Thursday, May 31, 2007

In Other News

Meanwhile...

I'm a Writer

Sid Leavitt, whose name you may have noticed in the comments recently, has begun a blog in which he blogs about blogs: Readers and Writers Blog. Sid is and has been a pro in the word biz, and so I admit I was gratified to find out I'd been noticed, and favorably. Many thanks to Sid's mother-in-law, Virginia, for sending him over. And many thanks to Sid for his blog, which of course is beautifully written and a heck of a fun read.

Just one quibble, Sid. You say I don't have much in common with you "he-men" out there on the East Coast. And you're correct that I do knit and am a gay Zen Buddhist, but don't drink beer or watch sports. Instead, I bench press 80% of my body weight five mornings a week, and bike four miles on the other two, usually at dawn. Then I come home and do thirty minutes of zazen before heading to work.

So, I'm curious: what is it that qualifies one as a he-man? Must one kiss girls, or will a total lack of self-discipline suffice?

I'm a Reader

Over at Cast On, Brenda Dayne's Podcast for knitters, my essay "Advice from a Poncho" is the wrap-up to Brenda's series "The Secret Lives of Stitches." If you listen and like it (and you don't need an iPod to listen), please tell the boss so she'll have me on again.

Brenda herself presents some interviews she conducted at Wonderwool Wales, which for me is the highlight of the episode. Such wonderful people there - no wonder she stayed. (Although I suspect Tonia had something to do with it, as well.)

I'm a Knitter

The christening shawl has reached the final motif before the edging: a row of little pine trees all the way around the border. This child is a Mainer, after all.

I set off the row of trees from the preceding diamond trellis pattern with two rows of yo, k2tog. And I would like to tell you, in case you are wondering, that yo, k2tog on a round of nearly 900 stitches is boring as all fuck.

I'm a Photographer

I have not been able to count the number of responses I've had to my call for models for the 1,000 Knitters project. This makes me happier than words can express. I swear, there cannot be a more enthusiastic, can-do group of people on the planet than knitters.

Since it will be a little while before I can get back to all of you - we're talking hundreds of messages, I haven't even been able to look at all of them - here is a little mass update:
  1. Thank you for your interest. I can't wait to meet you.

  2. For those who can come to Chicago, it looks like I'm going to schedule one or more days for folks to come by and be snapped, probably at my home or some location on the north side, in the city proper. All the shots will be set against a simple, white drop, so the location itself is not terribly important.

  3. For those who can't make it on group days, we'll see about setting up individual times.

  4. For those who cannot come to Chicago, wanderlust is overtaking me at the sight of your various locations. There must be some way to get my Canon together and take it on the road without bankrupting myself or losing my job, and I'm going to find it.

  5. I have heard from a potential sponsor at the Stitches Midwest Marketplace. A really good sponsor. I would totally tell you more but I can't tell you more right now. Isn't the suspense just awful?

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Am I really the first!

Good on you, Franklin! The world is watching and I am so glad they finally noticed you!

All the best!

JoVE said...

Sounds like things are going your way. Hope that trend continues.

MonicaPDX said...

Congrats, Franklin! And congrats to Sid for finding a great blog to enjoy.

LOL on the shawl edging - man, maybe that's what's kept me from ever wanting to try a shawl. (Or maybe it's the lace. Or the fact I don't wear shawls. Or sheer laziness.)

Wonderful on the 1,000 response! And yeah, if you figure a way to travel for it without going bankrupt and get to Portland, I'm there. Whether I have my damned dentures by then or not. ;)

freecia said...

Perhaps you could hit the Stitches shows and put up a backdrop somewhere.
Of course, Stitches is potential to go broke.

donna lee said...

I am not sure what the definition of a he-man is (and is the opposite a she-woman?) but the men I most enjoy spending time with can talk about more than themselves and their sports and beers. I don't have any he-man friends, maybe I just gravitate towards thoughtful, provocative and intelligent men instead (and if they can bench press 80% of their body weight, that's just a plus!)

Risa said...

I'm so glad to hear your photo project is turning out to be popular! I hope you can make it out west.

christine (threedogknits) said...

Sid Leavitt and his mother-in-law have great taste in writers.

I'll be in Chicago in October if you still haven't found 1000 knitters. If your wanderlust takes you to Florida you'll find knitters here. And I can promise you an evening of shuffleboard and the best piece of key lime pie ever.

firefly said...

From a fellow Mainer, thank goodness you didn't opt for lobsters. Good for dinner, not so great as a state motif.

