It took me a while to buy the new Interweave Knits because the first copies to arrive at the bookstore near my office were all, inexplicably, sealed in plastic. I wondered (hoped?) whether this indicated scandalous content within–perhaps a centerfold featuring John Brinegar supine on a pile of Jaeger.
The reviews began to show up online and were so positive that I hope Pam Allen et al. opened a bottle of something nice. In case you haven't noticed, knitters are not the easiest bunch to please. I don't know whence came the image of the daft little old lady smiling benignly at the world over her needles, because even since the demise of You Knit What?, make one false move and you're chum.
When I finally got to flip through an unsealed copy (and yes, I did buy it) I was disappointed that there were no naked men. On the other hand, there are several striking designs and two that are gorgeous (Eunny, honey, you're really giving She Who Litigates in Scottish Courts a run for her money). And then there's the men's sweater.
Now, this is not going to be a scathing write-up of the men's sweater. When you're putting your own stuff out there every day, honestly it becomes a little harder to flippantly write things like, "Wow! What a piece of shit!" Also, whenever I start to feel really poisonous I see my mother's disapproving countenance rising up before my eyes and saying "Play nice or you're going home!" and it kills the mood.
I want to write about this sweater because if, on the off chance that anybody who publishes patterns might be reading, I'd like to pass on some comments of my own–as well as one given at last night's Stitches in Britches meeting.
First of all, the model is completely cute should feel free to write to me at any time. However, I am going to assume that the sweater was intended for somebody rather larger. Here's why: look at a) the neckline and b) the waistline.
I am absolutely certain that the designer could not have intended the neckline to be so broad that it's mere inches from slipping off the fellow's pretty shoulders. Nor could she have jumped up from a deep sleep and shouted "Eureka! I've figured out how to make a normal-sized head look freakishly small!"
And there is no way any designer who's going to show up in IK would intentionally put an innocent male model into a knitted minidress, which is what this is. Imagine it belted, with some good silk stockings and a pair of kitten heels. See? You could wear it to a gallery opening.
But on a man, unless he has had his ass surgically removed, what you've got is a too-long sweater that will either bunch up over his butt while covering his crotch; or cover and accentuate whatever junk is in his trunk in a most unflattering dog-under-a-blanket sort of way.
Now, I know a lot of women who like this length, because it can smooth the transition from midriff to the lower regions and possibly look slimming. However, this is not how men's sweaters should look, at least not if you want men to wear them without hating you. A man's waistline should be at his waist. Not above, not below.
As the designer undoubtedly knew this, I am going to shake my stubby finger at whoever arranged and/or styled this shoot, and the person in editorial who let it run. Listen, IK, you are one of the only knitting magazines I enjoy and I know you can do better. This sweater needed a guy about a foot taller and, judging from the size of the yoke and collar, about a foot wider. A tall order, perhaps, but honestly...don't show a garment if you can't show it off at its best. It's not nice for the model and it's not nice for the designer who worked so hard to please you.
Also it encourages the men I knit with to say it ought to be called the Sphincter Sweater because that's what that yoke looks like on a too-small model. And the men I knit with, they know from sphincters.
I finished knitting the first cabled sock and will show you a picture as soon as I can be bothered to take one.
The 2007 Ornament
The successor to last year's elf is this tiny Ode to Peace is nearly ready for the shop. Here's a sneak preview. (Note: it's up...and it looks like for a short time Café Press is offering it at a discount. They control these things, I don't–so I'm not sure how long the deal will last.)
Of course, after the reaction to the last post I'm sorry I didn't draw them peeing on one another.