7/29/2006

the beauty of small things


Small things are rocking my world. I think it's because I've had a rough week. I can't go into it. But, instead of self-medicating with alcohol and other ways I bought yarn. And books. And beads. And fabric. Look at the pretty fabric.


I don't know what it wants to be yet. Possibly the lining for the bag that's next up in The Happy Hooker Crochet-along. (It's only a fat quarter. I searched for more, but to no avail.) I'm finding that crochet-along very interesting - it's sort of liberating being told "make this" and me saying "okay" and then finding out how much I like it. I think I have invented a new acronym, though. CABLE - Crafts Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy.


This is the latest small project. It's M.K Carroll's Cell Phone Piggy, found in Debbie Stoller's Stitch and Bitch Nation, posing on my piano. I made it in Patons "Powder Puff", which is a pig in itself to work with. It took me maybe 2 hours to make, if that, start to finish. The gratification of small things is a little triumph in itself.

Book review time:

One Skein, by Leigh Radford (Interweave Press, 2006)
I weakened, and bought this and another book (Knitting Rules) from yarnsonline.com.au this week. Shoutout to Meaghan from Yarns Online - superb service, super quick (3 days from ordered to received!!), well packaged. And stocks some of the materials I'd need for this book. Go there. Buy things.

It's a book that I can say now "Gee, I wish I'd had this when I picked knitting back up a few years ago", but I don't think I would have got it. I started with mega-projects. Even my first scarf was metres and metres of Dr Who inspired stripes (yes, from the pattern floating about the net. It's twice my height!). This is the opposite end of the spectrum.

The beautiful thing about small projects is that they are deceptive in their simplicity. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, often the things that we retreat to when things become too complex are the things that are simple. I started a scarf from this book - it's a cable pattern, able to do it without looking, stash yarn, but there's something about the smallness of it all that makes me happy. There are a few bigger things (like the rug) that use stash, but most of this is weekend, or week-long projects.

There's a good range of small projects (not all hats, scarves and baby wear), and the design is what one would expect from Interweave - stunning. It's a well thought-out book - the yarns have CYCA designations on them (much easier for subbing!) and meterage as well as physical weight in grammes. Even the edges of the cover are designed to fold in and mark your place. I think I'll make a lot from it, just because a small project is good for the skills, good for the interest, and good for the morale when you finish it quickly. I've certainly bought yarn for several projects - the beaded gloves, the legwarmers (shutup, it's cold here) and the tank top. You need to see the tank top yarn, but that's another entry.

The most common criticism of the book is one that initially made me a little wary of it. Many people have said in reviews that there is no way these projects will take one skein. Then I realised that I don't mind projects taking several skeins, and as I looked at the yarns and the meterage, something occurred to me. Some of the projects have outrageous meterage when you read it in a book, but not in a yarn shop. I expect that lovely ball of Opal sock yarn to do two socks. That's a LOT of yarn in terms of metres. In a 100g ball of yarn, one expects somewhere between 160 - 200m if it's a DK - now envisage the same ball in lace weight. Once you take into account the weights of the yarn, one skein may well cover your project, if you pick the right skein.

Overall, interesting and worth the money. If only for the joy of getting new knitting books. (SP - I know I put this book on my questionaire. I honestly didn't expect you to get me a book. If you have, I'm very sorry. Send it anyway (it would be worth a whole month at least on its own!) - I can find a good home for it, and I'll feel totally justified in spending the money it's worth on yarn!)

Oh, and I bit the bullet and subscribed to Interweave. Apparently I get the Fall magazine sometime in the middle of next month. Yippeee! Just in time for Spring!

10 Comments:

Blogger Stefaneener said...

I'm curious to see what your experience with IK is. I just love it.

Sometimes I look through knitting books when I'm in a doldrum -- not to knit, mind you, but just for fun. I'd buy them I think even if I didn't knit. A sickness, I tell you. Nice little piggy!

2:39 pm  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

I love the little piggy!! And yarn medicine is better than alcohol medicine!

I'm like Stefaneer--I love to pull out my knitting books and look at the photos...it's like being a little girl reading her favorite books over and over

3:52 pm  
Blogger Rain said...

That little piggy is soooo cute.

I definitely agree about yarn being better than alcohol, as the grafitti in my pub toilets says - you only rent the beer here for a while - yarn sticks around longer.

Hope things look up for you soon.

5:37 pm  
Blogger Rain said...

Psst, I didn't mean that the grafitti mentioned the yarn, then you'd be suspicious it was me - as would they, I'm the only person who KIPs there.

5:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great booksbut now that you've continue to ruin my suprises that I have been wrapping up for you. urgh! Your next package I have to figure out something else....;o(((9

You really have been making it difficult for the Sp round you know! lol

1:22 am  
Blogger mikomiao said...

hee hee, your new SP now knows how I felt... I would have something in the box only to read your blog and find out that you'd bought it yourself... :-) that is an awesome little piggy. i just got stitch and bitch nation myself and will have to check it out!

4:47 pm  
Blogger Batty said...

OK, I absolutely love that fabric. Dragons and celtic knotwork, it's perfect! I hope you find something to do with it that shows off the amazing pattern.

The piggy is great too. Yay for piggies! Yay for knitting books!

11:01 pm  
Blogger Jill said...

Absolutely love the dragon/celtic knotwork fabric! I wish I could cover an entire bedroom wall with it!
I too have discovered the joy of knitting small. I enjoy knitting slow, therefore, smaller projects hold my interest longer ... I see results quicker.
...and cute piggy!

1:21 pm  
Blogger veritas said...

piggy!!!!!!! that is one adorable piggy you have there!

3:12 pm  
Blogger mf said...

thats such a cute piggy!

9:39 pm  

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