Friday, October 29, 2010

Fresh Ink

Somebody left a comment a few entries back–I can't remember who, and to find out I'd have to stop typing, get off the chaise longue and walk all the way over there to look–asking whether I still actually knit anything, or do I just sit around now making smart remarks about knitting in between hits on my hookah?

Well, missy–or mister, I can't recall–yes, I still knit. Sweet Barbara Walker, do I knit. I've spent the past many months doggedly knitting my stubby little peasant fingers to even stubbier little peasant fingers. I haven't been able to show you much, because most of it was in the service of publishers who get all hissy and litigious when you leak photographs before the books or magazines come off the press.

This week two of the pieces have been de-classified.

The first is tiny, a bagatelle: a book cover, called Aemelia in honor of the pioneering authoress Aemelia Lanyer, in the new issue of Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts.

Aemelia Book Cover

It was inspired by the demure sewn cloth covers my mother and her friends used to slip over the bodice-ripper paperbacks they read and traded with each other–classics like Johanna Lindsey's The Devil Who Tamed Her, which invariably sported cover art as overheated as downtown Chernobyl.

I had planned to put a cable on the front, but wound up designing my own interpretation of a Jacobean embroidered tulip because a) that seemed more interesting and b) I wanted to see if I could do it.

I put in my pattern notes that the tulip bud is a traditional symbol of hidden, burgeoning female sexuality, but they didn't include that in the magazine. Go figure.

The second is larger, and my first pattern in a printed book, and a beautiful book it is, too: Modern Knits, Vintage Style: Classic Designs from the Golden Age of Knitting.

The publishers, Voyageur Press, asked folks to design new pieces based upon an iconic fashion images. I chose Jacqueline Bouvier's wedding veil, because I am gay like that. I figured if I was supposed to pick an icon, why not go with the Regina Coeli of mid-20th century fashion?

The original lace veil wasn't knitted but it was utterly gorgeous, especially the huge pairs of bouquets marching up the center. I created a new motif–little primrose nosegays–and put them into a white-but-not-necessarily-bridal stole worked in undyed Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace. I liked the color of the undyed wool; it makes the finished work look gently aged, like a special-occasion piece that was carefully put away a generation ago for safe-keeping.

Bouvier Stole

The short edges are self-scalloping and the long edges have a looped edge similar to one I first encountered, and loved, in Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting. Like Sahar, it's knit in two halves and grafted in the center. Unlike Sahar, there's no edging at all–when you're done, you're done.

Meanwhile, I've been working on something close to home–Abigail's bespoke poncho. But pictures of that will have to wait for the next entry, because the hookah's pooping out and I have to stop typing, get up off the chaise longue and scream for one of the servants to fetch me a fresh one.

41 comments:

Savtadotty said...

After the description of your first pattern, I misread the publisher of your second one as Voyeur Press. I have a very compartmentalized mind.

Kelly said...

You have a way with words. They make me giggle. Have a great weekend and the stole in particular is lovely.
@Savtadotty - I also read "Voyeur Press")

Ellen-Mary said...

Congratulations! Lovely, lovely pieces.

I also read "Voyeur Press". What can you expect after reading 'bodice-ripper' and 'burgeoning female sexuality'? My mind was all set for 'Voyeur'

Karen said...

Gorgeous! I have a lace sampler blocking on my living room floor right now (my house stinks of wet alpaca--lovely). This may be next on my list because it's really really pretty. And, I read Voyeur Press too. But I also have the added problem that every time I see Barbara Walker, I read it as Barbara Walters and wonder what the hell she has to do with knitting.

And, by the way, your line about being "that gay" made me laugh out loud. And now my word verification is dyking. Too funny.

DutchJan said...

THAT LOOKS STUNNING AS EVER WHEN YOU POST YOUR OWN DESIGN!!!!

Roggey said...

I'm a bit envious I have no hookah or servants; I possess only a rather spoiled and demanding basset hound named Tank, and a neighbor whose idea of BBQ is incinerating any and all protein on his grill right below my deck. I need to go fondle my few skeins of mink/cashmere now.

izzyb said...

catdogbeautiful shawl

you deserve some hookah time!

linwenster said...

I love that book cover almost as much as I love Aemelia Lanyer! I'm really inspired to knit it!

chellebelle said...

Once again.. I love the knitted work, but the words carry me through the day... What would I do without you??

Sally said...

You are the best! Beautiful knits and a good belly laugh! Thank you again.

Andrew Vesselinovitch said...

I can attest to Mr. Franklin actually doing something other than smoking. I saw (or thought I saw) knitting.

Sioux B said...

Will you loan me the hookah when you are done with it? I will send you a box of bonbons in return.

The shawl is inspiring, and I am nothing if not overly ambitious. I told the hubster to check my Amazon wish list for a new gift idea, though I may just buy it and tell him to wrap it for me.

I had a lovely time with the Life photos of Jack and Jackie's wedding that the link led to. *sigh* I miss the elegance in public life, even though I would rather wear jeans than anything else.

woolyjooly said...

