Although it has been very busy here, with rehearsals and holiday preparations and whatnot, I have been doing some knitting. #2 son doesn’t nag as much as #1 son did when I was working on his sweater, but he does express polite concern from time to time. “You’ve only used a third of the rolls of yarn,” he’ll say with an expression appropriate for enquiries into the health of a loved one.

I plan to get in a lot of knitting time this weekend, since my musical commitment has lessened.

If you click here, you will find instructions on how to make your own circular needles. If you have weed whacker trimmer line (surely not — but that is how I remember the name of the stuff) and dowels and plumber’s tape and a drill and some sanding tools and an assortment of X-acto knives and whatnot on hand, you can do it in 15 minutes. 

I don’t think it would be easy for me to make standard-sized needles, or even consistently-sized ones, and I tend to need several needles for each project, so I don’t think this would work for me. But if you had the skills, then I suppose you could have a completely personal set of needles exactly as you want them.

In other knitting news, I bought a knitting magazine. I am surprised that I did, because I almost never buy knitting magazines. Once a year or less. For one thing, you can buy a book for the price of one knitting magazine nowadays, and I would usually rather have a book. It is also unfortunately true that most knitting magazines contain patterns which are either very like the ones I already own (or can calculate myself) or completely bizarre. Factor in the ads and the basic knitting info almost every current magazine seems to include, and you aren’t getting your money’s worth.

But this magazine — Vogue Knitting’s Holiday issue — contains a really lovely little jacket with texture stitches andVKH06TOWN6sm a shawl collar. It comes in three sizes, to fit bust measurements 28, 31, and 35.

Excuse me? My size 0 daughters would take the largest size of this jacket. Many children would feel constricted in the smallest size. A 28″ bust? If this model has a 28″ bust, then she must have about a 20″ waist, and we know models must be 5’7″ or taller. This would explain why she looks as though she is about to keel over from fatigue or perhaps bad temper. I thought it was just an unfortunate choice of makeup.

VKH06DESIGN3smNever mind. There is also a handsome Aran tunic. It starts at 40″. A tunic can have a fair amount of ease, of course; you can wear it a bit oversized. This model probably has quite a bit of it resting on the bench behind her.

Still. The average American woman has a bust size of 36 to 38 inches, and she can’t fit either of  these two patterns.

Although those were the two patterns I liked in this issue, I did scope the others out, and found that the sizes range from that 28″ girl to 51″, so most everyone could make something from this magazine. But you can’t just pick a pattern from the photo section and plan to make it without a bit of luck or a good deal of math. I guess the moral is: look and see what size the pattern comes in before you buy the instructions.

Or polish up your math.

Interweave Knits is the magazine being widely discussed among the knitting bloggers. Click on the name and you can see pictures of the designs. There are a couple of really pretty ones — the Nantucket Jacket, the Pewter Coat, and the Equestrian Blazer all appealed to me. There are the ones that are completely normal sweaters, socks, mittens, hats, and stoles, such as you already have patterns for on your bookshelf. There are the peculiar ones — the Rambling Rose cardigan seems to be the one everyone loves to hate, but don’t miss the B&D pullover and the entry for World’s Ugliest Headband.

I won’t be buying it; I’ve got my knitting magazine for the year.