Thursday, March 11, 2004

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Rage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers.--Jimmy Breslin

I can relate to that.

There's a lot to be outraged about these days. In knitting and in other things.

Why Blog?
Why, indeed? I love reading QueerJoe's blog. I read it as regularly as I can. Joe is one of the few blogwriters I enjoy consistently. And in his entry for Tuesday, he gave some very salient advice to would-be bloggers. I agreed with it all.

I never intended my blog to be a knitting journal, an endless drone of what projects I've got in the basket, how my cat plays with my yarn, and what my children said at dinner. My intent, from the beginning, was to comment on the knitting world. If someone read it, great. If nobody read it, I'd still write it. After floating on the periphery of the knitting magazine world for many years, I had a quasi-insider's view of what really goes on. And it ain't pretty. And it ain't honest. I truly enjoy bursting the hypocritical cesspool bubble that people like the X-men and the Tiny Diva inhabit.

And in many ways, writing the blog began as grief therapy. My late husband Jimmy was always supportive of my writing. Starting the blog 6 months after his death made me jump-start the rest of my life. So there's that.

As Prisoner #0022332479A always says, it's a good thing.

If the Foo Shits
I've always loved that joke. But joke aside, we've been having a pretty good discussion in the Comments about fit, altering, and so on. So I was amused to read the blocking thread on Knit U, wherein someone says that blocking hides a multitude of sins.

Um, no. It doesn't. That's not the purpose of blocking. Blocking will not make a too-small garment fit. Especially if it was knit in acrylic or a blend. But I would expect that any number of KnitDweebs regularly block their Red Heart Adult Surprise Jackets.

Even worse, a KnitU denizen's solution to the blocking problem (a non-problem if ever I heard of one) is to take the garment to the dry cleaners and have them block it for you. Now that's fucking brilliant. Let them steam-press the bejesus out of a cabled sweater and then wonder why it looks like shit.

I don't mind taking my suede skirt and jacket to the cleaners. And my Jones of New York "interview" suits. Otherwise, handwashing is the name of the game. And blocking wires and a cold-water mist do the trick for me for most everything except Fair Isles. Then it's off to the wooly board.

Right-handed v. left-handed knitting is rearing its stupid head again. It's almost spring, so could we be in store for a plethora of posts about knitting on planes?

You bet. And Peeps. And copyright. And all the other snoringly stale topics that are the fabric of the lists.

Knitting Directions, Programming Code, Ig-pay Atin-lay, German
As far as I'm concerned, I write the first very well and speak the last two badly. And after 3 days of intensive training at work in SQL (that's Structured Query Language, for you non-tech people, and it's used to get crap from databases) and a soupcon of XML, I'm realizing that writing programming code and writing knitting directions really use the same side of the brain. Which is to say, the side that controls learning a new language and being OCD-precise.

Knitting directions are programming code; there's no doubt about that. And database designers certainly use data flow charts to map out their designs, as knitters use charts for theirs. So I'm beginning to understand why I would make a good programmer, even at almost 54. I love writing directions. I got my rocks off totally learning the little bit of SQL that I was taught.

I used to think that good knitters were really also good engineers. I still do. And there's a creativity in writing programming code, an elegance, as it were, that I find in writing good solid knitting directions.

However, I won't be writing the code for online shopping carts in the near future.

That would be way too rare and handy. And dangerous.

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