Monday, May 01, 2006

Your Number One Source for Dubious Advice

"Dolores," I said. "Dolores, I've been asked to contribute to a symposium."

"Well, bugger my behind," said Dolores. "What's the topic, where's it at, and can we get a suite on the concierge floor with a view?"

"It's online," I said. "An online symposium about lace knitting."

"Oh," said Dolores.

"I'm sorry if you're disappointed," I said.

"No," she sighed. "It's just that I worry about your rock star lifestyle catching up with you."

***
Lace Symposium

Lace Flock

The online, lace-oriented community Knitting Beyond the Hebrides is hosting a week-long online lace symposium. No need to register, no need to pay, no need to be frisked by a big, burly security guard named Lou. Just head over to their Web site and check out each day's "schedule."

While there will be no hospitality suite, no banquet, and no illicit whoopee in the coat check room, there will be a lot of articles, patterns, contests, and so forth. Skill levels from basic to advanced will, I am told, find something of interest.

Well, Since You Asked


I know perfectly well that I am the worst blogger in the universe when it comes to answering reader questions. I will try to be better about it, pinky swear.

My half-assed attempt at improvement begins today, which as it happens is the first day of the rest of my life. It's half-assed because I will be answering two comments I know I came in recently but which I now cannot locate.*

Commenter A wanted to know of some good basic books on Buddhism. I can recommend two that have been a big help:
Buddhism Plain and Simple by Steve Hagen
Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
The former makes good on the promise of the title: the basic ideas, without the outer trappings of the many sects.

The latter is more inspirational, with a lot of thought-provoking takes on the dharma.

These have both been useful to me, with no prior background in the subject.

Commenter B is a new (or new-ish) guy knitter who wanted to know of good basic books and sources of instruction.

First of all, I am so excited for you. You will be assimilated. That is, I mean, uh, welcome.

I wrote an article about books to learn from for the first MenKnit online magazine, so I guess I'd start there if you really want my opinion. Online, where technique is concerned, try:
That's not an exhaustive list by any means. It's limited to blogs which offer information that has been of recent, direct, practical use to me. There are many others (see my sidebar) and the thing to do is explore.

I tried joining the fabled KnitList, just to see for myself if it deserves its reputation, but all three applications were rejected for reasons unexplained. Perhaps my reputation as a roughneck troublemaker preceded me.
***

"But I've never been to a symposium where nobody threw the hotel furniture out the window," Dolores whined.

"Get away from the coffee table," I said.

*I expect the comments are in a secret, central holding tank along with my spare keys; my copy of To the Lighthouse; my ability to digest potato chips; 73 gym locks; 4,000 pairs of socks and 286 stitch markers.

34 comments:

Nelly O said...

hmmm . . . since Lou isn't tied up with the symposium, maybe he's free for a lttle whooppee. Do you have his number?

Cheryl said...

"no need to be frisked by a big, burly security guard named Lou."

how sad for you.... could be interesting.

Colleen said...

If a new knitter is, like me, more of a visual sort of person, in addition to what you suggested (all really excellent), I'd recommend knittinghelp.com for clear videos on lots of various techniques. And (bonus) the videos show both English and Continental versions of each technique.

kate said...

"Commenter A" thanks you!

Ted said...

Franklin, this is great. You'll learn so much doing the symposium. There's nothing better for learning than having to answer questions.

Bonnie said...

I just might check it out as I am currently working my first official lace project. And I could use some sage advice.

I get excited for 20 rows then lose steam. I flounder for a few moew rows and out of the blue find my lace mojo again. Then the cycle starts yet again.......

rene said...

Thanks for the link to the symposium! It looks great. You and Delores will have a great time, and maybe she can invite Lou over to the apartment for a rousing game of coffee table catch.

rene said...

Whoops, tell Dolores I'm sorry for the typo.

All the Way With Knitting said...

Holly tried to join KNITLIST but was rejected in a very patronising way so I got a close relative to join...you are missing nothing it is desperately boring .If you crochet poodle toilet-roll covers then join under an assumed name Nora knitaslotacrap ..if you tell them you are an artiste in the field or the town come to that they might let you join but hey don't bother.

LornaJay said...

Heh. Two blogs which I didn't know about, both of which are full of useful information.

Thanks!

Oh, and if Dolores wants to fling furniture out of hotel windows, send her down here. We have a strategically placed skip, and are clearing out loads of junk.

Ann said...

Did you try joining using Dolores' name?

You have joined a very exclusive society - those who
were summarily rejected for inclusion on the KnitList; as opposed to those of us who have merely been tossed out; or the even larger list of those of us
on strict moderation....
I think I'm on moderation, although I haven't been
to the list in a LONG time.

