Wednesday, August 11, 2010

ooooo mitten book

yes, I have a new book, on mittens, colour work mittens. Yes I know a knitter like me can only wear one pair of mittens at a time and I already have two perfectly good pair. Well actually I have books that detail traditional mittens with over mittens - but that is more than is needed in our part of the world. This is a book that I've wanted for a while, and a very welcome and surprising Amazon gift voucher made it possible (thank you!). So I have a new mitten book, and there will be new mittens soon. The rest of the post is themed around slow, I've been switching between reading Slow and knitting the slow project, the last bump of fibre that I started spinning in the Tour de Fleece 2010 is finally ready to ply, and Theodora grows slowly ... and I have mending. Mending is something I've been writing about and reading about for my conference paper .. so it was a little bit of a discovery to find my own knitwear was in need of just the kind of mending I had recorded in the museum garments I'm writing about.

Selbuvotter, a book that I've longed for for ages, but for a knitter like me, with apparently 126 knitting related books cataloged on Library thing ... and a limited budget ... well I have to prioritize my book purchases. I just can't buy all of them when I want them. Some times I miss out, I didn't buy History of Hand knitting, nor did I buy Treasures from the Rag pile for myself while they were still in stock/print and before prices escalated beyond belief (but I did make sure the schools library has a copy so I have ongoing easy access). I have a bit of a wish list, and when there is 'book money' that is free and clear .. I look at the list and prioritize. After knitting Squirrels, and patrolling around Ravelry being inspired by other colour work mittens .. I knew that this windfall needed to be spent on a mitten book ... Selbuvotter it was. I've borrowed this book and lovingly looked thru it at knit night .. but now I have my own copy. I arrived home a few hours ago to find it waiting for me .. so I've only just enjoyed the first few pages before I had to do homework parent duty and set the table and other domestic tasks, but tonight I plan to sit and read and plan mittens with it.

The knitting this week is less exciting that past weeks, I'm still working away on the large grey garter stitch blanket. This will fit a single bed when done and is knit in real 1980's vintage 6 strand loosely spun Cowichan yarn. Soft, warm and thick on 15mm needles. This is the third of this kind and second of this size blanket I've knit, and passion has cooled a little. I'm interspersing rows with reading In praise of slowness by Carl Honore. I like this book, right now it fits the way I'm thinking about how I want to be in the world, a little more relaxed, a little less rushed, and a lot more enjoyment in the moment without rushing to the next thing. This is a library book, so the irony is that I can't read it too slow as I have to give it back soon.

And spinning, during the second half of the Tour de Fleece I started spinning 160g of yellow perendale, it is sunny and warm and I knew that I wouldn't finish it during the tour but that was OK. Now I'm at the end of the singles and I'm ready to ply. I love this yellow, in the midst of cold clear grey and blue days it is warm and that is nice .. I'm thinking baby blanket for the next baby whenever or whomever that is needed for.

Theodora grows slowly, I've been spending more time on other things and we have had a few visitors drop in. Usually I'd just sit and knit while chatting .. but these were family on Bears side, ones who only come to town every 6 years as they are part of a longitudinal study and this time there was much busyness when they visited, photos of new children to admire, restored cars written up in magazines to admire (theirs), changes to our house and garage (their grandma's house) to examine, smaller bears than mine to keep out of trouble. I don't mind .. but I realized that I do usually get to indulge my knitting more than I could this week. Upshot is Theodora is perhaps only one or two rows longer than it was at the last post, but this time I have a better image of the bold lace that runs up the center front of the sock.

As I wrote in my introduction I'm working on the paper for the upcoming conference. It is on knitwear in the local museum, pieces knit and donated by a local. Unusually for pieces acquired by a museum recently these all show much wear and significant mending ... they really do. My paper looks at what the construction, style, techniques, fashion, and wear can indicate about the knitter. The mending shows I think frugality, one of the much written about hallmarks of early 20th century knitting, depression knitting, world war knitting, and post war rationing. I have taken many many images of the worn edges, the careful yet almost clumsy mending that the garments have, but I don't have permission from the museum to share them here(sorry). It was with some slight surprise that I noticed garments I had knit had similar wear. There was an odd and rather nice connection spanning time with the knitter of the garments in my study when I recognized the same wear patterns and considered some of the same repairs and methods for my own knitted works. Unlike that knitter - the elbows have not yet worn thru on my garments, for now it is just the cuffs.

Toby's gansey, knit last winter is worn at the cuff. Nothing too major, I have yarn left over and can easily frog the cuff back and re-knit it. In traditional Gansey tradition the sleeves were knit from the shoulder to the wrist, so I can effect a perfect repair here, in fact I may only have to re-knit 3 or 4 rounds.

Owls has the same fate, it is without doubt the sweater I have worn the most. The soft grey and slightly modern styling seems to work well with many things in my wardrobe ... and the result is both cuffs have worn. The repair here will be trickier ... for these were knit cuff up so can't be easily raveled from this edge. The other complication is I have no more of this yarn, but the mill might. I don't even have the swatch .... suggestions for repair are most welcome ...and as it is a cast on edge .. well it won't ravel far upwards will it?

take care - and look at your cuffs :D
na Stella


CraftyGryphon said...

Ooooo... mitten book.

I can't help with fixing your Owl (My mother did mumble something about finding a long tail on the inside and getting just enough to "wrap to" (splice over?) the balding spot?)... but I think I know what I'm going to make with the yummy blue yarn I just got!

Knitting Linguist said...

I absolutely love that mitten book. I admit that it was a very indulgent purchase on my part when I got it, as I have very few opportunities to wear mittens around here, but I find it so inspiring to look at that it was worth it!

It sounds like such an interesting experience to analyze those knitted pieces from the museum, and then to turn that analytic lens on your own knitwear. I wonder what I'd see if I look at mine? Hmmm...

Anonymous said...

Part of me wants to give you the swatch back but really I have my fingers crossed that the mill has more...