Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Smithfield Knitting

So plain, 
  
So bland,
 So perfectly wearable
!
Yarn:  Jitterbug, colorway #63 Mushroom.  100% Merino wool.
Pattern:  My boring, plain old stockinette basic pattern.
Needles:  #1 (2.25mm) bamboo dpns.
Comments:  The yarn is fairly thick for socks, but knits up beautifully.  It didn't pool wildly, I think, due to the subdued coloring and short spots of color.
Oh, I do favor the look and feel of basic socks!

I spent some time with my son and his family in Virginia recently and had the privilege of teaching my youngest granddaughter to knit!  She pronounced it soothing, which mirrors my sentiments exactly.  She completed a washcloth and started a scarf in the middle of her busy year-end school/sports schedule.
I love my granddaughter and am so very proud of her.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Old Books

The Judge is a real bibliophile, and he haunts bookstores much like I haunt yarn shops.  He has an endearing habit of picking up books for other people, and here are a couple by Barbara Abbey he gave me.

This small book was first published in 1949 by The Studio Publications, Inc., and revised by The Viking Press in 1962.  The price on the dust jacket is $2.00. It's still available here.
It has lots of good instructions in it, two sock patterns (one plain and one argyle) and a sizing chart for men and women.  The sizing chart has not changed for men, as whoever made it was sensible enough to go by chest size.  The women's sizing, however, is a horse of a different color.  For instance, a size 34 bust equates to a size 14.  It's possible that the sizing people (whoever they are) figured women could quickly calculate and remember the sizing.  But more likely something else was going on there and I won't even begin to suppose what it was. Anyhow, size is just a number.  It's the fit that matters.

Here's another book by Barbara Abbey published by Viking Press in 1971.  It's a book club edition, so there is no pricing listed.  Recent pricing at Amazon is around $50 and up
I didn't find a lot of information about Barbara Abbey online.  The dust jacket says she received a Bachelor of Music degree from Yale and played violin in symphony orchestras before pursuing knitting as a career.  This book is filled with information, such as knitting terms and abbreviations, with translations from French, German, Spanish and Swedish.  About a third of the book is devoted to a gallery of stitches with black and white photos.

Neither of these books is listed in Ravelry's library, alas, but her book, "Knitting Lace" is there.

Still knitting...

Friday, April 16, 2010

2010 Spring Retreat

This video is for my dear friends in book club--a view from the cabin deck:
Still waters and crisp, cool air were a relief from daily cares.
Susan made a lovely felted bowl for each of us.  Something else was very special about this gift.  It was made from Carol's yarn.  Her spirit is always with us.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!


Spring is here and we made it through the winter!
 
 This lovely little Bougainvillea Bonsai that my son gave me for Mother's day last year has blossomed again!  Meagerly, I admit.  And strangely, as it has done so on a wild shoot.
Bonsai has faithfully stayed green on the windowsill above my kitchen sink. Do I wait until it's done blooming and then trim back?  If I don't trim it, will it get gigantic and out of shape?

Saturday, April 03, 2010

The Valour Vest

Yarn:  Rowan Colourscape Chunky, colorway #430 Carnival
Needles:  #9 (5.5mm)
Pattern:  "Valour" by Sarah Hatton from the Colourscape Chunky Collection
Comments:  My modifications were to not do the ribbing in the original pattern, but to do the vest in mostly stockinette.  I love the way the colors change and thought they were even more interesting in a stockinette pattern.

As you can see below, the armholes are treated in an unusual fashion.  And since I picked up only the edge of the stitch on the sleeve opening, it shows the other part of that stitch, which I like a lot.

 
Below you can see that I did the same finish on the hem of the front panels, to sort of finish it off and keep it from curling too much.
The seams were sewn up with a fingering weight yarn.
 It's warm and totally comfy!  I'd make this again, but maybe in a solid color  And I might do all the ribbing that is in the pattern because I like that look, too.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Summer Sox

Yarn:  Classic Elite Yarns Summer Sox, colorway 5557 Pelican
Pattern:  My own concoction
Needles:  #1 (2.25mm)

Comments:  I had just enough yarn for these socks (see last photo). The yarn is decidedly cotton, although it also has Merino and Nylon. By this I mean that it feels and knits much like cotton, without a lot of elasticity. And when wet it wants to stretch.  Still, it’s a beautiful color and the stitch definition is great.


As many of you know, I like to be able to convert my socks to anklets so they have to look good in that capacity, too!


There were only 350 yards on two skeins and here's all the yarn that was left:
The beautiful button from Jennie the Potter is for a vest in the making.  I just wanted to show it to you.

Still knitting and blogging...