Thursday, January 30, 2003

I had seen the word long before I found out what it really meant. The first blog I ever read was Ivete's.. (She had a different address in those days.) The first blogger to notice and post about my blog was Deb. Since those early days, a year or so ago, I've added and read lots and lots of blogs, mostly from other knitters. There have been others that aren't knitting related; some I've kept, some I've discontinued reading for various reasons. But I've kept all the knitter blogs that I have found and added to my list, sometimes daily. Here's one of the newest ones, Chris Knits.

So anyway, one of the things I've noticed is that there are several categories that all these blogs fall into. Some are short and usually just include a note or two about current projects. Some are expansive and include thoughts and comments about knitting in general. Others are witty and entertaining. And some are tongue-in-cheek bitchy. (I won't cite any for fear of recriminations. These are just my own reactions to them anyway.) But I do want to point one out that I truly enjoy, not just because it's funny and expansive and entertaining and informative. But it always makes me think. Joe's blog. Today he wrote about his choices for UberKnit designers and why he selected them. He also had a nomination for a new member of the elect.

After I read his post I got to thinking about designers that have influenced me or have challenged me. One of his "greats" is Kaffe Fassett. I have to say that Kaffe Fassett is directly responsible for me being where I am today. I had been a knitting dabbler for several years, just an occasional sweater, nothing really heavy. An artist friend of mine gave me Glorious Knits, his first book, for Christmas the year it came on the market. (When was that? Sometime in the mid '80s I think.) I was so excited, not just because of the fantastic colors and designs, but because here was a man knitting and having something worthwhile to say.

I've never made one of his designs. I did meet him once and spent a couple of hours chatting with him. (I have the impression that he is very low key and unassuming. Pleasant to be with.) I bought several more of his books as they came on the market. But none of them had the same impact as that first one. Glorious Needlepoint came close though.

Not too long after I got the first book, the same friend took me to a shop in South Pasadena where we met a lady who was knitting sweaters for sale in the shop. My friend told her that I was a knitter. Long story short. I started making sweaters for her. I learned a lot doing this. I made sweaters that I had to write the patterns for. I discovered Anny Blatt and Trendsetter yarns. Lots of stuff.

I once tried to read Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Without Tears and couldn't stand it. Never finished it. I hear lots of people praising her. And she probably deserves her spot in the upper eschelon of knitting greats. Don't really know. And although I have several books by Alice Starmore, I've never made one of her sweaters. (That's about to change.) I think she has a marvelous facility with pattern stitch combinations and color. Personally I think she's the result of some shrewd marketing. But that's good, too. I think Deborah Newton and Norah Gaughan are better designers. But I digress.

What I really wanted to say was how much I get out of reading, not just Joe's blog, but all of yours. Thanks.

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