Sunday, December 19, 2004

me and my trusty 17's

Oh, I love my 17's!

In the past week, the two of us (my trusty 17's and I) have churned out 10 scarves. Just simple garter stitch, ma'am, but combining two or three yarns make for plenty of textural and color interest.

I've been knitting during intermission of our Holiday concerts and several people stop to feel the fabric and comment on the colors. My favorite combination is Kertzer Ranee and Crystal Palace Fizz. Add my trusty Daisy 17's and it's a delicious recipe for a quick holiday gift.

Did you finish the sweater, Afton? I haven't even touched the one I'm knitting. Too many quick little gifts to knit first. After Christmas, I'm determined to get in some good knitting time and finish the two sweaters I have on my needles.

umm.... don't hold your breath, though.


Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I hate my knitting

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!!!!!

Complain, moan, gripe, whine, whine, whine.

Look, I really, really, really wanted to finish the "never ending sweater" for Hanukkah this year. It didn't make last year with the various upheavels in my life but this year I was going to make it! And I'm on the second sleeve, everything else is made, except for the very short collar. And it's in the round so I don't even have to really sew it up.

But I swear, I have torn out rows CONTINUALLY with this sleeve. I just lost a good inch because the double seed was wrong, and no, probably nobody else could see it but dang it, I knew it was wrong!

(Fill in your favorite curse word here)

Well, back I go and maybe I will start to celebrate Christmas just to be able to give this gift away!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Knitting (Not) in Old London Towne

It already seems like my trip to London was a month ago rather than just 10 days ago. To a certain extent this trip also proved to me how much I've lost my yarnaholic tendencies-I didn't buy a single ball of yarn.

Dedicated yarn shops have more or less disappeared from central London over the last 8 years and in spite of being in both Selfridge's and John Lewis (although only for a very short time in each store, as this wasn't a shopping trip), the only yarn department I ended up visiting was the one in Liberty of London, which, unfortunately, was rather a disappointment. From being in the same light-filled room as the rest of the needlework department, the yarn department has been pushed into a corner of the main Tudor building, which is very, very dark because of both the lack of windows and the heavy, dark wood which makes up the floors and ceilings. On the side of good news, I think this development came about because of the lack of space for all the available yarn in the other room, but honestly they could have done something about providing better lighting. (The only available lighting came from track spotlights overhead-ugh.)

The overwhelming majority of yarn for sale at Liberty is made by Rowan, which has been the case for yonks (many years). It was fun to see all the yarn spread out in their cubicles, recognizing some old favorites (Wool Cotton being one) and many new ones. Like many other yarn companies, the shift at Rowan seems to be towards big or quick-knitting yarn, though there does seem to be a tendency to recycle old yarns into new ones, like Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply taking the place of Donegal Tweed (although we'll never see the huge number of shades that were available in Donegal's heyday).

If I were a beginning knitter and didn't know Rowan's past glory, my opinion would probably be very different than what it is, and, of course, there is still quite a bit of Rowan left in my stash. (When the word went out that they were going to discontinue Donegal, I snapped up about 4 patterns worth, which is still waiting to be knit up.) Even thumbing through the Rowan magazines available at Liberty didn't stir up my excitement like they used to do; so many of the designs look to me like reworkings of older ones or are aimed at the newer knitter, which was one of the reasons I let my Rowan subscription expire.

To me, it does seem odd that with England's woolly past, knitting is not more popular than it is on first glance, at least in London. There were certainly many, many shops offering knitted accessories, though I have a feeling that the articles for sale weren't made in the UK. Maybe I'm completely off on this assessment and would be thrilled if one of our UK visitors would set me straight. But for the meantime, at least to my eyes, knitting in the UK has about the same popularity as it does here in Israel, meaning it's still reserved for grannies making a jumper/sweater or waistcoat/vest for their grandchild. And, of course, there's nothing wrong with that either. :)

Sunday, December 05, 2004


I've been knitting during the Nutcracker intermissions, as I said I would, and so far, I've completed a Noro hat, and a Fizz/Ranee scarf and another Noro hat are on the needles. Now I wish I had a few more to play just so I can knit.