Tag Archives: knitting

A fine match

Way back in 2005, OCLC*  celebrated the cataloging of its one billionth record by sending out pins with their WorldCat logo on it. Mine has sat pristinely in its little plastic bag from that day until now, since I’m not much of a pin-wearer. But I have finally found the perfect item to wear it with.

(Hint: compare the structure of the shawlette with the structure of the WorldCat logo.)

I talk about knitting the shawlette itself on Silver Threads.

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*OCLC (Online Computer Library Center, Inc.) is a library organization that, among other things, runs WorldCat, an online public access catalog (it’s a single catalog of what lots of libraries have in their collections).

Vampires + knitting

I’m not actually dissing the book I’m about to talk about. I haven’t read it, for one thing: it doesn’t come out until September 14. The few patterns I’ve seen have looked attractive, although I’m not likely to make any of them—I don’t wear many shawls or shrugs, my diaries all have very nice covers of their own and don’t need knitted covers, and my Ravelry queue is well into its second page, so it’s not like I need more projects in my life. Really, about the only criticism I can make is that I think the cover model’s lipstick is too garish, and that’s likely to be exactly the effect the photographer was trying to create. If this book is a hit, Genevieve Miller and her publisher have been savvy about the market and have no doubt earned their reward.

Vampire Knits

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn by Genevieve Miller

Despite all those disclaimers, the whole concept behind the book irritates me. Mind you, I barely noticed the knitting books from a few years ago that featured a Harry Potter theme, and wouldn’t you think that was basically the same thing? But I don’t think that bothered me nearly so much because knitting was part of Rowling’s world, from the sweaters Molly Weasley was always knitting as gifts to Hermione’s magically-generated charitable knitting. (Clearly Hermione did not have a knitting temperament. I can’t imagine magical knitting is all that fun. Even with machine knitting, your hands touch the work.) So books that mixed Hogwarts with knitting weren’t bringing together two completely unrelated ideas. By contrast, no one has ever made a point of telling me that Bella is a knitter, so I suspect the Twilight series is fiber-free. I don’t recall reading about a knitting character in the Anita Blake or Rachel Morgan series either. So I’m trying to tell myself that combining vampires with knitting is an original approach. It’s also an innovative way to have vampires in a nonfiction context. It’s not likely to be a book about people who believe themselves to be true vampires or a guide to dealing with the psychic vampires in your life.

And I have just written all that and I’m trying to be fair-minded, but…but…look, can you jump the shark in publishing, or is that just a television term? Because if we’re getting knitting books about vampires, I think we’ve hit that point now. Is it that the genre fiction market has finally hit the saturation point, that writers and publishers now need to expand into nonfiction or wither away? Isn’t it time for a new trend yet?

[takes deep breath, prepares to back away from the keyboard]

Oh, actually, I do have another little criticism (more of an ironic observation) of the book itself, again, about something I can see without having a copy in hand. Like I said, I’ve seen some pictures of the projects at KnitPicks.com, and really, they are attractive patterns. But of the twelve photos KnitPicks is featuring, nine appear to have been taken outside in daylight. Daylight?!

Blog news

A bit of blogging experience under my belt, and I’m working a few changes. First off, I’m splitting off the knitting and crocheting parts of Fine Print (what little of them there were) to another blog altogether. If you wish to keep up with my occasional musings on the minutiae of yarn projects, come see me at Silver Threads.* It’s still under construction, but I suppose I could keep adding words to it, even if it doesn’t look quite like I want it to yet.

The reason for the change? Self-consciousness. In a blog-of-all-topics, I feel like I should try to make any knitting posts as accessible as possible. If I keep them on a knitting blog, I can use knitting lingo without reservation—after all, the audience has been warned. I can wail about the reduced availability of yarn that knits up to 4 sts/1″, knowing that the audience should be sympathetic. Or at least that they’ll know what I’m wailing about. And those who just can’t muster a lot of interest about knitting beyond wanting to see photos of finished projects will not have to do so. Win, win!

*No membership required. Just come by and view the blog.

November 3, 2012: edited to update link to Silver Threads.

Pidgephilia

Let’s see, I have how many sweaters and vests in progress? It’s only how long until the state fair? And despite this, I’ve let myself get obsessed with making multiples of a neckwarmer called The Pidge.*

pink PidgeSee, while I do make a number of knitted scarves, I don’t wear them all that often. Even the softest fiber is hard-pressed to compete with the non-itchiness of polyester fleece. Despite this, though, when I saw a Pidge being modeled at my LYS, I decided to try one. Mostly it was an excuse to use chunky baby alpaca. My office is frigid in the winter, but even so, I thought a whole sweater of chunky baby alpaca would be overdoing it. One little neckwarmer, though, using only one hank? Much more reasonable. The pattern was even free with purchase of yarn. I could indulge in alpaca (wonderfully soft) without bankrupting myself, and if I didn’t actually wear The Pidge much, at least I hadn’t wasted much time, money, yarn, or effort.

peachy PidgeBut somewhere along the line, one little neckwarmer became multiple little neckwarmers. I’m not discounting the excuse to knit with alpaca explanation, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.** I think it’s the feeling of accomplishment as well. I love knitting sweaters, but it takes time to do one. My guess is that I need to finish something every now and then, for my psychological health. Since the Pidge is knit on size 11 needles, it just zooms along. And unlike most knitters, I don’t knit socks all that much. I need a small portable project sometimes and the Pidge meets that need.

Still, the fair is coming, and my Ravelry queue isn’t getting any shorter. Must stop knitting Pidges I probably won’t wear all that often. Must finish the current sweater. Must get going on the next sweater.  Really.

*I’m sufficiently clueless not to know why it’s called that and sufficiently single-minded not to care much. I’m assuming there’s a trend out there somewhere that knitters picked up on.

**Nor is it always applicable. After all, one of the Pidges I’m planning would only be 50% baby alpaca (the other 50% would be merino wool).