••• Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Are We Down with Dumb Knitting? 

I'm not going to talk about the "Is Knitting Being Dumbed Down?" question that came up on the knatlist a few weeks ago or (of course) the subsequent/previous discussions on knit blogs.

Snotty-ass, late-knight-knatlist response notwithstanding, the truth be, I don't understand the question. So, I'll leave the sorting of this complicated issue to the experts, aka The Sacred Covenant of Knitting Knowledge and Related Societal Ills.

In the meantime, I'd like to share a little treasure I found while cleaning out my sty.

It's Rowan Book Number Four. 1988.

I started knitting in the spring of 1986. I won't bore with details, but let's just say that after that first dishcloth, I was a woman knittin' with ass afire.

Within a couple months, I taught myself shaping and cables and even a little color work; much to the chagrined admiration of my teacher, who only knew knit and purl and how to follow a simple pattern.

Back then, there weren't many sources for stylish, interesting patterns, at least for a late 20-something knitter. I remember a very hip cousin turning me on to Vogue Knitting, otherwise it was Bernat, Beehive or Sunset books. Or garter stitch scarves.

The yarn stores in my town didn't carry pattern books, aside from the occasional afghan or baby knit collection. So, when I found this Rowan Book in a chi-chi yarn shop, out of town, I thought I had come upon the Holier Grail.

At $9.50, this purchase was quite a splurge, and I remember being very anxious about my husband finding out. ::I'm biting my fingers to keep this nice. He is the father of my first-born...but it's really kind of interesting...no. No. No. However, I can say that sometimes, while at the bar, my friends can talk me into performing my oral impression of money coming out of a tightass butt-hole. Ha. How's that for a googlable moment?::

Also, in 1988, you could only buy Rowan yarn from a handful of "stockists" around in my state. Evidently Rowan wasn't interested in spreading their seed just anywhere. They had their standards. Back then. When knitting was a standard-protected craft.

This sweater here was probably my favorite, out of the entire book. It's a children's sweater. Love the colors.

Here's my second favorite choice, at that time. I even bought yarn for it (something acrylic, no doubt).

But something about the pattern held me back from even swatching. I think I was intimidated.

By the collar.

Yeah. That collar. In all its limp-ass-symmetrical glory.

I think I was afraid that mine wouldn't turn out like the picture. I mean, look at it. The collar. Wouldn't you be scared too?

And the errant, protuding pube? Pure, unwaxed, Rowan genious.

Maybe today's knitting is not worthy of shaving yesterday's ass, after all. Just Sayin.

::Swear to the goddess-of-cheese-clothed-crotchiness, the pube is in the photo. I double dare anyone with this book to take a look and back me up. In fairness to the undumbed down times of yesteryear, there is something about white wool that seems a magnet for the short and curlies. ::

And didja get a load of the sleeve seams? To die for. While both are little puckers, I love how one is more puckered. Than the other.

Not dumb.

Here's another example of that unique sleeve-fit-action. No dumbed-down pipe-fitters swimming in this artiste's gene pool.

For real, I loved this one. Still do. I'm not sure how the model feels about it, though.

Maybe she's mad because she didn't get the matching long underwear that went with the pullover version.

Oh Yeah. The Bright, Witty, Glory Days of Knitting: Lacy long-johns on a size 1 needle. On very expensive yarn.

How Undumb.

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