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  • knitting1105 9:30 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Japanese Knitting – A Review 

    A couple of weeks before we traveled to Japan, which was 5 years ago now, I took a course with Donna Druchunas on understanding Japanese knitting patterns.  While taking a class years ago with CookieA (remember her?, I think that she has gone undercover), she told me that the Japanese pattern books were a great inspiration for her sock designs.  So, when we were going to Japan I wanted to purchase some Japanese knitting books of course, and needed to know how to read/use them.  I would highly recommend the class by Donna if she is still teaching it.  That started my love of and collecting Japanese knitting books.  I could go into many reasons why I love them, but this post by SkeinYarn says it all.

    I recently acquired the book Japanese Knitting – Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More. This was shipped to me right at publication time.  Although, I just saw it cheaper at Target.  Who knew that Target carried knitting books?!  After taking the class in the spring on Japanese knitting techniques, I was anxious to get this new book. 

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    So, when the book came, I was excited ot open it.  This is one of the top Japanese designers, and I do love the attention to detail and aesthetics that they have.  When I opened the front cover, I loved the hand drawn designs for each project:

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    And I do like and appreciate how all of the stitches used are standardized, which makes going from one designer to another very easy.

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    But, my disappointment came with the patterns.  They are very boxy, and the majority of them are Crochet patterns.  While I do know how to crochet, quite proficiently, I prefer knitting for many reasons.  This book should have really been titled Japanese Knitting and Crochet.  Having looked at Japanese knitting books I do know that they call crochet books knitting books.  I expect that when seeing them in their own language, but not with a translation.  I know, I know, there is a byline at the top that states Knitting and Crochet, I just did not expect 1/2 of it to be crochet.  And, the irony is that my favorite pattern is crochet!

    That said, here are a couple of pages from the book.

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    Word of advise to myself, pursue the book in person before purchasing it if at all possible.  I will keep this book, but it is just not what I was hoping for.  The few patterns in the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible book were more what I thought I would be getting, a rich attention to detail and complicated stitch patterns.

    That said, my favorite project at the moment is this crocheted stole.  Just might have to pick up a hook again.

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  • knitting1105 3:10 pm on March 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Yarn Genius 

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  • knitting1105 10:43 pm on February 18, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Repairs 

    I hate repairing knitted items, but there comes a time when the pile becomes so big, and I look at all of that effort sitting unloved, and I delve into it.  A bit at a time.

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    This is one of the items that I repaired, one of my sheep hats had holes in the bottom band, it was too much to simply darn, so I opted to rip it back and knit the bottom with a color that closely matched the dark sheep.  I think that my repair came out well, and I have had this hat for the cold weather.

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    This hat was made with handspan, it is a Brioche.  I loved it, so it also had the band cut off and a new one knit up.  Luckily I still had some of the yarn.

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    Unfortunately, there are some issues at the top now, perhaps a function of my handspan not being stable enough.  I am putting the rest of this away to think about how to fix it.

    And lastly, I had a couple of holes in this beautiful shawl, Volt, by Grace Anna Farrow. Fortunately this was a simple darning, as it is one of my favorite shawls.

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    There is more to repair, I am trying ot tackle them one at a time.  I think that if I do 1 =or 2 a week I will slowly chip away at the pile.

     
    • M-R 2:05 pm on March 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Gobsmacking stuff ! – I’m full of admiration. 🙂

      Like

      • knitting1105 1:38 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you!!! You are so sweet.

        Like

  • knitting1105 10:04 am on January 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Idle Moments 

    Knitting keeps me sane, whether at a meeting, standing in a line, or riding in a car.  I listen better when I knit, and for those times I normally choose very simple patterns that do not require a lot of thought or planning.

    While on vacation, my son-in-law was surprised that on a relatively short drive to my son’s house (10-15 minutes), that I pulled out my knitting and started away.  I explained that much knitting was accomplished in those few, otherwise idle moments, when you add them all up together.  That got me to wondering how many socks, mittens, and dishcloths I had knit by capturing time whenever I can.  I will never know, but I do know that these items were knit catching snippets of time, Idle Moments.IMG_2624IMG_2625

    I think that most knitters do this, that is what makes this craft more advantageous than others, the portability.

