Tuesday, November 15, 2005

November 14, 2005

OK, vale, vale. Aqui estan algunas fotos! Point well made. Blogs are much more fun with photos!! I agree. On the left is a photo of my mother, selling scarves at a craft fair at our church. Both she and my sister knit the scarves. My sister uses two strands of yarn, one of eyelash or similar yarn and the other of some coordinating chenille or other fantasy yarn. The other is a photo of the birdhouse ornaments that my father was selling at the same craft fair. His passion is wood working and in the past few years he has cut back from making big things and has concentrated on turning things on a lathe. These birdhouses are made of three pieces of wood, each a different type of wood.

As you can see, I come by my passion for creating things honestly! I am the oldest of five children, the first three of which are girls. Our family sewing machine was in the kitchen, across from the family dining table. Often, all of us, including my mother, had sewing projects in the works. It was not unusual to have to clear the table of sewing projects in order to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner. Patterns, pins, fabric, buttons and all were always scattered around the room. My sisters were the creative ones; I stuck to the patterns. With knitting, I am only somewhat more creative. I am, perhaps, one of those whom Elizabeth Zimmerman labelled "blind followers." Here are some photos that illustrate the point.

I always have at least one sock on the needles, in a zip lock sandwich bag, in my purse. Ready for knitting at cafes, at stop lights, whenever I have a few seconds to knit a stitch or a row or two. This pattern is from XRX's Socks, Socks, Socks, the Feather and Fan. It is a famous old stitch pattern. I jazzed it up by using two colors and adding stripes of color with garter stitch at intervals on the cuff. I am combining left over yarn and one skein of new yar. I think I will need to make the foot of the sock two colors as well. don't you just love how the increases and decreases of the lace pattern make wavy stripes instead of straight stripes??? isn't knitting the ultimate in cool??!!
Here are mittens in progress that are still posing a problem--I deviated from the pattern with more questionable results. The pattern is from a great mitten book, Folk Mittens, by marcia Lewandowski. They are modelled after Norwegian jerseys from Halland, typically made in red and black. I am using Cascade 220 worsted weight wool and a variegated angora by Lisa Harding. However, I added the ribbed portion at the wrist, to prevent cold air from bothering that sensitive spot on the body!! I also didn't like the shaping of the top of the mitten, so I tried to do anatomically correct shaping, which is not symmetrical. I've done the shaping twice now, and I think I need to "frog" it for the third time and try another shaping. Maybe I'll even go back to the pattern itself!! Enough of innovation. Don't you love the initials on the inside of the right cuff??? The old Halland jerseys had initials on the front, just below the placket. By the way, these are the mittens that my younger daughter proclaimed would not be worn by the older daughter!!! But, just wait until she tries them on. The angora is so very, very soft on the hand and it will feel so inviting when the temperatures are consistently below freezing.

Finally, here is a photo of a scarf I am making for my brother for christmas. The yarn is from Elspeth Lavold's collection, made of wool and silk. I am using a tweed slip stitch, that is in many knit stitch books. This one came from 450 Knitting Stitches, Volume 2, of the Harmony Guides. In that book it is called garter slip stitch III. All rows are knit stitch. I am hoping that this is a good "man" scarf and I think the yarn with silk will be good for the weather in the Pacific Northwest where really cold weather never happens.

This is a close up of the stitch. It's subtle. Maybe too subtle. Definitely for a man who does NOT want to wear a scarf that blares "My sister made me this colorful scarf for Christmas!!!!"


betty said...

Wow!! Gail, I love all your photos, but your mittens amaze me! Maybe is because I still haven't tried stranded knitting (is this the right way to name it?) and I think it is very difficult, and the results are impressive. I think this will be the next technique for me to learn!!

persones llanes said...

Yay! A Gail blog! I love those mittens. I'm sure your daughter will like and wear them. I think Betty and I will have to start up a "try color knitting" team effort here in Barcelona.

nadine said...

Gail, i love the colors you are using for that scarf!!! :)

Val said...

Bonjour Gail,
Merci pour tes commentaires sur mon blog au sujet de mes dentelles. Je viens de découvrir la magnifique robe de baptème Dale et je suis époustouflée. Elle est superbe. Je suis en train de terminer Wings of Fantasy et j'espère reprendre Hiawatha très vite. Je suis certaine que tu aimeras la tricoter aussi.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures! Those birdhouses are awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving. :)


Kim said...

How fun your family life as a young person sounds!

I LOVE your Dad's birdhouses!!

google nut said...

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