Friday, May 02, 2008

La commedia e finità

Sketches DryingI did it.

Seventy-five finished ink-and-wash panels for the book. On time.

It's funny. Now that they've left the nest, seventy-five doesn't seem like such a large number. But I took photos like this one, of a batch drying on the living room floor, to remind me of how it felt.

Just looking at that makes me want an epidural.

Mind you, I still have essays left to finish in short order; but writing isn't quite the physical labor for me that drawing is. And there are more presentation-quality drawings in this book than I've made in the rest of my life to date.

I think I'm going to have a little lie-down, now.

No, wait a moment. Word on the street is that the Summer 2008 Interweave Knits is on the shelves and landing in many mailboxes. I have an article in there–my first for IK–about Meg Swansen, Elizabeth Zimmermann and the fifty-year story of Schoolhouse Press.

Nothing daunting in such an assignment, no. Quite simple, really. Write a complete history of the world's most beloved fiber company in 1200 words, using an interview with one of your personal household goddesses as a primary source. Hah. No sweat.

But it really was fun. The fact is, the folks at the Schoolhouse are just as down-to-earth as the knitter on the street. Making a living with yarn and related paraphernalia hasn't dimmed their enthusiasm. When I spoke with Eleanor–who has worked there for 25 years and seen a thing or two happen in the field–it was a heady combination of knit chat and history lesson, with generous doses of good humor thrown in.

Thanks to everybody who agreed to be interviewed–I'm indebted to you all.

And Eunny seemed pleased with it, so here's to hoping more work from IK comes my way.

And Also...

I finished the Primavera Socks. I love the Primavera Socks. I will knit the Primavera Socks again. There is no higher compliment I can pay to the designer. And Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (this colorway is "Violet") is so fantabulous to touch that I had to take seventeen photographs before I got one in which my toes were not curling.

Primavera Socks

Now. Where's that red laceweight?

59 comments:

Karen B said...

Your article on Meg and Schoolhouse Press was the best thing in this whole issue. Congrats!

Rudee said...

My mailbox hasn't been graced yet. I'm going to go look again-I want to read that article. Congratulations on finishing the drawings. I hope your brain isn't bleeding...

Imbrium said...

Good crap, you have been busy lately, haven't you? Congratulations on all of it!

Sue said...

totally go for the epidural. It's worth it.
I love love those socks.

Lisa said...

My copy of Interweave Knits arrived yesterday and when I saw your name in the TOC I was so proud, I was all like, I know him! I know him! Which really is not true, but I do enjoy reading your blog every day, so I do feel like I know you, maybe just a little. Anyway I can't wait to sit down with a nice cup of tea to enjoy your article. Congrulations!!

Margene said...

Ha, ha....I always curl my toes during a photos shoot, too. The article was marvelous. Thank you for it!!

Mel said...

I pulled the IK out of the mailbox when I was leaving for work today. I look forward to reading it tonight.

And congratulations on having that big step for the book finished. Looking forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks!

Mel said...

Oh, and remind me to tell you about my epidural experience.

Bobbi said...

I was SO excited to see your by-line in Interweave! Congrats on finishing the artwork...one more thing marked off the list. Yippee!! One step closer to your book on my shelf, or nightstand. ;-)

Donna Lee said...

Congrats on finishing. What a good feeling. We're looking forward to the book!

Lynne said...

Congratulations on finishing on time.

no-blog-rachel said...

Congrats on the IK article! Very enjoyable. And congrats on finishing that step on your way to bookdom (bookdom?).

anne marie in philly said...

I found 2 errors in the article. not YOUR errors, but IK's errors. but still an interesting read.

congrats on finishing the artwork. now go get a cold compress and a cool drink and have a lie-down. send dolores out to the local taproom and give harry a nice l-o-n-g book to read. you have earned it!

smooches! :-)

anne marie in philly said...

oh yeah, I forgot...sexy hairy legs...ummmmmmmm...

oh, was I supposed to be looking at the socks?

rosesmama said...

All this and you hold down a full time job. I am in awe . . .

Rooie said...

I can't wait for the book.

And I love those socks. I just printed out that pattern the other day, thinking it looked nice. And now that I've seen them...yum.

I'm off to the MD Sheep and Wool tomorrow and I'll be sporting your sheep chorus line t-shirt. So, though I wish you could be there in person, you'll be there in spirit.

Jeanne said...

Oh, yum, purple socks! Me want! I feel redundant saying Congratulations, but there it is. On everything. The book, the article (which I will read if ever IK arrives), the socks...

Elizabeth said...

The article was great! I even stopped my ritual flip-through-the-magazine-first and read it before I had seen all the pics.

Windsornot said...

Congrats on finishing the ink and wash panels! I'm sure that it was a true labor of love that we are all going to enjoy very much. ANd congrats on the IK article! Now I have to go and get myself a copy so I can read the article in full. And LOVE the socks. A tribute to Donny Osmond's purple socks, or at least what he should be wearing now if purple is still his color of choice? ;-) But seriously, I really do like the socks. Red ones would be HOT.

Karin said...

Congratulations.
I once laid out all my poems on the floor like that and then I started hyperventilating.

Gorgeous socks.

Now let me go run and look at that IK again!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever think in a million years that fame and fortune would come by way of knitting? Congratulations!!

Lesley

rhea_sun said...

[applause]

DianeS said...

Wow, what a list of accomplishments! The socks are just grand (perhaps the next pair?...)

Jennu said...

Congratulations!! I just read your article in IK and I loved it. And hurrah for finishing the cartoons!

Helen Cowans said...

Congrats on finishing the drawings :) Looking forward to the book!

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Loved the article... And that you gleaned somet tidbits that weren't in the EZ books I've read. Way to go, champ!
Sorry to say this, but I wish there were 750 cartoons in It Itches. 75 just doesn't seem like enough. (I have ALL the New Yorker compendia....)

I'm going to L. Neatby's sock clinic Wednesday. Perhaps I'll take the blunge and do some as lovely as yours.

Hope there's a sheep festival near by where you can go relax.

Dutch Jan said...

I have to wait a little to read your article because hopefully a friend of mine can get a copy in Amsterdam (they are sold out very quick here so I took a subscription)but I am sure it will be good and interesting. Nice picture from all drawings on the floor and nice socks (and legs too ;-)) in a great colour ( I knitted the same in green and everyone wants them) I am very looking forward to your book

Sweet Camden Lass said...

Yay for finishing the pictures. Am on verge of ripping open my IK (it arrived the day before yesterday, but I've been enjoying the anticipation), and will be winding yarn for my own pair of Primaveras this weekend.
~x~

Kathy Merrick said...

F. Darling,
The socks turned out magnificently.

They say you can't actually remember pain.
If you could, you'd probably just give up right there.
You'd certainly never give birth more than once.
I have seen (read) your IK delivery and so know that the natural birth pain of (second child) It Itches will
be well worth the incredible labor pains.
Mwah!

Ann said...

Just finished reading the article in my newly landed IK. Good job, Franklin.

May there be many more.

Gail said...

Beautiful socks, and I'm so happy that your book is going great guns.

laura gayle said...

congrats on the fabulous SP article! I loved the photos that were chosen for the article too. Mwah! I can't WAIT for your book to come out! Perhaps we need to send you a libation to help with the lie down...

Kim said...

I've been eyeing the Primavera pattern and you've inspired me! They look great in Lornas.

KellyD said...

I read your article yesterday. It's great! And I can not wait to buy your book.
I'm suprised the drawings weren't trampled by the masses. Pretty impressive. What does Harry think of your works?
As for the epidural? I know a cute doc that does a great job and word on the street is he is looking for a partner (and i dont mean business, although he might :)

Janice said...

I read your article, in Interweave Knits, last night and it was outstanding. Made me smile to know I had meant the author in person. Congrats!!

Sandy said...

Congrats Franklin! What an accomplishment, both the book and the socks. (What does it say about me as a knitter that I am more impressed with the socks?)

Good on you for both!

Olive Lynn said...

Sometimes in reading your blog I wonder when I became such an underachiever. Congratulations, really, on all of it. I'll have to wait to read the article while my mag passes through Italian customs...could be next summer, like 2009.

Anonymous said...

Franklin! Three big congrats are due! The article was extremely well-done, especially with the word-length constraint! I,too, have had that heart-stopping moment when Meg, Herself!, answers the phone at Schoolhouse.

