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Relax just do it July 1, 2010

This last year has been really great! Traveling around the country a little more than I usually do, I’ve met and chatted with a lot of knitters in different parts of the country, from different parts of the country.

What’s really intriguing to me right now, as the temperatures climb back up the scale here in the Big Windy, is what Warm Weather Knitters are doing and making. I’m putting the finishing touches on some wool-work for the Fall collection and I’m just more and more curious about those who knit in climates where wool would be INSANE because its making me more than a little crazy to touch the stuff right now! My knitting is usually different from others because I’m on an off-set deadline merry-go-round of releases where nothing is in-sync with what the weather is actually doing. Viva la mode!

But I still like to sneak in the occasional personal project and this I Know: Even though for a lot of the year in Chicago, we are overheated to compensate for the COLD, come summertime, we suddenly FREEZE ourselves indoors to compensate for whatever WARMTH is shining down on us outside (and, my friends, it fries). This IS one of our sweet mysteries of life!

What this means is that you can never be without something to protect yourself from the often sudden attack of the air conditioning; that we all need a little something to ward off the best intentions of over-zealous building managers everywhere!

A few weeks ago, I went to the Oriental Theatre to see “Billy Elliot” and proactively brought a cotton shrug with me to ward off the inevitable chill.

But how did I reallly end up wearing it? Over my shoulders like a stole! Even in its smaller size, it protected my bare arms (sleeveless to endure what was really going on Outside) inside the building enough to make the light bulb go on!

Why didn’t I have a Stole?

Having made only one shawl in my life, I’ve realized that perhaps they are not my cup-o-tea. But stoles? I’ve started (and flaked) on a couple. One stalled and disappeared back to stash because I made it too wide and it became oppressively heavy. It became this instead. The other is still in progress and I hope to re-catch the Muse at some point and finish it.

But what also dawned on me at the show (my mind was drifting a lot because there was a Big Barrel-Headed Guy sitting in front of me blocking my view for most of the performance and it was like listening to a radio show so I automatically began multi-tasking) was that I really liked what I’d made my shrug from: mercerized cotton.

So, to reward myself for the Marathon that is TNNA and releasing a Fall Collection, I got some more, this time in a sportweight: Elann “Lara” in a lovely lovely Navy Blue they call 308 Marine.


My plan? An urban, chic stole to wear over the collection of sleeveless dresses and looks already in the house. Will this translates to a little lace? Maybe a little texture?

And like being too rich or too thin, one cannot have too many stitch dictionaries…

I recently got this in the mail:
Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume 5

This is the 5th book in the Vogue Stitchionary series and I must say, it is my favorite! (And so nice of them to shoot some of the pictures in the same color that my yarn is! Heh!) This volume is packed full of gorgeous lace work.

The instructions include both charted and written out versions so the knitter can relate easily to their favorite presentation without fussing about.

I especially like the clear photography of the samples. Lately, and clue me in on why, some of the books I’ve seen have rather blurred, non-professional pictures – maybe the paper? maybe the post-processing? (in a recent one, all of the pictures had a weird yellow cast).

This edition has wonderful example pix that in many of the entries are a 4×4 swatch! The charts use standard, simple symbols with the same no-clutter look that I use on my charts: easy to read and legible. Unique stitches are explained and each entry has a stitch key right by its instructions, so there’s no waffling back and forth in the book trying to decipher the charts.

But my favorite thing is there’s quite a few renditions I have not seen before and that’s very nice. Well done Vogue!

If you would like to have a copy of this book, leave a comment saying hello below and we’ll draw a random winner on July 18!

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