Posted in wool, yarn, tagged independent designer, Knitting, knitting pattern, Maryland Sheep and Wool Show, mohair, spring, wool, wool knitting, Yarn on April 28, 2012|
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Just a few more details to sew up before it’s ready to wear.
Yarn: Avalon Springs Farm 55% mohair/45% wool in Peacock colorway
Yarns last known address: here
Some snuggly mohair-wool to wear before it warms up around here.
WNY has been in the 20’s at night – unseasonably chilly!!!
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Posted in I'm reading this..., Knitting, yarn, tagged books, Fiber, fleece, from Animal to Spun Yarn, Knitting, Knitting around the world: a multistranded history of a time honored tradition, Knitting in America: A glorious heritage from warm socks to high art, knitting pattern, library, The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, upbreeding, upgrading, winter, wool, Yarn on March 24, 2012|
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I find that sometimes my knitting mojo wanes. It’s not for lack of projects on the needles, or ideas for projects, or yarn to knit with, or even inspiration, perhaps just slight burn out? So I tend to turn to all things knitterly or fiberish in print or online to try to occupy my cravings for my fix.
My local library system surprised me by adding a few scholarly reference knitting titles to their shelves and I jumped at the chance to loan them. I’ve been geeking out ever since! So go and search out these titles yourself:
Knitting around the world: a multistranded history of a time-honored tradition by Lola Nargi. A wonderful retrospective of the art and history of the handicraft. I was drawn in by the detail with which she researched each of the chapters and the historical photographs. There a few patterns, the knitter in me would have liked a few more, but as a library reference book this title is quite inclusive. I was a tad disappointed to not find any mention of the country where my ancestors harken from; Poland. I have yet to see it mentioned in any ethnic knitting book, I know there are lots of elaborate folk embroidery patterns from there and the Ukraine area, but I couldn’t help being curious and hopeful for a mention. Personal let downs aside I still had to renew it after the three-week loan because it was such a fascinating read. (Voyageur Press, 264 pages, $35.00 list price)
After reading about the international history of knitting I loaned the title, Knitting in America: A glorious heritage from warm socks to high art by Susan M. Strawn Forward by Melanie Falick. It’s not often I enjoy a forward or introduction to a nonfiction book as much as I did this one, each wet my appetite for this enjoyable and readable retrospective. The images were the first thing that grabbed me on the cover, because of course we all love to judge a book by the cover, but that is like assuming there is nothing inside a creme puff! Yet inside this volume there were delectable chapters of our eras in history complimented by savory images I had never seen before. Some of my favorites were the modern art pieces towards the end, they inspired me to knit outside the pattern so-to-speak. There are twenty historical knitting patterns and the best part is that they are indexed separately in the back of the book! I do enjoy a good index. (Voyageur Press, 208 pages, $24.99 list price)
The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook: More Than 200 Fibers, from Animal to Spun Yarn, by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius. This title had me ignoring the family for many a night as I studied its pages learning about the many varieties of natural fleeces, how to use them best and where on earth to find them. Did you know that there are eleven classic colors to the Shetland rainbow? or how about the controversies surrounding upbreeding/upgrading? It’s in here! There are even entries for horse, cow, and wolf which I thought were among the more unusual. Most every entry has a photo of the fleece in various stages: raw, clean, spun, woven, and knitted when available. I enjoyed reading the histories behind many of the breeds, especially ones that were left feral for decades or possibly centuries to fend for themselves and how they adapted to the local conditions and lack of shearing. I know now more than ever that there needs to be a space in our family for a fiber animal or five soon, perhaps some angora goats and some guard llamas. (Storey Publishing, 488 pages, $35.00 list price.)
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I’ve finally been able to hold onto a few cowls that I’ve knitted over the past few months. usually I’ve knitted them, received compliments on them and then given them away to the flatterers.
This first one was a really quick knit I read about here the pattern is Schmatta and it’s so warm & toasty. I finished it off with some white mis-matched vintage buttons from my button bowl given to me by a dear friend (thanks Tracy!).
This is me goofing around trying to get a shot of me in the cowl but not very successfully!
I really need to wait til there is another photographer in the house besides the dog & lizard.
Next up: The Crofter’s Cowl, my first journey into lace – oooo, ahhhh. I know! wow, and my first chart – golly so much all at once, but it was for beginners and I highly recommend this pattern by Gudrun Johnston, easy peasy.
I’m just a bit disappointed that the color way of this Kitchensink Dyeworks yarn didn’t really show through, it’s brighter in person. I guess I’l have to promise more photos.
