Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Seen This?

I'm just re-posting, not adding anything new, but isn't this exciting? What am I talking about?

The Twist Collective article on the re-discovered Elizabeth Zimmermann Green Sweater. The article is written by the person who discovered and reconstructed the cardigan. The interesting thing about this cardigan is that instead of having the decreases for the sleeve hidden underneath the arm, their right out on top. Looking at the pictures, you can recognize various EZ techniques, but the sleeve decreases are new. A gift from the past from a great knitter.

Once you've digested that, you can read more on Meg Swansen's (EZ's daughter's) newsletter no. 9. and order the pattern. On Ravelry, the discussion has begun on the Zimmermaniacs group. Of course, there's a knit-a-long too.

Gotta go read. Just discovered my nephew's blog...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm game!

You may remember, or not, that I have been experimenting with various new vehicles for reading. I feel it's my duty, somehow. I tried listening to people with the wrong accents read 19th English century literature aloud to me from Librivox. At a minimum, I need Alistair Cooke for that. I tried reading daily installments of The Pickwick Papers via email from DailyLit (I quit after 4 installments) and most recently I tried reading the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on a cast-off, first generation Kindle. I got through it, but wah! Thumbs down to all these.

Now, DailyLit Style is tempting me again with Shoes, Bags and Tiaras from V&A Publishing. Yes, I have signed up to read about fashion by email.

Immediately afterwards, librarian that I am, I googled around to find out more about the actual book that I thought these installments would be based on. Couldn't find it by title. Let's try by publisher: V&A publishers. There they are, but no Shoes, Bags and Tiaras. Only Tiaras Past and Present. It seems V&A Publishing is an imprint of Abrams. Hmmm. Time for that old librarian's standby, Books in print. Nope. nothing there either.

I'm betting that Shoes, Tiaras and Handbags is some kind of fresh hell that is being put out there with the hope that some of us will then cough up the cash for Tiaras Past and Present. Heck, I'm game for it. I may have a limited attention span when it comes to tiaras, but who knows, maybe one day DailyLit will offer installments of Addis, Sheep and Sharon Miller.

You can read a sort of review of DailyLit here on the Follow the Reader blog.

Now I'd like to offer a quick reply to Chris, who left a comment on one of the Pine Tree Palatine posts without an address to contact her. Chris asks whether I think there is a mistake in the pattern, near the beginning, before you get to the borders charts. Chris, it's been a while, but no, I can't say that I remember any mistakes in the pattern. I do think that if it looks ok to you the way you did it, then that's probably just fine. The whole thing is so big and detailed that most likely, no one will notice. If it's disturbing you, then frog it.

Now, talk about confusing. There is a potentially confusing thing about the borders, further on in the pattern which I only became aware of through talking to another knitter. She was trying to give me a heads up. On each the charts starting on page 36, there is a column of two stitches at the center of the page ("in the gutters" as it were) that are shaded more darkly that the rest of the chart. The rows on the charts on page 36 and 37, for example, continue from one page across to the next, and the darkly shaded stitches are at the center of the row and should only be knit once.

Rather confusing, no? I only avoided this pitfall through faulty photocopying. I photocopied the charts for convenience and when I did it I cut off the column of shaded stitches on one of the pages and so it never occurred to me to wonder about it. You can tell what kind of knitter I am!

Harpa, Helen and Shandy - thank you for your kind remarks. I have not had the second Aestlight off since I unpinned it on Sunday and I am still wearing my Icelandic!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Brown, Brown and Brown

Here in Western New York, the Fall season has been very colourful. The reds and yellows have been brilliant.

There has been lots of sun and warmth too. I was down in and around Naples, New York today and the temperature reached nearly 18 C/ 68 F. There was hardly a breath of wind on Lake Canandaigua this morning.

Despite all this loveliness and light, I find myself working on three brown projects.

First, and I just finished this one yesterday, is an Aestlight. I loved the first one I knit two weeks ago so much that I had to knit another. The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in a very chocolatey shade. These photos show the final edging being attached. I think I'll be wearing this a lot.

My second brown project is the Woolie Jacket that had my elbows aching on the plane ride from England. Here's the pattern picture. I'm a bit nervous about that pouffy part that you see sticking out from behind her elbow.

The biggest piece of knitting in this pattern is the back. You knit an extra 7 inches or so in the width to create a pleat. The fabric is very thick. Hmmmm. I feel that knitting this is a bit of an act of faith, however, it goes quickly because the yarn is so thick: 3.5 stitches per inch. Worst comes to worst, I'll just have to redo the back without the pleat. It's sale yarn from the Wool Shop in Alnwick. Here's how my knitted fabric looks:

Lastly, I am knitting a cosy vest for Auntie Margaret. I don't have a pattern. I started out trying to knit something similar to a garment we saw in a department store. It is getting farther and farther away from the original. I'm knitting with Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds DK undyed on 3.5 mm/5 US needles. The yarn is very soft and smells faintly like a sheep barn. I love it.

The vest will be divided into two sections. The bottom half is fairly plain: a combination of stocking stitch and a stitch from Barbara Walker called Shadow Rib. It's from her Second Treasury and appears among the first few stitches. The vertical pattern doesn't pull in the way a regular ribbing does. I'm hoping that it will add interest without drawing the eye too much. There will be more interest in the top half of the vest where I am planning to place some staggered cables.

PS. I am still living in my green Icelandic sweater. I wear it to work, to garden, for a walk. It feels great.