I’m guessing Worsted for Wear isn’t a fav comic around here. Not because it isn’t funny (it is), or because it’s poorly drawn (it’s not), or because it lacks or includes capes (it’s mostly capeless, with the occasional cape walk-on for fun), but because most folks hanging out in the hooded u aren’t big knitters.
But I am.
Knit! Purl! Knit, Knit, Slip Slip, Knit and Pass Slipped Stitches over (Double Centered Decrease, baby)!
Ahem. Sorry. I got overexcited for a moment there. Sock yarn lace patterns are as fine wine to me and I get a bit giddy.
So what am I talking about?
A web-comic about knitting.
Worsted for Wear is a well-drawn indie web comic by Josh and Rachel Anderson. A friend of mine who’s into web-comics (but not knitting), sent me the link. I was a little wary, because I don’t normally think of knitting as funny. It’s something I do to relax, and if I’m knitting a sock someplace public, people are usually confused as to what I’m doing. (Socks on two circs looks odd, if you’ve never seen it.)
But in a weak moment, I checked out WfW and laughed. Short strip comics are a difficult form. It’s hard to create enough story to pull off a funny punchline in just a few panels.
I approve of any comic that can make cthulu-hat jokes.
The art is good enough to make it easy to recognize them. The stories are essentially warm rather than grim. This is a light comedy, not a grim!dark tale of doom. Makes a lovely change from the sad arty stuff I sometimes try to read.
The characters are a nice mix–Cam (the main character) has several friends who show up over time. One of the early arcs is about how Marie, who knit the cthulu hat, adores horror movies. She knits a baby blanket with an exploding head and eventually the knitting group goes over to her house for movie-knitting night:
The strip is titled “Stabbed Through the Red Heart.” Red Heart is the name of a very inexpensive, acrylic yarn sold at big box stores.
Most of the stories are one or two strips, but some last longer. One arc covers that perennial problem–knitting gifts for baby showers. Cam’s forgotten to make a baby shower project for her sister, and she has to scramble to get one done in time. It pokes gentle fun at those of who sometimes lose sight of deadlines–and how sometimes friends come through to help out.
The strip is delightfully geeky. Not only do we get Cthulu hats, we also get that most famous of famous knitting projects, the Dr Who scarf.
Let me take a brief moment to talk about Dr Who scarves. Who scarves use a pattern called ‘garter stitch’. That’s using a simple knit stitch on each row and on both sides. This creates a durable fabric that doesn’t curl at the edges. (If you’ve ever cut the edges off a tee shirt and watched the edges curl up, that’s because the knit fabric used in most clothing is called ‘stockinette’. It’s smooth one one side, but curls.)
The big challenge with Who scarves is getting the colors correct and the width of the stripes right. If the idea of pausing frequently and peering worriedly at the TV is getting you down, do not fear! There are plenty of places that have these details all worked out. Try Witty Knitter.
Not sure how long to make it? Check the scale drawing here. Want color tips? Witty Knitter used an OttLite and some pantone strips (yes, really) to get the most accurate color tips possible. Never let it be said that knitting geeks do not go the full mile.
OK, back to the comic review!
There’s a delightful run where Cam gets (mildly) offended by the crocheters, who have the audacity to meet in her knitting cafe. Dun dun dun. As a form of revenge, she cozies them (covers their stuff in knitted items–this is a Real Thing, by the way. Some knitters have gone around and, say, knit bombed all the seats on a bus.)
In revenge, the crocheters do their own thing! (Crocheters are know for making small, cute stuffies.)
Is this cheery little comic Great Art?
Oh who cares. It’s got women who are shaped like actual women, it’s got funny and geeky happy couples, it’s got Star Wars and Dr Who jokes, it’s got small foibles I can relate to, and lovely art.
And for once, it shows the kind of lovely female friendship that I see all the time in the real world but that is too often missing from media:
Isn’t that a great panel?
Now go knit a scarf! Or a woolly bobble hat! When in doubt, tink!