As most of you know, I'm a fat chick. I'm a very fat chick - that's right, the picture to your left is not really me (it's Joan Hickson as Miss Marple). This means knitting garments for myself is a major commitment. This is why I thought socks, once I overcame heel hysteria (thanks Spidey), would be the perfect project. You know, wear my normal
Great plan, I even did the maths and a tension square. Unfortunately the maths for proportionate bodies (measure your ankle circumference, subtract and inch from total circumference, multiply new figure by stitches per inch taken from your beautifully wrought and deeply resented tension square, knit for a bit then do a heel flap that is equal in length to the width of half your stitches) doesn't work for fat legs. I don't need a heel flap that is 5 inches long, for a start.
I knew that all along though, so it doesn't make sense in anyone's reasonable definition of that term that I knitted the full five inch heel flap, turned the heel in a flawless manner, elegantly and without gaps picked up the gusset stitches, and spent two whole evenings knitting the decreases. It is particularly stupid that even though I was pretty sure that this was a silly thing to do right from the off I persisted. Right beside the voice in my head that was saying - "Ya know, Taph, this don't look right" was another one saying "But the instructions said...". I felt like Donald Duck - remember he often had an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other? It's almost enough to make a woman take up that horrible feral cr****t just to shake herself out of the "pattern is always right" mindset, even when the instructions are from the Yarn Harlot herself.
Moral of the story - if you knit like a duck, don't be surprised when you get flippers.
For those who asked, and bless you, of course I didn't take any of the previewed projects to the Celebration of Wool with me. I took 4 entirely different projects and spent most of the day playing with short rows. Photos and a pattern to follow soon.
I spent a fantastic day at the markets followed up with an SnB at Starbucks and came home happier than I've felt in a very long time. Yes, I bought wool (400gm of a 4ply merino - a black strand and a white strand plied together *swoon* and half a kilo of a lovely corriedale cross in natural white to spin with), brand new Ashford hand carders, flick brush and drop spindle, and another Keepsakes from Mothers Table book because I keep giving my copies away.
The book is brilliant. The money goes to the Canberra Mothercraft Society which has been the saviour of generations of new parents and continues to do fantastic work for families. The book contains knitting patterns, some traditional, some not so much, and recipes. It has cheescake and knitting - what more could you want? Buy a copy for yourself and for someone you love - you'll feel better for it. Also, if you're making that cheescake, I'd be prepared to review if for you. ;)
It was more than the stuff I bought that made me so happy - it was fantastic to be able to speak to so many producers and enthusiasts. I saw a lot of people I knew which was lovely. The creative energy in that place was so revitalising.
My copies of the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules and Jillian and Amy's Big Girl Knits arrived last week and much time has been spend devouring them. Despite the obvious problems in the sock instructions (see above), Knitting Rules is as brilliant as you would expect. My expectations were not as well met by Big Girl Knits.
BGK is being raved about all over the net. It has it's own blog and it's own Yahoo group (I'm sick of linking - go Google it). It's being lauded as the fat chick's bible. It's pretty good it just didn't meet my expectations. The opening chapters about dressing for your body type and how to measure yourself are very good and accompanied by healthy dollops of self-accpetance talk which I fully support. I applaud their insistence that fat chicks should throw away the bulky and the novel yarns and seek out the finer fibres. I did expect, however, to find a few more patterns that actually went beyond the US 3x (about a 24 here in Aus). There were very few and the sock pattern didn't go up to my ankle measurement either. Yes, the book tells you how to do the maths, but the whole fucking point was that I was buying big girl patterns and wouldn't have to do the maths. My recommendation on this book, read my copy and spend your money on a couple of patterns from White Lies Designs. It isn't a coincidence that Joan McGowan-Michael's patterns in BGK are the ones I like the best. Also, Joan MM is writing a new book - looking forward to that one.
No pictures today - I forgot to borrow a camera.