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Afternoon Delight

Dear Ann,
OK, the title of this post sent me into Salacious Seventies Snickers from my high school days, when this song was on the radio. There was a period when Afternoon Delight (the top selling single of 1976–you see the problem with my generation, right there) was in constant rotation on Omaha’s WOW with a half dozen songs including Sister Golden Hair Surprise, and other silky silliness that I flat-out adored. The happiness of those memories, of singing along to girly boy voices, with Sun In spritzed, feathered tresses flying out the window of my trusty 1975 Maverick, keeps me biting my tongue about One Direction and its ilk. (Yes, there is an ilk. If you have a teenage girl you hear 1D, and you hear the ilk, and you despair.)
OK, but this post is not about boy bands. HULK SMASH BOY BANDS! HULK LIKE MAN BANDS! HULK LIKE LADY BANDS! HULK HAVE WEIRD AGE-INAPPROPRIATE THING FOR JACK WHITE AND ALSO WEIRD AGE-APPROPRIATE THING FOR VINCE GILL AT THE SAME TIME, WHICH CONFUSE HULK!
Ahem. This post IS about: Annie Modesitt. HULK VERY FOND OF ANNIE! HULK HOLD ANNIE VERY GENTLY IN HULK’S MASSIVE PAWLIKE PALM! (Be patient. This Hulk thing, too, shall pass.)
anniemodesitt.jpg
Today on Twitter I learned about Annie’s delightful video on how to make a Lovely Left-Leaning Decrease. Watch and learn, and laugh with delight at the cleverness: the video is here.
If you liked that one, here’s another one, with hilarious animation. (“The stitch is terrified.” Help. Me. Can’t. Breathe.)
Annie Modesitt and Cat Bordhi both have the gift of seeing ordinary knitting techniques–tiny things we don’t think about, we just DO– in an extraordinary way, and sharing them with us, thereby blowing our minds. Seriously, did you ever notice that thing about how the decrease will lean in the direction of the working needle? I could knit for 100 years and not notice that on my own; hell, I had to think for a minute about what “the working needle” even means–aren’t they both working? (NO. One is just holding the stitches from the last row. The other one is knitting them. Wake up and smell the wool!)
These teachable moments make me feel like a Bear of Small Brain. In a good way. To continue with yesterday’s theme: humility is good. It’s good when it’s justified, and it’s even better when it’s not as obviously justified.
OK, time’s up. Enjoy Annie. She’s the bomb-diggity.
Love,
Kay

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Who knew? The decrease leans to the working needle! Now to go watch the video!
    Penny

  2. Mind…tilting…. Now to figure out how to do with work in the round. I’m falllllliiiinnnnng!

  3. GAh! This musical blast from my past, coupled with my local Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Ode to the 40th Anniversary of Bonne Bell Lipsmackers (Dr. Pepper is the all-time best selling flavor) has made today too fabulously groovy. Last Friday we were playing Were You at our local watering hole–as in were you a David Cassidy or a Shaun Cassidy girl? Were you a Shaun Cassidy or a Parker Stevenson Hardy Boy girl? Were you a Grant Goodeve or Willie Aames Eight is Enough girl?
    Your answers to those questions might be worth 15 minutes.
    Yours in skyrockets in flight,
    Laura

  4. I am absolutely loving the lightning blog posts. However, I just caught myself singing “sky rockets in flight/afternoon delight,” and for that I am less happy! ; ) And, though the song was silly, the a capella harmonies at the end are still pleasant…

  5. Hilarious posts, Kay. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for the tip about Annie’s video. I believe that you and I are quite possibly twin daughters of different mothers….[former]Lutherans, teenagers during the 70’s, singing along to Sister Golden Hair Surprise….yikes! And now I’ve got that song running through my head. Stupid ilk. :)

  7. I love you so hard right now.

  8. Rubbin’ sticks and stones together/Watch the sparks ignite. HUH?
    Lovely lovely lovely! And Annie on the High Line: so appropriate!
    HULK BANG HEAD ON WALL CAN’T SHAKE AFTERNOON DELIGHT SONG AWFUL

  9. Hmmm – she (Annie) admits she hasn’t figured out how to do this in the round. Many have suggested doing the SSK as slip-as-to-knit, slip-as-to-purl, k2togthru back loop, and that’s what I do – then I tweak the row of decreases to make them look better from the front. Also, I read this tip somewhere to help us remember which way the decrease slants (maybe you know it already.) The middle section of the S in SSK slants left; the middle section of the 2 in K2tog slants to the right. I find this mnemonic endlessly helpful.

