Friday, March 28, 2003

Knitting - The New Denial

How many folks would listen to a raving lunatic on the street screaming about UFO's and give him credence?
How many folks would listen to an editorial writer who claimed that knitting was putting women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant and give her credence?

Worrying About Ignorant Folk
As some of you know, my partner is a recovering alcoholic. I've accompanied my co-alcoholic to some Alcoholics Anonymous meetings so I could get a sense about what he was going through. At one of those meetings, a man had just finished sharing, and a woman in the group stood up in a huff and starting raving about what a lousy meeting this was, and that they shouldn't even consider it a valid AA meeting. She seemed enraged that some rule, that was unknown to me, was broken by the man who had just finished sharing. She then proceeded to storm out of the meeting cursing and yelling.

I was aghast. I turned to my partner and asked what sin the man had committed that made the woman so enraged. He replied that the man had done nothing and that the woman did this every month or so on a regular basis.

The AA meeting continued as if nothing had happened, and no validity or even acknowledgement seemed necessary that they were sane, and the woman clearly was not.

It was an important lesson for me. Ever since, I'm more willing to look to my own experience about an issue, even when others might be poking sticks at it.

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I am unapologetically passionate about knitting. It was obvious to me that the woman who wrote the editorial had no idea what she was talking about, or if she did, the article clearly did not reflect my experience of knitting.

My only question is what would cause a herd of knitsheep to get so upset by her invalid theory. I can only think that there is some insecurity on their part that would allow them to question their own experience.

I guess I've wasted enough blog space on this issue, but this is about the third time since December that this kind of issue has made me realize that some folks have the confidence of their convictions, and others will take every opportunity to question those convictions.

Knit Progress
I finished the back of the block cardigan last night. Overall, I like how it looks.

Here's a graphical representation that Matt from ThreadBear Fibers put together. It shows the colors more realistically than my digital camera can.

Here's also a picture that shows the original colors of the sweater in Brooks Brothers, where I stole this design idea. The original sweater with color blocks is no longer in the window, but you can get a sense of what it would look like based on the colors in this sweater.

Finally, I've designed (on paper only) a new sweater with smaller blocks and lots of pattern designs and LOTS more colors. I'm hoping Matt will collaborate on this one and provide the color selection. I think with our combined talents we could come up with something truly stunning.

Monday, March 24, 2003

Meeting a Curmudgeon

Who would have thought meeting a curmudgeon could be so much fun.

Sunday Visiting
My Tomato Factory/Simply Knit friend Kathy and I got the opportunity to meet Marilyn of Knitting Curmudgeon fame.

I'm not sure if you're like me or not, but I always over-idealize folks who I've never met, and I'm almost always disappointed when they don't match the image of perfection I've concocted in my mind about them. They never seem to turn out quite as smart, or quite as funny, or quite as fascinating as I expect them to.

Marilyn had some pretty extraordinary shoes to fill, since I had never met her in person, and only knew her through her blog and via e-mail correspondence.

I have to say, Marilyn is as clever, witty and sharp-tongued as I had imagined her to be. The prize was how normal she is. And I don't mean "normal" as in "pedestrian", or "boring", or as she might construe it, the opposite of "rare". I mean she really is a real person. She's extremely down-to-earth, and straighforward. and easy to be with.

Overall, it was nice being with two of my people...knitters.

Marilyn and Kathy also have very discriminating eyes for knit design. I took advantage of that to ask about my new sweater design.

Marilyn and I agreed that I need to change the ribbing color, but that the sweater will look fine when it's all done.

Marilyn also took a picture of Kathy during the meeting, at which point my camera battery promptly died (the two occurrences had NOTHING to do with each other), so I have no other picture to post of our illustrious first meeting.

It's not a great picture of the sweater, but Kathy (the Koigu Queen) is wearing a magnificent jacket in crocheted Koigu. Amazingly beautiful. Also, for those who don't know Kathy at all, she was one of the designers at Tomato Factory, and she was also formerly an owner/designer at Simply Knit.

