Monday, December 31, 2012

Historical Knitting

The Jan/Feb 2013 (2013!) issue arrived and it will soon be on newstands.  It is the 7th Annual Historical Knitting Issue and invites us to discover Cranford's knitting ladies.
There are patterns for two projects based on Jane Gaugain patterns published in the mid-1800s.  What fun!
There is some serious knitting and many lovely reticules in that photo, yes?

"I do love knitting.  You sit and think your own thoughts, and nothing hinders;
you are infinitely lazy, and yet you are
accomplishing a good deal."  
Harriet Prescott Spofford / Harper's Bazaar, November 5, 1892
Rush out and get your copy.  How else can you  be both lazy and industrious?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Boxing Day

A nice quiet day around the cul-de-sac.  Thankfully no bad weather here.  A little reading, a little tatting, and snacking (of course!) continues.

Monday, December 24, 2012


(postmarked New York, New York)
Dec. 22, 1911

Wishing you a Bright & Happy Yuletide.
Mother is getting along nicely thank God for it.  
We are all well with the ex-ception of baby.  She has got a cold.  
Box is on the way.  I guess it will be there by the time you get this.  
I sent candy..Whiskey.  Drink Hearty.
From Jim

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Keeping Christmas


How will you your Christmas keep?
Feasting, fasting, or asleep?
Will you laugh or will you pray,
Or will you forget the day?

Be it kept with joy or prayer,
Keep of either some to spare;
Whatsoever brings the day,
Do not keep but give away.
                     Eleanor Farjeon

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Joyful Thanksgiving

(postmarked Pittsburg, PA)
Nov. 23, 1909

Don't eat too much turkey and think of poor me that can't get it
for less than 35 cents per.
With kindest regards, I am still, your friend

Found back in the summer.  Not the prettiest card I've ever found but I don't see that many for Thanksgiving.

Hoping it will be a JOYFUL one at your house (and with plenty of pie).

Friday, August 10, 2012

Birthday greeting

Interrupting this blog break to send 
Happy Birthday greetings to Mary.

Hope it is a wonderful day!  ENJOY.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Another Too Hot summer. 
I'm taking the summer off.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crazy? I'm halfway there!

I've reached the halfway point of the tatted antique wristbag [pdf pattern here]. I'm going to have to deal with all those loose ends soon as they are driving me nuts.

Halfway means (obviously) that one side is complete. I'll keep adding sections in the same manner and it will remain one flat piece until that last section connects to the first. Not so sure when that will be. But, hey! It isn't like there is any real hurry for this. : )

In the meantime I have received my May/June issue of "Piecework".

Let me remind you, it is the LACE issue and it is another outstanding one.

It should be on the newsstands May 1. RUN out and get one.

There is knitted lace, bobbin lace, tatted lace (a bedspread! GASP!), reticella needle lace, Clones crochet lace, a little known, nearly forgotten German hand-knotted lace technique, and several patterns including one by Galina Khmeleva [that's it pictured on the cover].

I've hardly had a chance to look through it but I look forward to spending some quality time with this one.

$6.99 is the single-issue price. An incredible bargain. What a treasure of information!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Miss Rumphius Shawlette

Pattern: Wendy's Summer Mystery Shawlette

Yarn: Quince & Co. Finch

100% American wool

221 yds/50 gr color Lupine 116

about 1.5 balls

a joy to knit and blocked wonderfully

Needles: size 6 KnitPicks options

This post is going to be less about the finished shawlette and more about the inspiration behind it.

Back in January I saw a cousin. I was wearing my Summer Mystery Shawlette at the time and she commented favorably upon it. I decided right then to make one for her. I had been hearing about the Quince & Co. yarns and wanted to try them so I began browsing and as soon as I saw the color Lupine I knew what I wanted to do.

( Barbara Cooney : August 6, 1917 – March 10, 2000)

My #1 ALL-TIME favorite children's book author and illustrator is Barbara Cooney. Her artwork is lovely. What a treasure! I absolutely canNOT choose a favorite book. Each time I consider them and pick one, I immediately think of another that I love equally well. ALL are wonderful. She has authored and/or illustrated more than 200 books and twice was awarded the Caldecott Medal.

Her book that inspired this knit is "Miss Rumphius"

A synopsis of Miss Rumphius:

Alice was a young girl who dreamt of doing wonderful things, just like her grandfather. She wanted to travel the world, then come home and live in a house by the sea.

Her grandfather approved, but told her "You must do a third thing. You must do something to make the world more beautiful."

Alice grew up and she did just as she planned. She traveled the world, then came home to a place by the sea. She planted lupines outside her bedroom window. Then one spring, an old back injury began to bother her and she could do nothing but stay in bed for a long time. She was sad that she was unable to plant more lupine seeds. At the same time, she had in the back of her mind her grandfather's instruction to her. She had no idea what she could do to make the world more beautiful.The next spring arrived, and Miss Rumphius was up again. Much to her surprise, she discovered a patch of lupines growing where she had not planted any seeds. She realized that seeds from the lupines she had planted had drifted on the wind and planted themselves. Suddenly, she knew how she could make the world more beautiful. She bought bags full of lupine seeds, then spent her time walking and scattering the seeds as she went. The seeds grew into lupines, which produced more seeds that flew off, so the lupine fields grew bigger every year.

About this book Ms. Cooney said “Miss Rumphius has been, perhaps, the closest to my heart. There are, of course, many dissimilarities between me and Alice Rumphius, but, as I worked, she gradually seemed to become my alter ego. Perhaps she had been that right from the start.”

So today's PSA is this: There is no age restriction for reading books for children. If you aren't familiar with her books, look for them the next time you are in the library or bookstore. I know you won't be disappointed. You may LOVE them as much as I do!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Changes in Fairacre

A quick post to remember a favorite author who died earlier this month on April 7. Dora Saint who wrote as Miss Read, was 98.

Mary was thoughtful and sent me this link to the obituary in the NY Times. I liked it best of all the ones I read as I thought it expressed her writing most clearly and summed up succinctly:

"There is ample humor, little real menace, no sex and not a jot of intemperate language."

I cannot now recall how I first happened upon Miss Read in the stacks of my library, but I am ever so thankful that I did. For many years I repeatedly checked out, read, and reread the books until Houghton Mifflin began reprinting some titles in paperback.

In particular, it became an absolute custom that I would read "Christmas at Fairacre" at some point during the holiday. The library's edition contained only the two stories "Village Christmas" and "The Christmas Mouse", but when it was republished I bought the hardback edition that also included the additional story "No Holly for Miss Quinn". I always waited for just the perfect, quiet moment during the rush of Christmas to reread it and it was, and continues to be, a balm and a treat every year. For that reason, it probably remains my favorite of all the books.

Weather and changes in the seasons play a large part in all her books as this sample, included in a different obituary clearly shows:

Although nearly blind for the last years of her life, Dora was always fully alert to the weather. The pace of life might have changed in her fictional villages as the years passed, but the joy of a hint of warmth early in the year, as in Winter in Thrush Green (1961), never alters: "It was one of those clear, mild days which come occasionally in mid-winter and lift the spirits with their hint of coming springtime. Catkins were already fluttering on the nut hedge behind Albert's house and the sky was a pale translucent blue, as tender as a thrush's egg-shell."

Saint believed that "happiness is the result of an attitude of mind."
Rest in peace, Miss Read.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why knot?

Awhile back I mentioned working with my new yarn from Quince & Co., their fingering weight Finch. A couple of other projects jumped ahead but I have finally settled in with it. I'm working another of Wendy's Summer Mystery Shawlette. Such a pleasant pattern.

These skeins have 221 yds/50 grams so I needed two. Just before reaching the point where I needed to add in the second skein, I luckily happened to read Jean Moss' blog post where she had embedded this YouTube video for how to join your yarn by making a double knot. Jane Richmond is the mind behind this tidbit. Interesting, yes?

