Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Danish Tie Shawl Number One and Return to the Low Country

I finished a Danish Tie Shawl...I am planning a series of these..wanting to do a bit more "historical" Danish knitting.

This sweet thing, which would complement a slimmer figure than mine a bit better, is knit from yarns purchased in Denmark. 

I used  a combination of Hjelholt's Dansk Pelsuld (the lighter orange) purchased in Roskilde at Rok og Uld ("Spindle and Wool" I believe is the translation, no website but a lovely shop). The Dansk Pelsuld is lovely and springy, and reminded me of working with Classic Elite's "tapestry" which I LOVED and has not been available for a long time.  The Tapestry is 75 wool and 25 mohair, a great blend for lace; the Dansk Pelsuld is 100% wool. It was produced at Hjelholt's Uldspinneri in Svendborg, not far from where my family lived. 

I also used  3 colors of natural dyed yarns purchased at  the museum shop at  Lindholm Hoye, in Denmark from tansy (the very light color) St. John's Wort (the yellow) and madder (the darker orange) which is very hard to see at the border. 

The pattern is at this point a bit of a classic,   Dorothea Fischer's "Traditional Danish Tie Shawl" from the Sprin 2008 issue of SpinOff. Saved mine and I have the original article to read!

I am not a big stripes person but don't like a sudden transition to another color, and the gradual stripes  soften it. I do love the right angles of color as seen in the back view above, and also how the stripes of different colors seem to meet, as in the photo below.

In other news,  why yes, I did evacuate. Made it into the car with 2 cats and both rabbits, up to my son Ben's in Clemson SC.  My parents and sister and her family all evacuated as well. Ben's housemates with very accommodating and at least did not remark on how allergic to cats they might have been or how gross they thought the stray bunny poop was on the floor of the garage. (No matter what you do there is stray bunny poop, the nice thing is that it's well, umm, in little egg shaped pellets that are easy to scoop up.)

At any rate, here is Rosa ready to return (Blanca is behind her) 

And, here is Ben saying goodbye to Fiona and Samantha. Ben scooped up Samantha to put her in the crate before I showed him how to do it without getting scratched so there was some learning involved. (Put her up by the scruff and gently lower feet first, same as a rabbit).  All animals did fine, I put hay in the bottom of the crates to absorb...and we had a water break for cats halfway through the 7 hour trip. Rabbits are easier to travel with I learned, they don't meow with complaints when you stop the car, are easier to get into crates, and you can hang a water bottle for them. 

My house sustained no damage, lots of leaves and pinecones down, here is the front. 

We all got home safely to electricity and water. My parents lost trees in the backyard: thanks be to the positive forces in the universe that none fell in the direction of their new house!! This was a typical sight on our return trip on back roads, many trees down, often over power lines.

We are all home now, safe and sound! 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Ireland part two

Outside of Dublin, Winnie's Craft Cafe.  I loved the little van. There was a metal jewelry knitting workshop involved and I learned some things.

At a little town we visited:

Galway, love Galway...

Basket demo for Irish potato basket at Joe Hogan's. Fabulous traditional and non traditional work...why did he have nothing for sale???

Possibly the best photo of the trip:

An Irish potato basket, used to serve potatoes once cooked

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Ireland Part One: Dublin Yarn Crawl

I was lucky to get to Ireland in May on a fabulous knitting tour run by IrishTourism, my friend Deb and I did the south of Ireland Tour. 

First stop: Dublin

The National Museum of Ireland, which has multiple location. This is Collins Barracks, home of the Museum of Decorative Arts and History

 The exhibit pointed out that the clothes of the wealthy tended to survive more than the clothes of the poor

Old hand cards and a shuttle

As in many places, upper class women knit or made "fancies" to keep themselves busy

20th century clothing with shawl:

Spinning wheel

Deb's back at St. Stephen's Green

The next day, a visit to the Constant Knitter

Winnie's Craft Cafe for a metal jewelry knitting workshop

Irish tourism did a fantastic job and I can highly recommend their tours!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Thoughts on Jamieson and Smith, Baby Surprise Jacket, and Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket

It has been a big year for the Baby Surprise Jacket pattern (BSJ) at my house.  I completed one as a baby gift, and that started the roll.

In an attempt to use up some yarn and send more BSJ to Salaam Cultural Museum for donation to Syria, I made a decision to repurpose some yarn that I had purchased in Scotland. It wasn't much, four little skeins of Jamieson and Smith  2 ply jumper weight that I purchased AT Jamieson and Smith. The repurposing/giving away of yarn I bought ELSEWHERE is a big deal to me.

