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Monday, August 27, 2007

  Monday Morning Mirth  

Even though we are not scared of Dancing, especially the divine Chank-a-Chank, we have decided we are Scared of These,
in general, any that cross our path, famous or otherwise.

(Previously we were only intensely neurotic about these but more time on the Streets this Summer meeting the Local Talent, recently graduated, has broadened our horizons…)


Friday, August 24, 2007

. . . more from Chic Knits TGIF Library . . .

 

Temperance writes: “Yummy yarn, love the green, but the red is truly luscious. I am feeling ignorant, however, rare breed yarn? How is it different / better then common sheep yarn?”

It took a tour of a barnful of sheep at the first fiber fest I went to for me to realize just how many types of wool might be in the world.

I’d really never thought of it before!

Indeed. Just what Fiber had traveled my Handiwork Highway? Well. Merino Definitely. Hmm. Shetland — actually owned and wore many cabled sweaters in high school. Uhm.

That’s IT!

Yet out in the greater world, the world of Alice Starmore, Gladys Thompson or Shelagh Hollingworth, there were many other types of wool: Bainin, Harris, Guernsey, and more — and they might not have been made from the same breed of sheep.

I became interested on a personal level a few seasons ago when I started making sweaters to work outdoors in. I’ve worked as a photographer for many years and my *uniform* between October and May (!) is a long-sleeved black turtleneck, cabled aran-weight sweater topped by a black or dark brown down vest. (Colorful scarves rescue my femininity from oblivion!)

It quickly became apparent that many of the wools out there for handknitting were not up to rigors so I started the Quest for the Worker Yarn. I was especially romantic about Bluefaced Leicester and Wensleydale Long Wool, both produced from small flocks in the U.K. hence the *rare breed* designation. A spinner friend of mine told me about this book:

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In Sheep’s Clothing

This tome is a most useful handbook. Although it’s subtitle is “A Handspinner’s Guide to Wool”, for a knitter, it is a most enjoyable and enthusiastic introduction to the fold.

Breed information is presented in chapters by wool types and then a sample of each fleece is pictured with details about their characteristics.

All in all a most informative read and bookshelf staple.

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Summer 2007 in the USA has been filled with romance. Even if your dance card isn’t too full, chances are your closet is! Everywhere I go, I see skirts, ballet flats, ribbon-tied wedgies, slip-dresses, and lace.

And we have in our house, a designer most accomplished in the language of lovely sentimental knitting:

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Romantic Hand Knits

The incredible Annie Modesitt has put together a collection of 26 designs of the most feminine sort. Here you will find lace, ruffles, texture and color combining in ways that charm and enchance the wearer.

Annie calls romance “falling in love with life” and her designs reflect the joy of the female form. There are flirtatious trimmed wraps; cabled and laced tops; fitted, fetching skirts and wonderful accesories you will not see anywhere else. I am especially in love with a hat called “High Society” a ribbon-trimmed lace cloche.

Form and function with beauty is what we love about clothes. Making them is what knitters love doing.

“Romantic Knits” gives you the blueprints and palette to create your own masterpiece.

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the Chic Knits TGIF Library is always open HERE. . .


Thursday, August 22, 2007

Why travel miles & miles to a field
in the middle of the country?

Well. There’s the Country.
Good Lookin’ State, Michigan!

and then there’s

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the YARN (and sheep, but of course.)

I had a plan. Yes. I did. ;p

Last year, I’d used Shelridge Farms Soft Touch WW for a sample (a short-sleeved Ribby Pulli) and loved it. I wanted more! But Buffy Taylor and her mate were off on the fest circuit and it was just as easy to go to the mountain, etc. etc. etc.

AND, wonders of wonders, when you visit in person, you also visit the COLORS. This is called Heath and I swear! This was an intended gettee before Meg gifted me with these lovely lovely earrings she made:

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Thanks Meg! Beautiful Beads! Love those little green apples!

Behind the green, there’s a cone of Ebony Jaggerspun Merino/Tussah. I have 2800 yards of Lace Weight scored at a penny a yard. Hmm. Let’s go SHAWLING! Hey

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