I can hardly wait for the book. What an accomplishment!

And you have really wrapped things up with those socks! Gee, do you get some breathing time now?

Thanks for all the sharing.
Norma in Oregon

Leslie said...

Your article was just about the best thing in the entire issue - definately in the top 3. I giggled when I read the line "franklinhabit.com" with no mention of this lovely blog or the Devine Dolores. Oh well, we must be "quite serious" when it comes to IK I guess.

75 presentation quality color washed sketches, eh? I shall treasure each and every one.

To paraphrase another commenter: You did all this and have a full time job too?? Amazing!

Kath said...

Sigh. Someone (who will remain nameless) has managed to sneeze all over the Summer Interweave (literally) before I could get to it. So now I'm afraid to touch it for the cooties and have to go hunt down another copy!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps someday these successes will require bidding adieu to the alumi?

Obscure

Kristen said...

My issue of IK arrived today and I devoured your article. Very nice work on your part. Unfortunate that someone at IK screwed up the photo editing. {sigh} Congrats on finishing the book as well--you are a wonder!

Helen said...

It's a great article, informative without ever being dull (I stopped leafing to read it properly, first time through the mag, which is a first for me!)I must admit, I did squee just a little when I saw your name against the article! Sadly, no Dolores, but that is probably a good thing in all honesty. We don't want her distracted from her election campaign do we?

Marlene said...

I've been a lurking fan of your blog for a long time and can't wait to get your book. But the real reason for this post is to say that I was reading the EZ article and thought it was excellent. I made a point of looking to see who wrote it, and was happily surprised to see it was you!!! I know that EZ is an idol of yours and I think she'd be happy to see your written account of her life and legacy. Congrats!

BTW - A 1000 Knitters photo shoot in the Boston area (or maybe even out at WEBS) would be awesome!!

SJ said...

Franklin, just wanted to tell you that I loved your article! It was a great read on a miserable, rainy day.

Lara said...

I got my IK the other day, started skimming through. I found myself reading one of the articles and thought, "This is nicely written, informative but not bland. Who wrote this?" AHA! Franklin Habit! That explains it. :)

(I enjoyed the article, if you hadn't guessed.)

KnittingDragon said...

I received the IK magazine late last week, and briefly scanned the patterns.
I totally missed your article... after reading it I have learned my lesson of not scanning, but that I must sit and read it cover to cover.
No more using my baby as an excuse to not being able to enjoy my knitting habits.

JanKnitz said...

I got all the way through that article before I realized that you were the author. Very nicely done! WTG, Franklin!

Peg in Kensington, California said...

Good article. Mine came yesterday. Good luck with the book.

Evelyn said...

Franklin, you have fan girls! I also saw your by-line in IK and thought, oo, someone I know! Congrats!! Do you also have a 9 to 5 job, or is all this knitting-related stuff your main gig?

Typesetter said...

Linguistic editing: "LA commedia è finita". You correctly put in ONE accent, just on the rwong word! ^__^ (P.S.: great job!)

Lorna's Laces said...

So, are you going to auction off those original drawings to the highest bidder? You could probably retire!

Johanna said...

Good work with the drawings :-) I know the feeling, I have just finished 91 drawings for my first knittingbook. It's a wonderful feeling.
Your book will of course be bought over here in sweden :-)

Molly said...

Congrats! And Shepherd Sock is indeed awesome. I have enough for two sweaters (one's going to be St. Brigid, although if Alice *more ever finds out I did such a crazy substitution she'll probably fly over here on bat wings and shoot me), and I still think about acquiring more.

Congrats again! Looking forward to the book.

Suze said...

I loved your article. It was great (and WAY better than the patterns. Sheesh.) I hope you write more for IK!

KnitNana said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the article on Schoolhouse Press! And I love the socks...congrats on finishing the drawings!
(((Hugs)))

jinny said...

I think you will appreciate brooklyntweed's funny EZ BSJ reference.

Knitting Librarian said...

Loved the article. keep them coming!

Zee said...

Hello my dear... it's been a long, long time. Just wanted to say I'm at the edge of my seat waiting for your first book! Congrats!