Thursday, 10 January 2008

Man, it must be mad being a magazine editor

From what I gather, magazine editrixes prepare winter issues in Spring and Spring issues in Winter. So, while we're in the midst of a cold January, shivering at the thought of a frigid February, the magazine pictures are of spring, with tank tops showing off cleavage and clavicle. The models are slim, all the better to show off the spring form, when our bodies are sleek and the winter weight slugged off. The light is mellow gold, and not the watery, bleary gloam that passes for winter.

Phildar has embraced the sun in its catalogues. Rowan will do so in February. So, this is jazzypom drooling over the patterns, and clenching her fists in frustration because she has to dress in layers. *le sigh*

So, how about the Phildar tops, then? As usual, I love their open - even exaggerated- neck lines. The simple shapes aren't too exacting, but relatively flattering and forgiving. The colours give the shapes a zip, and add life to the spring wardrobe. I love the green pullover with the exaggerated 'V' neckline. It's a nice summer sweater, warm enough for cool nights, but comfortable enough for hot days.

I like the linen coloured pullover, with its wide neckline and a pattern adding interest. I'm unsure about the belt at the bottom of the garment - I guess it prevents it from rolling up? Or, once you adjust the belt, you can get a soft volume to the bottom of the blouse?

Or the pink top (space dyed yarn) with open neckline and shirred three quarter sleeves? Drool. That's just divine. The pink jumper with the breton striped shirt underneath is cute. Very cute. I like the boldness of the hot pink juxtaposed against the stern navy and blue striped dress. Very smart, not too casual, not too try hard.

Ahhh to be a French woman - to paraphrase Oscar Wilde - they act as if they are beautiful, it is the secret of their charm.

Overall though, the patterns seem simple enough, making me want to take out Barbara Walker and give her a try. Or sign up for a day class in designing by Debbie Abrahams.

Yes, my fellow bloggers. I'm thinking about signing up for a design class. It is called, 'If you can't see it, design it.'

According to my knitting Svengali, Helen, I'm ready for a class, she says. I have the books of design how to and all this yarn in my stash, waiting to make patterns from it, but I can't leave well enough alone. She was listening to me talking about simple knitting designs with *pow* and how I don't see enough to make me want to cast on the sticks.

Also, I'd like to knit designs where the designer wants to make a good simple garment, without using up a lot of yarn (I'm looking at YOU, Debbie Bliss). Or designs where the stitch is the effect, not many colours (hello, Louisa Harding). I like Kim Hargreaves, but I need to knit other designers, try new things.

In other news, I've ripped back my neckline off the leafy Phildar jumper. I found the instructions online on the Phildar website, which make sense. Also, honestly, the neckline's been bugging me all this time.

I wore the jumper to my knit group, and everyone's eyes went towards my neckline. Especially Pat's. Pat is the neatest knitter I know, from cast on to finish. She takes her time at every step and she lives in the moment of knitting. Not that I'll ever be that perfect, but I know I can do better with the neckline, so I've reknitted it, and will get up fairly early to catch the light, so I can sew the neckline in, properly. I'm getting to the point where, I want it to be that if I make any mistakes in the work, no-one should know but me.

Anything else? I finished my long arm warmers from the Rebecca pattern. When the sun deems it fit to come out, I'll boast. I also have the DB cashmere gloves to sew up. I'll boast about those too.

Am thinking about my next garment while knitting various accessories.

Currently, I'm trying to scare up six balls of Jaeger aran in shade 546 (hello!), to knit the Central Park Hoodie. The yarn is so meant for that hoodie, I swear it. Or should I just join the cool kids on Ravelry and knit Thermal? It is a nice jumper, and I've been having my eye on it for a long while. The thing is, I hear the original yarn pills, and I'm shifting from the notion of knitting with 100 percent yarn, to knitting with mixed microfibre (read: acrylic) blends. Like say, wool and acrylic. I haven't really seen much in terms of fingering weight wool and microfibre. I hear that Rowan is coming out with some new colours for their 4ply wool, so I might hold off and just go with that. It's definitely a jumper that would get loads of use in my neck of the woods though.

Oh well.

Here's hoping that the sun comes out this weekend, so I can take some pictures of what I've done so far.

It honestly hasn't been much, because I spend all my time reading about the US candidates for President on my google alerts.

**political ruminations. Don't read if you are bored with the ongoing US race for Presidential nominees***

I do like John Edwards' stance on a lot of stuff, and think he should jostle for being a VP candidate to whomever the wins the Democratic election. As much as it would be grand for Obama (if he tones down the rhetoric a tad), I think the US likes its political dynasties. The Roosevelts, The Kennedys, and now Bush, Clinton, Bush and depending on if Hillary can mist her eyes some more (and get people to hear her now that she's found her 'voice') you guys in the US might get a Clinton third term.

