life. The only really good thing I can say about Cast On is at least they are publishing regularly now, which helps their credibility somewhat.

And WTF wid the giraffes? I realize their theme for this issue is "Animal Attraction" but frankly, I could do without assorted Endangered Species lurking in the background of every shot.

The worst I can say about the designs were that they were run-of-the-mill, guaranteed to attract the masses of TKGA members who like that shit. The best I can say is that there were a couple of interesting articles, in particular the one about Fibonacci numbers as applied to color and design. Wish it had been more in-depth. Fibonacci numbers is something I'd like to study further.

What INKnitters does so well and what Cast On does not is illustrate their technical articles so that the reader can see exactly what's going on. Visuals are everything--most people can't learn from text alone.

The Others
Haven't seen Vague Knitting yet...Interweave Knits I did see. Of all the magazines, I still have the most hope for IK. Although why they bound that simpleton bag pattern into the newsstand copies is beyond me. Elly was totally pissed off that she couldn't flip through the issue before she decided not to buy it. Her logic: "Well, because they had to wrap it, I wasn't going to buy it, so there. And they're not going to get other people to buy it if they can't browse through it first."

I pointed out to her that she never buys it anyway, so what was the difference?

Fin de Weekend
Great time with Mystery Man yesterday at a friend's BBQ...and he's still willing to answer questions in the Comments. I'm almost convinced he's as whacked as I am.

Correction: He definitely is. And what's good--he's as quiet as I am, which I am. Really.

I'm only rare and handy when I write, I think.