~ 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:  February 20, 2013

Yarn-along: February 20, 2013

Well, good morning!

My yarn-along this week is scant on knitted items since I finished everything and I’m just getting ready to start a project. The hat shown here is a wonderful way to swatch for my Drifting Leaves poncho (which I finished earlier this week). The yarn is so gorgeous — a red-wine wool/linen blend that softens after the first blocking and is really a delight. I’ll post this pattern later today … but if you buy the poncho, just email me and I’ll gift you the hat pattern. Cool, huh?

So, what should my next project be: a Poems Sock shawl or a Kudo spring jacket? The Poems, a self-striping riot of color in a superwash/nylon blend has glorious color saturation and would make a fun shawl I’ve been musing about. I used a worsted weight version of Poems for my Swirly, Twirly Tam design so I’m thinking the striping is going to be similar. On the other hand, that Kudo, a worsted weight cotton/rayon/silk blend, knits up wonderfully and I will eventually need a spring-weight jacket, right? The Kudo, which I think looks like a dishrag in the put-up, is much more gorgeous knitted — I used Kudo for my Sorcha’s Shawl and in my Wishing Star poncho.

Poems Sock for a shawl

Poems Sock for a shawl

Plymouth's Kudo for a jacket

Plymouth’s Kudo for a jacket

So what do you think … which should I start with? Let me know your thoughts or preference in the comments.

On the reading front …. our family read-aloud is The Borrowed House by Hilda VanStockum. We LOVE VanStockum books around here — dh re-reads them to the kids every year; but this one is for a slightly older audience (the book-jacket suggests 14 or older), and harsher. The realities of WW2 and Nazi Germany’s overthrow of Holland is graphically protrayed in this historical fiction. Although we’ve owned the book for years, I was the only one who had read it as it is not the usual gentle, VanStockum story. But it is so worth a read … and by my reading-it-aloud, I can explain what’s going on and address the issues of genocide and what Janna sees when she finally faces the reality of Hitler’s Germany.

The other book just arrived yesterday and I couldn’t be more enthralled: just-published, DK’s Classic Knits is an amazing book. The designs (over 100!) are gorgeous and include caps and cardigans and jackets and dresses and socks and shawls and mittens and blankets and throws and toys and more. The colors and pictures beg to have you knit them …. Kit has already chosen a few designs to make. The last 50 pages or so are classic DK: great illustrations and info-snippets about yarns, tools of the trade, how-to’s (including an excellent section on how to understand a pattern), instructions on how to knit/purl/bind-off, etc. Zippers, beads, and other embellishments are described and illustrated so you can really see how best to work these techniques. A small stitchionary concludes this reference section. This book is definitely a keeper — a book I’ll bring out when I’m teaching to show a particular idea or to garner design inspiration for my hand-knits work. Check it out and let me know what you think.

So what’s on your needles and reading table this week? Won’t you come play …

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