First: the survey is up! Thank you all so very much for all of your comments and thoughts on the survey, on knitting, and on the intersection of personal identity and knitting. I've saved all of those emails, and they've inspired me to do a lot of thinking -- always a good thing. I've incorporated most comments, as you'll see, and I appreciated every single one of them. I also got some fabulous help from two friends and colleagues who are knitters and who have a great deal more professional experience with surveys than I do; they are sadly blogless, but I think the survey makes much more sense because of them. And finally, three brave beta testers helped me out by taking the survey to be sure I hadn't missed something as I put it together online. Thank you all!
So, without further ado, here's the link to the survey:
You can cut and paste that into a browser and you're off to the races. I'm hearing that this takes about 20 minutes or so to fill out. I have also put a button in the sidebar (oh-so-creatively labelled Knitting Survey), so you can click on that. If you find this interesting, and are willing to point people to the survey either in person or through your blogs, that would be fabulous. The link above should work, or you can send them here to click the button (I think, in theory, that I could also give you the bit of code for the button, if you're really excited about advertising the survey for me; let me know in the comments and I'll email you about it). I'm pretty excited to start reading all of the responses. (Of course, the next step is to start actually analyzing the responses. I haven't quite faced up to what that's going to mean yet, so I'm sticking with excitement.)
I have another finished object today, but I'm feeling much less excited about this one. I've been putting in some serious time with the summer shell (Rav link) this week, hoping to finish it before I leave for the Golden Gate Fiber Institute tomorrow morning. (Not that I'll be able to wear it, even if I would wear it; I hear temperatures are hovering in the 50s. I'm very excited about that, actually, and have visions of Shawl That Jazz dancing in my head.) So I cast off last night after watching the Tour de France, washed it and dried it, and spent some time this morning weaving in ends and sewing on buttons.
I'm thinking that was all wasted work and that I'll be ripping it out. The only good thing is that maybe the yarn will be more pleasant to knit with now, having been washed. See what you think (and excuse the dorky look; this was a quick photo shoot in the midst of packing and doing laundry).
Do you see what I mean? Maybe this will clarify the problem.
That's my cranky face. It's saying, "Waist? What waist?"
What's particularly annoying about this is that I knitted the entire bottom half in 2x2 rib for exactly this reason. I wanted some shaping. So I cleverly (I thought) began the ribbing just below the bustline. In order to keep the decrease from being too dramatic, I only put in every other rib for the first couple of inches (so it was a 6x2 rib, essentially), and then went for the full 2x2 effect. I thought it was going to be great. Annoyingly, the swatch told me it was going to be great. Even after washing, the ribbing on the swatch drew in, and it shrank as much widthwise as it did lengthwise. The sweater itself, before being washed, pulled in nicely below the bustline. But here again we see the difference between the way a 5x5 inch piece of fabric acts, and the way a garment acts. Sometimes that difference doesn't lead to tragedy, sometimes, though...
I don't know. I can't decide whether I'm OK wearing it as a casual summer layering piece, over tank tops and t-shirts, at least for now, or whether it's just too unflattering and embarrassing, and I should rip it out yesterday. I'm tempted to take it along to the institute this week, where one of the classes I'm taking is a class on garment design. Maybe I could get some pointers for the next effort. Opinions?
And speaking of the institute, I will be gone for the next week, which means no blog posts and no email (I can't find in the description of the conference center any mention of the availability of internet access, so I'm not going to lug my computer). As much as I'm not excited about packing up and leaving again after only two weeks at home (and with the prospect of only two days at home between this trip and Sock Summit), I am very excited about the institute itself. The organizers have been tremendously patient with me as I've worked through several different travel plans (I was going to drive when I thought Rick and the girls were going to come one way with me to see Grandmom, but that won't work out for various reasons, and I wasn't relishing the thought of 16+ hours of driving by myself, so I'm flying; this, of course, necessitated all kinds of dithering about whether now is the right time to buy a folding wheel, but apparently it is, heh). The location of the institute is one of my very favorite on earth, on Point Bonita, a ten-minute walk from Rodeo beach. Fog, sand, cold, windy beaches. I'm taking one class on garment design and one on spinning. I will be learning a ton, and I'm guessing that I'll get to make all kinds of lovely observations of knitters and spinners in their natural habitats. I'll bring my camera, I promise.
So, I'm off. I can't wait to see all the survey responses start coming in, so if you have twenty minutes and are willing to answer questions about knitting, I hope you know how much I'd appreciate your participation. Thanks!