Sunday, November 26, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Publishers are notoriously slothful about numbers, unless they're attached to dollar signs -- unlike journalists, quarterbacks, and felony criminal defendants who tend to be keenly aware of numbers at all times.--Hunter S. Thompson

Gonzo journalism died the day Hunter blew his brains out.

I miss him. He was an exemplary member of my species--the manic depressive who lives to write.

And I wonder what he would have had to say about OJ's erstwhile suppository book. You may read that as a pun of taste, if you like.

The fact that Judith Regan gave as her reason for procuring the book her personal history of abuse makes it all the more despicable. Because if you know about the book business, you know that Regan would sell her slight soul to make a buck. And buying it through a third party? No, Judith. You know exactly who, what, where, why, when and how.

When Rupert Murdoch puts the kibosh on a deal like that, there's more than mere morality involved. Murdoch knew the book wouldn't sell. He doesn't lose sleep worrying about his high moral standards taking a fall.

You knew it would be available on eBay. Because they've already printed the first run and some of those copies will be floating around.

Slothful Times
I admit it, I'm lazy. Very lazy. Occasionally motivated but for the most part, the world's finest procrastinator when not at work. I have still not hooked up my DVD player after more than two months in this house.

However, I did start the KnitPicks Fair Isle vest by Kathi Johnson that Mammy gave me for my birthday last spring. It's fucking cold at work, for one thing. For another, I realized that it has been more than two years since I actually made a garment for myself. My last one was the Lavold vest from Knitter's, which was also the last issue I bought.

So rather than write, I've been knitting. This is a week's worth. A few more rows and I'll be steeking the armholes.

Here's the thing about this vest. For an experienced knitter, it's the proverbial walk in the park. But it is a very good pattern for first-timers. Twelve colors, so you won't get bored. Simple, easily memorized peeries. Decent directions, except that you need to rely on sources other than the pattern for steeking. I would recommend Eunny Jang's article in this issue of IK, or barring that, Sweaters From Camp. When I get to cutting the steeks, I'll take pictures because I thought the illustrations from Eunny's article could have been a lot better.

There are a few mistakes in the directions, though. The suggested needles are 3s for the ribbing, 5s for the body. The directions tell you to make your Fair Isle swatch with the 3s. I don't think so.

I always work my Fair Isle from the inside circumference. This helps keep the work from bunching up. I also stretch it out across the shank of the needle rather than let it gather there.

Another bitch I have is the chart. Please tell me what the fuck is going on with pattern publishers and designers when they insist on doing colored charts. There are three very dark colors in this vest. Unless you take the chart into direct sunlight and immediately write in the color names, you will not be able to discern black from forest green from dark brown. Absolutely awful chart.

But the yarn, Andean Treasure, which is 100% baby alpaca, is of outstanding quality.

So the F 'n' F shawl, while 80% finished, has been put to one side until this vest is done.

Ma's Shawl
Now, if you're whining that lace is too hard, just remember that my 83-year-old mother recently finished her first lace shawl in KP's Shimmer. And promptly handed it over to me for blocking.

I haven't yet blocked it so I stretched it out a bit so that you could see a bit of it.

This is from Folk Shawls and she worked it in a double strand of Shimmer, something she swears she will never do again.

Next project for her: another lace shawl, this time done in Harrisville 2-ply Shetland. She's buying me some for Christmas along with her order.

I seldom get an opportunity to showcase my mother's work. Besides being my first (and only) knitting teacher, she's an inspiration. Shows you that getting older doesn't mean you park your carcass in a rocking chair. She doesn't. I won't.

Awful. Just awful. I flipped through it in Borders yesterday and other than Nicky Epstein's felted Fair Isle bag, which would have been better presented as a sweater but had lovely colors and patterns, there wasn't one item in the magazine worth the cover price. That includes the articles, although for some, Meg's article on brioche stitch in the round may be of some interest. IK wins the Winter season Best of Show award, hands down.

Spinning Shit
No, I'm not spinning shit. I just got another roving from Carol's inimitable Black Bunny Fibers. This time, it's Corriedale. Another Pansy.
Carol sure knows what I like but you have to check her Etsy shop frequently or you'll miss out. I'm beginning to have a fine collection of BBF rovings and 4 ounces should be enough for a nice scarf or something. I don't think I'll be knitting socks again, at least not from this.

I did a little bit this morning on the Matchless, after having to replace the drive band due to fraying from Buster teeth. It spins beautifully. As far as the Curmudgeon superwash blend is concerned, I suspect that it wants to be spun a bit heavier and this will be a good exercise in changing spun thicknesses.

Right now, I'm spinning the Corriedale fine, as I always do.
My main goal is not necessarily to spin fine singles but to spin consistently, be it fine or heavy. I've seen an awful lot of spinners who consider themselves experienced producing thick and thin plyed yarns that they think epitomizes the pinnacle of handspun.

Well, unless that's specifically the type of yarn you are aiming to create, uh uh. It seems to me that a lot of people put the brakes on improving their spinning consistency the moment they produce something that can be called yarn, however loosely.

And the killer is, these people are selling their handspun lumpy crap on the internet for as much as $35 a skein.

Hey, if you can live with yourself selling junk, more power to you. There's a market for everything. And a sucker born every minute.

And For You Suckers...
there's Catirina Bonet. (OK, M-H, I know I'm guilty of spreading the spam. But with You Knit What gone, somebody has to do it.)

I won't put any pictures of the ghastly CB designs up on this blog. But my question is, who are these women (two of them, I believe) and why do they spam my Inbox on a regular basis?

Besides the fact that I believe knitted tea cozies to be in the same double-wide league as knitted warshcloths and felted bottle holders, Fun Fur scarves and the rest of the KnitDweebish fashion genre, the rest of their designs are so bad, it's good for a yuck to take a trip.

Check out the Babies & Kids designs. And tell me that you'd dress little Britney or Jason in duds like these, let alone knit them.

And with pattern prices ranging from $7 (tea cozies) to $34.95 (hideous multi-colored coat), you have to wonder who's going to pay that kind of money? It's one thing to fork over $18 for a Sharon Miller lace design--you get plenty of bang for your buck. But Catirina Bonet is another story.

Besides, they're based in L.A. I think that speaks volumes. Bling, bling, my ass.

Getting Turkey-fied
Hope you all had a good holiday. I was busy cooking up a storm all day for Ma, brother Rich, Jenn, her boyfriend Norm and my grandson Ian. Eight hours of cooking, 20 minutes of eating. But it was a nice day and all came out well. Corinne, Liz and Mike took off for W'burg to see his parents. They'll be home later tonight, if they don't get caught up in the DC Beltway Hell.

I had the house to myself for three days. And it was a bit weird being alone. I don't like to be without people. However, I got tons of laundry done, the bedroom cleaned and a lot of knitting completed. And tomorrow it's back to work, along with the rest of the world.

And now comes Christmas. A rare and handy season. My favorite. Maybe next weekend the tree, cut down in the wilds of Pennsyltucky. But no knitted ornaments. Or knitted treeskirts. Or knitted coasters. Or knitted gifts. You know how it is.

No comments: