a girl and her boy

. daily life : wool obsession : bibliomania : living on purpose .

Knitting through the Holidays

My brother-in-law is packing up his car to head back up the highway to Veazie today. The tree’s lights haven’t been turned on in two days; it may come down later tonight. It’s the dolldrums after the holiday rush. I look forward to the process of settling back into everyday rhythms. It’s not that I find the holidays unpleasant; they simply upset my delicate balance.

Knitting is one of the activities that helps me keep that balance and I’ve been knitting a lot.

For my birthday, on top of a delicious meal and a dozen roses, Allan got me the best gift ever:  The Knitter’s Book of Yarn.

The Knitter's Book of Yarn

The Knitter's Book of Yarn

This book has been on my list since it was published. It’s amazing. All the positive reviews don’t do it justice. This book is magic. I love it. From this book, I added the following projects to my wishlist:

Girly Tee

Girly Tee

This is Girly Tee by Lana Hames on page 157. It’s a basic knitted tee. And that outfit is totally my style, too. I’d probably knit it up in a rich plum color. Yum. Plum.

Vines Cardigan

Vines Cardigan

And who wouldn’t love an angora cardigan as soft and as lovely as this? Another dream list project. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll splurge for this project over the summer. This one is designed by Amy King.

Cabled Swing Cardi

Cabled Swing Cardi

I love this cardi (Allan  hates that word, but I like it) by Norah Gaughan. No surprise here, though, I love all of her designs. I’d make this in a rich berry color or a rich green. And I love that the pattern is designed with Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I use Ultra Alpaca for nearly all of my projects.

Hexacomb Cardigan

Hexacomb Cardigan

After getting this book, reading it cover to cover three times and dreaming of the wonderful projects, I got yet another wonderful knitting related birthday gift:  my mother-in-law took me yarn shopping! I picked up 5 hanks of Bali in a berry color (81) and 1 hank in a cream color (04) to make Hexacomb. I can’t wait to wear it this spring. I plan on casting on for this probably around February vacation, if not sooner. I have a lot of projects in the mix that I want to finish before starting this one.

On top of the Bali, I picked up two skeins of Plymouth Yarn Sockin’ Sox (60% superwash wool, 25% bamboo, 15% nylon) to make more socks for me and Allan. I love knitting socks. I love how portable and quick they are. And I love the satisfaction of wearing handknit socks. I rarely have bad days when I wear handknit socks. It’s like wearing lingerie under clothing, no one knows but you and it makes you feel super-special. It’s awesome.

Capn Crunch

Cap'n Crunch

And if that craziness wasn’t enough, I picked up a skein of Manos del Uruguay from Fiberphilia when they were having their Thanksgiving Day sale to make Cap’n Crunch by Jennifer Adams. I cast on for that yesterday after I finished Justin’s Norwegian Star and my Ridiculously-Huge Tam made out of wool dyed at Spunky Eclectic and spun by a colleague of mine. She gave it to me as a Christmas gift – from one fiber-head to another! 🙂

ridiculously-huge tam

ridiculously-huge tam

another view of the ridiculously-huge tam

another view of the ridiculously-huge tam

I’m getting my inner hippy on with this hat. I love it. I’ve been wearing it ever since I finished it off yesterday. And as a side note, it’s not really that orange and bright in real-life. I have horrible lighting in this house and the bathroom bulbs throw off a yellow light that made it look far more orange than it is.

Are you ready for the ultimate knitting gift? I got this the day after Christmas when we had our family christmas party here (more on that soon) from Allan’s grandmother, Sallie. In her day, she was a knitter, a hooker, a dyer and a spinner. She taught classes on how to dye wool with plants gathered from the wild. She used to do spinning demonstrations. I met Allan a year after she donated her huge stash, all her wheels and spindles, and all her dying materials to a local history museum. She wishes she’d have waited a little bit. Oh well.

But anyway, Grammie is always on the lookout for cool knitting related items for me. And she struck gold. She found a first-edition  hand-numbered mint-condition copy of Arans – A Saga in Wool by Lee-lee Schlegel published in 1980.

Arans - A Saga in Wool by Lee-lee Schlegel

Arans - A Saga in Wool by Lee-lee Schlegel

This book is absolutely amazing. It’s a study of the history, origins and development of the Aran Island gansey and its ornamentation (from the cover of the book). I haven’t dared to crack it open yet because I don’t know if I’m ready to handle the wealth of knowledge contained within. I’m working up my courage to do so after tea today.

So that’s the majority of the knitting related content of the last few weeks. I hope to do a life stuff update soon (maybe tomorrow?).

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2 responses to “Knitting through the Holidays

  1. LittleWit December 28, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    The Knitters Book of Yarn is great! I plan to make time this year to actually read through the book cover to cover. I also have a few patterns from the book I want to make. 🙂 Nice score from Grammie! It’s wonderful to have other fiber heads in the family. 🙂

  2. Jen December 29, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    The Aran book is as amazing as I thought! The author goes in to her feelings about the sea and her family’s connection to the ocean. Absolutely wonderful!

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