Archive for December, 2008


Crochet vs. Knit

Within the first few seconds of viewing the following video I was outraged and indignant but it soon became apparent that the joke was on me. This is funny stuff and very well done. We do take ourselves at bit too seriously sometimes, don’t we? Enjoy!


The Announcer's Test

For some strange reason, the following “tongue teaser” has been on my mind lately. It has been attributed to Jerry Lewis, but, in reality, dates from the 1940’s and was once used as an elocution test for auditioning radio announcers. It sounds much more amusing than it reads, but I hope it serves you well as a little chuckle for the day.

  • One hen

  • Two ducks

  • Three squawking geese

  • Four limerick oysters

  • Five corpulent porpoises

  • Six pair of Don Alverzo’s tweezers

  • Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array

  • Eight brass monkeys from the ancient sacred crypts of Egypt

  • Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic, old men on roller skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth

  • Ten lyrical, spherical diabolical denizens of the deep who haul stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.


More from New World Waking


Is it too much to ask

for some standard, common-sense and logical approach among yarn companies when assigning weight classification to yarns? In what confused mind are both Elsbeth Lavold Cotton Patine (WPI=17)and Red Heart Super Saver (WPI=11) classified as worsted weight? Folks, it just doesn’t make any sense. It’s difficult enough when publishers dictate which (expensive) yarn(s)  designers must use for publication, but it is fairly impossible to adequately substitute to accommodate a more modest budget.

Let me say up front that I may be becoming that which I  had heretofore sworn I would not become … a yarn snob. I try to use the best yarn I can find and/or afford for my designs. What I am basically saying is that I am becoming psychologically allegic to acylic. Yet, I know that, for certain projects, acrylic is the way to do. Apparel is not among those projects. Still I am mindful that if I want my designs to be appreciated and actually worn, I have to make those designs accessible. To be honest, I could never afford the yarn I was asked to use in designing the Gatsby Sweater. Luckily I didn’t have to pay for it: a sweater in my size, using the yarn suggested in the pattern, would cost close to $200. Yet, finding a workable, affordable substitute for many who wished to make the sweater was a major challenge.  As with worsted weight, DK weight seems to be different for each yarn manufacturer. Truth be told, RYC Cashsoft DK is a much  finer weight that the sport weight yarn I used in the original design. To make matters more interesting is the fact that some publishers use the terms DK and sport interchangibly.

This is madness. Yarn classifications should be standardized according to (in my humble opinion) WPI, not gauge. If the same hook or needle size was referenced in each gauge statement, I might give gauge more credit. But when one yarn with a gauge statement of 22/4″ on #6 needles and another 24/4″ on #8 needles are both classified as DK, I frankly lose confidence.

I propose standardizing yarn weights according to WPI (wraps per inch). How many times a yarn can be wrapped within 1 inch cannot be fudged, exaggerated, miscounted or obfuscated. It is what it is and we can go on our merry way. Is it too much to ask to have our lives rendered just a bit less complicated by agreeing on reality?


Rant Alert

When I returned home last evening from my concert performance, I discovered that, at long last, my copy of Crochet! Magazine had finally arrived in the mail. Now, I knew, both from word of mouth and from the magazine’s web site, that my Continental Cable Scarf pattern was indeed published in this issue. My contact with the magazine assured me it would appear this month. The check stub even attested to the fact that this would be the issue. But, being the insecure skeptic that I am, I had to see for myself.

I practically tore the pages from the staples, frantically searching for the pattern. When finally I found it imagine my horror to find that THEY CHANGED THE FRINGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(taking a moment to compose myself)

I know, I know. They bought the pattern.They have every right to change whatever it is they want to change. But I had no warning. I loved my fringe. It gave the scarf a unique character, over and above my pretty cable. It’s like having plastic surgery and trading in Audrey Hepburn’s nose for Miss Piggy’s! They removed a whole row of knots. It looks so incomplete now. I am devastated. I had rather they removed the fringe entirely. Anyone who wants the original instructions for the fringe can leave me a note and I’ll gladly send them along.

They should have warned me.

On another note, I still am desperate to finish a project…ANY project. I have two women’s tops and a men’s vest completed, begging me to write the pattern, but I can’t set my mind to do the work. I’d rather crochet than write. Pattern writing is the work of the devil, especially when sizing garments. I’d sooner eat glass than spend hours at the computer, one hand on the keyboard, the other on the calculator. There’s gotta be a better way. I need to get an attitude adjustment rather quickly as I need to make these patterns available.

On the teaching front, I am now in my third month of instructing at two yarn stores here in Oakland and am soon to start at another, this one in Berkeley. If I can somehow find a fourth gig, I think I can manage, along with the designing, to forge a modest living without outside resources. It’s not easy, though. I can’t always count on my health to cooperate but, so far, so good. As my commitments are structured, I never have to work more than two days per week, giving me time in between to conserve my strength. I am optimistic that this is the beginning of better life for me.


New World Waking

Last night I had the most remarkable experience in singing the world premiere of New World Waking by Steve Schalchlin. I cannot fully express my feelings right now. I am far too spent physically and emotionally to adequately describe the event. Here is a video montage of the concert:

More later

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