Cheerful knitting by the Socklady in northern British Columbia
Cheerful knitting by the Socklady in northern British Columbia
I couldn’t resist some compulsive/impulsive yarn buying.
Isn’t this the most marvelous image. It is in the current issue of Piecework Magazine, p. 46. It is part of an article by Donna Druchunas. Originally it was the cover of the December 1930 issue of Needlecraft magazine. A woman knitting and skating. In turn, the image used here in Donna’s article in Piecework is courtesy of the Longmont Museum, Longmont Colorado. (Important to give all the credits where credits are due) I think is is a charming image and just conjures up all sorts of ideas and memories. Donna’s article is extremely interesting about historical knitting in the Netherlands. I won’t reveal all the information here but I like Piecework magazine very much and if you like this type of article then Piecework Magazine is the one for you. Lately I have been passing on my collection of weaving and fiber arts magazines but I will hold on to the Piecework issues for a while longer.
Also I want to put in a plug here for a workshop to be given by Franklin of The Panopticon blog. Next Friday night he will be at the Weaving Works here in Seattle giving a workshop on historical knitting patterns.
My knitting efforts of late have turn to socks. Nothing historical or super fancy. Just easy to knit with nice yarns.
Nothing like thinking and writing about my ideas for doing a rug (see previous posts) to make me pick up the knitting needles again. At last I’m getting around to knitting a pair of socks that I was supposed to knit some time ago – I won’t say how long. Two balls of Mini Mochi Crystal Palace Yarn (80% merino wool, 20% nylon) have been sitting in my knitting basket for several months. My knitting basket is actually a Janet Basket ,yes, that really is the trade name of my basket, a present from my brother-in-law in Canada.
the yarn and the first sock, 7 inch bamboo needles no. 6 (4.0 mm). The needles were purchased in Victoria when I went to that nice yarn store, the Button and Needlework Boutique, and couldn’t resist buying a skein of green yarn and of course had to buy needles to use when I got back to the hotel, etc. etc. I didn’t get around to the knitting on that trip but I’m now glad to have the needles for knitting the socks. The yarn and needles are a joyful combination.
Add to the knitting a good book – Henning Mankell’s latest Kurt Wallander novel.
Alas, the Kaffe Fassett socks which I knit for 2 of my grandaughters are too small – or is it that their feet have grown too big? I knit the socks several months ago. In our mad flurry of moving house, I finally got around to popping the socks in an envelope and posting them. Otherwise the socks might have disappeared entirely – now I understand they are being used for Teddies and then in due course will be passed on to baby Ethan.
Regular readers of this blog might be wondering if I am still knitting, what with all my rambling on other topics. Don’t despair – I’m still knitting – knitting on trains, planes, cars – knitting while watching tv, knitting in between uploading photos (thanks to a slow computer), knitting while reading, etc. I’ve had a change from doing hats and have been working on a couple of larger than usual projects.
The brown short sleeve sweater I was working on a while ago has morphed into a tank top and as soon as I’ve sewn the ends, it will make its appearance.
When I was in Connecticut I bought a pattern for a child’s skirt. I knit round and round and round on that, and now it is waiting for the final sewing of the loose ends. Soon to appear. The skirt will match this hat, knit with Noro yarn and Icelandic Lodband.
And just to have some plain knitting on the go, I am working on another tank top – this one in a nice solid green. Maybe one-third done.
Usually I find time to knit on Saturday morning at Kilternan Market, but this morning I was so busy that I didn’t have a chance. Sales in the craft section were brisk. Hooray. Of course, being adjacent to the vegetables, we get a chance to sell a few of those too. I am happy to report that a pair of my handknit socks and one of my notecards were among the sales. As my woodturner friend at the Market said, it’s these little sales that keep us going.
Socks knit from stash yarn
My stash of knitting yarn, March 2008
The stash is considerably reduced from when this photo was taken – I’ll change that to considerably altered – I’ve probably added as much yarn as I’ve used up. But when I sell something at the Market, e.g. socks, then I immediately want to knit more of that particular item, in different colours of course. You can probably read between the lines and conclude that all those hats I knit recently have yet to find heads to rest on.
Pablo Neruda, photo credit Wikipedia
Mara Mori brought me
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder’s hands,
two socks as soft
I slipped my feet
as though into
with threads of
my feet were
two fish made
two long sharks
sea blue, shot
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
in this way
for the first time
my feet seemed to me
like two decrepit
of that woven
of those glowing
the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere
as learned men
the mad impulse
to put them
in a golden
and each day give them
and pieces of pink melon.
in the jungle who hand
over the very rare
to the spit
and eat it
I stretched out
and pulled on
and then my shoes.
of my ode is this:
beauty is twice
and what is good is doubly
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool
Reprinted from NERUDA AND VALLEJO: SELECTED POEMS, edited by Robert Bly, Beacon Press, Boston, 1971. Copyright 1971 Robert Bly. Used with his permission.
