Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy

It occurs to me that it has been a long time since this blog saw what I would consider to be a nice, solid, sustained piece of writing. I hate that.

But you're going to have to wait a little longer before you see another one, because there's so much going on I fear today's entry is going to be a potpourri of odd twigs and bits of moss I've collected from all over and feel I must display.

(That's a very inept metaphor. Maybe I should take a few minutes and make it better. No, no time. No time. Must keep moving.)

Rhinebeck Concluded

The sun that came out during the second hour or so at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds hung around. I got up early on Sunday morning to take advantage of the morning light and shot a bunch of stuff that I'll post in another entry.

One of my favorite shots from the whole trip, though, is this one. Joe and Thaddeus had me over to their place for lunch before taking me to the airport, and I enjoyed playing with my drop spindle while Joe got down to it with the new Robin wheel.

If I were That Sort of Photographer, I would call this one "Contentment."

I got to check out Joe's stash. (Wow.) And his finished sweaters, the pile of which is taller than I am.

And we discovered a mutual passion for peanut butter. This leads me to suspect that perhaps we were separated at birth. You must admit the physical resemblance is uncanny.

What can I tell you? The guy has it goin' on.

New in the Shop

At one point when I was working the letters on the Seneca sweater I had a different color yarn in each hand and had finally achieved a pretty steady rhythm. So I was chugging along the row and then, wham–powerful thirst. I had a glass of milk right next to me on the work table, but I hated to drop the yarn to pick it up.

And then it hit me.

Even the Hindu mother goddess of time and transformation needs to chill out occasionally.

Right now, Kali is available on women's clothes. [Addendum: She's on a knitting bag now, too. I can take a hint.] I'm going to see about putting her on other stuff, but unfortunately the amount of detail in the drawing doesn't translate well to really small (i.e. coffee mug) size. I'll see what I can do.

MenKnit Magazine

Thanks to the passion and hardwork of Dan Vera and Tricky Tricot, the first knitting magazine specifically for knitters with that little (not too little, one hopes) something extra is now available online. You can get it here.

This is shameless plug, of course, because I wrote one of the articles and I didn't do it for my health, you know. Go read it. In addition to my drivel there's actual useful content - some cute patterns.

Actually, people must be reading the magazine because I've already had three pieces of hate mail for choosing Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n' Bitch as my favorite book for brand-new knitters who wish to be self-taught.

Tough cookies. I only wrote about books that I have personally worked with and found to be effective. Yes, I know (in fact, I stated in the article) that Debbie's book addresses female knitters specifically and almost exclusively. Well, darlings, the woman publishes her own magazine for women and she knows her audience, and she produced the kind of book that she knew they would take to. I don't call that sexism, I call that good business sense.

Besides, she's thereby left the field clear for me to be at least part of the driving force behind a good, solid men's guide to knitting. Nobody else seems to be hurrying to plant a flag on that particular Everest. Why not me?

If you're reading this and you're an editor, let's talk.


Jason said...

I thought your article was great.

Your picture, however, was surprisingly lower resolution than anything else in the zine. Did you send them the wrong .jpg?

jen said...

Hey Franklin! I LOVE the knitting goddess! She rocks. I will order a tee right away! ALso, nice article in MenKnits -- the mag looks wonderful.

PS -- go get the button I made for you from my blog!!

Jenni said...

First, I am thoroughly saddened that I didn't get to say hi to you in Rhinebeck (that could be due to my own shyness).

Second, I dearly hope you will write a guide for male knitters. I know a few guys who are awkardly shy but think fiber is pretty neat. Any of the knitting books currently available intimidate them out of even trying to cast-on.

susoolu said...

Hate mail?? Ah, fuck it. Who cares how people learn, as long as they learn in the first place.

Still, at least you aren't boring people to death.

ps I vote for Kali on a bag, please; logos and non-buffed (female) breasts aren't always a good match.

Mama Lu said...

I don't wear t-shirts, but I would love to see Kali on a knitting bag--I would definitely buy a knitting bag with Kali on it.

When you say "editor," do you mean someone who works in the book trade who will pick up the book and publish it, or do you mean someone who will read the manuscript, point out any missing or confusing bits, and copy edit it? If the latter, that's what I do for a living; let me know if I can help. (I'm so much an editor that I just opened a new browser tab so I could check your spelling style for t-shirt.)

Bevin said...

Dear Franklin:

I am a new reader of yours and heart your knit art. I absolutely LOVE the Knitting Goddess and want to use her on my holiday cards. I want to make them myself, though, and use your image as a decoupage. Can I license it from you for a fee? I can put copyright info on the back or whatever.

And also thank you for the link to the men knit magazine. It looks fantastic. In your defense, I just bought my coworker SNB to get her started knitting. It is cool, easy to understand and gives you a pretty comprehensive idea of knitting culture, even if it is women centered. Nothing's perfect, right?



goblinbox said...

I love your knitting Kali.

Nik said...

I absolutely LOVE peanut butter.
Extra Chunky only.

JoVE said...

Wait till you get going with that spindle... My partner pointed out yesterday that I shouldn't take the spindle to the crafty night at the pub because it was clear I couldn't spin and drink beer at the same time (one was sitting right there, in a glass). Maybe that's why folks move on to a wheel...

Desdemona said...

Nice work on the article. People actually sent you hate mail for recommending an affordable learn to knit book? That's sad. I've yet to find a knitting book that teaches you everything, each one has benefits and drawbacks. Sometimes even a change of wording for an explanation is all it takes for a concept to click.

Oh well, can't make everyone happy.

On a completely unrelated note: I can't count the number of times I've wished I had 4 or more arms so I could knit. It would make things like fair isle so much simpler. *sigh* Dreaming I am again.

