Tuesday, October 02, 2007

No Head for Figures

You would think, would you not, that a man who grew up watching "Sesame Street" and graduated from Harvard would able to count to three?

Usually I can. Here, I'll demonstrate.

Three Abigails.

Three Abigails

Three pieces of chocolate.

Three Chocolates

Three...men in ties.

Three Guys

Tomten CuffAlas, my obvious facility with higher mathematics deserted me when I began the first sleeve on Abigail's Tomten Jacket. Carefully noting Elizabeth's instructions to decrease two stitches every third ridge, I sped off and before I knew it came to the cuff.

And then I realized I had in fact been decreasing every second ridge. The sleeve would have fit Abby perfectly if she had the shoulders of a parakeet and the arms of a Smurf.

On the second try, with the aid of a notebook and row counter, I got it right.

And I'm quite pleased with the pseudo-Egyptian stylized thingies I put just above the cuff. It's a lotus, maybe. Or a stalk of blooming papyrus. Or Ftatateeta beseeching Osiris to send down a bowl of ice cream. Something of that sort.

Men of Color

So listen, who else is going to the Kaffe Fassett/Brandon Mably double-header this weekend? I'll definitely be at Brandon's Saturday workshop (I can't make it on Sunday, or I'd go then, too) and I'll be at Kaffe's talk in the evening. They're both appearing on the north side courtesy of Arcadia Knitting.

I talked to Kathy and apparently there are still some seats left for both. There's more information on their Web site. Kathy says there will copies available of Kaffe's new book and he'll be doing a signing.

There truly aren't many people I'd line up for, Kaffe's one of them. An original, and an inspiration. Of course, since I consider the blue I've added to Abigail's oatmeal-colored Tomten to be a Riot of Color, you might not know it. Maybe after this weekend things will be a little different.

48 comments:

JoVE said...

Here's the great thing about knitting for babies/kids. Even if you still feel like you don't want to wear bright clothing, babies are fair game. And they use much less wool. So a bit of Kaffe colour for Abigail...

Cindy G said...

Must say, my favorite "3" is the three men in ties.

Aidan said...

o.
my.
dog.

That Abigail is the cutest thing I have seen in ages. She's delicious. I want to put all three of her in a pita pocket and eat her up!

Shelda said...

I can hardly wait to see the whole of the new jacket. The glimpses are very tantalizing!

marie in florida said...

i love all 3 Abigails, all three chocolates and two of those 3-Stooges.
i'm loving also, the blue on the oatmeal , beautiful. can't wait to see the entire jacket

M-H said...

I did Brandon's workshop here in Sydney about 6 years ago. It was a great day and I'm sure you'll enjoy it and learn heaps. Fear of colour can be cured.

Teresa said...

3 Abigails are always better than one! She's a doll!

Bought the book Sunday. It's beautiful, of course. Would be well worth another trip to Chicago if only I weren't a workin' girl...

Have a great time!

Katy said...

I'll be there on Saturday for the workshop, should probably sign up for the lecture too... though I suspect that Kaffe is less hilarious and power-of-knitting than Ms. Pearl-McPhee. Do you think that he'd sign the ball band of my Regia Kaffe Fasset sock yarn?

catmum said...

since I too, cannot be counted on to count correctly, nor can I reliably remember to click a counter or any of that, I came up with the knotted yarn method. I take a length of contrasting color yarn, double it, and tie knots the size of the needle in it. Row 1 is the "eye" end. Each time I knit a row, I move the needle down a knothole as I pass it. sometimes I use one on each end, or next to pattern chunks, such as cables, etc. It's great!

Alwen said...

That 1-2-3 stuff, that's way harder than it looks!

beatknit said...

i'm lovin the lotus whatchamawhositz in garter. don't know why but i just realized that's the first motif i've seen in garter st. i'm sheltered

amy said...

"a riot of color"

Franklin, you are a comic genius, so never you mind that color avoidance. I appreciate your understated humor every time I read your blog.

Cherice said...

I love the three Abigails!! She really is impossibly cute.

I'd love to go this weekend. According to Google maps it will take me a mere 15 and a half hours to get there, I think I'll pass this time. Tho my middle son keeps telling me we need to go visit Chicago.

Mel said...

Good heavens is that little lady growing up fast! And those "stylized thingies"? My first thought upon seeing the photo was Shiva's trident.

Kristen said...

Poseidon's trident?

Kristen said...

And, no, I hadn't read Mel's comment before making mine. At least I'm not the only person who thinks of sharp objects when babies are being discussed...

KarenJoSeattle said...

Franklin, note the three Tulip sweaters on the three Abigails, then tell us again how you don't do color.

The blue on oatmeal is a beautiful and classic combination. I'm sure Abigail will look adorable in it. Actually, Abigail probably looks adorable in anything, but that's beside the point.

If Brandon's doing the same workshop he did 6 years ago, and it looks like he might be, bring pictures of any paintings you find particularly compelling for their use of color. Impressionists are best. He brings many but I remember wishing I'd brought a couple of my own.

KnittingPuppy said...

I think the blue stylized thingummies are saguaro cactus.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Abigail's darling. And thank you for burnishing the patina of your pedestal by letting me know that your counting/knitting sometimes goes astray (Although I think EZ's patterns are tricky to read sometimes.)
Oh, and I'd probably stand in line for KF, too.

Anonymous said...

abigail is growing so fast!

LERVE the chocolate pieces (wanted to lick the computer screen...)

moe, larry and w...nah, doesn't have a nice ring to it. besides, is w a man?

you had plenty of color in the tulip jacket; can't wait to see whatcha do next!

anne marie in philly

Helen said...

Counting to three can be difficult, as every knitter knows. And counting rows, well... I never remember to roll on one of those counters that sits on the needle or to draw five-bar gates. So when I have to do something every 3rd row, or 5th row or whatever, I use a length of yarn with knots tied in it, and move it up at every row. I tend to use a pleasingly contrasting yarn, but you don't need to be so pretentious. At least, not unless you want to.

Carol said...

I've been lucky enough to hear Kaffe speak once. He's a scream. Loooooove him. Have fun!!

Mandy said...

Abigail equals cutiepants. Lovely sweater she's wearing.

I made the same silly mistake on the sleeves of my tomten. What's up with that?

Lynn said...

Get over that fear of color, buster. Go out and buy a ball of every lovely (blue, red, choose a color) you can find - hint: check the sale bins - and make yourself a swatch with all of them, using one of Kaffe's many design patterns. Or your own design, for that matter.

As you go along, you'll see when a particular yarn doesn't work. Clearly, you have an eye for good design, so trust it. An example: let's say all your yarns are heathery coppers and mustardy ochres, except that one really, really nice merino/silk screaming pure fire-engine red that was on sale for $2 for 325 yards and you couldn't resist it. When you knit it into the swatch, it will scream at you, all right. Rip it out, toss the ball to Dolores (it's her style and then she'll owe you one; not that she ever pays you back, but whatever), take a walk around the block to clear your head of the screaming match, and get back on the horse that threw you - knit another row with the really, really nice merino/silk burnished copper that also was on sale at $2 for 325 yards. Get the picture?

It's easy. Stop being so well-behaved and have some fun, for once, dear.

Me? Bossy? Really? That's odd; you're not the first one to tell me that.

Yvonne said...

Damn you're talented.
Of course, I have no head for math either, having cast on the wrong number of stitches for my sleeves, and now having to totally cast them aside, re-cast on, and knit like a madwoman, all in order to get the sleeves -- nay, the entire bloody sweater -- done for Rhinebeck.

Bobbi said...

Unfortunately, Sesame Street never had a "knitting math" episode! Wouldn't that be great...reruns of an episode with Elizabeth Zimmerman explaining the percentage system to Cookie Monster!?!
Abigail is adorable!

