Saturday, March 29, 2003

So, with pencil, sketch paper, graph paper, and source books close at hand I sat down and started designing again. I've decided to work on a 'collection' of Celtic/Norse inspired designs, which is to say that I'm going to have to learn how to do an adequate fair isle. Celtic knotwork is a wonderful thing, especially in the application of cabled sweaters. They provide a nice challenge for the knitter and the designer can pretty much go where ever their imagination takes them. So in the interim of waiting for my Aran Knitting and my replacement copy of Viking Patterns for Knitting to arrive, I picked up two books full of various Celtic designs and started scribbling.

Now my past attempts at turning Celtic knots into knitted panels turned out rather decently. Granted, it took me more drafts than I had intended, but the end result was very knitable. First, we had this design, which--as you may or may not have noticed--appears on the cover of Starmore's The Celtic Collection, but of course she didn't include the pattern inside the book.

I drew a draft based on diamonds and sideways triangles, which was the easy part. Now, I just had to figure out how many purl stitches should be placed in the center of the diamonds and triangles, which took four drafts on graph paper, a swatch from one of the miscalculated graphs, and a final draft graph with the right calculations. So, I threw it in the middle of the aran that I was going to do for Knitty and this is what it looked like about two weeks ago.

But all of today's attempts at drafting a motif came out rather blah-blah. Cables just don't transfer all too well horizontally...which is why we've got the I-cord. ANYTHING to avoid having to resort to fair isle, which I'd prefer to reserve for a pillow with a zoomorphic motif. So, I placed all of my books (all two of them) back on the shelf and started googling, and I found a perfect li'l knot that just might work well with cables.

Now, if only I could figure out what the hell to put it on...

Friday, March 28, 2003


Today, I'm going to take a moment out of my busy schedule to be evil.

My present issue is not the article in The Charlotte Observer, but all the drivel pouring from the lists of people set off their rockers by the article. So, what do I have to say about all this? Get over yourself and shut the hell up! You're going to waste my time with your pathetic absent-minded babble on an article against knitting by a woman who barely passed home economics? Now, what the hell does that have to do with the price of eggs? Knitting and domestic engineering (if you wanna be politically correct) couldn't be more different. Okay, you have an article written by a talentless, feminist, anarchist bulldyke. If you didn't take yourself so damned seriously maybe your kids would even pretend to like you. I'm not going to waste too much of my evilness on writing this, as I've got to venture out today and I would hate for people to see me with a sunny disposition. But Ms. Jameson (obviously unmarried and bitter about the fact) reminds me of a friend of mine (also unmarried but pretends to prefer it that way), so quick to accuse people of hiding their fear behind hobbies and such when they are actually the ones shitting their pants. Now, did this article have me ready to do unspeakable things to The Charlotte Observer? Hell no! However, I would like to do unspeakable things to the Knit List...oh wait, I'm not even getting their mindless twaddle in my inbox anymore. Personally, I enjoyed the provided a nice laugh and then I moved on to the next web site. People on the Knit List should give that a try.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

The Book That EZ Should Have Written...

Knitting Without Too Much Cussing. I give you an example: you're knitting in the row above a k1, yo, k1 increase. Somehow, something goes wrong at the yo. The stitch gets dropped, and being of the type that doesn't like to be alone, it drags the next stitch with it. Well, the first stitch that you worked sees this and inches its little way into the black hole. The ethereal silence is abruptly shattered by a cacaphonous "Blessed mother of Maude Adams ... what the fuck!"

In never amazes me how many 'shits', 'damns', 'what the fucks', and 'oh hells' I've heard muttered in Knitting Circle. Actually, it never amazes me because the more colorful cussword combinations usually come out of my mouth. And forbid you've got to rip out a few rows. But it's amazing when you look at a sweater that you finished and are immediately reminded of the cusswords you said during that project.

But last night I had a dream...actually, a nightmare. And I'm going to blame this nightmare on Joe and Marilyn. Afterall, it is their fault!! The sock yarn that I won in Joe's contest arrived on Monday and it's just begging me to knit it! I will, after I finish this bastard of an aran that I'm working on. And then there are Marilyn's socks that were in Knitty. Of course, I did the sock from the toe up. And in the short rows for the toe I kept doing the slipped stitches, which I didn't indend on doing until after I finished the toe. Well, I finally finished the toe...and then...well, I started working on the pattern...slip, slip, knit, shit. I just hope I wasn't talking in my sleep while I was 'knitting' this sock.

So, er...uh...what are your favorite cuss words to modulate during knitting?

Monday, March 24, 2003

Oh, the inhumanity of it all!!!

