Tuesday, April 05, 2011

If I Were a Drag Queen I'd Want My Name to Be Carte Blanche

One of the things I very much enjoy about writing a column for Knitty is that the lady in charge over there usually lets me muck about unsupervised. I admit that I've had an issue with authority figures at least since my first report card came home with the notation, "An intelligent child, but often needs reminding that he is not the person in charge."

In my own defense, I well remember the person in charge of that kindergarten; and she needed reminding of a few things, such as the indignity of engaging in semantics with a five-year-old. We had quite the little debate about my decision to stick a black-and-white photograph of a banana on the collage of Things That Are Yellow. I maintained that bananas are yellow, even if this picture of them hadn't been printed in color. She ripped the bananas off the poster and put me in the corner.

I lost that battle, but carried the day when it came time to name the towering, green papier-mache brontosaurus we'd all built as a group art project. My suggestion, "Raquel Welch," won by a landslide in spite of her attempts to bully and intimidate the electorate. She preferred "Greenie," the (if you ask me) pedestrian and predictible brainstorm of Jennifer K., one of the four Jennifers in our class of 25. Jennifer K. was a perfect little angel who never, ever asked the tough questions like, "If you're tired, why do we have to take a nap?"

Of course, to her credit, she tallied the votes fairly. Maybe she knew if there were so much as a whisper of fraud I'd have gone to the principal and demanded a recount.

Wait. What the hell was I writing about?

Knitty. Right.

The Spring + Summer issue is up, and I'm in it. And I forgot, when the last issue hit, to publicly thank Amy Singer for not even batting an eyelash when I referred to a famous, fictitious knitter as a "stone-cold pain in the ass." There are not a whole lot of fiber arts publications that will let you call somebody a pain in the ass, even though–this is strictly between us–the world of fiber arts is replete with persons (self included) who are a pain in the ass.

This issue's pattern first appeared in 1843, but I'll be a monkey's muffatee if the thing doesn't look like it was designed last Tuesday.

Summer Neckerchief (1843)

It's a neckerchief knit on the bias (the drape is to die) that can easily–and I mean easily–be worked as a full-size shawl in whatever weight yarn you fancy. In fact, the original author's directions for a shawl variation are right there, down at the bottom, in case you just aren't a neckerchief sort of person.

Upcoming Events

I'm going to be back in Boston at the Common Cod Fiber Guild on May 13, 2011. I was the speaker at the Guild's first meeting, and take some pride in the fact that there was ever a second meeting.

Then I'm jumping over to Oklahoma for the Sealed with a Kiss Knit Out 2011, part of a merry trio that also includes Fiona Ellis and Jane Thornley.

June 24-26, I'll once again be at the Midwest Fiber & Folk Art Festival in Grayslake, Illinois. I don't know the full teaching line-up (it'll be posted soon, I hear), but I know they're bringing in some big names again this year.

And in July, I'll be over in London at Knit Nation, the schedule for which is now up. It bodes well that I've just received my Tier 5 Creative Worker Sponsorship Certificate, which makes it legal for me to teach in the UK. Her Majesty's Goverment was most obliging.

That's not the whole summer calendar, but that's what I can tell you about as of now. Stay tuned.

44 comments:

Jeremy said...

that can easily–and I mean easily–be worked as a full-size shawl in whatever weight yarn you fancy

Thank you for this. I have one of my favorite yarns in four different colorways that I adore, and was looking for the perfect shawl for myself. 800 yards of worsted weight alpaca/silk/merino would be lovely in that pattern, hey?

Joyce said...

WOw, I wish I'd been in your classes in school!

JelliDonut said...

Obviously you learned early that it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. You a pain in the ass? I think not!

LindaV said...

Wait - what happened to NASCAR?

Knitting the Camino said...

Hey Franklin, you are my heads up this season that Knitty is up again. Thanks for that. Enjoyed reading both your blog and your article in Knitty. I think this piece would make a great men's scarf too - (and since the only other men's pattern is a sock for giants (size 14! - ooo eeee) I have to grasp at any straw I can find. Thanks for delighting me and the rest of your readership yet again.

Mel said...

Well, crapola. I shall be working May 13, and I'm pretty sure it would take either the ability to warp space-time or a fast jet - neither of which I possess - to get down to Boston in time to see you.

Pretty Knitty said...

I love Knitty, and I love you, Franklin. Your take on things always makes me smile...even when it maybe shouldn't! Knitting, it's not for the faint of heart or mind! Never really was, I think...

Angie said...

Franklin~ I.LOVE.YOU...As the mother of 3 kids, I can certainly appreciate your humor as I have 3 very "in charge" children. "If I were a drag queen, my name would be Carte Blanche" Love it...

Chris Laning said...

Franklin, you are a hoot and a half. (If, as I suspect, this is a New England expression, you are now appropriately armed & ready for Boston...)

P.S. My first-grade report card described me as "brilliant, but erratic" ;)

danielle said...

Ahhh, you will be in Illinois over my birthday....I was born in Illinois...not sure that you will be anywhere near where I was born...but just reading that made me feel very nostalgic!

The Foggy Knitter said...

Are you giving any talks at Knit Nation? Or just teaching classes? I'm not well enough for a class, but I might manage a talk... I'll live in hope!

NeedleTart said...

