Monday, January 14, 2008

Ghost in the machine

Way back when, innadawnatime, as Gaspode would say, I was an active member of the knitlist. It's funny how long it took for something cyber-fiber related to come along that I found as compelling (that something being ravelry, of course) but at the time, it was like a new world opening up. I had learned to knit 10 years previously, but it was the onset of my first pregnancy that really kicked up the knitting hormones. I used to read the page "What's new with NSCA Mosaic" (imagine the world where a single page tried to keep track of new websites with a list updated once per day!) and one of the sites I saw (Emily Ocker's page) led me to the knitlist.

I met Joan Schrouder, Sally Melville, Leigh Witchel, Janet Szabo, Amy Detjen. I got all psyched up to go to Stitches West when it moved from Portland down to the Bay Area. I met my wonderful knitting group. I hopped on bandwagons like Bergere de France, Webs, the Enchanted Forest Aran, Wool-Ease socks.

Then, as happens with mailing lists, the messages that came to my in-box contained more and more repeats and downright spam, and, after a couple years, I unsubscribed. But by then, I was (as Knitting Daily would have it) a Fearless Knitter, and continued to "knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises."

And I also continued to design, as I have from the very beginning. (Ask my former grad school officemate about the vest I knit him, with no decreases for armhole shaping. Spaceman shoulder flanges in grey and purple tweed Martha Hall wool!) The knitlist sponsored gift exchanges, which took the email-friendly form of submitted patterns and recipes (Nanaimo bars!) And an actual mitten exchange, where I received a beautifully-knit pair of tvåändsstickning mittens big enough to fit Hagrid.

So there are three patterns of mine that still live their independent lives on the interwebs. One is for my own entry in the mitten exchange, Mittens for Lise. One is for a pillow cover I made as a wedding present for a long-divorced cousin. And one is a baby pattern that makes a hood, a hooded cardigan, and a hooded bunting, depending on how far you want to go. I used to get the occasional email asking questions, especially about the bunting. But it's been a long time.

I'm still proud of them all, and now that ravelry is going to host PDF downloads, it's time to reformat them and put them there. I should make a new bunting, too, although my best friend may well have the original that I could photograph.

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