No, I'm not talking about the war. In fact, that's the last thing on my mind at the moment. I do support our troops, despite the fact that I'm opposed to this war. Besides, this is a knitting blog! In the words of EZ "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." And therein lies the inhumanity.

On Friday morning when I awoke I was feeling something akin to the flu coming on. No fever, but there were definitely some chills and bodily soreness. Well it was sometime after People's Court that I just had to take a little nap. I thought it would be just a little 30 minute nap, after which time I'd wake up in time to watch Cops (considering that my soaps would be preempted due to war coverage). Hmph...six hours later I awoke to the most excruciating, unadulterated, unspeakable pain. It was something akin to the feelings that one gets when the flu comes on. I'm not saying that it in fact was the flu, but it was flu-like. So, all of Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday absolutely no knitting. And I was actually knitting something that I was enjoying!!

I slept all Friday evening while the "Shock and Awe Show" watched me (is it just me, or has America's facination with reality TV gotten out of hand?) Saturday, I turned to my cooking shows on PBS and fell asleep while they watched me. Fortunately, I woke up in time for the Lawrence Welk Show (talk about shock and scar). Of course I fell asleep again. And I woke up just in time to watch The Women. Anyone remember that movie? The one starring Rosalind Russell, Norma Shearer, and a thin eye-browed Joan Crawford where the only hint of male energy on the set comes from the hinted at unfaithful husbands or the Nancy Blake character. Anywho, it was the play which ran somewhere in NYC starring Kristen Johnston as Edith Fowler, Jennifer Tilly as Crystal Allen (the vamp), and Rue McClanahan as...well, I fell asleep before she came on. But she'd made a delicious Countess. What I saw of the first act was quite...well, considering that The Women is one of my favorite movies, naturally, I loved it. But the play is amazingly racy. Hell, made me blush!!! Nevertheless, I'm still convinced that Rosalind Russel is a drag queen. How else could someone be so effortlessly over the top? Meanwhile, it's time for me to take a nothing nap and some more tylenol (or did I already have the tylenol this morning?)

But before I go, I've got to pass this Link on. It's not exactly knit related, but my voice teacher is doing Chicago again. So, if you should happen to be in NYC...stop by and give him a listen!

Friday, March 21, 2003

Yesterday Wendy was talking about Knit know people who you don't know on an intimate level who ask you to knit them something for free or an "insultingly low fee". Well, I've got some doosies.

It was just after I started knitting...not even a whole scarf finished. This was when I was working with the juvenile delinquents. Well, the cook (or heater upper of foods, as I nicely referred to him) caught me knitting during lunch. Well, he sat down for a moment breaking my concentration (not my knitting concentration, my Steve Kmetko concentration). He mentioned how his grandmother knitted him a sweater that he just loved, but lost...then started to suggest that I knit him a sweater. How did he suggest this? "I'm thinking you should knit me something green. Like a regular sweater, nothing fancy. Maybe a collar like that jacket that I have." I bet you're wondering what my smart-ass comment was. Well, fasten your seatbelts, this is gonna be a racy one: "You can't even afford one of those 50-cent crackhead whores that work the corner at night. What makes you think you can afford a sweater that I make. I'm not exactly a crackhead, you know." Sadly he was unfazed by this and went on to say, "you're going to charge me?" Without missing a beat, I said "charge you? Hell, I'd charge you an arm, a leg and your mother's left tit." Well, after that comment he got up and went back to work. I bet you think I'm done, don't you. Well, don't you know a few days later that fool brought in a picture of him wearing the sweater that his grandmother made him and twisted his chapped lips around the suggestion: "you can knit it something like that." I turned the photo over and pointed to a blank part that wasn't imprinted with 'Kodak' or the date. "Or, I could knit it like this," I suggested. Anywho, a few months passed and I learned how to crochet. The first thing I made was a thong out of manos and a few willie warmers, and Gloria had to go show EVERYONE! Well, the official heater-upper-of-foods gets wind of this and comes my way. He had a wedding anniversary party to attend. He thought it would be a wonderful gag gift to give them a thong and willie warmer. I agreed, it would be a nice gag gift. Then he said the party was in a few weeks, and then he left and went into the kitchen. Well, no monetary exchange was mentioned or even suggested. I assumed he was joking. Well, two days before the party he came to me to ask me if they were done yet. I said no. Fasten your seatbelts again, it gets bumpier. Now, in front of all the staff and all the juvenile delinquents he decided that he give me a tongue lashing, because as a friend I should have knitted the sweater for him and crocheted the gag gifts as well. My response was swift and I didn't hesitate a bit as he was trying to walk away. It started with at least five cuss words in the first sentence (yes, I too can cuss like a pirate's broken-hearted whore...string a bunch of cuss words together like a strand of graduated pearls). But I was nice, and ended by suggesting that I could begin knitting the sweater for him, provided that he could cough up $750 by the end of the week. Then that opened another can of worms...good thing worms don't make me squeemish. So I gave him an itemized account: "$150 for the yarn (even though I would have used Red Heart), $100 for contriving a design from that picture, $300 for knitting it, $200 for an inconvenience fee." I guess it was too much for him, so he went back into the kitchen to burn some more chicken nuggets. The other co-workers, however, were reasonable in their knit requests. One asked for a hat, which I didn't do at the time. And other suggested a scarf, but I told him that I doubt fluff would be all that flattering to him (considering his allergies to wool).