I would have thought knots were frowned upon in knitting. Perhaps they are. Not long ago when knitting the Stonechat Shawlette, I encountered a couple of knots in the yarn. Very small, quite fine knots. The yarn was already wound in a ball when I received it, and I happened upon the first knot mid row and decided to leave it there. That yarn was dark and handpainted and I was never able to even able to spot the knot afterwards.

I figured I could try it here, when I still had a good twelve inches or so of the working yarn and, if I didn't like it, I could cut out the knot and work in the new yarn as I have before.

Well I have to tell you that I now embrace knots in knitting. I was lucky in that the knot just happened to fall in the three-stitch garter edge, but it is invisible. I am not sure how it would have looked if it had happened in a yarnover section, but really that tight double knot was so thin, no thicker than the yarn on either side, that I doubt it would be noticeable even there.

I left that first photo large. You should be able to click on it to see it more closely. Can you spot the knot? Even knowing where it is it still looks better to my eye than an area where ends have been woven into the knitting.

Neither of these photos show the color correctly. I'm using Lupine which is a purple. Sometimes in sunlight at little too purple for me, but this is intended for a gift anyway.

Yarn is nice to work with and I am really looking forward to seeing how it blocks.

So the next time you need to add in more yarn, depending on your project and inclination, why not knot?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Joyful Eastertide

A warm spring day last week and I walked across the square and found a new old postcard.

This one mailed from Martland, Nebraska April 9, 1909. Easter was April 11 that year.


"Dear Par (?) It won't be many weeks before you will see me for I want

to get through next month. We are both well and hope you all are.

With best wishes

As ever May"

Hoping your Easter is JOYful.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Oxo the Lovable Elephant

Meet Oxo, the Lovable Elephant

Elijah by Ysolda Teague

Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport
100% superwash merino wool
136 yds/50 gr - color 1946 Silver Gray
1 full skein

Needles: size 3 Clover bamboo dpns

What a clever pattern! The entire elephant is knit seamlessly with arm, legs, and ears picked up and stitched outwardly. The legs were a breeze. The arms required a bit more patience because they were closer to the head and trunk. The ears were a challenge. Knitting them was fine, but I had to pick up stitches along an imaginary diagonal.

I ended up cutting a triangular slip of paper to size from the center back of the head to the first ear and using that to determine where to pick up for the second ear. Later I read a project on Ravelry where the knitter stuck a slender dpn straight through the elephant's head in order to determine where to place hers. This seemed brilliant but at least my fellow didn't get a headache!

I find I can never name a stuffed animal until the face is complete and the character emerges. While knitting this one I thought of other famous elephants:

Horton, of course
A person's a person, no matter how small!

Colonel Hathi
We're a crackerjack brigade, on a pachyderm parade
But we'd rather stroll to a waterhole, for a furlough in the shade!

Echo the Elephant
Every great family is headed by a commanding leader, and Echo's clan was no exception.....a wise and experienced mother who guided and protected her family for many years.

In the end, once I came across the bit of ribbon I tied around his neck, I named him Oxo. That's right, I named him after a beef cube!

I love tins of all sizes. [Perhaps you've noticed!] Years ago I would run across the mention of Oxo tins in my Miss Read books but never knew what exactly they originally contained. This was in the Dark Ages before the internet. My English friend enlightened me and gave me a couple of tins.

Miss Read used them to contain her household budgeted funds.
"I am going to put an elastic band round each of those Oxo tins and remove them only when the exigencies of rightful duty make it necessary." In fact that's probably what Oxo is doing up there with his tin, putting a bit by for a rainy day. He looks a foresighted chap, doesn't he?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wholly unnecessary

Once again, not being able to quickly and easily lay my hands on the exact string that I want proves frustrating.

I really want to knit a vintage beaded pineapple bag from the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Piecework. Have I said lately how much I love Piecework? LOVE it. That issue is the 6th Annual Historical Knitting issue.

I know. You must be shaking your head about now and asking yourself "why, why??". What can I say? It is a bag made of string.

