"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."
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 HagenThe former makes good on the promise of the title: the basic ideas, without the outer trappings of the many sects.
Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das
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:
- The Knitting Curmudgeon's tips on lace knitting (see her sidebar)
- Go Knit in Your Hat is packed with practical advice on buying, choosing, and substituting yarn
- See Eunny Knit is full of good commonsense and remarkably clear explanations
- String or Nothing is a virtual encyclopedia of technique
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.