     
    • salpal1 6:12 pm on January 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I agree! I listen better when knitting, and a row here and there really adds up!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Connie 3:30 am on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Hi, when I was at school we defended our “knitting in class” by claiming that we can listen better when knitting and our teachers surrendered (it was the anti-authoritarian time …)

      Now, today, as a trained teacher I doubt that you can concentrate better when knitting IN ALL SITUATIONS. Watching TV – series or sitting in a train, it’s clear because there is no intellectual challenge around you which asks for attention

      When there is a lecture with compex content I would not want to have any knitters in the audience, I also would ask to switch off mobiles etc.

      “I think that most knitters do this,” … you are not absolutely right. To knit dishclothes is not a habit everywhere, I don’t know any knitter (or at least knitter around me) who uses knitted dishclothes or who knits them. Here in Europe, most knitters which I know are wondering about knitted dishclothes, most see them as “unhygienic”

      Cheers, Connie

      Like

      • knitting1105 12:03 pm on January 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Connie, thanks for your long comment and for reading my blog.

        First, when I said “I think that most knitters do this…” I was referring to having small knitting projects at hand to make use of those idle moments. I have knit many items during this time, including those dishcloths. I never made dishcloths until a few years ago, and have gifted most of them. People seem to like them and ask for more, some use them as washcloths. Interesting that this is a US thing. Socks are another favorite of mine to always have at hand for those short moments.

        I also teach, at the local Community College, and while I have cell phones turned off, I knit during meetings and some classes that I am taking or observing. It is at those times that I knit the easy, no need to think about projects, most of which I can knit without looking. Knitting does help me to focus and listen to a lecture or discussion at a meeting. I know a lot of other knitters and crocheters who say the same, but not everyone. I dread the thought of being on a jury without my knitting!

        Home time is for those complicated projects.

        Happy Knitting!

        Frances

        Like

    • evilandrea 9:35 am on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It’s really interesting to hear other people find they listen better when they knit. I have recently started taking knitting to work because when I have to listen to recordings for quality or dispute I find I can do it better and am more focused with a needle in each hand.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 3:52 pm on November 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Socks by Bob 

    On Black Friday, I think that it is time to think of others, and not consumerism.  Bob epitomizes that.  Love this story.

     
  • knitting1105 10:45 am on November 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    From one Generation to the Next 

    A couple of years ago, long before marriages or grandchildren were on my radar, I packed up a lot of Ethan and Sofia’s sweaters that I had made for them when they were little, and sent them off for nieces and nephews to use.  When Ethan announced that they were expecting, I knew that I needed this sweater back.  In fact, Dan asked about it as it was the one that he wore the most.

    I can still picture him in this, in fact I need to find a photo of him in it.  I love the little hearts all over it.  There was a companion one that is packed away that was made for Sofia in multiple colors (she was 6 and took the sweater and then told me not to knit anything else for her!).

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    This sweater was also knit for Ethan at about the same time, although he did not wear it as extensively.

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    And this was a bit earlier.  My knitting skills have improved greatly since this.

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    And these 3 sweaters date back to Sofia.

    A lovely purple cotton summer sweater

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    A creamy white pullover

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    And this sweater which is nice and warm and cuddly.

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    And, there were a few sweaters that never made the cut to be saved.  I am surprising myself at how prolific I was even with 2 little kids, and watching another to boot.   It is amazing the memories that flood back looking at these sweaters.  Hoping that this new generation cherishes them as much.

     

     
  • knitting1105 4:30 pm on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Haunting 

    Abandoned buildings have always intrigued me, especially ones where it looked like someone just walked away one day.  When I was a teenager, my best friend and I would take day long rides on our horses.   The memory of an abandoned house in the woods that we would often go to is still there.  Seeing these photos of this abandoned textile mill from the UK brought back those childhood memories.

    It looks like the door was just closed one day and nobody ever remembered to open it.

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    • Diane F Hamilton 9:12 pm on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, and the magic you could have done with all that yarn.

      Like

    • Elaine 6:31 pm on November 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Makes you wonder what happened to make the owners and staff walk out the door one day and never come back.

