In this worrisome season, it's nice to find a few distractions (just a few! I think that anyone who is distracted in this all-important political season--by faux-feminism, by outright lies, by short-sighted, self-serving and calculating promises of economic cure without pain, i.e., taxes--is a fool of the worst sort and ought to sit out the election).
Oh, where was I? Sorry. Just a little anxious. Four good things for feral knitters! First of all, a set of books filled with wonderful, inspiring charts that can easily be adapted for stranded knitting. Valerie Lejeune has collected charts in several volumes--some hoarded birthday money allowed me to indulge in two of them: Repertoire des Frises ("frises" are borders--the online dictionary defined it as "freeze," which cracked me up: obviously they meant "frieze") and Repertoire des Motifs.
Each book has more than 1100 charts. Here are two random page pairs from Repertoire des Frises:
Embroidery charts can be a bit deceiving for knitters when they show the chart in more than one color. There is an easy way to check out how the chart would look without that distraction: just photocopy at high contrast or scan/photograph, remove the color in Photoshop or anyother picture editing program, and up the contrast to produce a black&white version:
I purchased these books from Threadneedle Street in Issaquah, Washington. I just phoned them and the books were at my door in two days. (There are several other books by this author--click the link at your own risk!)
Repertoire des Frises by Valerie Lejeune ISBN 2 84270 409 6; paperback; 205 pages; $44
Repertoire des Motifs by Valerie Lejeneu ISBN 2 84270 378 2; paperback; 225 pages; $44
In French, by the way, but charts know no boundaries....
TWO: Jamieson's Spindrift is ADDING colors to their line!
Here are the first four: Hairst (Autumn); Marjoram; Charcoal; and Eggshell (my photo does not do them justice). The first two are familiar names to those who try to re-create classic Alice Starmore designs. These are already in stock at Two Swans Yarns, and I expect other retailers will be carrying them, too. The distributor says that more colors are coming!
THREE: For those who enjoy lace, a new learn-along project is coming up at Schoolhouse Press: Amy Detjen's Pansy Shawl. Amy has designed a Faroese-shaped shawl knit from the side that incorporates short-row shaping and the centered eyelet that she devised. Introductory material has already been posted; the project itself launches on October 1. I've got some handspun set aside for this.
FOUR: The teaser for the Madrona Fiber Arts retreat in Tacoma this February has been posted. Lots of wonderful teachers--and this is only a teaser, there's more to come. I will be teaching the 1-day Color in Fair Isle class (only once, though, so if you want to take it be on the ball at registration time!). I offered to teach a Speed Cabling class ....
As for me, I've set aside non-stranded knitting for a while. Clearly I'm not capable of it (see the Speed Cable post for evidence). I've started the Redbud Vest and couldn't be more happy: