Monday, 19 January 2009

Huge Post

I've got lots to catch up on. I'll leave the knitting till last.

What have I been doing during the silence? Well one thing that took up an undue amount of time was playing with Tiltshift. Tiltshift is a program that changes a photograph of something so that it looks like a photograph of a model of the same thing. Why would you want to do that? I'm not sure, but once you start, it gets very addictive. Most of my photographs are of people or knitting, neither of which are very responsive to this, but here's an example that works better than most.

This is a photograph I took last year at Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery in Glasgow.

Here it is after Tiltshifting.
Go on, try one.

I also got a bit sidetracked by Ada Lovelace Day, and plan to do a post on 24 March. You can too. Ada Lovelace was Byron's legitimate, non-incestuous daughter which would almost be interesting enough in itself given what tragic souls his other daughters were, but she was also an oustanding scientist and is often described as the first computer programmer.

Still on the technical front, when I bought that big Hewlett Packard desktop last year, it came with a keyboard that I've never liked: the keys are wide and flat so that every time I hit the A KEY I TURN THE CAPS LOCK ON, and the space bar is so soggy that I have to keep goingbacktoputspacesbetweenthewords.

So I bought one of these and I love it to pieces (sorry for blurry pic, but I am unable to overcome the problems presented by photographing something illuminated in the dark).

I can now see to type in the dark, which at this time of year is during most of the day as well as at night. The mouse keeps changing colour too, woohoo. This is what it looks like in a (slightly) better photo.

I have made a couple of attempts to find The Knitter, the new British knitting mag, but without success. The place I tried had the latest issues of four other British knitting titles, but not that one. Somebody must reckon there's a lot of money to be made from selling advertising space about knitting.

While I was trying to find a copy of The Knitter, I actually laid hands on a copy of Knitting Goes Large, and although I think I'll get it eventually it didn't really make my heart beat faster.

It has different covers in the UK and the US.

The photos are odd: there is a little introduction saying that the models are size 16-18 (that's US sizes 14-16) which is barely Plus, but the garments seem to be too big for them. The patterns go up to a 48" bust. I wonder if the garments were knitted in real Plus sizes and then they chickened out about using models who fitted them? Or if they photographed them first on size 24 models and lost their nerve when they saw the photos? We have our eye so trained by magazine photography that they maybe thought nobody would buy the book if the models resembled the buyers. I'm really getting tired of the way they write these books, and the way they're reviewed, as if being a size 22 were an embarrassing topic, rivalled only by female incontinence or bad breath.

It's very difficult to find pix from this book online, as if everyone found them too boring to reproduce, or maybe they were embarrassed by photos of fat girls, but until I buy a copy and can take some snaps myself, you'll have to take my word for it that one of the photos, a whole-page shot of a jacket, shows the back of the collar sitting at a very bad angle; so bad that I immediately decided not to knit it. You have to wonder if there was a knitter present when the photography was done.

Having said all that, the patterns aren't all bad and the supporting text is good, and as I say I will probably buy it some time, but I think this was much better done by Big Girl Knits and its successor, and by Dawn French a long time ago: you can still get Big Knits and Great Big Knits for peanuts off eBay or Amazon marketplace, and I knitted sweaters from those when I was a size 12. And they look as if they're having fun in the photos, not apologizing for themselves.

So, to the knitting. This is the secret knitting I was doing before Christmas.
It's the Ruffle and Rib Fingerless Glove pattern, but I added a ruffle at the finger ends as well.

The recipient has much smaller hands than I do (I have huge stranglers' paws) so they will look daintier on her. The yarn is the Old Maiden Aunt sock that I bought when I went to the Japanese pattern class, and at some point I will make a frothy scarf with the leftovers.

I made two more Felicity hats in Mirasol Miski, one in a terracotta shade and another in navy, like the first one. These are for two of my younger relations and I hope they pass the cool test.

I also made one for myself, in the Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere that I bought to make a Drifting Pleats scarf. The colour is softer than the photo, the sweetest duck egg blue, which is my favouritest colour in the whole world.

I wore it when I went out last week looking for The Knitter, during the day. Anyone who knows me will realize how extraordinary this is because I only wear a hat when two conditions are fulfilled: 1) it has to be dark, and 2) everyone present has to sign a confidentiality agreement. I was perfectly happy in it and am looking forward to wearing it again, even amongst strangers.

I plan to knit a black Felicity for someone who won't countenance any other colour, and then another, possibly purple, but meanwhile I am ploughing round and round on another Pinwheel blanket, for the cousin of the baby who got the last one. Cousins do often go in pairs, don't they? I'm a week older than one of my cousins. I wonder if anyone has done research on that.

This Pinwheel is plain natural, in Drops Karisma Superwash. The exchange rate being what it is, this baby couldn't have Lorna's Laces, but this is nice and I found a British supplier, Scandinavian Knitting Design. I'm now on the fourth ball, of six. I'm going to do the sawtooth design which didn't work on the variegated yarn, which should look good in this. The baby has arrived and is a girl, so that should all be all right.

I must say after all these Felicities and Pinwheels, I am yearning to knit something in gossamer yarn with lots of YOs and counting. I might do a sample silk shawl for my god-daughter, who is going to be an October bride, just to give her some ideas and to give me a treat. A Forest Canopy in some hand-dyed 100% silk (she's allergic to everything else), perhaps - what a wonderful excuse to buy some yarn.


Knitting Linguist said...

Strangler's paws. Snortgiggle. I love the idea of going shopping for some wedding silk for a lovely complicated fun lace shawl! It's true that after too much stockinette it becomes time and past time for lace. I'm in a stockinette phase right now, but when it ends, I predict it will end decisively. Also, I know exactly what you mean about these skinny models wearing clothes that the book/magazine insists will look good on not-skinny people. Grr...

GrannyPurple said...

I want to thank you for pointing out the joys of Felicity--3 in one week, and I'm not finished. What a great way to use up the odd bits, and tres chic to boot! Am afraid to try a pinwheel, though a new grandchld is impending...

Joan said...

The juxtaposition of "huge, stranglers' paws" (your term, not mine) with that very feminine manicure is just too disturbing for words. I don't think I'll finish my Carol O'Connell book tonight after all, thank you...

Sea said...

The magazine you have been looking for was in my local Asda. So if you have one, you could try there, but it is published by Future publishing, and I got an e-mail giving a very good subscription rate for the first three months. (Although that might be for their existing customaers.) It's worth having a look at their website I think the deal I was sent was because I subscribe to another magazine.

Anonymous said...

Cousins do seem to come in pairs. My mother said that was because the mother of the younger cousin was jealous of the attention won by the elder cousin as the newest baby in the extended family. (My mom, of course, was the mother of the elder cousin. . . elder by nine months).
-- Gretchen

Spinningfishwife said...

I got The Knitter in Fort Kinnaird Borders just after it came out.

And my son has a boy cousin three weeks older than him. Rivalry? Only in my SIL's mind. (My boy was so obviously superior in every way it wasn't worth mentioning....)

juliet said...

Love the knitting - that pinwheel is fabulous, a really simple idea that wouldn't have occurred to me (I usually choose the tricky looking stuff and then up regretting that I didn't choose something simple and classy and elegant and what I would actually want to wear / give / receive etc etc). I also like the idea of "huge stranglers paws" I would also like dainty paws (my daughter has them, so has my mum - just pretty looking hands basically) but I have stubby, wee fat things, and I totally agree with the Knitting goes Large - the ideas are really nice but the styling is so mumsy / droopy / uninspiring, so it is quite offputting it doesn't even make the models (attractive looking women) look good, so what chance have I got with these garments