Friday, August 25, 2006

KNITTING CATALOGS & CRAFT MAGAZINES: Love 'em or leave 'em? Addiction or fetish?

And how do they compare to the numerous story ideas that attack you with their stunning & timely attractiveness but No Time To Give To Them??? (Can you say STASH?)

The latest Ram Wools catalog came today and my heart immediately sank. Why? Because...I wanted to buy at least 5 things from it instantly - and that was just patterns. Once I added up the kit prices, which means (of course) Y-A-R-N in CAPS, I was heavy into the $$$ and headed toward the $$$$.

And would I get the kits made up in a timely manner, stick to the patterns, made up exactly as the patterns called for...AHAHAHAHAHAAAA!! Dream on. Especially when it comes to sticking to the patterns precisely (that's too much like following a recipe to the letter and where's the fun in that, I ask you? ;-)) But it's also dreaming to think that I'd finish up that many wonderful projects in a reasonable length of time, even starting this early in the season and giving myself the "excuse" that "It's okay to spend the money because it's all on Christmas presents anyway."

Yeah. Heard that one before. The yarn's still sitting in my stash, no doubt to be used on something that doesn't even resemble the original project it was purchased for.

My writing life is a lot like that, too. I have waaaay too many ideas for projects, and I write too slowly to accommodate them all. So I stash them, exactly the way I stash my yarn - only instead of nicely and neatly in bags and boxes in the closet where I can find the fibers and colors with relative ease (if I go back to them at all; these companies have GOT to stop inventing such incredible new colors and yarns every year, or I have GOT to stop looking at the magazines & catalogs to avoid all temptation) I stash my writing ideas

*on bits and pieces of paper,
*on 3.5 inch floppies that are no longer of much use,
*on flash drives
*on CDs
*on my laptop computer
*on my PC
*in the filing cabinet in the basement
*in notebooks on the bookshelf
*in the filing cabinets in my office

The ideas for new stories, articles, books & characters are literally everywhere, arranged as best I can. I'm addicted to them and they won't leave me alone - very much like my yarn stash. The newest ones are always my favorites, but the old ones are comforting, things I want to go back to, classics, part of plan I once had for a trilogy or a series or...just something completely different that I wasn't quite ready to tackle once upon the when.

At least the yarn catalogs and magazines have pictures already in them. The story ideas and books and research and...writing stuff accumulates more and more with each character, each thought, because every idea generates its own stash, its own file / pile of research, color, thoughts, ideas, characters, music, addictions - and oftentimes even knitting patterns. Because knitting helps me think, concentrate, mull over where the story goes next, the recipe changes, the pattern jogs...

Terese Ramin
Stuck in Think...


Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

This is very unfair, Terey. Your post has me thinking in ten different directions, each of which is demanding its own post.

Workbasket! McCall's Needlework Arts & Crafts. Vogue Knitting. Family Circle Easy Knitting. Knit Simple. And my absolute favorite: Interweave Knits. (Perfect issue: Spring 2004. Perfect pattern: Salt Peanuts)

I have some McCall's Needlework A&C from the early 1950s. Love love love them.

And don't get me started on catalogues. Patternworks and Woodland Woolworks are major occasions of sin for me the same way The Stitchery used to be when I was doing embroidery.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

I don't get any yarn catalogues, thank goodness! It's bad enough walking through the yarn store with all those gorgeous knitting books to tempt me. I'm trying to avoid getting on those mailing lists or all will be lost.

11:59 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Knitting catalogs are, to me, like coffee table art books are to others. I just love paging through them, studying the finished garments, picturing myself making and then wearing them. I get Patternworks, which is sparks really sweet dreams when I read it late at night. I got a Knit Picks once or twice but haven't received another one of late.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Terese Ramin said...

LOL, Barbara! I love all of those same magazines (only some of my favorites are probably from the 70s & 80s since my mother didn't have any lying about and I haven't found all of the vintage patterns yet).

I also think I must be (accidentally??) on every single knitting catalog mailing list under creation. How I got there I really don't know. I'm usually successful at throwing most of them out the moment they come in from the mail box, but there are a few (dozen *wry grin*) that just have to stop for a spell...
Halcyon Yarn
Knit Pick
Ram Wools
Mary Maxim
and darned if I can remember the rest right now though I bet if I looked in the knitting bag beside my favorite chair I'd find a few that aren't listed above.

1:20 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

The arrival of a new yarn catalog is an occasion of great joy to me. Knitpicks is my favorite, due to the astounding affordableness of the contents. The best catalog for just plain drooling is Ram Wools, in my opinion. That one, along with Patternworks, is my "coffee table" art (as Fran so aptly put it). I'm amazed that the last two companies are still sending me catalogs. I haven't ordered from them in eons. Halcyon already gave up on me, unfortunately.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Knit Picks! How could I forget Knit Picks!?!? (Have you checked out their website? They have some terrific free patterns available.)

Yes to Lion Brand and Mary Maxim and I'm ashamed I forgot Herrschner's, although I prefer the website to the paper catalog.

11:13 PM  

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