Marilyn said...

I'm not a huge fan of the Stitch 'n' Bitch Nation silliness. However, I agree with you on the learn-to-knit value of the book. Can't understand why people would have a hissy about your mentioning it in your article. Hey, if it worked for you, it might work for others. That's the point.

Come see me about publishing the book. Or submit it first to publishers. And then come see me.

Lorre said...

Ah! Finally your blog. I've been reading about you in Queer Joe's blog. The knitting Kali, or maybe Saraswati? is lovely. I seem to have had a similiar but solitary Rhinebeck experience. Although sorely tempted to go and meet all of you on Saturday, I held out for better weather on Sunday. I felt sort of funny getting linen and silk at a wool festival, but I couldn't pass them up!

Anonymous said...

As a side note, Sally Melville's books are also excellent for teaching oneself how to knit, and they contain references to male knitters!

Sneaksleep said...

I was eating spoonsful of peanutbutter when I began reading your post--my subconscious must have known! Anyway, love the Kali, loved your article (which I read yesterday), and I totally think you should write (and illustrate) that book. Too bad I'm not the powerful head of a major publishing house, or you'd already be signed. :)

ted said...

Why not self-publish? PDF, on demand, credit card payment followed by a download. Farm out the work you don't want to do. Then it's your book and you're in control of all of it. You could have a modest print run done simultaneously.

Patience said...

I'm really enjoying your drawings. My problem is I already have totes and t-shirts galore, more than I can use. I can use small pictures to put on my wall.

Is there any chance that prints would be available?

Thanks! Please keep going, and good luck with the book. My 9 year old nephew may or may not have taken up knitting (waiting for word back if he's keeping with it) and I would love a non-girly book to give him someday.

Sharon N. said...

The Kali that shows up in your blog looks like the right size for coffee cups -- I love her!

I couldn't go to Rhinebeck this year -- so sorry to have missed the chance to meet you and Joe and Marilyn and Selma. Thank you for writing so beautifully about your visit.

Lucia said...

I loved your article! Haven't really gotten the SNB religion myself, but hey, it's not what you drive, it's where you're going. My only complaint is that Zimmermann has two n's. (Why, yes, I am an editor. A technical one working in the software industry, though, so I may not be what HR people call a good fit. If, however, you want someone to put your prose through boot camp, I'm your woman. So to speak.)

I loved meeting you at Rhinebeck too. I don't have a blog (yet -- working on it), but with any luck Ruth will have our picture up soon.

Barb B. said...

I really enjoyed your article. Informative and funny. Thank God I've never knit 500 lb arans or technicolour stuff for the men in my life.
Re: generousity of knitters. I contributed to your freshair fund because no way could I go, and I figured you'd do a great job of writing it up and photographing it...and you did. Thanks for the vicarious trip.
Barb B.

birdfarm said...

In which we learn that it is never too late to have a fresh air fund.

I love your knitting goddess! Love it love it love it!!!

I gotta say, I'm with Lorre, tho--I'm not sure that's Kali...Kali's usually depicted as wrathful and terrifying, has a necklace of severed heads, that sort of thing. I think what you have there is an avatar of Parvati. But you can always check out this site devoted to differentiating Hindu goddesses and make up your own mind.

Damn, is Literal Girl spoiling Captain Shortguy's fun again??? ;-)

your #2 fan (C being #1 of course)

dragon knitter said...

(chants) kali, kali, kali (wish i DID have that many hands) you should subtitle that so much knitting so few hands, lol!

great stuff, man.

i will check out your article later, i promise

Karen said...

Why not publish a book of drawings? Or limited-edition prints? Your work is first-rate!


Ruth said...

The picture is up, but nothing to write home about ... due to technical difficulties, it looks as though you and Lucia are in the witness protection program. I'll try to correct it ... although it is kind of funny.

Good to meet you at Rhinebeck. So good to be able to put a face and voice to the written word.

Linda said...

I've loved all the posts about you trip. I've had such fun reading them.

Janine said...

Love Kali, please try her on a mug, I have just bought you needles T-shirt and the Yoga Tote so I really can't justify another one just yet but I want that godess!:-)

Sean said...

Franklin, the knitting goddess is great! I admire your cartooning skill. What a man of many talents! Writer, Knitting, Photographer, etc, etc! I'm glad to have "met" you!

I've discovered that having a blog and putting things "out there" open us up to criticism. I love healthy debate! I hate intollerance. Make your points intelligently, and then if necessary, agree to disagree. Any way, I anxiously await the delivery of my "creation" t shirt...and am thinking of getting the goddess t as well! You've got something going here.

Sister Sue said...

Hmmm...I'm sorry folks gave you grief about the SNB book. Yeah, it's kind of girly, but as a new knitter with no actual person to teach me anything (besides my orignial demo from you!), the book has been indispensible, and not for its 'you go, girl' attitude. I use it as a reference when reading patterns in other books. It taught me to increase, something I was NOT getting from the description in my new book (heck, it taught me to purl way back when). I find the explanations and drawings comprehensible. All the rest is just extra (though she IS kind of funny sometimes).

ginchy said...

Actually I've got to agree with you about the SnB book. I think it's a great learn to knit book if you've got no-one around to teach you. Girly yes, very definately, but I'd have had no idea how stitch structure affected the work without it!

Rana said...

Oh, I adore your knitting goddess!

*adds to holiday wish list*

(Any possibility of getting it and the yoga-knitting cartoon on those stupidly-named "girly" t-shirts? Regular t-shirts make me look like I'm wearing a bag.)

Andy's Crafts said...

Hi Franklin: I got here through Calvin's blog. Your drawings are very impressive, do you do Ganesha at all. I loved your work.

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