This is not the sort of project that would normally appeal to me, but it was a special request by a friend who positively assured me that she would actually wear such a hat. More than once. In public.
In a what-was-I-thinking-in-the-middle-of-the-night moment, I started knitting with worsted weight yarn on US 2 needles, producing a fabric which stands on its own and could possibly be substituted for Kevlar. To make things worse, I used dpn's because I didn't have any circular needles in that size. Very soon I had to move one quarter of the stitches to a holder because they were falling off the needles, and I became rather adept at substituting needle for holder on every round.
I just finished felting my second hat, and wanted to post some photos. The first is a tiny little brimmed hat. I made it small to start so as not to use too much wool if it didn't work out. I was very pleased with the results and am going to do a full sized one just like it. The second was the Garden Hat from the book "Felted Crochet." It was huge before felting. My daughter Kate tried it on for the before picture. I was pleased with the results, but I don't think I'll use the same yarn again. It was crocheted from Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted. It's 30% mohair, so the final product is extremely fuzzy. My older daughter, Erin, loves the fuzz, and the hat is for her, so it all turned out for the best. I'm going to add a band of embroidered ribbon to finish it off.
This is the finished sweater I started back in January. The yarn is Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran. The pattern is from Rowan's 'A Yorkshire Fable'. The yarn is quite heavily flecked and does not show up the cables or pattern very well. It's basically a Guernsey-style and just right for the warm spring weather we're currently experiencing here in London!
Finally found my knitting belt (in a box on top of the wardrobe...one of many!). This is a shetland belt made in leather and stuffed with horse hair. The rows of holes are to insert the needle in a suitable position. I have seen a video of a shetland knitter using such a belt. She averaged an incredible 300 stitches a minute!T while maintaining her pattern and talking to the interviewer all the while. She also managed to use only three needles to work a round - I'm not sure how as four seem to be the usual minimum.
The 'wires' are from Guernsey (so from one of the northern-most of the isles to the southern-most). These 'wires's, there are 8) are 18" (46cms) long and an old UK size 13 but they don't vary much across the UK. These are steel and extremely uncomfortable to work with. Often they bent themselves in to a curve. Thank goodness for Addi Turbo.
Just in time for summer ... mittens from a WWII knit-for-the-troops pattern. The accent stripes created extra work evening up the stitches and weaving in the ends, but in a solid color the mittens knit up really fast. Since our boys in Iraq probably have little need for these, I'll just put them away until it gets cold again.
Yesterday, we went to an antique show/fair and one of the exhibitors was a woman who was furiously knitting. Of course, I went to chat with her and discovered that she was knitting in the medieval method of holding the right needle still and tucked under the right arm while all the movements of knitting were done by the left arm. The only involvement of the right hand was to throw the wool. Those who have studied the history of knitting know that in the medieval ages the members of the knitting guilds wore special belts with a groove which held the right hand needle in a stationary position. I must say that this woman knitted with great speed both the knit and the purl stitches.
When my new book arrived from Canada, the owner of the shop included this old poem which I wanted to share.
The Prayse of the Needle
To all dispersed sorts of Arts and Trades,
I write the Needles praise (that never fades)
So long as children shall be got or borne,
So long as garments shall be made, or worne,
So long as Hemp or Flax, or Sheep shal bear
Their linnen wollen fleeces yeare by yeare;
So long as Silk-worms, with exhausted spoyle
check out the various exhibits on this site..
I've just started a pair of socks using the Universal Sock Pattern. This is just my second pair of socks, the first being done in sport-weight wool and a bit loose all over. I want to make sure I've cast on a good number of stitches before I get too far into it. My stockinette gauge is 7.5 st per inch (though the leg will be worked mostly in K3 P1 rib). So, per the pattern I've cast on 60 stitches. To my inexperienced eye, after having done the cuff and a bit of the leg, this doesn't seem like enough stitches.
JPaul told me about a wonderful reference book of knitting terms in foreign languages. I have had need for such a book from time to time as I will occasionally get a pattern from Europe which is not in English. Recently, I obtained a pattern in French to knit a Becassine doll and I couldn't follow it.
The book "Knitting Lanugages" by Margaret Heathman (2005) is a spiral bound 240 page book. The dedication is noteworthy: "This book is dedicated to all knitters who look beyond themselves to the wider world and embrace a universal knitting heritage." Sounds to me a lot like our MWK community! The languages translated into English are: Danish, Estonian, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, and then a reverse listing of English into these languages. I can speak some Italian so I found that section a lot of fun. I photographed the page with the Swedish terms in honour of our Scandanavian members!