May 14, 2003

Hello. I'm a snail mail glutton.

spring2003_cottonjacket8.jpg
Just a few more rows, and we're blockin'!


I'd really love to finish off the remaining 10 rows on both front pieces of my pretty cotton jacket, but I'm too busy getting some great surprises in the mail:

Nancie Wiseman's Book of Finishing Techniques and A Knitter's Template by Laura Militzer Bryant [thank you, Morgan!]. After leafing through The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques, I've decided that it is going to be the one I'll always carry around in my knitting bag because it is just chock-full of finishing happiness. If you want to try all the finishing techniques I blab about at this site - tubular cast-on, kitchener stitch bind-off, invisible increases, woven seams - you'll find them all nicely illustrated in this book. I also enjoyed looking through A Knitter's Template, and am glad to have it. Admittedly, half of the book is filled with patterns that will be dated in a short time, but the other half has some clear instructions and basic fashion background for knitters who would like to easily come up with their own knitting patterns.

But that's not all! I also received some All Season's Cotton in Ravish, Rowan 27 [!], and some vintage Bernat pattern books [!!]. There is no doubt that retro pattern books are my favorite thing to browse. I never make anything from them but I find them to be a neat source of history, and downright fun. On the back cover of one of the magazines is a photo of a man wearing a knit beanie with vertical stripes and a pompom at the tip of it, and a matching knit pullover that is cinched at the neck with a crochet cord that has two pompoms dangling from both ends of it. And! The beanie is perched at the very tip of his head in the manner favored by Chilly Willy the penguin. It's wonderfully horrific. People, from where I hail, one cannot wear a getup like that without attracting weird looks, laughs or both. Fashion is so fickle and I love the nostalgic side of it.

And what will I do with my All Season's Cotton? It is, in a word, gorgeous. All Season's Cotton has the same stitch gauge as Phildar's Aviso cotton, and both are 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. The only difference is that All Season's Cotton is more tightly spun and a bit lighter in weight. I was planning on using it to knit the "Pagan" tank in Rowan 27, but as soon as I had the yarn in my greedy little hands I nixed that idea. So! This morning I went off to the yarn store [like a shameless junkie, really I am] and bought some Aviso in a light green color so I can knit the Pagan tank using it. The All Season's Cotton will be used for the Smooch tank in Rowan's All Season's Cotton Collection, because as soon as I saw that tank I just had to knit it, too. I'll be setting aside my pretty cotton jacket for a while, because my Pagan tank kicks off this weekend, and my Smooch tank kicks off as soon as I am able to stop staring like a lovestruck fool at my skeins of All Season's Cotton and just knit them up, already.

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13 comments to this entry:

oh dear! yarn so lovely it made you purchase other yarn! and is keeping you from finishing almost finished project! you're too funny! :) Tank Girl (a.k.a. Alison) is getting everyone so in the groove -- our summer wardrobes will soon be amazing! :)
Here's a comforting thought: tanks are like half a project, because they don't have sleeves! So that means we can knit twice as many without feeling guilty, right? I still have not encountered any Rowan yarn in person. I'm sure once I do I will be irrevokably hooked. Kind of like a pot junkie moving up to heroin.
Alison, you made me laugh so hard I won't be surprised if half the apartment complex heard me. (And I agree. Two tanks easily equals one sweater, so I might as well knit four! It would be like knitting two sweaters with half the fuss. Really, it is. And one can never have too many summer tops.)
Oh, Becky, I like your math! If I could only stop at four tanks. So glad that you've been lured into another knitalong. We'll all be so spiffy by the end of the summer. Too bad we can't have a group photo. And of course, my Finishing Techniques book lives in the knitting bag as well. Great minds think alike, I guess!
Well, I'm playing with ASC as I write. Fancy that. I *so* love it. Along with Rowan's wool cotton. Whodathunkit? I'm using ASC for both my tanks. Aren't I "special?" *spoiled brat grinnin' madly*
Hi Becky, I've been enjoying your projects and your blog for a while now-- I'm finally speaking up because I need some advice! I've been looking for a good book about finishing techniques (particularly, how do I do a neat-looking left slant decrease on purl stitches?) and I wondered if decreases of all kinds are covered in detail in the Knitters Book of Finishing Techniques. Several of the reviews at amazon.com were lackluster. What's your opinion? This may be just the book I'm seeking! Happy knitting, and thanks for all the beautiful pictures! Kate
Oops! I got so excited at the talk of tank tops that I completely forgot to say how lovely your sweater is turning out. Beautiful work. White really shows all, whether it be errors or a perfectly even gauge. And all I can see there is perfect knitting!
Thanks for those kind comments, Alison. But I wish the lighting in my pictures showed the knitting the way I'd like. We all know that I won't enhance my knitting pictures, so I think it's time I shopped for a new camera! Hi, Kate. Of the knitting techniques reference books I have in my little knitting library, the two I most like and wouldn't want to be without (up to now) are Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook and Nancie Wiseman's Book of Finishing Techniques. The Knitter's Handbook is an excellent and comprehensive book that contains ALL types of knitting techniques (like how to do a neat left slant decrease on purl stitches). This is the book I've employed to learn how to do all the techniques I use, and there are many more I want to try out. Nancie Wiseman's Book of Finishing Techniques is a nice summary of the finishing techniques described in Montse Stanley's book, but it seems to be more clear to me because it's simplified, smaller and easier to consult. I find it to be an excellent supplement to the Knitter's Handbook, but not a replacement. Still, I think it's a very good reference book all by itself.
I am thinking of knitting the Pagan tank from Rowan 27 also. I would like to order the yarn and the pattern at the same time, but I don't know how much yarn I need. Can you tell me how many skeins are required to make size 34?
5 skeins, Jenny.
I did not know about the interchangeability of ASC and Phildar's Aviso, thanks for the tip. Happy Pagan knitting! (Like both Raven and Aviso's light green.) However, did you decide which to use for each tank?
Thanks for the recommendations-- I picked up the Stanley book on the way home from work and it looks like just what I needed. Soon I'll be making flawless selvedges and bind-offs too!
Good choice, Kate! Later, if you get a chance, I recommend you get Nancie Wiseman's book, too. You'll find it to be a great summary of some of what Montse Stanley's book contains, and you'll be able to carry it around more easily.

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