Knit Meter

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sweater Quest

A book by Adrienne Martini

Ms Martinis knits Mary Tudor by Alice Starmore, a fair isle design, which you will have to search the internet yourself if you wish to see a picture. Alice Starmore is very - very - protective of her name, her designs and the island where she lives.

I do not know where I first heard about the book Sweater Quest but I finally decided to check it out of the library. I'm not sure why I say finally as it was only published in 2010, but that does make it nearly 3 years old and a lot can happen in three years.

I thought this was a book about knitting, in particular a book about knitting a certain sweater in one year. Non-knitters should search for this design to get an idea of why it could possibly take a whole year to knit a sweater. Although Adrienne's year includes finding the pattern, finding yarn as well as periods of not knitting the sweater. I was concerned when I read the publisher's blurb on the back cover which included a wooly Julie and Julia. Was this going to be another book by a whiny New Yorker? I really didn't need to read another book about the life of a New Yorker who feels entitled to have everything their way because, after all, I'm from New York; oh, and don't forget I'm better than you because I'm from New York, oh and I'm now doubly entitled to be this way because of - well you know what.

So it was with some trepidation I started the book. Its subject matter was something I loved that I did not want the book to ruin for me so that I turned to macrame. Relief, the book was not like Julie and Julia nor that other popular book by a whiny New Yorker. Unfortunately, for Ms. Martini, I am sure that if it was of the same ilk, her book would now be a hit movie. Julia Roberts could not play the man character having starred in the movie version of an aforementioned book; Audrey Hepburn is no longer with us; I wonder if Ms. Martini would like to be portrayed by Brooke Shields? The reason for picking these actresses - they're all knitters of course.

The book is more about knitters than knitting although Ms. Martini does describe the knitting of the sweater. She is almost disappointed when she cuts (yes you read that correctly she cuts) her knitting for the armholes and it is an easier process than she hyped herself up for. So as this is a book about knitters, she visits with various knitterati in the US and Canada. This was fun as you could (OK I could) feel that anyone could pop into these peoples lives and be welcomed. Although it's probably more like my people get in touch with your people and they say your writing a book about knitting a sweater and you famous knitterati person just have to be in it.

There were two recurring questions she had for people she met, one concerned her sweater and the other was the simple question "why do you knit?". This second question annoyed me after a while. Maybe because I couldn't come up with the thoughtful responses that the famous knitters did. But really I was hoping for one person to say they enjoyed the process. Gone are the days when people made their own clothes because it was cheaper. Now people knit (and sew and crochet) for enjoyment, it is a leisure activity not a necessity. Therefore it is a process to be enjoyed; from that premise maybe it can be analyzed down to its zen moment. So the question should not be "why do you knit?" but "why do you like to knit?". Because all the 'it keeps me calm", "it connects me to my grandmother", "I am creating something", make no sense if you do not enjoy the act of knitting.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another Shower Puff

In February i showed a shower pouffe that I had made for a gift exchange and I commented that i could see myself making more. So with a friend's birthday on the horizon, it was a perfect opportunity. This time I used 100% cotton and made different changes to the pattern. To create a lighter feel, I worked alternatively two rows on size 5.5mm needles and two rows on size 12mm needles until it was a size I liked.

And what better to go with it than soap in the shape of a sheep, which I didn't think to take a photo of and some locally dyed yarn.