1/31/2006

triple threat

I went and bought yarn for my SP today, and I ended up having a huge conversation with the lady at one of my LYSes. She is just lovely - not at all condescending - and she spun the yarn I picked herself! We were talking about whether the tiger-stripey Opal sock yarn will make it to Australia (she's checking with the importer!), and she pulled out all these Lion Brand colour cards. Apparently there is someone who is gonna start importing Lion Brand on a large scale - for huge prices per ball! She won't get it in, which I'm not sad about. BUT she's thinking of getting in the soysilk, which would be so very, very cool.

It's nice to talk about yarn with someone who really knows their stuff!

I wrote the editor of a knitting mag yesterday. I won't name it, but there was an article inside that rather explicitly stated:

There is no copyright on the name [Stitch and Bitch], and Stitch and Bitch chapters and the like have sprung up everywhere.

Thought that was interesting. Might be true for Australia. Either way, I wanted to know. Haven't got a reply yet, but that may be due to the other comments I made. But hey, I personally wouldn't have put a link to You Knit What in there, and then printed a pattern which had the triple-threat horror of a novelty yarn, knitted skirt that was sure to seat, and fishnet holes where on most women it is rather vital to have fabric, all in the one garment, but it's their funeral. Sort of seems to be asking for it somewhat.

Fed up with men who can't communicate what they want when they think it isn't what I want to hear. Well, man. And fed up with the makers of strapless bras, and their cups that squish in one size, then gape in the next. If there's an uglier bit of underwear, I don't wanna know about it. Or pay $50 for the privellige of wearing it. But I do want to wear that lovely dress to the wedding on the weekend, so I can stop with the whining!

1/30/2006

K9!

This is just a quick blog to express excitement. We got our SP matches yesterday (I reckon mine will know who I am quite, quite quickly, through no fault of the mods), and I'm really happy with mine. I am gonna start the proper shopping sooner rather than later :-)

I got all excited this morning, though, because K9 is my secret pal! My pal read my questionairre very carefully, methinks, then sent it on to K9. So thankies for making me grin like a loon and get all excited on a monday morning before work starts back proper for the first time this year!

Gak. I'd better go get ready for work. The new Y7 kids, and the new big 'uns start back today. It's always a pretty relaxed day, but you're guaranteed at one point to have a kid approach you in tears asking where the library is. Luckily, I know where the Library is....

1/29/2006

snb?

I had intended not to weigh into the whole debacle, and I am keeping my trap shut on the Knitty Boards, but I'll express a couple of thoughts here. It seems very similar to the Ugg Boots/Ugg Australia case.

You see, if you live overseas, you may not realise that Ugg Boots (or Uggs, as our American friends refer to them) are a generic name in Australia that describes a certain kind of sheepskin slipper. The other year, a company in the US trademarked the name, and sent out scary letters to Aussie companies. The companies in Australia took on the US company and won the right to use Ugg, Ugh, etc. as a generic term once more. The court ruled that it shouldn't have been permitted to be trademarked.

That doesn't mean that we don't describe some products using a trademarked name. Bandaid is not a generic term - it refers to a specific product. If I want to sell my own bandaids, then I have to refer to them as something else, like sticking plasters. Remember the fuss the other year about whether champagne is generic or specific? Sort of similar to that. I think in this case, it is what came first; the trademark or the generic term. And that seems to be the sticking point.

A number of people claim that Stitch and Bitch is a generic term, from their grandmother's days. I had never conciously heard it before the Debbie Stoller book of that name was published - but I live in Australia. My one little experience is no more or less valid than those who heard it in the 1920s, it is just different. (BTW, I would be interested to know if the term was trademarked internationally).

It's a pretty logical name to make up. It's got a nice little internal rhyme, and it's funny. It's a logical book title or group title in that order (rather than Bitch and Stitch) because the emphasis is placed on the craft, rather than the bitching. Living in a postmodern world, and one where millions of people speak a common language, these things will show up logically all over the place. That's why cryptic crosswords work. And remember that old Whitlams song lyric:

She was one in a million - that means there's five more just in New South Wales!

