We had a great Thanksgiving Lunch at our kids house in Tacoma. It started out as a very rainy day, but then the sky cleared and the bay was beautiful!
I knit our grandson a sweater called Gramps, by TinCanKnits, and it fit him perfectly. I was hoping it would be a bit big so he could wear it longer, but that is ok. He liked the little car buttons I put on it.
I have been doing a lot more knitting than anything else lately. I was working on a cowl as we drove to and from Tacoma and almost finished it last night, except for the last row because I ran out of the black yarn. When you only have a two-color Fair Isle and run out of one color, it tends to slow you down a bit! I have been knitting charity hats, and almost finished a sweater out of hand-spun Alpaca yarn. My days seem to consist of eating, sleeping and knitting. I love it!
I have been swimming in a sea of tools, yarn, fiber, techniques and finished knitted objects and I have not drowned!! A friend and I went to the VKLSeattle event at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, WA on Friday. We shopped around the marketplace, she took in a lecture, we had lunch and shopped some more. Today, Saturday, I went to a lecture and then did a little browsing. Tomorrow, Sunday, 3 of us will head to the Meydenbauer Center again and shop ’til the marketplace closes and then head out to take a “Knit to Flatter” class with Amy Herzog, our hero.
More Nicky Epstein animals
Today, the lecture that I attended, was on Knitting history and the Knitting Belt. June Hemmons Hiatt, gave the lecture and showed us slides of Shetland, where she found the knitting belt still in use. You can find more info on the belt and the ones that she sells on her website: www.principlesofknitting.com. She also gave a demonstration after the lecture. The belt fits around your waist, has a leather oval shaped pouch filled with horsehair and has several sized holes punched into the top. You slip a long needle into one of the holes with your right hand and then knit with another needle and your left hand. Your right hand does not have to hold the needle and you can knit much faster this way. Hazel Tindall, the “Fastest Knitter in the World,” uses a knitting belt. Find out more at her website: hazeltindall.com.
During the lecture, June mentioned “The Knitting Genealogist” who does wonderful research on knitting culture. With knitting and genealogist in the same sentence I knew I would have to look that up when I got home. So, the Knitting Genealogist is found here: https://theknittinggenie.com. I was impressed with her findings and you will be too. She (Penelope Lister Hemingway)
June knitting with the belt underneath her right hand (left side of photo)
writes about Gansey knitting and that led me to this article by Claire Santry on her blog: Irish Genealogy Toolkit. Surprising article that states, “The idea that Aran sweaters (also known as Irish wool sweaters) contain special stitches to identify the wearer’s family or clan is pure fiction.” Definitely a “must-read” if you have repeated this fiction to others as I have!
So, I am very excited to meet Amy Herzog and find out what body style I possess, and what sweaters will look fabulous on me. I am anxious to start another sweater, but not until I take this class first! Off to change the clocks back one hour to get into Pacific Standard Time again, here comes the dark nights!
Well, this has been a very interesting couple of seasons for me. In May I was rushed to hospital for pancreatitis (pancreas swells and eats itself, non-medical definition) and it was a looong four days of pain and inactivity. I missed the last monthly meeting of the Seattle Weavers Guild (SWG) and the Sheep to Shawl activity at the Fair due to healing. Healing was a long process, 7 weeks before I felt “normal” again. I began knitting once I had the strength to do anything and let my weaving projects sit. I have become obsessed with knitting!
Summer came and went with the healing process, trying to walk again, and trying to figure out what to eat now that I had become, officially, a diabetic. I knitted on and it kept me focused on healing and on crafts.
Finally in September I measured out a warp for a “Fall Runner” for my dining room table. It is sleyed, but sitting, waiting for me to finish the process. Since I used to be a “full-speed ahead” kind of girl, I have slowed down to a “stay in the moment” kind of girl and this has been good for me. Although, this knitting has taken over my life!
Here is what I have finished since I started feeling better:
So, I still weave, but obviously knitting has taken over my life!!
Well we finally got a “bit” of rain in the western half of Washington this weekend. It made life good again by washing away the smoke from the BC fires and the heat from the “heat wave” we have been experiencing.
Got some of my little experimental bracelets done on the rigid heddle and am still trying to figure out the tension problem I am having at the end of the warp. Try, try, again.
But the best is the Frodo Scarf.
