Thank you all for your thought-provoking comments about PDF patterns versus the real thing on paper. Apparently more than a few designers aren't happy about the recent developments over at Interweave. Because patterns can be shared with a click of a button, designers are concerned that this will make copyright infringement even easier. If I can extract anything, however, from the comments I received yesterday, it's that most of you are in favor of this service. I have to agree. It's unfortunate that some people don't respect (or even understand) copyright. For those who are bent on sharing knitting patterns with their nearest and dearest, it's just as easy to stop at Kinkos on the way to knitting group as it is to click "forward". Personally, I would be less likely to ask a friend for a copy if I knew that I could easily and instantly download a pattern for a small charge.
Those of you who mentioned shipping costs had a very good argument for the PDF, in my opinion. I especially appreciated those comments from readers who don't have easy access to the American knitting-pattern market. I feel your pain. I don't have easy access to the European chocolate market. Hmmm, I sense an opportunity here. If anyone from over on that side of the pond wants a pattern from this side, please be in touch.
Let's finish out the week with an FO. Two FOs actually, for two babies.
Fraternal hats for fraternal twins! Look carefully: either hat is the opposite of the other. Close, but not identical. And they're not gender specific colors, perfect for a pair of girl-boy twins. This way Mom and Dad don't have to think about which kid is getting which hat.
Alert readers might recognize the yarn as that left over from Kate's sweater, but with the striping pattern of the most recent baby knit. Both are, indeed, true. I didn't think that Kate would mind sharing, she's a generous kid.
Wow, it's really been baby knitting summer 'round here. I like knitting for babies. The projects are small, the patterns are cute, the colors are usually bright pleasant. Small, cute, and pleasant: just what I need right now. I'm kinda itching to begin a larger project, but this has got to wait until after I move.
What's next? Well, if yesterday's post didn't tip you off, socks are next on the needles. For memememememe!
For those of you who don't know (and this is many) I'm about to become an Interweave contributor. Or rather, the contribution was long ago; it's due to be published soon. I think. I actually don't know, and will be just as surprised as you are to see my name among the pages.
Interweave recently contacted us contributors about participating in a pattern-on-demand service. Meaning that instead of hunting down a back issue of Interweave (or more accurately, grabbing a copy from your friend's bookshelf and scanning it) you can simply go to the website and download (for a fee) a copy of a particular pattern. [I don't know if articles will also be available in this way.]
This is a great way to determine which patterns are standing the test of time, and more significantly to halt (or at least slow) copyright infringement. It'll probably encourage more of us to knit from back issues. Why go through the trouble of hunting down an entire issue of a magazine when you need only one or two pages? Doesn't that seem like a waste? You no longer need your friend's bookshelf when you can download and print a clean beautiful copy of the desired pattern from your computer.
At first only a selection of the Interweave catalogue will be available in this way. Let's hope that it continues to expand as this service proves popular.
What got me thinking about the importance of this matter in more depth was a recent search for a sock pattern. Someone somewhere recently completed a pair of socks, and linked to the pattern. I don't know who the heck this was, and if someone does know, please email me. I liked the pattern immediately. It is, however, out of stock at The Loopy Ewe. Drat and darn. I'll have to wait until it restocks.
Imagine if TLE had a setup much like Chicknits, whereby once you pay your money you get an email with a PDF version of your pattern. No more waiting, and more importantly no more inventory issues for the shop.
I'm singling out TLE and Wendy Knits, but only because it's topical for me. This is far from the only designer/shop relationship with this type of pattern distribution setup.
I apologize for the so-so photograph, but I swear that those are knitting hands. I spotted this woman on the 1 train recently, while I was on my way to the Spiders. She and I both exited at Houston, but while I took a right onto Downing, she continued straight on Varick to 7th Ave. South.
Who are you, Mystery Knitter?
no one can hear you scream.
Yours truly came down with a whopping case of laryngitis this weekend. For almost three days I couldn't raise my voice above a whisper, never mind manage a scream. Those close to me might have appreciated the break from the "blah, blah, blah, knitting, blah, blah, blah" and enjoyed the peace and quiet brought on by my sudden and unexpected muteness.
But you can only shut me up for so long. Sooner or later I'll find a way to make myself heard--or read.
Because I wasn't so busy flapping my gums, I was actually able to get a few things done. A few things like baby gifts.
Thank goodness! I was beginning to think that this kid was going to be in kindergarten before he managed to get his sweater.
And what good is a sweater without a matching hat?
Sweater: Adapted from the Child's Placket Neck Pullover, from LMKG. I eliminated the placket, adjusted for my gauge, and then created the striping pattern that you see.