Chock-a-Block Cardigan
I am so grateful for all the praise, suggestions and ideas for the colorway on the new cardigan design.

One thing I should have mentioned in my preferences for colorwork. I won't use black as the background for a multi-color garment. I personally think it makes a sweater look too commercial. I've seen it used very successfully, but I just don't find it to be a viable solution.

Matt of ThreadBear Fiber helped me out enormously by doing graphics to show my color combinations with and without certain colors. He and I think very similarly in terms of traditional color mixing, so I was very grateful for his help. Look at what he put together for me...amazing.

This picture shows three of the five graphics Matt used to show me how darkening the teal color (and the lavender) would make this an overall richer, more coordinated color combination.

He also sells some fine yarns (including Jamieson DK and Koigu) at internet discounted prices. You have to check out his blog and site if you're in the market for yarn (a shameless promotion of his site was the LEAST I could do for his help and advice).

Saturday, March 22, 2003

New Project Progress

Still not sure I'm liking the new cardigan design.

Color Moron
Some folks have an innate sense of color. They can balance colors, put together interesting combinations and pull off amazingly beautiful knitwear designs. My friend/local yarn store owner, Carol Lapin is one of those folks. I, unfortunately, am not. Carol is quite talented at choosing color combinations that work the first time around. She's working on a new design, for which you will get a sneak preview.

I, on the other hand, have started the new cardigan color block design, and I'm concerned the colors just don't work as well as I had hoped. Here's what I've done so far.

I like the design concept of different blocks with different pattern stitches. I'm just not sure if I like the color combinations. I've decided I'll wait till I'm done with the back, and then decide. While it would suck to have to rip out the entire back, it would be worth it if I could find a stunning color combination. I'll be meeting up with two folks who I trust tomorrow, I'll show them the garment and ask for their opinion.

Contest Prizes
Sarah, Antonio and Tara, your prizes were mailed out today. Antonio and Tara, you should get yours on Tuesday or Wednesday. Sarah, yours should hopefully arrive by (hers went to the UK).

Booby Prize - Again
While I've decided not to punish any of the QSAT respondents with a booby prize, I did want to show that I do have an incredibly ugly pink yarn (I realized it's not really boucle, but it is VERY ugly). I could also supplement it with some lovely Lion Brand Jiffy. It amazes even me that I still have this shit in my stash.

As Hilary mentioned in the comments, Lanaknits folks were away for a couple of weeks. I called them on the day of their return, and they are processing my order. I always love talking with Canadian yarn store owners...they're usually so much more pleasant to deal with than American yarn store owners.

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Mercury In Retrograde

Despite the fact that it's not, it should be.

Communications Issues
Based on Antonio's vast understanding of the astrological world, Mercury is NOT in retrograde. But my communications issues continue. The most grievous example is the Haloscan comments on my page.

Folks were telling me that my page was taking a long time to load, so I went and reduced the size of every one of the pictures on it, so it would use a little less bandwidth. Unfortunately, accessing the Haloscan comments server has continued adding delays to the page loading time. Fortunately, I think Haloscan has fixed the problem, and the page should load more quickly. It's hard to complain since the comments service is free.

I've also posted a change to the way that comments load which should avoid this problem the next time Haloscan goes down. Phil Ringnalda has posted a more complex script that will help to bypass javascripts when they aren't available. I don't understand a word of what I added, but it seems to still work.

Knitting Content
With technical issues hopefully behind me, I've been able to focus some on my kid alpaca knitting.

The bedspread has 412 stitches across and has about 8 or 10 rows per inch. So each inch of knitting requires...I'll let Marilyn and Kathy figure it out since they love math so much.

But suffice it to say, every inch takes for-freakin'-ever.