I'd link but there doesn't seem to be a photo of this particular pattern. In fact it doesn't even yet appear in Ravelry. But you can see a photo of one at Two Nerdy History Girls blog and read more about it. There is a link there, too, to a larger photo.

I love working with the Lizbeth threads. There are over 125 colors so I should be able to find the shades I need for the pineapple. It is clear, however, that I'm going to have to order them sight unseen as I cannot rely on the paltry offerings in the Big Box stores around here.

In the meantime, thinking about the bag and dithering over colors, I came across a pattern for a tatted bag. It is made in 12 sections so I thought I could start it and let it be a long-term project, just working on it as and when I had the time and inclination. I'm using color 640: Antique Violet Medium, a lovely dusky color.

Even though it is a fairly straightforward pattern, based on a old edging/insertion, I still managed to mess up when I got to the top and had to CUT a section out, tie on, and resume. It is slow going. Who knows if we'll ever see the finished bag or not.

ETA: Well, I started this post on March 4 and have gotten a bit more done and I am really enjoying this pattern. I just LOVE the number 12. So easy to keep up with my progress. I am on the third section so almost a quarter finished.

Just after starting this post, I saw that Franklin, too, has a knitted pineapple reticule. His post here and pattern at Knitty. Grrr. Blogger doesn't want to let me LINK. But surely you already know both Franklin and Knitty.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Agus cuid eile an lae dhuit fein.

which is Irish for "and the rest of the day to yourself";
the response to "top of the morning to you".

Proper FO post later after eyes and tail are added.

Monday, March 12, 2012

How do you knit an elephant?

One stitch at a time. : )

Naturally I thought of the joke/saying: How do you eat a elephant?
One bite at a time.

Often used as a time management metaphor, too, it seems.

What a fun, fun pattern Ysolda has designed! Very well written with all directions in nice, tidy tables with stitch counts. The little stuffed animal begins with 6 stitches at the top of his head and proceeds into the trunk. Stitches are then picked up (following a photo diagram in the pattern!) and the body is knitted down. Then stitches are picked up to knit the appendages. Clever girl.

Instead of using Emily Ocker's circular cast on, I found and used Laura Nelkin's Circular Cast On video tutorial. It uses the same principle but you don't have to get UP to find a crochet hook!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven

I just finished a lovely book of short stories, "Good Evening, Mrs. Craven: The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes". I read it so quickly, but I just could not stop. Doesn't matter. I will be rereading this one many times I'm sure. Stories of England during WWII, those at home, evacuees, rationing (rationed chocolate!), sewing parties. Some humorous, some poignant. Naturally knitting got mentioned a couple of times.

The cover is so beautiful and features part of the painting "The Queue at the Fish Shop" by Evelyn Dunbar, the only salaried woman artist employed during WWII by the War Artists Advisory Committee. [How's that for a tie in during Women's History Month?!]

So England was in my mind when I stopped by the library this afternoon to pick up a book for JP. I wound up detouring through the non-fiction stacks and my eyes just happened to catch the book, "London 1945, Life in the Debris of War". I can pick right up where I left off. When you see the cover what is the first thing you notice? The red coat? It does stand out, but did you also happen to spot the string bags?

My knitting mentor is no longer with us, but she was born in England in 1923 and I heard some wartime stories from her. I can definitely picture her in a queue at the fish shop. If she were just down the road I know I'd be talking to her about the things I've been reading. I'd be showing her my latest knitting, too, I'm sure.

It was such a warm spring day here today. I didn't have to go into the office and instead made my way to a yarn shop where I purchased some yarn and Ysolda Teague's Elijah pattern for a sweet little elephant knit seamlessly (thankfully!).

"When she had hung up the receiver the clock was striking six. She went over to the radio, turned the knob, and sat down with all the other anxious women to knit and listen."
War Among Strangers" 17 January 1942
from "Good Evening, Mrs. Craven"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Rahakiri Stole

Stitch pattern from "The Haapsalu Shawl" (p 157 - Rahakiri)
with edging from "Knitted Lace of Estonia" (p 154 - Modern 24-round lace edge)
27" x 56"

Yarn: Lace-a-licious by J. Knits
cobweb - 100% hand dyed alpaca
1200 yds/113 grams ; almost all of it
color name: Washington
[no link - I don't think still available]

Needles: Size 2 addi Lace

This stitch pattern is one of the old ones and, unlike many Haapsalu designs, contains no nupps. I thought the larger areas of stockinette would work well with this yarn and I liked that it was not directional.