(Chickadees would be nice though -- they're such cheerful, audacious little creatures!)

Anna-Liza said...

People still say "he-men" without irony? At least the guy recognizes good writing when he sees it!

Way cool, Franklin, on the potential sponsor, the 1,000 project, and the progress on the shawl. At least you got through the boring part with your eyesight and your sanity!

knitnzu said...

I'd say you're a he-man! Babies love being sung to, especially if you hold them against your chest and move around while you do it. My go to song when ds was a cranky babe was Rosalie Sorrel's 'Hostile Baby Rocking Song'. Worked nearly every time!

Lee Ann said...

You don't kiss girls? Ever?

Damn. Please don't tell me you're going to freak out if I give you cheek bisous.

I have no idea why I now have The Lumberjack Song from Monty Python in my head....

Mama Cat said...

Sid seems afraid that if he highlights a gay writer, that people will think that HE is gay. So he has to describe himself as a beer-swilling sports-watching "he man" in contrast to the writer, to prove how straight he is. How insecure and how pathetic. I feel sorry for him.

Anyway at least he recognizes good writing when he sees it, and I'm glad you're getting good press.

jillian said...

If you can come to Los Angeles, I'd love to participate in your 1,000 Knitters collection!

And I hope you get a good answer as to what truly makes an east-coast he-man :)

Jeanne said...

Why is being a "he-man" supposed to be so appealing to women? If you were straight, you'd be the perfect man for me. Alas, I'll have to settle for your being the Perfect Man to Adore from Afar. :-) As for the shawl, I'm bored with 60 stitches' worth of that. How you can stand 900 is beyond me.

amy in RI said...

oh, shoot. I live on the East Coast, drink the occasional beer, and love the NE Patriots. Does that automatically make me a guy? (I'm most assuredly not.) Can we nickname him Sid of the Stereotypes?

SO. I'm so excited that you might travel with your camera. Any way I can entice you to southern New England? Maybe WEBS would host you? What a great excuse I'd have to go to Webs in person, too...

Sid Leavitt said...

Now Franklin, you know that the 'he-men' remark in our May 15 post about The Panopticon (http://readersandwritersblog.com/2007/05/15/view-from-the-panopticon/) was only a literary device. In fact, not much of that remark applies to me: I'm not much of a sports lover (except for the Yankees, which this year is a burden), I don't drink beer (wine cooler, please), and I do know a knit from a purl (just barely, thanks to my mother-in-law, Virginia Sunderman). I am from the East Coast, however, and I still suspect you are from Vermont.

All that silliness aside, thank you very much for your kind words about our site, and continued success with your excellent site. May you and it continue far into the future.

Sid Leavitt

Rabbitch said...

Hrm. I drink beer and I sometimes watch sports. I kiss girls, too.

YAY! I'm a he-man!

alala said...

Hmm, feel like traveling to Munich? Come for Oktoberfe - oh, right, not that into the beer. Well, we have a lot of very foofy churches! Come for the foof!

Word verification word: lmxxvoho. That is ircspeak for "Laughing my extra-extra very old head off."

5elementknitr said...

The way to do the trip without bankrupting yourself (besides the obvious gas-gouging woes) is to play, "Pass it along." When I was in the Army, my friends and I would do this all the time. You find like-minded people (knitters, obviously) and at each stop, someone volunteers to put you up. Free room, free shower, free food. It's so much fun!

You are a good writer and as manly as they come. Some people just have too-narrow definitions.

becky c. said...

I love the idea of you traveling the country on the "Guest Rooms of Knitters" tour! My guest room has its own bathroom and there are 3 LYS less than 30 min from my house. Just sayin'.

denny Mcmillan said...

ohhhh maybe you can come to Toronto, we'll get Ted down to the city......summer night......Lettuce Knit Snb.... knitting.......cupcakes.........beer ( for that sheep friend of yours, we'er a hot bed of knitters too.

P.S. We spin outside in the summer,under a huge chestnut tree....come ....come ...I know some knitters in high places. I would be real fun.

Pink said...

Good luck on 1,000 knitters...if your wanderlust wins out and you get to somewhere near Yale I'd love to pose but I suspect you'll have taken enough pixs by then.

Congrats on your beautiful niece, now you have more than enough excuses to be knitting gorgeous little garments.

Christine Olea said...

Seattle is a lovely town, and it doesn't rain nearly as much as people say. We also have some fantastic wines from east of the mountains. Eagerly anticipating updates on your 1,000 knitters, or 10,000 or however many you end up with.

Linda said...