Hemp Sweater
Well, the verdict is in. I hate the Renaissance Hotel housekeeping staff in Baltimore (on the Inner Harbor).

They couldn't find the pattern I left in my nightstand last week, so I had to order a new one. While I was at it, I also ordered another cone of hemp yarn in a color that I will like better than the brown I'm working on now. But the sucky thing is, I won't be able to proceed until it comes in.

Ordering on-line with Lanaknits is kind of odd. I haven't received any e-mail confirmation of the order, so I'm hopeful it went through correctly. Maybe I'll try giving them a call later today to confirm. Their web site doesn't give a phone number for them, so I may have to do some investigation to find them.

Willie Warmer Pattern

Sorry about the 3/17/03 post where I forgot to link to the actual pattern. Here's the link for those looking for the pattern:

Click Here

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Booby Prize

I have always had an incredibly bad memory for certain things. Thank goodness for folks who remind me.

Contest - Again
Antonio, the second prize winner of the contest reminded me that I was supposed to award a booby prize.

But now, I'm perplexed and befuddled.

Should I award it to the person with the lowest score? That would be Antonio's first lame attempt with a score of 10, and I can't give him two prizes.

Should I award it to the person who tried too hard? That would have to be Stephanie with some of the worst attempts to rhyme that you would ever imagine. The follow up to this line, "Is he waxed, is he permed, is he plucked?" I will leave to your own dirty little imagination.

Should I award it to the person who knows me personally who got a 14 on the quiz? That would be Kathy. Ask Kathy what her confirmation name is. No angry inch there (I don't think).

And even if I could decide on who was most unworthy, there would be the issue of trying to decide on the so-called prize. Would it be pink acrylic boucle? Would it be a bag of leftover scraps and a coffee-stained printout of the Wonderful Wallaby pattern? Would it be a Willie Warmer made of Lopi Light? Should the gift be matched to the recipient?

I give up...I've decided none of the responses was pathetic enough to merit a booby prize. Unless I hear some valid rationale for changing my mind, I'm reneging on the booby prize.

Gage doesn't seem to care.

Current Project Progress
I've made some headway on the alpaca bedspread. It's looking quite good if I do say so myself. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this baby alpaca. Despite the VERY ugly color of the yarn (which I plan on dyeing after the fact), this yarn is luxuriously soft and nice to work with. I know a lot of folks that use it double or treble it so that it works up faster. At $1 per hank, it's easy to do that.

New Blog Ring
Yes, just what the internet blogging world needed, a new blog ring. You'll notice I have a new link in my blog ring section. Jerry Gaiser has been thoughtful enough to start a blog ring for men who knit. It's just a high testosterone version of the other fiber blog rings.

Actually, I think there's only two of us on the ring right now, but hopefully all you male knit bloggers will sign up and we'll show the world that there truly is a huge network of men out there knitting. You can blame me for the lame graphic. If any budding graphic artists would care to submit entries, I'd be more than happy to replace it.

Bloggers Meeting
I get to meet Marilyn of Knitting Curmudgeon fame this weekend. She, Kathy and I are going for a walk-through of Simply Knit and then for a nice lunch on Sunday. I know I'm no Annie Modesit (who Marilyn met up with a couple of weeks ago), but it should be fun nonetheless.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Willie Warmer Pattern

For those of you who are interested in making a Willie Warmer, I have asked my web-friend Robert if I could post his modifications to the Pot Wench's original Willie Warmer pattern. I also modified Robert's version of, so I've included my adaptations too.

Click here for the pattern. That pattern also has a link to the picture of my Willie Warmer done in Rowan Kid Silk Haze (someone said they thought the color was called "Juice" inappropriate is that?)

New Design Concept
After I carefully reviewed the Brooks Brothers woman's cardigan all last week, I went to the yarn store this past weekend and picked up some different colors to make a men's version of the sweater. I've swatched the yarn (Jamieson DK) and I've charted out the blocks, and various pattern stitches that I intend on using.