Then there was the Program Director who was NEVER in the office, except to ask that I make her a black and tan scarf with the signature Fendi design. After all, I was knitting her a scarf for christmas and did ask her what color she wanted. Signature Fendi design? I told her I'd think about it. I took some graph paper out of my desk and made up a little chart and went over to her office. "Like this?" I asked "Yep, that would be nice. It would match my bag perfectly!" I smiled. "Yes, it would. But the $2000 raise on the back of this chart would match the scarf even better!!" She gave me this spiel about how I knew the company couldn't afford to give anyone a $2000 raise, yadda yadda yadda. I smiled and said "Ok." She got a black and tan garter stitch scarf. And I was fired the day after Valentine's day. I'm going to pretend that there was no connection. But after being fired (and after pretending that I was completely devastated you know...saying "I need a moment" followed by heavy panic attack-esque breathing and resting my head between my legs) she said that she was getting ready to go and that I'd have to leave her office. Although she was nice enough to let me regain my composure in my office. So, I got up to leave the office and as she was locking her door I snatched the scarf. Ok, word to the wise: If an employee who you plan on firing has knitted you something, don't wear it to the office the day that you plan on firing them.

Then there was the boyfriend. I was at his house and he was getting ready for Chicago. It was at a little dinner theater in Arden, DE a few months before the movie came out. I was admiring the sweaters in his closet. He said, "you know, you could knit me a sweater." I said "No, because all you'd do is hang it up in your closet." Then he said that he wouldn't, he'd wear it all the time. Okay, this is a guy that I was dating and we hadn't been dating all that long, so I really couldn't be too bitchy. So I said "well, there's a sweater curse that says that you shouldn't knit something for someone you're dating." He smiled "fine then, we're not dating." He's lucky he said that with a smile or else I would have had to give him a live replay of that scene from Mommy Dearest: "Wire hangers?!?! I knit you hand made sweaters and you hang them on wire hangers? ... NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!!" *throttle, throttle, throttle, beat, beat, beat, thrash, thrash, thrash* During conversations he would ask me if I started the sweater yet. I said "No. Did you buy me my ring yet? Five emerald-cut grade D with baguettes on the side carats and you might get something with sleeves." Now, personally speaking, I know more than a few ways to get around that li'l knitting curse. So that doesn't really bother me, even if I did think it was a reality. But I can't say that I've ever entertained the thought of knitting a sweater for a boyfriend. It's not that I'm not serious about them, but I need a bit more commitment than just a few months (or weeks) to even have sweater making ideations for a beau. However, I do picture a certain one swaddled in yarn...or drapped in the knitted garments of various knit publications. But so far that's as far as it goes.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

See, I told you I was a diamond!!! I just have to find a platinum setting...
You're a Diamond. You seem like a cold and an
unreachable person outside, yet you are
beautiful inside and outside. You may be
stubborn at times. You act with grace and
elegance and you are a precious asset to all
your friends.

What Jewel Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
Spring Knitter's

First, as usual, I gotta complain, just to get that out of the way. WHAT THE [expletive redacted]!!! I'm referring to two things here: The new specs format and the faux pas on page 58. I'm a creature of habit and had become accustomed to the old format. It was plain and simple and I didn't have to refer to a back page to try to figure out what all that junk meant. Then there's page 58. o er St st o S p o S usi g 5 S ee les What? me iu weight mai color M 15 1 55 s o trast olor 15 s Huh? Now the first one is deciferable. But the second one has the important yarn and yardage information. Although, I'm personally not liking the colors of that sweater, 'twould have been nice to get the exact yardage just in case I wanted to substitute. Which is the only advantage I see in the new format. If gives you the yarn weight and the yardage, for those like me who are ALWAYS substituting yarns. Provided that the substitute yarns have the yardage on the ball, you can easily pick up the right amount of yarn (+1) Be that as it may, I think the Cypress Needle Crew would make a nice hat. However, I'm enjoying the Bayou Gold (p. 62). It's an interesting construction, and the Rowan Summer Tweed does look quite yummy, at least from what I've seen of the color card. But it is a little nice to see that they have an entire section devoted to men's sweaters. Granted, the ratios are still off...but I could do wonders with the Schoolgirl Charmer (p. 54). I just have to go to the gym and work on my legs. And also, withe the leopard chart (p. 83) I can finally do the modified version of the underwear pattern I got from Joe's blog.

