Sunday, February 15, 2004

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Skill without imagination is craftsmanship and gives us many useful objects such as wickerwork picnic baskets. Imagination without skill gives us modern art.--Tom Stoppard

Or perhaps skill without imagination gives us warshcloths.

Getting It All Together
I realized yesterday that I had not posted anything in almost two weeks.

Why? Life, like a black hole in space, was simply annihilating my free time. Or perhaps I should say, work and my general orthopedic problems have been keeping me from blogging. And kept me from seeing my knitting friends last weekend. Bah.

So, what to do? There are several factors keeping me from writing during the week at this time. One, my job has been consuming larger and larger amounts of my time and energy: The company is up on the block, which means that there is constant chaos and rumors flying; Andre, my unindicted co-conspirator at work, is leaving the company, which probably means a chunk of his database work will go to me; as a result, I will be taking classes twice a week in database administration and programming (Oracle and SQL) at night starting March 23. That means homework too, and lots of it.

Egad. When I get home at night, the best I can do is glom at the TV with John, get a few rows knitted, and go to bed. When you sit at a computer all day writing, it's tough to come home and do it again for an hour or so. Christ, I'm going to be 54 in April and I'm living the life of a 30-year-old.

Solution: Write the blog on the weekend. I can't and won't give it up. So I'll be writing the blog on Saturday or Sunday every week, and then probably running my mouth in the Comments like the rest of you during the week. I still want to move the blog over to but that will have to wait for a few weeks, I think. I'll let you know when the blog moves.

Sound like a plan?

The Mags
I finally stopped at Barnes & Noble to see what was out. I flipped through Vague Knitting but was too uninspired to pay for a copy. Didn't even bother with Knitter's. However, I did pick up a copy of INKnitters. Jesus, I wish they'd change its name--absolutely terrible. The INK hits you right between the eyes--more appealing to rubberstampers than to knitters, I would think.

This could be a good magazine if they had some sense of style. As usual, the garments and other projects are mostly hokey, with color combos your color-blind brother would choose. The only pattern I liked were some toe-up socks done in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock that used handpainted yarn extremely well. The technical articles, by and large, are generally very useful, although the one article about how to knit continental was more confusing than anything else. Bad pictures don't help people learn.

But INKnitters is filling the technical void left by the other magazines. Knitter's, which began by being the technical bible, hardly has any technical articles anymore. For new (and not-so-new) knitters, magazines are a lot cheaper than buying tons of reference books. I don't know how the new, hot, chic, hip hobby of knitting will morph into a higher level if the magazines don't take it there.

One last thought: As a buyer of other fiber/needlework magazines (spinning, quilting, embroidery, etc.), why is it that the design quality of projects in those magazines is so much higher than that in knitting magazines? Even counted cross stitch, which has its own share of tacky designs, has magazines with decent designs.

The Chubbettes Overcome Work Implosion And Rally for Knitting
Word up. Heh heh. Our Wednesday Stitch and Bitch at TCI has gone by the wayside, since we're all working through lunch these days. We've lost one member to the great TCI "they're selling us" exodus. However, the other day, Beth from Marketing stopped me in the hall and asked me a very good question about knitting. I pose it to you: Is it better to learn from someone or to learn from a book?

My answer to her was "Both." You start with someone showing you the basics, get those under your belt, and then use books to further your knitting education. So of course, I offered to teach her to knit. My friend Mary, who I taught to knit 2 years ago, wants a refresher course. God knows how we'll find the time to do this, but we all need a break from the relentless work.

No, my students do not learn to knit warshcloths, scarves (unless they want to), or baby blankets.

They're taught to be rare and handy. And they are.

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