I didn't feel like carrying all this yarn with me to Baltimore, so I'll start it this weekend when I get back home.

Current Project
When I was packing for the week, I picked up the alpaca bedspread/coffin cover. I figure I can try to catch up on my "one inch each week" goal for this. I started it around the middle of December, so I should have about 12 or 13 inches done. I've only gotten about 8 inches so far. Once I've got it up to 12 inches, I'll post a picture of it.

Contest Winners
Well, you all know who the winners were, since I announced them yesterday, but here are the prize selections:

Sarah From England: Jamieson Chunky Yarn with canvas bag
Antonio from Philadelphia: Joselyn's Sock Yarn
Tara from Brooklyn: Simply Knit book.

Congratulations again, and thanks everyone for a fun first contest. It makes me want to have more. Especially since my limerick didn't win on Wendy's Blog.

Is Mercury in Retrograde?
I don't know much about astrology, but someone told me that when Mercury is in retrograde, communications get all messed up. Well, first of all, Haloscan (who does the comments on my blog) messing up all weekend and flickering on and off all day. And now I find that my company e-mail is blocking any Yahoo Group mail, and I've been bouncing e-mail to all my groups. What a pain.

Monday, March 17, 2003

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Normally I renounce my Irish heritage at this time of year. Who wants to be associated with the drunken spectacle that happens each year in New York city...especially when they don't let queers march anyway.

Even if my poor feeble mind had remembered, I wouldn't have worn green today. That's my way of protesting the bigotry of the organization that won't allow the Irish gay group to march in the parade.

When anyone asks me "Where's your green?", I just tell them I'm not allowed to wear green.

Speaking of which...that was one question almost everyone got correct on the QSAT.

Contest Results
As amazing as it sounds, there was one contestant who got all 20 answers correct, as well as the extra credit question. It seems the most successful respondents to the quiz were those folks that were good at

web research, knew where to find answers from my web site, and thought to ask my sister (of sister-sweater fame) for some of the other answers. Now you know why I felt like I had stalkers.

The Winners
There were a total of 43 entries to the contest and some very funny answers to the quiz. The three winners are:

First Place: Sarah - From the U.K. with ALL 21 answers correct
Second Place: Antonio - From Philadelphia who got 18 of the 21 answers correct
Third Place: Tara - Of who-knows-where

Congratulations to all three of you and thanks everyone for participating in the QSAT. I'll be contacting the winners today via e-mail to find out which of the three prizes they get.

QSAT Answers
For those who would like to check their answers, you can click here to see the original quiz and the acceptable answers.

Friday, March 14, 2003

Queer Knit Blogging

It's great how popular knit blogging is becoming.

QueerKnit Blog Ring
It's been a while since I took a spin around the QueerKnit ring and it's grown substantially. Some excellent blogging going on out there. It's good to see that queer and queer-friendly knitting is popular enough to generate so many blogs.

I while ago, I mentioned one of my favorite local artists (and overall wonderful person), Jane Gilday. I even put a photo of one of her paintings that I own. It turns out that she contacted me after doing a google search to thank me for "pimping" her work (her words, not mine). She also offered to do a trade of art for knitting.

Given her amazing talent, I felt I would win out in that deal, but we'll hopefully be able to work something out that will be make us both happy. I'm including a couple more of her pieces. This first one is titled, "Do you remember Heaven, or id you buy all the crap?"

Here's the other painting of Jane's we own. It holds the place of honor directly over our bed.

Both pieces are amazing. Thaddeus and I are fortunate that we met Jane years before she started gaining popularity. Her pieces are now sold regularly at a local art dealers for big bucks, but we've always thought they were worth more than we paid for them. If you ever get to Lambertville, NJ, check out the art dealer...Hrefna Jonsdottir

Hemp Sweater
I was able to successfully get a sleeve started on Wednesday night even though I was finding the directions a little hard to comprehend. But, it's looking like a sleeve. The only problem I have now, is that I left the pattern for the sweater in my hotel room, and no one has brought it to the lost and found yet. If they don't have it for me on Monday when I check in, I'll have to contact Lanaknits and order a new one.

