Friday, 31 July 2009

Rescuing abandoned patterns and books

I may be alone in this, but I am completely and hopelessly sentimental about knitting patterns and books that are homeless. I saw two knitting books in a charity shop yesterday, glanced through them, thought 'hmm, not my kind of thing', went home empty-handed - then worried about their well-being and had to go back and get them today.

They're both rather '80s, one a Kaffe Fassett, the other a Sasha Kagan one - not designers I'm particularly keen on, I must confess. I know they're the great colour gurus but their designs have never really appealed to me, even though I can recognise they're doing interesting things with colour and pattern. However now I've got the books home, had a good look through and overcome my aversion to '80s hairstyles, the designs are starting to appeal to me - not as garments, but potentially as soft-furnishings. Quite a few designs would make very nice cushion covers, which would be fun winter knitting. So my hopeless sentimentality is not so bad!

I'm really quite taken with the section showing the colours used at the end of the Sasha Kagan book - it's attractive in itself, but also interesting to see the unexpected colours chosen.

Last week while mooching around the antiques/collectibles section at the Speyside Heather Centre, I found a pile of 1950s knitting magazines. I resisted most of them, primarily because they're machine knitting magazines, but I did buy two just for their historical interest. Jen, if you fancy these you're welcome to them now I've read them!

They even have the odd article on fashion which read oddly in a modern way - 'The Importance of Accessories' could almost have appeared in Red, until it states that 'a woman never looks well-dressed without gloves'! My mum, who remembers the '50s, flicked through the magazines and had a chuckle at that.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Aestlight continues

Apologies for the terrible picture - I keep meaning to photograph it in daylight when it actually looks Quite Nice, but only remembering after dark. The lighting isn't ideal in our house. So, this is my Aestlight - obviously I'm still on the soothing garter stitch triangle. I keep freaking myself out reading other people's project notes on Ravelry and so many talk about it being so quick to knit up! I've been so busy recently (holding the fort while my Beloved putt-putt-putts his way round Scotland) that I'm lucky if I manage a couple of rows a day.. Good thing I'm not in a hurry! I think I'm up to 105 stitches or so now. Counting stitches isn't my forte.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

"Mama, my bwoken your knitting!"

Indeed she had.

The neat ball at the back is what it looked like before Miss Mouse got hold of it. She also pulled the needle out and I had to pick up about a squillion stitches.

Meanwhile I've done some colouring - an attempt to get my log-cabin panels to not have overlapping colours. I've done the four panels now and need to block them to the same size before sewing them together and then adding some strips at each end.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Soft things

On a trip in to Glasgow the other day, the siren call of the John Lewis yarn department proved strong. I fell in love with this Rowan Tapestry in 'Whirlpool'. The photograph doesn't really do justice to the subtlety of the colouring, which is like early-morning light on the sea. Oddly enough one reason I was in the yarn section was to find some suitable 4-ply for the Aestlight shawl which will be one of my next projects. The Tapestry is DK so that's not the yarn I'll be using, but obviously I had the dawn on my mind. In a happy coincidence, for some reason that shade of Tapestry was half-price, so I didn't need to feel any guilt about buying without a specific project in mind.

In fact I was buying using vouchers so I was also throughly self-indulgent in also buying a ball of Baby Alpaca, which is just so soft and squidgy. Really, shopping for yarn is such a multi-sensory pleasure :-).

In the meantime the log-cabin continues (slowly and in short stints, as I've had hayfever and the fluff on the yarn doesn't help my poor nose!). I spent some time yesterday drawing diagrams in an attempt to work out how I could arrange panels such as this so that I can make something bigger but not have colours overlapping, seeing as I only have three colours of the lopi. As an aside, isn't the 'yellow' yarn yummy? I keep thinking of mango sorbet when I look at it! I'm not an ice-cream person at all, but sorbet is a different matter entirely!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Oooooh, I like this - it's fun.

I've been dipping in and out of Mason-Dixon Knitting, my favourite comfort-reading at the moment, and decided to have a go at log-cabin knitting. I like it a lot - it's simple and soothing but satisfyingly something-or-other (square probably). The yarn is some Sirdar Highlander Lopi, a long discontinued yarn I suspect. I've had it lying around for, um, years - I made some naalbinding socks using it (roughly copying the Coppergate sock) sometime last century in our more active re-enactment days.

Notice my mistake (the dotted line) on the first square - I couldn't remember the 'proper' way to pick up stitches so I did it my own way, resulting in it being back to front. Oh well :-).