As much as I think Ms Clinton is capable and a formidable woman who can boast of many achievements, when I hear her name, I just think of the twilight of the Clinton years. Bill Clinton's spotty international record, tinged with a bit of sleeze with the supposed impeachment and all. I know, I know that politician's personal lives aren't - nay - shouldn't be a concern, but as seen by the whole impeachment business, and how it galvanised the Republicans and the rise of Bush, underscoring the polarization in American politics. Clinton's personal life was a catalyst to that one, with the Republicans screaming about morality and such.

The Clintons were good, but they belong in the hallmarks of history, or on the sidelines doing good deeds. For all of Hillary's good intentions, she's still a representative of a particular time in US history (especially with the whole 'you get two Presidents for the price of one' speech that Bill Clinton used to say), where people might look back on in fondness, but that doesn't mean that you should go back again. The world has changed, China, India and Russia are stronger for starters - and WTF NAFTA? -and I'm worried that Ms Clinton's thinking hasn't.

Now, I'm not ragging on Ms Clinton because she's a woman. That's ridiculous. I can't rag on her, because she's done well for herself. She's a capable female, who's been the force behind her husband, but like Chris Rock said, "I have nothing against a woman President, but vote for her?"

In terms of the Republicans, Mitt Roomy leaves me cold, and so does Huckabee. I tend to distrust people who are all hipped on religion dictating politics. For all their Bible reading, did they forget the fact that Jesus said, render unto Caesar that is Caesar's? Practice your own religion and leave others to their own as long as their practices are within the boundaries of the law.

For all of Tony Blair's faults, even though he was heavily religious and followed the Catholic teaching, he forced the Catholic adoption agencies to realise that they couldn't discriminate against gay people, and he reviewed the laws on abortion (but didn't try to abolish it). I do like John McCain, but I think I like his personality more than his policies. Gulliani needs to stop with the 9/11. We get it. You were mayor, of New York at the time. You weathered the storm. Never mind the (alleged) danger that you put firefighters in with shoddy equipment and such. Grrr.

Oh well, I do need to stop reading politics and go knit. Honestly.


Sarah said...

Ooooh, that course sounds interesting, where will you be doing that?

I love your taste in patterns, those Phildar ones are great. I have the leafy sweater pattern and really want to knit it one day, I have some more "wintery" things to knit first though! Oh, the queue is building up...

mooncalf said...

The course sounds great. You should totally do it - and then come back and share the wisdom with us :)

I think my favourite top is the pink hoodie. I'm wondering if I could knit the v-neck sweater from Classic Knits and then just add a hood as I'd prefer a dk-weight sweater for summer...

buttonsandstars said...

Hehe, I've had my eye on thermal too...

projektleiterin said...

I guess it would be nice if Edwards won. He is against the big corporates and the big media seem to ignore him as a consequence -

As someone said, "if you voted for Clinton it would be, Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton and do you really want this?" Clinton is competent and all that, but I wonder, would she really make that much of a difference? Would she be able to ignite the famous change that everybody is dreaming of? She is part of the establishment. A full-blood politician who is not strong enough, not popular enough to swim against the mainstream to stay true to her convictions.

Obama may be the all favored prodigy child that everybody loves and that is not able to rise to the expectations that are placed on it. His vote against the Iraq war is nevertheless a sign for me that he thinks independently enough and has the guts to stay true to his beliefs. He is not afraid of the re-election phantom that looms over every established politician.

JayJay said...

How cool, designing your own stuff! That sounds like a fantastic class. I love the neckline on the linen-colored sweater. The others are very simple, but look like something one would wear a lot. I've also been eying thermal, but I already have something on the needles in that small gauge, so I want to work on something a bit more chunky with the promise of instant reward. ;)

I am also turned off by Hilary. I actually don't think she would do a bad job, but I am really tired of all the political games and am eager to have someone who just states what they believe, no hedging. I've seen more signed of this in Edwards and Obama. Perhaps I'm being unrealistic, though?

Delia said...

I wonder if maybe they release those issues far too early so that we knitters have time to knit the projects just in time to wear them? Or maybe it's so we can catch the spring-y coloured yarns on sale! :D

I'm not too big on Edwards, since he and his staff were fairly obnoxious when they visited my town (parking laws are the same here as anywhere else in the country). I love Kucinich, but he doesn't have a chance, so I'm leaning a bit toward Obama.