Mary said...

Okay, that is clearly the cutest child in the world.

Happy Kaffe stalking

Eileen said...

Love those 3 Abigails!

Boy, that 3rd guy is sure an insult to Larry and Moe.

Lorraine said...

Well, the first 2 are MEN in ties............

Kaffe and Brandon- you gotta be there. Perhaps Abigail will be getting another coat of many colors.

Ina said...

Kaffe AND Brandon? Ooh, I'm so jealous! Have a great time!

Diane said...

Can't wait until you do something with the number 10. Then we'll get to see 10 Abigails!

Lori said...

I heard Kaffe speak last November and took Brandon's color class. You'll have fun.

Theresa said...

Harvard knitters, unite! Don't feel bad, I can't make change. I once handed a random fistful of money out of a drivethrough window because the guy in the car gave me a $20 bill and a penny, and all I knew was that he wanted a nickel. :)

Leslie said...

It's not three men, Franklin, it's two men and a flatulence for brains talking chimpanzee who does not come close to the other two for charisma, intelligence and humanity (I will admit here to heartily disliking The Three Stooges).

seizuresalad said...

I did the same thing on a shawl pattern recently (increasing every second instead of every third row actually) and I got around it by tying a little brightly coloured yarn on one of the needle ends. I knew to decrease whenever I was knitting onto the marked needle.

I third the trident comment.

Anonymous said...

Abigail is such an adorable child! Always a pleasure to read your blog. I'm dreading the day when I fail the "comment test for Alzheimer's" :-)

Sherry W said...

Thanks for reminding me that numbers elude all of us sometimes.

Just the other day I was feeling bad that I couldn't manage to count to TWO on a lace shawl pattern.

Jack said...

Really Franklin! "Men of Color". So very droll. And so erudite. "Ftatateeta and the Ice Cream". You obviously have been permanently and profoundly influenced by your early training at Denishawn.

MonicaPDX said...

Hey, I have problems counting the ridges in garter stitch. Like this is difficult? No. But I screw it up with terrifying ease. I'm thinking you're way ahead of me with having proof you can at least count to two, despite possibly having problems with three. ;)

Yvette said...

I did better than you with my first tomten's sleeves - I decreased every second ROW!!!!!!! Can you imagine what shape they were???????? ROFLMAO!!!

I went about for ages, slapping my forehead and groaning at my own stupidity!!!

Great colour combo - love it

TO in SP said...

You and Abigail obviously got the great-looks genes. If you ever want to make a big, brightly-coloered sweater you can always make one for me.

Anonymous said...

Cute baby, cute tulips!
Margie

Anonymous said...

I like Larry and Moe, but isn't it an insult to the Three Stooges to include Bush? At least the Stooges were funny on person.

Marlena said...

Abby is cuter every time you show a photo of her!

I also love to look at Kaffe Fassett's designs, but I don't know if I would ever wear one. I just got a copy of... one of his books from the eighties... and I've been loving going through it and just soaking up all of the information and color.

mc78 said...

Conan says, "Never tell anyone in a roadside diner that you went to Harvard. In most situations the correct response to where did you to school is, "School? Why, I never had much in the way of book larnin' and such."

elan said...

I went to a workshop they did in Sarnia last year, it was great.

Love the men in ties.

Kate said...

I went to see Kaffe (and Brandon, but mostly Kaffe) when he came to Adealide. (Seriously? No one comes to Adelaide. I was so excited)

I am extremly conservative when it comes to colour, but that didn't matter. His talk was so inspiring, the colour combinations mindblowing. I mean, I know that everyone knows this, it's his thing, right? But there was just nothing like having him go through projects and talk to us about them, it was just incredible.

I know everyone else in the audience felt the same, because the 'oohs' and 'aaahs' got louder with each slide. I wish I could have made it to one of the workshops. Next time.

David said...

It's a shame you are neglecting your niece so thoroughly.