Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I can tell you about Ze French Way - it's ze portion control and ze moderation. There's a series of books by Anne Barone - she also has a website, cleverly called - that covers this, and there are at least a few other "diet books" out there on the subject. They aren't diet books the way Americans think of it, and it's interesting to get a different perspective.

Glad to see the review of the Knit Picks yarns, I got the catalong and was delighted by the prices. I'm off buying yarn for the foreseeable future, of course, but maybe by this summer I will be in a position to invest in some.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:37 AM  

Ack! I didn't mean to post Anonymously, I didn't check the button. It's just moi.

By Blogger Catherine, at 8:38 AM  

I'm glad to hear the yarns are nice. I have an order on its way to me with some yarn for a throw/scarf thing, and another scarf, and a pair of gauntlets. Just to try it out, you know.

I don't know how to refer to a "basic" yarn without making it sound ooky either. Maybe "understated"? "Lets your work shine instead of insisting that you look at its fluffy furriness"? "Solid"? "Down to earth"? (That last is a high compliment in my book but I know a lot of people who regard "down to earth" as "the next thing to boring").

I was suspicious of the yarns - the low prices, especially, because I've been burned on "bargain" yarn before. But everything I've heard is positive, and if it's true, Knitpicks is being quite brilliant, I think - carving out a niche for itself by giving yarns-for-the-knitters-tired-of-$12-for-50-grams yarns or yarns-for-knitters-who-get-hives-from-novelties yarns.

It will be interesting to see how the selection changes, and hopefully grows, over time. (I'd love to see a cotton-wool blend, and also a slightly-heavier than worsted weight yarn - maybe a bulky, Lopi-type.)

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 3:19 PM  

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Saturday, February 05, 2005  

Ha! I knew that sooner or later something in the NYT would spark a response in me. I’m not exactly sure why I read it each morning ... well ... I don’t read it, I scan the headlines and read the obits. But it is part of my morning ritual, and the sections I always look for, with a hopeful gleam in my eye, are Fashion & Style and that is followed by the book review and the movie review. Movies are last because few of the movies they review ever come within my viewing environment. Books are another matter, but I study so many book reviews that I will read the NYT only if the title or subject really grabs me.

So, who could resist this title: French women don’t get fat
Especially a woman who’s ancestry is 1/4 FrenchWoman?

And suddenly I remember reading the review of this book in one of my library journals, and being offended by the title and also laughing at it, and remembering the little French boy who visited one summer and went around saying “Eeen Frahhhnce eees bettair.” That’s become such a catch phrase in my family we can start everybody laughing just bye saying it.

The NYT review is possibly all anybody really needs to read to get the import of this book, but I bet I purchase it anyway - because another new diet book is always going to get checked out of the library. Maybe it won’t reach the status of South Beach or Atkins, or the validity of Weight Watchers, but it’ll titillate enough to tempt.

And it just might be the inspiration I need to hold on to my good resolutions. Because I really am at least French enough to need those deep underlying beliefs and impulses and truths in order to eat well and care for my body. Sensuality and pleasure really are everything to me. The Puritan ethic - More Pain, More Gain - is but a frail shackle that distorts my behavior rather than holds me in check. I don’t obey it, even if I do feel the misery.

If nothing else, I can laugh at the Bettair Fraaaaaainch Waaayee of doing things. Certainly I can laugh at a woman who says Americans obsess too much about diets and then writes a book about dieting! If what she says is true, if Fraaainch Womenz really were so perfectly nonchalant, she would just shrug her shoulders and assume that you have eyes and can see what she’s doing.

Good Knitting Stuff

This is, after all, a knitting blog. And the good stuff is what I bought from Knit Picks dot com. Their latest catalog is full of their own brand of basic knitting yarns, worsted weight, DK, and lace. Pure wool and wool, alpaca, and silk in assorted blends. Yarn at 1980 prices. Not that I need any yarn. Not that I have any cash right now. Not that I could resist, either, I bought 200 yards of the two basic wool yarns, and 200 of the two alpaca and silk blends, and two 440 yard skeins of lace weight wool/silk blend. Knit Picks has offered free shipping for orders over $30 in the past, and they are offering it now with their new catalog. I didn’t have any trouble reaching the quota and on a Friday afternoon I popped off an on-line order. On Monday they shipped my order and sent me an e-mail notice. The box of yarn was in my rural mailbox the following Thursday evening.

Now, who doesn’t love a box of yarn in the mailbox? I dropped my coat on a chair and hustled into the kitchen for an opening tool. Inside the box were slender 100 yard skeins of rich solid colors. I like bold and vivid colors and had bought several in their autumn colorway. But I also like Easter colors - pink and lavender and yellow. Kelly Petkun must be a soul sister, though. Because her idea of spring time Easter colors matches mine. I suspect it is very difficult for her to “see” very pale pastels. I suspect she is a vivid person with an intense way of approaching things, because even the pink and lavender DK weight I bought are ooomphy tones of those hues. (Ha! Showing off my color vocabulary here!) My only less-than-positive (can’t really call it a negative) reaction to her color choices was the worsted weight Andean Silk in a color she called “chocolate”. It appears much more a medium brown to my eyes. I can never think of chocolate without seeing a Hershey Bar - that’s the American, not the Fraaaainch, in me talking now. With all the browns in Peru, I hope she will come up with a nice Hershey’s Chocolate brown soon.

The nicest thing about these yarns, beyond the price, which is phenomenal, is their solid footing in the world of smooth yarns. And goodness! I’m’ having a tough time finding the vocabulary to describe yarns that don’t have flutter or eyelash or glitter or fuzzy bits or slubs or garnetting, without calling them “plain” or “mainstay” or “workhorse” yarns. Such mundane words - they make me think of oatmeal, or suett pudding or white bread. And they are NOT white bread yarns. It's just that they are not novelty yarns, which, while I expect them to stay around forever, will soon enough settle into their ornamental place atop the real foundation of knitting - good quality, smooth plied yarns. And good quality smooth plied yarns have pushed the price of a plain sweater up to three digits in the past few years. I’ve gulped, chewed my lip, and then signed that check, for some stash acquisition in the recent past, but $120 sweaters have only been in my budget since I finished paying for LD’s college. I hate to think of all those young, talented teen knitters having to either settle for squeaky acrylics or even worse - giving up our beautiful craft because they can’t afford it.

KnitPicks has done us all a tremendous service by seeking, and finding, a way to offer beautiful natural fibers in smooth plied yarns at a price that doesn’t exclude the majority of knitters. Kiss your stash resolutions goodbye. And look out to see what other yarn companies do as the impact of this new price range is felt across the knitting universe.

posted by Bess | 7:19 PM