Thursday, November 22, 2007

Legacy with Legs

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Beggar that I am, I am even poor in thanks--William Shakespeare

Tomorrow I will cook the last Thanksgiving dinner in my long career of providing holiday meals. I'm a bit wistful and yet a bit glad that next year, I can go off to my sister's or wherever and chow down.

In any case, I'm sure thankful that I have four days off, in which I will move stuff, go listen to some great live music on Saturday night in Bethlehem, PA, perhaps get a tad of knitting and spinning done, and in general take it a little easier.

Feeling good, gang. That's the word up. My thanks tomorrow go to my dear friends who have been there for me the past few weeks. You know who you are. And you know how much I love you. And Swing Time is back in full force.

Gone and Never Forgotten
Reading the NY Times online the other day, in between doing training and writing, I saw that Mary Walker Phillips had died. To quote the Times's obituary:

What Miss Phillips did, starting in the early 1960s, was to liberate knitting from the yoke of the sweater. Where traditional knitters were classical artists, faithfully reproducing a score, Miss Phillips knit jazz. In her hands, knitting became a free-form, improvisational art, with no rules, no patterns and no utilitarian end in sight.

Phillips's Creative Knitting was one of the first knitting books I ever owned. And although I do not treat my knitting as art, in many ways, she was a greater influence on me than Elizabeth Zimmermann, to whom I came rather late in my knitting studies, around 1982.

Through Phillips's work, I understood the freedom in my fingers, far more than I did by reading Zimmermann. Her other knitting book, Knitting Counterpanes, is a wonderful resource. I'm sorry that she was not more prolific in her writing.

Back when I worked in NYC and went regularly to the Strand bookstore to cull it for knitting books, I remember asking a clerk why there seemed to be a lack of them. I found out that Mary Walker Phillips lived on Horatio St. and was in the Strand all the time buying up all the knitting books. I couldn't beat her out on the books, damn it. But I was really blown away that she went to the Strand too.

Another great knitter gone, leaving a wonderful legacy.

Last Saturday
I thought I would have time to write about my get-together with Joe and James on Sunday but I ended up feeling unmotivated to write. Probably the medication but nonetheless, I just couldn't seem to sit down at the computer.

Joe did a fine job chronicling our day, though. And I will put up pictures of James's gifts to me. Including the possum fur giftie. They are quite extraordinary. As is James. What a sweetheart he is! And such fun to be with. We had a wonderful time and I wish he lived closer. And I do wish Mary-Helen had been with us as well. Don't worry, M-H. He had nothing but nice things to say about you.

I love my Aussie and Kiwi knitting friends. Someday, I'd like to get down there and inflict myself on them.

Open Mic Thursday
Yeah, I know it's Thanksgiving, and I hope to hell you're enjoying the day and not reading my blog. However, if you are, thanks.

The topic from last week certainly brought out some strong opinions, with which I did not disagree. The photography was disappointing, at best. The garments, while not ugly, didn't excite me. And I am at least happy to see shaping returning to where it should be.

I don't care one way or the other about the layout. I'm only interested in clear pictures of the designs. Where those pictures live doesn't make me no never mind.

Over the course of the past few years, due primarily to the mediocrity of the knitting magazines, I have tended to either turn to books or my own creativity for my projects. I would rather invest in a knitting book by a favored designer, which may yield a number of projects, than depend on magazines to pique my interest.

So, tell me.

From what source do you get your knitting projects? Magazines, books, or your idea-jammed brain?

Celeste's Campanula is the only magazine-published design that I've done in quite some time.

I Promise
There will be more pictures and stuff this long weekend, probably Sunday night. I got a copy of Kristin's book in the mail and it's hot. Plus I've finally finished that last sleeve to Lavold's Estrid from Book #9, so I'll be doing some finishing this weekend, time permitting. I always think I'm going to get more done than I do, but I swear there will be some time set aside just for that. Because for me, finishing something is rare and handy.

Happy Thanksgiving, ya turkeys. Eat heavy.

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