Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Bombs Away! Knit a Sewer Drain Cozy

Best Quote I Heard All Day
I'm writing an unauthorized autobiography.--Stephen Wright
Me too, Stephen. Yes, it's been a long time since I've posted to the blog. For some time, I lost interest in communicating, partially because I buried myself in my book and also because I did some consulting work for a major financial services company.

The book has been ongoing for too long. No, I have no publisher yet and frankly, I'm writing this for my children and grandchildren, although it is my life as a knitter. I've designed knitting patterns that reflect the various hallmarks in my knitting life. It's been fun but also rather burdensome because when I turned 61 on April 25th, my mortality hit me between the eyes and I realized that my writing time is finite.

So back to writing the blog, another minor legacy, I suppose.

Word Up!
I gotta say, there are just too many damned knitting books out there. I no longer buy books that contain patterns only because I do my own, a far more challenging activity that spending time working on other people's shit. And because there has been an e-explosion of knitting patterns, you do have to wade through a pile of crap to get to decent stuff. On the other hand, it gives people freedom to publish, although I fear that some truly talented designers could get lost in the shuffle.

The two best books published this year are Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knit One Knit All and Barb Brown's Knitting Knee Highs. I reviewed Barb's book on February 11th. Bless Meg for gathering up all her mother's unpublished garter stitch designs and putting them together into a beautifully designed book. I'm still waiting for my copy, which I'll buy from my sistah-in-spirit Sheila, who owns my LYS Stix-n-Stitches. I did get a chance to peruse her copy and was blown away. After all, EZ was the original knitting origamist. That's what I call her Baby Surprise Jacket. Knitting origami.

The next book on my list will probably be Swirl! by Sandra McIver. This is not just a pattern book but an interesting technique that I'd like to study.

That's what's key--gimme a book that will shove new info into my gob. Just because it has "knitting" in its title doesn't mean it's going to add shit to my wealth of knowledge.

So WTF Are You Doing?
Other than waiting to start my new consulting gig next Monday, writing, and working on the book projects, I decided to pick up one of my spindles and start spinning some of Mindy Soucek's Puff the Magic Rabbit's wonderful mohair (from her own goaties)/Border Leicester/silk. (Check out her Etsy shop--some great fiber and handspun yarn for very reasonable prices.)

The nose? That's Sam's, the Countess von Puppelah, who is fascinated by the fiber smell and mesmerized by the spinning spindle. I suspect she'd like to chew both, so they are kept well hidden. The Countess has been known to chew hand knitted socks to shreds. She is not allowed in my workroom. Ever.

The Topic for Today is Yarn Bombing. Please Refer to the Blog Title.
Sorry, just getting geared up for tech writing. I've written about this stupidity on Facebook but it's time to diss it here. Yarn bombers--have you borrowed public idiocy from Tea Party members? Knitting tree cozies? Bike handle cozies? How about putting some effort into some charitable knitting, such as The Seamen's Church Institute, whose Christmas At Sea knitting project, active since 1898, has provided mariners away from home during the holidays with warm scarves, hats, vests, socks, and other goodies.  I understand this is now sponsored by Universal Yarn. Bravo, Michael! My late husband Jimmy, who was a ship modeler and maritime historian, often went to the SCI in NYC. Long ago, I knit for this project. I will so do again.

Yarn bombing doesn't make you look like a "rebel knitter" but rather, makes you look like you have nothing better to do with your time. If you want to make your community look nice, how about contributing flowers and your gardening skills? Fuck the stupid cozies. Yarn bombing does not improve knitting's image. In fact, it probably annoys the piss out of people. So stop it, already. It is not rare and handy.

What do you think of yarn bombing?

That's it for now. Time to get back to the other writing, or perhaps train Sam to wind yarn. By the way, I have just set up the blog for mobile viewing, a new beta feature on Blogger.

Later, skanks. The next post will probably be in July, hopefully in a week or so. The 25th of July marks the blog's 9th anniversary.


Kat said...

Yarn Bombing = EPIC FAIL
You will love Swirl! It is the most inventive technique I've seen in a long time. I bought it and have been poring through my stash to see what I have suitable for at least one.

Jamie said...

I've been using to self publish books of my photography and my little girl for my family. They really care about their paper, their printing, their binding well, they care about everything books. Plus you get the software to build it yourself.
Glad to read your words again. When there are long silences, I worry. BUt I know I shouldn't because you are a strong super woman!

Cathy said...

Yarn bombing is stupid. These people have too much time and yarn on their hands.

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of yarn bombing. Thanks for the word on SCI- an excellent cause to knit for.

Anonymous said...

good to see you back

Anonymous said...

Also not a fan of yarn bombing. It was unique about 6 years ago, but now it is in the same category putting your tag on a USPS mailing label with a sharpie and sticking it on a mailbox for me. How about doing something new?! I kind of like the idea of random flower plantings. Needs to be followed up by not-so-random flower waterings, though.

puffthemagicrabbit said...

Sam should learn to wind yarn. I know Jasper should learn- he is the laziest beagle/jack russell I have ever seen!!

Can't wait to see the yarn all finished- that was one of my favorite colors. Thanks for the mention!!

Christine Stevens said...

Yarn bombing is a big waste of space. You are spot on with the charity call. There are so many people around the world who need help. A wool in a tree cozy could knit an awful lot of hats. Or instead of wrapping your blanket around a tree, give it to a homeless person living out on our cold streets.

As for knitting patterns. You could quite easily trash 90% of the patterns listed on Ravelry and the knitting world wouldn't notice. I was at Sydney's craft show yesterday and was amazed at the number of knitting books. Most of which were crap - appears that publishers think that any book with knit in the title is going to be a seller.

M-H said...

But here's yarn bombing that really works. I suspect you might like this version.

Welcome back to the blogosphere, old friend.

lestersmama said...

In total agreement with your opinion of yarn bombing.

Marie said...

Yarn bombing is for people who have nothing to do--it's a total waste of time and effort. Knitting anything useful is better.

FiberQat said...

I have the Knit, Swirl! book and the architecture of the sweaters is fascinating. There are four basic shapes that you start off with. I was told by a very good source that at the time the author was at Cat's Visionary Retreat she had the prototypes of all the sweaters and they all looked good on all the body shapes, including ours. So I'm currently swatching with a light worsted alternating with a laceweight to make mine.

Is that the once-lost-then-found Golding Ringspindle from last Rhinebeck?

Marilyn said...

No, that's not the rescued Golding spindle, Duffy. I've had this one for a while. The one that I dropped at Rhinebeck is about .75 oz. adorned with a beautiful blue glass button.

Marilyn said...

Oh, M-H, I love that bomb! Maybe I should make it for Liz next Christmas?

Sharon said...

Let's hope yarn bombing goes the way of other dumb things people used to do, like flagpole sitting, or CB radio!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're back. I've missed your pithy comments. I agree with YB dislike. What a colossal waste of time and fiber! I would much rather create useful items.
Blogless Mary Lou

Maven said...

Very interested in the Christmas at Sea project. Would love to also make time to meet you (I'm a friend of Jadee's, plus I've visited your blog in the past). I think we could amuse each other with tales of WTF about people, and yanno, yarn stuff. Hit me up.

I'm on FB. If you want, you can find me there as Maven Theoneandonly.

Oh, and I've also got a fiber blog. Yanno, if you're so inclined to check it out.

Barb B. said...

Good to see you! I'm glad your reason for not blogging is that you are busy with other things (instead of ennui for example) Yarn bombing is something I have never understood. If I have spare yarn/knitting time, I knit for Blanket Canada, or some other charity. My favourite was for "at risk" unborn babies. The idea was, for each visit the mother made to her doctor during her pregnancy, she received 1 item in a layette. So if she visited regularly, she would receive an entire hand made easy care outfit and blanket to take baby home in. These were women from impoverished areas, isolated areas, etc. The medical treatment and exams were free, but many of these women didn't realize the long term benefits of proper care during pregnancy. The infant mortality rate dropped over 50% in the geographic area with this program. They have since moved on to other incentives... but that was yarn bombing with a purpose!

Emma said...

I have to wonder:

Do all of you who hate yarn bombing also hate art? Or music? Those things don't have a "purpose" either!

Also, knitting for charity is great, but the money spent on good yarn for a hat or scarf could potentially stretch further if put to other uses.

Just another p.o.v...

peony said...

When we we did yarnbombing, here in the country where knitting is rare (however handy it might be)...
-We used yarns that somehow ended up in our stashes, but would not use for any of our knitting projects (not even charity--- you know the purple, metallic fan fur kind...)
-We did it at the time when we would've met for our knitting club anyway.
- we did it to be toogether as much as
-brining knitting and crocheting into the public attention.

I did not feel as it tool either time or yarn away from something else, or something "useful"... and it was great fun.