I may decide to order more hemp while I'm at it...we'll see.

Other yarn purchases
Last weekend, I was at Simply Knit, and they had gotten in a lot of their new Spring/Summer yarns. I'm usually not a big fan of cotton, but they had this new Linie 89 cotton tape called Jeans. I bought two bags (about 1200 yds) in a great taupe color. I hope this picture shows up well on most monitors, because the color will make a great colored sweater for me. I'm thinking a simple pullover in woven stitch, but I haven't decided yet.

The contest entries are starting to slow down...either the folks who were planning on entering already have, or some folks are going to research this thing till the deadline. Folks have been doing surprisingly well. God, you people are frightening sometimes.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

Vacation Memories

Nothing makes my day more than being reminded of my time in Cancun.

Cancun Colors
I've always been attracted to vibrant color combinations...especially when the mixture of colors is somewhat unexpected and still works. During my shopping time in Cancun, there were a lot of small stands that sold items of incredibly fine bead work and braiding/macrame. The little friendship bracelets, that the local "gypsy" women macrame all day long, and sell for $1.oo are very interesting, and beautiful

Here's a collection of some of the little friendship bracelets I bought while I was down there.

I just thought the color combinations were stunning. The following picture of me wearing one of them, will give a little more perspective in terms of the size of the bracelets.

Knock Off Ideas
I love seeing nice sweaters in stores where I know I could make a sweater at least as good, if not better. I just saw a nice looking women's cardigan in Brooks Brother's window display. The sweater is made up of multi-color blocks of knitting, and each block has a different knit/purl pattern. The color was done in multiple pastels, which I didn't like, but I think I might design a similar garment to try to sell. I'll have to go to my local yarn store this weekend to pick out some appropriate colors. I might even try to turn it into a men's cardigan.

More entries have come in, and I'm starting to feel as though I have a few dozen stalkers who know WAY more about me than a normal person should.

Mostly, folks seem to be enjoying the process of researching the questions...except for the math section...mwahhhhahhha.

Remember, all entries must be postmarked by Sunday, March 16th at Midnight, Eastern Time. Folks that sending e-mails from Yahoo mail accounts have had difficulty getting their entries through to my AOL address. Feel free to send them to my address if that's easier.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Blog Contest So Far

I have gotten a few entries to the contest so far. Amazing how resourceful some folks can be.

Additional Contest Rules
There are a couple of questions on the QSAT that will require some judgement as to what is considered correct or not. For instance, there might be more than one correct answer to the "Verbal" section of the QSAT (the Oceanic question), or variations to the "Apparel" section ("If the shoe fits...") answer. All judges' opinions will be considered final.

Also, many of the entrants are from other countries. Any non-U.S. winners will receive the merchandise via the cheapest method for shipping possible (since I'm paying for it), and the winner will be responsible for any customs charges that may be incurred.

Contest Quiz
I think some of the readers may have been intimidated by the QSAT questions. I honestly don't expect most respondents to get a "passing" grade on the test. I purposely made it difficult so I didn't end up having to do a random selection of the respondents who got all the questions correct. So far, the tie-breaker question won't need to be used to determine the top three winners.

Hideous Accusations
It seems that blog-pal Wendy is also having a great limerick contest on her site. Of course the prize is a boatload of Kelly Green Galway yarn, in keeping with her St. Patrick's day theme. All you have to do is write a limerick...but beware, she won't accept or publish pornographic poems. It seems one of the mutual readers of Wendy and this blog accused ME of submitting a pornographic limerick. Now, I won't name names, because you KNOW I'm not that kind of guy, but her initials are Kersten...oops, I slipped.