I bought the yarn on sale at the LYS (All Wound Up) and the colorway is called “Frodo”! I decided to weave it instead of knitting with it, it is fingering weight yarn, and this is how it is looking. I LOVE it!
Last night my husband and I decided to have a “picnic at the beach.” That meant: going to Whole Foods, getting food to-go from the food bars, driving to the beach and parking on the cliffside street to look at the Sound while we ate! There is a lovely street called Sunset Ave. in Edmonds, WA that has a section, past the Ferry Dock, that has parallel parking along the cliff above the railroad tracks and the Sound. It is a favorite place for looking at the water, the scuba divers, the boats, the Ferry and the view. It is also a good place to walk, but since it was raining we just sat and ate. Yummy stuff comes from the Whole Foods food bars!
As we walked into the Whole Foods Market, there was a table at the entrance with Heirloom Tomatoes for sale. $4.99 a pound! I think I picked up a yellow tomato that cost $4.99! Last night before we went to bed we had a snack of fresh heirloom tomato sliced and juicy. Today I am having a cheese and tomato sandwich for lunch. I wait all year to eat tomatoes in the summer. This tomato is the sweetest tomato I have had in years. I hope I can save some for my husband…
Today is Monday, my usual day for “domestic duties.” Aha! I have finished my duties, because I live in a small apartment this is easy! So, now, I contemplate: Knit? Weave? Finish making that little book? Write? Spin? Ahh, so many crafts to craft, what is a girl to do?
Write! So, here I am writing. I am actually settling into a good routine of crafting, doing my knitting in spare moments, weaving when my husband is working on his book, spinning when I need some meditative time and making my books whenever the mood hits. Hmmm, sure doesn’t sound like the anal person that I have been in the past. I guess my mantra of “live in the moment” is finally sinking in.
Unfortunately, my “no more volunteering” has not sunk in. I have volunteered to help at the Pullayup Fair in September and the Seattle Weavers Guild October Sale, with whatever they want me to do. I will also volunteer for the Vashon Island Sheepdog Trials for the Fiber area, probably spinning, but maybe weaving too, in June. I also signed up for the Hospitality Table at the Seattle Weavers Guild. Oh, and I usher at church too. My goodness, I have gotten involved!
Next week is the Puget Sound LYS Tour = Local Yarn Store Tour!!!! I can hardly wait to go. The Tour is from Lynden, WA all the way down to Kent, WA and features 26 yarn stores. Each store will be open from 10am until 8pm with special knit/crochet patterns made for the Tour attendees, a button for your yarn bag and discounts on yarn. There are also prizes for those that get their passport stamped at each store. It goes from Wednesday May 17 through Sunday May 21. I am driving a car load of ladies on Wednesday and we are going to have a blast. Another group of us will hit the road in a different direction on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Here is the info: lystour.com. If you have never done this, it is truly a blast! It is fun to see the different types of yarn, that each store carries; to meet the owners of the different stores; to get free patterns and the excitement of vying for a prize! So many yarn stores, so little time!
Well, I have written so now is the time to finish my little book. 😎
I am officially a Seattle Weavers Guild Member! Yeah! I was received into membership today at the meeting. We had a great speaker, Barbara Herbster, who spoke about Supplemental Warp. It was a good presentation, with explanations and visuals! Gotta love her weaving. I wasn’t able to stay for the afternoon program on Leno Weaving, but ate my lunch there and added my name to the Hospitality group.
The sun is shining today and the brillant colors of the flowers and trees in bud is amazing. I truly love Spring, but Spring in the PNW is very special. The pine trees outside my window are waving their branches about in the wind, but they are shining from all the rain we have had.
So, my bookbinding continues, slowly. I usually do things at warp speed (pun intended), but lately have to chant to myself, “slow cloth, slow cloth” to get myself to slow down and do things correctly!! Bookbinding is fun, creative and precise. I am not all that precise, so learning how to be precise and slower has been a challenge, but one that I am up to.
I am off to finish my tapestry, mohair shawl that I have been neglecting for knitting (a sweater and headbands of stranded knitting), and bookbinding.
Have a wonderful Spring Day!
I have been weaving and knitting for the last year since we have moved here. I suppose it is “Show and Tell” time for me too.
3 Handmade Books
Gracie’s Knitted and Felted Cat House
tapestry woven scarf beginning
Seahawk hat and mittens for my new grandson