Friday, March 21, 2008

Overdone is In Vogue

I've had a lot to do, and not that much time for blogging, nor much good weather for taking photos (which is as well, because I'm inching through several sweaters, and progress of an inch or two a day really isn't worth recording).

But we got the Spring issue of Vogue Knitting in at the shop earlier this week, and I feel the need to publicly announce, for the record, that I don't understand it.

Well, no. I understand that Vogue is all about a lifestyle; what I don't have is a frame of reference to understand (by which I mean appreciate) that lifestyle. Most of it is a class thing, and the rest of it is an East Coast thing. Not being of a certain class native to the original 13 colonies, I simply can't make myself enthusiastic about themes of summer houses, prep schools, and polo.

Therefore, I don't buy Vogue. I still glance at it every season, because I've become something of a fashion geek (an inattentive fashion geek), but I don't care for the themes, and there's not much in there that I'd knit for myself.

But I'm feeling horribly, wretchedly, delightfully catty about this season's themes. No pictures, I'm afraid (that would probably involve numerous copyrights, and I'm lazy), but you can get a gander here.

Where should I start expressing my distaste? I found the entire issue overly sentimental and tacky, except for a couple pieces I found WASPishly bland. But the "African safari" theme in the Ecologique session took the cake. Vogue's tendency of cramming its black and asian models into "exotic" themes lacks imagination, is often trite, and has a veneer of 19th century World Fair.* But you have to look at the eyes of the model in the faux-African textile tank. I love her expression-- as she stares, her eyes might as well flash semaphore for "You're doing this without any hint of irony, aren't you?" at the editorial staff.

note: I will admit that I gravitate toward Vladimir Teriokhin and Norah Gaughan as usual, but it took a couple times flipping through the zine before the safari theme dimmed enough from my mind for me to appreciate them.

*They don't always do this, but if there's a bit of Orientalism in the magazine, you can bet there's an Asian woman wearing it. Likewise if they're pulling out the big-game hunting guns.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Aune, Completed

Maybe, at some point, I'll get pictures of me wearing this-- but that will have to wait until I have an ally-in-photography. I'm sure I've blogged about this before, but it took me awhile to get the gumption to not only knit but crochet together all the hexagons, so I'll go on at length about it; it's the Aune Skirt from Norah Gaughan's first collection. As usual for her knits, I worked it about two sizes smaller than my actual size, and on smaller needles.


I also shortened it by one tier of hexagons, because the original length would have fallen to mid-calf on me. All well and good, really, and that would suit the style of the skirt generally... but skirts that length have the downside of making me look about half my height. So I avoided that cruel fate.

It's good to have a major project ready to wear now; I'm working on three at the moment, and it feels like none of them are getting done.


Now, due to some foolishness precipitated by a half-off fire sale at Hilltop in the Queen Anne district, I can now add Matilda Jane (by Ysolda Teague) to my queue.

I am never going to a 50% sale again. Ever. Crowd around and let me tell you why.

My reason for going was innocent: walking around Queen Anne sounded like a lovely thing to do on a Saturday morning before the shopping crowds woke up. Nice yarn at a sweater-worthy prices sounded like a perk, too. So I showed up on foot at 10:20, expecting to get a cup of coffee and promenade around the area a few times.

Except there was a line stretching down the front stairs. Strange. Well, I got into line, pulled out a sock, and remarked to the woman nearest me, "I hadn't expected this."

"Neither did I," she said. Apparently no one in the entire line had expected it, even when it stretched around the block. Seeing trendy 20-somethings queue up with matrons (dowdy and not) and the rare man caused traffic some confusion. We were asked if Barrack Obama was showing up in town-- in jest, but we were still asked. A fire engine slowed down, rolled down its window, and a guy called out, "Is this a fire sale?"

So the shop opened at 11. I was near the front of the line, so I got in quickly, and realized only a little while afterward that, well... there was no line control. EVERYONE was coming in.

By the time I realized this, there wasn't an escape route. So I stuck with the crowd. I couldn't get into parts of the store because they were blocked off by bodies, and I couldn't get out because, well, people were getting in. I did find things on my shopping list (the afore-mentioned yarn for Matilda Jane), but that was entirely by accident (the finding, not the list-- I always have a list of what projects I want to make, the yarns they call for and the gauge and composition in case I find a replacement at a good price), and then I found my way into the check out line, which took a good half hour to move through.

In short, it was completely, ravingly mad in there. The joy of it, I suppose, is how nice people were. There was no use of elbows (there was pushing, but that's because we were packed in like pickles), and everyone was astoundingly polite: "I'm so sorry I bumped you," "I'm not really feeling you up," "Oh, that wasn't your foot, was it?" "You dropped this!" "Oh, here, if you're looking for another skein in this color..." were just a few of the intentions directed at me. At one point, as I was maneuvering through a door, a woman turned around, smiled at me, and showed off the Shibui she'd found. I'm glad there was so much good will in there.

I think I was probably the only asshole there, and that's only by virtue of me being direct. I'd see someone in the crowd and say, "Hey! I want to be where you are. Should we switch places?" and so on and so forth, and briefly there was a chant following me from one end of the main room to the other: "There she goes! There she goes!"

And there it is. Madness.