The price of everything

from Bronzino's Christ in Limbo

Knit your own damn sweater.

I don’t usually read long threads of comments, but I followed them all the way down from the fiercely excellent post  “On Devaluating Hand Knitting,” by Karie Westermann.

I’m glad I did, because I found this, unattributed:

“Knitting is like sex; if I like you and you appreciate it, it’s free. Otherwise you couldn’t pay me enough.”

My holiday wish for you, my anonymous internet darling, is a beautiful lover and 10,000 yards of Mongolian cashmere 2-ply. In whatever order you prefer.


Image: detail from Christ in Limbo by Agnolo Bronzino – public domain


Obsessing about a knitting app


La Couseuse
(Bouguereau for you, Bill :-)

Let me make this clear from the beginning: I have no idea what I am talking about. None. But my phone is full of laboriously typed notes on how to knit stitches that I haven’t memorized. I’ve accidentally deleted several of them. There has to be an app that will free me from this.

I would like something for my Windows 8 phone that does two things. I want to be able to save photographs of swatches of different patterns, with the instructions for each pattern below the photo. I also want to search the swatches visually, as well as alphabetically.  (I guess that’s more than two things. I don’t count well.)

I’ve looked for an app that will do these things on my phone, and haven’t found one. Most of the knitting apps seem to be designed to facilitate instant communication with other knitters on Ravelry or some other knitting forum, and I don’t want that. If I need help, I call my friend Nancy, and then fail to take her advice because it’s too much work. I’ve also found the Flickr group that posts knitting swatches, but it doesn’t have what I really like, and I want something stored in my phone.

My questions for knitters and/or anyone who has ever built an app are these:

1) is there an app I’ve overlooked that will do what I want on a Windows 8 phone, and

2) if not, would it be possible for me to build my own via the Windows Phone App Studio? Many years ago, I could write some html code, but I don’t want to take on anything too hopeless.

I would so appreciate any advice on this. And if I can make it work I will share (but would love swatch photos).


La Couseuse, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau – public domain


educational toys

Please untangle my hair. I will never do this again.

In spite of telling myself I’d post something every day in November, and enjoying everything I wrote, I had to stop for a few days. It’s better for me if I let myself be one of the slow children. My daughter was having a concurrent struggle over dropping a school program in town that I had pushed her to take. Once upon a time, I was a ferociously competitive academic, and I was trying to encourage her to stay in the program by reminding her that other children in the school district had been tested but not admitted. This was the wrong tack to take with my sweet child. I, on the other hand, cannot even be trusted to play Scrabble nicely; I want to win. I did manage to calm myself down without behaving too stupidly, and she now says she will try it again next year. She went to say goodbye to her teacher, and there was hugging. We’ve lain in bed for a few days making things and watching age-inappropriate TV, and now things seem…right. And I had time to obsess over an idea for a knitting app. I will post the details on Thanksgiving once everyone who thinks I should be festive has eaten themselves into a coma.

Slow Children

All the quick children have gone inside, called
by their mothers to hurry-up-wash-your-hands
honey-dinner’s-getting-cold, just-wait-till-your-father-gets-home-

and only the slow children out on the lawns…
making soft little sounds with their
mouths, ohs
that glow and go out and glow. And their slow mothers
pale in the dusk, watching them turn in the gentle air…

from “Slow Children at Play,” by Cecilia Woloch

Feather and fan

After I got done with my shift today, I sat on the couch in the lobby and wrote out my Christmas list. I was a little overwhelmed. If you are not a small child who is getting an kitty or an owl or a purse, you are getting some variation on this feather and fan pattern, because I can only cope with one official Christmas stitch. A friend of mine at work was decisively in favor of “fancy,” as opposed to a less frilly concoction, so here we go. Enjoy your hand towels.

Feather and fane

Feather and fan

Update: Oh, who knew? There’s a bitter controversy about the name of this stitch, which is from the Shetland Islands – is it feather and fan, or old shale? I’ll go with old shale, because I find the Orkney Island ladies intimidating.