Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Are You People Still Here?

I haven't lost any of you, yet, have I? Geez, this is a lot of pressure, since I know the regular Joe-heads will want something new to read every day or two.

For all of you hard-core knitters, who don’t give a crap who I am, this entry is for you. “Talk about some knitting,” you sternly tell me. Okay, I will.

Right now I am primarily working on two knitting projects. First is a pattern that I plan to submit to MenKnit (in part because Tricky Tricot is so darn adorable), but it would be in poor taste to show you just in case it gets accepted. Alas, the second is also something that I must constrain myself in discussing. I’m in the process of shopping around a book proposal and this is a prototype to help convince a publisher that I am worth giving a book contract to. (So if you happen to be reading this, and work for a book publisher, or have contacts in the publishing industry, please immediately email me at so that we can discuss.) But you won’t buy the cow if you can get the milk for free, so I can’t show this one, either.

Hmm, this isn’t going very well, is it?

Luckily for you, I always like to have a back-up project, something portable and brainless that I can pick up and put down during the day or take with me in the car. (Don’t worry, I’m not one of those psychotic knitters who knits at every stoplight.) The current mindless project is socks, in a new flavor of On-Line Supersocke. It’s a decent buy at $12 for a 100g skein (which will make a pair for all those except those with ped-elephantitis). This particular series of Supersocke patterns is called “Nepal,” and I’d call this colorway “Sherpa” but I’ll probably get emails saying that it’s racist or tribist or indigenous-people-ist (or speciesist, eh Lees?), so maybe I should rename it “Himalayan Spring” instead.

I’m making a plain sock, 2x2 rib at the top, then (because this is my mindless project) knitting stockinette. One of these days I’d like to start playing a little bit with self-patterning yarns and what one can do with them to add a little variety (other than the Peak Experience sock pattern, which is better suited to some self-patterning yarns than others), but not today.

Book Review

I happened across a copy of Carole Wulster’s “Cable Needle Freedom” (Montat Publishing; $15.00) a while back, and finally got around to reading some of it. This small booklet, written by a designer who also created a bunch of good software for knitters, shows how to knit cables without using a cable needle. I was somewhat skeptical, but after giving it a go, I am now a convert. Even though I’ve loved the look of cabling, and find any kind of ethnic knitting history irresistible, I never did much of in the way of arans or guernseys/ganseys because I disliked using a cable needle. For whatever reason, the process of transferring stitches back and forth onto a third needle irks the shit out of me. I suppose I am much more a fan of the rhythmic nature of knitting than sometimes I realize. Or maybe I’m just a wee bit uncoordinated. Wulster’s book clearly explains how to do little acrobatics with your needles and thereby avoid the transferring of stitches back and forth. For those of you who like to know these things, the book is softcover, about 45 pages long, mainly black-and-white but with some full-color photos of the projects -- patterns (including schematics) for a hat, a pair of socks, and two sweaters (both can be made as pullovers or cardigans). Why, yes, as a matter of fact, all the projects do involve cabling. For me, it was well worth the fifteen bucks to learn the technique and have cabling become a more enjoyable process.

Reader Comment

Cynthia writes: After a particularly grueling weekend with the in-laws, hearing about yours made me feel better (sorry, but that's the cynical truth).

Hang with me, Cynthia, I haven’t even told the Munchausen by proxy story yet…

-- Carol S.