I did a bit of Valentine’s knitting for the Monkey’s too. They each received a heart knitted from a pattern as unique as themselves.
Crafter Monkey received the red heart the pattern from HERE. Quick and easy, I knitted two and stuffed it with extra yarn from the skein.
Wee Monkey received the purple heart the pattern from HERE. Another easy pattern, I made two and stuffed it.
Monkey Boy was thrilled with the multicolored green heart – (he should be, it was a much fussier pattern than I expected) but then he is worth it! You can find the pattern HERE.
As I created each of theses hearts the days and hours before St. Valentines Day it truly made me reflect on the individuality of each of my Monkeys and how each pattern and the yarn I chose really embodied their personalities so much.
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Just because there has been lack of blogging in the past two months does not mean there has been lack of knitting. We have been pining away for snow in Western New York, yeah, I know, for most of you that read this not from around here you think Buffalo = Snow. But we have had maybe two sledding days all season. Extremely insufficient and not a good snow shoeing day yet either.
This has been good news for the Mama who has been a bit behind on the Monkey sweater front. Cold nights and hot tea have been conducive for cuddling with Monkeys, wool, good books & movies.
Monkey Boy was a bit reluctant to try on his sweater in progress, due to knitting needles still attached and then because I reached for the only other thing I could think of to help hold the pieces in place = clothes pins! Hey, they worked!
His sweater pattern is based on this one but it is heavily modified. I started it in the round from the bottom up because I hate to seam! I’m using wool yarns I’ve picked up from some local fiber festivals over the past two years that are from regional farms that were giving me very close gauges AND of course were to Monkey Boy’s tastes. Green and stripes rank extremely high on his list of requirements.
Modeling for Mama to take measurements and pictures: Not so much!
No Monkeys were harmed in this photo shoot (they rewarded with chocolate!)
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Posted in Knitting, wool, tagged autumn, Dr. Who, Knitting, knitting pattern, peace, wool, wool knitting, Yarn on October 29, 2011|
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So before you ask, yes, there’s been knitting going on, lot’s and lot’s of it! Some stalled in various stages and some off the needles like this shawlette.
I’ve just really been procrastinating weaving in all the ends. I love to knit stripes…. It just leaves too many ends to weave in! UG! But the Wee Monkey has already claimed this as her own, so sorry to anyone who had their eye on it. And no, I did not use a pattern, I just made it up as I went along, I love how the ruffle turned out at the end, don’t you? I promise to get pics of the WM with it on!
Nearly finished with my cabled vest, just in time too because we got our killing frost a couple of nights ago and it really is getting cooler, no more leaving the house without a coat kinda weather!
This will be so toasty when I get it done, and the pattern worked so well for me to be able to try it on as you can see to make sure I was on target for the correct torso length. Many thanks to the Crafter Monkey for taking the pictures.
This is the Crafter Monkey’s sweater, we dyed the yarn together this summer and I’ve been slowly working on it before I pass out at night, but it’s been a-lot of stockinette – Boring!! But easy to watch movies to. She wanted it to be bigger ’cause that’s the way she likes her outer wear, so she’ll definitely have it for a long time!
This is the beginning of the front of the sweater, after I completed the back I figured the front will go a bit quicker, especially since I’ve gotten hooked on watching Dr.Who streaming online. I’m still on season one so the way I figure it, I’ll have plenty of knitting entertainment stocked up for the winter. Thanks Doctor!
Now I have to spend some time with the Monkey Boy and Ravelry to choose a pattern for his sweater, now this ought to be fun…..
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I started this beauty in late March not long after the vernal equinox thinking it would be a great way to push the warm weather to arrive faster, but after 15 inches of knitting I’ve needed to set it aside to knit some cutesy baby hats. All in cotton and in spring-y colors. It wasn’t hard to let this vest sit.
I chose a local wool from the Knox Fiber Festival I attended last fall. You call see the pictures here. I lost the labels which of course had the yardage and farm of origin on them. I do at least recall the wool came from the Angola area. Which is keeping me true to my blog name! If you happen to have any hints to the farm…. Please leave me a comment! I love to get in touch with the farmers and show them what I’m creating!
The vest is the Abrazo pattern created by Laura Nelkin, you can find it in the Knitty.com fall 2008 issue.
So any way – we have just endured the most rainy weekend after the most glorious week. I peeked inside a sand pail that was left outside since Friday, one of the bigger ones and it was easily seven inches filled! I know that’s not an official rain gauge, but I guess It’s time to bring out the vest again and get the spring weather ju-ju going again.
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