Sunday, November 12, 2006

Best Quote I Heard All Day
We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school. --Peter De Vries

Knitting summer school. Now there's an institution that needs to be created.

And I'm not talking about Meg's Knitting Camp, either. A summer school for lazy, recalcitrant knitters who should do better and don't.

I spent the summer of my 15th year retaking algebra because I was absolutely lazy. And far past recalcitrant. Did me a lot of good, insofar as I met a number of other like-minded slackers. Plus I made my parents happy by ending up with a C rather than a D.

Excellence was not part of my vocabulary in those days.

Fanmail from a Flounder?
Well, not exactly, Bullwinkle. But Emma Edwards, a British reader who lives in France, sent me some wonderful stitch markers that she made just for me, me, me. So thoughtful and yes, I'm using them.

So right, is it not? As soon as I got them, I put two on the F 'n' F shawl--the other is "Shut Up." And here are the rest:

Emma says, I included the very British 'arse' marker as I feel that it is a much more expressive word than the American equivalent. [Ed. note: I think that depends upon what kind of American accent you have--I say it and it comes out sounding like a Jersey girl trying to sound pretentiously posh.]

Thanks, Emma. I think you have a business opportunity with these personalized markers. Just sayin'.

Survivor: IK Off the Island and Back Into the Swim
It pleases me no end to see that IK has finally gotten together a winning issue. My God, it's been a long, long time since I actually wanted to knit something out of a magazine. So here's the low-down.

The cover garment by Norah Gaughan, Nantucket Jacket, is absolutely lovely. And a warning--many of the designs, including this one, are challenging. Finally. I want to make the Elwen hoodie, absolutely. It features a cable pattern that many of you will recognize from Barbara Walker but one that is a favorite of mine. The construction of the hoodie is quite unique and there's a lot to absorb when reading this pattern.

Eunny Jang has a very nice Fair Isle pullover, albeit in colors that I would never wear, along with a very good article about steeking. Jesus, I hope some of you read this because between shortrowing and steeking, there are an awful lot of people out there who need their hands held.

Shirley Paden has a terrific cabled jacket, there are nicely done thrummed mittens, and a pair of mitts that I would actually make for myself for driving. A bit lacy but not overly so. The Arctic Diamonds stole is one that I would consider doing, if I didn't already have a long lace knitting list of projects. I liked the Veronik Avery Bohus-inspired pullover, although it's not on my to-do list. And Mari Lynn Patrick's Provincial Waistcoat is a pleasant surprise from a designer who has been consistently lousy in the past. Makes you wonder what the editors have been forcing down her throat, designwise. This one is excellent.

OK, and then there are two that I wouldn't make, ever, let alone want to look at in a magazine. You knew this was coming, didn't you?

One is the Rambling Rose Cardigan and the other the Corded Yoke Pullover. The model wearing the Rambling Rose looks like Anna Nicole Smith doing a star turn at Stitches. The Corded Yoke Pullover? Come on. Another example of "I knit it because I can." Maybe you'd wear it if you were Britney (so sorry about the split, doll, but we all did see it coming). Otherwise, uh uh.

The other garments are more or less OK, with a tinge of feh.

The one thing I did note--designers more and more, at least the ones who can design, are putting a lot more detail and shaping into their garments. Good on ya. It's about time. The pendulum swingeth back to the center.

Adjunctive Junk That You Need. Or Not.
Carol was raving about the Fricke ballwinder in her last entry. This is one thing I need to get my hands on because I really dislike my crappy Royal winder, the one that I told JT was inserted between a man's legs. Perhaps the Royal should be used in some weird sexual experiment because I sure don't like it much for winding balls.

I am quite fond of my Fricke skein winder with attached counter. This has been a blessing. Previously, I had been skeining my plyed yarn and then using KnitKnacks' counter along with the ballwinder. That worked fine but this is far superior. Knowing the yardage ahead of time is good instant gratification.

Now, I'm going to say something about those light-up needles. First of all, I don't have any interest in knitting at the movies or in a dark room. In fact, heresy that it may be, I don't feel the compelling urge to knit everywhere. For heaven's sake, why do so many knitters drag their knitting into places where it honestly needs to be kept in the bag?

Do you knit when you take a shit? Or is that going to be the next KnitList topic of conversation? Wait. The Liststapo wouldn't allow that function as topic material. But it is here. Admit it, that's why you read this blog.

I read patterns in the bathroom. That is appropriate. In fact, there's a sort of odd logic to reading through directions whilst eliminating. You take something in, you let something out.

I comprehended shortrowing and other previously incomprehensible knitting techniques in la salle de bain. My bathroom currently contains the Rhinebeck leaflet, the aforementioned IK, and the last issue of Spin-Off.

If you think that there are tons of people who would appreciate the glow of your luminescent needles in the theatre, think again. Personally, I want to watch the movie, not be distracted by the light from your moving needles.

Despite the general belief that knitters love to knit in public, in the course of two years or so, I have seen exactly two people knitting outside their homes--one in a doctor's office and one on the train.

Band Geekiness
It was great reading all the comments from everyone about marching band. I was really surprised at the response--who'da thunk? Of course, I was never a band geek. You don't march with a violin. But I was a denizen of the music practice room. And actually, up until someone decided knitting was "hip," I was a knitting geek too. Because knitting still is pretty geeky, in my opinion. So I suppose I'm still a knitting geek.

Let's see, what other geekiness can I claim? I do crossword puzzles, I work with computers, I would actually like to ride a bike again (preferred brand would be a Raleigh 3-speed with a basket), I do not own a Prada handbag, I like to play Trivial Pursuit.

That's enough geekiness to make anyone rare and handy.

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