Hat: My own pattern. Cast on 84 stitches, work in stockinette in the round until the thing looks long enough. Then decrease 12 stitches evenly every other row until 8 stitches remain. Cut yarn, thread through the remaining 8 stitches and cinch together. I had to plan the start of my decrease section so as not to end the hat before I finished the third striping sequence.
Gauge: About 4.75 stitches per inch.
Needles: US 7s, circulars and DPNs.
Yarn: Some random wool/acrylic blend worsted weight that I picked up in the 'hood. I'm calling it Astoria's Wool Ease.
I have a fancy-schmancy pompom maker...in storage. I use it about, oh, once a year. Apparently 2007's moment was this weekend. I didn't see the reason to buy a second version of a seldom-used item.
What's a knitter to do? Improvise! I simply wrapped the yarn around two outstretched fingers, tied the yarn together tightly when I was finished, and then snipped the ends apart.
Not too bad. The pompom needs some serious trimming before it's evenly round, but even the ones that I produce on my pompom maker require this step.
I'm not sure if it's a good sign that I'm learning to work around the things that I have in storage.
So, for the first time in over ten years I'm taking a college class. Yes, a real, live college class at NYU. Not a for-credit course, simply some personal enrichment. But I think that there'll be homework and stuff. I might have to study.
I received my registration confirmation a couple weeks ago.
I think that's a good sign.
You Brooklynites have all the luck! Look what I read about on Brownstoner yesterday.
So apparently Home-Ec is going to be a place where you can take sewing lessons, learn pattern making (not a bad skill to pick up, once I've honed my basic sewing skills a little bit) and, AND, and rent time on a sewing machine.
I pray every day for a swift and smooth reunion with my sewing machine (soon, hopefully). But if I can't get that, then I know where I can scratch that itch (should the need arise).
Knitting projects are happening fast and furiously around here. I have had lots of time to knit over the past couple of weeks, and not just on the subway.
What? You can't see what's in that photo? Hmmm, perhaps it's because the glass in the background isn't exactly filled with carrot juice.
Our girl Kate is doing just fine as a newly minted one-year-old. She's mobile, chatty, and quite the ham for the camera. Toddler status seems to have done nothing but enhance her overall joie de vivre.
The sweater seems to be quite the success (good Auntie):
Kate is learning new tricks every day. I will neither confirm nor deny that I taught her this one (bad Auntie).
Amazingly, she already has a vague idea that sticking out your tongue might be a little bit naughty. Yet she enjoys it, perhaps simply because it is naughty. That's my girl!
People seem to write of September as the ultimate buzzkill month (back to school, beaches closed, no more linen) but if you look beyond the naysayers, September can be summer's quiet time.
Even so, my thoughts are slowly turning to fall and winter knits. A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a skirt I saw in Annie Modesitt's new book. And, while perusing Ravelry one fine day, I remembered that I have long coveted this skirt by Véronik Avery. [Just as an aside, and I totally mean this in a non-stalkerish kinda way, but I was quite excited to find Véronik on Ravelry. I mean, like, she's so cool and all. She even has her own Ravelry group, Very Véronik. I, of course, joined.]
I have long had two hesitations about this knit. First the weight. How much is this skirt going to weigh--especially if I need to make it longer than the pattern's original length? Second, how does it wear? I don't want to work months and months on a beautiful thing, only to have it snagged by an errant rivet on some subway bench.
Finally, when the pattern was released I didn't think that I knew enough about knitting to do this pattern justice. Now I think that I do. And I still have the pattern somewhere. In storage. That could be the new motto around here. "I have that! In storage." I say this at least three times a week.
Pepperknit was raving about this skirt back in April (see, I know this thanks to you-know-what). Based on her positive review, I'm tempted to cast on for the skirt right now and knit the pattern as written (perhaps altering for length).
"But wait!" you say. "What about the book/yarn embargo?" Yeah, what about it? You see, thanks to a generous blog enabler, urrr, reader, a copy of the book lusted after in yesterday's post is on its way to me as I write. What better way to warm up to a whole book of Véronik than by indulging in one of her earlier designs?
You can see what my mind is doing here. This is how I'm justifying a yarn purchase.
"Fine," you reply. "Knit the darn skirt. Have fun digging through your storage space until you find that Interweave issue. Do you even know which box it's in?"
No. I don't.
"Yup, can't knit the skirt without the pattern, can you?"
Apparently my knitting is adapting as quickly to life in NYC as I am:
A recent sunny day found me in Bryant Park, sipping a café au lait from WichCraft (or 'WichCraft, or wichcraft, or whatever). Perhaps my knitting just wanted to pick up some lingering vibes from Fashion Week.
Whatever the reason, things soon got a little silly.
