Thursday, May 26, 2011

It's a secret, sort of...

I cast on a new knitting project last week, after casting off some socks for my mother.  I didn't intend to start it so soon, however, it's a gift for a friend, and somewhat time sensitive.  I'd rather give myself more time than I need, so perhaps now is the perfect time to work on it.  I've been shockingly monogamous with this project, so I suppose that's a good thing.

There have been two great things about this project so far.  First, I'm working, for the first time, with Dream In Colour's Classy Worsted yarn.  It's really nice to knit with - 100% Superwash Merino, 4 or 5-ply, 250 yards per 4oz.  I can see why many have created sweaters with this yarn.

Second, the colours are knitting up pretty and I like the simple style of the project and pattern.  However! The pattern is also what is mildly troubling me.  Well, the designer is, really.

Now, I really appreciate knitwear designers - they work hard for us knitters and we would be lost without them.  However, when a designer refuses to consider a minor change suggested by a knitter to help future knitters read the pattern, I get a little hot under the collar.

I don't want to name the pattern or designer at this time, especially as the project is still hush-hush.  Sufficed it to say, I had trouble with some increases and stitch counts, and realised that the wording on a sentence or two of the pattern could be altered a little to make things clearer.  When I politely suggested to the designer that this would help, she declined to do anything about it.  Apparently when one has 2000 of the project listed on Ravelry with only two complaints about this confusion, the voices of the minority can be shooed away.

I don't intend to go quietly into that good night, thank you very much.  I intend to make a wee fuss about it.  After all, I'm only trying to make things easier for other knitters, so that there won't be others needing to rip back eight rows to correct the number of stitches (that was fun!).

Do I sound a bit....incensed?  Aye, that I am.

But nevermind that for now.  I need to get back to the knitting.  That is, after all, what's it's really about.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A double dose of the Yarn Harlot

I've been trying to catch up on podcasts and audiobooks on my iTunes/iPod lately.  I'm up to date on some podcasts, like Cast On, Electric Sheep, Caithness Craft Collective, Complex Texture, and Backbencher, but way behind on Never Not Knitting, CraftLit, CogKNITive, Tapestry, and KnitAJourney.  

For audiobooks, I've worked through several Jane Austen, Wuthering Heights, six of the Outlander novels, and am now listening to the seventh (A Breath of Snow and Ashes), plus North and South, and a second Brother Cadfael mystery.   There are three or four more books waiting, primed and perky, for me to deem them worth of an audience.  I'm also looking at trying the first Game of Thrones novel too, as the series does look intricate and intriguing.

In the last few days, however, I've treated myself to a double dose of the Yarn Harlot, aka Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, Canada's much-loved knitter & blogger.  She has several books, two of which are in audiobook format.   I loaded up on Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting, and At Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.  It was a treat to listen to her slightly smokey, slightly rumbling, slightly squeaky voice talk about all sorts of knitterly tidbits that I so get.  I found myself nodding and chuckling to myself in the car today.  What a sight I must have been to other drivers.

I do have another of her works, in that rather arcane and ancient format of pressed tree flesh called the paperback book.  It's called Knitting Rules and I've put it on my "soon-to-read" pile.

The Yarn Harlot has a blog too (linked above) that is a great way to see what she's been up to.  She is a wonderful writer and blogs regularly.  And if that is not enough, she is one of the dynamic duo that created Sock Summit, an all-out sock class and market event in Portland, Oregon.   I attended in 2009 and it was great fun (not to mention the drain on the wallet, but in a good way).