Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Personally I think birthdays and anniversaries are like menstrual cramps, a regular pain in the ass that’s somehow connected to birth.--Hugh Elliott

At least I don’t have to worry about cramps any more.

Thanks to all Tontant Weaders who sent birthday wishes, via the Comments and otherwise. You rock [insert irony here]. No, you're good readers. Now sit. Beg. Good readers.

And the Birthday Beat Goes On
I just celebrated my birthday all fucking weekend long. Despite the fact that I turned 54, which I find to be endlessly depressing, I figured that I would just sort of forget it and have a good time. And I did.

Saturday I met my sister Karen, Elly, and nephew Nicholas at Sally Lunn’s Teahouse in Chester, NJ, a very charming place run by Brits who know how to make tea, scones, and clotted cream. Then Elly and I went up to The Yarn Loft, my local yarn shop, to see what Renee had that was new. (In fact, I was looking for the new Lavold colors, which Renee didn’t have.)

While I was wandering around, Renee introduced me to Norah, who teaches for her. Evidently, both Renee and Norah read the blog regularly. It’s always nice to meet readers. Norah was teaching her more advanced group of knitting students while I was there, who are not knitting scarves but working on actual garments.

But the best was yet to come: Hanging out with Joe, Kathy Merrick, and Carol S. on Sunday. We started at Simply Knit in Lambertville, NJ, and then walked over to New Hope, PA, on the other side of the Delaware River.

For those of you not familiar with the area, Lambertville/New Hope is a most artsy-fartsy mélange of overpriced antique shops, wonderful restaurants, great art galleries, and lovely Victorian architecture. Yeah, it’s a bit touristy but the Delaware is so pretty, especially in the spring.

As Joe says, meeting people like this is an excellent reason to blog. If nothing else, you come away with some great friends. And despite my clearly saying “No gifties,” of course they gave me gifties. Joe’s was a big royal blue beach tote, a perfect carrier for all my knitting needs (he knows I’m a bag hag), Kathy’s gift was a petite but wonderful bag made of recycled materials that she got in Italy and stuffed with 4 skeins of Koigu; Carol brought me Lisa Myer’s book, The Joy of Knitting, which I’m finding to be very well-written and interesting and not at all Knitting-As-Zen. Besides, I’ve briefly met Lisa and she’s a sane human being with not a fluffy bone in her body, so it’s exactly what I would expect her to write.

Despite the craziness in my life, I’m so glad that I spent time on Sunday with them. It did my soul much good.

Kwazy Koigu
I brought my 8 skeins of Koigu for my jacket design along with me on Sunday so that the Arbiters of Good Taste minus One (Lisa couldn’t make it) could opine on my color choices. I knew I could depend on them for their undiluted opinions.

There are absolutely no decent patterns for Koigu. I am not a fan of Maie Landra’s designs at all. Love the yarn, hate the patterns. Handpainted yarns have limited uses. Basically, if you prefer the yarn to do the work for you, handpainted yarns are great. If you prefer to use your knitting skills, you won’t find much to do with them.

And it’s difficult to design with these yarns because of that. Plain stockinette just doesn’t cut it. I’ve found those stitch patterns that will visually “interrupt” the color blotches work the best: seed stitch, double moss, slip-stitch patterns, etc. Even reverse stockinette is better than nothing. Kathy wore a Koigu jacket on Sunday that used blocks of stitches patterns to just this effect.

As I mentioned previously, I’ll be using linen stitch for the jacket I’m designing. Hopefully, I’ll get the website up and running within the next few weeks so that I can publish some pictures.

Off I go. Crystal Reports is rearing its ugly head.

Winning the Lottery and retiring would be rare and handy. If I bought fucking tickets.

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