other people’s knitting

This weekend Alice, Kate and I went to the I Knit London day where there were stalls and a bar and music and a fashion show of men’s knits from Debbie Stoller’s new book.  She’s in the front of this photo. Later, she signed books.

The Shellac Sisters DJ’ed, seamlessly melding one 78 into another– no mean feat when you consider the phonographs needed to be hand-cranked.

The Dutch SnB table was the friendliest of all. They had amazing cookies and also had this afghan on display, knit by the man in the background-center.  He made it for his mother.

There were some stellar knitters there, too.  This is Mulaika modeling her Capecho bolero.


Wrong for so many reasons, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

I confess. Baubles freak me out. I love aran knitting, but I don’t do much of it because of the damn baubles.

This particular example on the right is from Alice Starmore’s Knitting from the British Isles. I’m fascinated by Starmore’s olympic patterns but they all seem to be a lot of work for something that is often unwearable. This is just one example. I mean, here we’re talking intarsia baubles. On trousers. *shudder* I suppose if you are attempting a burryman look for your child, this is a suitable approach.

Right now I’m knitting the Vortex Street Pullover from Knitting Nature. The art-nouveau like aran curls terminate in baubles. Six baubles. I keep telling myself I can handle half-dozen baubles.

But knitting them– distending the stitch, back and forth– back and forth– (which way is the stitch supposed to go when you pass it back? Never mind, just get the thing over with.) Once done, it hangs temporarily from the work like a massive skin tag, a carbuncle, a tumor.

And on the way back in the next row, it falls to the back and you have to push it through the work, like a pimple that needs lancing.

Once it’s tightened up on the next right side row I find myself pulling and twisting and fussing with it neurotically– can I make it look less lesion-like?

I’ve knitted two– I have four more to go. Wish me luck.

And here are a few more things I’ll not be knitting anytime soon:

bfn4.jpgbu3.jpg Sorry to pick on Teva Durham, but her designs are unwearable. I’m all for the daring and strange, but can you imagine anyone wearing these designs? On her website she recommends wearing them with pleather pants.

giant pink scarfNormally I avoid fashion magazines. There was a time in my life when I devoured them. (During that time I also went to the gym twice a day and lived on diet coke.) But it’s better for my sanity if I just look at them as a special occasion treat. I bought the recent Elle and was delighted to find these mega scarves by Giles.

They are knit on broomsticks with what looks like roving.

Last year I bought a scarf at my favourite London knit shop, Fabrications. It was made by a local designer and was knit with merino roving on massive needles and then felted. the felted fringe looks like tentacles. It’s still in winter storage but once I break it out, there will be pictures.

I love the idea of a scarf being more like a chrysalis, and the distortion of the body where the neck and shoulders seem to disappear.

Scarves– that perennial beginner project– are still one of the most satisfying things to knit, and probably my favourite thing to wear. My one pet peeve, though, is seeing woolly scarves worn with camisoles or slip dresses. If it’s warm enough to go out without a jacket, then a wool scarf is pure pretension. It makes my itchy just thinking about it.

While perusing the issue I also saw this bulky knit beret or “dread crown”– spectacular! I knew I acquired those 15mm dpns for something. This is, of course, never to be worn with the bulky scarf lest one disappear completely in bulky knits.

jumbo crown

Favourites, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

some favourites from flickr

Favourites, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

inspired by Tricia– my flickr favourites substitute for the style journal I used to keep. People I love and cool things are all inspirations for my knitting.

South Bank Style, originally uploaded by velvetdahlia.

I saw this fab Londoner while walking to the Tate. She crocheted this scarf using neon pink synthetic fibre. She said it was freeform– no pattern. It looked like electronic seaweed.