Sunday, January 13, 2008

Another Kind of Fun for a Calendar Girl

Yes, I'm loving my Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendar, but wait; there's more!

This year, my young teen-aged nephews decided to give their Auntie Yarnstruck this. Of course they knew I would like it, but no doubt they were also enjoying the frisson of doing something just slightly risqué, since it has a (bad word) on the cover!

Regardless, having reached the lofty eminence of having had about a dozen days of reading both knitting-o-day calendars, I now feel supremely qualified to hold forth on their respective merits.

For anyone who hasn't cracked one of these open, a basic thing to be aware of is that the S 'n B one is not a pattern-a-day variety. Actually, if you want to be literal about it, the Knitting Pattern-A-Day calendar doesn't have a pattern every single day either, since Saturday and Sunday are combined. But that's neither here nor there.

The S 'n B calendar is more the chatty type. Each day might bring a tip, some interesting knitting fact, a beautiful yarn, or a profile and picture of a S 'n B group somewhere in the world. Only on Fridays does a pattern appear, with the notion that you might start on it that weekend.

The overall tone is, of course, irreverent, youthful, newbie-friendly, just like the whole S 'n B phenomenon in general. In fact, if you've been around the block a few times as a knitter, you might find some of the knitting tips not all that tippy. Sample: a trick for being able to tell which side of your piece is the right side.

Still, not everyone has built up a big collection of knitting books (guilty) and studied it like it holds the meaning of life. It's interesting and new to many to know about Sweden's Bohus knitting collective (beautiful fine-gauge colorwork), or about when written knitting patterns first started to be published and what sort of challenge they posed. It's interesting to hear about the local S 'n B groups, how they started, where they meet, what's notable about them.

The highlighted yarns and the patterns so far tend toward the in-crowd trendy and artisanal, Spritely Goods, Spunky Eclectic, Curly Purly. Really, that's part of the point. Learning new things and soaking up the do-it-yourself spirit are all well and good, but part of this also seems to be about flocking with the knitting community -- or rather a particular, albeit large, segment of it. Some of those tips and pointers (why wool is good!) take on the flavor of a shibboleth, something that those in the group know and say to distinguish themselves from outsiders and to feel part of the group. It's cozy, really.

Nothing wrong with that! Wool is good.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Yep, that's the calendar I got for Christmas. You gave an apt and accurate description of it. And I learned a new word (shibboleth)!