Saturday Sidewalk


Dsc01759You know, there are some movies you can knit to and there are others that require full attention.  Last night I watched Helvetica and, just so you know, it requires full attention.  I first read about this movie last year, was very amused by a haiku contest (winners here) in which the subject was fonts.  I was so amused, in fact, that I printed three personal favorites and posted them near my computer both at work and at home.  It's been months and months and they still make me laugh.  It's even funnier because I actually used the type they wrote about -- Comic Sans for the one entitled "Comic Sans," it's 10x funnier and just cracks me up.  There's another about how to "pica stock" using "small caps."  Who knew fonts could be so entertaining.  Is it just me?

Anyway, Bonne Marie reminded me the other day by adding "Helvetica" to her sidebar wish list, and that prompted me to add it to my Netflix queue -- and make it number one.  I think more people would find it interesting now than, say, 20 years ago, but most would probably still find it a bore.  I worked as a typesetter from 1978 -- actually, I started part-time for my dad in 1975 -- until 1991 and I loved it.  "It" being both the movie and the job.  I never actually set lead type, but I did work on some clunky old machines before sitting down at some amazingly big, totally awesome, completely dedicated-to-one-thing computers: the Compugraphic Mark IV with its one line of display and all the cool flippy switches for leading; the mammoth EditWriter with it's big screen and 8-inch floppy disks; and finally the Varityper, also enormous, but with a sort of WYSIWYG option.  Yep.  We've come a long way, baby.  Fonts came on film strips, four to a strip, and they were expensive.  We were always like giddy kids when it was time to order new fonts.  Oh, and the border tape, X-acto knives, waxers and rubber cement.  If people only knew -- really knew how awesome it is to have hundreds of typestyles in whatever size they want at any given time...  That's not saying they all know what to do with them.

Dsc01760So, yeah, here's the story of my life lately.  There's a million things to do, time is running short, and I'm watching a must-see movie about a typeface.

I ran out of coil-less pins, but managed to get one Log Cabin slipper upper pinned to the suede lower.  The Cork is way too weak to use for sewing, so I'm going to use a finer wool/cotton in a nice brown.  I'm lovin' Tudora.  I still need to find a button -- and block -- and weave in ends.

Oh, and there was knitting talk on the radio this morning!!  One of the local news personalities who does double-duty on morning radio (as so many of them do) was talking about last night's knitting class at Loops 'n Links.  She sounded so excited!  They've moved from scarves to hats, and last night they learned to purl.  ; )

What else can I say?  Oh, yeah... TGIF.  The next five days are mine.



8" floppy disks? Thanks for taking me back to my days as a secretary in the 80s. :) Back when I had leg warmers and big hair.

Good luck with the handknit finishing work. And TGIF!


I'm not sure how I'd feel about the movie - but damn, the haikus had me laughing so hard I cried. Clearly, one of the brightest spots in this terribly dreary day!!



How have I missed this?

What I would give to be using exacto's and waxers and rubber cement to set my type instead of sitting at this here makes me giddy just thinking about it.

I despise comic sans! The haiku was pretty funny though!


Helvetica goes in my Netflix queue right after I finish this comment!

Mary in Boston

Wow! Thanks for the link and info about the movie, Vicki. I will try to watch it soon.

I never worked with lead type either, but certainly worked the the Compugraphic typesetter and xacto knives and wax. Seems not that long ago, really.

Your Tudora is beautiful. It's next on my to-knit list and your blog was the one that pointed me towards that pattern.

Enjoy the 5 days off!


Oh, Vicki, we share some memories! I was a typesetter and proofreader for the Minnesota Daily from 1982- 1986, if I remember right; I didn't get to order the typefaces, but I sure remember working on the Compugraphic. Also the CRTs all hooked up to the main network; putting ems and ens and and font sizes and superscripts and stuff in. I didn't get to wield the Exactos & wax most of the time, except when I was proofreading and making corrections and we were on deadline, then they let me. Or the special editions, I got to play around with the production part.
Too funny. Thanks for the link to the haikus.
Merry Christmas, and enjoy your family and knitting time!


I love Tudora as well. I knit one in less than a day this past week for my mom...and I'm not the fastest knitter in the world! It is such a nice simple pattern - and I, too, need to find a button...


I saw that movie mentioned over at Bonne Marie's and thought it sounded interesting. I've never really done typesetting, but it's the kind of thing I'd like.

Oh, I did have a job during high school in the former newspaper office/museum in a town that was a state historic park. I made Wanted posters on an 1854 Washington handpress with wooden type and rolled-on ink.


I am a font geek, myself. I like reading books about the history of script, SK thinks that is pretty geeky. It is probably the special collections librarian in me though, I have an appreciation for how old books were made (particularly printed). I didn't even now about this movie, now I must find it!


I so love to play around with fonts. They are always intertaining.

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