Friday, November 16, 2007

Chronic Knitting Syndrome and I had a good time yesterday. We sussed out the Linked Rib scarf all right (page 56 of Knitting New Scarves). It’s not easy, but it’s fun. So have I got another WIP on my hands? I had some difficulty finding a yarn in stash which was about the right size for the pattern, and also the right size for the only set of six dp’s I could find, other than sock needles. But I hit it lucky with some Noro Silk Garden – and there’s enough to finish the scarf.

I sternly set it aside and added another four inches or more to the Earth Stripe Wrap in the evening. At this rate, I’ll be edging it in a week or so.

The holiday VK turned up yesterday. Mel, when I grumbled about the fitted, cropped patterns in IK I wasn’t just thinking of the condition politely called “fluffiness”. Women of a Certain Age tend to get rather brick-shaped. (I’ve been trying for days to think of the right word for a three-dimensional figure with rectangles on four sides and squares on the ends. I failed.) I have no style, and have never dressed well in my life, but I feel that such a shape is sometimes best served by drape and swirl and even asymmetricality – and certainly not by calling attention to the lost curves and waist-line. If I were going to start again and dress like Edith Sitwell, there are several things in this new VK I’d be interested in.

Ted, I’ve been thinking a lot about your question – why does your essay on “Why Knit” seem sad? Knitting has become for me, as other talents diminish, the one interest which can distract for a while from the approaching abyss. So it seems sad that you, with all your ability, could think of abandoning it, or cutting down. I have lots of people to knit for. So it seems sad that you feel you don’t.

Maybe – seriously – you should think of writing a book.

But I do agree about the feeling that one has too much stash – and that it’s a good idea to try to buy with a project in mind.

By the way, I enjoy none of the advantages you attribute to living with someone, except perhaps picture-hanging. Many of us who live in some sort of community or companionship, envy you your freedom to knit for another ten minutes if that’s what you want to do. One of my favourite New Yorker cartoons of all time is the man-with-martini, slumped over the bar, saying to the bartender, “The trouble is, either you’re married or you’re not.”


  1. Anonymous9:55 AM

    My IK hasn't arrived yet, it was promised faithfully to be here by today, so woe betide it if the postman doesn't drop it through the door soon. There are actually a few things I like in this issue (Ivy League Vest springs to mind), but I would probably modify them all to make them longer. I also really like the idea of the sweater with the gathered front, but suspect it would look awful on someone with boobage. They seem to have scaled up their patterns to fit everyone out there, but not the styles.
    It's funny, I'd never heard of the word 'fluffy' till I joined ravelry! I'm not a great fan - I'm overweight and know what I can do to become not overweight, and have no problem describing myself as fat - so the word 'fluffy' just seems overly twee and silly, like a hallmark cards version of how people want to be seen. But hey, takes all sorts.

  2. yes that cartoon makes sense. i think much too much knitting is not very flattering for women and hence i knit for children and men....
    and i actually love the extra ten minutes to knit in that is one of the advantages of living alone. when i was winding up all the yarn i have on my knew switch et al. i was thinking the reason i don't feel alone mostly is due to all the lovely sheep in live with in a way.

  3. Oh Jean I almost spilled my tea over the Edith Sitwell comment. Perhaps there can be a Ravelry Group with a banner reading 'good taste is the worst vice ever invented."

    The other aspect of the fitted and more trendy knits is that they begin to look passe, as my mother would say. I am 52, have been knitting a long time, and I just don't bother anymore with knitting an item that requires a great deal of time, energy, and money unless I think I'll still want to wear it 5 years from now. I have sent too many things off to Goodwill or given them away because they were outmoded. And believe me, I am no fashion plate.

  4. Oh one more thing, after posting I went in search of a photo of Edith in one of her outfits, and found this knitting information re. Ms. Sitwell:
    "During World War II, Sitwell returned from France and retired to Renishaw with her brother Osbert and his lover David Horner. She wrote under the light of oil lamps when the lights of England were out of service. She knitted clothes for their friends who served in the army. One of the beneficiaries was young Alec Guinness, who received a pair of seaboot stockings."

  5. Oh, Edith Sitwell - wouldn't it be great to be bothered with all that image? I do love the look, but when it comes down to it, prefer comfort all the time.

    I don't like 'fluffy' either - so twee and generally icky.

  6. I actually wasn't thinking of "fluffiness" (which I agree sounds rather twee) when I made that comment. I only meant that some of the patterns could perhaps be sized larger for greater ease and more drape. Some could surely be adapted fairly easily without the shaping and look perfectly nice, as well. Not the bobble sweater, though. I think there should be a general ban on those.

    And the word you were searching for is cuboid. Gravity does its work on both sexes, just to a lesser degree with men. We were discussing that very topic the other week at work. I declared that although I will in all likelihood have breasts in 20 years' time, I expect that I shall still be a member of the "Itty Bitty Titty Committee".