Friday, November 11, 2011

Yesterday’s hair was a great success. Sanity apparently restored, for the moment I  resemble a superannuated politician, think Hillary Clinton or Theresa May. Not Mrs Merkel – no bangs. I shall sail confidently forward into next week’s excitements. I think I would feel even more confident if I sat down today or tomorrow and planned all the week’s food.

That’s good news about your sleeves, Mary Lou.

That is an interesting question you raised, Roobeedoo – do we actually knit patterns from magazines? I had a quick look back through sketchy notes.

-- I knit a VK scarf last year;

--a dinosaur sweater in ’09 from an old VK – I had knit it for Big Thomas back when he was Little Thomas. I hit it lucky with yarn on that one, and it was handed down through Rachel’s children. In ’09 it was my Games entry – “sweater with motif”, I think, was the challenge. It was unplaced.

--There was something in Knitter’s in ’04  called the “Mexicali Babe Ole”. I meant to knit it for Little Thomas when he was really little – but did I?

-- 2004 was apparently the Year of the Magazines. I knit a wonderful striped scarf from IK. It was knit lengthwise, the stripes formed from separate balls of Louet Gems Merino, intarsia-fashion. At either end, the stripes detached themselves from each other and formed a kind of fringe. My sister brought the yarn over for me and asked, mildly, why she had had to import something spun in Britain. Sure enough, it is, or was, when you read the small print. I wrote to them to ask if there was any way to buy the yarn in this country. They answered: no. I gave that one to our niece, on my husband's suggestion. I think he was afraid I was going to wear it myself.

-- And also in ’04, the Round-the-Bend jacket from Knitter’s in Kureyon, for James’s wife Cathy.

It’s not much, over seven years.

I think maybe buying directly from designers is the way it’s going, just now. Certainly for me – the Brownstone finished, the Effortless to come. I had another browse through the Twist Collective just now. Some seriously nice things, you don’t need me to tell you (although I have yet to buy anything from them). Good articles on seaming in the current issue, too.

And I knit a certain amount from books, one way and another. It stands to reason that patterns are likely to be better there than in magazines, just as cookery writers, on the whole, put their best stuff in their books.

I think I may venture on a trial iPad subscription to The Knitter. The lack of clutter is indeed wonderful. The same thing applies to books – the paperback thrillers I used to buy, an embarrassment once read, are now tidily out of sight in the iPad. I’m greatly enjoying P.D. James’ “Death Comes to Pemberley”.


  1. I'm glad your ipad is such a success. The other thing I like about reading on a tablet/kindle is the fact that noone can tell what you are reading. It could be trash or it could be high brow and literary. There is no cover to give you away...

  2. Grannypurple12:47 PM

    I think that Twist has a terrific format for an electronic magazine. The e-version of Interweave Knits is exactly like the paper one, except for the ad links, and printing off a pattern turns out to be a bit complicated. Whereas Twist gives you all the info you need to buy yarn, and the pattern comes into your mailbox, beautifully formatted.
    As for Knitlass comment, I read a lament recently by a public transit user that the use of reading tablets has made commutes much more boring--no titles on view, no way to know what might be an interesting read for the future!

  3. A new PD James? Off to get on the library waiting list.

  4. Anonymous6:01 PM

    Piqued by your book-vs-magazine observation, I categorized those of my non-sock knitting projects of which I have any legible record (not counting false starts or rejects). I found that six are of my own design, four are from independent designers, eight are from various books (three Starmore) or yarn company booklets, four are from Rowan magazines or booklets, one from Interweave Knits, and 20 from Vogue Knitting! So magazines apparently are still important to me. I do think that Twist Collective has become by far the best of the 'zines, print or electronic. I just wish I could buy all the patterns in a given issue for the price of a single print mag.
    -- Gretchen

  5. Your comment about your embarrassment over the paperback thrillers made me laugh. I think most of us, if we are honest about it, balance out our more intelligent reads with a bit of fluff. It is the same with knitting. Once a big project is off the needles nothing sounds better than a straightforward garter stitch project. Or plain Jane socks.

    And thanks for letting us know there is a new P.D. James. Not, of course, that I would stoop to reading such a thing. :-)

  6. Oh, how I love the fluff reading. Nothing needs to be remembered. Nothing that makes my blood pressure skyrocket like the horrific high court opinions that are my mandatory reading.

    My mom - the most efficient and organized person I know - always makes a menu list when planning for company. There's a certain amount of relief in seeing it in print and knowing you have everything accounted for, I think.