Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Knits men want (yawn)...

Part I

I felt excited when I saw this book on amazon, and clicked before doing any research.  I gave the book to Jacques and asked him which sweater he wanted - he chose the Baseball Jersey and could not be convinced otherwise.  I like the pictures of the sweater too, but I know about seaming and huge panels, I have never done a "saddle shoulder", and the first projects I looked at on ravelry all complained about mistakes in the pattern and the designer not being very helpful. However, I have been very careful, I have made notes and I am counting and measuring every step of the way, so there is hope!  Two sleeves and half a front/back panel down, and I feel optimistic about the end product.  I am sure I will have to tweak around the neckline to make everything fit, but that's okay.  It is never that cold in Texas anyway, I have time.
About the book:  I recommend it, the patterns all involve miles and miles of stockinette in a shade of brown or gray, but that is very realistic. Jacques would wear every one of them.

The sleeves and half a panel, spread out, could cover at least 3 babies!
 I cast on a honey cowl for me, too.  I am modifying it a bit (see Ravelry notes).  I discovered linen stitch and all the other types of slip stitches very recently, which made me wonder, again: will knitting ever get boring? 
On a different note, I need input:  I want to give this cowl a crocheted edging - considering that I plan to wear this mostly with a white t-shirt and a denim (i.e. my uniform), what solid color would work best?

See the notes?

 About the literature:  Jacques recommended Herzog, by Saul Bellow.  It is very entertaining.  Some of my favorite quotes so far: "If I am out of my mind, it's all right with me, thought Moses Herzog."

The book is about a troubled man, in New York, who writes letters.  Incessantly, and to everyone that he happens to think about.  I am not yet sure if he mails any of them, or if it is just his internal dialogue.   Introspective is a good one word description.

I love books written a while ago - it serves to remind us that the problems we face today, the debates raging today, have been raging for ages.  All is not lost, if you feel as if all is lost, yet you cannot be sure that anything is won, either.  For instance, he writes:
" Dear Mr President, Internal Revenue regulations will turn us into a nation of bookkeepers.  The life of every citizen is becoming a business.  This, it seems to me, is one of the worst interpretations of the meaning of life history has ever seen.  Man's life is not a business."

The book was published in 1964.  It does not elaborate, this is just a snippet, almost an intrusive thought, while his (Herzog's) real life is continuing.  I fear you might now think the book is very political; it is not.  Most of the book is about interpersonal relationships, from the perspective of a man that has, to a degree, lost his mind. Fascinating.

Part II

 Melva's latest project.  It started with a science experiment, where we used red cabbage to make a pH indicator. It evolved into dying yarn using the indicator and baking soda, and knitting Baby Fan Mitts.  She adapted the pattern to ensure that it fits perfectly.  She made some knitting needles too.

 More about all of that in a different post.

Once again, linking up with Ginny's yarn along at Small Things, and looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to!


  1. Wow...are your needles full! ;) I am especially in love with those mits and that color of green! They are truly beautiful. Boy howdy...making knitting needles! How crafty is that?!

    1. Not that, actually :) It involves a dowel, a saw, a pencil sharpener and sandpaper. And waay to much energy. Isn't the green amazing? And to think it started with a red cabbage. Next time we add lemon juice, then it will be pink!

  2. Love your honey cowl such beautiful yarn. I've made a couple of them and I'm thinking of starting another one soon.
    I kinda like the greens or gold for the crochet edge idea. The book sounds so interesting. Thanks for the info.

    1. Thanks! It is a lovely pattern, isn't it? I am sure this one will not be my last. I like the idea of gold, have not even considered it before... The madelinetosh colors are so amazing, it is hard to choose from them!

  3. Lovely knitting!! I'm happy to have found your blog through the link up, I'm sharing leg warmers this week. Happy knitting!

  4. Glad to have found your lovely space :)
    Your knitting is simply beautiful. I love old books too, they offer such a sense of perspective!

  5. HI Emma
    I am glad that Jacques likes the patterns in my book, KNITS MEN WANT. But I was surprised to read that folks on ravelry found me unhelpful. I try to answer every question that come up directly to me or that i see posited in my group. Yes, the saddle shoulder is confusing and yes, there is one typo in the pattern... on Page 88
    For the Right Sleeve, under Shape Saddle, Decrease Row (RS), text should read:Repeat Decrease Row every other row...
    Most people who worked on the sweater had touble seaming the front to the sleeves since it's all curves and angled pieces.
    Earlier this year I posted a detailed description about how to put these pieces together successfully. here's that post.
    I do hope you have luck with the sweater and if you run into problems please don't hesitate to write me.

    1. Dear Bruce

      This is awkward! Sorry, I did not mean to be less than complimentary about your book at all. You see, I really do like it. We(by we I mean my 11 year old daughter)found the errata, and it was easy to find, and the error was clearly a typo that I would not have had trouble to figure out. I was discouraged by the comment on the pattern on ravelry:, since I am not a professional knitter and did not know if the commenter was correct when he said "Turns out I’m not the only person who realized that the sleeve length is WAY wrong. What average height male has a sleeve that’s 27” to the shoulder? The sleeve cap is enormous." That made me want to knit a different sweater (I really like the cardigan), not chuck the book!

      Thanks for the instructions on how to put all of it together! In future I will be more careful when I choose a title for my posts...