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!
Think I've made a huge mistake buying the Eskimo wool for the Drops Design Hoodie. Dreadful stuff. Horrible. Made the mistake - against my own previous advice - of buying the wool on-line so hadn't seen how crap it is! and the colour is awful! It's an unstructured yarn a bit like Lopi. It is very thick and looks like the matted dangly bits off a lamb's backside and I'm not talking about the tail, you understand. It splits constantly and is felting as I knit. The colour is a bilious green and not the pleasant sage-green I thought it was. Not good value at all although it only set me back £36 ($50?). I seriously doubt that the garment could be worn more than a few times without trashing and I would say it would be impossible to wash or clean. One for the dog basket I think, except I don't own a dog...bugger!
Whatever you call it - here is one I knitted. From just one skein of Noro Kureyon. This mojo bag is a gift for a friend's birthday who is a ghost hunter. I placed a smudge stick inside for when he goes a-hauntin'.