Sunday, February 11, 2007

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Don't be celebrities, because then you go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, You don't want that, do you?--Jack Black

Who gives a shit about Anna Nicole Smith besides her mother? Who ever did? An Ophelia for our time? I doubt it. The tragic figures of ANS and Lindsey Lohan. Discuss.

What is so Rare as a Day in June?
Not much else if you live in upstate New York these days. But there are tentative signs that spring is getting closer because Rowan's about to put out its Spring magazine. And it looks like one to buy.

Some absolutely beautiful garments therein, particularly in the Secret Garden and Medinas and Minarets sections. Two Kaffes that I might actually make (Marble and Hydrangea). A number of Marie Wallin designs that are spectacular. (Incidentally, Sharon Miller has a shawl in Secret Garden called Anice that is mistakenly credited to Wallin).

The Promenade section, "Inspired by the British seaside of the 1940's and 1950's - a lovely holiday collection with a hint of glamour", according to Rowan's blurb, is as dowdy as you would imagine clothes of that era to have been. Not much "glamour" there. My apologies to my UK friends but let's face it--back in the '40s and '50s, Britain wasn't exactly known as a fashion mecca.

My only gripe is that the pictures in the slide shows can't be enlarged, so the detail on many of the garments is lost. But never mind that. I'm buying this one.

Crazy Love
While waiting for my sock blockers and some yarn for my men's sock design to come from Rosie's Yarn Cellar, I had to do something. Can't seem to persuade my inner child to get back to the Arwen hoodie. Inner child wanted to go back to a lace pattern that I found in a rather obscure book that Ma gave me some time ago. I'd recharted it several months ago with an eye to using it at some point.

Carol's merino laceweight in her Red Light colorway seemed just right, as her Black Bunny Fibers always do. In lieu of any kind of possible celebration of Valentine's Day, this seemed like a perfect project. I rather think the motifs look like flames of passion or maybe Cupid's darts.

Nobody ever accused me of not having a fertile imagination.

Speaking of which, Joan McGowan-Michael's new book, Knitting Lingerie Style, will be out April 1. Another must-have, for sure.

If you are not familiar with White Lies Designs, get over there. Joan M-M is the only knitting designer whose knitted lingerie I would ever consider making. She knows dressmaking, shaping, and what needs to be done to create truly wearable knitted lingerie, especially for those of us with big tits. And her other garments are nice, too. If you order the book now from her site before March 31, you'll get free shipping, an autographed copy and a coupon for 15% off any WLD stuff. Good deal.

So much for Valentine's Day--may we all get flowers and gobs of chocolate from our significant others.

On the Wheel
Despite my well-intentioned mantra of "Spin a little every day," I must admit that I haven't touched either wheel in quite a while.

My bad. Do as I say, not as I do.

Last night, though, I actually became completely sick of knitting. Heinous blasphemy, I know. So I went back to the Joy and the grape silk/merino. For those of you who have forgotten (and that includes me), here's what's what.

I astounded myself. The minute I had a clump of fiber in my hand and started spinning, I was able to spin consistently as if I had never stopped for two months. So now the goal is to try to fill this bobbin by next week. And start another. I'm itching to see this plyed.

Mosaic Hell
Here's what I've been wondering for a long time. Is it possible to make an attractive garment using the mosaic technique? Barbara Walker's favorite. (Her books are stuffed with perfectly hideous mosaic patterns.)

For those of you who don't know what mosaic knitting is, it's a two-color slip stitch technique in which you work color A in the first row, slipping color B, and then on the second row, work Color B and slip color A. The directions tell you which color to work and which to slip to form the design. Although you can work this on a stockinette background as seen in the Cage Pattern in the picture above, generally both rows are knit so that the finished product is garter stitch.

I've tried it on a swatch and there are numerous issues with this technique. First of all, it takes two rows to complete one row. Second, decreasing for shaping is a bitch. It can be done but it's laborious, in my opinion.

But the biggest problem with this technique is the ensuing design, which is generally unsuitable for a sweater, too garish for a coat and, in the long run, makes a better afghan square, as applied by Walker in her Learn To Knit Afghan Book. I've seen a few mosaic designs in the magazines, none of which I'd ever make.

Nonetheless, I'm tempted to play with some of the smaller designs, perhaps in muted colors, to see if it can actually be made into an attractive garment. Now that's a knitting challenge.

The Arwen hoodie may never be completed if I don't stop having these brilliant ideas.

Sunday Sports
Today, my last free day before going back to work, albeit in my house, is going to be devoted to finally finishing up the Loom Room arrangement so that it's a truly workable studio/office, get some more done on the Crazy Love shawl and watch Pebble Beach at 3. Because you know I love sports, yes, even golf, which I find relaxing to watch. Someday I'll tell you about my miserable attempts to hack away at a golf ball.

Sports and the KC? Incongruous, I know. However, growing up with a mother whose passion was watching sports of any type did rub off. Childhood summers for brother Rich and me meant pickup baseball games with anyone available in the neighborhood. Baseball is my first love but I enjoy watching almost any sport except basketball.

There's nothing better than sitting in Yankee Stadium on a warm July afternoon with a cold one and my knitting, watching my boys beat the crap out of the opposing team, preferably the Red Sox. And I don't want to hear from any Sox fans in the Comments. Because the Sox suck.

Well, Tontant Weaders, it's time for another cup of coffee. Java be so rare and handy, it makes my brain come to life.

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