- the financial world is in free fall,
- the government of my country can't stop posturing and pontificating long enough to take effective action,
- the media predicts that by Christmas we shall all be living in old shoeboxes awaiting the Apocalypse, and
- yesterday when I picked up the long-neglected Wedding Ring Shawl to do a little work, I realized I'd skipped an entire row in the effing chart. Again.
Fall has arrived in New England, and Abigail has inaugurated her Panopticon Hoodie (details are in this old entry if you want 'em). Some things are still moving right along, thank you very much. The trees are turning, I am knitting, my little niece is walking and talking and playing and making me happy I'm on the planet.
I still look at those buttonholes with a twinge of pride. They weren't hard–I used this variation on Maggie Righetti's one-row method–but they were my first and buttonholes are one of those things in knitting that exude an air of difficultà.
In case you were practical and did not major in Art History whilst in college, difficultà is a term that is used to describe (among other things) the exaggerated, complex, often tortured postures and proportions that characterized (some would say, infected) art created in the Mannerist period that followed the High Renaissance.
Simply put, the Mannerists were a bunch of show-offs. They painted this kind of thing just to prove they could.
Madonna del Collo Lungo (Madonna with the Long Neck) by Parmigianino. Uffizi, Florence. Guess why they call her that.
Here's my off-the-cuff list of some things in knitting that count as difficultà. They're not necessarily difficult, but they look like they must have been. What else should be here?
- Two-acre lace shawls worked in yarn spun from gnat's eyelashes.
- About half of the stuff in this glorious book.
- Aran sweaters with more decorative motifs between the neck and the hem than are found in the entire Book of Kells.
- All techniques identified as "Japanese"–cast ons, short rows, etc.
- Garments knit in directions you wouldn't expect, like sweaters that start two inches above the left shoulderblade and grow seamlessly to the right wrist.
- Pretty much anything cooked up by Kaffe Fassett or Debbie New.
This year's ornament, the fourth in the series, is ready in the shop, and I hope you'll like it.
Joy comes from many sources, I know, but I always find that my joy is amplified when yarn is somehow involved.