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Adventures at the LYS

It was the most adorable thing. Okay, for a second now I'm going to break from character...deviate from my ordinary modus extol the glory of children. Yesterday I was at my LYS sitting and knitting when a lady walks in with a double stroller (the type that you can jog with) and three children. One was asleep in the stroller. One was WIDE awake. And the other was a little boy, about 5 years old and he was knitting. Now, I detest children, so I didn't even bother to strike up a conversation with the little tyke. But it was so adorable. Whenever he finished a row, he would proclaim, "Mommy, I finished a row!" One time he asked his mother to start the next row for him. And he made it a point to let her know that he was purling...god forbid she should mess up his lovely little scarf. "Mommy, I'm purling! It's a purl stitch!" And how ambitious he was. "Mommy, when I finish this can I knit something real. I wanna make a vest!" How many 5-year-olds do you know that are into vests????? I despised vests until I was well into my mid-teens (at which point, I had three Warner Brothers' vests that I wore to my recitals). Then he saw my bag. "Mommy, can I get a knitting bag like that?" He was told that the bag was bigger than he was. It wasn't...but just imagine it. A 5-year-old who could stand on the tips of his toes in 4-feet of water and still remain unnoticed walking around toting a Kensington laptop saddlebag. (The laptop died, and the bag is the perfect size for an adult sweater.)

Then there was the WIDE awake one, just shy of 3 years old. "Mommy, watch me wun!" "Knit, puwl, knit, puwl." Don't you just adore the way kids try to pronounce the letter R? (Nevertheless, I still detest children) Then he goes and wakes up his sleeping brother--the middle child. His mother told him that he needed to sleep because he wasn't feeling well. "No, mommy, he wants to wake up. See." And then from that little pre-school throat the meow of a bevy of hellcats was unleashed. What else do you expect from a tot who had just had his slumber disturbed. Which is one of the reasons that I detest children. Well he calmed down. The WIDE awake one decided that he wanted to play unsupervised. Mother was busy looking at Rowan color cards. She asked the sickly-sleepy one if he would like a sweater in Zucchini. "Wazza zucchiti?" She told him it was a candy... What kind of underhanded sneaky ass backwards way of getting a kid to eat his vegetables is that!!! Well anywho, the WIDE awake one took a tumble while playing on the stroller. After all, it isn't a toy. (I'm not going to speak ill of the mother, only because she's a know how it is when you get around yarn. Kinda like--and forgive the urban simile...or just bite me if you don't like it--a crack-head in a crack-house, or a gigolo at a ranch (and I ain't talking about the type with the spotted cows...well, not intentionally spotted).) Of course there should be blood. Of course there should be screaming. And of course the tension in my sweater should get tighter. She sat in the rocking chair and soon Cerebus stopped howling. (Read Dante's Inferno if you haven't a clue who Cerebus is...I think you can find him pretty early in the book.) Well, of course the sickly one wanted to sit in the rocking chair too...after all, he was the sick one. Cerebus would hear nothing of it!!! The mother told the sickly one that he would have to wait his turn because the hyper one took a fall and was bleeding. They all wanted to see the blood. Another reason why I detest children, the little germ infested... Anyway, she showed him the napkin dotted with little pink specks of barely visible blood. "Aww, that ain't nothing!" observed the sickly one. Besides, the sickly one had had enough. He wanted to get on his mother's lap. "Is it my tuwn yet?" "No!" barked Cerebus. Now, I had to endure this interchange at least three more times before mother handed the angelic little knitting one her credit card to pay for the yarn and pattern that she bought. Now, I will say this about the mother, UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD YOU EVER HAND YOUR CREDIT CARD OVER TO A KNITTER IN A YARN SHOP!!!! It matters not that he's your son. If he knits, he could just as well buy that Sinsations that you swaddled around his head. Or even worse, he could reach to your side and pick up the cashmere that you foolishly sat next to. But fortunately for you, he's short and the Vittadini yarns are way above his angelic little head.

