Last week I had a chance to spend some time in the San Juan Islands, in the NW corner of Washington state. I have a deep love for this group of islands, so I was grateful for the belated-birthday present that let me stay in Friday Harbor for a few days. Those are the Olympic Mountains in the background. We had one lovely day and several gray ones:
I used three motifs from Selbuvotter by Terri Shea and four colors of Dalegarn Tiur to create this rather large stocking. When I began knitting in 1997, I made stockings for John and Shadow. A few years later, Gingko picked out yarn for her special holiday stocking. But somehow I'd never made one for myself until now. (I had won the red and white yarn in a raffle at the Seattle Knitter's Guild along with a copy of Folk Knitting in Estonia; I added the dark and light olive greens.)
I'm rather proud of the braiding detail--you can just see it on either side of the red band near the toe and at the base of the cuff. I have always been irritated by traditional braiding techniques--tangles and irregular tension were the inevitable results--so I got around these problems by casting off and then picking up in the bump behind the two sides of the cast off row. In the past I have frequently used the "pick up in the far side of the cast off row" to create a raised line that looks like embroidery; this time, I decided to try forcing the cast-off row to turn outward. I'm pleased with the result, which adds that 3-D touch that I find so charming.
This "slim volume" from Meg Swansen and Joyce Williams arrived last week! This technique, which involves regular trapping of the carried color throughout the garment, has enormous potential for people who love stranded knitting. The book has some 11 patterns that show the range of design possibilities--the garments do not come in a wide range of sizes; for the most part, I see the charts and construction notes as stepping off points for adventurous knitters. Joyce's Olive Branch in particular calls to me. Meg notes that gauge in Armenian knitting differs from gauge in standard stranded knitting, so three "swatch" hat patterns are offered. 80 pages; hardback. Available from Schoolhouse Press.
Well, I succumbed. I have already found many uses for this amazing "database" of knitters and their obsessions. You can find me as (what else) Feralknitter.
I have just finished an excellent book by Michael Perry called Truck: A Love Story. The blurb on the back of the book caught my attention: "Hilarious and heartfelt, Truck: A Love Story is the tale of a man struggling to grow his own garden, fix his old pickup, and resurrect a love life permanently impaired by Neil Diamond." When I realized that the book was set in rural Wisconsin, a place that I love, well, I've purchased new books with less provocation. Perry is a very good writer, funny and thought provoking. Plus I have lusted after an old pick up for a long long time...