Thursday, March 22, 2007

Best Quote I Heard All Day
He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.--Jonathan Swift

Where the fuck is spring? They say it's here.

The hermetically sealed phials are in some box in the basement, I guess.

A Brief Respite
Took a couple of hours Tuesday to run down to Montclair and have lunch with Mumsy. And visit Stix-n-Stitches. This has become my local yarn shop, even though it is a 34-mile drive each way.

S-n-S is one fabulous yarn shop, for you North Jerseyans and anyone else in the area. They have the best selection of sock yarn I've ever seen in one place, lots of wonderful yarn, a big book section, and they are some of the nicest knitting shop people I've ever met. One of them dragged every single Lavold book out for Ma, rather than her trying to do it herself. Between this place and Twist, I can't bitch.

Although I do wish that I lived next door to Halcyon or Harrisville.

Facing Forward
The Lavold front is almost done.

Now, I'm going to complain about Lavold's directions, which are singularly peculiar and often misleading, to put it mildly. This being my third Lavold, I've come to find that you simply cannot trust the charts nor the directions. I've found mistakes in each of the charts. No schematics in any of her books. She does a particular type of raised increase, which is explained in her first book but not in any of the later books.

So if you buy one of these softcover books and you don't understand how the increase is done (and it must be done her way), you're shit out of luck.

Out of Print
Get your eBay seller's page ready because the Harmony Guides are now out of print. I got that from Stix-n-Stitches, so I scooped up the copies I was missing.

Do I hear a starting bid of $100 a piece?

Charts and Stitch Patterns and Barbara Walker, Oh My!
I like the Harmony books, despite the fact that the earlier ones are not charted. Well, neither are the BW Treasuries but so what? I generally chart them myself. And frankly, the Treasuries' stitch patterns are now so overused that it's gotten to the point where if I see them on a garment in a mag, I often keep going. Twenty-five years of looking at all those patterns, you know?

These days, I use my old Mon Tricot Knitting Encyclopedia 1500 Stitches, Beautiful Knitting Patterns, and an old Burda stitch pattern book from the early '80s.

Michelene commented upon the commercial potential of having the BW Treasury patterns charted. That's an interesting proposition but one that would be an enormous undertaking. I doubt you'll see it, although I think they would sell. Jeez, with all the bad knitting books out there, it would be great to see classics like these revamped.

When Spinsterina made the comment that she was going to convince Eunny to switch to the Japanese charting system, I was amused. The Craft Yarn Council of America will waste a ton of money pushing their Yarn Standards, but no one seems interested in standardizing chart symbols.

I learned charting using the Japanese system in the early '80s because I was a machine knitter at the time. I would not necessarily choose Barbara Walker's system over that one but the knitting industry should pick one and stick to it.

Stitch 'n' Pitch
For fellow baseball fans, TNNA is promoting this. I always take my knitting to ballgames but due to security issues, it's not that easy to drag a large knitting bag into Yankee Stadium. Sock knitting is about all I'll take.

Seems to me that if anyone can turn knitting into an "event" these days, they will. Enough, already.

I'm rather pleased that I didn't see the Yankees on the Stitch 'n' Pitch schedule. Only the Mets. But then the Mets are a warm and fuzzy team, whereas the Yanks are not. They're just rare and handy. Eleven days to Opening Day against the Devil Rays.

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