Monthly Archives: February 2008

Must remember to use brain

This week I’ve only been managing bits and pieces of knitting (including a return to the Korknisse pattern – more on that later when I’ve got pics, also the 2nd knee sock), in between going here and there and furiously clinging to some procrastinatory time. Plus we’re having the 2nd blizzard in less than a week around these parts, so there is sort of a lack of inertia. (Oh yeah, and somehow The Cold never did quite take – I’ve had a few intermittent days of “I’m getting a cold” disease where I think something is going to develop into huge symptoms but never does. ::knocks on wood::)

But in the walking and bus-knitting moments I’ve been going back and listening to that yarncraft podcast with the Yarn Harlot. I never did take it off my mp3 player and I find it sort of inspiring to listen to how she talks about knitting. And then there’s the moment where she talks about the posts on her blog about, say, locking herself out of her hotel room wearing only her underthings, or dropping her shoe out of a window, or whatever, and responding to people who think she’s a moron by saying “Everybody does this. Everybody. We’re all just struggling through our day!”

And this was all extremely comforting to me today when I was trying to find humour in the fact that I – wait for it – left my laptop behind in a cafe. No, I don’t know how I managed to do this. My only explanation was that I had so much crud with me that I had to pack up, and I had let the laptop sit on the table to shut down, and I was rushing to get to a bus with such concern that I forgot to do the step where I was supposed to slide the laptop into the laptop compartment of my bag.

Until two hours later when, after making the bus – that was 25 minutes late – and finally getting home and scraping some of the icy snowy sludge out of the driveway, and then putting the kettle on and petting the cat, and then sitting down to my desk, I finally unzip my bag and discover my laptop cord and a big gaping hole where the laptop should be. And at that point the only possible response is to say OH FUCK (because there is nobody in the wrong except ME ME ME ME damnit why God why did I do this to myself) and dash around madly trying to phone people at the cafes and still try to appear sane even though I have just done something that proves entirely otherwise.

Luckily, the universe is still populated with a few careful human beings, and my laptop was indeed found and held for me just at the very place I had left it. And I got it back.

Knitting to resume shortly. Also the use of the brain.

Because I can’t bear to have an image-less post, and because I have an uncommon amount of affection for this advertisement (despite my cynicism, I think this is actually a lot more progressive than other ads that try to be), I will leave you with this YouTube find:

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Book Review: Twelve Months of Knitting

It’s been too long since I had a book review!

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Twelve Months of Knitting by Joanne Yordanou is intended – as is clear from the title – as a collection of knitting projects suitable for all four seasons. It’s an ambitious claim, and one that other collections have tried before now. But more importantly, I really feel this book should be considered not so much as an all-seasons book, but as a book for the advanced-beginner knitter who has learned a few skills and is ready to move on to larger projects.

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Although the majority of patterns are designed for women, there are a couple of men’s sweaters as well as a few versatile accessories and a couple of (admittedly adorable and fairly easy looking) children’s sweaters). In sharp contrast to the new books I’ve reviewed in the last few months, this book is a fairly conservative selection – shaping is minimal-to-none, sweaters tend to favour drop-shoulders rather than set-in sleeves or raglan, most pieces use DK-weight and heavier – but this in itself may make it an appealing book to some knitters.

There are a few projects which I feel are downright ill-advised, particularly the two – not one, but two – knitted bikinis. (One bandeau, one string). And the beach cover-up top and the cropped sweater with diamond cut-outs might seem like wise all-season knitting, but I can’t think of anyone I know who would want to either make or wear them. Really, the high points of this book are exactly where they should be – with the fall and winter knits.

The two sweaters above are good examples of this. Both are fairly simple shapes but are comfortable pieces. Although the cables might look slightly intimidating, the pattern repeats several times and would be a satisfying knit in Briggs & Little wool as the pattern suggests.

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At first glance I will admit that I didn’t find much of interest in this collection, but upon further inspection a few pieces stand out for me, including the two above. The ‘Ski Lodge Scoop’ is an attractive ribbed vest that uses 4 skeins of Manos Del Uruguay, and there is an accompanying pattern for a drawstring bag. The cabled belted cardigan above right would also be a pretty classic wardrobe addition, especially in the Mission Falls 1824 Wool as the pattern uses here. I’d totally make that.

There is a heavy lacy shawl in Classic Elite Cashmere – which would move briskly on 5mm needles – a felted bag, and a few hats and scarves for easy accessorizing. The girls’ cardigan below becomes cuter and cuter the more I look at it, and as a wrap sweater fan I have to give it up for the cotton sleeveless summer wrap, below right.

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Sizing-wise, most of the patterns will fit a bust size up to 44″ or so, which isn’t the highest range but still fares higher than many other books. This is a collection of patterns, not a technique manual, so you will find very little “how-to” discussion. Knitters should be prepared to seek that sort of advice on their own. Also, there are no charts for cable and lace patterns – those of charted mind will have to reverse-engineer that. But if you’re looking for a basic collection of patterns, this book will do just fine. Although I wouldn’t rank it on my top shelf, I’m keeping it on tap for the Ski Lodge Scoop and the Mission Falls cardi.

Have a great weekend!

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