Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coming clean - fessing up

In today's post I'll share my goodies acquired on my Shetland trip - and that feels a little like coming clean, of confessing. Next post I'll talk more about the conference ... promise, but I feel like I need to 'process' the new acquisitions just so I can put them away. By process I mean, document, add the books to my Library Thing listing, and to my Ravelry page, and the same with yarn and fibre. I will also update you on the knitting- in progress, there is something finished, something lost, something new and something making good progress but in the wrong size.
First the goodies, then the knighting - OK?

So Shetland goodies .. well my first knitting purchases were at the Shetland times, Lorna my traveling companion had this place on her 'must do' list. She went with a list of books she 'needed' to add to her library. I was happy just to look, but had read the latest Knitter on the way over and saw Jarad Floods recommendation for Heirloom Knitting by Sharon Miller as a must have for those thinking about lace, On Lorna's recommendation I also picked up Shetland Lace by Gladys Amedro (recently reprinted), A Stitch in Time Unst's Fine lace knitting by the Unst Heritage Trust, Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont (nothing to do with Shetland knitting but they had it in stock - who was I to ignore it?).

A few days latter Annemor Sundbo's luggage arrived and the Shetland Museum and Archives had her books for sale - so I splurged. Now I am the proud owner of Everyday Knitting - Treasures from the Ragpile (which I thought was out of print!), Setesdal Sweaters - the History of the Norwegian Lice Pattern, and Invisible Threads in Knitting. All of these are available direct from Annemor herself. Her website if worth a visit just to spend time looking at her treasures in her flickr gallery. If you are into history and historic knitting - do visit the photo gallery of the Shetland Museum Archives - between the photos of people wearing knitting and photos of knitting itself here is more than enough to look at.

The best bit was I summoned up enough courage to be a real knitting groupie and ask for a copy of Everyday Knitting - Treasures from the Ragpile to be signed - and it was, with my name!

Also at the museum I picked up these two treasures, the University of Southampton Guide to the Knitting collections was a conference bag gift, and contains more information on the three significant collections they hold. It is now the repository of the collections of Montse Stanley, Richard Rutt and Jane Waller, and it contains not only printed knitting materials but artifacts and tools as well. The little volume underneath is the brand new Guide to the Shetland Museum Textile collection - which is full of beautiful images of old and new textiles, many of which are knit.

Then there was the fibre shopping - I bought fibre, both yarn and combed top ... all of which are souvenir fibre, the kind that will bring back fond memories as I spin and knit. At Jamiesons I asked if they had any fibre for spinning and they answered they did. They said usually they just gave out a plastic bag and took you out to the back room where there was a few boxes of mixed mill waste - and I could help myself. Oh my, just like at the mill in Milton - Mill scraps! The plastic bag was huge - well it was a large black garbage bag ... which I knew I couldn't fill and fit into my suitcase .. so I carefully selected some fibre that I think will spin into something for colour work. I tend towards muted colours .. but tried to give myself a bit of contrast in this selection.

At Jamiesons and Smith, the 'other' Shetland mill on the islands - the combed Shetland top was on display - and this pale blue just felt like one I would easily add to my fibre stash. This is the colourway Haar . and is a mix of white, medium blue and grey - greyer than it is here.

The knitting mis-hap that occurred, occured early in my trip, we had five planes from New Zealand to Shetland. Some where on the 3rd plane I slept, and I stowed my knitting project in its knitting bag on the floor by my feet. When I woke I could not find it, I didn't panic but I was hampered by the chair in front being reclined so I had little room to search and bend in. Those economy seats - are not called cattle class for nothing. When we went to disembark .. my knitting in its bag was not there. The flight attendants, Lorna and I searched the section of the plane around where we sat .. but could not find it. Either it rolled far away during the flight and landing .. or some one else scooped it up amongst their belongings.

Either way - I keep thinking what use is 160g of handspun perendale part knitted into a centre out blanket to most peopl? especially as I was making it up as I knit so there was no pattern. As a result the first yarn I bought was a replacement for the baby blanket, 4 balls of Lace weight from Jamiesons and Smith, in white. This was to provide my 'conference knitting', you know the mindless project that I could knit on whilst I listened.

Then after seeing the museum collections, and many many inspiring shawls and blankets in the books I bought and in some of the talks .. well I decided to add a lace border, in medium grey, dark grey and blue so added these to my travel stash.

At Jamiesons I added these to the stash ... loving the colour selection, not knowing what I wanted to make but feeling that I couldn't ignore having so many colours in the same weight of yarn to choose from.

At every knitting shop they sold knitting belts and at the conference there were on going knitting lounges with demonstrations of how to knit in the Shetland way. So I came home with a belt, and plans to practice.

And I'm still thinking of knitting Wintergreen by Kate Gilbert .. so these colour might just the the ones. This is the only yarn that I bought with a plan in mind.

And finally the knitting, I finished the second Theodora sock whilst I was away and wore them. They are now in the wash ... its been wintery here I'm waiting for drying weather before they are washed, photos next time I promise. I did finish one of the mittens intended for Toby ... but it is to small in the thumb. My plan is to knit the second mitten and make the thumb longer, adding more of the fish skeleton pattern to do so.

And I'm still loving the paw print on the reverse of these. They were mostly knit on the plane trip the the UK .. but it was a little bumpy on the return trip so I opted to knit the blanket. Plus I was tired by then, I didn't want to have to worry about charts bumping around on my knee.

so ... all in all a little more than I expected to buy, especially the books, but nothing I regret, and a lot to look forward to reading and using.
take care - conference report next post :D


KathyR said...

Very nice purchases! Those books will keep you occupied for some time to come. Sad to hear of the loss of your handspun project AND the knitting bag, I'm presuming - some people will take anything not nailed down. A lovely substitution, though.

Renee said...

Great purchases. Oh, that mishap and missing project just made me cringe. So sorry to hear that!
Mitts are adorable. :)

Knitting Linguist said...

I am looking forward to hearing about your experiences with the knitting belt. I've thought about trying one myself ( there's a class at the fiber festival I'm going to in a few weeks, but I don't have time to take it, gr), so I'll be glad ot hear your thoughts. All of those books look amazing. I have long wanted the rag pile book (as i tend to think of it); maybe it's time to invest!