I can't IMAGINE why Kerstin would think it was me.

Pornographic Section
Okay, for the squeamish, I'm putting in a fair warning. The next section will show two graphic pictures of sexual content.

Prompted by one of my knitting lists, I completed a knitted project this past weekend. Yes, I made one of the ever-popular Willie Warmers. I used a very soft, slightly fuzzy Rowan yarn, the name of which currently escapes me. Kid Haze? Anyway, it's bright orange (don't want QueerJoe Jr. being shot off in a freak hunting accident, do we?), it's soft, and it's VERY warm.

The pictures below only show the garment itself...NOT me modeling it. Those pictures can only be obtained by approved request via e-mail.

Willie Warmer Picture Links

Obviously it was knit to fit me while I ease, to use a military term.

Other Knitting
I'm almost done the front section of the side-to-side, hemp pullover. Here's a picture, albeit not a great one.

It's actually dark brown with henna/purple tones. It looks BLUE in the picture. Here's what it will look like when it's done:

Good luck to everyone in the QSAT Contest.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

Blog Contest

Here is your first chance of hopefully many opportunities to win great prizes by showing off your knowledge of QueerJoe and things that matter to him.

Contest Rules
Complete your answers to the QSAT (QueerJoe Standard Achievement Test) and e-mail them to (you don't want to put your answers in Comments for all to see, do you?).

QSAT is an eclectic collection of 20 questions, plus one tie-breaker question. All of the questions have some relevance to QueerJoe's life.

Answers can be obtained in any way that the respondent sees fit. I'd prefer that you not call my mother for some of the answers, unless you're Annette (my mother's hairdresser).

I will give entrants until Sunday, March 16th at Midnight, Eastern Time to submit answers. You can enter as many times as you like as long as each entry is submitted as a separate e-mail.

Contest Prizes

The three individual contest entrants with the highest percentage of correct answers will be eligible to select from one of three prizes. The entrant with the highest percentage will get first choice, second highest gets second choice and third highest gets whatever remains. Here are the prizes

So many folks liked this yarn when I posted the picture, I thought it would make a good prize. The prize is one (yes, just one) 3 ounce hank (600 yds) of Dancing Feet yarn from Joslyn's Fiber Farm. The yarn is 100% wool and very soft with a recommended gauge of 8 sts to the inch. The colorway is "Forest Floor".

A copy of the incredibly popular, soon-to-be collectible book, "Simply Knit" by Unicorn Books and Jamieson Yarns. I've described this book a number of times, and The Knitting Curmudgeon (Marilyn) has a great review of this book on her "No Affiliations Book Review" site. You can also see all of the designs in the book on the Simply Knit web site.

7 Hanks of Jamieson Shetland Chunky in the color Rainforest. This yarn is 100% Shetland wool with a recommended gauge of 3.75 sts/inch on US 10/ 6mm needles, and approximately 126 yards per hank. The prize comes with this Jamieson canvas project bag.

Finally, there will be a yet-to-be-determined booby prize for the person who I decide is most deserving, based on their response to the QSAT.

I will warn all participants in advance that all prizes come from a smoking household (Thaddeus, not me). I will air out the items before sending them, but if that's not good enough for you, take Marilyn's advice and "bite me".

Friday, March 07, 2003

Men Who Knit

Please don't tell me men are about to become the next HYUK (What does the "H" stand for?...YUK is Young Urban Knitters, I think).

Quick, I need a publicist!
A lot of things have been happening to make me understand that male knitters are about to become the "in" thing.

First of all, a new Yahoo Group has been created called MenWhoKnit. It's a small but growing group of mostly guys who talk about pretty much the same thing most other knitters discuss on knitting lists (no, not washcloths), knitting. There are some side issues discussed, such as knitting in public, treatment of men in yarn stores, etc. But mostly, it's sane discussion of knitting among men.

