Saturday, December 3, 2011


and a Christmas cactus miracle!

The miracle here is that this plant is still living. I have not only managed to keep it alive (no small miracle I assure you), but it is blooming again.

This past Friday I met friend Kay at McDonalds for breakfast and chatter. Top notch way to start a day. She graciously shared with me some of the bounty of tatting thread she scored at a recent TOGA [Treadle On GeorgiA] gathering. Perhaps I was subconsciously thinking of the cactus blooms when I chose the colors I wanted? Thank you, Kay.

I know it has been awhile since I posted here. I think I'm going to have to blame the raking for part of that. I am happy to report, however, that almost all the leaves have fallen and I think I have almost finished the winter raking. So glad.

Now since I'm sure you are not all that interested in my cactus, I'll share of couple of things I have recently run across that are a bit more interesting.

The first is a video of Kaffeslabberas, and shows a knitting club in Copenhagen, Denmark whose members are pensioners. The video linked above is 11 minutes long with English subtitles. If you have the time, I think you will enjoy it.

I have managed a bit of knitting in between raking episodes, mostly working on gloves and
mittens. I finished the day before Thanksgiving the fingerless gloves.
I used maybe about 125 yards of the Malabrigo Sock in colorway Velvet Grapes and size 2 needles. They are ever so soft and very light. I hope, being 100% merino, that they will provide enough warmth. I then made a small neckwarmer with some of the remaining yarn alternating plain stockinette with three sections of three baby cable ribbing.

I have not yet gone back and knit the mate to the prototype using the Patons Kroy dark charcoal sock yarn. I had just had my fill of fingers for the moment.

Instead I moved on to a pair of mittens and finished them this afternoon. No pictures, but I'll try to get some soon. They are
standard ribbed cuff/plain mitten but I did make use of a fabulous book find that I lucked up on during our trip down to Jekyll.

We stopped off at a Book Warehouse just outside Savannah and I found this little treasure, The Mitten Book, by Inger and Ingrid Gottfridssson for 99 cents. 99 cents!

Most of the photographs are black and white, but there are many charts and also instructions for basic adult and children mittens. The designs are those originally collected and preserved by Hermanna Stengard which she published in 1925 and here made available once again in this book by Inger and Ingrid and with wonderful historic background. What a find!

While we are on the subject of mittens, do pop over to the Folklore Fashion website to have a look at some little works of art to keep your hands warm. At that same website, there is a stunning close up photo of knitted half mittens and beautiful bobbin lace in the children's costumes in this post.

Whew! A long post. Please indulge me to include this quote of Hermanna Stengard from the front of the book as I think it expresses much of what was in the Danish video:

"How would it look, do you think, if everyone, old and young, would sit down together to knit for awhile? Laughter and merriment and riddles and questions and folktales and anecdotes from each person's life would blend together in the stitches. Then later, when you recalled these events that have gone through your own fingers stitch by stitch, they would speak their own quiet language: Do you remember? Do you remember?" Hermanna Stengard, born 1861 Gotland, Sweden


Mimi said...

I'm missed you! Glad you're back here. What a special gift the fingerless mitts will be.

Your final quote is beautiful. I've found a little knitting group at our library. Just a handful of us, but definitely includes young and old. People who do not know each other outside that room. It's funny how our stories are beginning to unfold as we chatter while we knit.

Mary said...

So many things to look at! The fingerless gloves are lovely. And the embroidery at the folk fashion site is incredible!

Sheri said...

Your posts really make me think! We still haven't made it to Book Warehouse, but it's in the plans.
How wonderful would it be to sit with my grandmother (96) and Great Grandmother (would now be 110)and knit with them for a day. Or just an hour. Oh, the stories they could tell. They would be amazed at how much knitting has changed with the addition of computers, printers and Ravelry. Thanks for that memory.