And then they left. So that was my day at my LYS yesterday. I bet I know what you were thinking. At first you probably thought that I had a change of heart and found what a joy children can be. Never, nemmeno, nunca, nao sempre, nicht uberhaupt, jamais! I still detest them, despise them, and regard them with the utmost contempt. But they are adorable under two and ONLY two circumstances: 1) when they are knitting and 2) when they are leaving. And before your eyes I've turned into that "Get offa my &^@# lawn" old man who comes to his front door with open robe and war trodden slippers on his feet brandishing a rolled up news paper. I'm officially a South Philly grandmother. (Speaking of which, does any one remember the Saturday Night Live skit with Sherri Oteri as the grandmother who kept confiscating the kids' playthings that accidentally rolled on to her property? Too hilarious.)

Tuesday, March 18, 2003


Monday, March 17, 2003

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

And I'm going to celebrate by having some REAL Irish know, the ones that are made with whiskey. And despite the fact that green is one of my favorite colors, I'm not wearing a speck of it today. As you may or may not have noticed, it's my agenda to go against the grain. On Valentine's Day I wear a Christmas sweatshirt, bedecked with all the yuletide extravagances that usually get put away on December 27th. For Christmas, I wear a Halloween pin...little black bat with flashing orange eyes. However, I am going to work on my green aran with all the Celtic knots. But that has nothing to do with being celebratory.

And speaking of which...
I just realized something. I started the aran Thursday night and haven't even bothered to complain about it yet...and believe you me, there's much to complain about. Well, I'm sure you all remember with the Brig aran how I was complaining about the yarn (about how it's got a tooth that an aligator would envy and all that petite vegetation growing amongst the plies). So, of course I would end up buying MORE of it. But it was a justified purchase, as it was on sale for $4 a skein. So I had 8 skeins of Candide and no pattern...but I did have my Alice Starmore book A Celtic Collection with me, so I thumbed through that for a nice motif to put somewhere in the sweater. And wouldn't it be just my luck that the only thing that I liked didn't have a chart. Now, my math skills are marginal at best. If I don't have a calculator, it just ain't gonna get calculated. Oddly enough, in the manner of Rainman, I can approach a 15-25% off sale without any problems, fears, or hesitations. Anywho, on the bus I drew a little sketch of the motif using squares and triangles, but the tough part came when I had to figure out how many purl stitches would be in the center of those squares and triangles. Nevertheless, four charts and one swatch later, I had my motif.

Now, of all of my designs this is probably the most 'off-the-cuff' that I've ever done. I only did one swatch and since I just finished knitting something with Candide I had an idea of how many stitches I would need. So, I just cast on, said a prayer and hoped that I didn't have to frog at any point in my knitting. And for some strange reason, I decided that it would be a good idea to knit this damned thing in the round. 40+ inches (I'm not sure because I didn't swatch all of the panels) on 24" circulars isn't a good thing...especially when you fall asleep in the middle of the PBS telethon and a few stitches fall off. But so far, I've finished 4" of ribbing and 3.5" of the body. And the more I knit, the more I'm hating it. I guess that's to be expected when you're knitting a sweater that you know you won't be able to wear for damn near 8 months.

But the design is a surprise, so don't expect to see any pictures. Remember how I endlessly complained about Knitty not having enough men's patterns (and about how the knitting publications industry generally doesn't do much in the line of macho wear)? Well, this is going to be my first submission. So, if it gets picked you can see it when that issue of Knitty comes out. If it doesn't get picked...well, you can always buy the pattern through me, or one of the LYS that I can get to pick up the design. As it stands now, the sweater will only be available in three sizes: Small-Large, Medium-Large, and Large-Large. On account of the largish panels there's not going to be much variance between the sizes, except for the Medium-Large, and the Large-Large. And then I've got to decide whether I'll be writing the design to be knit back and forth or circularly; and if knit circularly, in the words of Hamlet, to steek or not to steek, that is the question. But I'm lazy, and writing the pattern out circularly would result in too much extra allocation.

And finally...
Yeah me!!! It has been brought to my attention that I won second place in the QSAT. It's amazing how much information you can find out by Googling, although my searches didn't turn up an airport located in Doylestown...and I would have never guessed that Joe's confirmation name was Isidore. But then again, Isidore of Seville is the patron saint of computer users and the Internet. Who would have thought that I guy who died in 636 would have any remote connection to the Internet. How's that for Saint research by a confirmed heretic! LoL Although my two guesses were Peter of Poitiers and Michael de Sanctis.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Okay, so I'm going to visit the land of Knitdweebia for today's post and combine two of my passions into one. Knitting and Opera. The idea for this topic came from Marilyn's blog in which she asked if anyone could translate KnitDweeb into German, where in the comments I signed my name Die Kleine Spinnern which is a Mozart Lied about a girl who would rather spin yarn than play with Fritz. Then there's La Conocchia, an Italian canzone by Donizetti in which the narrator is spinning some yarn on her conocchia (distaff) dreaming little dreams about the next time she sees her 'lover'. She invents a scenario in which she breaks the yarn and drops her distaff just so he can hand it to her. Granted, I think it's just a way for her to get him to bend over so she can get a peek at his ass. So, we have art songs that reference spinning...but what about operas into which knitting could be incorporated? It's been a while since I posted due to some DSL "issues" with my ISP. I had a lot of time to think...productive thoughts...silly thoughts...and the absolutely absurd. Here's my list. I'll let you decide whether they're silly or absolutely absurd.

