Soft Sculptures For the Hard Hearted

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Fun and games with Knitting Daily

In June 2009, when analog television became a thing of the past, I was introduced to KCSM, a Bay Area public broadcasting station which airs instructional programming on subjects like watercolor painting, wood working, gardening and quilting. Even though I can watch those kind of shows all day long, I usually have no real interest in applying what the program is teaching to my everyday life.

This blasé approach to watching instructional programming changed one afternoon when I flipped on KCSM and began watching an episode of a little show called Knitting Daily. A sage, grey haired woman (who I now know as Becca Smith) was demonstrating a relatively easy tutorial on knitted bags, and my interest was piqued. I saw what she was doing and said, “That looks fun. I can do that!” So I picked up some knitting needles and yarn, and the rest is history. Well, kind of.

It’s almost three years later, and because KCSM plays Knitting Daily every day, I definitely get my fill of episodes. Unfortunately, since it takes about 4-5 months for KCSM to air new episodes after they’re announced, that means A LOT of repeats. Having seen every episode of Knitting Daily at least two times — most of them three or four times — I came to realize there are a number of factors which come up continually from season to season and episode to episode. Therefore and hitherto, I’ve invented a little something I like to call

THE KNITTING DAILY DRINKING GAME!

I’ve been playing it for about a week now and I can tell you, it really adds to the viewing experience — although I generally substitute hot tea for an alcoholic beverage (I guess you could say I’m a “tea-totaler”). For those of you who may be a bit more adventurous or possess a healthier liver, please feel free to crack open a bottle of Jack or a jug of moonshine and start chugging away.

DRINK WHENEVER:

  • Eunny Jang says “Primer.” (pronounced both “Primmer” and “Pry-mer”)
  • Shay Pendray says: “Is that a fair/good/correct way to say/put it?”
  • Shay Pendray interrupts someone to ask about something they just went over (or were about to go over).
  • Someone interrupts a guest to say, “And this pattern is up on our website!”
  • Cables, entelac, provisional cast ons, mobius, felting or tunisian crochet is demonstrated or taught.
  • Laura Bryant wears a piece of clothing made from variegated yarn.
  • Kristin Omdahl wears a piece of crocheted lace.
  • Penny Sitler promotes her Helping Hands NeedleArts Mentoring Program. (Drink more if there are embarrassed teenagers with her.)
  • Adina Klein uses some kind of self-deprecating tone or makes a quasi-sarcastic comment.
  • Barry Klein demonstrates something with novelty yarn. (Drink more if there’s self ruffling yarn involved.)
  • Mustard yellow, moss green, or reddish purple yarn is used, demonstrated, or worn.
  • The top of someone’s head or hair pops into a close up instructional shot.
  • Socks are the common theme.
  • Organic wool and earth-friendly fibers are covered.
  • Someone talks about how rare and wonderful Qiviut is.
  • A picture of a sheep, alpaca, llama or ox is shown.
  • Someone says “Make time for yarn every day.” (Depending on how drunk you are at this point, be sure to loudly scream “NO!! YOU make time for it!” back at the screen.)

Of course, the usual “don’t be naughty” disclaimers apply here: Be sure to drink and knit responsibly, don’t drive after consuming complex pattern information, keep away from children, and remember… it’s all in good funzies. This game is not intended to undermine the fantastic job that the Knitting Daily crew does, but to enhance the viewing experience for real fans.

So let’s raise a glass to Eunny, Shay, Kim, Kristin, Liz, and all the fabulous Knitting Daily crew.

Can’t wait for season 8!


I left my yarn in San Francisco

In case you all didn’t know, this Saturday, June 11 is International Yarn Bombing Day, as well as the start of Worldwide Knit in Public Week (11th – 19th)!

Unfamiliar with Yarn Bombing? Here is a fine example of what can be done with needles and hooks, a lot of patience and some tenacity, courtesy of an East Bay yarn artist Streetcolor:

Berkeley Bike Rack Yarn Bomb by Streetcolor, 2011

To prepare for this festive occasion, I have been scooting around my San Francisco neighborhood, maniacally measuring circumfrences of things. This afternoon, as I  was hugging a concrete pole with my measuring tape, I had the ultimate lightbulb-brain flash to share my measurements with others who may want to participate in the yarn bombing fun this Saturday!

So here are my findings. Please keep in mind that these are specifically San Francisco measurements and may not be relevant to your home town.

(Inches listed are circumfrences only)

CITY STREETS

Standard bike rack / sign post: 7.5″

Metal street or traffic light: 23.5″

Concrete street or traffic light: 27″

Regular traffic light: 17″

Street sign post: 11″

GOLDEN GATE PARK

Park bench slats: 10″ each

GGP map sign legs: 10″ each

Stairway railing: 6″

De Young Bike Rack: 7.5″

Lamp posts: 31″

There you have it, just a small sampling of what’s out there in SF, ready and waiting for your yarn. If you’re like me, you already have  spare scraps or swatches that come close to some of those dimensions or you can probably whip something up pretty quickly. You could even make it in public  — it is WWKIP Day after all!

Remember to bring some extra yarn, a crochet hook (or two), yarn needle, a pair of scissors and — if there are any left in the world — a trusted buddy. Most importantly, relax and have fun… the chances you’ll actually be arrested are pretty damn slim. Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t put it past “The Man” to request its immediate removal (it’s definitely coming down sometime anyway), or at the very worst issue a vandalism fine, but passersby are usually more intrigued than outraged when they do come across a yarn bomb in progress.

And you know what? Grandmas are even doing it. So please, get over that whole “Not Your Granny’s Crafts” bullshit already, get out there and put some yarn on things!!!


A Crocheted Christmas To All, And To All a Mediocre Night

This year, I decided to give all handmade X-Mas presents, and boy oh boy, was my family was as pleased as punch to receive their gifts!

Dad got some fingerless gloves.

Simon got some Star Wars amigurumi figures.

Jonathan got a wool hat.

Lynn got a Gingerbread Man.

And Chuck got an all-black Viking cap with earflaps.

I got some pretty cool stuff too, including Lily Chin’s Crochet Tips & Tricks, which I’m sure will get its own review when I’m done reading it.

And Chuck got me gift certificates to all the San Francisco places that feed my yarn addiction! SWEET!

I ended up having some fun making presents and pecan pie and gingerbread, but I won’t lie… I’m damn glad its over.


Hope everyone’s holiday was very merry indeed!