      Like

  • knitting1105 2:18 pm on October 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Birthday Recap 

    Every year some of the September 22nd Birthday Ravelry friends get together for a birthday exchange.  It is one of my favorite things, and I look forward to it every year.  Who doesn’t want a fellow knitter to splurge on goodies for them?

    This year I was spoiled again.  First there was a gift for Francoise (me) and Mr. Francoise:

    Birthday Gifts 2017

    We are expecting our first Grandchild in December, and these gifts were truly special.  I wish that I had the same books filled out by my parents.  So many questions that I would love to have asked.

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    Next was some beautiful yarn, and some gorgeous fiber to spin.  I need to find a special pattern for the gorgeous lace yarn.

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    Then a cool small project bag, to go with the large project bag from last year’s exchange.

    Birthday Gifts 2017

    And a handwoven coaster that is sitting on my desk at school.

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    I got to open this and a couple of gifts from friends before heading out to Michigan and sitting on the beach for a historically hot weekend.  I had never swum in Lake Michigan on my Birthday.  Blessed.

    And, in looking back at my posts from the past year, I could not find where I had posted about last years exchange.  That was a hectic Fall, and I was late in getting my gift out.  Here was the loot from last year too, which includes a large Ravelry project bag:

    Birthday Gifts 2016

    Birthday Gifts 2016

    Birthday Gifts 2016

     
    • Michelle Metes 5:46 pm on October 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      So nice to have friends to share your interests with, who know exactly what you’d like for an yearly occasion like this.
      Congratulations on your upcoming Grammahood! ☺️

      Like

  • knitting1105 7:46 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Gaining Perspective 

    It was just a sweater, a bit of time knitting and some yarn.  I posted a week ago about the red wine that my husband had spilt on my knitting.  Then Harvey hit, and I saw the poor helpless women sitting in wheelchairs as the waters rose.  My problems are small and 1st world.

    Thankfully, those women are safe and dry, although most likely traumatized.  Here is a photo of them in their new location.

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    This blog is about knitting, so here is my sweater, almost finished.  Some of the wine washed out, some of it stayed.  I tried putting salt on it, but my veggie flake Pink Himalayan salt may not have helped the case.  A friend suggested ripping it back, but the spots were all over the place, so that was not an option. I am almost done with the knitting, then I will soak it in OXO and cross my fingers.

     
    • Jane 10:12 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      If they don’t come out I would suggest dying it. Even a light tea dye would cover it I hope that lady kept her knitting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 7:20 am on August 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I was pleased to see them all safe and dry as well. As for your sweater – soak the whole darned thing in red wine! Or, maybe you have created the thing I always thought to – a shirt that I purposely splotched with grape jelly, ketchup, mustard, oil. Then wash. Then wear like it was meant to be that way and never worry about spilling again. But I hope that you haven’t. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 6:32 pm on August 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        the red wine soak is funny. If only it was not a light green base….

        Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 9:02 pm on August 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    So sad 

    This is one of the saddest photos that I have seen of the mess that the Hurricane has been racking on Texas.  This senior home was flooded, and the residents were sitting in the water before help arrived.  One of the women was knitting, that would be my way of staying calm.

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    Thankfully they were all rescued. Airlifted out.  This shouldn’t have happened.  Stay safe Texas.

    Oh, those global warming deniers, just ask those who got over 30″ of rain.

     
    • casbah3d 11:29 pm on August 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Just can’t wrap my head around this. Just can’t. In my home town, in the early 80’s, we had a terrible snow storm. The snow mobile club brought staff in to the county home in which I worked. I volunteered to be picked up and a guy pulled in and off we went! I worked in food service then, instead of the recreation therapy that has been the other half of my life. There were cereal boxes strewn throughout the kitchen as the night shift prepared breakfast for 180 people. Cots in the corridor for staff. We all chipped in. I got paid triple time that day because I wasn’t scheduled and it was an emergency. I don’t understand why these fellow humans had to wait. I don’t understand why they weren’t evacuated as a preemptive strike for their own safety. Heartbreaking.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane Hamilton 1:27 am on August 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      That is very sad, you just wonder why they weren’t moved sooner. Hope they will all be okay.

      Liked by 1 person

    • tonymarkp 9:59 am on August 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I hope those people will be OK. What a terrible thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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