Since I got nothin' here but a half-knit sleeve and a bucket of stress (short-row sleeve caps seem to be working; if they really work, there will be a blog post about them). People have been asking questions in the comments for a while, and I shall go through and answer some. Most. Okay, the ones I can find again.
There was a comment about using silicone/graphite 'grease' on my spinning wheel. Mostly about how silicon is hard to get out of fabric. It is. That's why, for the bit around the orifice - the part that the fiber/yarn is likely to touch - we use dry graphite only. That way I can just blow it off again if I have to, and a good soak in soapy water will definitely remove it.
One of these days I'm going to just get a pencil and hold the point against the part of the wheel that needs graphite. Less complicated than the 'real' stuff that comes in a tube that says "dry graphite" on it.
I thought the Koi hat from this VK was kind of a hoot, but then I was the one who had pink hair in the eighties, so I'm not what you'd call high fashion. I tend to go for clothes I think are funny, rather than flattering. Love love love my zombie bunny tee shirt.
On a related note, you can go back to my VK 25th anniversary edition review (part two, link in the sidebar) . There's a section in there where they did a bit on the ten most popular patterns they'd published in those twenty-five years, and EVERY DAMN ONE OF THEM was something casual you'd wear with jeans, or at most, khakis. Not one of thier high-fashion bits got in. This hat issue, where everyone's going out to buy the mag for the hat patterns, reminds me of the issue they did a while back with eight or ten sock patterns. Same deal; everyone went and got it. DO THEY LEARN FROM THIS? Fuck no. They keep insisting they're high fashion. I think the editors and owners have WAY too much personal investment in the angle of the magazine.
The 'live' visitor log at the bottom of the sidebar's been there about six months. Thanks for noticing. Hahahaha.
How did I learn so much about fit? Partly by - gasp here - reading a lot about design and the history of fashion. Partly by reading gossip rags and really looking at how people dressed, what worked, and what didn't. Fashion Police is a good place to start. Try to separate what you LIKE from what LOOKS GOOD. They're often two totally different things. Pay special attention to older women (who don't have perfect bodies) and pregnant ladies. Some of them look marvelous. Figure out why/how.
Anyone interested in details? Like how to dress or something?
I don't review other magazines, because honestly, I don't need the stress. I get enough shit for the VK stuff. I'll weather the storm for the VK thing, because I despise them, but I don't wanna be stuck ragging on Interweave or anyone else because I mostly like their stuff.
The reason I do the VK reviews is to try and keep people from knitting things they'll regret later. When I learned to knit, VK was the only magazine I could get easily, so I kept trying to knit things out of it. There were four or five sweaters I tried to knit, cried over, and threw away. At a loss of about a thousand bucks' worth of yarn and a whole lot of stress (good yarn was hard to find and expensive as hell back then). Eventually I gave up on knitting clothes and did lace for about ten years. Since I've gone back to knitting clothes, I've done two patterns from VK. Both needed altered or fixed. Neither one would have been successful if I'd done them with intermediate skills.
Sizing. Yeah. Sizing for most of these magazines is a big steaming pile of horseshit. I'm not sure why it is so bad for other magazines, but I know why it sucks in VK.
I have it from (several) reliable sources, that VK asks for patterns to be written IN ONE SIZE, usually a thirty two or thirty four inch/81 or 86cm bust. (You know. Fashion model sized.) From there, VOGUE DOES THE SIZING. Not the author of the pattern. (This is also, in my humble opinion, why there are so many bloody errors.) To size something from 32 to 60 inches/81 to 152cm usually involves totally re-writing the entire pattern. It truly is difficult. Now, if they were to ask for a 44 inch/111cm bust and size in both directions, it would be much more easily accomplished. Not to mention the 44 inch figure is much closer to the average female size. Of course that would require either getting bigger models (horrors!) or having to knit a new sample for the models to wear (horrors!).
If you've never noticed, it's almost always the 'Very Easy, Very Vogue' patterns that get sized into plus-size range. That's because the boxier the design, the easier the sizing is to do. It's also why some of those complicated, multi-directional patterns come in only one really small size - everyone at VK was too lazy or too dumb to re-size it.
I think that covers most of the recent stuff. Now I think I'm going to go listen to my new, rockin' Memorex ear buds (didn't realize how shitty the iPod earbuds sounded 'til I got new) and read my new book. One of you guys - can't remember who, sorry - suggested I try "An Edible History of Humanity" by Tom Standage. I'd probably have gotten the book sooner if I realized it was by the same guy who wrote "A History of the World in Six Glasses" (I reviewed that book around here, sometime or other). Anyway, got it today and of course am enjoying it. Also got "Seeds of Change", another plant history book. So you guys better look out for more plant freak posts. Soon.