~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ Ginny at small things

Yarn-along: July 31, 2013

Yarn-along: July 31, 2013

Greetings on this final day of July 2013 … I can NOT believe how fast this summer has gone by (and we didn’t even go anywhere!) But here I am, 63 degrees outside with a touch of morning fog, ready to start the day of hauling kids hither-and-yon.

In some ways, I can’t wait for school to start back up … it would make my days less hectic!

But you didn’t come to hear me kvetch… you came to see the knitting and books, yes?

Let’s start with the books — I have four (well, five actually) that I want to mention this morning that are particularly note-worthy (and you just might want to add them to your knitting library, too):

  1. Knitting Counterpanes from Mary Walker Phillips has been reprinted and expanded a bit. This classic work on lace-knitting (specifically applied to the knitted “coverlets” of the 19th and early 20th centuries) is a treasure trove of gorgeous knitting patterns that I’ll be adapting for use in shawls, tops, lap blankets and anywhere else I can think of. Phillips did the knitting-world a great service when she spent years collecting these patterns from all over the world. It’s a fascinating history story! But the history is even more awesome when you realize how adaptable these patterns are to fashions today. Although Phillips did her swatches on 0-2 size needles with “crochet thread” … I’ll be using nothing smaller than a 4 and yarn that will start with fingering/sock. Which leads me to my next three books:
  2. Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski and the Knitters Guide to Hand-dyed and Variegated Yarns by Lorna Miser are wonderfully full of tips, tricks and techniques for knitting with hand-painted yarns — something we carry lots of at Dog House Yarns! The colors of hand-painted/indie-dyer type yarns are amazing … the combinations or tonality of the different yarn-dyers are well-kept secrets. But sometimes, in actually using these yarns, we have surprising (and often, unwelcome) results — pooling, striping, or a riot of color. Both of these books are great for explaining how best to use them — the sock one from Carol Sulcoski has great tips (and designs) specifically for sock-knitters, but her information is pertinent for ANY knitting. Miser’s book goes beyond sock-knitting and gives a wealth of practical information for getting the most out of these unique treasures!
  3. Another book by Carol Sulcoski, Sock Yarn Studio, shows the knitter just some of the infinite possibilities for using sock yarn for non-sock knitting! This book opens up a world of possibilities for using sock yarn to create unique hand-knits … and all that wonderful hand-painted yarn you’ve got in your stash can now be worn out-and-about instead of hidden away in your shoes/boots!
  4. The final book on my reading pile, Judith Durant’s Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders, develops this theme of using sock yarn for more than socks — but the cool thing about this book is that all the designs use only one skein of yarn — so you can really destash. And just in time for holiday knit-gifting! Cool, huh?
    Now, as for knitting … I did finish and posted my shawl pattern I mentioned last week. The Yarn Has Spoken shawl has been a popular addition to my lace-poncho designs. Here it is on moi so you can see the length and how pretty it looks with a high-contrast color underneath …
    The Yarn Has Spoken shawl

    The Yarn Has Spoken shawl

    I also finished the hot-water bottle “sweater” I showed last week and sent it off and it was warmly received. I’ll be posting that pattern later this week. The pattern is now available on Ravelry and Craftsy for immediate download. Check it out — I think it will be make great gift-knitting!

    The knitting in the picture up at the top is a shawl I’m working up in Trendsetter’s Ascot — a new, superwash wool that knits up so nicely. I did a swatch of it for June’s TNNA conference

    Trendsetter's ASCOT

    Trendsetter’s ASCOT

    but this shawl will be a different pattern … a tonal “argyle” design with a lacy border.

    So what are you knitting and reading … wanna come play over at Ginny’s …

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