Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I received the third package from my Knitty Secret Pal 5 yesterday! I have no idea who she is, but she really knows what I like!

The package in all its glory

2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino and 4 skeins of Debbie Bliss SoHo! The only question is what I'm going to do with this gorgeous yarn???

A pair of Lantern Moon ebony needles. My secret pal introduced these to me in the last package, and I love them! I'm waiting anxiously until they make circulars.

These photos really need no explanation, do they? She sent extra chocolate (really, tons!), because my husband rudely ate all the Cadbury chocolate (the real kind, not the stuff made by Hershey masquerading as Cadbury).

Three--count 'em--three Debbie Bliss pattern books! I can't wait to get started on some of the patterns in here! Now I just need more time and some adorable babies to knit for.

Thank you, Secret Pal, whoever you are! I'm looking forward to finding out who you are, so I can thank you properly! You have been so generous and kind, sending me so many beautiful things!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Knitting and the Age Divide

I was reading The Knitting Curmudgeon's blog the other day, and she brought up an interesting point--maybe there's no real "age divide" between knitters. Maybe it's divided by interest or style instead. I think she's onto something.

This is a topic I'd been thinking about a week or so before Marilyn's post. I went to an NYC knitting store to knit with Karen. Sitting at the window were the regular Friday night knitters, all working on something from the latest Vogue Knitting. There were a few other people who seemed to have their own group going on, all knitting the latest trendy sweater or accessory. One even had the yarn to make that monstrosity on the cover of the latest VK. (If you like this design, we need to talk. Seriously.)

The point is, this is one of the two types of knitters you'll find in NYC. The trendy, hip knitters who are always making something that costs a fortune to make and will be out of fashion by next year.

The other type is essentially the same thing, but older. These are the people who have knitted the same garments since 1980 and never really venture into newer styles.

I always wonder where the "other" people are--those who are fairly adventurous in their knitting and like to hone their craft, but are also interested in adding new techniques and styles to their repertoire, so to speak. You find one or two at knitting groups, but too often it's the same people making the same set of legwarmers/shrug/fingerless mittens as everyone else. (Not to say that I have never made any of those, but still.)

In other news, I just found out on Sunday that one of my closest friends at work is probably leaving. This (along with various other issues that have cropped up in the last few months) has made me begin to think about going elsewhere, though it's nothing more than a thought at this point.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Two new books!

I received two knitting books from Amazon last week, and I digested them a bit over the weekend.

Handknit Holidays, by Melanie Falick
What a beautifully photographed book! This is one of those rare knitting books that is so well laid out that the designs look even better than they are. There are a few misses, such as the cover design and the poncho and matching dog sweater, but there are several projects of varying degrees of difficulty that I can see myself making. I've already bought the yarn for the vintage gloves (without the beading) and the gansey sweater, the first sweater I will knit for my husband. There are some very special designs in here, like Annie Modesitt's lace tablecloth and Teva Durham's aran tree skirt. Several of the designs are holiday-neutral, but there are a number of Christmas designs.

The Knitting Experience, Book 3: Color, by Sally Melville
Let me get this out of the way first: most of the designs in here are either not my style or just plain fugly. I doubt I will make more than one or two, if that. Don't let that turn you off, however. This book is easily worth its cover price. Melville is a great teacher and includes instruction for every kind of knitting using color that you can think of--intarsia, stranded (fair isle, though she steers clear of that term), knitting with handpainted yarns, and slip-stitch designs. What I like best, I think, is that she shows a number of methods for accomplishing the same goal. For example, she shows three different ways of holding the yarn for fair isle knitting--both in left hand, both in right hand, one in each hand. She also gives instructions for holding one strand around the neck. It seems that, too often, an author chooses one way of knitting as "correct," when we all know that there are as many ways to knit as there are knitters.

In other knitting news, I'm cranking away at the holiday list. Still working on a couple of items, but I did get a pair of felted clogs knitted up and ready to go. I think the lace scarf for my mother is going to be the project that comes down to the wire.

After more than a week, I haven't heard from the friend whose daughter received the lovely Samantha sweater. I'm not really sure how to take this; I even emailed to confirm that she received the package. Still nothing. I'm debating calling, but I don't want to sound desperate for gratitude. She used to be a fantastic person, but now I'm not so sure what's going on. At this point, it almost needs to be something serious (though I obviously don't want anything bad to happen to her or her family). It's strange that this bothers me much more than not getting a thank you for the throw I knitted for my cousin's wedding. If there's one time in your life you should send a thank you note, it's for your wedding. Oh, well, I'll stick to the registry from now on and only buy or knit for friends' kids when I know they'll at least acknowledge the thought.

I nearly forgot to add that my parents picked up the spinning wheel! The Schacht is sitting where the tree will be when it's put up around the first week of December. Mom's putting a big bow on it, and I'm going to get cranking while everyone else is opening their far inferior gifts. The store was closing out their fiber, too, so I got some nice tops for good prices. One is a mohair blend, and the other is a Corriedale, I think. I really wish I could have been there to see my dad in a yarn store!