Next, I've gotten e-mails from two folks looking to do either videos or books related to and/or targeted at men who knit. One woman is looking for an "attractive" man who can discuss knitting well. The other is a publisher's assistant who's doing research on the viability of a men's knitting book.

I must say, I somewhat resent this growing trend of men picking up needles. I feel it will dilute the specialness of being a rare breed. But honestly, I can't imagine it will go very far. Even the HYUK issue hasn't brought a lot of young urban folks into knitting, and the concept is being lampooned by many as an idiotic notion. Like the HYUK, I think the "Men Who Knit" wave will either not crest very high, or if it does, it will crash on the beach pretty quickly.

Projects...yes, plural!

I'm working on the vacation sock (probably still will be by next year's vacation). You can see by the picture that I haven't made huge strides...and yes, this is still the first sock.

I finished weaving in ends and doing the i-cord ties for the Earflap Cap.

Anyone who's interested in the pattern, it will soon be available at Simply Knit. It's being test-knitted as we speak. The pattern will be given away with the purchase of two hanks of Jamieson DK yarn.

Finally, I'm also working on the side-to-side, hemp pullover from Lanaknits. I'm really enjoying this knitting, despite the fact that the hemp is like knitting with kitchen twine, and the color isn't at all appealing to me (brown). The result of side-to-side garter stitch is somewhat like chain maille. more thing, I'll be doing a willie warmer this weekend. The MenWhoKnit group wants pictures of

Blog Contest
I've decided that the contest will either be:

1. A test of broad knowledge...all topics including knowledge of QueerJoe, math and knitting references, or
2. The best blog topic ideas.

I'm thinking about having three prizes. The top winner will get the first choice, the second place will get second choice, the the third place will get what's left. For future contests, I'm thinking about taking contributions from yarn stores for prizes in exchange for a week's worth of promotion on my blog. If any yarn store folks would be interested, let me know.

I'll announce the contest in the next blog entry.

Wednesday, March 05, 2003

Knitters' Significant Others

How does a guy who's never picked up a knitting needle become such an expert at knitwear?

Goods and Bads
My partner, Thaddeus, would never consider taking up knitting himself. He likes to fish and forage for wild mushrooms...two things at which he's very accomplished. But through some sort of osmosis, he's learned a lot about knitting and the design process.

Here are his biggest contributions to my knitting:

1. When he sees me making a sweater in an interesting design or color, he claims it as his own. He will completely dismiss boring colors, or uninteresting yarns or designs that are too busy for him. But when I start up any project with any amount of style, he tells everyone I'm making it for him.

2. He has an amazing eye for sizing. I don't do gauge swatches, so he will spot an overgrown or undersized sweater much more quickly than I ever will.

3. He notices EVERY mistake I make. I used to bypass minor errors in my knitting or let minor rough edges in my finishing go without correction, especially if they were in less obvious areas of a garment, like under the arms. Not any more. Thaddeus will focus in on the most minor mistake and point it out for the rest of eternity if I don't correct it. I've found it easier to rip back weeks worth of knitting to correct an error than to suffer his critical comments about it.

4. His job is to make sure everyone that sees my handiwork knows that I made it. This allows me to act very humble and let him brag about my skill. In addition to being my biggest critic, he's also my biggest supporter.

5. Thaddeus protects me from being taken advantage of by folks asking for my knitting talents. He will consistently question why I would accept a request from a neighbor to knit something for her husband, or why I would work on a garment for my local yarn store that wouldn't somehow benefit me. He never lets me get away with undervaluing my skills, and I have to admit I would give away my work much more easily if he didn't do this.

Self Pictures
I've never worried too much about what I look like in pictures, but the picture of me in the Earflap Cap was one of the least flattering pictures I've ever let be seen by more than a few people. To make up for it, I'm posting a picture of myself on vacation that is more representative of how I feel I really look.

