Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

How Things Are Pulled Off Center

Intertidal intertides! Go take a look here :-)

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Of or denoting the area of a seashore that is covered at high tide and uncovered at low tide. That is what intertidal means, according to my dictionary widget.

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According to my brain widget, as I mentioned before, it also means tides and the moon and how things are pulled off center in the most perfect (sometimes imperfect #vatmess) way. Also tiny mollusks that send suckers up through wet sand, crabs that scurry back and forth to avoid jostling waves, seaweed, horseshoe crabs, stranded jellyfish, and those sorts of things. Always in a transitory phase. Or if you prefer, just a cute pullover…

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…With, if I may say, a clever construction. Knit flat in two pieces but with the easiest two seams ever in the history of seaming. I sewed both seams while watching TV. During a single episode, I believe, of The Comeback, which is a brilliant show and you should watch it immediately. If you haven’t already, which you probably have, because you are smart and have your finger on the pulse.

Anyway, the pattern is published and can be viewed or purchased through Ravelry here.

A couple more things to share –

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I updated the Bogolan pattern. I also increased the price, for two reasons. One, with the flat per-purchase fee taken by Paypal, the previous price was low enough that the total donation per pattern was getting disproportionately gouged. Two, I made the pattern better – more clearly presented, better and more specific instructions, nicer to look at, with improved formatting and photos – which I believe makes it worth a little more. I’ve learned a ton about writing patterns since I originally published Bogolan over a year ago. I wanted to put what I’ve learned back into the pattern to increase the quality, improve knitter experience, and generate (hopefully) further donations for Women for Women. All proceeds from Bogolan will be donated through (at least) the end of 2015.

Next up, VATmess. Feel free to skip to TLDR because this is about to get kind of opinion-y.

Brian: "These things are so stupid." Angela: "I know. No one ever has a good time."

Brian: “These things are so stupid.” Angela: “I know. No one ever has a good time.”

For those of you lucky enough not to have heard about this, the EU modified their VAT (tax) laws at the turn of the new year. Whether through negligence or intent, they have made legitimacy much more complicated, and in many cases unviable, for anybody, no matter how small-scale, who buys or sells digital goods (including knitting patterns) across international borders.

So. While I am apprehensive about the implications of the new VAT law regarding internet privacy, and while I believe that current VAT imposes a disproportionate burden on smaller businesses (which cannot afford tax lawyers and accountants), and therefore effectively constitutes a tax on “the poor” (“the little guy”, “micro-business,” or what-have-you), and further strengthens the global monopolies of large corporations, and should therefore be lobbied against to the fullest extent (petition the white house to respond here)–I have adjusted my own selling modes to comply with the new laws.

Ravelry and LoveKnitting, which is a UK-based online store, have done an outstanding (srsly) job of helping Ravelry-based designers comply, better than anyone could have expected. However, the situation is far from ideal. It will cost EU buyers more time and money. It will also cost me more money, in addition to lost sales, because LoveKnitting charges administrative fees which, in part, go toward their ability to deal with the complex VAT regulations. I assume they have lawyers and accountants on the job.

TLDR – Knitters in the EU will, for the time being, be redirected from Ravelry to LoveKnitting to complete purchases of my patterns with VAT-inclusive prices.

[Update – Plainstitch patterns are now available through the Plainstitch payhip store. See this post for more info.]

And now for a Palette Cleanser

A. and I have a holiday tradition of watching our way through all 19 episodes of My So-Called Life while he is on break. This year’s favorite character was Patty, played by Bess Armstrong, but that’s beside the point. Here’s Ricky and Delia dancing at the World Happiness Dance.

Hey, who knew “What is Love” by Haddaway was about international tax law? har har.

Happy new year, by the way!

Inter-who?

Yesterday I posted this little newbie to Rav.

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I am in love with her and of course I wish to share her with the entire world! So with the help of a cadre of angels also known as my beloved testers, I am preparing a pattern. And the pattern’s name is Intertidal.

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This design is about tides and the moon and how things are pulled off center in the most perfect way. It is about being in the middle of all the crazy cosmic influences. It is, like Chelsea Morning, designed to showcase an interesting color pairing.