Chicago Jen said...

I agree with AllthewaywithKnitting. I joined thinking it would be a great source for useful info and it turns out that it's mostly about cozy's, doilies, and Lion Brand. I imagine it's very useful for folks who live FAR FAR FAR AWAY from a LYS (or civilization), but I promise you Dear, that you miss nothing by having been rejected. I would guess it's another one of those "All Are Welcome {...Assuming You Have The Proper Genetalia}". Shame on their short sightedness. It keeps them stuck in doilies and cozies and snoods.

Carol said...

Hey, Ann, I'm in an even more rarified state: those who got it, then unsubbed after being "admonished" by a list mom and put on moderation. I don't need no stinking moderatation.

Two words, Franklin: Plush. Dolores. Call Manhattan Toy immediately.

blueprairie said...

in re: joining the knitlist...Franklin, buddy, don't try again as the fourth time may be the charm. I just threw in the towel and resigned from it last week.

moiraeknits said...

I loved _Awakening the Buddha Within_, and the other books by the same author. I don't follow a Buddhist path, but thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.

GAndyS said...

Franklin, since you finished the Barbie Shawl, I am wondering if you plan to do any more Orenburg lace? I tried to hack my way through the BS (for short!) and had a really hard time when I had just done the bottom and two corners and couldn't tell what was next and it just says, "continue like that"! Did you have this problem? Did you find the instructions clear? I'm just wondering since I don't know anyone else who has actually tried the BS, and you actually had finished proof of making it all the way through.

FiberQat said...

It's the cowboys honey. And Dolores. Come over to the dark side http://www.glbt-knit.com and we'll have you feeling right at home in no time.

How exciting about the symposium! Since I've picked up a honkin' huge amount of mercerised cotton in delicious purple, I'll have to take a peeky there to see what trouble I can get into. Have fun!

Mel said...

Well, if there's no illicit whoopee, what's the point?

Then again, maybe I can sweet talk Ted into spinning me up some laceweight alpaca....

Jay said...

If you find the comments, and all your other stuff, could you please return the following stuff which is probably there as well please: my 'Stawberry Switchblade' cassette tape (that's how long it's been missing - tape!), the diamond out of my Commitment Ring, and the silver 'J' that fell off my chain last year when I was roughousing with Jack.
I'm all for furniture throwing with Dolores... let's get naked and chuck some Wedgewood out the windows!

All the Way With Knitting said...

Carol.."Jellycat" do a rage of really sassy looking lady animals in furs,pearls etc.They'd love Dolores..not that "Manhattan" don't do fantastic ones too.I'll see if we can put the really sassy pig Holly has on her site sometime.angie

All the Way With Knitting said...

Carol..managed to find said "sassy Pig" and post her on my blog as her Mum won't be up for an hour or so !

Rabbitch said...

I'm afraid if there's no illicit checking for concealed weapons and such, then really, I just couldn't possibly.

Perhaps Dolores and I could go watch the peelers instead?

Anonymous said...

You lose pairs of socks? That is like - a superpower! Mere mortals lose half pairs of socks.
/Monika

Anonymous said...

the KnitList is no longer the rage; check out KnitTalk if you're really interested--started by some severely unhappy former KnitListers. Stick with digest mode. Still, dunno that it's all that....

Kelly said...

Thanks for my morning guffaw. My office pods may not have appreciated my snickering but I was certainly entertained.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the handy hints and don't worry about being snubbed by the Snitlist - unless you like being blessed and hugged! If you like sage knitting advice, some acerbic comments and good book reviews (pus the odd digression into coffee and recipes) try Knit Flame - Trolls not invited. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/knitflame

Kate

Carol said...

I unsubbed from Knit Flame because it was so often tiresome and so rarely funny. I wouldn't bother.

Carrie K said...

Dubious advice is the best kind.

Sneaksleep said...

What Ted said about the learning. And as for the missing socks, you do know, don't you, that you can just knit yourself some more?

Dhi said...

Oh, dearest Franklin~

Shall I send along my copy of To the Lighthouse, which hasn't been touched since 1985?

Since it's just book-rate shipping, I may as well include my dusty copies of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Equus, and my entire Irish Playwrights collection. (I have to keep the Sam Shepard, though...sorry, love.)

Brie said...

Could all the people who've lost socks please come claim them? I haven't bought socks in years (and I don't knit them either) and yet I need yet another sock drawer (my fourth). My socks are either multiplying or my dryer is abducting socks. If it's the second, I do apologize for my dryer's unruly behavior.

goblinbox said...

Wait. You can't digest potato chips?

Angela said...

If you really miss To The Lighthouse, I have a copy that you are welcome to! Because I'm sure I'm never going to read it again!

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