Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
On the knit.theory podcast episode for November 10, 2103, I compare Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac to Sue Hubbell's A Country Year.
Both women introduce themselves from their comfortable chairs where they look out on the world beyond. "Once upon a time there was an old woman who loved to knit. She lived with her Old Man in the middle of the woods in a curious one-room schoolhouse which was rather untidy, and full of wool. Every so often as she sat knitting by the warm iron stove or under the dappled shade of the black birch, as the season might dictate, she would call out to her husband: 'Darling, I have unvented something.'" So Zimmermann begins her explanation of why she is writing this book.
Hubbell describes standing alone in order to grow strong, a metaphor for why she is writing her book, saying, "There are three big windows that go from floor to ceiling on the south side of my cabin. I like to sit in the brown leather chair in the twilight of winter evenings and watch birds at the feeder that stretches across them. The windows were a gift from my husband before he left the last time. . . I have lived here in the Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri for twelve years now, and for most of that time I have been alone. I have learned to urn a business that we started together, a commercial beekeeping and honey-producing operation, a shaky, marginal sort of affair that never quite leaves me free of money worries but which allows me to live in these hills that I love."
Both women focus on their comfortable chairs, the natural habitats which surround their homes, their marital status, and what consumes their time (knitting and beekeeping, respectively). They both write books that follow a yearly cycle. Hubbell's is a thing of literary beauty. Zimmermann's is typical of her knitterly genius. I see many similarities between the two books, and many striking differences. We will discuss both of these books in future episodes. Go ahead. Get your hands on copies now.
I review, briefly, the Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Knits and, more thoroughly, Cooperative Press's Stitching in the Stacks. Visit the knit.theory podcast group on Ravelry to enter my current giveaways. (Don't forget about the Fantabulous Festive KAL. Any knitted gifts finished between November 1st and December 31st of this year qualify for an entry. See the thread in the Ravelry group for details on how to enter.)
I show off the little bunny I am knitting.
Be forewarned. The Story Time segment contains mild cussing and name-calling. We read from Three Men in a Boat.
Episode 7 Links
knit.theory podcast group on Ravelry
Stitching in the Stacks
Amethyst Hemlock Ring Blanket
pink rose lace stole
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Does Sherlock Holmes' darkly disturbed brilliance depend on vertigo-inducing bouts of drug abuse? Should orangutan criminals, wild and untamable, be punished or set free? Does wit triumph over violence? Is all the world upset when a private eye is as victimized, unreliable, and guilty as the man he pursues?
In today's episode, the discussion of subversion at work in detective fiction continue. I have my first Jeeves or Wooster moment! I'd love it if you joined me for a holiday KAL hosted on the knit.theory Ravelry group. Enter your finished holiday gifts for a chance to win a downloadable pattern of your choice. (Details are on the Ravelry board here.) I'm knitting, among other things, a precious little bunny. I call her Candie Cottontail, and she is a delight to knit. She may even turn out cute, too. ;)
You may watch Episode 6 on this blog, on YouTube here, on iTunes, and at http://knittheory.libsyn.com/webpage.
My Candie Cottontail, based on the bunny girl in a dotty dress pattern, is knit primarily from Cascade Eco Duo (70% alpaca, 30% merino) in the Vanilla colorway. I am using contrasting bits of fuschia and rose Fiber Charmer DK, light blue Plymouth Happy Feet DK, and String Theory DK in the Atlantis colorway.
Fantabulous Festive 2013 KAL Join the knit.theory Ravelry group to participate and have a chance to win a downloadable Ravelry pattern.
The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe
Paul Auster's The New York Trilogy
I show off oodles of Madelinetosh skeins. It seems to be the only thing I'm working with lately! My soon-to-be frogged Holden Shawl, the Tyrian Loop cowl, and the Rose Lace Stole each attest to this.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Are you a zany knitter? After knitting over lunch, in conferences, while
watching television, and in bed, are you convinced that knitting
matters to the universe and to the workings of our world?
Join me today for an overview of how knitting can be at turns subversive and at turns the orthodox instrument of the Ideological and the Repressive State Apparatuses. Talk about how subversion and containment work in detective fiction and what detective fiction's main agenda is. Then question what knitting literature's significant messages might be. Brainstorm ideas for how knitting culture, knitting literature, and the act of knitting might be subversive to or used by the ruling-classes.
Finally, since none of us can get enough of knitting, I also show off my current knitting projects and knitting related acquisitions (soap!). Stay tuned near the end to find out if you won my podcast kick-off giveaway and for a little story telling.
Oops. I mentioned that sinister shares a root with the French word for left-handed. Actually, I was thinking of the Latin word for left-handed. The French word for left-handed is gauche, which in English connotes clumsiness or social awkwardness.
Jinki 'n Tae Handmade Soaps, etc.
Louis Althusser's Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses
Stephen Greenblatt's "Invisible Bullets" (published in 1988?)