KnitList Posts
Two other types of posts that I despise, that I forgot to include in my list are:

1. Bragging Posts - Especially ones that are trying to be humble, but fail miserably. "I couldn't have imagined the reaction to my charitable donation of 3,459 pairs of mittens for refugees...I thought that was common...I guess not."

2. Self-Righteous Posts - KnitList members who feel that it's their job to maintain the high ethical standards of other members. One recent post saying that an apology was in order from another lister almost prompted me to do a public flaming. I resisted.

Blog Contest
I've decided I need to have a Blog Contest. I'm not sure what I'll be giving away, or how I'll determine who wins, but I'll decide over the next few days and set something up. Any suggestions for either will be gladly considered.

Monday, March 03, 2003

Knitting Deliveries

I may have been on vacation, but the post office wasn't. I got two great packages while I was gone.

Marianne Isager
Even though it's out of print, and available mostly in Denmark and Norway, I was able to get a copy of Marianne Isager's first book Inka because of the help and generosity of a kind blog reader. Mette was able to barter a copy for me and through the miracle of the World Wide Web we were able to both get knitting books we wanted.

This book is full of very interesting colors and designs. Ms. Isager has a very fine eye for design. I plan on using a lot of her color sense and her geometrics are great. Here's my favorite sweater in the book.

Joselyn's Yarns
I had placed an order for sock yarns from Joselyn's Farm. Wendy was making some great socks in her yarns, so I decided to be a blog lemming and order some of the same yarn, plus a different color that looked interesting. Here's what I got.

I don't have any immediate plans for the yarn, but it will probably end up being made into socks or gloves for nieces. No decisions yet.

KnitList Drivel
Yesterday I wrote that I deleted much of the KnitList drivel, and a reader asked me why I continued to subscribe. It got me thinking and while I have a couple of lame reasons for staying a member, for the most part it's just laziness that keeps me on the list. Marilyn (Knitting Curmudgeon) has a posting about issues on the list that are annoying. I have my own list of the top three most annoying types of posts:

1. Bodily function posts - I do NOT need to read about nausea, sores, body fluids or phlegm on a knitting list. Way TMI (too much information).

2. Illness posts - I can see no relevance what-so-fucking-ever what illnesses or injuries have to a knitting list. If it's mentioned in passing that a hospital visit allowed for more knitting time, maybe. But I really don't care if you have walking pneumonia, or your spouse has genital herpes (unless I'm sleeping with him).

3. Religious posts - Most mentions of church, god, christ, buddha, temple, sermon, bible, kippa and prayer make me delete a post almost immediately. I know there are valid reasons for mentioning some of these, I just don't enjoy reading them.

Any other heinous posts that I missed?

Saturday, March 01, 2003

Home and tanned

Vacation was great. I won't bore you with the details, except to say that that weather was perfect every day and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Vacation Knitting
I also won't bore you with a slideshow of pictures, but I thought I'd show you the view from my hotel room terrace.

This is where I worked on the one sock project I brought with me. I did very little knitting as you can see.

Earflap Cap - Again
I finished my last Earflap Cap except for the i-cord straps. It came out well, but I'm sure Thaddeus won't like it or wear it. And he definitely won't pose with it for me. I couldn't get a good picture of the hat without someone wearing it, so you'll have to settle for a bad picture of me that shows the hat in its best light.

This one will go to my local yarn store as a store-model. I'll let them have the pattern so they can sell it as a kit. It will look great in a lot of the Jamieson DK yarn colors. This one was done in Rowan DK since I had a couple of balls in my stash and it's a good color for Thaddeus.

Today's post will be brief. Having been away for a week, I had over 1600 e-mails to Most of them were from the various knitting lists I'm on. I scanned through the majority of them last night and replied back to most of the work and personal-related ones this morning. If you sent me an e-mail and haven't received a response, I may have inadvertantly deleted your message thinking it was spam or KnitList drivel. Please rewrite if you think this might have been the case.