YOUR FRIENDLY KNITTED-UP SPIDERMAN

Somewhere out in the dark of nightlurks Mark Newport; a fiber artist with time, imagination, and a fullattic of vintage comic books.

Mr. Newportknits head-to-toe superhero suits. You canpurchase his one-of-a-kindSpiderman; Mid ’60s Batman; Daredevil (with nifty ribbed hood) or Mr. Fantasticoutfits. If he selected a nice, springy wool,he’s probably figured out what I never could as a kid – howReed Richards wasable to stretch his arm to ten feet long butneverburst out of his suit. (Later when I got older I thought of the implications of being his wife Sue Storm, but that’s another speculation left over from a more innocent time.) My embroiderer and comic-collector selves also really appreciate the oddity ofMr. Newport’s embroidery on papercomic book samplers, too.

Mr. Newport’s work is being gathered into an upcoming exhibit at the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle, Washington. Be warned however – he overembroiders or embellishes many types of printed matter in addition to comic pages, including what in a more genteel era would have been called "French Postcards." The gallery’s site does explore those materials as well.

Yarn Reviews at wiseNeedle

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Since yesterday 24 new reviews have been logged in. That’sthe most reviews received in one day since early ’95, when the collection was just starting out! Knitters everywhere will be extremely grateful as they find your comments on all those yarns. I’m particularly impressed with the blog community, and the way that it’s rallied behind this project. I feel like I’m back in ’94,part ofa happy band of knitting zealotsspreading their shared banner throughthe electronic ether. Thanks also to the folk from the KnitList who slogged on over to the site to add their experiences to the pile. I also really appreciate all the people who took time to say they’d miss the yarn review collection if it disappeared.

I’ve still not decided what to do to make the collection self-supporting, but I did get a couple of good ideas to chase down, both left as comments on yesterday’s page and mailed to me directly. I notice that other people don’t have the ethical/editorial independence problem I see with accepting ads from yarn makers or retailers. One person wrote to suggest that I offer a "buy me" sidebar, with a list of vendors appearing whenever a review is pulled up. The logistics on that might not be feasible, especially considering that many individual yarns have the half-life of a mayfly, and the indexing would have to be done by manufacturer’s line rather than individual offering. Plus, I’m afraid that if I become dependent on money from industry sources, the collection will become less impartial as people become hesitant to criticize the same stuff they see advertised. Also I might be swayed (even unconsciously) to favor advertisers over non-advertisers. Perhaps I’m too much a stickler here. More thought is needed.

Another intriguingidea was to see if sellers of knitting inventory software might be interested in licensing the database. Another was to sell bags or tee-shirts with knitting-related stuff on them. If anyone has had experience with Cafe Press or similar collateral services, could I beg a little guidance? (You can send me an eMail off-blog at using the "contact" link at the right.)I also got a suggestionto add a line of for-pay patterns to the free ones already there. I’m not convinced though that anyone would pay for these as the more complex ones are working descriptions rather than stitch-exact direction sets; and the less complex ones are so intuitive that I can’t believe people would plunk down a fee for them. Then again, there are people selling other simple patterns on the web and on eBay at surprisingly large prices…

Buttons?

Some people asked for a closer view of the ceramicbuttons I’ll be using on the fulled pillow. Here they are, both with and without the little yellowplastic onesI’ll be using to hold them on.

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