Three Men in a Boat via Project Gutenberg and Librivox
New Simple Pleasures Hat: my project is here
Holden Shawlette: my project is here
Pinch Hat: my project is here
Jin Que needles (from China) on eBay
Super Summer Knitogether(SSK) 2014
Episode 5 is live on iTunes, Libsyn, and, in high-def, on YouTube. Also check out the knit.theory Ravelry group.
Monday, September 30, 2013
My latest podcast episode is up! Check it out on YouTube, iTunes, or Podbean.
Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013
Today's segments include Graded (and a Review), Conspicuous Consumption, details about my current Giveaway, and Typewriter. Finish the episode with Story Time.
Dorflinger Tee: B+
Love it. This tee fits great. It feels great. It's snuggly soft. I'm pretty sure the yarn will mat and pill. Will what's lofty now become scuzzy later? Perhaps the delicate Ariosa is not the right choice of yarn for this pattern. (I can't help myself. Ever since knitting my first cabled hat from Ariosa, I've been hooked.) The Dorflinger Tee pattern was great. I ended up taking out most of my mods to instead do what the pattern suggested. The lace knitting itself was easy to read and really fun to knit. This lace stretches nicely for flexible fit. I think this would be a great gift-giving pattern for my sisters, who live too far away from me to be measured properly. I am not in love with the gauge (too tight) and placement (too low) of my waist shaping. With wear this might accentuate any bodily pooching rather than flatter. I do like how I decreased after picking up sts for the sleeves. That is my favorite mod. It resulted in cute, feminine, blouse-y sleeves--the kind of sleeves that are probably falling out of fashion this season. Ha! If so, and if it bothers me, I can always knit another one. Nothing says immediate gratification better than a quick project. Overall, I'm pleased!
Review of Knitted Lace
Knitted Lace is a fantastic collection of patterns and knitting tips for beginner lace knitters and experienced lace knitters. I bought this book for the Bettie's Lace Stockings pattern, and I am sure to knit at least half of the patterns in it!
I would have loved a resource like this when I began knitting lace, especially the tips about creating loose cast-on edges, reading charts, and making yarn-overs. Making yarn-overs seems so basic to experienced knitters that it can be overlooked in patterns also aimed at beginners. When I began knitting YOs, I considered both the yarn that was brought over the needle (the actual YO) and the following knit stitch as one yarn-over. Obviously this messed up my patterns and my stitch count. I did figure this error out on my own, but I love the useful specific tips for beginners that are in this book. As a more experienced knitter who still has a lot to learn, I enjoyed the articles about stretchy bind-offs.
I find Thorstein Veblen's Theory of the Leisure Class extremely interesting in light of current differences of opinions about what justifies crafting/knitting.
Do you knit/sew/cook/craft because it is frugal, or do you knit with the best materials you can afford?
Do you buy expensive yarns and show them off? (It's okay if you do.)
Do you reuse thrift store sweaters and show that off? (It's okay if you do.)
Neither craft-lifestyle (craftstyle!) is free from social elitism. Knitting with repurposed fibers can be as elitist as knitting with exotic fibers. Similarly, in many cases crafting may not be about elitism at all.
I don't feel judgy about these things, but I do try to be purposeful, thoughtful, and aware of what my actions are saying and of what the socio-economic consequences of my actions are.
Find the Theory of the Leisure Class free Project Gutenberg ebook here and the free Librivox recording here. Read about Deborah Tannen here.
Whispering Woodturner yarn bowl and project bag
Stitch markers by JeNan
Check out the Zibeline Knits Giveaway on the knit.theory Ravelry group. You must be a member of the group to enter!
GAF Spinning Class, taught by Jane
Richmond Greenfield. (Oops! I am so sorry, Jane. I don't know where my head was. Jane Greenfield is a calming, informative teacher and a lovely person. I am sure Jane Richmond is also a lovely person, but I have not met her.)
I show off my yarn. I tell you about my pretty rainbow rolags and my breaking spindle. I have big plans for this early art-yarn. I'll knit indestructible Christmas tree ornaments or beautiful, art-rope potholders.
Literary Theory: Veracity and Reading for Pleasure
Join me while I begin reading Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog). I'll be reading this in short installments over the next several installments.
This book is also available for free at Project Gutenberg (Three Men in a Boat) and Librivox (Three Men in a Boat). Also worth checking out is the 1975 Tim Curry (and TOM STOPPARD!!) film adaptation.
I introduce Three Men in a Boat by reading forewords in which authors claim full literary veracity.
Moll Flanders (early 1700s) -- Scholars are not sure how true this account is.
Gulliver's Travels (late 1700s) -- We know this account is a tiny bit exaggerated.
Three Men in a Boat (late 1800s) -- Is this a true story? Decide for yourself.
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Fledermaus Tuch, pattern by Jana Albrecht and Alynxia's Die Fledermaus! project
Holden Shawlette, pattern by Mindy Wilkes and wannafelt's Accessory for Magnolie Botanicals Mittens
Dorflinger Tee by Mandy Moore
Brian Massumi on the Simulacrum
Visit my Ravelry group to enter my inaugural giveaway. I purchased a lovely, Halloween-y skein of Zibeline Knits Rocket Sock yarn in the Candy Corn colorway.