~ 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: January 9, 2013

Yarn-along: January 9, 2013

Well, good morning! Another Wednesday and another yarn-along with Ginny and friends. Kotch and dh just drove to the train station for her to fly back to Florida for her senior year at AMU, the house is quiet (except for the rumble of the gas logs), and I’m in my knitting spot!

The yarn-along picture looks a bit random with it’s riot of colors and items but you’ll understand in a second. First, I did want to point out that I finished HamBone’s vest — he wanted a slim vest with a high-V-neck in a soft fabric (yes, he’s almost 14!) and he has pronounced this one perfect! The yarn is Kraemer Perfection in Granite (it’s on sale at DHY so I’ve been using it a lot lately!) and it’s washable and wearable and he likes it — perfection!

The bits and bobs of swatches and yarn samples are the fun part of this post and one of my most favorite things to do: twice a year, The National Needlework Association hosts a trade show … one on the West Coast and one in Columbus, OH. The one in Columbus (which I attended last summer) is officially the annual one and the one on the West Coast is to intro Spring/Summer lines of yarns, books, fibers, needlework supplies. Since I am a professional hand-knits designer, I’m able to help with the Great Wall of Yarn — a swatching/sampling of the latest yarns for the yarn producers. I haven’t done this in a few years so I was quite excited to get asked to help again … I jumped at the opportunity.

You’ll see I’ve already got some swatches done — starting from the top-left, a basket-weave swatch in cotton/acrylic (would make a fabulous baby blanket), a merino-soy blend made into a mini-shawl with eyelet design embedded, a knitted-in heart design in a sage-green cotton, and the start of a lace-vine pattern in a bright blue cotton-acrylic. I have four other yarns to play with (as you can see from the pile of yarns in the lower-left part of the picture. I love doing these swatches — I can play with new fibers or fiber blends, practice some fun stitch work (always matching the pattern to the yarn, with an idea to a full-blown design) and … I get to knit! Fun, huh?

The Husband Vest -- a classic

The Husband Vest — a classic

The book tucked under the vest is a tried-and-true favorite … and one I’ll be doing a full post about. Elizabeth Zimmermann is the undisputed doyenne of knitting outside the confines of traditional ways and means. Her books are chatty (I know more about her family and lifestyle than I do about some of my own relatives) and full of pithy comments and opinions … and I love her books. Knitting Without Tears was the very first knitting book my mom gave me … and this is the second copy as the other fell apart. One of my goals for 2013 is to increase my knitting expertise and this is one of the ways I’m going to achieve that goal — re-read and re-think EZ’s books and ideas and incorporate her unventions and processes into my knitting as needed. Each month I will read a different book and really study the “purls” of wisdom she drops! If you’ve never read (or even heard about) Elizabeth Zimmermann, come along for my journey!

I promised you a picture of dh’s Christmas vest … this one is done in Kraemer’s Summit Hill (a washable wool) … and he, too, has announced that it is perfect (btw, he’s not into anything fancy, bright or non-classic). I’ll post a link to the pattern once it’s available.

So, what’s on your needles and reading table … want to come play with us?

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