Source: The Poetry Society
A pair of my handknit socks which sold at Kilternan Market
These socks plus the baby beanie are what I have been knitting lately. I just love the Regia Kaffe Fassett colours sock yarn.
Now I want to write a few words about rhubarb – unrelated to socks as far as I know but I just feel like writing about it. We have rhubarb growing in our garden.
rather pathetic isn’t it but it’s early days yet for the 2nd crop. Then Ian will make a delicious rhubarb and apple and raisin pie. Meanwhile we’ll depend on store-bought rhubarb for those pies.
I subscribe to a service called Word a Day. A few days ago rhubarb was the word for the day. To quote from the site:
noun: A heated dispute; brawl.
The origin of the plant name rhubarb is from Greek rha (perhaps from Rha, an ancient name of the river Volga on whose bank rhubarb was grown) + barbaros (foreign), but why the word developed this slang sense is unknown. We do know that this usage was popularized in baseball. The Oxford English Dictionary has the first citation from 1943:
The name Red Barber caught my eye. I remember him from the 1940’s when I was a keen fan of the Boston Red Sox.
I seem to be slipping into a a very comfortable routine of knitting socks. Before I went to Seattle I was knitting a series of socks using purple colours from my stash. I didn’t try to take my knitting needles and wip through security at the airport – my knitting was safely packed in my checked bag. I didn’t know what the policy was for American Airlines – I know that Aer Lingus still considers knitting needles to be a security risk. As it happened though I wouldn’t have had enough room to knit – I had a “window” seat with only one person on my left. However, elbow room was at a premium as was space in front of me – my seat did not recline and the person in front of me put his seat back for the entire flight. I wouldn’t have been comfortable trying to knit. I put window in quotes because my “window” was a grey wall and I had only an oblique view out the window of the seat in front of me.
However, early on during my visit I completed the 2nd sock to go with the one I had completed before I left Dublin.
Then I started working on the socks promised for Susan’s birthday back in May. That was my main knitting project for the remainder of my visit. Again, I finished the 2nd sock when I got back to Dublin.
Kaffe Fassett colours sock yarn
Now Caitlin and Ashley have requested that I knit socks for them. I chose the Kaffe Fassett yarns at the Full Circle Yarn Store. Plus I bought a ball of a nice yellow Regia sock yarn and a ball of Kara Soy Silk and Wool yarn – maybe for making a hat. I found a pattern book for making hats – couldn’t resist.
The start of the sock for Ashley. 28 stitches. Will see how that works out. If it’s too few stitches it can be for baby Ethan. I cast on 48 stitches for the socks for Susan.
Knitting at the Movies
Have you ever tried to knit in the dark?? As dusk fell over Magnusson Park in Seattle the family settled down for an outdoor showing of Mamma Mia. I was comfortably ensconced in a safari chair, had finished my Americano coffee, wrapped myself in a blanket, and got out my knitting. All was well, I could see a little bit – enough to realize I had dropped a few stitches when I pulled the knitting out of its bag. What to do. I picked up the stitches as best I could and decided to carry on. I could fix any mistakes in the morning in daylight. The knitting went very well and I clicked away while we all sang and watched the film. It was a lot of fun. Baby Ethan was snug as a bug in a rug and slept the evening away. Ashley and Caitlin snuggled with their parents and Caitlin eventually fell asleep. The projection system short circuited about three quarters of the way through but was fixed pretty quickly before we succumbed to hypothermia. The film ended after midnight and by the time we packed up our chairs and sorted out the sleepy children we were among the last to leave. Silly me, I didn’t even have a torch (flashlight). We made our way back to our cars for the sleepy ride home. What a fun evening. I look forward to more outdoor screenings when we arrive back in Seattle later in the summer.
As for my knitting – I did about 2 inches on the sock and decided I should stop as I might have reached the decrease point for the toe. Examination in the light of day revealed that I had to sort out 3 dropped stitches- as I had suspected after I pulled the knitting out of its bag. This meant going back a long way but I did it successfully and then continued a few more rows to the toe.
A couple of nights later I had a chance to do more knitting on the 2nd sock. At home we watched Madagascar – a fun film but I wasn’t sure how appropriate it was for the children. There was a fair bit of violence in it, as happens in cartoons, but I have a more critical eye for this sort of thing as I watch with my grandchildren. Knitting at home in the dark is different from knitting in the open air. At home I can turn a light on or take a break to go to another room where I can turn the light on and examine my knitting. For lack of a torch at the outdoor screening of Mamma Mia I was stuck. The knitting itself was very easy – I was using lovely Regia sock yarn and bamboo needles and I could knit by feel.
The girls are so enthusiastic about these socks for their mummy that I went out and bought 2 more balls of the KaffeFassett colours Regia sock yarn to knit socks for them. I carefully chose colours I thought each girl would like – when I showed them the yarn they surprised me and spontaneously traded the colours I had chosen. That says something about my choices doesn’t it. Doesn’t really matter though since they seem to share and swap everything.
Rnjoying Mamma Mia
Progress on the sock, Kaffe Fassett colours Regia sock yarn
More sock yarn