Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What's black, white, read, etc., etc.

No, not my Milton paper (wish me luck or something)--this.

It's a bit weird to me that the artist insists that turning your newspapers into yarn is good for making "tangible" memories--you can't read the paper, she says, but sometimes you can see snatches of dates or words. Playing devil's advocate for a moment, why is it necessary to "justify" art by insisting that a piece has tangible value? It's not a huge leap from "tangible" value to capital, either; making memories tangible also makes them buy-able, so sign me up for an October 24, 1983, newspaper yarn rug, you know? Is it an accident, I wonder, that the article reads a whole lot like somebody's trying to sell me something? And that her text (which seems to have been translated from the Dutch) reads like a catalogue? And I, a trained (indoctrinated?) consumer and moreover used to the insistence that 1) "indie" yarn is hand-dyed art and therefore I should feel better (more organic? more artistic?) about using it because it's not commercially made, and 2) that you can put a price--often a high(er) price--on "indie" hand-dyed/hand-spun yarn, immediately went looking for her web site so I could see how much the stuff cost. It doesn't--it's part of her portfolio and she just graduated from a design academy; she's selling herself (1).

(1) I happily sweep intentionality off the table, but I do wonder what her statement is; it's not a terrible way to think about memory--bits and pieces woven into a larger tapestry (or sturdy doormat)--or about (god help me) "culture." The idea that something else (/"different") can be made out of newspaper.

I wonder if the stuff is as flammable as newspaper usually is. On a more technical note, I wonder what she's plying it with--there's some kind of thread, it looks like, wrapped around the newspaper tubes. Is she using a spinning wheel? Or is she doing it by hand? I was also surprised at how colorful the tubes were; I forget that newspaper isn't--well--black and white anymore.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Caught up in Webs

So we may not have made the pilgrimage, but we did get some relics from the fiber arts mecca that is Northhampton, MA. This tote bag is so sturdy. It will be perfect for yarn I mean books then next time I have a lot to carry home from the yarn shop I mean library. And it's cat approved, too. Check out that skein sticking out from the top -- that's my first even skein of Noro Silk Garden, and it is so special I'm almost afraid to use it. Should I follow Sarah G's lead and tackle a beanie or should I plan on a Fake Isle hat? Or do I dare attempt these lovely mittens, as difficult as they look? Luckily, I do not have time to make any of these things, so I can just enjoy this moment of anticipation.

And speaking of pilgrimages, tomorrow is the Yarn Harlot! There is a lot that has to happen before we get there, but it is nice to have something to look forward to.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Dear Abby,

Is it possible to accidentally buy yarn?

I realize that this entails, say, the googling of "yarn shop," and a few errant keystrokes in the sale section of Knitch, but--you know, given enough monkeys and enough typewriters, you get Hamlet, right? It's harder to explain one's wallet accidentally unzipping and one's credit card number accidentally appearing on screen, but weirder things have happened. Look at Michael Jackson.

Send me your thoughts as soon as possible, c/o debtor's prison.

Not That This Has Happened To Me Or Anything

Friday, October 12, 2007

The sun also rises.

I don't want you to get too excited, Reader--perhaps you'd better sit down--but we are going to see the Yarn Harlot a week from today. A week and eleven hours from right this very moment. This is all thanks to the sharp-eyed Sarah G at Yardage, who, I think we can logically conclude, must have some kind of super power, because she found this out even though Stephanie hasn't put it up on her website yet.

I have been doing some knitting myself, although not quite as fervently as Lilyriver. I have been working on some gift knitting for friends I won't write about here, partly because progress has stalled out. I've also been working on a pair of Knucks--also a gift, but for a non-reader of the blog, I think--that I plan on embroidering with Nikki Sixx's knuckle tattoos. It's rather more difficult than I expected to find you a picture of this. She would know in a heartbeat, but--well. ETA: Aha! Top right. I will be so pleased with myself if I can make the embroidery look halfway decent. The Knucks pattern is practically genius, as it's knit top down and comes together fantastically well. I'm using Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed, which is about 85% wool and 15% silk and cashmere, I think, and it knits up beautifully. I ordered a couple skeins in Aran weight to use for a hat I'm planning. Uh, for myself.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Way We Were

I don't believe I ever shared a photo of my last finished project of the summer. This is Stefanie Japel's Orangina, knit in Lamb's Pride Cotton Fine on size 4 needles. It was a very satisfying project because it's made me believe that I might have it in me to be a lace knitter. This is not to say that I want to chuck all my other projects and start knitting my way through Victorian Lace Today, but it's nice to know that a pretty shawl in a simple lace pattern might not be beyond my abilities. I'm very impressed with the yarn I used for this -- it has a little wool in it, which really does help it to hold its shape, I think. It's been blocked and worn several times and washed and worn again and it's only improving in appearance, which I'm thrilled about. Most of my projects seem so fragile once they're off the needles and on my body, but this feels like it's meant to be used.

Yet, alas, summer is beginning to fade and there will be less and less use for lacy cotton tops. Look how happy and carefree I am in the photo! I don't expect to look that way again for-- what's the date, again? -- oh, about four or five years.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

More than one way to wear a hat...

...especially if the hat is accidentally oversized and floppy. Lately I've been just ambushed with work and have been able to steal so few moments for knitting that blogging hasn't seemed as exciting as it once did. I have finished two hats recently, however. One of them, a cabled Utopia hat in my new favorite worsted weight wool, Mission Falls 1824, was sent away before I took pictures of it, but the other has been photographed from literally every angle. It's Ysolda's Urchin pattern from the latest edition of Knitty. I knitted with desperate speed with the first super bulky yarn I could get my hands on, Paton's Rumor, which is full of acrylic but comes in lovely colors. The hat is just plain too big, but it's also kind of fun.

And I'd like to close this post, such as it is, with a shout-out to our good friend over at Yardage, whose awesome new knitting blog has nudged me back in the saddle.