  • Norma, act two,scene 1: She's sitting there watching her two children sleeping and knitting a sock on 000 needles. But instead of raising the dagger to kill her children, she raises one of her needles. Being Brittany Birch, naturally, it breaks. So we're still sticking to the plot of her not sacrificing her children.

  • Medea, act three,Finale: Of course she spends the entire act knitting. The thing that she thinks is a snake wrapping itself around her is actually Reggia. Now, unlike Norma, Medea does actually sacrifice her children. She was smart...she used Inox!

I know what you're thinking: you sure are associating knitting with a lot of women in opera that kill their children. So! Double points make excellent weapons...and socks can be aggravating to knit...especially considering that you ex-lover has betrayed you and you need a nice way to expunge him from your life. Granted, Norma and Medea, being a High Priestess and Sorceress, respectively, would have had the foresight to just knit him some socks knowing that he'd eventually walk away. Preferably off of a precipice...

But we actually do have nice knitters in opera. But keeping with the theme of opera, it just ain't opera unless someone dies. As an example I use the cartoon What's Opera, Doc...the only Looney Toon in which Elmer actually kills Bugs.

  • Le Nozze di Figaro, act two, scene 1: The countess is sitting in her boudoir singing that ridiculously difficult aria, Porgi amor. She just happens to be heavy with child, which would explain the Count's wandering eye. She's lost her figure and Susanna is more, go figure. She spends the entire act knitting, until the Count busts in,fuming with jealousy, and makes her lose count.

  • Lucia di Lammermoor: I know what you're thinking: Isn't that the girl that goes mad? Sure, but you try knitting an Alice Starmore aran without a pattern. You'd take your needles and kill that bastard of a Scot that you weren't sure that you loved, but were betrothed to anyway.

  • Maria Stuarda: Okay, she's locked in London Tower. She's got nothing but knitting time on her hands. Granted, if she was knitting,she would have done a lot more damage than call her good ol' cousin Lizzy (Elisabeth I) a vile bastard.

  • Speaking of Lizzies...Lizzy Borden: Okay, I'll stop with the knitting and violence references. But then again, you really can't decapitate your parents with a knitting needle.

  • La Sonnambula: She knits...she sleepwalks...she was probably knitting her lace wedding dress and fell asleep because it was so mind numbingly boring.

  • Lucrezia Borgia: You know, when you look at someone who knits, you don't really thing that they would slip you that special Borgia wine. But at heart, she is a mother. And I imagine that she would have loved to knit Gennaro a nice little waistcoat...if only she didn't accidentally kill him. But in her defence, it was just an accident...she only meant to kill all of his friends.

  • Armida: Another sorceress. But she's a sorceress who in her heart of hearts just wants to be a woman. She turns the horrid forest into the realm of love, she why can't she also knit a nice lace coverlet for her dragon-powered chariot? And then, at the end when she destroys everything that she created because Rinaldo left her, she uses her knitting needles (sweater precariously dangling from them) as a spark-shooting pyrotechnic magic wand and sets everything ablaze

  • La Boheme: Naturally, I would choose this opera. Instead of Mimi making flowers she knits lace.

  • Carmen: Just imagine how much more potent the love spell would be if it was cast with a hand-knit flower...made with homespun wool.

  • Don Giovanni: Of course I'm referring to the Don himself. When one looks at a knitter they don't necessarily think dangerously intoxicating Casanova type. Perhaps he knits little lace bonnets for all of his...wait, no one can knit that fast. Hmph, he makes Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain look like a novice when it comes to tallies.

  • Il Pirata: He's a pirate. What else are you going to do on the ship after the sheep have all jumped overboard? And why do you think they even had sheep on the ships? And besides, the pirate spent a hell of a lot of time at sea.

  • Il Barbiere di Siviglia: Now, we have Figaro...who does damn near everything why not knit? Largo al factotum. And we also have Rosina. Although the opera does have her using a pen to draw a flower on her cross stitch project. Look...if Beverly Sills can make Rosina a red-head, I can turn her into a knitter!

