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  • knitting1105 9:07 pm on November 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Shetland knitting, Shetland knitting history, The Vintage Shetland Project   

    The Vintage Shetland Project 

    I have taken to reading my knitting books, and not just looking at the patterns.  Last year, for my birthday we went to Michigan and stayed at the beach.  On the beach I met a young girl who was Lithuanian.  My conversation with her got my husband and I to talking about Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.  At lunch the next day we were sitting talking about the different root languages of each culture and history, when a family sitting next to us asked if were talking about Estonia.  We said yes, and they said that they were Estonian.  In fact, the woman’s father taught Estonian history and culture at Indiana University.  We proceeded to discuss Estonia and their history with them, and she asked how I knew so much about the history of Estonia.  And I said it was through my knitting books!

    A recent book purchase is The Vintage Shetland Project.

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    I absolutely loved this book, I cannot say enough good things about it.  Here is the description from the publishers:

    The Vintage Shetland Project, is the culmination of eight years of hard work and personal determination. Inspired by the patterns and colours of Shetland knitting, the fashion historian, author, designer and publisher Susan Crawford began a journey into the rich heritage of Shetland knitwear, and in particular the pieces held in the Shetland Museum archive. With the help of Dr Carol Christiansen, the museum’s curator, Susan undertook the task of carefully selecting the most stunning and original designs from the 1920s to the 1950s, transcribed them stitch by stitch, and has here recreated them for the modern knitter, in stunning detail and a range of sizes for women and men.

    In combination with the collection of 27 comprehensive patterns for garments and accessories are carefully researched essays exploring the stories behind each piece and honouring their creators – some famous, some forgotten. Photographed by Susan on the island of Vaila, situated off the west coast of Shetland, this book also celebrates the untameable beauty of Shetland itself. Compiled with Susan’s trademark attention to detail, this book is a fabulous treasury of Shetland knitting design and a valuable insight into its textile traditions. It offers you the chance to delve into a fascinating era for knitwear design and to bring it to life in stitch-perfect vintage style.

    The meticulously written patterns showcase Susan’s new yarn range, Fenella, created specifically to enable you, the knitter, to perfectly recreate these unique museum pieces. Made using 100% British wool, grown, spun and dyed in Britain, in a range of 26 colours carefully chosen to emulate the shades found in the original vintage pieces.

    The Vintage Shetland Project is a celebration of stunning design, beautiful knitting and the people of Shetland themselves, during a time of local change, international conflict and revolution in the knitting industry.

    The essays in the book were fascinating, the history of the men and women who promoted knitting in the Shetland Islands, and the stories of knitwear.  I am in awe of the research and dedication that went in to writing this book.  It read like the great series of short stories that it is.  All manners of knitting are covered, from how a pattern gets it’s name, a knitting suffragette, the rise and fall of popular designs, a female knitting shop keeper, the influence of rayon, a sweater that goes and returns from WWII POW camp, and more.

    Then, after one is sad that the narrative of knitting in Shetland is over, come the patterns influenced by the history and stories told.

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    Susan has also put together kits for each of the patterns, and choosing is proving difficult.  Each kit comes with Fenella yarn that is British wool and British spun.

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    Here is  a great review of the yarn, which I have yet to see in person.

    This definitely goes down as one of my favorite knitting books.  Buy it before it is out of print!  I got mine at School house Press.

    Now to choose my kit to order…

     

     
  • knitting1105 9:14 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The best Thank you 

     

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    I finished this sweater last spring for my niece Ria for her birthday.  I was especially proud of the shoulder and sleeve shaping, as I used the English tailoring method taught by CocoKnits.

    Ria could not be a better recipient.  (I need a photo of her to insert here from Diane or Jill!)

    This is the thank you note that she sent me.

    I am AHW (Amazing Horse Woman) – thanks Ria!

    Ria is BBW (Blood Bat Woman)

    Jill, Ria’s mom who is a judge herself is RBG (the notorious Ruth Bader Ginsberg)!

    and, Aunt Diane is MSW (Misty Skunk Woman)

    This group of women super heroes can do a lot!

     
    • Diane Hamilton 9:35 am on October 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love her thank you note and she loved your sweater! I was going to just be “Skunk Woman”…I had to convince Ria to add Misty for some flair.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jill Dayal 8:33 pm on November 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      We love your beautiful sweaters! Such a treasure to receive them!

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 7:09 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    WTF?!!! 

    Okay, I am a very political person, and I try my best to restrain myself on this site.  But this has gone too far.  Tariffs now on yarn and fabric imports!  But not on Trump hats and Chinese merchandise!  This is beyond ridiculous.

    Everyone needs to vote in November!!!

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    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-18/crafters-fail-to-sway-trump-as-yarn-fabric-stay-on-tariff-list

     
    • Diane Hamilton 7:43 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That sucks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 3:07 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Only vote in November if you will be voting against Trump and his supporters. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 4:18 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes agreed. I implied that, but should have been specific. Yarn is really a small issue, but it is endemic of a much larger problem. I know that there is some US yarn, and that is great, but I think fabric is a tougher issue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 1:14 pm on September 21, 2018 Permalink

          Yes, you can find usa yarn, but other countries just do a better job making fabric than we do. Just picked up some cute fabric because “ have to get to now, prices are going to increase!

          Liked by 1 person

  • 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

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