~ 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 13, 2013

Yarn-along: February 13, 2013

Good morning … today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Altho I am offering up many things, knitting and writing about knitting and reading about knitting are not on the list of sacrifices. So please, come back and visit all thru Lent and see what I’ve discovered in my knitterly pursuits!

So first, because my patron saint this year is St. Andrew (who is the patron of Scotland) and I love all things British Isles (especially their knitting), I have begun researching all I can about Scottish knitting, with the goal of adding bits and pieces to my designs this year. Two books, very different in style and content have particularly grabbed my interest this week: Scottish Knits: Colorwork and Cables with a Twist by Martin Storey and A Shetland Knitter’s Notebook by Mary Smith. I was fortunate enough to meet Martin Storey last summer and had heard about his book even before Amazon had it available for pre-order. It is filled with beautiful designs that are very contemporary and lovely … but, and this is a real down-side for me, some of the designs don’t include charts. But it’s still a great book that will go in my library for future inspiration. Now the Smith book, WOW! This is an OOP book published by the Shetland Times and is a wonderful, if short, glimpse at the history of knitting in the Shetland Islands. Smith has included traditional lace and colorwork stitch patterns along with her stories of researching for this book. Excellent!

Cute and Cozy Baby Cap ... a free design

Cute and Cozy Baby Cap … a free design

My library haul was particularly good this week — which is GREAT since I’m on a book-buying hiatus for the next 40-some days! Martha Stewart’s Good Things for Organizing is a gorgeous book, packed with great storage/organization ideas for the whole house. Her tips and ideas are things I can actually accomplish without spending a fortunate at Pottery Barn. Smoothie Heaven by Wendy Sweetser is packed with every imaginable smoothie possible — breakfast, snack, dessert, workout, healing, summer, rejoicing (alcoholic versions) smoothies are all in this one. The Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments (another in the series by Thompson and Thompson) makes even me excited about science! This would be so great to use for those who stay home for high school (or I may have to start it earlier to coerce them into staying home!).

Finally, the best for last: The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbookby Emily Ansara Baines. Have you gotten into the Downton craze? Than this book is for you … loaded with recipes for both upstairs and downstairs, Baines has created a wonderful cookbook of Edwardian England delicacies for every possible occasion and meal-course. She has also included etiquette and trivia facts scattered throughout the book, giving the reader a real taste of life in early 1900s England. Fun!

On to the knitting … the little hat you see in the picture was started when I taught a colorwork class at DHY last Sunday. The Cute and Cozy Cap (for babies) (I’ll post it as a free downloadable pattern later today) is done in a cotton/acrylic yarn that knits up into a soft, cozy, cap for the little one. With just a little bit of colorwork, this is a good design for practicing (or learning) stranded colorwork.

Swirling Leaves poncho

Swirling Leaves poncho

My main project this week, done with Cascade’s Rustic (wool/linen blend) in deep wine red tones, is a design I’m calling “Swirling Leaves” since the cabled leaves swirl around the body of the poncho. Here’s a close-up of the cabled leaf:
close-up of cable leaf

close-up of cable leaf

I just have to do the bottom border … I still need to decide on which one I’ll use … to finish off this one to perfection.

So what’s on your reading table and knitting needles … won’t you come play with us over at Ginny’s? Oh, and let me know here in the comment section what you think about both my knitting and book selections!

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