"What is this?" you ask. Well, I had so much fun with Kate's sweater that I couldn't resist casting on for another one as soon as I finished it. This one is for a new arrival to the Garden State. While New Jersey is a lot further north than North Carolina, this kid still has some time before sweater weather stays around for good. Therefore, I'm knitting a larger-than-newborn size in hopes that the sweater has a chance of fitting this winter.
The yarn? I don't know. Again, it's some random wool/acrylic blend that I picked up in Astoria. So far it's knitting up rather nicely, if I may say so.
Hmm, another Monday, another Monday with Photoshop problems. What up with this?
Anyway, these days if I'm on the internet and I'm not blogging, then you can somewhat guess where I am. Thanks to the Rav, I discovered (or finally realized) that one of my very favorite knitwear designers is Véronik Avery!
Véronik uploaded a bunch of her designs to her Ravelry page. On a recent Ravelry expedition, I somehow I clicked through to there. As I scanned her photos I realized that she's the source of many of the designs that I've coveted since becoming a knitter. Coveted, but never knitted. That's another story. Over and over I thought "Oh yeah, remember that. Love that!'
Designs like this skirt:
I had forgotten about this skirt, and just how much I liked it. Furthermore, it's stood the test of time. I liked it when the pattern was first published, and I still like it now.
Then I noticed that she has a new book out. Oh my. Must. Have. That. Book.
[Remembers the book/yarn embargo currently in effect chez Subway Knitter QNS. *Drat* Remembers that Christmas isn't too far away. *Smile*]
But if, you know, someone in the marketing department of Stewart, Tabori and Chang, happens to read this post, and, you know, happens to have a review copy of this book lying around, I would be happy to, you know, write about it here. Just sayin'.
But if, you know, someone in the marketing department of Stewart, Tabori and Chang is reading this blog, I should act a little cooler about this. (Or at least make it seem less certain that I totally WANT THAT BOOK!) Why would any marketing type send me that book for free when they pretty much know that I (or someone else who might be shopping for me) will buy it? Indeed, there's a Borders right up Broadway from the offices of Subway Knitter. Right up the street. Mere steps...
Oh dear. How many days 'til Christmas?
A finished sweater for Kate!
This will go down in the annals of knitting history as not my best knit. The body was too short, but I fixed that. The sleeves? Something tells me that they're too short, too. I could graft additional length to them. Since I'm going to see the Kate-ster next week I can get a sense of how much length I should add if I were to add anything.
Kate's Stripey Sweater, the details:
Pattern: My version of the Child's Placket Neck Pullover (sans Placket)
Yarn: Some random acrylic/wool worsted weight that I picked up in Astoria. Think Wool-Ease and you wouldn't be far from the mark.
Needles: US 7s
What I would do differently next time: make the body and sleeves longer from the get-go.
Would I knit this pattern again? You bet! Despite the sizing weirdness (which I can easily fix) I love this pattern. Throw in a striping sequence, and I am one happy subway knitter.
No, it's not a finished sweater for Kate, although by now I certainly should be able to do that.
Look, I bought a new bag! What a surprise. Okay, it's not really a surprise, if you've been reading here for any amount of time. If there's one thing that I can always find an excuse to buy, it's a new bag.
Cathy's making these bags and selling them in her Etsy store. Mmm, mmm, with all the Ravelry madness around here, I had forgotten all about Etsy. I don't do enough exploring on Etsy (and my checking account weeps with gratitude).
I love my bag! Cathy uses hers to tote around small knitting projects, like socks. I can certainly see this bag coming in handy for that. I, however, use it for my just need to run down the street bag, or my just going for a quick dinner in the neighborhood bag. I throw my wallet, keys, Metrocard, and phone in there and I'm ready to go. I also find the strap handy for looping over a bicycle handle, or looping on another bag (like a shopping bag).
The craftsmanship is excellent. Take it from someone who sews enough to know that she would need a lot of practice to sew this well, especially with beefy upholstery fabric like this. Look at the interior!
And look how those stripes match (great job with the zipper, Cathy)
I really love this bag!
Perhaps I have aroused the suspicions of others. Perhaps I created some enemies during Operation Shortrow. Heck, I once inadvertently pissed off half of the S-n-B Boston Yahoo! list. That was a fun discussion to read through afterwards. Something about telling someone that anyone can knit a pocket. Perhaps I should have written almost anyone, because I apparently overestimated this woman's knitting abilities and she got ticked. Sorry! Next time I'll assume mediocrity.
Anyway, being away from my laptop over the weekend, my Photoshop being (mysteriously) down yesterday, and my host being (mysteriously) unavailable last night, meant that blogging things have not been good for Subway Knitter.
Someone does not want me to post a picture. This particular photo:
Ha! It's my first subway knitter photo in months. [Okay, okay, crocheter--if you're keeping track.] I'm back!