Archive for the ‘Library’ Category.
I have one more square done for the Quilt Square Thing. Even having finished the ^2 blanket and five quilt square thingys, I still haven't made much of a dent in the Wool-Ease. It all fits in a very large tote bag now, though, which is a step in the right direction!
In other news, ZOMG! They're reprinting Alice Starmore's Book of Fair Isle Knitting!! I don't even do Fair Isle, and I know what a big deal that is. This book is basically legendary and has been out of print forever. People are really hoping that, with the huge positive response this is already getting, they'll also decide to reprint some of her other very hard-to-find books, such as Aran Knitting, which goes for $200 used if you can find it (seriously). I think Fair Isle was going for close to that before the reprint was announced. I'm tempted to preorder (even though, as I said, I don't do Fair Isle!) just to make sure I can get a copy when it comes out.
The one Alice Starmore book I do have is The Celtic Collection, and I've not yet knit anything from it, though I did buy yarn for something out of it. The only reason I haven't actually knit it up is because it's a fingering-weight project that, to get gauge, I need to do on 2mm needles. And it's a sweater. On the bright side, having put it off for a few years means I've gone down two sweater sizes, so woohoo! Less knitting FTW! :D (I am planning on starting that project this year.)
I love knitting lace. I mean, I love knitting most things, but lace is one of my favorite things. It looks so delicate and fragile, but it isn't. It's complicated, but in a way that suits me. It comes out looking beautiful, and you do have to do some detail work when you're blocking it to get everything just right. I've done several lace shawls, and I've got a few currently in progress, but I've never done anything in the Orenberg style.
Gossamer Webs is a book that both covers the history of Orenberg lace knitting (a style local to a small town in the former Soviet Union — under the USSR, people who were lace knitters had to turn out 24 shawls a year, and that was often very difficult for a single person, so daughters were often recruited to help) and shows a few pattern options, but this is more a book about how to design your own shawl than how to follow a specific pattern. (The same author, Gamina Khmeleva, also put together a pamphlet called "The Gossamer Webs Design Collection" that does have three gorgeous shawls in it.)
I'd recommend this book to lace lovers, and anyone who's really interested in the international history of knitting, but if you're just looking for lace patterns, this probably isn't the book for you.
Most of the knitting I have scheduled to finish by the end of the year is done — just two more projects to go. Unfortunately, I keep screwing the one I'm working on the hell up, thusly:
Step 1: Begin knitting.
Step 2: Knit about 40 rows.
Step 3: Realize that I'm knitting the wrong number of stitches.
Step 4: Rip out about 40 rows.
Step 5: Repeat step 1.
Step 6: Knit about 80 rows.
Step 7: Realize that I left something out around row 40.
Step 8: Repeat step 4.
Step 9: Repeat step 1.
With any luck, I have now gotten all necessary mistakes out of my system and will be able to continue without error (well, much error) from here. But sheesh. Twice?!
In other news, I picked up a copy of Knitting For Peace by Betty Christiansen recently. It's a collection of stories about charity knitting organizations, with a few patterns gathered up for some of those organizations. The point isn't the patterns, though, it's the ideas and suggestions for sending knitting to charities. It's full of great ones, and instead of giving out addresses and contact information that could be out-of-date by the time you get the book, they provide websites and email addresses that are more likely to be updated regularly or at least stick around indefinitely, as well as giving some tips on how to Google for the information you might need to track down more local charities. I'm really excited about the prospect of dovetailing my stashbusting with some charity knitting — next year!
The hardest part about gift knitting isn't the knitting itself, or the fact that it all seems to happen in a rush in November and December. No, the hardest part is that you can't post pictures, because the people you knit for are all online. :)
It's not that I haven't been knitting — but I can't blather about it, which leaves me with little to blather about. (I don't really want to cross the streams and talk about soap or climbing or World of Warcraft, which doesn't leave much else!)
So let me talk to you about It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons by Franklin Habit, a wonderful book of cartoons and essays about knitting. :) You've probably already heard of it — Franklin is no small name around the intarwebz — but if not, it comes highly recommended by this knitter and sheep fan. :) "It Itches" contains ten adorable and often humorous essays, and countless sheep (I mean, you could count them, but you'd fall asleep in no time).
There's also a tie-in with this year's Interweave Holiday Gifts, in which Franklin's adorable sheep prance throughout the pages. :D :D :D Count the number of sheep and you could win a contest at Interweave!
Any number of illustrations in this book are hysterical, but I think my favorite involved a Sudoku puzzle. Lace knitters, you'll know it when you see it. :)
(Another catch-up post.)
It's hard to believe there was a time when I didn't know there was an online knitting community, but it had never occurred to me to look for knitting blogs, tips, tricks, or patterns online when I first ran into At Knit's End. I think it was sometime in 2005 or so; I know it was a couple of years after Stephanie Pearl-McPhee started her blog. I remember looking at the back cover and thinking Yarn Harlot? Is this woman crazy?
But the book was full of hilarious observations (some of them, I admit, are the kind of jokes you only get if you're a knitter or close to one), and so I picked it up without thinking about what I was getting into. I looked up her website, and suddenly realized OMG, there are knitters on the Internet!
Several years later, I have a knitting blog of my own. :)
(A catch-up post for 8/7. I'm still lagging from vacation, among other things!)
I couldn't tell you why, but when I first started knitting, one of the things I thought I'd do was knit shawls.
Little did I know. Back when I first started, I was using acrylic-based worsted-weight yarn. It did not go well. And yet I loved it — the lace patterns, the drapey fabric, everything. (I knew nothing of blocking back then.) In looking for patterns, I turned up Folk Shawls, and I found almost everything in it to be just gorgeous. The first shawl I knit — yes, in acrylic-based worsted-weight — was the Wool Peddler's Shawl. (In a blue-green variegated colorway.) I have to laugh, looking back on it, but I really did have a good time with it!
A few years passed. I put laceweight on my wishlist one Christmas, and got two laceweight samplers — one from my parents, one from Grant. I immediately cast on for the Irish Diamond shawl. I needed more yarn. I ordered more yarn. I ordered more and more and more yarn… until a good percentage of my yarn ended up being laceweight. I'm not sure if, today, I have more laceweight or more sock yarn. :)
So far, out of this book, I've knit the Wool Peddler's Shawl (kinda), the Irish Diamond lace shawl, the Basic Black Shawl (in a color that was anything but basic black!), and I've tried out the Box Lace shawl. I think by the time I'm done, I'll have knit up nearly every pattern in the book. Cheryl Oberle is definitely one of my favorite designers, and I'm thrilled to have this book in my collection!