Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Best Quote I Heard All Day
America is just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.—Hunter S. Thompson

That the Assault Rifle Ban was not renewed by Congress is a shameful thing. That Bush did not push them to renew it is not only shameful but also immoral.

Gonzo knitting to the rescue. It may not change the course of world events nor stop the Evil Axis of Bush/Cheney/Rummy but it does make me feel better.

Especially with my AK-47 at my side.

Poncho Villa
You know, the other day while driving home from work I had a philosophical discussion with myself about ponchos and why I hate them.

Me: What is it you dislike so much about them?

ME: Well, any number of things. They’re so ‘70s, for one thing. Usually knit in ugly colors, often in garter stitch AND often fringed beyond belief. And there’s not much shaping, either. The only knitted poncho I’ve ever seen that was attractive was an Aran sampler poncho in Mon Tricot’s Aran issue, which I still have.

Me: That’s pretty damning. And you could apply much of the above criteria to shawls. You like shawls.

ME: True. But the shawls I like are lace and require a certain level of expertise (although I did make that Bell Shawl a few years back and I still use it).

Me: So where do the lacy little ponchos fit into your scheme of things? You know, those cover-up thingies?

ME: They’re OK. In fact, I’ve seen a couple that I liked. But for some reason, I think they’re more for kids. I could see making one in laceweight merino for eveningwear. Not that I’d ever have a reason to own something like that, since my T-shirt collection far outnumbers my collection of ball gowns. As our mother says, “Are you planning on wearing the Forest Path Stole to the opera?”

Me: So what you’re saying is, it’s OK to make a shapeless thing as long as it has a challenging pattern.

ME: Well, no. I am morally opposed to warshcloths. I can’t see doing a complex pattern in a warshcloth, although I’m sure some idiot has done so.

Me: But you’re not morally opposed to bedspreads, which are just huge warshcloths.

ME: Hardly. Bedspreads can be tremendously complex and take years to finish, which is why I’ve never bothered. You’re very argumentative, you know that? Go fuck yourself. I like what I like.

Me: Bite me.

I’m not sure who won. Or if it was even worth discussing.

When you consider that I’ve occasionally had conversations with my dead husband in the car, perhaps I should walk.

I’ve been busily crocheting the Noro Kureyon earflaps hat from the IK Crochet issue.

It's a really goofy hat, in my opinion. But sort of fun. I have another earflap to go and then the edging. I'm thinking instead of tassels hanging down, I may do a Keith Richards deal and suspend voodoo charms from the ends. I may not be caught dead in it. Haven't decided yet.

The pattern has its own issues, I’m afraid to say. The directions were, um, not very well edited. But I digress. I made a diagonally knit scarf from the same Kureyon last winter, so the hat more or less matches. Crocheting is a lot harder on my Carpal Tunneled hands, that’s for sure. But it’s fun nonetheless.

I don’t think I’ve crocheted anything in at least 10 years. No, more. Probably 20. I’m of the school of thought that believes crochet is an extremely useful thing for knitters to learn. For one, cotton sweaters gain much by having their necklines finished in reverse single crochet. And you can do the crochet thing to your steeks. AND if you’re having problems beginning laceweight in the round on 4 or 5 dps, doing a beginning bit in crochet and then picking up your stitches from that is very helpful.

I generally find crocheted garments to be repulsive, primarily because the designer tries to make crocheting into knitting. The most successful crocheted garments don’t do that. I love Kathy Merrick’s crocheted jackets, for example, and for precisely that reason. Kathy understands how to design with crochet stitches so that the finished article doesn’t look like something from Our Lady of the Precious Dripping Heart rummage sale.

One of the most interesting crochet projects I’ve seen in a long time is Kim Salazar’s filet crochet dragon curtain. You have to admire the workmanship and the design—I know my daughter Jenn, the medieval freak and card-carrying SCA member would love it. I could never master crocheting with steel hooks and thread.

Pre-Stitches Stitches
It looks as if we’ll be doing a pre-Stitches get-together down in Lambertville next Sunday. At least, Joe, Kathy and I can make it. Carol’s stuck at home and I don’t know what Janet Reno’s true love has up her lezzie sleeve.

Stitches East is just a few weeks away. As much as I hate putting my money into the X-Men’s pockets, I don’t cut off the old nose.

I fully intend to repeat the Gallery of Ghastlies this year, using Kathy, Carol, and Lisa as shills. Heh. One of them stands near the targeted Ghastly, I take a “souvenir” picture of them at Stitches. After all, I try to be somewhat subtle in my role as Stitches paparazza.

Hey, you wear a fugly sweater in public, you’re fair game for my camera. I can only imagine the plethora of ponchos on display this year.

I will probably buy mostly sock yarn, though. There’s really nothing else that I need or want, unless I see something spectacular. If it’s the same dull overload of Koigu and Noro, as it has been for the past few years, I shall be sorely disappointed.

It would seem that the Rhinebeck show might garner more of my paycheck, since I’m doing a lot more spinning lately.

Sk8or Designs
Now that I’ve finished Liz’s “short” socks, she wants a pair of pink gloves, fingers truncated, as is the fashion, and decorated with black skulls, presumably done as intarsia or perhaps Fair Isle motifs. I think this would be a fun thing to design. In fact, the young woman I work with, Torrie, overheard me discussing these gloves, and she wants a pair. At least neither of them has asked for scarves. Liz can knit her own, anyway.

Once again, Liz has dyed her hair. Having been through her Blue Period, she’s just switched to pink, a color heretofore castigated by her as “too Barbie.” Therefore, all clothing items now must be black and pink, a notable change from her previous wardrobe color scheme of black and red.

I love this kid. She’s getting the gloves as soon as I can sit down and chart the skulls.

I was thinking maybe I should adorn the gloves with little crocheted skulls, but there are those of my friends who might find that scary. And you know who you are.

Skull decorations can be rare and handy but probably only on a 12-year-old punk sk8or rat.

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