Monday, February 27, 2012

Trouble In Blogger-Land

This is just a quick post to say that many folks have been having issues with Blogger’s “new improved” captcha to foil comment spammers. I am one of those who have trouble reading the so-called words that you have to type and it adds considerable time and difficulty to what should be a straightforward comment post. Yuck. So I have decided to join the movement to Go Bare and have taken off my word verification. We’ll see how it goes. If I get more than a few spam comments, I may unfortunately have to reinstate it. I’m hoping for kindness and consideration – and world peace and an end to hunger and cancer too, while I’m at it! OK. We can only hope, huh?

Meanwhile, I’m doing the Happy Dance! I got a couple of new books in the mail. The one I am most excited about is this book:

perfectfitting The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting by Sarah Veblen, contributor to Threads magazine and PatternReview.

This book has just been released and I’m wondering where it has been all my sewing life! The 650 clear photos are just so helpful. The essence of Sarah’s technique is to make a muslin, try it on, make necessary changes and then transfer the changes back to the pattern. She focuses mostly on the bodice since of course that’s where most garments (tops, blouses, dresses, jackets and coats) begin. Less space is given to skirts and pants fitting - though I’m sure you could easily expand pants into another whole book. However, what I like best is Sarah’s inclusion of why fitting issues happen and the reasons we need to learn to “read” what the cloth is trying to tell us. She maintains that you can’t do that as well using just the pattern tissue.

I’m truly wishing for a good sewing buddy now since you can’t really use this method on a dress-form. And a bolt of muslin would be helpful too. And here I was always trying to avoid making muslins! Maybe a necessary step towards my goal of pattern independence? I can totally see myself haunting the cheap fabric section for super-bargains now.

The second exciting addition to the library is this book:

PrinciplesKnitting The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt. Revised and updated.

I’ve been trying to get hold of a copy of this book ever since I saw it in the public library back in the day. I couldn’t read the whole thing in one lending period or even a couple of renewals! Besides I knew I would want to refer to it often. Unfortunately the original went out of print and became a legend to the point where copies were going for astronomical sums on eBay. I’m so glad that June was finally convinced to recreate, revise and update her work for us oldies who remember it as a treasure-house and also for a new crop of inquiring knitting minds.

This is like the Encyclopaedia Britannica of Knitting at over 700 pages. The style is still a little old-fashioned because it’s only illustrated by a sprinkling of black and white photos and drawings. The text on the other hand is super dense! June doesn’t just tell you how to do something, she tells you when, where and why. This is the key to this book’s appeal to the more academic knitters and designers who want to go beyond just learning a new technique. However I wouldn’t really recommend it for visual learners or those who just want to see how to do a particular stitch. There are much clearer and simpler books with more illustrations for that. My go-to favourite is Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook. (My copy is the older-named Handknitter’s Handbook and complete with Post-It notes.) And of course there’s always the Internet and You-Tube with videos. Principles is a much chewier meal! And it’s going to take me a number of sittings to digest what this book has to offer. Oh yum!

1 comment:

Sharon in Surrey said...

I'm so glad you got rid of the antispam thingie - sometimes the words are impossible to read no matter how many times I tried!!! I've always been 'bare' without problems - well, except for the comments of my 'friends' hehehe. I mean, they have to know you're there to start with & with so many thousands of blogs out there . . . So WOW, you're gonna 'drape a muslin' to make things fit??? Techie, techie