Saturday, February 28, 2009

Take A Cup Of Tea

“Tea tempers the spirit and harmonizes the mind; dispels lassitude and relieves fatigue, awakens thought and prevents drowsiness.”
- Lu Yu “the Sage of Tea”
Wise man, that old Lu Yu – even 1400 years later. (Note he used my “harmonize” word!) I’m sitting here drinking jasmine tea and feeling somewhat better about my Estonian Lace scarf. I need a new name for it. Something less general and more evocative. How about the Bead-Dazzled Diamonds Scarf? Anyway I’ve finished 4 repeats so I know it’s working out ok. I’m definitely going to have to knit more than the 16 repeats because so far it only measures about 6.5”. Even with the borders that’s not nearly long enough to wrap. The beads are looking fine but adding considerable weight to the very light yarn. Hope it’s not too much but I’m not really going to be able to assess how it will behave until I’m finished. It would be nice not to have a scarf that curls up into a tube obscuring all the knitting. Just saying.

We went on our usual weekly walk yesterday afternoon and I got several magazines that are just out. I wasn’t actually going to buy the second issue of Debbie Bliss but got seduced by a funky little cropped cardi with lace and bobbles on p. 20. I don’t much like the cotton yarn and chances are I won’t go for the pea-green colour either (though I like it) but Me Want-ums. So what did I find after checking Ravelry? The darn pattern is available for free download here! Not to mention that it is yet again one of Debbie Bliss’s recycled patterns and originally was published in 2006. Sheesh! I could have saved $9! I doubt I would have noticed it any other way though and of course the magazine isn’t going to tell you about the free download, are they now? This issue also has my favourite little bunny pattern that I’ve knit several times with handspun yarns. It’s originally from her Toy Knits book which, BTW, I own and love. There are a few other patterns in this magazine that are quite attractive too but why do I feel so ripped off when they are discovered to be previously published? Makes me think they’re kind of stale. Even if I like and don’t already have them in my possession.

Debbie Bliss patterns avoid charts like the plague. There isn’t one in this issue so if I end up knitting the lace and bobble cardi I’ll have to spend the time to chart out the pattern stitches first. I refuse to knit from a bunch of words if a simple chart will do. Oh, and don’t get me started on some of the photo styling in this issue! It’s lucky they include simple straight-ahead photos with the pattern instructions or I would be totally clueless on what the darn things actually look like. I Do Not Care where or with what the model is posing, I just want to actually see the shape and fit of the garment. Is that too much to ask? She could be a headless mannequin photographed against a blank wall. Just show me the damn sweater, please. Front and back if possible.

I also picked up the Spring 2009 issue of Interweave Knits which has consistently been my favourite knitting mag over the years. This one doesn’t have a lot that I would knit for myself but still some cute items. Some nice fine yarn and small needle stuff and lots of silk blend yarns. And at least when IK reprints patterns they are upfront about it, i.e. the lacey top from “French Girl Knits”. I haven’t had time to read it yet but the technical article from Kristen Omdahl on Shaping Lace with Short-Rows looks to be worth the price of admission. I bet you can’t guess that I love the lace shawls in here especially the Fountain Pen Shawl. Nupps! However, doesn’t the cover sweater look like it’s missing a button? Or several perhaps.

I’m feeling the urge to start a sweater Right Now but I’m controlling myself until after I complete the two exhibit pieces. Wish me luck.

4 comments:

Suzanne said...

hi Louisa
thanks for the walking onions, will put them in the patch asap. Did you knock or ring the doorbell? sorry I missed you...

Louisa said...

We were on one of our marathon walks so I didn't want to disturb you! I just tucked the onions beside your door. Glad you found them!

Trapunto said...

I like your reviews. I don't even knit or spin, and I enjoyed this one! If I start, I'll know what books to look for...

Louisa said...

I can't imagine not knowing how to knit or spin. My fingers get twitchy just thinking about it! Glad you enjoy my scribblings anyway, Trapunto! I just realised how grumpy I sounded when I wrote this post. Heh.