In Estonian, raha = money and kiri=pattern. I suppose the roundish areas could be coins but this was not mentioned in the book.

This is the widest stole I've knit and I'm quite pleased with the finished dimensions. However the book instructs one to plan for a proportion of 1:3 and mine is close to 1:2. Still it is a good size for me. Since I knit the edging on in the round it is not a true Haapsalu shawl anyway. Perhaps one day I'll knit in the true manner, possibly if I ever do a large square.

Such an uninspired photo I know, but it does show the color fairly well and gives a reasonable idea of the size.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I can be as contrary as I choose

I'm betting you recognize that line as one of the numerous gems uttered by the Dowager, Countess of Grantham in "Downton Abbey". Maggie Smith is something, isn't she!

As much as I enjoyed the stitch pattern of this project, I did whine a bit about the yarn, and the crumpled, wrinkly state of the WIP made it hard to love as well. But a warm bath and a good stretch worked as many wonders for the lace as it does for my own limbs. The finished stole is light and airy.

I'll do a proper FO post later. Not sure I'll be up to getting good photos or if I'll just make do with others I took quickly this afternoon.

In the meantime here are a few fun and clever Downton Abbey links:

Mary first pointed me to the Downton Abbey paper dolls. Love the many faces of the Dowager!

Roman Hills has indie-dyed yarn with colorways cleverly named for the characters, complete with lines of dialog. The Matthew colorway says "Don't play with me. I don't deserve it." while the Mary colorway says "You must pay no attention to the things I say."

Feel like some cross stitch? This etsy seller has one.

I love seeing how much fun people are having with this.

Downton stringplay. This gets the ideas going.

Just a reminder: online viewing only through March 6.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

F stop

This post brought to you by the Letter F.
.........and a few Ms : )

The shawl is Finished. Finally. [Well, it hasn't been blocked. It is soaking right now.]

Fun? Not always, but fortunately the pattern was pleasing.
Fast? Faster than I expected.
Facile? Pattern, yes, yarn no, a bit fuzzy because it is alpaca. And, even though it was a cobweb weight, it was a two-ply and easy to split causing me to fume more than I like.

This was the little ball of yarn just before I started the long bind off. For the ediging I only did 22 rounds instead of 24. I feared at the start of the bind off that I might not have enough, but I did. I might have even had enough to do the final two rounds but I just couldn't face the anxiety. I think the edging will be generous as is.

At any rate, I'm free to move on to the next fibery project. Should be
fun. I'll be using a fabulous fingering weight yarn called Finch.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Fray

Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same. from the song "All at Once" by The Fray

Oh the edging on this current WIP is endless. Endless.

The 24-round edging I've chosen is an easy and repetitive one. It is a very basic 10-stitch repeat; all odd-numbered rounds the same and all even-numbered rounds plain knit. And, unlike the one on the Facing Lilies Stole, requires no shifting of markers.

In Knitted Lace of Estonia, Nancy Bush recommends doing at least 16 rounds on edges added this modern way. I'm on round 17 and the ball of yarn is getting much smaller. I am beginning to think I won't be able to get all 24 rounds done. So I'm just trying to stick with it until I no longer have any yarn. At this point I am cheering on the yarn. Go, go, go!

But in the meantime, isn't that tin just so cheerful?

Friday, February 17, 2012


In spite of not being fond of working with the yarn, this project is coming along nicely. You certainly can't tell much from the photo. Unblocked lace is not appealing! This hasn't been a knitting-in-public project, but if it were I can't imagine any non-knitter wanting to take up the hobby based on seeing this wrinkly thing.

I did a quick steam block of the edges before picking up all around for the edging and I actually liked the yarn much better. So much so that I was actually encouraged. Encouragement is a Good Thing and not to be underrated.

