Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Definition of Irony, and More....

Before I get to any fibery news, I have to relate the following story:

Today, I witnessed the walking, talking definition of irony. A couple, one man and one woman, was walking down the street near Union Square. The man wore Dockers and a button -down; the woman wore jeans and a tank top. Buckled tightly around the woman's neck was a studded, black leather dog collar about 2 or 3 inches wide. At the very back, embedded in the leather of the collar, was an iron ring about an inch and a half in diameter. And attached to a back loop of the woman's jeans was a metal dog leash.

Ready for the irony?

As they're walking along together, the man's hand resting possessively in the woman's back pocket, I overhear him soliloquizing on the state of music today.

"I grew up in the Golden Age of hip-hop," he said. "Back then, hip-hop was at its best. But this generation, this generation is just degrading. It's degrading to women."

Only in New York.


Also only in New York: The Strand Bookstore, with its famed 18 miles of books.

Of course, within those 18 miles of books, only about a foot-and-a-half of space is devoted to knitting. I kid you not. When I asked why, I was told that knitting is just so popular that the books fly off the shelves as soon as they hit. I could buy more books about quilting, needlepoint and cross-stitch than I ever thought could possibly exist, but finding a good knitting book in the Strand is an exercise in patience and diligence.

Well, today I hit the mother lode. Witness my shameless haul:

DPNs were almost drawn over the Debbie New as an enthusiastic fellow-knitter snatched that gem off the shelf right out from under my hot little hand. But I kept my cool (and my grip on the Barbara Walkers, which said competition was also eyeing enviously) and hung around pretending to flip through a volume on knitting for kids until the woman decided she didn't want Unexpected Knitting after all and put it back on the shelf. Down I swooped and just like that I had four wonderful new volumes to add to my collection.

My reviews so far (based on a few minutes' browsing in the store and about an hour's subway ride afterwards):

Barbara Walker's First and Second Treasuries: What's left to be said? Two of the four definitive stitch dictionaries. I now have more stitch patterns than I will ever possibly use in my lifetime. So, why do I feel compelled to buy her Third and Fourth Treasuries as well?

Folk Socks: I'm a huge fan of Folk Shawls, but I did pass on Folk Hats when I got honest with myself and accepted the fact that I would never, ever knit any of the hats in the book, not even for my year-old daughter. Folk Socks seems like a good compromise: a book with lots of interesting stuff to read about the history of sock-making around the world plus some accessible, fun patterns that I might actually try. Maybe this will inspire me to put the few balls of sock yarn I have to good use.

Unexpected Knitting: All hail Debbie New! She is my guru of knitting, the goddess of knitdom. She is the person I want to invite to my "fantasy dinner party," where I can have any guests I want, living or dead, real or fictional. The woman has knit a boat -- a boat! She has also knit a giant wall hanging portrait of her grandmother that looks like one of those mosaic puzzles that you have to stand a few dozen yards away from to see the picture. She has knitted a cape that looks for all the world like Eric Carle's butterfly from The Very Hungry Caterpillar. She has knitted a sculpture that makes music when you touch it. I kid you not. Debbie New is beyond words, and I absolutely love Unexpected Knitting. I got so engrossed that I completely missed my subway stop and wound up riding to the very end of the line. I want one pinky-finger's worth of Debbie New's talent and creativity. Short of that, I'll take this book.


One final thing to note: The identity of my mystery MDK Swapcloth Pal is Elizabeth of the Bad Kitty Blog! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Elizabeth, for the wonderful warshrags. May your partner be as good to you as you were to me!


Bente B said...

Hi Linda! I've never heard of Debbie new, but now I just have to do some research, she sounds very interesting :)

I love the ironic story about the couple! I can see them before me *lol* I've actually been to New York many times, I lived in Toms River, New Jersey for a year and went to NY lots of times! I hope to come back some day, I loved it!

Terri H. said...

Shut up! Knitting books besides those dog-eared Erica Wilson's Needlework at The Strand? I'll be the one with double-points drawn ;)