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Knitting Outside the Box

Guess what? I just finished a book. (I do this frequently, as a matter of fact). But since this particular book is on the subject of knitting, I thought I'd talk about it here—a quick mini-review.

It's Knitting Outside the Box by Bristol Ivy, a designer you may have encountered (on Ravelry, her most popular pattern has been posted as a project 751 times, and another has been favourited 10,220 times. If you're unused to Ravelry, a project is your own whack at a particular pattern. People can favourite your version of the pattern).

When I started knitting, lo these many years ago, I imagined knitting some wonderful three-dimensional weird angular yet curving Yohji Yamamoto-like garments ... never realising (a) it would take forever, (b) that might not be the designer I meant, maybe Rei Kawakaba?, and (c) isn't crochet better for that anyway? So I turned to more attainable hats and dishcloths, as one does.

And yet, I dreamed. I dreamed of just plunging in and experimenting with weird and unusual construction. What would happen if I did a whole bunch of yarnovers at once and then upon approaching them in the next round knit some together, dropped a few, knit the rest together, etc. What if I knit the next stitch together with some stitch, say, five rows below it? What would happen? And, the perennial question, what do short rows do? And do they get wider or narrower (it's confusing) and if so, why?

Bristol Ivy is a dreamer like me, but unlike me she appears to have found the time to try out all these experiments and more. Her book is approximately 1/4 musings and reports of her discoveries, and 3/4 patterns based on these discoveries. I still want to experiment for myself, but it can be a guided experimentation, based on her examples, rather than me blindly groping to some desired but ill-glimpsed effect.

So, highly recommended, as not-your-usual-book on knitting.

So Busy

It's show week, and I'm in the theatre, and we have three more performances to go (it's a short run, we opened last night). If you live in Vancouver why not join our mailing list? Go to the Broadway Chorus web site and let us know. Here's a shot of Uncle Stashley in action as Darcy Delgado, patriotic restroom attendant, in our 1980s' themed musical Déjà Vu-Doo:

It seems to me that mounting a musical is much like a knitting project. (Probably all projects have a similar life cycle, but these are the two I'm used to.

  • You decide your next project (you decide your next project).

  • You purchase your yarn and/or other supplies (you write the script, arrange the songs, etc.)

  • You cast on (you start rehearsing)

  • You knit it up (you keep rehearsing)

  • You cast-off (you're at the theatre and you have no time left to rehearse and the audience is beating down the door to get in)

  • You wear/use the garment (you perform).

Really, the main different seems to be that any mistakes you made when knitting (and didn't bother to fix) will remain in the item forever, while any mistakes you made when rehearsing tend to get ironed-out so you can make new, exciting mistakes live in front of an audience. (Last night we lost 3 shoes in 3 separate shoe-related mishaps, I forgot to say my character's name (but fixed it later), and for some reason the very fabric of space-and-time was altered during one song such that the front row of singers didn't fit, temporarily, during "A Million Dreams." Tonight other things will happen, and that's fine).

Off The Needles

  • Vice Versa scarf (double-knitting) picture forthcoming.

On The Needles

(I will mark with a ! those projects that have advanced, and !! those projects that are new to the blog.)

  • !Falling Snow Stocking #2 (at the heel and I discovered I'd actually bought enough yarn so am no longer running out thank God and my own clever foresight)

  • !Sophie's Universe crochet project (Part 5: Round 39)

  • !GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (about 14.3 inches into it, from the bottom)

  • !Persian Dreams Blanket (row 9 of the third hexagon)

  • !Sweater Sample (from the Sweater Workshop, still in the buttonhole section)

  • A Random Blanket (about 40% through)

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