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Showing posts from June, 2008

Phew, weekend, weeds

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Aren't  these Mulleins wild weeds? They are in my neighbour's driveway, growing from the crack between the asphalt driveway and the house. They're in their second year and will no doubt be pulled up shortly as the house is due to be painted next month.
Couldn't knit a stitch last night due to Friday night neck strain. Funny, when you're young, you just itch for the end of the week, then later in life you're content to relax at home and recover from the week.
I now have a deadline of July 16th to finish the baby blanket I am working on so I'll have to put my other projects aside until I have make serious advancements on the baby blanket. Here is the latest picture of Big Baby, the cardi based on on EZ's Baby Surprise Jacket: :



I have since finished the garter stitch border along the bottom and picked up a sleeve on dpn's and started to knit it. It's big enough that the knitting is rather clumsy and I wish I had a suitable circular needle instead.

In …

Clarification on last post

Quick update. I found a better microfilm copy of the Democrat and Chronicle from October 30, 1935 and can tell you this.

In the period between 1932 and 1935, the Knitting Section of the Rochester Branch of the Needlework Guild of America took in 4,385 hand knitted garments from about 100 expert knitters. The bigger number, 15,425 new garments, that is referred to at the end of the article must refer to sewn garments as well. After all, it was the Needlework Guild.

So. Our intake though the community knitting program of the Rochester Knitting Guild today is not so shabby after all. For the past couple of years, we have collected over 1,000 items from our members each year. I know it's not a competition, but it's still interesting. I'll get back to my mittens now.

Coming along

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Reading through all these old newspaper articles about the Knitting Bureau has got me thinking about our Guild's fall drive for mittens for the Rochester City Schools. Last year a teacher approached the person in charge of Community Knitting and asked for some insane number of mittens for her students. Of course, there was no time to knit them and so we agreed that we'd try for the coming year. Here is my first pair. I knit them using Elizabeth Durand's Basic Pattern for Children's Mittens and some pale pink Germantown I salvaged from a friend's attic. Hey, it only took a couple of hours to do and I feel much better about this than I did about those yellow socklets I was knitting.
Anyway, about Rochester Knitting History. There is so much to tell and so little time to write. I'll just keep posting it in snippets here. I dug up another article from the Democrat and Chronicle from 1935 talking about the Knitting Section of the Needlework Guild of America that r…

On and Off the Needles

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I've gone totally off the rails as far as my knitting is concerned. I've started yet another sweater and the only thing I've finished is one socklet. I got drawn into knitting the adult version of Elizabether Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket. It's called February Lady on Ravelry, but I'm calling mine Big Baby. Yep. That's about it. Big Baby. 
Well, the Cobweb Crepe Baby blanket is well on it's way to completion, about 70%, I'd say and how long can you knit on that pattern before you loose your marbles anyway? I really have to be in the mood for those miles and  miles of Feather and Fan stitch.
Then there's the Big Swatch. Body is done and blocked, sleeves are started and calculations made. OKAY.
Let's not forget the Mini Weaver shawl, that tawny beauty. May have to unravel it as I have purchased skeins of matching lace weight mohair which goes so well with the Alpa Fine. That's the same combination of yarns as in the grey blanket I made in …

What went on in the Fitch Building anyway?

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According to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle from New Year's Day, 1933 (Women Knit to Save Needy Tots from Cold),

"The Needlework Guild Plans to recruit three groups of skilled knitters: one to make articles such as mittens and infants garments from small lots of salvaged yarn, another to use wool supplied by the Guild and made into garments in accordance with designs and specifications of the Guild, and the third group, made up of knitters who can afford to purchase their own wool at wholesale prices from the Needlework Section...Mrs. Spencer stated that all garments made from the wool supplied by the Guild are to be returned for distribution through the Emergency Clothing Bureau to those who need such articles. Mimeographed directions for the making of sweaters, caps and mittens for boys and girls have been prepared and will be distributed to those applying for yarn... Volunteer committees will be set up at the Section Headquarters at 362 East Avenue, on the second …

Rochester, New York - Knitting History

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A few months ago I was invited to help gather material on the local history of our craft for a talk that our guild president, Jeannine was preparing for a fundraiser for the RPO. As a librarian and an old reference desk hand, I was quickly drawn in to the search.

Jeannine covered the history of the Rochester Knitting Guild itself which was founded as recently as the 1980's. But what about earlier history? We know that everyone and their uncle knit on a regular basis, but was there a predecessor of the RKG? What kinds of activities and organizations were there for knitters?

I began by reading "No Idle Hands: the Social History of American Knitting by Anne MacDonald looking for reference to our town or region. There's only a few lines concerning bazaars which were held by various neighbourhoods to raise money for this and that. OKAY, but not much detail. This is a good read though and generally very interesting and well written.

I next turned to the Internet and searched Goog…

Big Swatch Update: knitting in the wet

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Finally blocked the fronts and back of the Big Swatch and pinned them out on the spare bed. Pins were used very modestly. Really, I just spread the pieces out, measured and patted them a bit and pinned a few corners for form's sake. In case I have to frog back, I left the skeins attached to each piece. I put them all into a plastic bag to keep them dry and out of the way during the soak. I was oh so careful.

Wouldn't you know it, as I patted out the last piece, I noticed that the top had come unravelled. I hadn't secured the yarn correctly and a bit of self frogging had occurred - about six rows worth. Wah! Here's a grainy photo, taken with shaking hands.

I grabbed the needles and as best I could, picked up the 30 stitches and knitted the last rows and cast off over again. I was very conscious of the fact that the knitting, besides smelling like a wet dog, was stretching as I tried to reconstruct the last rows. I think it turned out OKAY though and was able to pat it bac…