Sunday, May 04, 2008

Thanks for the help on the Latin names of the various sorrel species. I was slightly afraid when I wrote what I did yesterday – wondering why it’s “rumex acetosa” on the one hand but “rumex scutatus” on the other – that M*rgaret Velard would pop up and say that “scutatus” was a 4th declension genitive as eny fule no.

(A reference to a spat she and I once had on Knitflame about the plural of “virus” during which she actually asked me where I learned my Latin.)

Anyway, here’s the present state of the sock. I continue very pleased. You can't see much of the subtle, manly colours or even of the ribbing, but you get the general idea.

And today is scarf-Sunday again. If it still measures about four feet this time tomorrow, I’ll know for sure that it’s cursed.

The summer IK turned up here yesterday! What a week for magazines!

I turned at once to Franklin’s article about the Zimmermans and read it with much pleasure. I was slightly sorry perhaps that he tactfully omitted reference to Elizabeth’s illness (Alzheimer’s) and death – Meg was never coy about it.

And while I’m picking nits, I very much don’t like the cover headline “Meg Swansen Forges Knitting Onward”. Two separate words have been confused – “forge” to make something, whether or not actually on a forge; and “forge” to move forward, as in “forge ahead”, originally a nautical term. (I hadn’t known that until I started looking this up.) The first is transitive, the second intransitive, to put it another way.

So Meg could be said to “forge onward”, or – slightly strangely – to “forge knitting”; but not both together.

The meaning is clear enough, I suppose, and English is a gloriously fluid language, but I don’t like it.

I mean to try to get to grips with the article about color theory. Kaffe’s advice, to take a postcard of a favourite painting and try to match the colours, remains simple and brilliant, and so far represents the farthest I’ve ever been able to get with the subject.

None of the patterns attract me, as several did in VK. It is nice to have that honest picture of the knitted skirt on p. 37, to remind us why it would not be a good idea to knit it. The jury is still out on the new regime at IK, insofar as the jury consists of me. Summer issues are not the ones to judge any editor by.


  1. "The jury is still out insofar as the jury consists of me" is my new favorite phrase - I'll try to work it into conversation often. Sadly, I have to agree - I found this issue almost offputting in how much I disliked the patterns. Thankfully, I have Lisa Lloyd's new book to inspire me until the fall issue rolls around - if you haven't seen it yet, I think you'd like it.

  2. I have to say that I loved that lace tunic in the new Ik - though I can't imagine knitting it. What has surprised me most about recent issues has been several tops in very similar colours, with only minor design details to distinguish them. Previously the patterns may have been unwearable, but at least they were distinctive.

  3. Anonymous12:44 AM

    Thank you also for caring about the use of the word "forge." While meaning changes with the use of language, if we use words without understanding their meanings then we fail to communicate.

    I haven't received my copy of the issue yet.

  4. JEAN -- what happened to your web site? I cannot seem to get to it from your blog. Miss hearing from you and glad to see you are still alive and well.

    Barbara Collins
    Odenton, Maryland USA

  5. Hi Jean. I'm a lurker. I've been reading you everyday for over a year now. I feel you are my friend in Edinburgh. Every now and then I will say "I heard from a friend..." invariably it is a blog. This electronic world is so strange and wonderful.

    Two things from Interweave Knits gave me pause this issue. First, was the erroneous caption naming Elizabeth's husband Arthur. Unfortunately it was the first thing I read when I opened my issue. (It made me feel badly for Franklin who did such a wonderful job with the story--only to have some editor screw things up.) And second was the color article. Anyone who has studied color theory will have trouble with it. I'm afraid there are some egregious mistakes. The diagrams on the lower left corner of the spread show value--not saturation as labeled. I'm afraid a brief skimming of captions and the first couple of paragraphs turned me off from finishing it. (Even my fifteeen year old came compaining to me when reading it...)

    The patterns are ehh. I too love the lace tunic but doubt I would cast on. I did purchase the new Lisa Lloyd book--A Fine Fleece. It is quite wonderful. I can easily imagine making at least five of the sweaters. All are lovely classics.

  6. Dear Jean,

    Thank you so much for two things - one, for your kind thoughts on the article; and, two, for saying something about a choice of words on the cover that one hesitates to say oneself as one's paycheck has not yet arrived.

    I can also tell you I didn't discuss Elizabeth's illness chiefly due to space limitations. I pushed to IK's word limit and then some - I'm amazed they didn't edit the piece far more severely.

    Ultimately, I decided that if I couldn't treat her illness with due dignity, I would (as you put it) err on the side of tactful omission.

    After researching the piece I find I long for a full-length bio of Elizabeth. We have her own words, of course, but there is so much she left unsaid.