Friday, December 12, 2008

Spectacle Spectacular the second

This week's Spectacle was one of the ones I was most excited about: Lou Reed and Julian Schnabel. I've been a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground fan since I was a teenager and this very blog owes him a debt; the name comes from a line in Pale Blue Eyes: "If I could make the world as pure and strange as what I see/ I'd put you in the mirror I put in front of me."

I was really hoping he and Elvis Costello would sing it together, at which point I would melt into a quivering puddle of ecstatic fan-girl pudding, but they didn't. Here's a video of Lou Reed and Pete Townsend performing it together though, which is awfully good:

Originally, the theme was going to be classic New York food (pastrami? a slice from the corner pizzeria?), plus something luridly pink (like a blended beet and buttermilk soup, maybe) to pay homage to Schnabel's Palazzo Chupi and, of course, something with poppy seeds for dessert to play with all of the heroin references. But we were just coming off two weeks of closing an issue and feeling fairly braindead and uncreative. Plus, Liz was getting ready to go out of town for a week, so we made a Use-Up-the-Stuff-in-Liz's-Fridge Risotto instead, which was quite tasty and not at all photogenic, and had some sea salt brownies from Trader Joe's to follow.

Lou was pretty interesting, talking about his doo-wop influences and writing processes, but Schnabel was kind of a schnasshole, showing up drunk and just generally being a self-aggrandizing blowhard, all but screaming LOOKATME LOOKATME LOOKATME, I AM WEARING PAJAMAS IN PUBLIC AND MADE LOU REED HOLD MY DEAD FATHER'S HAND. NOW I WILL RECITE THE LYRICS TO AN ENTIRE SONG AND YOU WILL BE IN THRALL TO ME.

Impressing people: UR doin it wrong

Anyway, last night, I cast on for Amelia, Laura's latest design. I haven't seen anything in knitty that I've been excited about for a while and chalked it up to the fact that there are so many other outlets for independent designers now than when it first started. That's why I was so pleasantly surprised to see this one; I've been keeping an eye out for a basic cardigan pattern written for worsted-weight yarn that had some interesting details without being too fussy or busy to wear with prints. The only change I'm going to make is to put buttonholes along the whole front edge. Even if I don't usually button a whole cardigan, I want the option. And I'll slip the first stitch of every row for a nice clean line along the front edge.

I swatched two different yarns for it, a charcoal cashmere/silk from School Products and some really lovely darkish denim blue handspun that I've had for a while and would like to use. That would have been the winner except that it has a fairly high mohair content and I thought the fuzziness would distract from the pintucks.

A word of caution: don't try to out-clever the designer and decide to extend the pintucks all the way to the cast-on edge. The difference in row gauge between garter stitch and twisted rib means that the rib sections will be longer and pull the garter sections out of shape where they meet. That's why even though I spent a while working on it last night, I'm currently one row into the body, which I couldn't be bothered to photograph. I should have some time to work on it this weekend though, so: soon!

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