They should call it E-cord.

You know, I have no issue whatsoever with I-cord generally. I’ve made it before; I think it’s a smashing thing that you can knit in the round on a single needle without turning. However. This applied I-cord around the Sheldon shell–by which you connect the shell to the little Underoos that the turtle wears to don the shell–is making me wish I had about two fewer fingers on each hand. I’ve seldom had such a struggle with only four stitches at a time. They’re too tight, they’re too loose, they’re popping off the needle while I’m trying to pick up the edges. Stupid I-cord. Not “I” for “idiot,” but “e” for “effort.” This is taking much more effort than it seems like it should. I promised my older son that I’d knit him one after I finished this one for someone else, and now I’m regretting it. Maybe on the second try, it’s easier.

In other knitting news, I decided to use the second, smaller half of the ball of sock yarn to knit socks for the baby, and just start the other sock for the older kid out of the new ball and try to make them both alike. This is utterly unnecessary; it’s just a little silly game I’m playing with myself. And anyhow, it fits my mandate: use up sock yarn. Plus, the baby can’t keep socks on to save his life. I should knit some that button to his diaper. Hey! I could knit socks that button to his diaper! That would be marvelous. Who says I’m not creative.

I picked up the spring issue of Interweave Knits, and there’s a lot of talk of spring knitting. I tend to tune out when I hear those words together. I don’t generally enjoy working with cotton yarns, and the sweaters are lovely, but I’m still emotionally scarred from the eighties, when I had an enormous collection of awful cotton sweaters, long since released into the wild to ruin someone else’s wardrobe. I went to wool and have only looked back when it became apparent that I had a moth infestation at some point. Which reminds me that if you know anyone who wants some slightly holey wool sweaters to reclaim for something on Etsy, point them my way. I ask only for one of whatever it is they make with them, and they can have the lot for fun and profit.

So, cotton, that’s one problem, and the other is this: I have breasts. The models with the sweaters? Not so much. Now, I know that this is Interweave Knits and not Interweave Cheesecake, but like most women, I keep my breasts in my sweaters, and that means I need sweaters that look like they can accommodate them. Without, if I might ask the world of them while I’m at it, making me look like I’m not so much clothed as slipcovered. That was the great appeal of the Lia sweater. It has extra optional short-row shaping in the bust. Excellent work, that. Could I figure out this kind of thing for myself? Probably. Will I? Come on. If you knew how many things I’m neglecting just to write this much, you’d know that it’s not going to happen. Not before next winter, anyhow.

The issue did offer one thing I liked, though: the En Pointe Pullover. I have a suspicion that many patterns in knitting magazines are based on boxy rectangles instead of more flattering body-hugging shapes because boxy rectangles are easier to knit and therefore more accessible to beginning-to-average knitters. This pattern is a great example of a simple shape that has great drape and flow through using the right kind of yarn and innovative assembly. I’m going to try it in the new Knitpicks yarn Aloft. It looks like just the thing for when it’s too warm for sweaters indoors, but too cold to go outside without one. That’s spring knitting I can get into.

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10 thoughts on “They should call it E-cord.

  1. Does IK really aim for beginning/intermediate knitters though? I kind of got the impression Knitscene was geared for the younger demo and has simpler shapes because of that, so you’d think IK was more aimed at the more advanced knitter demo (unless Piecework fills that, I guess).

    (I also was a bit uncomfortable about how similar En Pointe is to a Rowan design: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/portia )

    • That’s a good question. I haven’t seen Knitscene; I took a serious hiatus from buying knitting mags for a while, and it’s been so long since I thought something was beyond my skills that possibly IK is more advanced than I think. The shaping is still boxier than I’d want, though, and maybe it’s a fashion thing. If they are aiming at the smaller-breasted among us, boxy isn’t such a bad thing.

      Supposedly Piecework is history-oriented and covering a lot of different kinds of needlework, though I find they focus far too heavily on a) knitting; b) Eastern European knitting; and c) knitting. I’ve been reading that for years and they could not be more in love with Anna Zillboorg, which is also not such a bad thing, but I kind of know all about the socks now and would like to move on to something else. I was griping about that a few years back to a bunch of stitchers at the Plimoth jacket project and one of them said, “Oh, Piecework still thinks knitting is ‘in’.” Which, unfair, but still…Except for the Weavette issue from last year, I haven’t worked anything actually from the magazine in ages. I read it for the articles, heh.

