My Funny Cowlentine
February 14, 2012
Lots to report and little time (I have to get dolled up for the Carnival of Love tonight–tickets available at the door! Fried foods! Sexy people! Good cause!), so here goes.
New Cowl In Town
Honey Cowl Five, in madelinetosh DK (shade: Scarlet), 2 skeins. This is for a small person, so in hopes of getting a wide, wrappy cowl out of 2 skeins of the Tosh, I cast on only 150 stitches (compared with 220 for the full-on Honey Cowl). It’s a tight wrap on an adult (or 15-year-old) neck, so this may be a failed cowl. But my recipient is only ten, and the length will grow a smidge with blocking, so I’m still hoping. If it won’t wrap twice, it will be severely diminished in functionality–too short to wrap, and too long to provide much warmth in the unwrapped position. But mighty stylish looking.
By the way, the Berrocco Ultra Alpaca in the picture? That’s the fixings for Honey Cowl Six. What can I say, people really like them. Everybody should have one. At least until I really can’t knit one more.
Department of Other People’s Knitting: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
On Saturday I was privileged to have a private moment with this blanket.
This is Kaffe Fassett’s Madras Throw, which was featured in Rowan Magazine issue 47. The yarn is Rowan Summer Tweed. Lots and lots of it. The knitter is our mutual friend Lauren Picker. The sofa is Lauren’s sofa. O the intarsia!
Photographs do not do justice to this work. Lauren passes herself off as a regular old knitter, but it took serious chops to pull this off. I mean, who really knits intarsia at this scale? Think about the tangle that you have to pull from on the rows where you’re knitting those small center squares. It leaves me breathless and a little queasy.
There are some worthy new knitting, and knitting-related, books out there.
Knit Your Own Dog, by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne
OK, so this is a novelty book. Yes, but what knitting! Such sculptural virtuosity and fine workmanship. A couple of examples, at random.
And how did they manage to portray, in knitting, the body language of a pug?
The yarns are all Rowan, as befits a collection of “25 Pedigree Pooches.” A very handy little book to have when someone, inevitably, demands that you knit them a dog. When that day comes, this book will be your best friend.
Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.
If you give children’s books as baby gifts in an effort to influence young minds in favor of the needle arts (what? like you don’t do that?), this one is right up there on the Kid Textile Classics shelf with Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback, and The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco. A simple story of generosity, well told and beautifully illustrated. A treat.
The Piece de Resistance
We will have to say more about this later, much more, but I could not let the publication date of this book pass without shouting it from the rooftops.
At long last, after all we’ve been through, wandering in the desert while it was out of print, buying up old copies for the price of a used car—The Principles of Knitting by June Hemmons Hiatt is back in print. Back in print! Back in print! And it is “Completely Revised & Updated,” by June Hemmons Hiatt herself. She had me at the Introduction to the Second Edition, where she recounts how, 10 years ago, when she learned that “the physical materials to reprint it had been lost,” she took it upon herself to type the entire original text back into the computer.
“I type fast,” she writes.
“I love you,” I cried.
There is much to be said. You know the first edition well, whereas I am just discovering this amazing work for the first time. For now I will just say that I’m so, so glad it’s back. Y’all know what to do. Welcome it. Love it. Type it into your computer.