Best Quote I Heard All Day
If you want it in the worst way, that's probably how you'll get it--Patrick Conway, my former boss at The Chubb Institute and a very good friend
Do you wonder how much money knit/crochet designers make for their published patterns? Shit dollars. A mere tuppence, considering the amount of work that goes into even a simple design. And to add insult to injury, knitting editors often force them to change the design elements and then substitute another yarn (usually due to pressure from advertisers--I know, was in that boat onceuponatime long ago, which is why I left craft publishing). Designers have no control over the quality of the directions either.
Shameful. This is why I don't submit my stuff to magazines, although I do trust Trisha Malcolm, based on what friends have told me about her.
Recently, a good friend who is a well-known designer and a wonderful lady, wrote me and in answer to my question, "How come I haven't seen your stuff in the mags for a while?", she told me that the magazines and yarn companies are hiring newbie designers or using in-house people to keep costs down and walking away from the better-known names. She's now concentrating on other outlets for her talents, such as writing articles for a magazine that has nothing to do with knitting.
It's fine to give new names a chance but to fill your issue with unknowns is downright stupid. Yeah, I know. It's the economy, stupid. But you get what you pay for, no? Along with poor photography, IK being tops in this category, the designs you see, other than those in VK, are blah-blah-drab. Can we blame the designers? I think not..
I'm saddened that my friend may disappear from the knitting design world. How many more will we lose? Yo, magazine editors. Get smart and stop being fucking idiots. Let your designers do their thing and pay them decently. Keep giving the novices a chance but don't forget the tried and true people who have made your magazines popular. I know that your readers would pay more per issue if you gave them quality instead of crap.
OK, I'm done with the rant. For the time being. Now, a beacon of light in the knitting publishing world that I am happy to discuss.
The other week, when I was hanging out at Stix-n-Stitches, my favorite knitting haunt and home to my soul sisters, the divine Ms. Sheila Handelsman and the incomparable Patty Way, I saw and grabbed Gwen Bortner's new book, Entree to Entrelac, published by XRX. Holy shit, what a book! I first did entrelac back in my Mon Tricot era, around 1978, just fooling around with it. Later on, I started but never finished the Forest Path Stole, a fabulous entrelac design in IK. I loved working it but somehow got off the beaten path.
Gwen's book truly is the definitive guide to entrelac. The amount of work that went into this book is astounding. Everything in it is outstanding--excellent diagrams, concise text, good photos, fabulous designs.
You know me, I don't blather over a book unless it hits me between the eyes. This one did, the first in a long time. I would say that it is equal to Cat Bordhi's books in technical information imparted perfectly.
I might even learn to knit backwards, something that I've shunned in the past. God knows, if I can't learn from Gwen's book, I'm a fucking moron.
So check it out, skanks. And buy it. I'm looking forward to meeting Gwen when she teaches two workshops at Stix-n-Stitches Sunday October 24th. If you live in North Jersey and are interested in attending, contact Sheila at the shop, 973-744-3535. I'll be there, just to meet Gwen. Being on unemployment precludes my attending the workshops, unfortunately.
The clock is ticking. Three more days to go. This is the premier event of my year, possibly anticipated more than Christmas.
I will miss Lee Ann and Ted, neither of whom can make it this year. But there will be lots of friends there, plus readers whom I have never met.
So what knitting will I bring? Probably two things: a pair of Yeti socks that I'm making for a Christmas present. And this:
As for spinning crap, I've been spindling this Corriedale for ages. It's about time I got it done.
So the next blog post will be about Rhinebeck, obviously. There'll be lots of pictures, no doubt. For those of you who can't make it, maybe next year? It's the one fiber festival that's worth attending, better, in my opinion, than MD Sheep & Wool.
Go early, shop heavy, hang with friends. I won't be spending a lot of money--do I really need more shit? But I look forward to meeting any readers who will be there. You'll usually find me at the concession stands, sitting at a picnic table with friends. If I'm not there, I certainly will be anon. Please don't hesitate to tap me on the shoulder and do a "Hey Mar!" in my ear.
My readers are rare and handy. Meeting you is even more so. See ya on Saturday (and Sunday, if I have the energy to make the 2-hour drive again).