Sunday, August 13, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
But I don’t want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
'Oh, you can’t help that,' said the Cat. 'We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.'
'How do you know I’m mad?' said Alice.
'You must be,” said the Cat. 'or you wouldn’t have come here.'--Lewis Carroll

I'm certainly mad. That's why I'm here, writing this blog.

First, the Socks
OK, so now I'm sick of them. Almost four pair in less than three weeks and I've had it. Done. Finished. I need a project with some teeth. But here are the finished Pansy socks for your entertainment and eddyfucation. Carol, feel free to swipe the picture and use it as you wish. It is, after all, your brilliant dyeing talents that are at play here.

I had it in my head to rework my old, old 1997 Leaves of Grass sock pattern, which I designed for the Knit List Christmas gift thing, back when the Knit List was worth a tinker's damn. The original pattern was 2x2 ribbing down to the instep, and then a lace insert. What was I thinking back then? Yikes.

Believe it or not, Loopy still has the pattern and the yarn after almost 9 years. Of course, she hasn't made the damned things. Now she can make them with my reworked design.

The lace insert is a stitch pattern from Barbara Walker. I reworked it for circular knitting. Here's the first sock, almost done. Notice that the ribbing is now gone. And good riddance to it.

It's a bit hard to see the stitch pattern in this shot but basically, it's overlapping leaves, mirrored, with eyelet stems. Here's a better shot.

I hope you know that this was a damned hard picture to take, with my right hand in the sock to expand the pattern, the camera balanced against my right shoulder, and my left hand curled under the lens with a finger on the trigger.

I wouldn't let me handle any firearm.

This pattern will go to Fredda at The Knitting Vault. It's about time I gave her something to flog, even though I will eventually get the JamaicanMeCrazee hoodie sized and up there to. I swear, Fredda, I will. Sometime this fall, when I can breathe again.

There are freebies over in the sidebar. That's it. The rest, you pay for over at Fredda's.

IK, VK and a Handwoven that's a Woofer
I'm happy to say that I actually liked Interweave Knits this issue. I generally find something redeeming in IK, although it's been a real stretch of late. This issue, hideously fugly skirt aside (you'll know it when you see it), had a number of really good designs. Here's what I liked:

  • Gatsby Girl Pullover--nice stitch patterns, nice shaping and attention to detail, great color
  • Wanderlust Hoodie--ditto, although I might change the color. Downside: Bobbles.
  • Swallowtail Shawl--good lace for beginners. Too small for my taste but just right for someone who wants to get their feet wet.
  • Coral Crossing--pretty color, again good shaping. Get rid of the pockets. Ruins the lines. Neckline is too scooped. I'd put in a crewneck.
  • Father and Son socks--basic, easy, OK patterning.
  • Weekend Pullover--very pretty. But then, I usually like Veronik's designs. I particularly liked the side slits. Smart design detail.

So that's six that passed muster. The rest are not fugly but mostly forgettable. All in all, a good issue. For beginning lace knitters, Eunny Jang's articles are a must-read. Forget the rest of the articles.

With Vague, it wasn't quite as good an issue but at least I bought it. For the one spectacular spread of gray sweaters, Gray's Anatomy, modeled by a beautiful woman of a certain age. And the Fancy Footwork spread was fun. I loved Joan M-M's Victorian embroidered stockings. The other socks were nice, too. But will someone please tell Priscilla Gibson-Roberts that she is most definitely not a designer? Those "Scandinavian" socks of hers looked like spew. Just sayin'.

As far as Handwoven is concerned, for those weavers among us, I say: WHO WEAVES FOR PETS? Honest to God, WTF were they thinking? Other than my sister's retarded dog Charlie, who would look even more retarded in one of those woven coats, I can't imagine any animal in those things. Besides which, are you really going to spend the time warping your loom to make a doggie treat bag? I don't think so.

However, with weaving, you can always use the drafts for something else. In this case, I didn't even see any drafts I would use. I sincerely hope that the editorial staff of Handwoven regains its collective sanity and has terrible nightmares involving woven horse blankets, birdcage covers and kitty pillows. I mean, just stop it. Now. Or I'm done with the magazine.

In Other News
I want to thank reader Earin publicly for reading my whiny "I need a man" sob-o-rama and planting a dastardly idea in my skull. Earin and Loop both know what I'm doing. If it works and it looks extraordinarily promising, I will maybe say something when it's done. But maybe not.

All in all, it's been a horrifically busy summer. And that's good, I guess. I'm still playing seesaw with the Slovenians and still falling asleep on the train with knitting in hand. I have decided that the sight of bamboo double-pointed needles keeps other passengers from sitting next to me.

And now, I ask you the question of the summer:

Can I take knitting needles on the plane?

Sure, honey. Just make sure you swallow one in front of the nice security person, OK?

So now I return to my e-mail, finish that sock and start planning my next project. Which most likely will be an original shawl design that I've been working on for the past few months. The yarn? That rare and handy Starry Night. What else?

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