World-Wide Knit in Public Day

This Saturday, June 9th is World-Wide Knit in Public Day. Check out the huge list on the right-hand side of their page to see if there's a public knitting group near you, or just pack up your knitting and find a comfy cafe or park bench.

My local (Seattle) event sounds like a lot of fun despite the forecasted rain: they're knitting in the newly minted Olympic Sculpture Park. Too bad I'll be busy taking my dog to the vet and then celebrating my grandparents' 65th anniversary on Saturday. I'll just have to make up for it by knitting at the veterinarian's office and the restaurant.

Baaaad Sheepies

I have another confession to make: I harbor a deep-rooted fiber addiction. I love textures, colors, and a surprising combination of different textures and/or colors.

My first signs of this addiction started when I began hoarding fabric as a teen. Influenced by my knitting-obsessed older cousin whom I admired, I taught myself to knit many years before this fabric hoarding began. But fabric was my love, my life, my passion. Perhaps in part because I had easy access to a fabric store but not a yarn store. Or perhaps because we were living in the Dark Ages of knitting from my birth onwards to college, when it was just so hard to be excited about the limp and lackluster yarns available.

So despite my inability to sew, I favored collecting yards of fabric over skeins of yarn. Sometimes, I even hacked up these pieces of fabric and performed dodgy sewing operations using the hideously awesome 1968 dusty rose Singer my grandmother gave me (the very same Singer I was a fool to relinquish to a sewing store when I tried to get it serviced and they convinced me to buy a Janome). Sadly, I had no guidance on the art of sewing—every one of my creations was ill-fitting and poorly seamed. Let's just say that it's rather disenchanting to create ugly garment after ugly garment without the ability to easily salvage all that fabric you hacked to bits. This is where knitting should have entered, for with knitting you have the ability to frog and save that yarn over the once-cut-forever-gone issue of sewing. Yet, none of the yarns were very exciting. I continued to collect yards of fabric, hoarding them away and taking them out once in awhile to pet and admire.

And then—after I moved into my first apartment in college—I finally developed an obsession for knitting. There was a yarn store a mere block away from me, so I bought two skeins of some green yarn just shy of crossing the line to novelty yarns. I dusted off the needles (also inherited from my grandmother), and started a simple ribbed scarf. Then The Manflesh stole my scarf, and I had to make another. And then another scarf, just because. And another. And finally some gloves since I was bored of scarves. And then a sweater, because I was bored of gloves. And soon I was knitting regularly each Winter.

At about this time, we were on the cusp of exiting the Knitting Dark Ages—better fitting patterns were slowly starting to appear. Knitty was born. Debbie Stoller hit the knitting scene dashing like a cheetah on fire. With all of this and a yarn store a mere intersection over, what followed was a decent into madness, made slow only by my poor college and jobless post-college existence during the next four years. The yarn overtook my fabric stash, creeping and crawling out the closet and into my floor space. The Manflesh started to complain. And we all know, when The Manflesh who hoards scraps of metal he plucked form the street starts to complain, there's a serious issue at hand.

But the worst was yet to come. Then came the job and money. Just try and guess how fast a small collection of waste yarn from past projects exploded into a yarn stash entity in a mere year and a half. It wasn't pretty. I know there's worse out there, but it wasn't pretty. I even attempted a weak de-stash via Etsy, selling off 12 skeins of Jamieson yarns that were going to be made into a colorwork Trogdor scarf before I decided they were too scratchy.

Lately, I've been better. I still buy yarn, but I actually went back to the store and returned 3 skeins of Cascade 220 because I knew that I only needed one U-Neck Vest (from Fitted Knits). I also knew that if I can't pick the right color the first time, I ain't gonna get it the second time from the same yarn store with the same color stock. And then there was that Knitty-Noddy email, the one that tempted me to buy some special HandMaiden Sea Silk in special extra large yardage amounts with special colorways made just for them at a special price. I'll admit that I refreshed the damn secret webpage millions of times the entire weekend, whimpering as each special colorway depleted. But I never bought a single skein.

Then something like this blasted No Sheep for You book has to come along, and they actually have the nerve to host a fiber swap! How the hell is a fiber addict ever going to resist? Especially a fiber addict who's addicted to Bam Boo by Classic Elite (and has hoarded multiple skeins in every single colorway)?


More Knits, Misc

Tagged as Essays

$7 Horror

I have a confession: I keep buying the new issues of Vogue and Interweave off the newsstands. I even know exactly when each issue will be available.

Since newsstand issues are nearly double the price of subscriptions, a sensible person would just get a subscription already. There was a time in my life where it was more sensible to buy from the newsstand. That time was when I bought an issue of either publication once every blue moon—due in part because I didn't like 99.9% of the projects. That 0.1%? That's when I actually bought an issue.

I really hope this means the two magazines are getting better, rather than my taste getting worse. I have my doubts, though, as I noticed I have a tendency to hoard these knitting magazines. And when I think back to the number of completed projects made from said hoard of magazines, the grand total is zero. But I can't just toss them. No. They'll be vintage some day, and then I'll have a stash of vintage knitting magazines to call my very own. Of course, I'll be more than vintage by that time, but never mind such small details.

Every time I go to the University Bookstore and buy one of the knitting magazines, I get the same cashier. It must be fate. Every single time he rings up my magazine, he launches into this story about how when he was a child, his mother used to go to Fred Meyer's and buy really cheap yarn. And nowadays, they're selling a fancy knitting magazine for $7! The horror! And in response, I tell this cashier each and every single time that they still sell cheap yarn at Freddy's (and Walmart, and elsewhere), and that this magazine has most certainly been around longer than his mother.

He has a short memory, that cashier. He's also going to force me to buy a subscription so I don't have to have another conversation about the travesty of a $7 fashion-knitting magazine.

Shake 'Em Up

As far as I'm concerned, there are two major knitting magazines in the U.S.: Interweave Knits and Vogue Knitting International. I define these as such because they are the most widely available in newsstands and other non-knitting focused arenas. While Vogue often has creative, funky, and not always practical projects, Interweave has just the opposite. However, I'll admit right here and now that I've always been more fond of Vogue for its out-there designs and enthusiasm for pushing limits. (Sorry, Interweave, but you're just a little too much like bland potato soup for my tastes.)

That's why I was very pleased to have checked Eunny Jang's blog late last night to see that she is now the new editor for Interweave. I only recently found her blog (I managed to resist following craft blogs for longer than I'd have imagined), but I'm her newest fangirl. She comes across as ingenious, funny, and sweet. Not to mention her projects and pictures always make me want to lick my laptop screen. I really can't think of a better knitting ninja to lead Interweave than Eunny.

Because magazines plan a year ahead, it will take some time before we can see the real editorial hand with which Eunny will grace the magazine. However, I really do hope that Interweave will displace Vogue as my favorite knitting rag in the near future.

2007 Crafty Ninja Resolutions

I've never been one for New Year's resolutions, but I'm most certainly one for making lists of anything and everything, including goals. And really, what's a New Year's resolution if not a goal?

2007 Crafty Ninja Resolutions
(Most Likely To Be Updated Within Six Months)

Go Knitta Brain! Go!

You know that knitting consumes your brain when you see someone pull a book from their backpack and swear that the title is "Sweatershop Warriors." Surprised, you squint, trying to catch a glimpse of any patterns from your angle. Are the patterns warrior-like sweaters, or just really amazing delights designed by a gang of sweatershop warriors?

The person adjusts her book and then you realize that the title is in fact "Sweatshop Warriors." You lose interest and stare out the bus window instead.