Thursday, June 22, 2006


Knitting time has been scarce lately but I do have a few updates to post. A lot of folks have been asking what Saffron looks like finished up so here is a pic from Rowan 25:

Cute, no? I've got the back finished up and just a couple inches of one of the fronts completed so still lots of knitting and embroidering before I have a new cardi. The back hasn't been blocked yet - I just pinned it down quickly for a picture today.

I'm still infatuated with my new Favorite Mittens book. I've completed one Fox & Geese mitten. It is also unblocked so you might notice a few tension problems where the needle joins were - that should clear up nicely with a quick bath.

I know everyone likes to see the guts so here they are...I haven't done a lot of colorwork so they aren't perfect but not terrible either.

The design for these mittens is really well thought out. One of my favorite parts is the thumb gore increases - check em out. An entire repeat is added at once so as not to disturb the pattern. Very cool...

I'm very happy with my Fox and Geese mitten but the second one might not get finished up til Fall...there are so many I want to try that I might skip around in the book a bit.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Summer Knitting

Summer is here but I'm honestly not feeling the summer knitting. I've got tweedy wool sweaters and double knit mittens on the brain. Why? Well, maybe there was a sale on eBay and maybe I bought 4 packs of Yorkshire Tweed. I'm weak. But it's so gorgeous and tweedy and the colors are right up my alley. I may have bought a bunch of 4-ply cotton too but I'm not feeling it as much. I'm currently knitting this:

It looks like a heap of not much at the moment all scrunched up with edges rolling but it's actually the Saffron cotton cardi from Rowan mag #25 in Olive. The pattern calls for 25 cm before the armhole shaping but that only brings it to about my belly button. Cute on the 5'10 120 pound model - probably not the look I'm going for. I want it to come almost to the top of my jeans with a little tank underneath so I'm thinking 29cm would do it. What do you all think - good idea? bad idea? I don't want to make it too frumpy but I don't want it to be showing off love handles or anything like that. There isn't any waist shaping so making it longer might make it "boxy"...definitely not what I'm going for. Hmmm...

So while I debate Saffron's length, I've been reading: Favorite Mittens: Best Traditional Mitten Patterns from Fox & Geese & Fences and Flying Geese and Partridge Feet. I devoured every word of it this week and I never do that with pattern books. But this is not just a pattern book, it's filled with local knitting history and stories about the patterns and who knit them traditionally and how there are only a handful of people who still remember how to make a particular pattern. PLUS it's all traditional stuff from Maine and the Atlantic Provinces not some far flung corner which makes me doubly happy. I eat this kind of stuff up - detail about how people lived in the "old" days really gets me going - throw knitting into the mix and I can't look away. It reminds me of a couple of my favorite books Them Times and Tales from WillowShade Farm.

And those books remind me of some of the old journals out at Brad's family farm. It seems that all of the men kept little journals - just about the size of my knitting notebook and wrote a couple of lines in them everyday - and never more than a couple of lines regardless of what was going on. These go way back to the 1800s and early 1900s and are mostly fairly mundane things about the weather but every now and then you hit upon an entry like "Fenian uprising today. Went down to the shore with guns". And that's it. There is no further detail given and it's not mentioned again. I can blather on for 2 paragraphs about some sock that I'm knitting and they shoot off a two-liner for what certainly sounds like a fairly significant event. They kill me. I want to know everything. I also want to make every single pair of mittens in that book...who cares if the sun is shining and the rhododendron is blooming, I'm feeling the need to cast on some mittens.