Saturday, March 25, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
If you really want to help the American theater, don't be an actress, dahling. Be an audience.--Tallulah Bankhead

It's so gratifying to get up on a Saturday morning and read that Daryl Hannah is, according to Yahoo News, "joining the search for Rwanda gorillas."

Thank God she didn't pursue her knitting design career. Or her acting career, for that matter.

The Rwandan jungle is precisely where she needs to be.

Obligatory Knitting, Spinning, Weaving Crap
I hate to say it but there's not been much going on other than work, but I knew it would be like this. A few more rows on the Melanie shawl and some rounds on a sock.

You know it's getting bad when the only picture I have is of a stupid sock; however, someone did ask and it's Regia Color, #5440.

Socks to me are like eating snack food. When you're hungry, you'll pop a few chips in your mouth if that's all you have time for. I've never considered making socks as bona-fide projects. It's just something that fills in the gaps. And my sock drawer.

I use the same pattern: A 60-stitch cast-on for a gauge of 7 sts/10 rounds = 1" on #0 needles. I have it memorized. It fits my big feet incredibly well and means that I seldom have to think about knitting socks at all.

The beauty of 60 stitches lies in its factors: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12. You can implant a lot of stitch patterns into this sock, that's for sure. I start with an inch of 2/2 ribbing, always. And then segue into either plain stockinette or whatever I may have chosen as a pattern.

Of course, if there are cables or Fair Isle involved, that's another story. But chose any stitch pattern that equals the lay of stockinette and you're in business.

I really enjoyed Franklin's guest stint on Brenda Dayne's Cast On podcasts. I was privileged to see his amazing first sweater at Rhinebeck. Sometimes I think that knitting is like many other things--you dabble or perhaps you're immediately gifted.

Although I'm not quite sure why he was intimidated by me and Joe.

I owe Brenda an essay but I'll be damned if I can figure out how to get Audacity to run properly. Franklin?

If I get my shit together, I may substitute an audio file for a blog entry one of these days. And if you think that's less work than writing, think again.

A Pox on Humanity
Well, the Spring issue of Knitter's is up on the X-men's Gallery, if you wish to peruse it. I won't give you the link, I'll let you find it yourself. Sorta like finding Waldo.

With the exception of one design, every one is a candidate for You Knit What?

Elsebeth Lavold has a nice hoodie design done in hemp. Otherwise, most of the issue was designed by some unknowns, two well-known designers who haven't jumped ship, the X-boy (who managed to turn the color green into the worst looking piece of shit I've seen in a long time) and of course the ubiquitous Knitter's Design Team.

Twenty designs, of which four were done by the erstwhile "Design Team"--that's 20% of the issue, by my reckoning. And why is Kathy Zimmerman still designing for them? Ye gods.

Do we need three capelet patterns? And what the fuck do capelets have to do with the theme "Be a Sport"? In fact, what did any of the designs have to do with it? I think the theme must be a plea for mercy.

I show no mercy.

Other Mag News
Interweave's next crochet issue will be out soon and Kathy Merrick is in it. So I'll buy it. And not because, as Interweave hypes, "Patterns from respected designers like Mari Lynn Patrick, Candi Jensen, Annie Modesitt, and many more!"

Kathy does the best crochet designing out there. Hands down. The others should just forget it. And some of them should forget knitting design too.

Readers Ask and My Brain Goes Numb
I haven't even had time to really write anything in the Comments, as I usually do. That's where I like to handle questions. And if you're e-mailing me questions these days, forget it. I probably don't have the time to answer. Put 'em in the Comments and I'll get to them.


Anne from the Jersey Shore (where, Anne?) writes: You've chosen very inspiring colors to work with--the raspberry Merino to spin and the blue of your shawl to knit. When you choose something to spin (or knit) do you find yourself more drawn to color, to fiber prep (top vs batts vs roving vs unprocessed fleece), or to breed characteristics? Or something else? Do you spin to a purpose, or spin to spin?

I usually spin to a purpose, which is why I spent the better part of a year spinning Starry Night. I don't mind sampling occasionally if it's a breed or fiber I have not experienced but sampling at this point is a bore. If I'm going to spin, I'm going to use the finished product for something.

With knitting, I'm generally drawn to color first, then fiber type, then hand, then texture.

With spinning, I tend to like combed top or roving. I honestly don't have the time to comb or card my own wool, despite having five pounds of Lincoln fleece up in the stash. I do choose for color first, then breed, then prep. I would love to have the time to do some fiber prep and some dyeing but that's not going to happen very soon, for sure.

Rachel Life asks: I have a question for my mother's sake. she wants to find editing gigs but has no confidence or ideas for how to get started. do you have some advice for her?

Not knowing your mother's experience, I can't really answer that question adequately. If she has none, I would suggest looking for an editorial assistant's position. Don't forget, there are many, many publications out there--every organization and business sector has plenty of them. So where she may not get a job at Time or People, she could start perhaps on one of her local newspapers. I know ours seems to need editorial help from time to time. If she does have experience, there are organizations that she can join. For example, I belong to the Society of Technical Communicators. These professional associations often have job listings or you can make contacts through them. Networking, baby.

I was extraordinarily fortunate because I fell into editing strictly because I was an expert knitter and hired for that, not because I had any impressive CV. And I managed to parlay my job at McCall's into much more diverse editing experience because I knew that the craft/knitting market was too small and I'd never make any money in it anyway.

Your mother needs to have confidence. If she doesn't, she won't get anywhere, be it in editing or another profession. If you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will either.

OK, gang, another rare and handy week with the Slovenians bites the dust. And now I clean the house and get on to things fibrous. As the Slovenians would say, nasvidenje!

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