Weirdness, Plus Anna’s Thumbholes: A Tutorial
February 6, 2007
I keep thinking about weirdness–you know, the Six Weird Things that everybody is posting on their blogs. I was discussing this last week with the cab driver who was taking me from the airport to your apartment.
(By the way, I gotta say, your apartment is so far uptown that I felt like I was taking a cab back to Nashville. Honey, I know you have been stalwart over these past months, living in a whole nother neighborhood while they tidy up your digs, but great googlywoogly, I don’t know how you’ve managed to keep it together, what with the uptowning and the downtowning and the go-gets and the princess-style telephone with a rotary dial. Bless. Your. Heart.)
The cab driver was a Nicholas Turturro kind of guy. Young, with a Bluetooth hooked over his ear. I gave him your address and asked him if he knew where that was, and he said, “Oh, sure,” and I said, “I figured you knew. I mean, that’s what you do” and he said, with a knowing smile, “No you didn’t. You didn’t think I knew where it was.” Ouch!
But he was chatty, and he started telling me about his friend who was getting married after dating some woman for three weeks, and how the guy would have a nice long time to be miserable later. That’s when I said, “How weird.” He looked up into the rear-view mirror and said, “Actually, there’s no such thing as weird,” and that’s when I told him about all the Six Weird Things that were going around on the knitting blogs. I told him my theory that everybody is weird, that everybody has a weird list ten pages long.
He just laughed. “My conclusion, after driving this cab, is that nobody is weird. You can’t really judge anybody. You cannot believe the things that people do in the back of my cab.” He said that he doesn’t need to watch Taxicab Confessions, because he lives it every day. Live and let live.
It’s Knitting, It’s Art: A Field Trip
I was glad we got to see Radical Lace and Subversive Knitting at the Museum of Arts and Design, but honestly, it left me feeling extremely unradical. Either I totally lack the subversive impulse, or I am SO subversive that you can’t even tell how subversive I am because it’s so profoundly underground. I’ll let you guess which is more likely.
I like that photo of you a lot. In case you’ve forgotten, you are participating in an art project: Sabrina Gschwandtner’s installation about knitting during wartime. You are knitting a square for Blankets for Recovery, which will go to a soldier recovering in a military hospital. I fixed up some dropped stitches on a helmet liner destined for soldiers who need them. This was my favorite part of the exhibit, because it allows museumgoers to participate. I’m not all that interested in knitting as museum piece. I’m fascinated about knitting as a means to community. ACK! I’m starting to sound like a damn museum catalog. All’s I’m saying is that knitting is a humble, simple act, best enjoyed in the company of other like-minded addicts. Lay your politics on top of it if you like–and it’s legitimate to do so–but the fact is that somebody started knitting because they needed some CLOTHES.
I found it quite moving to be knitting that helmet liner, imagining all the women in years past who knitted in this way, with utility as the single goal.
There are some cool programs coming up associated with the exhibition. Very sorry we missed the Edible Lace High Tea.
PS Slowly but surely, here is Anna’s Thumbholes: A Tutorial. I have been cooking it up as a PDF file, but sadly my PDF button is somehow busted, so here it is in a temporary blog form.
Here is the amendment I made to the Perfect Sweater to include thumbholes.
1. Add 2 inches to the length of each sleeve after shaping (or whatever is needed for the sleeves to reach your knuckles).
2. When sewing sleeve seams, leave a TWO-inch gap unstitched near the bottom (immediately above the hemming on my hemmed version).
3. Blanket stitch around the thumbholes with blanket stitches one knitted stitch wide and one knitted stitch deep.
With your thumbs in the thumbholes the sweater keeps your hands warm. Without your thumbs in the thumbholes it looks pretty much like a normal sweater. My sister has already asked for me to make one for her . . .
Here’s how to do the blanket stitch:
Sew up the sleeve seam (swatch shown here) using mattress stitch, leaving a gap of about 2 inches (5 cm) close to the cuff.
Midway along one edge of the open portion, bring the needle through the work from back to front through a knitted stitch “V” one stitch in from the edge on the far side. Pull the yarn through.
Hold the yarn with your left thumb. Pass the needle through the work from front to back through the next knitted “V” stitch along. Pull the needle towards you, making sure that the needle passes over the yarn held with your left thumb.
Repeat to form a series of right-angled stitches (blanket stitches).
At each end of the gap, form a blanket stitch along the seam.
When you have sewn around the gap, pass the needle through the first stitch from front to back to hold it in place. Knot or weave in ends.
The end result.
We must get Anna a blog STAT.