I also added in some Harrisville Shetland purchased in North Carolina. The bottom line is that it's JUST TOO HOT where I live to own a lot of wool shawls (or Fair Isle colorwork) , likely the intended use for all this yarn.  So, here are some results:

This little one I worked on while in Ireland this May....more on that trip in future posts~

The sweater below one requires some explanation:  while searching for a BSJ child size pattern (as I also have a stash of heavier weight wool around here) I found an interesting variation. Apparently Elizabeth's Grandson, Cully Swanson, has been part of the family business for a while and he is a knitter. He came up with the Circular Stranded Baby Surprise Jacket. I thought the pattern pricey, a bit over $11, but I bit. Here's my explanation from Ravelry:

I love stranded colorwork and doing the bsj in circular fashion sounded intriguing. If you love interesting construction, don’t let the three steeks put you off. Cully has made his Grandmother proud. There are notes for three sizes here plus a blank graph so you can design your own Fair Isle.
There are some things I might have changed. Where stitches are increased, after the cuffs and in the back, there is a pattern break due to the increased number of stitches. To deal with this, I lined up the center of the pattern before and after the increase on the back, so it doesn’t look bad or off, and isn’t very noticeable. I think that’s what Cully did however he does not mention it (at least I didn’t see it and I read it pretty well). However, I would suggest doing a different pattern on the cuffs, perhaps a k1p1 rib, which would contrast but not interrupt the pattern.

My other small issue is that it turned out short, so I wound up continuing on the live stitches at the hem for another 1.5 inches then I did a turned hem at the bottom, rather than the continuous garter edge.

That said, I really loved the project and will do it again.

 So the other day, My friend J (who lives in Canada and who I will meet some day) put up on Facebook that J&S is now producing "Shetland Heritage Naturals" in jumper weight.  

When in Scotland I also purchased natural color roving and  spun and knit this, my pride and joy  Hap (note to self, better label this) 

J&S, who I hope will forgive me for scooping photos from their website, also produced Shetland Heritage  which reproduces the naturally colored yarns from 19th century Fair Isles. 

I LOVE this stuff! So...yes, there will be more in my stash at some point.   Here is a photo of a sweater taken in Scotland of similar colors and tradition.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sankt Hans - Treasure Island Shawl

Thanks to a Danish friend, I learned that  Sankt Hans (Saint John's) Day, is June 23rd. It is of course the name day for St. John.  It is conveniently timed with the summer solstice on June 21st, (and allowed early Christians to co-opt yet another pagan celebration!!).  Danes celebrate with a bonfire and a party.  Here is more information on the celebration courtesy of the Museum of Danish America.

I found this inspiring video on youtube, featuring a song sung at the midsommer bonfire, with lyrics by poet-artist Holger Drachmann, and a beautiful montage of paintings by the Skagen artists

I celebrated Sankt Hans by completing blocking of my Treasure Island Shawl. I had almost finished it two years ago when my family and I went to Denmark, it then took me two more years to complete the knit on lace edging!  I'm very pleased. 

Happy Solstice to all!!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day Bunnies and Baby Sweater

So, this is called a "haystache." 

It is a bunny nesting behavior, a way to collect hay to make a nest. Rosa thinks she's expecting (it is Mother's Day, after all). My other alert to the state of Rosa's hormones was that when I checked them this morning, there was a huge amount of matted fur in the corner of the cage (a big waste, to a spinner!)  

This all is the result of sister bunny (that would be Blanca, "the quiet one") mounting her unsuspecting sister, Rosa, two weeks ago. Blanca probably did this to establish her dominance. The mounting behavior then tricks the victimized Rosa into a series of hormonal events called "pseudopregnancy," ie ovulation. Too bad, as I would love at some point to have some kits! A few minutes after I got the haystache photo, Rosa dropped the hay and decided to eat it. A much better use!

On the knitting front, I completed a sweater for cousins who just had a baby girl. The pattern is "Helena" from Knitty. Done in some leftover Knitpicks Brava Worsted. I ran low on yarn and rather do the ties I did some button holes and added buttons.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Two Baby Sweaters

There have been thoughts of babies.

I have done in the past some knitting for Afghans for Afghans. This group has not been as active for several years. I cannot keep up well with what's going on in Afghanistan and the pullout, the not pullout, the NGO's etc etc,  but if I'm reading Ravelry right, they are now taking baby socks, mittens, and hats.   That said, I had a never worn wool baby sweater. As they are not taking sweaters, I sent this one to "Hats and More for War Torn Syria." 

It is done from Carol Bareny's classic baby sweater pattern, free online. I have done this sweater many times. And so has everyone else...there are 3100 versions out there! The wool is Jamieson and Smith, leftover from a long ago Sasha Kagan pattern.

and in the meantime, someone in my family had a baby, her name is Sophie. Here is EZ's Baby Surprise Classic. I apparently clipped the pattern from Knitter's Magazine from 1989...rather wise on my part, if I may say so... I have also done this one as a gift many times. It's from sock yarn...I keep all my ball bands but of course can't find this one...I do love it though and Sophie's Mom thinks it will fit in the autumn when she is 6 months old...