      I did not see that Rowan pattern before! Huh. This is to be my first shot at that kind of sweater. I’ve made others, but they’re heavy-duty winter sweaters.

      • I always assumed that Piecework was the magazine dedicated to the history of knitting – interesting that really it’s not supposed to be! I’ve been knitting and crocheting for a long time, but mostly with whatever I could either make myself or with the very small collection of books I had. So admittedly I’ve been out of the loop until quite recently.

        Speaking of Piecework, they have a new special issue out. It is called Knitting Traditions and appears to be mostly from Piecework’s archives, with a few newer pieces I think. You might enjoy it, though as you are a Piecework reader perhaps too much of the content will be rehashed? It’s on ravelry if you’d like to flip through some completed projects. The only truly non-knitting technique in it is naalbinding. And perhaps a crochet edging snuck in or something 🙂

      • Posting again because I was curious to see if the boxiness issue (heh! issue!) was just this IK spring or if it was present in the other three issues I have, and I would definitely say that spring is extremely boxy. Fall and Winter 2010-11 definitely have shaping in the sweater and are more larger-bust friendly.

        I hope it’s just a blip (and also part of it might be that it seems the sweaters are all way too large for the models).

  2. Yes, I picked up the last (first?) two issues! Last year’s and this year’s, at any rate. They are reprinted articles, but it turns out lucky I got into them because one, about the Warner House bedspread, turns out to be perfect for my thesis, and I’m going to get in touch with them for more information about that. I would never have remembered it from years ago. I have Pieceworks since at least 2004 in my house. It did used to have more than just knitting, more frequently. And it isn’t their fault that Eastern European isn’t to my taste. I tell myself it’s broadening, heh.

    • I think we’re cross-commenting here! Hee 🙂

      The Warner house bedspread? Is that the one where the volunteers knitted the squares for it and it took like, two years or something, and tons of yarn?

      I remember reading about that a while ago. I should dig around and see if I can find it online – I think it was an article in the Washington Post? I’ll let you know if I find it!

      • That’s the one! My thesis is about community collections projects, specifically needlework, used to furnish historic house museums. And I don’t know why, but I can’t reply to your last two comments in-thread! There’s just no reply button. I’ll have to check out the previous issues of IK, because I picked up the spring issue on a whim at the yarn store (I’d kind of promised myself I wasn’t going to up and start buying knitting mags again! Curses!), and then the summer 10 issue just to see if there would be anything good to make in the summer months.

        Anyhow, anything you can find about that project would be great, but if you don’t end up having time/finding anything, that’s okay. I know what I want to ask the staff there. Too bad they don’t open until June! I’ll have to see the house now.

    • I think the not being able to reply thing is a limit set in WordPress for how deep your blog allows nested comments. I think the default is 3, but I believe you can crank it up to ten max? I set my blog to that, not that I really need nested comments or anything.

      My google-fu is failing me, leading me to believe the original article I wanted to find is not online. I know a lot of back issues of magazines and newspapers are not online, though I might try JSTOR next.

      I DID find this article, though, which led me to the museum’s website, where they list other places where the Warner House is mentioned: http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=832

      • Oh, awesome, awesome, I fixed it. Now they’ll nest 10 deep. This software is really something. I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface, and of course, I don’t have the time to noodle around with it that I wish I did.

        Thanks for looking into that for me! Like I said, don’t feel obligated, but I’m glad to have whatever you can get!

        • I found: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4171589
          which was the only craft-related topic I got with a search of ‘warner house bedspread’ on jstor (I used ‘ since ” implies an exact match, which it is not). It mostly talks about crewel bedspreads though, and not THE bedspread.

          It’s going to bother me until I can find the article though. I might make a trip to the campus library tomorrow and pester, er ask, a librarian for help. I’m also going to post on ravelry somewhere and see if I can find anyone who recalls this article I remember, since it’s definitely not the same one as in Piecework nor the one I linked from that antiques and art magazine.

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