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In case I have not said it enough, I adore Isager Spinni. Spinni is like my yarn BFF, all rough and scratchy but at the same time lofty and warm and cozy and oh the colors. You’d think I was being paid, the way I rave about Spinni, but no, I give Spinni my love for free.

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I was thinking the other day, Why do I like to design with color blocks? I believe it has to do with how I shop for yarn. I don’t appreciate most colors alone. They just don’t grab me that way. I only like blacks and greys alone. Colors, for me, need other colors to play with. Contrasts in temperature and brightness and saturation and hue get me thinking and feeling and wanting to experiment. And that leads to impulse yarn purchases. Oh, yes.

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So, this is Intertidal and I hope you love her too!

pattern: in testing! (my Rav project page)

yarn: Isager Spinni (Wool 1)

colorways: 2s (light grey) and 10s (light blue)

needles: 3.25mm (US3) and 2.75mm (US2)

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P.S. I have another Bogolan donation update to share, that will come soon~

Llorona

It happens every year. Autumn arrives, trees begin to change, and all of a sudden I want to wear color.

Like, real color.

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This design has been a long time in the making, so I hope you are ready for a long story.

I purchased the yarn (from The Haus of Yarn) and planned it out a year ago last October. Then I began to knit. When fall dissipated and winter set in, I couldn’t help it. My craving for color waned.

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remember this?

 

But like clockwork, like the seasons, like death, or like dormancy (if you’re a perennial, as so many of us are ;-)), color mania descended upon me again.

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This year, it came as a she. A she who was a ghost. A ghost who haunted me through a song, a song that would not relent, and which hearkened back to a campfire story I was told many years ago. Horrifying and beautiful, I became enchanted not only with the dying blaze of autumnal color, but with the ghost of La Llorona.

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This all makes sense if you take into account the thinning of the veil – This very time of year, when the barrier between life and death is most permeable. It gives us the opportunity to salute both Death Herself, whom we all meet, and the beloved dead who have come before us. In the same vein, it is the time of the Mexican holiday, Dia de Muertos. Take a look at this mind-blowing animated short:

This piece was recommended to A. by a Mexican-American colleague as a way to learn more about “the real” Mexican Dia de Muertos. I watched it and thought it was kind of weird (because I can be kind of prudish), what with the tequila/crotch/death worm. Of course it’s amazing, though. Afterwards, the song, “La Llorona”, as interpreted by Eugenia León, stuck with me in my thoughts… relentlessly.

And as is my habit, I went searching to learn more.

The legend of La Llorona, or the weeping woman, derives from a most intriguing web of story. Most simply, she was a woman who drowned her own children upon discovering that their father had betrayed her love. As such, she is a ghost who wails in the night, liable to abduct unwary children. This is the version of the story I heard when I was little, huddled around the warm glow of a campfire, and yes, it made camping out in the woods deliciously terrifying.

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But La Llorona is more than just a scary story for children. She is a cultural icon. She is linked to an ancient Aztec goddess called Cihuacoatl, or “snake woman”, who abandoned her son at a crossroads, and who returns there time and again to weep for him. She is also linked to an indigenous Mexican (Nahua) woman known as La Malinche, who was the translator, slave, and lover of Hernán Cortés, and who, by betraying her people, assisted, perhaps unintentionally, in the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire. Malinche’s name has become synonymous with “traitor.”

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As a cultural figure, La Llorona is striking in her multivalence. She forever mourns the fate of the indigenous people of Mexico, her people, at the same time as she is a betrayer of those people, and the murderess of her own children, all because she has been driven to insanity by the pragmatic infidelity of her true love. She is, as they say, doomed six ways to Sunday. And so, she has earned the power of a tragic beauty.

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Although a mere knitting pattern could never capture her essence, La Llorona is basically the inspiration behind this design. Or at least, she haunted me constantly as I created it. So I consider it an homage to her.

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pattern: Llorona (my Rav project page)

yarn: Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca

colorways: Tangerine, Crimson, Rich Red, and Baby Pink

needles: 4.0mm (US 6) 60″ circulars

View or purchase the pattern on Ravelry here.

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