  10. I need some time to process this.

  11. Did you Google all those links in 15 minutes? B x x x

  12. HULK LOVES THE HIGH LINE! (But does he choose plum or rhubarb shave ice?)

  13. The working needle thing! My mind is officially blown!

  14. I too, had a trusty 1975 Ford Maverick, but I didn’t get it from my great-aunt until 1995 when it had a whopping 29,000 miles on it and the 4 original white-wall tires. Buying insurance for it was a trick, either the car was too old or I was too young (born in 1974). I loved it though, until I sold it for $500 in 1998. I’ll never forget a guy telling me at a gas station how much he loved seeing it, that he and his buddy used to take his apart and put it back together on the weekends for fun. Just thought I’d mix it up a little from the usual knitting comments :)

  15. AND my DH’s first car was a trusty 1975 Ford Maverick. Pea soup green, with orange and white seat covers (aah, hot vinyl in the summer) crocheted by my Greek mother in law.
    Time is really warping today.

  16. AND my DH’s first car was a trusty 1975 Ford Maverick. Pea soup green, with orange and white seat covers (aah, hot vinyl in the summer) crocheted by my Greek mother in law.
    Time is really warping today.

  17. Earworm! Arghhhhhhh!!!!!!
    The working needle/directional thing is the ONLY thing I can honestly say I have noticed all by myself about knitting mechanics. So proud. So very, very proud.
    And I will be trying that decrease as an antidote to my next drunken, wandering left-leaning decrease line. Thanks Annie, and thanks Kate for bringing to to the attention of the hivemind.

  18. I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m loving the KNITTING HULK.

  19. I have a teenage daughter who loves One Direction, and … I kind of like them. They’re all right, those lads. HULK NO SMASH ME PLEASE!
    I also love “Sister Golden Hair” (hello, 70’s guitar intro! you’re so cool!) and it’s stuck in my head now, which is good. Going to watch the decrease videos now!

  20. Really? I always thought it was Sister Golden Hair So Bright??!!! I am sure you wrote something interesting , maybe even brilliant, in there about knitting but I am too busy singing.
    PS Brandy, You’re a Fine Girl, What Good Wife You Would Be….

  21. Mind = blown. I’ll never decrease the same.

  22. Mind = blown. I’ll never decrease the same.

  23. Annie Modesitt is always the best. Hulk Kay good too.

  24. What about the Avett Brothers?! Oh lordy, listen to Emotionalism and Mignonette and try not to move to North Carolina.

  25. This uncle’s remedy to things like 1/2 Dimension and their like was to introduce the nieces to good, has-stood-the-test-of-time pop/rock music before they started paying attention to the pop heartthrob du jour. Yes, I introduced them to the Beatles, the Monkees, Motown, the Bangles, and other high-quality stuff in the same vein(s).
    The result? The eldest niece really does believe Springsteen is the Boss. The next in line prefers catchy but witty songs, and thanked me for letting her know about Squeeze and XTC. The youngest has her pop moments (I think she’s got a crush on one of the guys on “Glee”), but also likes dancing to the Stones and the B-52’s.
    Your mileage may vary, but if you start them out on quality stuff. . .!

  26. Yes! Driving around in my dad’s Maverick with my friends in that hot junior-year summer of ’76 singing at the top of our lungs with WLS-AM on the radio (The BEST station – (not talk) – in the day!) Don’t forget the other great hit Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart. That one will really get stuck in your head.
    Now back to my Honey Cowl….