As usual, well said about everything. I laughed out loud at the degree of boingness score.

MollyBeees said...

And best of all...you're an UNCLE!

Beth said...

Next time you visit your parents in Kokomo, you should head for Indy for the day. You'll find lots of subjects for the 1,000 knitters project.

Anna M said...

I kind of lost focus at the "benchpress 80% of my bodyweigt"... Oh Lawdy! I'd love pics of *that*

Susan said...

Well, Franklin, when you have a good week, you do it up right: a lovely new niece to adore, much-deserved kudos for your writing skills, and great enthusiasm for your photography project. Bravo.

If your 'have camera, will travel' plans brings you to west central Ohio, there's a room and a warm welcome ready for you chez moi. There will be milk in the fridge for you, and a fully-stocked liquor cabinet for Dolores.

D said...

Franklin, I'm a bit worried about this Christening Shawl for BABY Abigail. 900 stitches? That's 225 per side. Unless it's a ruffle, I would guess that one more motif is going to make your FO 6 feet square. That's one big Christening Shawl.

Heather Shaffer said...

Franklin, well said, your response to Sid, I mean. You are totally a he-man...whatever the hell that is. Anyway, I think you're rad.

H

lizbon said...

The suspense is just awful. You, on the other hand, are an excellent writer, photographer, knitter, manly gay man who knits lace, and uncle. And generally all-around awesome. Here endeth my version of a cheer (not Bronx, albeit from another of the five boroughs).

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Yes, the suspense is awful. And Yes you and the bebe are handsome/beautiful as all get out. I wish I'd had an uncle who would sing to me.

Bells said...

I'm going to say this just for the fun of it.

Come to Australia. We love you here. We'll pose. Bring Delores.

Hey, that guy said you had an imaginary friend. Who is he talking about??? :-)


Oh and the Cast-On piece was beautiful. I listened in the car and almost wanted to pull over to sit and listen again.

Violetsrose said...

Honey you are ALL man to us!

Wendy said...

Franklin, I was reticent to respond to your request because I wasn't sure you'd want to come to Baltimore to photograph a pregnant knitter. But if you're interested, I'm in!

Trope said...

Oooo, oooo... I really want to know about this Stitches sponsor.

I do think that "total lack of self-discipline" is perhaps one of the he-man qualities in question. At least in my experience with men who self-identify as such.

(And note to Anna M? The arms and shoulders on that knitter are really impressive. REALLY. That's all I'll say about that, since I gave up on throwing myself at gay men in college, and I'd hate to regress.)

(cough) Sorry, Franklin. Back to knitting now. And thanks for pointing out the "Cast On" podcast, I'm looking forward to giving it a listen!

Roz said...

"Just one quibble, Sid. You say I don't have much in common with you "he-men" out there on the East Coast. And you're correct that I do knit and am a gay Zen Buddhist, but don't drink beer or watch sports. Instead, I bench press 80% of my body weight five mornings a week, and bike four miles on the other two, usually at dawn. Then I come home and do thirty minutes of zazen before heading to work.

So, I'm curious: what is it that qualifies one as a he-man? Must one kiss girls, or will a total lack of self-discipline suffice?"


Now *I'm* curious: when do you find time to KNIT? I just read your morning routine, and I'm exhausted!

Penny said...

:)

Sharon Rose said...

I agree: You could easily travel the US (Nay, the world!) by crashing on our collective couches.

I renew my offer of a queen bed in my wool room, and most likely use of a spare car. I'm in a gorgeous, green, deer & rabbit-infested suburb of Philadelphia. Oh, and that goes for all of you fellow Franklinphiles, too!

Kara said...

I'm thinking you definitely qualify as a he-man. As someone who recently has begun meditation practice, I am most impressed with you.

And, if you ever get a yearning to hit Louisville, Kentucky, I'm ready and armed with all my America's Next Top Model info!

KnitNana said...

Oh...I'd say that bench press qualifies you for sure!

Yes, pine trees and Mainers. No question that's a great choice for the edging...!!

And I'm sooooo excited about your "contact" and what it might mean for your photo project!!!
WHEEE!!!
Ya' gotta come southeast, that's all there is to it!
(((hugs)))

Alwen said...

You're so invited to the Michigan Fiber Festival.
http://www.michiganfiberfestival.info

I mean, a woolly festival, outdoors, in humid August Great Lakes heat -- what could be a better venue for taking pictures?

Besides, Galina Khmeleva is teaching Orenburg lace on Thursday. I sent my check in, but I don't know if the class was full yet or not.

Renee said...

