Friday, August 10, 2007

Is Summer Taking A Vacation?

I’m back to wearing fleece and handknit socks today and my house thermometer measures 18 C. — not really cold but you kind of expect it to be hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk in August. I want my summer back! So do my tomatoes and cucumbers. If you see Summer anywhere, send it here please?

I finished T-Man’s socks but they need to be blocked first before they’re ready for their close-up. I’ll have full specs on them when I post next. I’m now trying to decide if I have enough projects going already or if I should cast on another pair of socks just to have some on the needles. Apart from enough balls of white Sisu to knit a whole sweater, I’m running kinda low on sock yarn. Yeah, I know. Hard to believe. Maybe I’ll dye some of the white and start a pair for DIL. Her birthday is coming up in early September anyway. However that means that I can’t just cast on immediately. I hate not having a grab-and-go project to knit. I’m left with my rather NONportable Hepburn Cardi as the knitting project du jour.

One thing I did start quite awhile ago but still don’t even have up on my sidebar is a pair of slippers. They’re knitted just like socks only in doubled Briggs & Little Heritage 2ply wool on size 11 (8mm) dpns and then fulled. Yes, I had to go buy a set of dpns that honkin’ huge. Seems my collection doesn’t go up that far. I got bamboo Crystal Palace ones and they are quite nice. I do find them somewhat hard on the hands to knit with so I can only work in little spurts. Then the poor things got shoved to the back burner while other projects attracted my interest. I do need a new pair of slippers for winter though so I need to get them done eventually before it gets cold. Oh wait. It’s cold already.

Tomorrow my Spectrum Study Group comes over here and we’ll play with some more felting. I want to try knitting another leaf pattern and see how it looks. I modified another one of Nicky Epstein’s leaves to make a longer stem. This one is from her “Knitted Embellishments” book. There are lots of leaves in that one. BTW I got all excited at a whole page of leaves shown in Knit 1 magazine (a “younger, edgier” offshoot of Vogue Knitting) only to find when I got it home that the instructions weren’t there. They were just used to illustrate a bunch of new yarns in their “green” themed issue. Pooh. Turns out all the leaves are in the “Knitted Embellishments” book! So I actually had them all along. Since there is nothing else in that issue I would ever want to make it’s too bad I didn’t know that ahead of time. Or it could have said it somewhere in the magazine, eh?

Speaking of Vogue Knitting, have you seen the ginormous 25th anniversary Fall issue yet? It has 11 covers! One after the other, on cover stock, with a profile of the yarn company and/or the designer opposite each one. Impressive. A whole bunch of interesting articles here too, including conversations with old and new designers that were fascinating to read. And there are actually a few very attractive sweaters that I would make in this issue. Interestingly some patterns are only available on the web, including a Stitch Diva hairpin lace wrap. (That’s crochet, people! In THE knitting magazine!) And some are old patterns re-knit in new yarns and re-issued. That generally annoys me because it seems the lazy way and if I already have the old magazine or book (which I do more often than not), it’s redundant. I’ve already paid for the pattern once. Though I guess I should have some sympathy for those who are new to knitting or who don’t keep every back issue forever. And there are some who must see a design in new yarns or colours before it calls to them. I’ve always been able to imagine things in different colours or textures or with modifications from the original but apparently some don’t have that ability.

I usually find that the Fall issues of knitting magazines are my favourites. Maybe because Fall is my favourite season? However, I was a little disappointed with the new issue of Interweave Knits, the first issue with Eunny Jang at the helm. The cover sweater is lovely and innovative but still wearable and I do like the new revised format. The next few sentences were edited out because they were stupid! Of course there were socks in this issue. Lots, though 5 of the patterns are on the website and not in the magazine. There isn't any lace however. Maybe I should actually read the issue before I comment?

Lastly, I like to say thanks to Peg for the comment on Robert Genn! Robert lives in my neck of the woods and much of what he paints is quite familiar to me. I remember when I ran across a show he had awhile back and I totally fell in love with his work. (Unfortunately I can’t afford it!) Yet with his newsletters he’s quite an influence on a lot of artists around the world and much that he writes is quite relevant to us craftspeople as well. Also I do love reading the comments and thoughts of other artists. They sure have different perspectives!

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