  27. Yes! Driving around in my dad’s Maverick with my friends in that hot junior-year summer of ’76 singing at the top of our lungs with WLS-AM on the radio (The BEST station – (not talk) – in the day!) Don’t forget the other great hit Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart. That one will really get stuck in your head.
    Now back to my Honey Cowl….

  28. Oh, ok, love the way her decrease looks, but may be too much paying attention on the wrong side for me!!

  29. Good Hulkie!! I LOVE the lightning blogging, and I’m so spoiled now. Need my daily Kay fix!! A winter’s tale – I found my husband’s old stash of Swedish rug yarn from 1968 that he used to make ‘Gods eyes’. (Marks RYAGARN Hogsta fargakthet, 100% wool , mothproofed Kamgarn Malakta) And boy the mothproofing worked for 44 years!! Re skein-ed and washed it all (pew y mousey smell all gone!) ) and now I am making double knit placements with a gingham pattern. Maybe it will be spring when I’m done!!

  30. hmm, i’ve always been very happy with my ssk but i do it differently to the way annie demonstrated. i slip the first stitch knitwise, slip the second stitch purlwise and then insert the left needle and make the stitch. learnt that from anna bell in her pre-needleandhook days.

  31. I can’t look at the video yet because I am having a full-blown 70s flashback. Bill and Taffy Danoff lived in the same town as me back in the 70s. They had matching Mercedes parked in their driveway.

  32. Driving around Long Island in Dad’s brown Chevy NOVA, which as luck would have it, at the time was a Narc car – the favored car of undercover cops. So while my friends and I got lots of sideways looks from the cops late on Saturday nite at the diner (Is that your car? really?), we never got pulled over!
    WLIR Baby – Long Island’s Progressive Rock!

  33. What if you’re a lefty in the first place, but knit right-handed, but with the needles leaning so that the left needle is STILL the working needle?
    EEEEEK?
    Anyway, LOVING the every day posting, you two. So happy to hear about your everyday knitting stuff.

  34. I was born in the 70s, so while I heard this song a lot (my dad was way more into Zeppelin, so I heard that more often) it isn’t as engrained in my head.
    On the other hand, one of the first records I remember listening to was Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I feel it explains so much about me.

  35. Barry Klein mentioned that thing about the needle direction and increase/decrease lean in a class I took from him at Stitches Midwest and it’s still the most useful off-the-cuff tip I have ever heard.

  36. YOU ARE SO FUNNY!!! Thank you for the chuckles! I’m smiling.

  37. HulKay!

  38. Perfect post: hilarious AND educational. Glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t notice these clever knitting details. So very satisfying to have you point them out, with videos!

  39. Always appreciate the opportunity to laugh so hard at work that I snort coffee/water/tea/drink-du-jour out my nose and by golly Afternoon Delight will do it (I remember the happy music of the 70’s with great fondness — had a ’72 Malibu that I thought I looked cool in while I was blasting the radio halfway across town). Thanks for the video; Annie’s way of thinking is amazing and while I’m clearly not worthy, I’m thankful!

  40. Always appreciate the opportunity to laugh so hard at work that I snort coffee/water/tea/drink-du-jour out my nose and by golly Afternoon Delight will do it (I remember the happy music of the 70’s with great fondness — had a ’72 Malibu that I thought I looked cool in while I was blasting the radio halfway across town). Thanks for the video; Annie’s way of thinking is amazing and while I’m clearly not worthy, I’m thankful!

  41. Having just watched ‘Anchorman,’ I cannot think of ‘afternoon delight’ without picturing Paul Rudd crooning earnestly. And Steve Carell.

  42. Ah, those 70s tunes! “Afternoon Delight” was so catchy and one couldn’t help but sing along. I had a 74 Malibu, was in my young prime (as opposed to my old prime – for which I’m still waiting), and thought the times were beyond cool. Thanks for dredging up the memories.
    Annie – ah, yes, she’s da bomb-diggity, for sure!