Monday, August 29, 2005


Sometimes I think my whole life to date could be summarized as a struggle for balance. This weekend, for a short time, I achieved it.


There was knitting.

At KnitNY, C spotted a green tweed that he liked and said he would enjoy having as a scarf. I bought one hank of it and have been working it in broken 2x2 rib using a US8. The pattern called for knitting the ribs for 8 rows before breaking them, but I've been varying depths of 6, 8, or 10 at random. The pattern of uniform lengths as called for in the Vogue Knitting Reference looked machine-made and sort of dowdy - a scarf you would find in a very uninspired church bazaar.

The needles are larger than the recommended size, which is making the fabric slightly loose. C gets too hot when he's hermetically bundled up, so I'm hoping this will keep him warm but still let his skin breathe to keep him comfortable.

Tweed Broken Rib Scarf

I also cast on and worked about 4 repeats of a stole that I put together from the patterns and design theory of Nancy Bush's Estonian Lace class at Stitches Midwest. Of all the lace knitting I've seen, the Estonian pleases me the most. I'm going to keep this stole at home for working on at odd moments, a treat to myself when I've made progress on

The Rhinebeck Sweater

I would like to show up at Rhinebeck in something (not a bunny hat) that I've made myself. My gauge swatch for the sweater is finished, and I have all the needles I need. Now, for the push to finish. I think I can get it done if I make it my primary focus between now and the trip. To that end, I'm clearing the decks of all other projects.

Setting forth that goal in here, thereby risking public humiliation if I should fail, should provide me with ample motivation to start clicking.


There was also photography and photography-related work. I started assembling actual pages in my portfolio, captions and backings and what-not.

The light on both Saturday and Sunday was marvelous, and the air was cool and dry. I'm willing to undergo a lot of physical discomfort to get a good shot, but I'll admit it was nice to be out with the camera and not frying or steaming.

In the afternoon, down in the Loop, the light on the marquee of the Chicago Theater was as perfect as if someone had lit it specially.

Marquee of the Chicago Theater, August 2005

I wasn't just shooting randomly, though. I was on a mission. I needed two shots for a poster that first saw light two years ago as a Christmas present for my folks, and which can now be put into a finished form and sent off to print. Once it's printed, I'm going to try shopping it around to see who might carry it. Maybe I'll also sell it online.

It had better pay. Getting one of the shots meant visiting an iffy neighborhood where I was harassed on the street by a group of ill-intentioned kids before a Chicago police officer scared them away. Note to self: some places are not for shooting without somebody to watch your back.


I'm still at work on my article for the new magazine - and it's nearly finished. The mag is still happening, right boys? Right?


Knitting and photography were both solo occupations. I was happy to also spend time with a dear friend I don't get to see much, who came up to Chicago for our gay rodeo. I didn't go to the rodeo, which thanks to the boys from Boystown usually doesn't feel like a rodeo but like a circuit party where horses are welcome. Instead, John came up to the city and we went to the Toulouse-Lautrec special exhibit at the Art Institute.

If you are in Chicago, or can get here before the show closes on October 10, do it. The Art Institute is on a roll. John was up here last year and we saw the special exhibit surrounding Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. It was revelatory. This exhibit packs the same wallop.

Then, as if that weren't enough, the photographic galleries have a show up of Paris before 1950. Kertesz, Atget, Brassai, Cartier-Bresson, Lartigue, Germaine Krull, Lee Miller. A roll call of my favorite photographers in their prime. I was sticky wet by the time we were through.

Sunday night, C took me as his guest to a party celebrating ten years of the monthly Prince Night at Berlin. I've been a few times and always enjoyed it, even though I know next to nothing about Prince. He took this shot of me, which for once I quite like. (One of the reasons I enjoy being a photographer: When you're behind the camera, it can't see you.)

Since I started dating C, I've de-aged. I swear I'm starting to look almost my own age. Or maybe it's just the salutary effects of dim lighting.

The shirt I'm wearing is from the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit. The Art Institute usually does different two shirt designs for the special exhbitions, one for adults and one for kids.

The kids shirt, which you see here, is always far better. I suspect this is because the museum's marketing people shut up and let the designers put together the children's design with less interference.

I fit better into the kids medium than the adults small, and it's five dollars cheaper. It's good to be short. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.

Toulouse-Lautrec and Prince in the same weekend. Small guys who made it big.

Maybe I'm next?


Anonymous said...

You're letting people comment?
Photo is stunning. with what?

Anonymous said...

Sorry. that was me.
I don't know Germaine Krull. Off to look her up.

Calvin said...

Hear, hear!! I agree that it's always not a bad thing to be a short man. The scarf is looking great. C has good taste in colors. I do like the picture C took of you.

dragon knitter said...

love the scarf. what are you using yarn-wise for the rheinbeck sweater? i'd love to see the yarn, at least, if you're keeping the sweater under wraps. and as for t-shirts, i usually buy a boys large, which is about a 12-14. they fit me better than an adult small as well. and the designs are cooler, too! (i collect dragons, and i have 3 t-shirts that are boys t-shirts, lol, and one that i'm going to confiscate when the boys outgrow it (or do so earlier if they threaten to trash it, lol)). i commiserate. and i see you're doing the word recognition thing as well. i'm going to have to do that, i got socked with 10 spam comments last night, sigh.

Ann said...

I love the photo that you took of Jon that is on his blog now. I have never met Jon face-to-face, but you seem to have captured his essence, or at the very least his online persona.

Your talents seem to be in many areas...I am most impressed

Anonymous said...

I'm not particularly short but my granddaughter is. She's 13 and 4'7". She might make 5' but given that her father's family are quite short, it's unlikely.

I think Liz values being short as something that adds to her uniqueness. We do call her Napoleonora. And as she always says, "If bullies chase me, I can run through their legs."

goblinbox said...

Adore the Buddha/scarf photo. Gorgeous.

I've always known that men's clothing is better than women's (in terms of price and quality) but now I know that kids' t-shirts are better even than men's!

And I think you're cute in general.

birdfarm said...

I love the photo of you. I suppose you've noticed, and/or it was intentional, that Prince's profile in the background is about to kiss you. Perfect.

Also sounds like a perfect weekend! So glad you enjoyed yourself.

Anonymous said...

Achieving precisely the balance you describe is why you'll make it big.

I'm sooo into Latrec. That exhibit is gonna' get me to Chicago, before the end of September! I also want to take the Architecture Cruise around the city, since I've never been. Does that sound too touristy?

That scarf looks so fab. Is that a digicam? I need to buy one by tomorrow, Mr. K took mine to "Burning Man", and I will go with your recommendation. HELP!

Ira said...

This can't work in fact, that is exactly what I consider.
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