Dear Franklin,

My cousin is gay. He was also in the Navy during the first Desert Storm and is now head nurse at an Elder Care facility. His response to similar disparaging comments was the following: "'Gay lifestyle'?!?!?! What lifestyle? I get up at 5, go to the gym, come home, shower, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, walk the dogs, eat dinner, watch the news, and go to bed. What fucking lifestyle are they talking about?!?!?!" It strikes me that something similar might work for the whole 'manly man' comment (not that you need assistance in the word department...). Good grief!

FiberQat said...

It's too bad you can't take a leave of absence and show your manliness by biking across America. You most definitely would have a network of places to stay at and maintain that manly form. Then again there's the rain and you strike me as someone who likes to travel in comfort. Okay, nix that. Find a driver with a Cadillac so you can get in some knitting and photo time.

Good luck on the sponsor! How exciting!

David said...

Take that, Sid.

StarSpry said...

I really enjoyed your essay "Advice from a Poncho" and left a comment saying so on Cast-On. I hope to hear more of your essays on her podcast :)

Anonymous said...

Ooooh pine trees...Maine! I'm soooo homesick, emphasis on sick. Do you think it is possible that one's life (mine) can be totally bad/wrong due to not living where one (me) belongs (that would be Maine)? Maine is my center, I need my center. sorry about the rant. As for the Sid notice, surely you know how very talented a writer (and a great human being) you are? I don't understand why you have not published (or perhaps you have?)!

Anonymous said...

Northern East Coast he-men are the reason I left 21 years ago for sunny FL.
Couldn't resist the labels could he? I would have respected his review more if he cut out the junk and just started with 'Man,can he write'
Hope you are having a good time in Maine, that photo of you with the baby is truly beautiful.
I'd invite you to FL but the house in under renovation and I wouldn't ask you to sleep on the floor. Best of all things for you.
Katrina

April said...

Ahem. Where is today's picture of Abigail?

v.j. kohout said...

I don't even know how I got through to you but I am glad I did. Probably through Harlot when she was romping with you in Chicago.
Yours is one of the best blogs. Between you and yarnstorm, two ends of a spectrum, I got it all covered.
I still have to catch on reading your archives, so there are still un-knowns. Wish you the best.

Cindy G said...

A sponsor - good, that makes travel expenses deductible, right? And Delores is your assistant, so her expenses are deductible, too?

And yes, boring as fuck, but I can hardly wait to see the pictures (of the whole thing, not just the yo, k2tog)

Vicky in Vancouver said...

You are a man. The pronoun is "he". Ergo, you are a he-man. Eeshka meeshka.

Agree & chime in to offer a spare bed on the "Franklin depends on the kindness of strangers" tour. We do have 2 cats & we're pretty anthropomorphic with them, but other than that we're pretty normal. Ha ha ha HA ha ha. Plus we're tea drinkers plus we're good cooks. And at least 2 of us are very great admirers of Mr. Fry.

And....uh....wouldn't want to see anyone tell Dolores that she's imaginary.

p.s. verification word is "aaeeekw" - love it!

Longhorn Diva said...

Re: Wanderlust: DFW, Texas. Texas, TEXAS!!! Per favore??

krafters sans frontieres said...

I know you're all snooty about the craft people but you will very much like the June 2nd post here, http://whipup.net/. Then scroll down to have a look at the first two June 30th posts.

krafters sans frontieres said...

krafters sans frontieres said...
I know you're all snooty about the craft people but you will very much like the June 2nd post here, http://whipup.net/. Then scroll down to have a look at the first two June 30th posts.

No, no, so sorry, that's the first two MAY 30th posts.

Katje said...

If for some reason you manage to come through Kansas City, I'd be happy to put you up and feed ya. So all you'd need is travel $$$. Not sure you'd wanna risk busting your nice camera on my ugly mug, but we have lots of space that you could set up a white wall and shoot other knitters (and I'm pretty central to the area, AND there's a yarn store less than two miles away!). The door is always open, dear boy!

Katie said...

So YOU did that wonderful essay from the point of view of the poncho? I was all set to be amused, but ended up being deeply moved. There's an empty couch at my place in Melbourne, Australia if you're ever taking photos down this way.

sacramentoknits said...

Well I read alot of irony into the he-man comment. Plus he also said that your writing is "always filled with a humor that makes you want to be slapped by him..." I think that sounds like some kind of invitation. I dunno what kind but... that's all I'm saying. P.S. Has Dolores found out he called her imaginary yet? I wouldn't want to be there when.

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