True Haapsalu shawls have the edging knit in two long lengths, casting on a large number of stitches and stitching out from the edge, bound off, and sewn onto the garter edges of the shawl. Once again I am adding an edging the modern way ala Nancy Bush and picking up stitches all around and knitting in the round. To make my life a little easier this time, I bought a long addi Lace needle - 60" long actually. Really almost as long as I am tall.

I wondered if it would be awkward to wrangle. I am not very far along yet, but so far it is working well. I do have to stop occasionally and scoot the work around the cable, but they slide easily and, with 60 whole inches, they certainly aren't all bunched up on the needle like I've had before.

Can you see I'm using a project TIN instead of a bag for this? A tin of cookies came to the office at Christmas and I slapped a Post-It on there requesting the tin when the cookies were all gone. I knew it would come in handy. It has been just perfect for this project. I could keep my chart on the inside of the lid, using the magnetic ruler to keep my place, and just pop the lid back on when I was finished for the evening.

"Correction does much, but encouragement does more. " Goethe

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be mine

It's Valentine's Day,

and in the street,

there's freezing rain,

and slush, and sleet,

the wind is fierce,

the skies are gray,

I don't think I'll

go out today.

But here inside,

the weather's warm,

there is no trace

of wind or storm,

and you just made

the morning shine---

you said you'd be

my valentine.

named first ever Children’s Poet Laureate

no freezing rain or slush and sleet, I just liked this little poem.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I love bags

Well that's hardly news!

I finally got a Play Day and I knew just what I wanted to do. Make a bag!

Because I need a bag? No. Because they are FUN to make and it was high time to have a bit of fun.

I used all things I already had to hand. It would have been nice to have had a longer zipper, but foolish to waste time going shopping for one. Must try to remember to pick up some more next time.

I went with a Valentine theme as you see, but tried to pick fabrics that wouldn't look too Valentine-y to use afterwards. Sure that lining is super Valentine-y, but no one but me will be seeing that. [and aren't the sheep cute!]

I cut 2" strips and stitched them down on batting to self-quilt as I went along. The wooden beads and elastic cording for the zipper pull came from a $1 child's necklace kit bought a year or so back.

What you can't tell from this photo is that the first slice is a bit wonky and my side seams don't really match up. Ordinarily this might bother me, but I have to tell you I was so thrilled to have the time and to get to finish it, that I was delighted that it worked out as well as it did.

Right away I hand wound this hank of Madelinetosh Merino Light in the most scrumptious colorway called Cove and plopped it into the bag.

Oh, my is this a JOY to knit! Would love to work only on this, but it is to be my travel/conversation knitting and the pattern has to be something simple. Right now I'm just a few rows in on a top-down stockinette triangle with the idea of it perhaps becoming the Gingko Shawlette.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Haapsalu Scarf

Kind friend and lacemaker Barbara, alerted me to some new lace books and among them was "The Haapsalu Scarf".

Be still my heart!

In the Estonian knitting tradition, rectangles are shawls and square or half-square triangles are scarves.

What the new book has that the first did not, is specific numbers for finished designs, saving you some calculations, and it repeats no patterns from the first book.

To get an idea and see some large, lovely photos from inside, check out this blog post.

It is $75. $75! Barbara's alert came the very day that I had been browsing through my knitting book library and realizing that I was quite blessed with pattern books and really need not buy any more. What timing!

In most cases, Haapsalu shawls and scarves are knitted of white yarn. If you are craving color and pattern, and not lace, then you might like to see some of the images from another fabulous new book of Estonian knitting, "Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island". Wow! [PS: it's only $130] There is also a wonderful post in Kate Davies' blog and more glimpses inside.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Mid-60s and the tulip tree near the post office is blooming.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Something bright

Things are happening in the background here but I seem to be unable to summon the will or inclination to post anything. January malaise perhaps.

A week or so ago I pulled out some lace yarn that I have had for a couple of years or so. I bought it with a gift certificate, specifically for the color.

