Monday, March 02, 2009

I Meant What I Said and I Said What I Meant

Best Quote I Heard All Day
Shorth is better than length.—Dr. Seuss

I think all knitting directions should replace length with shorth. Although I think it should actually be sherth.

Long = length. Short = sherth.

Catch the vowel consistency?

Today would have been Theodor Geisel’s 105th birthday. I’m old enough to remember when Cat in the Hat was published in 1957. I was seven and had been reading since I was four. But the sheer goofiness of the book won my little heart.

My favorite Seuss book is McElligot’s Pool, a book that has been overshadowed by other Seuss works.

That book, and Alice in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass, inspired my fertile imagination, which really needed no encouragement. I was a whimsical child and I identified with Alice, who rebelled against the boring and repressive Victorian lifestyle she lived by escaping into Wonderland.

Dr. Seuss offered me the same escape. So, what's your favorite Seuss book? I loved reading Green Eggs and Ham to my girls, particularly since Corinne only ate about five things as a child: hot dogs, steak, my chicken and cashews stir-fry, mac and cheese, and McDonald's hamburgers (she hated mine).

Knock, Knock. Who’s There? Aran? Aran Who?

Aran’t you glad I didn’t say Orange?

Sorry. An uncontrollable pun leakage. I’m not going to explain the original joke. If you don’t know it, Google it.

The Dale Falk for Jerry’s Aran finally came in on the slow boat from Denmark last Thursday.

My swatch showed me a few things. First, I needed to move the two tight plaits closer to the center motif—I had placed them a bit too far away and as a result, they seemed drifty rather than anchored. Second, the one baby cable was too weak to have any impact. So I added two more. Finally, it was clear that the single moss stitch added absolutely nothing and in fact, detracted from the baby cable. I decided to use simple seed stitch as a filler. It’s quietly innocuous and wouldn’t detract from any of the other stitch patterns.

Years ago, someone told me that an odd number of items catches the eye far better than an even number. This had something to do with flower arranging, as I recall. Back then, I didn’t know anything about the Fibonacci Sequence. Jerry’s Aran has 3 main design elements—the central panel, its tight plaits on either side, and the rambling braid. If you count the three baby cables as one element, plus the seed stitch filler, there are a total of five elements: Three major, two minor. An odd number. Think about how an even number of elements might appear. I don’t think they’d work nearly as well.

I can do the sweater calculations from scratch but I usually use Sweater Wizard because I’m intrinsically lazy and because it generates schematics too. Based on the swatch’s layout, I knew that I’d need at least 116 stitches for the bulk of the front/back patterning, excluding the filler stitches on each side. Once I plugged in Jerry’s measurements and the gauge, everything fell into place. My final numbers, 132 for cast-on and 148 for the body, works perfectly with my layout.

I debated on fiddling with the ribbing, maybe sticking some small cables therein, and then decided to leave it the fuck alone. There’s enough going on in the body of the sweater. Less is always more. I like 2/2 ribbing. Good elasticity and better than 1/1 to knit.

Being a tech writer means that I’m relatively organized when pulling together directions and associated stuff, such as the charts. Everything goes into a dedicated folder on my local drive, and then I plug all the pieces—charts, directions, and schematics—into a Word document. (Sweater Wizard will export to Word, although the formatting sucks.) The directions get a quick edit. I print them out, shove ‘em into plastic sleeves, and then into a binder.

As I go along, I’ll mark up the directions with any additional information that needs to be added.

Here it is—ribbing is done and 20 rows of the pattern, so far.

I've decided on the motifs for the sleeve. When I get there, you'll see how I've designed the pattern layout. It's going to have saddle shoulders, so I'm sure you can use your head and figure it the fuck out, right?

I've been asked if I'm going to publish this design. Yes. I'll sell it from here, probably. The old Cafe Press routing, most likely. I'll do the actual leaflet, .pdf it, and that's how it will go.

I miss being a magazine editor. Funny...I haven't thought about editing magazines in a long time, being up to my eyeballs in tech writing. But lately, doing these video tutorials for work, I've had a chance to screw around with graphics, editing the video, and trying to put a little artistic imagination into an otherwise dull corporate dealie.

Fibroid Events

Post Rhinebeck Retreat Survey

I’ll be talking to Ted soon about this. The results of the survey have given me a pretty good idea of what’s what and I wasn't terribly surprised at the high scorers. Here are the results, with 43 respondents so far.

Ted and I had discussed having this retreat at Easton Mountain; however, they would prefer a 4-day event. That doesn't matter, though. There are, I'm sure, plenty of places in the Rhinebeck vicinity, that would be quite suitable. I think that this survey is pretty indicative of what would fly. I know it's certainly what I would like: A 2-day, laid-back retreat, with some of us doing the teaching. I would certainly teach finishing and the computer bit, Ted and I could both do lace, and I'm sure there may be other qualified people who may like to teach. I was amused that only 9% wanted a "name" teacher. And that no one was particularly interested in an intarsia session.

MD Sheep & Wool

I think I’ve gotten Jerry to agree to go to MD S&W this year. We were thinking about going away for a long spring weekend anyway, so why not? Frederick is lovely that time of year—at this point, any place in the spring would be lovelier than this fucking mess.

It’ll be a good dress rehearsal for Rhinebeck, I suppose. Jerry is tremendously supportive of what I do, especially since he's the main recipient of my shit these days. I don’t know who’s going to MD, other than my friend BJ, but that doesn’t matter. It's not that I need more crap but I am truly jonesin' for that Schacht Ladybug.

So, despite the hideous weather, I've been doing and feeling great. Honestly, Jerry has made the difference. And it's so nice to have someone who loves those Raggi socks I make. I've got another pair on the needles that I'll try to finish this weekend for him. Raggi socks are truly rare and handy foot coverings. As Jeremiah is a rare and handy man--Lally columns and other construction projects around the house. Yikes.

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