Saturday, April 2, 2011

A day that can't be misconstrued as a bad joke (and yes, a giveaway)

April fools' day is one of those days I enjoy but also find a little dismaying. On the other hand, the ouroboros of irony in this Reddit prank is sort of amusing, if only that the second pick for "most boring video" was a knitting tutorial. I think a link to This Is Handmade would have been more appropriate.

Then there was this:

This was around 10am yesterday and it snowed for hours. It was all gone by the evening after it warmed up and rained, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted to wake up to!

I was also out all day yesterday having a delightful fibery time with some far flung friends. By the time I got home this blog post just wouldn't coalesce, (a cocktail might have contributed to this fact). But I have a giveaway to give! This month I'm giving away something a little quirky, to go along with April 1 (a date which I've now avoided).

This month, I'm giving away this:

No, not the plate. Look closer. I swear there's something there sitting on the yarn. Really! OK, it's a set of double pointed needles I bought from China a few years ago. They're a set of 4 steel needles about 9.5in long, size 16. This size 16 is, I believe, from the old UK scale and so these needles fall between size 00/1.75mm and size 000/1.5mm. I'm also including the 5 mini-skeins of assorted sock yarn in a mostly blue palette. Just in case the idea of knitting with 1.6mm needles is daunting, you know?

When I was in Shanghai I would see women knitting elaborate single colored sweaters in the round on long dpns like these or longer, with one or more strands of lace weight yarn. The smallest sized needles I could find were 18s. Since I was running around with a short US#7/4.5mm circular needle and a heavy worsted weight yarn, I felt very fish out of water.

The knitters were often sitting outside their booths in assorted marketplaces, and I once saw a woman winding yarn with a vertical wire swift. Most of the yarns being sold in the markets were unlabeled and in big hanks sorted by fiber content. This was very different from the yarn and fabric shop I visited where everything was in a glass case or in boxes along the wall, looking very much like the balled yarns we see here, and with heavier weights available.

I'm going to let this one run through Friday, April 8th, and I'll pick a random winner on Saturday. This time around I'd like to hear a story about yarn craft in public, either your own or seeing someone working on something in public. Comment here with a story or anecdote to be added to the drawing! And yes, double dipping with this month's Ravelry group giveaway is fine. And remember to leave a way for me to reach you if you've won.


Bretta said...

Hi Dale,

When we lived in Australia I always thought it was interesting how many women knitted during a church service. I wish I had known how to knit then...I went to a lot of services :o)

Have a great weekend!

@breaduh on Twitter

InJuneau said...

Our local SnB started us recently, and we meet in the bar of the biggest hotel in town (which prob. isn't very big in comparison to other towns, but...). Most of the women knit, a couple crochet, and I have been spinning when I make it. The looks we get...esp. from lobbyists and legislators!

(InJuneau on Ravelry)

sockrat on Ravelry said...

I knit on my breaks at work so I just knit away while we sit around the table & chat. Everyone likes to see what I'm making, and pass the wool around to feel. One coworker recently left me a voice message at work that she dropped a stitch and needed help, but that was the day I was off. I emailed her the next morning that I was back & the "KnitLine" was open. Next thing I know she was up in the office with her knitting, & I fixed it. And my bosses don't seem to mind! In fact when I think of it, I get more than a few calls at work that go "oh good, you're there, I'm bringing my knitting over".

Anonymous said...

I'm always slightly envious whenever I see someone knitting in public, it's almost like a good book, you just need something to do with your hands, but my favorite has to be when before I was actually knitting myself I lived on a commune in Virginia and this girl that lived there was in her early twenties like me, very intelligent and off the wall, but whenever she sat in the common areas she was working on a pair of black and white striped socks, I was so fascinated by this ability to create your own funkiness, it was defenitely an inspiration for later!!

Garilynn said...

Hi, Dale,

I'm almost always have a knitting project (or 2 or 3) and a book with me. I find - without fail - I am never waiting long if I brought something to do. If I - heaven forbid - don't have anything, something comes up and I'm waiting unproductively. Sigh.

I've just recently used up my last little bit of Viola and Sebastian that I bought from you at the end of March last year for the Midsummer's night dream June 2010 Phat Fiber Sampler Box! I used the yarn for models for the May 2011 Phat Fiber Sampler Box - Spice Market. I loved those 2 colorways!

Rebecca said...

A friend of mine was given knitting lessons for her birthday last fall, and two months later she decided to give the same to me for my birthday. On a bitter January Friday night, we sat in a (dead, much to our pleasure) upscale cafe/mid priced restaurant along the Delaware River with some port and my gift - two balls of wonderful yarn, bamboo needles, and a little project bag - and I learned to knit and purl. I love it.

Jersey West at gmai

Biz said...

In January my sister had twins, and it was a very long and difficult labor (our hospital stay covered 5 days). I did a lot of knitting on a sweater with a simple fair isle pattern, which always looks complicated with all the colors hanging off the back. Sometimes when the doctors or nurses would come in, they'd stop and admire and ask me about my knitting instead of talking to my sister first! One of the surgeons who came in was a knitter herself and we had a nice little chat about what we were working on, how long we had been knitting, etc.

My sister and I joked that I was getting more attention than she was! But they were on task and focused when they needed to be. And in the end I got a pair of nephews. And most of a sweater.

cthulhulovesme said...

Most recently, I was spinning in a thrift store while I was waiting for my friend to finish trying on pants. I only had one person ask me what I was doing, which wasn't too bad. Knitting tends not to attract as much attention, unless you're doing it as you're walking. But pull out a spindle and suddenly you're a public spectacle. *grins*