As knitters, many of have a special place in our hearts for films that slip in little bits of knitting; some of the movies I've seen with someone knitting: "Wallace and Grommit" (Grommit knits), "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane," "Rosemary's Baby," and "Jane Austin Book Club," to name just a few. And who could forget Jamie Lee Curtis's unforgettable trick with knitting needles in "Halloween," hmm?
Well yesterday, as I was intently finishing a little knitting project (yes, it was a detour I'd taken for some instant knitting gratification--I will get Papa's socks done soon!), CR decided to turn on Turner Classic Movies (his default station besides the Hitler History Channel) because there was an old movie we'd never seen featuring one of my favorite actors, Cary Grant. Called "Mr. Lucky," it was filmed in 1943, and was about as campy and melodramatic and predictable as some old movies can get. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036174/ I must admit, I do love most old movies, and because Cary was in it, well, I decided not to fight for control of the remote and watch.
About a half hour into the movie, though, my knitting nearly hit the floor along with my jaw. "Joe," Cary's character, is a bloke trying to swindle a WWII War Relief Charity which is run entirely by women. In this surprising scene, he's been waylaid by a young woman who explains that one of the things they do to help the war effort is knit, and she asks him if he knits. Of course, he's shocked and replies he "does not knit, and will not" in his usual C.Grant style. The young woman presses him to try, saying, "We want a group of obviously masculine men to take up knitting--do it perfectly casually in a public place (LOL)." And he says, "Well, I can't knit because I don't know how, and that settles it." So she sends him to Mrs. Van Every, a matron ready with knitting needles and wool who is glad to show him how. She seats him at the head of a table full of knitters. This is a great shot of many pairs of hands knitting along each side of the screen, framing him in the center. What ensues is lots of knitting silliness, campy expressions, and Mrs. VE's encouragements (which sound like what you said to puppies when they do their business outside: "That's a boy, yesss. There you did it, bless your heart.").
I loved seeing all the different ways the women were holding the needles and throwing the yarn; most, in fact, were using that odd way you hold the right needle in hand a bit like a pencil, and stab repeatedly at your knitting. I could see only one or two women knitting continental. Anyway, the gag continues when "Joe's" sidekick, "Crunk" enters and is forced to pick up the needles, too, although by the following scene, he's the one showing a bunch of guys how to knit, "...you just take this string and put it between the 2 gimmicks, and you take it, and you haul it off..."
Gotta love those 2 gimmicks...:)
Speaking of gimmicks, I made the most darlin' pair of slippers for Bug--that was the little knitting side trip I mentioned earlier. I saw the pattern in the latest issue of "Knitscene Easy," and just had to try it. It was a fantastic way to use some of my bulky stash yarn, as I decided long ago to not make anything to wear (on my body, at least) made from bulky yarn. Happily, these slippers completely used an entire skein of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky in a lovely teal--the Bug's favorite color--all but 8 inches of yarn were left. Wonderful.
I thought this would have been a very easy pattern. Quick, too. However, (and I don’t want to be mean, and frankly, I learned one of my favorite knitting techniques (entrelac) from this designer, Lisa Shroyer), but I found that this was the most poorly written, confusing pattern I’ve ever encountered. Surely it was a pattern that could upset beginning knitters enough to cause them to whip their gimmicks across the room in despair.
For instance, the pattern instructed the knitter to repeat the first 2 increase rows multiple times (4 times after the initial 2 increase rows), however if this direction would be followed exactly as written, it would cause the YO increase pattern to tragically skew to the side. Not a happy result.
Knit to first marker, slip marker, YO, K1, slip marker, YO, Knit to end.
Also, the decreases in what is meant to be the sole are unclear. Here, I added a stitch marker on each side of the middle 13 stitches, then in each decrease row, knit to within 2 stitches of the first marker, K2tog, slipped marker, knit the middle 13, slipped the 2nd marker, K2tog, then knit to the end.
I don’t know if that was correct, but I think it gave the soles a pleasing shape and they fit well.
I finished these with a vintage button on each slipper.
Overall, a very cute, if confusing, pattern, that not only gave me a break from knitting endless Papa socks on size 1 needles, but showed me that I could figure out how to fix up a goofy pattern and make it do my bidding.
And that's no gimmick...