Looks good, no? I love it. It's wonderful and I don't even have to concentrate because someone else has already figured out the pattern. How wonderful. I sometimes have this thing where I think if I am going to spend the time to knit something I may as well design it myself but I needed a well deserved break--and Wendy egged me on Saturday. You may have noticed from the picture that I am in fact using mismatched old ratty straight needles. It's true. I was having a throwback moment to those days before I have all the lovely needles at my fingertips, when the only needles I had were my grandmother and great grandmother's hand-me-downs in an old Folger's can. All mismatched and warped and bent. Ah, the old days. Now there are so many different needles on the market the mind reels. I don't even know what I like anymore. How can I? As soon as I think I have found the greatest needle ever and started collecting something even better comes along. My poor Crystal Palace circulars, once they were my treasured needles and now they are dusty and neglected in the bottom of the needle box of doom (that tangled box I rummage through to find the right size). Then I moved onto the Inox coated aluminum, then onto the addi turbos and now I am having a quiet love affair with the Lantern Moon needles, not the straight ones, just the circulars and particularly the double points. They are the perfect double point, except for the awful packaging, but it has everything to do with displaying them and nothing to do with knitting. I did manage to knit up to the point you see in the photo on those mismatched and bent straight needles and then I gave in. I switched to the lantern moon rosewood. So much better.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
100% soy silk in a lace weight in all these lovely colors:
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
So you should just imagine Wendy in her turtleneck-with-sleeves (sleeves-with-turtleneck?) from Wrap Style, Karen in the Half-Square Shawl, Barb with an Alligator Wrap, and Christina wearing--hey, Chris, what is that scarf? I can tell it's Noro, but I can't see any more than that.
The cast-on is definitely the trickiest part. We tried a couple variations. Eventually, everyone got it, and repeated it enough times to feel like they'd still know how to do it when they got to the second sock.
Working the entrelac was no big deal--working entrelac never is. It's easier in the round, because you don't have to worry about side triangles. This particular pattern has a couple unusual characteristics: in most entrelac, the first stitch of every row is slipped, but not here. Eunny Jang, the designer, says that the slipped stitches decrease elasticity. A couple people experimented with doing it either way and they found no difference. The slipped stitches make it easier to pick up the right number when starting the next block, though, and working all the stitches (rather than slipping them) seems to lead to gaps along the picked-up edge. So some people are choosing to slip them anyway.
Second, on each round, the stitches for the first block are picked up in the reverse direction as all the other blocks. That is, if the whole round is going to be full of blocks picked up purlwise, the first block is picked up knitwise. And vice versa. This seems to be a function of where the yarn ends up at the end of the previous tier, and facilitates carrying the yarn up the inside of the sock rather than cutting and rejoining it every time. That's a worthwhile change, though a little confusing at first.
From here, it should be smooth sailing for all until the heel begins.
Here's a picture of Wendy's toe and Courtney's. They've both got the same Koigu multi. Wendy's olive solid is Reynolds' Sea Wool, and Courtney's mustard is a solid Koigu.
Stay tuned for more!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Send resume to fairmountDOTfibersATgmailDOTcom, or Fairmount Fibers, 915 N. 28th St., Philadelphia, PA 19130.
The sooner the better.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
A customer (let's call her "Customer A") was in the shop browsing, choosing some yarn, looking through some books. A second customer (let's call her "Customer B") came in to look for some buttons.
Customer B wasn't sure whether I was the same person who'd helped her pick out the yarn on her last visit (I wasn't). She asked my name, and I said, "Lisa." She looked more closely at me and asked my last name. I said, "Myers." "Oh!" she said. "You wrote the book! I've seen it in the library."
"Yes," I said, "that was me."
"You have a Ph.D. in English!"
"Yes," I said, "I do." It's difficult to know what else to say to a comment like that.
"Wow. A Ph.D. That's hard."
Now, at this point, I'm frankly groping. On the one hand, she's correct; graduate school is incredibly difficult and the achievement of completing a doctorate is one I'm proud of. On the other hand, I was raised to be modest, and I'm just not comfortable saying something like, "Yes, it was, and I worked like a dog to do it." Also, I'm not sure that it's more difficult than lots of other things--like owning one's own business, or giving birth, or writing a book--not to mention any of the very difficult things I have no firsthand knowledge of, like running a marathon or having a life-threatening illness or being a nun.
But while I was struggling for a reply, Customer A chimed in, "Well, but it's not like math."
Take a moment to consider your own response--spoken or unspoken--to that.
I'm afraid you can't compare your response to mine, because I said nothing at all. I was completely stuck. And frankly, it wasn't the rudeness of it that hit me first. It was the hypothetical Barbie-style sexism of it. (Remember the talking Barbie doll that was re-designed after people protested that one of her sentences was "Math is hard"?) Do we still all assume that math and science are inherently more difficult than the humanities? Or are they just assumed to be more difficult for women?
In a comment on a post not that long ago, I was taken to task for belittling women's achievements by claiming that knitting is easy. I disputed the specific accusation (there's easy knitting and there's hard knitting, and I don't think saying "We're all smart enough to do this" is dismissive of the effort involved in it), but I'm right there with the overall point: many girls are taught that modesty is becoming, and this can lead to an unwillingness to claim credit when we deserve it.
And I guess I'd have to say that the score was Sexism 2, Feminism 0 here yesterday--once because I couldn't find a way to acknowledge my achievement without feeling like I was bragging, and once because I couldn't say, "Hey, you don't really think advanced math is harder than advanced literary studies, do you?"
Why am I blogging about this, which has so little to do with knitting? Because I feel bad about not being able to speak up yesterday--and about hiding my silence behind some phony idea that, as a shopowner, I'm prohibited from saying anything critical or unpleasant to a customer. I also think that's why some people around here didn't want me to blog about it: the point is not the anonymity of the customer(s), but the taboo against saying anything negative to or about any customer, ever. It's fascinating to me the way traditional retail policy dovetails with a traditionally "feminine" upbringing.
Sorry, no tidy insightful conclusion is forthcoming. But I promise that the next post will have knitting, and pictures.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Saturday, March 03, 2007
bags and bags of new Koigu. I want to strip down and roll in it naked, but out of consideration for our customers, not to mention that pesky L&I inspector, I'll hold back.
I also found this:
They tried to disguise this bin of new Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
by putting it on a shelf with the sock yarns, but I am too slick for them. This is a lovely new 7-to-an-inch wool, and we also have a great book that is all sock patterns to go with (including some patterns for men). Here's a link to our website if you can't stand it and want to buy some.
And we also have the 3 new RYC books with lots of Martin Storey patterns: Coast, Mother and Baby, and Nature.
Keep in mind that I've only been in the shop about twenty minutes. There's no telling what else I'll find as the day wears on. So stop by and see us this weekend!