The color is really a dark, warm coral; an orangey-red and not the fairly hot pink that it appears in this photo. It looks a bit more true in the photo of it in the hank before it was wound and when it wasn't basking in the bright sunlight.

Since this year's Pantone color is Tangerine Tango, I thought it was high time this became something other than stash!

I've tried at least two other patterns with this yarn and haven't been happy with them. Turns out the yarn is really cobweb instead of lace weight. I turned to the beautiful book, The Haapsalu Shawl, and picked this stitch pattern which has no nupps. I thought the larger areas of stockinette stitch would work well for this.

Fingers crossed.

I am not enjoying the yarn, but the pattern is quite pleasing. I find most of these Estonian patterns to be nice to knit, intuitive and straightforward.

I'm a bit further along now and think I'm about halfway through the body section. This book, as I mentioned before, has only the stitch patterns. There is, however, a section at the front of the book that discusses width:length ratios and how to calculate sizes and edgings.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Over the edge

I have mentioned before being intrigued by the articles in Piecework magazine on Turkish oya. Those articles concerned the needlelace oya, but there are other methods including tatted oya and beaded oya.

They all have specific names
Tig oya: motifs made with crochet hook
Mekik oya: a form of tatted lace
Firkete oya: hairpin lace
Boncuk oya: made with beads
Igne oya: intricate and delicate floral motifs

I received the most wonderful book at Christmas, The Beaded Edge. The Japanese author, Midori Nishida, has three books of edgings published and Interweave Press has translated one into English.

True string PLAY and I have been having SO MUCH FUN playing around with some of the designs. As that link to Interweave said, these designs combine BASIC crochet stitches and beads.

Now I've never crocheted much. I have a Harmony Guide which has diagrams and truly diagrams are my only hope with this technique and still once I get past double crochet it gets rather hopeless.

If you've seen any of the Japanese craft books, then you know that they usually have wonderful diagrams and step-by-step instructions. This one is like that. The directions are very clear and the stitches are basic.

String + Beads = Fun.

If you click on the Interweave link above and then on the Preview tab, you can see some of the pages inside the book and at the bottom there is a link to a YouTube video of one of the designs from start to finish. All in Japanese, but with very soothing music.

So, what do I plan to do with these edgings? I haven't a clue. I only know I need to make more of them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Learn Something New in 2012

Here it is already past the middle of January. Can you believe it? Only today did I feel I could come up for air. I've been mired in a year-end alphanumeric mess at work, the usual year-end reporting: 940, 941, W-2s, W-3, G-7, G1003, GDOL-4, 1099, 1096, 8855-SSA, 401(k), w/c audit, and more. Seemingly endless and all with different deadlines.

Sadly not a bit of it involves string.

But like a deep sea diver who is gradually surfacing, I can see light up there and I am getting closer.

I have been playing with string and I hope to show you some things soon. I have even managed to make a few pictures and get them up on Ravelry but only by lugging my camera, cord, and projects to work and getting photos during nice light at lunchtime.

Somehow though I'm already feeling behind! Retail is way ahead as usual and the stores are already filled with Valentines. Since I was finishing off my last bag of Christmas M&Ms, I went ahead and brought home the bag of red, pink, and white ones. Regardless of all else swirling around me, I do somehow manage to stay current in the M&M world!

One of the last little things I finished up before Christmas was this small drawstring bag sized to hold just a few teabags. Once again I used the beaded picot cast on from Katharine's Bag [Ravelry link] and again I joined in the round, made an eyelet casing row and straight down to a three-needle bind off at the bottom. Very quick.

I'm still using from a ball of two-color crochet cotton. I couldn't find a link so perhaps it is no longer sold. Pity as I really like the effect it gives.

Today's e-newsletter from Nordic Needle encouraged me to Learn Something New in 2012 and had links to publications on many different techniques.

Really the things one can do with string is endless. Watch the amazing pieces these women in Turkey create using only a needle and thread.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty Twelve!

Postmarked December 10, 1924

My heart prompts me to wish you a Very Happy New Year.