Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Demise of XRX

Knitters magazine sucks (they even tried putting a gay man in charge and it still sucks), Stitches sucks and KnitU sucks.

Pathetic Disregard
I personally believe that the XRX organization has gone so downhill over the last few years because they have completely disregarded their customer base and focused solely on their vendors and advertisers.

KnitU refuses to even post, nevermind acknowledge negative comments. Knitters Magazine persists in helping yarn manufacturers market to a very ephemeral generation of trendy knitters while completely ignoring their core customer base. And now vendor participation at Stitches seems to be on a significant downward trend.

All-in-all, it appears that the Xenakis family should take a harsh look at their inflexible policies and try to salvage what they can.

Current Quilting
In addition to getting some knitting done this past weekend, I also made some additional progress on the quilt. I got to browse the fabrics again at Liza's, looking for backing and binding fabrics.

Here's what I selected.

The backing is the fabric in the upper left and the binding will be the striped fabric in the upper right. Since the binding will only show up with less than an inch of fabric, I tried to simulate what both the front and the back will look like when it's done.

Neither picture is a very good representation, but it helped me to decide on the fabrics I would use.

Quilting Celebrities
Liza, being a quilting celebrity in her own right, knows a lot of other celebrities as well. Of course she knows Kaffe, but also dozens of other folks.

It turns out I got to meet the designer of the two Lone Star quilts in the most recent Kaffe book, Museum Quilts, Claudia Chaback. She is funny and smart, and amazingly creative. She helped me pick out the fabrics I will use to finish my quilt. She teaches in Berkley Heights, NJ, so I may see about taking one of her classes.

The other celebrity of note, is Kaffe himself. Liza would like to show him my quilt when he's in town the second week of October, so I will be holding off sending my quilt for finishing until he's seen it.

Current Knitting
I'm continuing to progress in spurts on this project. I'm up to row 65 of 104 on the last row of color blocks.

It's nice to be on the final stretch. Even though I've loved working on this project, I'm getting itchy to work on something else for a while.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Cynthia says, "The last Pope at least believed in tolerence and peace and he openly spoke out against hate speech and actions against homosexuals."

Actually, not so much. The pontiff frequently condemned homosexual activity, and the Vatican launched a global campaign against same-sex marriage. In addition, the pope's condemnation of contraceptives was an affront to HIV-prevention advocates worldwide.
There were also some pretty hateful letters about homosexuality that came out of the Vatican during his reign. I'm not familiar with any comments he directly made concerning homosexuality, although the BBC reports that it was the late Pope's order for the "Apostolic Visitation" to U.S. seminaries looking for signs of homosexuality. The current Pope is just completing the order.

Let's not make a saint of John Paul II just yet.

Concerning Stitches East next year, Cynthia states, "Next year, Baltimore Inner Harbor. Again, expensive and scary area--what are they thinking."

Sorry to disagree again, but Baltimore Inner Harbor is actually not at all scary. My last assignment was down there and it is actually quite a nice place, and the hotels are nice too. It wouldn't entice me back to Stitches, but it's not scary