  • And lastly on my short list: Tosca...She lived for art, she lived for love...she never hurt a living thing...(nice little thing for her to say just before she kills Scarpia). She gave jewels for the Madonna's mantel...and she knitted the mantel herself. And, as she always knits before performing to calm her nerves, she just happened to have her needles with her when she went to meet Scarpia. Granted, the opera says that she used the steak knife that was sitting on the table...but like I said...knitting something frustrating like a s1, k1 heel when you're in a frustrating situation gives you double you act out with your closest available needle. E avanti a lui tremava tutta Roma!

So, can any of you think of any operas that I missed?

Saturday, March 08, 2003

I ask you to remember back to January. Can you recall when I was so thrilled with all of that Manos that I bought? Can you recall how I bitched and complained about working the front of the sweater with 7 balls of yarn hanging from it? Do you remember how I commented that my mother was officially off of my knit list for her comments about the sweater that I was knitting with all of that wonderful Manos? Well, she's still off the knit list, but the Guinness aran has officially been abandoned. I know what you thinking: But you spent $165 on all that lovely yarn! No, it's not for sale. Last night I just cast on 156 stitches and began knitting. Didn't swatch, didn't plan, didn't graph, didn't write a damn thing down. Just cast on a whole bunch of stitches, asked the Goddess to guide my needles, and hoped that when I finished everything came out okay. So now, I have a mostly Coffee, dappled with Silica, 9"x45" tube sitting on US10's waiting for me to figure out what the hell I'm going to do next. I'm thinking that I'll knit the body up to the sleeve, then knit the sleeves, and continue knitting the sweater in the round, raglan shoulders, and a nice crew neck. I'm also slipping stitches so that it gives the appearance of having a seam, and also to make the act of folding much easier. Despite working in retail and spending 5 hours a day folding clothes, I still can't fold a shirt to save my life...which reminds me, I need more closet space.

Stitches East is coming up soon, so I've got to do some major knitting/destashing before then, because I've got no place to store $5000 worth of yarn. And so far, my Stitches Club Savings (kinda like a Christmas Club, but for yarn) has accumulated a grand total of 50 cents, two sunflower seeds, and a coffee bean...oh, and some Bugler papers. Okay, enough blogging for now. Back to knitting...

Thursday, March 06, 2003

It was somewhere around 1:15am and I was lying awake in bed, staring at my underwear and thinking about Joe. Now, before your filthy minds start wandering, I was thinking about his blog entry about knitted mens underwear. Anywho, I hop out of bed and go downstairs to nibble on whatever is left of the Girl Scout cookies and end up making a corned beef sandwich, all the while thinking about what Koigu colorway I would use. My current toe-up sock is P628 (at least I think that looks like a handwritten P) which screams autumn, interspersed with bright red, a rich purple, and a deep hunter green...Something to think about.

But I go back up to my bedroom and sit at the 'puter and pay a little visit to Joe's archives and lo and behold, I found it! Then I hopped over to White Lies Designs, nicely featured in the Spring Interweave Knits, to borrow some brief-type inspiration from their lingerie set...which got me to thinking about leopard print. Don't ask which synaptic misfire lead me to leopard print intarsia from pink lace, but at that point I realized that it was way past my bedtime.

Regia should come out with a self-leoparding yarn. But speaking of which, anyone know where I could find some sockyarn that knits up into an animal-type print? Right now, I'm thinking bumble bee, zebra, tiger, giraffe (the color just has to pool in circles). I've decided that this summer, I'll occupy my beach time with sock knitting. Wendy's toe-up pattern of course. I really wasn't liking the sl1, k1 heel of the leg down version; but I'm really looking foward to this short-row heel.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Don't you just hate it when you're stranded in a coffee shop with yarn that you just bought for a pattern that you don't have with you? Such was my predicament yesterday afternoon. I bought two skeins of Koigu and was about 4 miles (if 8 city blocks=1 mile) away from my computer and Wendy's toe up generic sock pattern. So I improvised from what little I could remember: cast on 30, knit short rows until 12sts are worked. Then I ripped out the waste yarn from the provisional cast-on and guided my dpn through the live sts. But when I began knitting in the round, after 1 row I realized that this looked nothing like the pictures from Matt's blog. I thought for a moment and compared my toe to Matt's pictures...and my error was quickly made apparent. Of course I didn't rip (since you really can’t see the mistake)...but don't you just hate when that happens? Anywho, that crisis is over and I'm already a few inchest up the sock. I went to knitting circle at Sophie's this evening and got quite a bit done. And I also got to look at some new sock yarn that Jen is thinking about ordering and got to see the new patterns that just came in. I was quite intruiged by the stuff in the Katia book. Knit a sweater then drag some paint across it? I've got to chew on that one for a little bit. Sadly, that was the only book that arrived today that had men's patterns...but I'll leave that issue at two days ago:-) And thanks for all of the comments. Hell, it really got me thinking. Should I write 'properly worded' letters to the editors between drafts for various men's sweaters, or should I just stick with the mind-numbing designer's block that is currently plauging me. I'm a Has-Been, Get me out of here is getting ready to come on, so I'll just watch that for now.

