Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity.--Charles Mingus

The longer I knit and design my own, the more this concept rings true.

Just look in any knitting magazine or book and you will find only a handful of designers who are truly creative because they fulfill this criteria.

When ten pages of directions are needed to explain how to knit what should be a simple garment because it's been loaded up with arcane techniques in order to execute the design, there's a caveat therein.

Fit, form and function first. Old engineering premise. If a knitting design concept works with these three, it's a harmonious experience and something worth knitting and wearing.

Stevie Wonder Knits
As Marion pointed out in the last Comments, the chart for my mother's Hoxbro vest is so small, she had to write it out.

This is ridiculous and a huge deterrant to knitters. A serious problem that I've seen so many times in books and magazines, including those books by She Who Litigates In Scottish Courts.

The excuse? "We had to make the charts smaller so they would fit." That's completely unacceptable, in my opinion. Sure, there's a cost issue. Magazines especially are confined to a certain number of pages and they certainly aren't going to tell an advertiser that they need to cut an ad. Nor should they. However, less is always more. Cut a few of the mediocre designs and make the charts larger.

In the case of standalone directions, such as those in a kit, there's no fucking excuse. At all. Especially given what you pay for these kits.

I've had bad eyesight since I was five. It's not getting better and I'm getting older. Same for a lot of knitters. The magazines and book publishers should listen up. Of course, their perceived audience has an average age of 25, so I suppose I'm shouting in the wind.

Large-print Vogue Knitting, anyone?

The Long and Winding Road
It's a damned good thing John enjoys putting together stuff. Because in the past week, he's put together a dresser, two nightstands, a chair and a footstool, all from IKEA. If you don't have an IKEA in your part of the world, I feel for you. Great place for nicely designed cheap furniture.

After all of that, my Schacht winding station arrived the other day. This is arguably the best purchase I have made in years.

The dining room is still being put away--that's the rug waiting to be unwrapped. I think the winding station speaks for itself: a very handy swing arm for the chintzy Japanese swift I got with my weaving starter package (the "Almight KM Winding Reel"), holders for coned yarn and bobbins, and finally a permanent home for my yarn meter and ball winder.

The Packratter
I am a serious collector of things Victorian, specifically Flow Blue porcelain.

This is a shot of some of my Flow Blue. I no longer collect plates--got too many of those. So I now collect more unusual pieces. primarily 1860s and older. I just won an eBay bid on an excellent piece, a water pitcher circa 1860s

and I'm currently bidding on a fruit compote. Besides knitting and writing, my other passion is collecting stuff, as George Carlin would say. Or developing a stash of antiques.

I also collect the following:

  • Buffalo pottery
  • Miniature teasets
  • Frozen Charlottes (Charleys)

Frozen Charlottes were tiny porcelain penny dolls made from 1850 until right before WWI.

Little girls would often crochet or knit clothing for these dolls, which range in size from 1 inch up to 3.5 inches or so. The one above is about 3 inches tall. I have one that is dressed in a tiny crocheted outfit but she's still packed.

So now that I've totally bored you with my antiques fixation, I will go on with my unpacking and try to finish the Estonian thing-that-never-ends. The next project will be a self-designed lace shawl that needs a lot of prep work prior to knitting. I like a heavy-duty process session. Very rare and always handy.

No comments: