Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Aran Sweaters Love The Clancy Brothers

Best Quote I Heard All Day

We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English."--Winston Churchill

Yes, always loved The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. Back when I was a teenager, playing my guitar and singing folk music songs, fell in love with my late husband Jimmy Roberts. We both sang together. And the first sweater I ever knit was a Spinnerin Aran sweater design, making it for Jimmy. Didn't know that I had to measure his arms and chest, so it didn't fit him. Gave it to my Uncle Pete. As a novice knitter, loved making the cables and the Aran texture stitches. Here's the Clancys and Makem on YouTube.

So now, I am designing an Aran sweater that I will submit to a magazine, which is why I won't display its swatch. But I just designed a pair of Aran socks that I entitled "Slainte! Socks".  Slainte is an Irish Gaelic toast--Health! I just photographed them for my directions layout, which I'll put up on Ravelry for 5 bucks. It's not going to be Fiberality Designs anymore. My friends on Facebook told me I gotta make it The Knitting Curmudgeon Designs since people recognize me via my nickname.

My sweetheart granddaughter Liz gave me this mannequin when she worked at a teen clothing store at our local mall. They were going to throw the mannequin away so Liz took it home. And I got it! Put pants on it too. Liz used to be my sock model and I wish she'd still do that. Her girlfriend, Sammie, who is a college fiber major, can be my model perhaps.

Yeah, short post today. I'm writing an essay for Interweave Knits's Ravelings on the last page that I'll submit soon. Back in 2007, had one written and published there. And designing for a submission, a Vogue Knitting submission, and a Knitter's submission.

Due to the lack of a tech writer/trainer job, I ain't gonna sit at home doing nothing. Am also available for knitting directions editing. Take care my dear reader skanks. I'll be posting again soon.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Knitlist 1997 History

Best Quote I Heard All Day

The innocent sleep, Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care...--Shakespeare

Dreaming of knitting? Nah! A long time ago, back in 1997, my first sock design was given to my friends on Knitlist's Christmas gift exchange.

Lately, I've been thinking about my online knitting beginning, when I was using AOL, like everyone did to get onto the internet. The Knitlist was an e-mail knitting group, with a pile of wonderful knitters. Back in 1997, pictures and graphics could not be added to your e-mail. So when I donated my sock design that I called Leaves of Grass, there was no picture of it. Everyone on Knitlist loved using the free patterns, although they had to trust the directions because there were no pictures of the designs. I put it up on Ravelry, when I redesigned it using Black Bunny Fibers Merino Silk sock yarn, owned by my friend Carol Sulcoski, who wasn't on the Knitlist, along with the rest of my current knitting friends, other than Chris Erickson. Chris became my good pal on Knit List.

Here's a picture of my first sock design, Leaves of Grass. It's free on Ravelry. If you want it, click HERE!

Now below is what I wrote on my first sock design directions. And at the bottom was The Knitting Curmudgeon AOL Member site that I designed...and that's the origin of The Knitting Curmudgeon. Obviously, that site doesn't exist anymore. But lots of my site readers showed up here when I began blogging as The Knitting Curmudgeon back in July 2002.

Date: Sun, 5 Oct 1997 14:03:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: KNIT: Leaves of Grass gift socks
Hi knittistes :-)
I figured it was time I contributed to the 1997 Knit List Christmas Gift
The color choice here directly influenced the sock design--it's a pale green
BW's Second Treasury produced the stitch pattern that I wanted--overlapping
I love a lacy eyelet stitch that looks a lot more complex than it actually
Marilyn in NJ

patterns, so I thought I'd donate my latest sock pattern. It's a light and
airy little anklet with a lacy double overlapping leaves instep panel. I used
Socka Cotton Color, 53% cotton, 32% wool and 15% "polyamide", which I've
always assumed to be the European way of saying "rayon."
with subtle aqua and purple flecks in it. I immediately thought of leaves
shimmering in the sunlight, and I would suggest using the same yarn for the
same results. Or, at least use a pleasing shade of green.
leaves with the stems outlined in yo's. And with an 8-round repeat, it was
quickly memorized and easily executed. I altered BW's pattern a bit so that
the original flat WS rows would work in the round and I adjusted the pattern
to fit into my 32-stitch instep requirement.
is. You need to do about 3 pattern repeats before you see the overlapping
leaves develop. But once you start, it's like eating peanuts. Have fun making
these socks--I'm giving a pair to my sister for Christmas, so maybe now
she'll shut up for once.

Miss the Knitlist. If you were on it, leave me a comment here. On Facebook, I am a member of a knitting group.

So I'll be posting again this weekend. Back to writing constantly now. Take care, my Tonstant Weaders. Ain't a pissed-off curmudgeon much anymore. :-)

Sunday, June 08, 2014

The Knitting Curmudgeon...Yeah, Designs

Best Quote I Heard All Day

“To me, the raveled sleeve of care is never more painlessly knitted up than in an evening alone in a chair snug yet copious, with a good light and an easily held little volume sloppily printed and bound in inexpensive paper."--Dorothy Parker

Yes, my beloved writer was a knitter too! When Dorothy Parker lived in New Hope, PA, she knit constantly.  This quote was part of one of her book reviews back in 1959...

Book review Of Ellery Queen: The New York Murders. 

Knitting Curmudgeon Designs

Yes, Fiberality Designs is going away. My Facebook friends told me to use Knitting Curmudgeon because that's my other name. Using Marilyn Roberts's Designs ain't useful either. When I meet knitters and tell them I'm The Knitting Curmudgeon, they know who the fuck I am. 

Now that I haven't yet gotten a job as a technical trainer, instructional designer, or technical writer, I gotta make knitting designing my career. Sitting at home in my apartment and not going to work makes me saddened. I designed a pile of socks and now am about to swatch Koigu Kristi for a sweater design. Designing socks is fast because I can knit the sock design in a few days. Now it's time to design bigger shit!

Sitting out on my deck, working on my knitting designs, is wonderful! This is a lace stole that my daughter Jennifer wants, so it's going up on Ravelry. The lace yarn is beautiful. It''s Juniper Moon Farm Findley, 50% Merino wool/50% silk. And the color is 30 Lilac. Yeah, I'm a purple addict! But my current sock design is done in a canary yellow. As soon as I get the designs' directions completed, am going to upload many of them on Ravelry. Gotta make some money. Miss my knitting Mom. Jeez, I miss her terribly. And pray, hoping her spirit hears me. Watching the Yankees play and knitting is the activity we shared. I cry while watching the Yanks.

Steekin' Geek News

Smartphone Knitting Apps

Last week I promised to write about knitting apps for your smartphones. I've owned a Samsung Galaxy that broke last December, so I bought an Apple iPhone. Galaxy system is Android, and iPhone is iPhone.

So the Android knitting app I placed on my Galaxy was only County Plus, a digital stitch counter. And because it's not available for iPhones, I got iStitchCounter for free. The major fuckup you get using the digital counters is accidentally touching the counter and screwing up the count. However, when you're knitting socks on double-pointed needles, you can't stick a needle counter on them, so getting a digital counter on your smartphone is helpful.

On my iPhone, I also placed Knitting Chart Maker so if my brain hit me with a stitch pattern away from home, can chart it using this app. Have only used it once. The current version is very limited. Not a lot of symbols and you can't create yours. There are other chart apps, which I haven't used and won't.

Ravulous, an Android app that I had, is helpful if you wanna do some stuff on Ravelry via your smart phone. Wish I had it for my iPhone but am going to buy Wooly for $.99.

Also have Knit Handy, knitCompanion, and Knit Counter Lite on my iPhone. These are my favorite smartphone apps. Knit Handy, created from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements, is outstanding. And knitCompanion I use primarily on my iPad.

So do the "knitting" search for your Android or iPhone operating systems. Frankly, I tend to use knitting apps to my iPad rather than my phone. And yes, my "You Can Knit!" book is interactive, but you can get it for your iPhone. Why anyone would want to read it on an iPhone is beyond my opinion. Reading on a smartphone means ya better have damned good eyesight.

KnitVisualizer Lack of Upgrade

I decided to write to Nancy, the owner and developer of KnitVisualizer, due to the problem I now have with the app on my Apple MacBook. Here's what I wrote to her:
KnitVisualizer has never been updated since 2008. Mac OS X 10.6.8 won't let me create a new chart or work on an old one. When are you going to update the app? Although I own two other knitting chart apps, KnitVisualizer had always been my favorite. It works fine on my PC, Windows 7.

 She hasn't been able to upgrade her app due to her full-time job and her kids who don't give her sufficient time to work on KnitVisualizer. Having worked with developers for years, I know that it's tough time to spend; however, when you're selling an app, it's important to upgrade it. KnitVisualizer not only needs to function on Mac OS X but she should add a few more features. I'm going suggest those to her. 

OK, that's it for this week. Am happy that I'm back to blogging regularly. And will start writing an article for one of the knitting mags. Ain't retired. Take care, my sweet skanks!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Knitting Pro...or Knitting Prop?

Best Quote I Heard All Day

Maya Angelou
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” --Maya Angelou

Saddened that we lost this wonderful writer. And now that I'm not getting a tech writer or trainer job, have decided to return to knitting as my fucking career. Writing has been my lifetime love, along with knitting. Having written that novice knitter's interactive book, You Can Knit! A Better Way to Learn Knitting Basics, two years ago, was the career I always desired.

So what's my next book? I have a couple of ideas. Would like to do a stitch pattern book that contains leaf and flower stitch patterns. This I can do on my own, along with Sock It To Me, my sock designs that will be sold on Ravelry.

Knitting Poetry and Therapy

When I was 6 years old, having learned how to read, my Oma bought me a wonderful poetry book. So reading the writing rhythm, I began writing poems. And always gave them to Mom, who saved them and gave them to me a few years ago. I put one up on Facebook this past Thursday. And when Maya Angelou died, I thought it would be fun to write poetry again...yeah, poems about knitting.

Saw Paul McCartney on TV last night on a Billy Joel show, singing "Let It Be."
My lyrics..."Let it knit, let it knit, whisper words of charting, let it knit. There will be a shortrow, let it knit." Heh heh!

Knitting was my career back in the '80s as a knitting editor and I'd love to go back to the knitting publication industry. During depression, my knitting made me feel human. And designing is comforting because I enjoy creativity. A friend of mine is suffering from severe depression and she's a knitter too. Having told her to get on medication, I hope that she continues to knit because it keeps your mental sadness out of your brain to some degree.

Writing and knitting are my therapies, along with spinning. And hanging out with my knitting friends.

Jezebel Socks Soon

Finally getting my sock designs' directions finished. I edit my own writing because I know how to do that properly. When you write directions, don't read them again for a week. Once your brain has dropped what you wrote, you'll read the directions as if they weren't yours and make the proper edits.

So here's a picture. Yeah, stuck my foot on top of my PC laptop. The stitch pattern is a lace ribbing and the yarn is Madelinetosh Merino Light.
The next design I've written is an Aran pullover that I'll submit to a magazine. Yes, I know which mag it's gonna go to but will let you know when it's accepted.

Here Comes Fiberality Designs

Now that I've decided to be a knitting pro, my Ravelry page for my designs will be Fiberality Designs, which I set up a couple of years ago and only put up four designs, two of which are free. The freebies have been downloaded in hundreds but the two for sale...only one has sold. So gotta buy ads, I presume. And perhaps set up a Facebook page. Tell me what you think! I depend on my readers for their opinions. No, ain't a curmudgeon much any more.

A bunch of my Facebook friends are knitting celebrities, some of whom I know in person. And now that I'm going back to knitting as a career, they'd better support me. Probably won't, even though I have always supported them. I never ask knitting celebs to be my friend on Facebook. The ones who are my friends there asked me to be their friend. So once I set up Fiberality Designs on Facebook, they fucking better help me. I've been a knitter a lot longer than they have, due to my age.

Knitcurmudgeon Anniversary

My God! It's gonna be 12 years on July 25. I was one of the first knitting bloggers back then. So on the anniversary date, I will put up a free design for my readers. Next week, I'll be The Steekin' Geek for you, letting you know about smartphone knitting apps that are worthwhile. I've owned an Android phone and now have an iPhone, so will discuss both for ya!

Take care, my dear skanks! I'm happier now and hope you are too. Knitting in the summer is just as nice as in the cold weather.