Monday, March 03, 2003

I'm sure every knitter who's been around the knit bloggers ring once or twice has heard about Knitty. I'm sure that you'd all agree that it's an excellent site with designs and articles by bloggers such as Annie, Marilyn, Shetha, Wendy, and quite a few others. But as a male knitter, I'm quite displeased that in the three issues that Knitty has done there have only been two patterns specifically geared towards men. A sweater and a tie. Granted, this is a problem that can be easily solved. All I've got to do his get creative and write it down. But, also, with a blog, I'm afforded the ability to complain about it.

My complaint isn't focused at any one specific knitting publication, but at knitting publications in general. Why such an absence of patterns for the male knitter, or for the wife who is lucky enough to have a sweater wearing husband? Also why such an absence of decently designed patterns for the male wearer? You've got all of these de rigeur knitting magazines that every knitter is expected to have in their library, yet you've got their impoverished step-sisters turning out better looking patterns. It's kinda like how the Met had semi-notable names while Beverly Sills was knocking everyone's hand-knitted socks off across the Lincoln Center Plaza at City Opera. But I digress. Interweave...blah. Knitters...double blah. Vogue...blood-curdling scream. Family Circle Easy Knits...woohoo!!! Simply Knit...great male patterns (though I'd buy it anyway). Viking Patterns for Knitting...excellent book...but only two male patterns. The Celtic Collection by everyone's favorite Scot...nice book...two male patterns.

So, why is this?

Are men that difficult to design for? Or is it that some designers feel the challenge of designing something for a man is a bit too problematic due to 'certain limitations'? Generally speaking, I'd have to give the male sweater designs that I've seen a D (having seen only a few pleasurable designs that save them from getting a flat out F). And, to quote a line from Funny Face: 'D for drab, D for dull, D for dreary.' I'm not going to go so far as to sing a rousing rendition of Think Pink, but we gotta have some of that ol' bozzaz! I love Shetha's Anniversary sweater (husband is quite cute too), Wondrous Woven Cabling from (Knitter's Fall 2000) is nice too. But those are exceptions to the rule. Hmph...meanwhile.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

Something told me to copyright my blog. I was at Barnes & Noble yesterday and perusing their knitting books section. In Philadelphia, the general rule is this: If you want a knitting book you go to Borders and if you have to use the restroom you go to Barnes & Noble. But I went to B&N because Borders just moved and I didn't feel like making that long trek over those 5 city blocks. In any event, there was a new book sitting on their shelves...the title: All Stitched Up. Of course the first thing that I did was check the copyright page, and you can imagine my relief to find that the book had a copyright date of 2003. I wonder if this entitles me to royalties.

I'm not going to give a review of All Stitched Up (the book) except to comment that I'm not digging the color choice for the cover. But from the quick thumb-through that I gave it looks to be a nicely photographed book on finishing techniques. Like the saying says: "Don't judge a book by it's cover." That's why I check out the pictures on the inside.

However, I did buy a Starmore book, The Celtic Collection. All this talk about fair isle elsewhere got me interested...not to mention that I was more than a little bit interested to find out what the fuck a steek is. I googled, I, and nothing that I found specifically related to knitting. I even checked out Wendy's blog on how to do a steek, but was still clueless on what purpose steeks served. So, now I know what a steek is...will I use it? Probably not. I'll just fashion a way to do a raglan sort of something in which I attach the sleeves and continue knitting circularly (or would that be circuitously). She does nice stuff with colors and the textures are quite nice too. Will I actually attempt a pattern from the book? Perhaps...but with many many many changes. But it's really interesting to see how other designers work. And the pictures are nice too...not so much because of the sweaters; but the background scenery, accessorizing accourtrements, choice of models (especially the one with the curly hair and smoky eyes). So, what took me so long to buy the book? I detest fair isle. But I think that it would be a nice technique to learn.

Coincidentally...Yesterday, my horoscope at (which I download onto my PDA every day) read:
Artists get a green light, or whatever color inspires them. Lovers and hobbyists lose themselves in what makes them passionate. [...] Although you're deeply interested in new things, you'd rather make them than buy them. You'd also rather give them as gifts than keep them. The work of your own hands puts a unique stamp on a piece that no manufacturer could ever hope to copy.
It was right on all points...except, I'm more inclined to keep my knitted garments. In order to get a handknit sweater from me, I need a two-month's salary investment from you. It's all about the commitment, baby. LoL