Janet's thread

A weblog, mostly about knitting but other topics appear

A New Rug November 21, 2017

Filed under: Cats,Katerina,Weaving,Weaving looms,Wool,Woven Rugs — Janet @ 9:01 pm

IMG_4732                   IMG_4733     I think Katerina approves of my purchase.  It is a  sort of blue and grey mix rag rug.  Made from selvedge scraps  from the Pendleton Woollen Mills in Oregon.  What am I doing buying a rag rug you might ask.  Well, I no longer have my Glimakra loom to weave one myself, and I guess I just plain liked it.


Start Your Day……. March 24, 2017

17342655_774545312711136_7201039594426454023_n  Start your day with this beautiful photo of Spring in Ireland – a contrast of green and yellow – thanks to Sarah Rubalcava of Rubalcava Horticultural Services.

Sarah’s mom (and my friend) Magda Rubalcava is an award winning internationally renown tapestry weaver – wouldn’t this make a spectacular tapestry?


Blue Yarn, Sweaters, and Travel Memories December 11, 2016

I have previously written about the blue yarn which I purchased at a little sop in the Aran Islands,which are located off the West Coast of Ireland.  I bought a good amount of this yarn and a sweater pattern.  When it finally came to the knitting, I used a different pattern for one and found I had almost enough of that lovely yarn for another sweater.


80th-birthday  Sweater 1, I sort of made up the design    

img_1933img_1940Sweater 2        yes it is the same yarn but the selfie photo  was taken in different lighting.

I should really get a photo of the 2 sweaters side by side.



A Big Yarn “Store” November 16, 2016

Filed under: Crochet,Knitters,Knitting,Wool,Yarn shops,Yarns — Janet @ 5:54 pm

This past weekend I attended the Yarn Market which was part of a big knitting event, Knit Fit, here in Ballard Seattle.  The Yarn Market part of Knit Fit was held in the big gymnasium at the Ballard Community Center.  A big gymnasium packed with yarn shops displaying their wares.  Heaven for knitting and crochet enthusiasts!



img_1739  my lovely purchase at the Yarn Market


img_1723  This photo is for one of my sons who likes to take me to yarn stores.


Searching For A Nice Brown Yarn October 12, 2016

img_1467  On my recent trip to Glastonbury Connecticut I visited 2 yarn stores – Village Wool in Glastonbury and Mystic River Yarns in Mystic Connecticut.  I just like looking for yarn and knitting – not sure what project or projects will result.  I bought 2 different browns and thought about knitting a sweater.  I prefer the “richer” brown – but my sample knitting has too few stitches to be continued as a sweater.   The lighter brown sample has enough stitches……so, what should I do?  I’m thinking!


The Scarf Knitting Continues January 10, 2015

Filed under: Craft Fairs,Knitting,Scarves,Wool,Yarns — Janet @ 9:23 pm

IMG_5074IMG_5075  Despite, or maybe because of all the flurry of the Christmas season, I’ve managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting.  With the help of my cat of course.  These pictures show Scarf Number 9 in production.

IMG_4999  Scarf Number 9 along side Scarf Number 8


IMG_4666  Scarf Number 7                    IMG_5088  Scarves 1-8  These scarves are supposed to be real  stash busters.  IMG_4670  My painting of my stash 2010      I suspect that if I were to spread out my stash today, it would look very similar to my stash 5 years ago.  I just keep buying yarn that I like with no particular purpose in mind.

IMG_5175  Scarf Number 10, a variation        IMG_5176


IMG_5177  Scarf Number 10 doesn’t show up very well on the blue railing



IMG_5180  a better view of Scarf Number 10 against the grey chair     Am I getting ready for craft fair next Christmas?


Busy Days September 19, 2011

Filed under: Family history,Wool,Yarn shops — Janet @ 2:14 am

I’ve just been invited to a friend’s 80th birthday party.  This has kind of struck me hard.  How have we got this far?  She is a friend from much younger years.  Here I am researching my own genealogy – I’ve recently joined ancestry.com.  And then right here before my eyes and ears my friends are turning into another decade.  I shouldn’t be so surprised.  My sisters arrived there ages ago.  I’ll keep plowing on – being a grandparent now I seem to have a fascination to figure out my grandparents lives, in so far as possible.  More on that topic to follow.

