Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Such Language, and In Front of the Dolls

Knitty's Deep Fall 2011 issue is out today, which brings with it the second (and blessedly final) installment of the Weldon's Practical Knitter baby doll ensemble, the first part of which appeared in the previous issue.

A prominent feature is the looped edging that gives the otherwise simple bonnet a bit of kaboom.


was on a loopity-loop kick at the time. In the twenty-sixth series of Practical Knitter (from whence come the doll clothes) the technique is featured repeatedly. Good thing, too. The pattern I was working from omits the key maneuver that prevents the whole thing falling to pieces when you shake it. A comparison with a pattern for a woman's coat–on the very next page–showed me where the error lay.

Once I had the knack, looped knitting wasn't difficult, though I wouldn't want to edge an entire coat with the stuff. It's certainly eye-catching. Tom was transfixed when he saw it.

"What the heck is that?"

"Another piece for Knitty."

"One of the antique ones?"


He pondered the narrow, furry strip trailing off the needles.

Looped Edging.

Tom doesn't knit, but at this point he's heard (ad nauseam) about Fair Isle knitting, Faroese knitting, Estonian knitting, Latvian knitting, Portuguese knitting...

"What do you call it?" he said. "Because it looks like Brazilian knitting."

Nota bene: If you don't get it, darling, I'm afraid I am not going to explain it to you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sleepish in Seattle

It’s stuffy in here. My eyes are shut, but the glare of cheap fluorescent lights is barely tempered. The air smells of exasperation, perspiration and panic. Every few minutes, a woman with a voice like a Valkyrie hoots directions sternly into my ear. I’m either in seventh grade, taking a math test; or I’m at the airport.

Eyes open. Airport.

Which is worse. Airport? Algebra? Not sure.

But it's worth it. I’ve had a week and then some of intense knitting out here in Seattle; including a talk to the Seattle Knitters Guild,* and classes at two shops I love: Fiber Gallery and Weaving Works.** For that, I will bear a security officer (whose career consists largely of looking at nude X-rays of strangers) telling me that traveling in a kilt is A Little Weird and Asking for Trouble.

The first four days were spent in the company of these fellows:

Men's Fall Knitting Retreat, 2011

Those are the faces of the Men’s Fall Knitting Retreat 2011, which I look forward to the way I used to look forward to the arrival of the Sears-Roebuck holiday catalogue. So many shiny new toys to look at,*** and always something interesting to see in the underwear section.

This year, Show and Tell Night was combined with a parade of non-bifurcated men’s garments–also known as kilts and sarongs.

Kilt & Sarong Night, Men's Fall Knitting Retreat 2011

Then we had a tickle fight. No, not really. But feel free to imagine that we did.

* I presented a new talk, and they laughed at the jokes. I am so very grateful.

** I bought books at both. I almost bought a loom at the latter, because I don't spend enough of my life playing with fiber already.

***I was particularly taken, not for the first time, by a demonstration of the Pocket Wheel; and left Skacel Collection headquarters with a dreamy hank of something that will become a new design this winter.

Edited to add: By popular demand, a larger version of the kilt photo is available here.