Thursday, August 30, 2007

Check Out my Booty...uh...Bootie?

So my best friend in the world is pregnant.

This is excellent news on the knitting front. There's nothing like sitting down to an episode of Jon Stewart on the TiVo with a new project, and having it done by the time the episode is over.

Ah, the joy of baby booties.

I have made exactly one bootie, from Erika Knight's Simple Knits for Cherished Babies, a book my mother bought for me when I told her I was engaged. Ah, mothers.

It is the cutest thing I've ever made. It's on display, and my M.A.P. walks by it in the house and glances at it out of the corner of his eye with a combination of dread and uncontrollable excitement. I keep reminding him it is not for us.

But it is so cute, I can understand his temptation.

Does Erika Knight have a blog? I can't find it if she does.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Yay! Soul-mate! (She just doesn't know it yet...)

Right after my free-form rant of my last post I watched a rerun of Knitty-Gritty and the guest was Lisa Shobhana Mason. Her blog is My Life in Stitches. At first I loved her because she was hot and had awesome hair and very cool glasses. (As a four-eyes myself I can appreciate her selection.) Then she mentioned something about there being two types of knitters (correct if I'm misquoting horribly)--those who are interested in patterns, and those who are interested in colors. And SHE is interested in colors.

When I saw her sample work at the end of the show, fabulously shaped and structured yet free-spirited sweaters, I knew I had found my soul-mate. (Lisa, if you are reading this, I promise I am not scary. I'm an English professor. I'm like the least scary person in the world. Okay, that's actually a lie, I can be scary sometimes especially if you are a slacker in my class, but I believe in nonviolence. So much for reassurances.)

In short, support this V.C.P.!! (very cool person) Go buy her books! Now!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Free-Form and Knit v. Crochet

There are a few things I've discovered over the few months I've been on hiatus from this blog.

I am a free-form fiber artist. That's all there is to it. I hate following a pattern and counting stitches, and I'm most happiest when I'm knitting or crocheting an item without any pattern at all, with only an inspiration and a tape measure. When I do use a pattern, I start following with the best intentions, and then just diverge. I'm the Roberta Frost of knitting.

I read Dominitrix, and tried to take her advice, but it just didn't stick. And it's not that I don't like creating slim-fitting items or precision knits, I just like to do it differently than line-by-line patterns. I prefer a three-dimensional architectural approach.

You know how people fall into two camps when you give them directions to a place they've never been? Some just want to know when to turn right, and when to turn left. Others want to know the full picture, the cardinal directions, plus they want to see a map to discover where the voyage fits in the grander geography of the area. I'm a cardinal direction person. Left and right don't mean anything except in a very narrow context. But if you know where north is, you can always get home.

Same with knitting--if a pattern doesn't provide the overall structural context of a garment, I don't bother with it, because then I can't make modifications. And eventually, when the modifications surpass the pattern, the garment becomes something completely original. Imperfections can be incorporated into your work. (Wrong turns can be made right, without backtracking.) I'm not sure if the metaphor holds, but you see what I mean.

Second discovery: I'm far more confident with crocheting than with knitting even though I hardly do it any more. Time and experience matter after all. That one seems pretty self-evident, but I didn't figure it out until today.