Apparition

As I hinted yesterday, today's post is all about a mysterious package that apparated into my apartment some time on Tuesday.

I unlocked my door on Tuesday evening, after an uneventful day marked by two subway rides and a quick stop at Whole Foods. Imagine my surprise when my eyes focused upon a manilla envelope leaning against the wall opposite the door. Hmmm, I thought. I know that wasn't there this morning when I left. Maybe Sven got home early? And then went back out (or disapparated)? There was no evidence of that. Besides, the mail was still in the box, and everyone knows that the first person home collects the mail from the box.

While I considered a few magical causes, the real reason behind the envelope and its location was anything but. Like many buildings in NYC, our super accepts packages and hangs on to them until he sees you. He has this uncanny ability to know when you've arrived in the lobby so that he can hand you the package as you're going upstairs. [Although he thinks that Sven's name is really Steve. "I have a package for Steve," he once said to me. It was on the tip of my tongue to say "Good for you!" Instead I asked "For Sven?" "Yeah, Steve." Whatever...] Or, he simply leaves the package outside of your door. I don't know what happens in other buildings, but this is what happens here.

For some reason the super decided to put the package inside the apartment. He's never done that before. It was a little bit strange, but no biggie. The super's a nice guy, and it's not like I found him sitting in the living room leafing through a copy of Interweave, "Hey! I made some coffee. Want some?" He just put the package inside the hallway and relocked the door. Maybe he thought that someone might kick it when getting out of the elevator (which is right near our door).

Or maybe this means that there have been reports of packages getting stolen when left in front of doorways. If that's the case, then I'm glad that he took the trouble to leave my envelope in a safe place, because this was what was inside:

Romantic_COVER.jpg

First, let me say that this is not a book that I would ever buy for myself. And it's not just because there's a yarn/book moratorium chez Subway Knitter QNS. Romantic Knits? Me? Not so much.

After further investigation, I wholeheartedly agree with Claudia's assessment of the book. There's only a few things in here that I could actually envision myself wearing, but overall the patterns are the work of technological brilliance.

Before I go any further, I would like to officially apologize for the next several photos. I simply used my digital camera to take pictures of the pages. I didn't feel like sitting at my scanner for hours and hours. Perhaps in the future, blogger-reviewers could be lead to a website where we could download high quality images for our posts. Just a thought.

Annie Modesitt is not afraid to get technical with her designs,and push the idea of what's possible in knitwear. I like that. And yet, a few of my favorites are the most straightforward designs in the book.

Saratoga0823.jpg

Yeah, it's a ribbed tank with a funky edging. Nothing new here. Visually, however, I like the color combination, and I like the use of the ribs combined with the edging. It's definitely an idea to file away.

AllAboutEve0823.jpg

Call me crazy, but I like this design. I love long, flowing skirts in the summer. They're much more convenient than shorts for us weekend subway riders (bare skin on those seats? not on your life!) Of course, I would have to change it so that it wasn't a low-rise garment. I would want some guarantees that the skirt would splay out (like an A-line skirt), and not simply droop and cling as gravity pulled on the fabric. A clingy skirt is fine (see above) but it's not the look I want to achieve. Can such a look be achieved with a knitted fabric through the choice of yarn? Shaping? Construction? I wish that I knew. Remind me to continue this discussion in another post.

Notorious0823.jpg

Lurve this! Of course, I would need to eliminate the peek-a-boo lace on the body, or be assured that I could find a cool white tee to wear underneath it. I want to know more, however, about the arm shaping. What's with the model's chicken wings? Is there puckering under there that we need to know about?

Designs that I thought were cool but that I would never, ever knit or wear:

NowVoyager0823.jpg

First, because it's too long. I don't want to drag a beautiful silk skirt through the grass! Second, because knitting it would drive me bonkers. All that stockinette!! But, ironically, a pattern for a skirt has given me an idea for a sweater. Remember Kate Gilbert's swingy jacket a few Interweaves ago? What was it called? (Heck, you might think that sitting here with the internet at my fingertips I would look it up, but nooooo.) Imagine that shape with this stitch pattern and embroidery at the bottom. Nice, no?

Cleopatra0823.jpg

Sexy. And I could think of people on whom this dress would be fantastic, but I'm not one of them. Didn't Grumperina knit this sample? Grumperina, designer of the Jaywalker? Who inspired whom, here :-)?

JayWalkerCloseUP0823.jpg

I don't like this dress at all (too clingy and too short), but look at the design, especially the front. Man, that's clever! I've been looking to do something like that for a long time.

Jezebel0823.jpg

I thumbed through many of the designs and was left with the idea that I could learn a lot from this book. And isn't that what we look for in knitting books and pattern? Inspiration? Education? I think so. If there's a great pattern or two thrown in, then so much the better.

Kudos to the publisher for not skimping on details like large, well-labeled schematics. Those are always helpful, especially in this book, when you need to know a lot about a garment to know if it'll work for you (or how to change it if it doesn't). If there's one thing I dislike it's a wimpy schematic (hello? Rowan?)

Also, I thought Anne's bibliography was a thoughtful touch. As someone who tries to design ocassionally, I was curious to see which resources a professional designer used to write her book and as overall knitting references. That's a great help to any knitter.

Annie's next book should be about design components--along the lines of Nicky Epstein's Knitting On (Over, Under, Beyond, Around, and Through :-P) the Edge series. I would buy it.

 

i got a free copy of this at work (yeah, occasional perks), and i agree that there isn't a lot i'd make for me. but the photography is pretty delightful. i thought about making the top of jezebel, just as a halter. the entire dress is too julia roberts circa "pretty woman."

Thanks for such a thoughtful review. In France if you're not nice to the super (concierge), she'll throw away your mail!!

I'm playing with the idea of that dress as a halter top myself. Although, I still question the idea of knitted summery tops in our climate....

Here's a link to pics from the book (totally legit, they're from Annie Modesitt herself!):
http://www.flickr.com/photos/28142715@N00/sets/72157594333481852/
I also love the last halter dress! Those shorts rows are a great idea. I would love to turn it into a regular length halter top...
Can you bring the book to the Point for us to look at? Pretty please?

I bought the book after Claudia's review too. I found more than I thought I'd really make and I'm looking forward to reading the text.

I absolutely loved the book. Like you I thought what in there could I or would I wear. But I keep going back to it at the book store. Thanks for helping me make up my mind I'm getting that book. There are definiately some techniques I could use knitting other things. Also I could use it for some inspiration, like we all need another reason to buy a book!!! Thanks again.

I think the skirt could be made as is, with a bias-fabric facing on the waistband to hold the shape. Could be fun to have a nice little print or something as an extra detail.
I recently got a new book out of the library on finishing details, including linings. Has nice straightforward examples and descriptions. I will try to track down the title for you if you are interested--sorry, I'm bad that way!

I like your analysis. The tank looks wearable even with a bra.

Hi, I just found your blog through Grumperina's link. Thank you for this review. I found it so helpful and thoughtful and smart. I'm guessing it's the NY subways you ride -- how nice to find another New York knitter and blogger. I'll be back....

About the zig-zag patterned dress. Grumperina did not invent that. I have seen it knitted into skirts and dresses since the 1970-ties. I even made a failure sweater in it myself as a teenager and the half frogged remains are still burried in my stash.

 

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