Just left Crafty Planet in nordeast Minneapolis (you'd love it up here, FH) and was won over by your book cover which I peaked at in the Holiday IK mag. Thanks a lot. Another WIP to add to the basket!! (it's beeyooteefull).

Alwen said...

It cracks me up - I made the exact same reading mistake and saw Voyeur Press. You see what priming will do for us!

That reminds me that there was a gorgeous lace-knitted wedding stole up in Traverse City, Michigan, in the fog signal building. Yeah. I never got a photo, because I wasn't expecting textiles in there!

Alwen said...

Oops - in the Grand Traverse Lighthouse's fog signal building, I meant to say.

annie said...

Yes, really lovely designs. I remember the photos of that beautiful veil....head to ground and billowing beyond. Her grandmother's, I think, in rose point lace. You have done it proud. Must get that book if just for this pattern!

Anonymous, too said...

The cover of Ms. Lindsey's book is really quite tame, compared to your description. I thought you meant the kind of cover that might inspire you to knit Fabio a snood and matching tube top.

This may be the reason I didn't quite see "Voyeur Press," but wondered if Captain Janeway knew someone was snooping on her.

And I swear your word verification gizmo has a dirty mind. My "word" is "testwang".

Noreen said...

The shawl is beautiful! I just purchased the Holiday Interweave Mag--it has a lot of cool patterns. I don't buy too many magazines anymore. $14.99 is a difficult price to accept for a magazine, but then I realized I was getting SIXTY patterns. Pleased you are getting published.

Anonymous said...

You bring out my evil smile and I love my evil smile. That shawl is too lovely!

KarenJ said...

One more for "Voyeur"! And if you need a hookah, just let me know. I noticed yesterday that the tiny bookstore in our town in the Algarve, the one where we buy kids' textbooks, has one in it's display cabinet. This might explain the schools here! In any case, let me know. You're on your own for the servants.

Thanks for the laugh.

Gail said...

The Jackie-inspired stole is magnificent! a true work of art.

and ah, yes, the role of flowers in 17th c. Dutch still-life paintings ... the way to wake up undergraduates!

nosenabook said...

The stole is really lovely, but I find I am rather drooling over the book cover.

Cathy said...

The shawl is amazing. You are one talented genius!

MerryBrown said...

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways?
"my stubby little peasant fingers"
"I chose Jacqueline Bouvier's wedding veil, because I am gay like that"
"because the hookah's pooping out and I have to stop typing, get up off the chaise longue and scream for one of the servants to fetch me a fresh one."
Thank you ! Please write more often!

MerryBrown said...

How do I love thee?
Let me count the ways?
"my stubby little peasant fingers"
"I chose Jacqueline Bouvier's wedding veil, because I am gay like that"
"because the hookah's pooping out and I have to stop typing, get up off the chaise longue and scream for one of the servants to fetch me a fresh one."
Thank you ! Please write more often!

inkberryblue said...

I was having a horrible day (doing a lot of very tedious paperwork) until now. Reading all of this has had me belly laughing. Sweet relief! You are a deliciously funny man Franklin ~ your readers are too. Thank you!!

Northmoon said...

Amazing how some people think you need instructions for what you should be doing with your life. "More knitting, less hooka smoking right now"

too bad they didn't include the bit about the tulip being a symbol of burgeoning female sexuality. At least now I know - thank you, I'll never look at a tulip the same way.

kshotz said...

Lovely designs! (It wasn't Voyeur Press?? What the heck was it??)

PFennessy said...

Beautiful! Love your work (and your words).

TheKnittingLinguist said...

I have been contemplating knitted journal covers for most of my knitting career. Thank you, Franklin! That's lovely and I will surely be making one (or several).

HL said...

remind me never to let you near my bookshelves....you'd laugh yourself to death at the number of romance novels I own...

;) Beautiful shawl and book cover. Someday I'm going to sit down and learn how to graft...promise.

HipDroppedStitches said...

Franklin, the stole is stunningly lovely!!! I am torturing myself wondering if I could possibly knit it before my wedding in April... and if I could, if a bride even needs a stole when getting married in Jamaica... probably not on both accounts... but, my oh my... lovely!!!

Mo said...

Your knitted creations are gorgeous and superb - as always!

On a side note:
Augie is beautiful...any chance he would model a knit item or two?

LisaDP said...

As a book lover, did it upset you to see a book left open on its pages like that? Or did you see it as a photographer, with the angled lines and of the book and the lighting highlighting the tulip?

Sweet Camden Lass said...

I feel much better for that. Thank you. It has been one of Those mornings. And one of Those weekends.

I shall go on a chocolate hunt now: and I'm looking forward to seeing the pink poncho. It warms the cockles of my terribly girly heart.

There will be sparkle in it, won't there?

Ed said...

Bummer. I was expecting to see a new tattoo. Oh well, knitting will do.

dawn s said...

HEY! I love Johanna Lindsey! Great stole.

sarah said...

From the picture at least it looks both a little aged by real fresh which makes the contrast very appealing!

And the work in that looks stunning.

olivia john said...

so lovely pieces ^_^

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