So what's my point? My point is that because I haven't, and don't intend to, do a lot of research on this topic, I don't intend to demonise either party. Personally, I see SnB as a generic term, but that may be because I have heard about it all over the Internet as a generic term. I will follow this with interest, especially if it can be proven that SnB is a generic term with long standing, but I will attempt to follow without judgement. Except for the crappy, crappy spelling in press releases, and the weird logic in rants.

Besides, we weren't allowed to call our workplace knitting group Stitch and Bitch, because bitch is offensive. Damn silly workmates.

1/28/2006

evidence of shrug


I finished the pink Jo Sharp shrug when I was on holidays, but I haven't had my little webcam-thing until now. The picture of my very excited arm is about all you'll get. I'm still not sure about it. I think I will rip out the huge neckband and replace it with something smaller, because I liked it much better before.

I'm considering doing the Knitting Olympics. And I've made half a sock! And work has gone back. I have a new head of department this year, which will be interesting. Most interesting indeed.

Still, I like the stitch pattern...

1/09/2006

Cables and pleats and patterns...

So I bought the Winter edition of Interweave. For $18, air-freight, in Sydney. It's fully double the price it would be in Canadian dollars, although I'm sure Canadian dollars are worth more than Aussie ones. I bought it at that outrageous price instead of a comfy $12 because I haven't. seen. it. anywhere. for. about. eight. months.

And Interweave is one of the magazines in which I consistently find interesting things to knit that broaden my skills horizon. There's several patterns in this edition that I'll make (fully making the price tag justified), and the season-lapse will mean I can make them for winter. And finish the Greek Pullover, which is languishing some 400kms away at home, abandoned because it is just too hot for summer knitting.

The pink shrug is almost finished! Hurrah! The main body of it is being very gently washed by the space-age washing machine that my mother bought! (Seriously, this thing does everything. I won't be surprised if it kills us all while we sleep and tries a robot rebellion. Oh, right, Asimov's robotics laws prevent it from doing that). It has to be blocked and sewn before you add the neck-band; I was thinking about how people have commented that Bobbilicious gapes a little, and it occurred to me that most of the commercial shrugs I have, and this Jo Sharp pattern, have a very wide neckband that forms a shawl collar at the top, and at the bottom pulls the edges of the shrug in so that it sits against the body. I wonder if Bobbilicious would benefit from a chunka-chunky collar? (It isn't being made until I find Gusto 10 on sale. Whilst it is a lovely big thing, I draw the line at a $75 shrug....)

I am thinking that I will start naming my projects different names to those that the designers gave them. Some of the names that designers give things are brilliant, but others don't speak to me. But I'll do it in my head, so then I won't look like a crazy woman...

1/07/2006

It'a been a while

It's been a while. I have had a very busy few weeks!

I will update properly later, but I felt the need to share this:

"...mastering a craft brings with it inspiration and challenge as well as satisfaction."
(Pam Allen, Interweave Knits, Winter 2005, Interweave Press)

I think it's quite a present consideration in wondering why we knit, what we want to achieve by it, and what we're actually doing. Allen muses in the same editorial that the desire that seems to motivate the vast majority of knitters is the desire to improve. Which is a neat point - even if I am a Stoller-inspired "She's gotta have it" knitter, I am trying to find ways to improve the chunky jumper that I finished in a weekend (and I may one day realise that chunky yarn on my frame is the real reason that it looks a bit...lumpy).

Is knitting time reclaimed for the self? Is it a repetitive, almost meditative thing? Why, in essence, do we enjoy knitting?

I enjoy knitting because of the thrill of creating something, particularly if it's a challenge. The realisation that I am not stuck on the consumer side of the producer/consumer equation, and the little feeling of achievement that comes with finishing something. In a society where we celebrate the self, but denegrate those who achieve (a precarious combination), it is a half-queasy feeling, acknowleding that I can do good things. And it's the same impulse that means a heap of what I make I never wear in public.

Or is this all just persuading myself that I really do want to knit the swing jacket in the Winter Interweave, even though the pleat knitted into the back scares me?

Edited in Firefox. Sorry if it looks weird on your browser.