Giddy (My Favorite Emotion)
September 17, 2008
Have you noticed how, when you reach A Certain Age, it’s harder to feel giddy? Christmas morning doesn’t quite do it (a nightgown! yay! can I go back to bed?), a birthday absolutely doesn’t do it, but I’ve found that Pub Date can still evoke the old lightheaded joy and jangling-nerve combo that is so exhilarating. The book is out there, all by itself. Nobody holding its hand. Nobody reminding it to say please and thank you and sorry for that mistake on page 43. (If you are knitting the Daily Sweater in size Large, the chart is on Ravelry, the chart is going on the errata in our sidebar, the chart is in my apartment, and please, please email me for the chart. If, on the other hand, you are making size XL, congratulations! You get two charts! Knit it twice!)
One great cause for giddiness, on a strictly selfish level, is being able to publicly knit stuff from the book, and mess with it.
Here is a messed-with version of the Mitered Hanging Towel by Cristina Shiffman. I made it my own with some stripes, a “spoke” down the center, wider garter borders, flirtation with proportions of stockinette to garter–but ultimately I like the Revised Standard Version (the ones in the book) better, I think. Still it was fun to get those ideas out of my system, and they work great as, you know, towels. They remind me of my Grandma Mabel, which is funny because Grandma Mabel was a woman so free of sentimentality that she would think it downright silly of me to be reminded of her by a towel. Grandma Mabel was one of those tough women who came up in the 20s and 30s, looking the world straight in the eye and getting on with it. As a granddaughter, you had to watch closely to detect any sign of her bottomless affection for you, which came chiefly in the form of waiting up ’til all hours (looking dolefully out from her screen porch as you skulked in next door) and warnings about Bad Men and having marketable skills to fall back on. Grandma never spoke ill of anyone–her “tsks” were so eloquent that verbal elaboration was unnecessary. There was the “tsk” of “your mother is too strict with you” and the “tsk” of “that skirt is too short” and the “tsk” of “why are you laying out in the sun with baby oil on your translucent flesh?” Oh well, Grandma, not the first time you’ve thought me silly. Tsk all you want up there in the Great Lounge of Maternal Disapproval in the Sky.
In other news I am going crazy with color and fabric right now. A deep flow state involving online shopping carts and pretexts to go down to Purl Soho. (Fun fact: there is no white thread available between my house and Purl Soho, in all of Manhattan. That sewing place on West 72nd? “These are not the threads you are looking for.”) Right now my preoccupation is “gray with other colors”.
Rose petals on asphalt. That’s a quilt, right there in the park next to the Imagine mosaic.
Which was decorated extra nicely the day I passed. Heavily influenced by Denyse Schmidt, I thought.
When I got home, this fabric (by Naomi Ito/Nani Iro) had arrived:
Coincidence? Screenprint linen from Modern Craft.
Another “gray with” quilt, this time disguised as a fence on Fifth Avenue. I don’t normally like fleur de lis motifs, but this one is so stylized, and attractively rusted, too. On Fifth Avenue, they have standards even for rust.
There is more “gray with”, to die for, chez Soule Mama who has made an exquisite version of the Jane Austen dress, with a gray linen skirt and thrifted aqua yarn. It is luminous. Thank you Amanda!
Thank you, everyone, for your encouraging words. Let us know what you knit, and how you mess with it.