Meanwhile, I have a few knitting projects on the go.  Mostly socks.  And I hope I am going to have some space at a Christmas Fair.  I have really been missing my regular Saturday morning trips to Kilternan Market in Dublin where I used to offer my knitted items.  Slowly but surely, they did sell.  I haven’t found anything similar here so far, so I am delighted to have this prospect of space at the Christmas Fair at the Nordic Heritage Museum.   It’s a great incentive to keep knitting and crocheting. 

We recently did another trip to Bainbridge Island – I enjoy ferry trips.  The lure was the local history museum where there was a special exhibition of photographs by Ansel Adams.  These were photographs documenting the Manzanar interment camp of World War II.  A rather shameful period in our history but I felt that if I had been living on the West Coast of America in 1942, I too would have felt threatened.  The book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is beautifully written about this aspect of World War II seen through eyes other than our own.  I can recommend that little museum over on Bainbridge.  It is a little gem of a museum set up in an old school house.  I like small museums of local history.

In addition to the Bainbridge Historical Museum we also went to the yarn store – hooray.  I bought some lovely Danish yarn in lace weight.  That’s a change for me.  But their display of the shawl that had been knit with this yarn enticed me to buy both the pattern book and 2 skeins of that lovely yarn.  More on that in due course.

We are now moving into autumn.  The dahlias are wonderful.


Generations Past February 3, 2011

Since 2002 I have been a member of the Online Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers.  Each month the Guild has a workshop on an appropriate theme.  I have followed each of these workshops with great interest even though I have not necessarily been an active participant step-by-step.    This month’s workshop is on wool combing.  I have been involved with textiles for many years but it is really only fairly recently that I have become more aware of some of the processes involved with wool.    So what is meant by wool combing?  I knew about wool carders but never thought about wool combs.  And now I find that I indeed have an ancestor who was a wool comber, in Edinburgh in Scotland and then in Limerick in Ireland.  According to one of those little blue books that my sister is guarding closely, back many generations on my paternal grandmother’s side, there was a John Murdock who is described as being a wool comber.  Following the loss of his property in Edinburgh, he emigrated from Scotland in 1690 to move to Limerick in Ireland.  Reading between the brief lines in the family genealogy I gather that my great great great…. was a Jacobite.  Following the Siege of Limerick in 1691   in which the family lost property again, my Jacobite ancestors emigrated to the United States, settling on Long Island and then later in Saybrook Connecticut. 

So what did it mean to be a wool comber?  According to a link in Wikipedia giving explanations for old occupations:

Wool Comber Worked machinery combing – separating – fibres for spinning


Well, in the late 1600’s my ancestor would not have been operating machinery – he was living long before the industrial revolution.  So wool combing for him probably meant a lot of washing and cleansing of the fleece by hand and then preparing the fibres for spinning by using handheld carders or strong combs made of wire.  According to this link, he might also have been called a Carder. 

•[L. carduus = a thistle] a cloth-worker who untangles shorter fibers with a wire brush or similar instrument prior to spinning as a step in cloth-making, a/k/a scribbler.

From a site regarding Medieval London I found an illustration of a leather comb  with wires that would have been used further back in time, maybe in the 1500’s.

and from this site I found this illustration:

  woman spinning and carding wool, artist george walker 1814

 And from another site, I found out a bit more about George Walker, as follows:

Walker developed a reputation as a good artist and in 1814 and a local bookseller commissioned a series of paintings for the book Costume of Yorkshire. The book contained forty pictures of local people including: The Horse Dealer, Cloth Makers, The Collier, The Cloth Dresser, Stone Breakers, The Milk Boy, Whalebone Scrapers, Wensley Dale Knitters, Leech Finders, Sheffield Cutler and Factory Children. The book also included the first ever painting of a locomotive. The picture was of Salamanca at Middleton Colliery that had been produced by John Blenkinsop and Matthew Murray.