Friday, November 11, 2011

Knit PH @ Prospect Perk, Nov. 8, 2011

From the café window I could see the large Christmas snowflakes already hung from every lamp post along Flatbush, yet we’re not even close to Thanks Giving. This early decorative expo is a call to all of us to shop. It would seem that an economic recovery relies largely on conspicuous consumption. As a country, does America actually make anything anymore or do we just consume? I reflected on this recession over a slice of lemon pound cake and cocoa.

Well our group certainly makes lots of stuff. Lisa is making her hubby a pair of house slippers — she adjusted the pattern for size extra-extra large. Adrienne is outfitting her baby girl. She also needed to get out of the house for a bit and socialize — new mom syndrome. Meredith is making a specialized shawl she calls “The Boob Hider.” It provides privacy while nursing in public. Mai is making a cashmere hat from a salvaged sweater. That's a smart move, she often looks at knitwear that can be frogged into yarn. I suggested she wear a mask, ripping a sweater out makes a lot of dust. Amy popped in to grab a coffee and to show off her alpaca scarf. I like our funny little group, we meet at Prospect Perk Café every second Tuesday.

Aside from a few gifts, I’m making an A-line poncho for fashion designer and illustrator Ying Su. We met last week to go over the design and fibers. Initially we focused on texture. I ran Patons Superwash (ecru) with two colors of a lace-weight Merino (warm gray and camel) to get a bulky yet subtle tweed. I tend to think of the poncho as retro, although most women say it’s timeless. I hope the dreaded “Mancho” has met it’s woolly end. As with Clint Eastwood, it only works if you’re sporting a rifle and riding into town on a horse.

In the eyes of a fashion designer, most hand-knit garments are considered to be over-worked. Ying’s work is simple and elegant. The clean lines of her poncho emphasize the fern pattern that travels down the front — from the over-sized collar down into the body. A wide column of 2 X 1 ribs meet diverging seams at the back.

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