This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finished Objects

I have almost finished my Christmas knitting. I've got one hat and one scarf to go. But the rest of it is done, as well as the stuff for the reunion party that was rescheduled from October to January. My friend Jesse took these photographs of all my FOs.

Alpaca Shawl for someone

Alpaca Shawl for Steven

Three Shawls, Alpaca, dark blue for Libby,
light blue for Gayle, purple for Carlene

Me, modeling Libby's shawl

Jake's Scarf. Malabrigo, double knitted

Alyssa's Scarf. Alpaca, Irish Hiking Scarf

John's scarf, Blythe Baby Camel.

Some hats,Cascade Pastaza, Nashua Wool

All the Goodies!

Me with all the Goodies!

I still have Madison's hat on the needles, it will be a heathered purple in an Alpaca (90%) / Wool (10%) blend. Plus a scarf for KWL (pronounced, "Cool," because she is), done in horizontal stripes, but double knitted, in the same colours s the checker-board scarf. I am hoping these won't take me too long.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nine Inch Needles

On Monday nights I can usually be found at the Diesel Cafe in Davis Square. Nine Inch Needles, a gay men's knitting group has its weekly stitch 'n' bitch. We start knitting around 6:00 pm, and finish up any time between 8:00 and 9:00, though one night a couple of guys stayed til almost 11:00.

We knit, buy a few drinks (I like the raspberry lime rickeys), and get all caught up with each other and our knitting. We trade patterns, help each other with techniques, make lewd comments, cruise the hotties who walk by, lend the odd scissors, tape measure, stitch marker or cable needle as needed. We discuss musicals (who likes 'em, who doesn't, which ones are good, which are a waste of time), varieties of yarn (alpaca? cotton? wool?), and we train our baby knitters, two guys who joined us and started learning (or, in one case, re-learning) the fine art of knitting.

Next semester I probably won't be able to make it very often to Nine Inch Needles. I've got three classes on the docket (Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Saturday morning), and will need Monday nights for studying, I'm sure. But for now, it's my weekly social event that keeps me sane.

Here are a few of the lads with whom I knit. I'll try to take more photos as other guys show up.





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Knitting Buddies

I am taking this week off, and one of my plans is to get the rest of my holiday knitting done. On Monday I met with my friend Nomi in the early afternoon, and then last night I met with my knitting group, Nine Inch Needles (a post about them another time). Today my friend Kim is coming over to knit (plus go to see Harry Potter), and tomorrow or Friday my friend Erick will come by for some knitting. Sunday NIN might get together at someone's house for more knitting. I've got three more holiday projects to finish up: two scarves (one is on the needles!), a scarf which needs to be frogged and re-cast on, and a hat that is making me weep. The yarn is gorgeous, the pattern is going to drive me to drink. But I shall persevere.

Yesterday's meeting with Nomi was fun and relaxing. We met at a local ice cream shop (and yes, ice cream was consumed!) and just got all caught up. I'm wearing my new Boukhara kippah that I bought right before we met. I've always wanted a Boukhara kippah (don't ask me why, I just really like them), and Nomi took a picture of me wearing it.

We are both knitting hats, Nomi a hat for a homeless shelter, and me, a hat for my friend Jeff, who lost the hat I made for him a couple years ago. The afternoon went by too quickly, but it was such fun to reconnect with Nomi and to knit (and eat ice cream!) together.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Outta Control

It's kind of embarassing when you go to pay for your new yarn and your bank card fails.
Because you only have $4.67 in your account.
Because you already bought almost $200 worth of yarn within the last 24 hours.
And isn't it nice that the yarn store owner knows you and lets you take the yarn home, just send a cheque next week, thanks.

I went to pay for said yarn yesterday. And while I was there, picked up some other stuff that caught my fancy. Cascade has this beautiful alpaca/merino yarn in natural colours that I just couldn't resist. Two skeins for a new scarf for me, thanks. And a couple skeins of a wildly coloured malabrigo that I couldn't put down. Should I take it? Should I leave it? What will I make with it? Arrgghh! So I bought it.

I have promised myself that when the mishegas that is school ends for the term that I will take some pictures of some of the more beautiful yarns in my stash. I'm hoping my friend Jesse will help me with this project, since I don't really have a place to actually photograph stuff. And I might ask Todd to help with it, since he's a wicked good photographer, and can maybe offer advice.

But I was asked at the store if I photograph my finished objects, since I am always buying so much beautiful yarn. Well, no. Once I'm done I never think to take pictures of the stuff I make. But this has put the bee in my bonnet and I'm going to try to photograph all the Christmas presents before I ship them off. And the stuff I made for the reunion that got rescheduled to January.

But I'm out of control. I need to rein in the impulse to buy more yarn. And more yarn. While it may be true that the person with the most yarn when they die wins, I'm not so certain I'll be up for using the prize.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Knittin' Man

As a library student, one of the most common assignments across the board is the annotated bibiliography. I have taken nine courses, and have done seven of these things. After a while it ceases to be a pedegogical tool, and becomes a tiresome chore. However, for my History of the Book annotated bibiliography, I decided to look at knitting books that contain only patterns for men. Most knitting books I've encountered are written for women, and the majority of the patterns they contain are for women's garments. Often the books will include a couple of patterns for men's garments: a sweater or vest, a scarf, a hat. But there are a few books out there that are filled with patterns for men's garments. Most of them, however, are written for women knitters, women who are making something for the men in their lives: husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, boyfriends, sassy gay friends. Titles like Never Knit Your Man A Sweater* *unless you have the ring, by Judith Durant, assume the knitter is a woman. There are other books where the title doesn't give them away, but after reading the introductions, one knows that the intended audience is women who knit, not men who knit.

Ah, but there are exceptions to this rule! One of the best titles out there is Knitting With Balls by Michael del Vecchio. Sadly, this book is out of print. And I would like to note that throughout the book, the author lets the reader know that knitting is a manly art, that men have knitted through all the ages, though I have to admit that these are some of the gayest patterns I've ever seen.

There are some fun things here, but I'm not sure how many men are going to wear a mohair mobius scarf.

I own a lot of these books that are filled with patterns for men's clothes but are written for women knitters. Erika Knight's Men's Knits; Bruce Weinstein's Knits Men Want, which contains "10 rules every woman should know before knitting for a man," and so on. All written with men's patterns for women knitters.Of course I can ignore the supposed insights into men's psyches, the general rules for what men are looking for in knitted garments (though these are often true), but I think I'd like to be taken seriously as a knitter.

Fortunately, we have some books, like Knitting with Balls, that address the male knitter. Annie Modesitt and Drew Emborsky wrote Men Who Knit & the Dogs Who Love Them, and Kritin Spurkland's The Knitting Man(ual), all are either written for men who knit, or assume a gender neutrality that implies men can knit their own garments. I think it might be time for authors of books for men's patterns to either adopt a gender neutral tone, or to realise that male knitters are ought there, and will not be ignored.