Now, see, this is why I am a substitute teacher. If a kid gives me a logical reason for behavior or makes me laugh, I'll let him/her get away with whatever it was. Very few administrators like this attitude. Keep subverting the system!

Yarn Dependent Me said...

Thank you for teaching me about muffatee

MaryEllen said...

Your post gives me great hope...somehow I am sure you must be related to my son...thanks!

Lisa/knitnzu said...

My mother wanted to be called Blanche by her grandchildren, before she had any. Then she wanted to be called Memere.

My son also was reminded by his early teachers about who was in charge. He's better now that he's in HS and honors classes, except w/ the general science teacher, fresh meat as far as I can tell. Very nice, but not too bright. And I got a D in conduct in 4th grade (4th chapter of the history book, William Penn, it was the end of history for me...) for LAUGHING at my pal Sheila. Who I had also spent a lot of time in the classroom corners because of during the prior years.

Rachel said...

I LOVE the b&w banana semantics discussion. That is hysterical and you were totally in the right. completely. After laughing out loud (but quietly so as not to alert my cubemates) I was slightly sickened by the fact that she ripped that off the wall and put you in the corner. I'm glad she didn't manage to completely squash your creativity at age 5, look at you now! Also, I don't know your age, but the 4 Jennifers gave me a big hint. We had 5 in my class!

anne marie in philly said...

"I fight authority, authority always wins."

now I have to go out and get that shawl pattern; I have some black bunny (or some cabin cove) that would look great for this!

smooches!

Jules said...

Were we separated at birth? I had very similar arguments with my kindergarten teacher. :) I still can't figure out why so many people believe the person in charge is the smartest person in the room...s/he usually isn't. And a little bout with authority is good for the soul.

So jealous that you're going to England; that's pretty much where I want to be all the time. I love that neckerchief-shawl! And I love that you resurrect so many long-lost patterns for us. Thanks for that.

SallyT said...

Wait, what happened to the NASCAR stuff? I was sooooo with you on that.

Barbara said...

Gee, thank you for the normal writing, that NASCAR was like having a spider in the middle of my desk. You are smart and fascinating and funny. Thank you for the Knitty writing too.

Gerri in St Paul said...

I'll bet Harry's snickerdoodles helped with that Tier 5 deal. Better thank him for keeping you out of Tier 1!

Michelle said...

It sounds like we would have gotten along in school - my mom has many stories about my attempts to take charge of the classroom at the slightest sign of weakness. Substitute teachers never quite knew what hit them.

SusieQ100 said...

Did you know, the new "James Bond" Book (written by Jeffrey Deaver) is called Carte Blanche.. so maybe you're just a James Bond wannabee after all....

Seanna Lea said...

I'm glad that you are getting a lot of exposure on Knitty, and it is wonderful to see these truly vintage (*ahem* antinque) patterns brought to people like me who just don't want to translate from the knitting terminology of years past.

Anne said...

I LOVE the b/w banana pic story! You were totally in the right, there. I probably would've said/done the same thing to my teacher when I was 5!

Knitting and Beyond said...

I seriously need you to post EVERYDAY! I'm pretty sure my mental health depends on it. You make me happy.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this pattern is begging for 87 different variations. I think I hear my stash whispering to me that it all wants to be this neckerchief/shawl/drapey thing. Get in line, skeins! I only have two hands! And a Ravelry queue a mile long!

International Knitter of Mystery said...

I'm impressed with your grasp of directions and artistic sensibility at the age of 5. "Things that are yellow" indeed. I suppose teaching kindergarten could make one a more concrete thinker over time...but it sounds like your teacher wanted to remain inside the box, even though you took the lid off.

Anonymous said...

Dear Franklin

I can't help but asking how the pink capelet is doing. Any pictures?

margieinmaryland
queen of non sequitur

Karen said...

Holy crap. You totally brought back all the memories of the day that my third grade teacher (who only wore purple--including her stockings) made us go around the room and name animals. I, very cleverly I thought, suggested that human beings were animals. She got totally in my face and started saying things like "do we have whiskers" "do we have wet noses" "do we have tails". So I asked her back, "good, good, fine. Then what are we--vegetable or mineral"

It was he only time I ever had to stand in the corner.

Karen said...

P.S. I went to an all girls Catholic high school and freshman year, the entire freshman class (all 180 of us) had to be in our production of "A Christmas Carol". Halfway through rehearsals, I started laughing and couldn't stop and got hauled out in front of everyone by Sister Maria to find out just what was so damn funny. You see, we were all girls and the only female part was Mrs. Cratchet who only had one line and I thought it was BEYOND funny that basically, with all these girls playing men's parts, we were doing a drag show. Sister Lady Bunny did not see the humor in it.

HipDroppedStitches said...

I have been giggling for days about the black and white photo of a yellow banana... brilliant.

The neckerchief is lovely!!!

Anonymous said...

I am in your lace edging class in Guthrie, OK. I did the homework last night and the swatch seemed very small. Can you tell me the measurement by inches?
Thanks,
Susan

Anonymous said...

Something happened and I was unable to update your blog on my computer since December 28th. I can't tell you how (needlessly) worried I have been about you. I feel silly now, but thank goodness you are o.k.!

Giselle said...

I am so very excited: this evening I managed to book onto your Sunday photography class at Knit Nation. I can't wait. I will have to -forcibly- stop myself from counting the days, I'm sure {cough}. Hurrah for a Tier 5 certificate, whatever that might be...

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