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March 2004
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May 2004

Goods of Estonia and more...

As promised here are pictures of the lovely items from Estonia that became mine on Wednesday night at Nancy Bush's lecture!  (See Thursday’s post if you want to read more about Estonia.)

Here is the pair of gloves. They are gray wool, very warm and durable. Plus, theyare beautiful.

glove1.jpg

Here is a picture of the Rosietude (this is not the right spelling but the technique ‘sounds’ like that). It is a knitting technique that looks like embroidery. First picture is the outside edge of the sock and the second is the lace panel on the front. The socks are made by Estonian knitters from Estonian wool and are warm and wonderful to wear. 

emsock.jpg       nansock1.jpg

Are they incredible!?

This week has been rather busy and little knitting has been accomplished. But, Everyday Cardi was completed and turned out wonderfully!  I’ve been wearing and enjoying it as it has been cool and rainy here.  So….TA DA!   

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As you can see I had to take my own pictures.
Here is another picture of it open.  Monday I’ll tell you how I finished the zipper. 

Oh, and here is a bit of the Willow cardi so far.

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Have a super weekend!


Eventho Nancy Bush is our ‘resident’ designer and we see her in the shops and meetings from time to time, it is always wonderful to have her come and teach and/or speak to us. Last night she shared slides of her trips to Estonia and the treasures she has found while traveling there. Estonia is a very charming, quaint and even medieval country. In 700 years they have had only 33 years of independence. It is a country rich in folk arts and crafts and Nancy has been responsible for bringing the knitting arts to light. She had a travelogue of slides and a table full of beautiful knitting and other artifacts. She told the story of Estonia while showing the slides of towns she has visited and the different knitting techniques of each area. It was fascinating to see what the homes, churches and cities look like. She also had pictures of many knitters and pieces from the museums.

For our immediate pleasure she has hand knit gloves, mittens and socks for sale that her friends in Estonia send to her in order to supplement their meager pensions. They are all made from Estonian wool and beautifully knit.
A pair of socks with a lace front and a patterning technique that looks like embroidery on the side came home with me, as well as a pair of warm and beautiful gray gloves. Pictures tomorrow! Here is a schedule of Nancy’s classes so you can see if she is in your area. You can read a bit more about her here.

May 15th & 16th Nancy will be teaching workshops for the Salt Lake Knitters Guild. They are Traveling Stitches and Estonian Lace on Saturday and an expanded Estonian Lace on Sunday.


Spit/Splice

Commentary on last night’s speech…GAG!!

Enough of that.  On to the real reason for this Blog.  DH gave it the name…”all the news that’s fit to knit”. Ha, ha.

Yesterday Nanette sent a nice note to thank me for helping her figure out Excel. She is on her Master Knitters Level III and wanted to put charts into Word docs.  She did it with a few suggestions from me (and DH) and sent a Guernsey Sock pattern as a thank you!  Love the way the socks look and will put them on my “to do” list.  You should check out her Fair Isle hat when you visit her blog.

Nathania is starting a Tank Along. This is very tempting as many wonderful patterns are showing up on blogs all over in honor of SPRING!
Too many good patterns to chose from so this will require thought (and a decision to really do it). The Checkboard Shell that Wendy is working on is very tempting.

Marta, good luck on your big test today!   

Worked on putting the zipper in EC last night and it’s going well.  Hopefully pictures of the finished product will be ready by Friday but if not…Monday. 

Tonight is the monthly meeting of the Salt Lake Knitters Guild.  Nancy Bush will be showing slides and lecturing on her trips to Estonia.  This should be a very interesting evening.  Tomorrow night is the Salt Lake Needlepoint Guild.  It’s just too busy this week for much knitting or picture taking. 

And for everyone in New England taking Sally Melville's workshops...HAVE FUN!! She is super!

Thought I’d tell you about a technique used on EC. Peace Fleece made the “Spit and Splice” technique very easy to use.  Here’s how to do it.

This only works with wool but, not super wash wool.  When coming to the end of a ball, or a knot in the yarn this was a great way to continue the ‘thread’.  First you need to make the plies in the yarn differing lengths.  The PF is two ply so one ply, of each end, is shortened slightly.

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Then dampen the ends (this is where the spit comes in). Twirl the ends so they blend together starting to form a new connection.  Dampen again.

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Lay the wet ends of the yarn in your palm and rub your hands together.  (Do you think the spit makes it hold together better?)

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The friction created will felt the yarn so that it adheres to itself.  Thus, a continuous yarn that you can see blends right in and continues the perfect knitting.

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Try it…you’ll like it.


Ennui...

It seems to be all around the knitting blogs.  That is the ennui, boredom, dissatisfaction, malaise of the knitting sort. It’s the dreaded second sleeve, second sock, row after row of stockinette stitch and projects that don’t meet expectations.  Why do you knit?  Is it totally for a finished product?  Then why do you have so many things newly started? Is it for the excitement of starting something new? Then why do you have so many FO’s…or if you don’t, why not?  If it’s the texture, color, wonderful yarns, a great pattern, the simple wrapping of the yarn around the needle, then why do we feel that ennui slip in? 

Knitting is meditation for me. Just picking up the yarn and needles will calm the mind, center the thoughts and take me away. The same thing happens when stitching with needles with eyes.  Just putting the needle through the fabric over and over is a sort of meditation.  It’s not that it isn’t frustrating at times when mistakes are made (and taken out over and over), or the object of my desire didn’t turn out as my minds eye had seen it.

The areas Goodwill has ended up with a couple of my FO that just didn’t meet expectations. But, it really didn’t matter as the whole time they were on the needles it was just a joy to wrap the yarn around the needle with my mind in a calm and comfortable place.  It was therapy, zen…

Despite all the failures (or lessons learned, if you will), it is something that without it, my life would be much less fulfilled or interesting.  Hopefully someone else is enjoying wearing the sweaters of "failure". They were not inexpensive and yet so much was learned from the experience.

Think of the reasons that knitting is so crucial to your life, your creative self, your calm and focused self.  It’s for you…every stitch.


Everyday Almost Done!

The knitting is done! Knitting Pure and Simple Neck Down Jacket is ready for it’s zipper. That is as soon as it arrives from the Zipper Stop. Then I will check the zipper for size, wash the jacket and sew the zipper in. Can’t wait to wear it!  This jacket will be well worn over the years.

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It felt like a friend had left when the jacket was done.  So, the only thing to do was keep knitting and the Willow cardi is now up about 12”. Pictures will be here later in the week. It’s another fast and fun piece to knit.

In June the Swan Sampler Stitchers,  is having Lauren Sauer come to teach her interesting and unique Etui.  It’s called the Mermaid’s Sea Chest and it actually makes up into a chest full of sewing tools that you can open and lay flat to use when you stitch.  There happens to be quiet a bit of stitching to do before the class…so-oo-oo some knitting time will have change into stitching time for awhile.  I’ll show you progress on that as it grows. 

Here is a piece for the local Needlepoint Guild that I finished over the weekend. It will be a hanging ornament of about 5x51/2.  It is stitched with stranded silk and a braided metallic thread and counted out on 18 mono canvas.  It is was neat to pick my own color family and fun to stitch.

kimono2.jpg

Now for your decadant drink of the week.

Brady-Rum Mochaccino

This drink’s chocolate-brandy-rum combination makes it a special one for chocolate lovers!

Single shot espresso
1 ½ tsp brandy
1 ½ tsp rum
1 ½ tsp crème de cacao
1 Tbs chocolate syrup
3 ounces milk, steamed
¼ cup heavy cream, whipped
Ground cinnamon
Ground nutmeg

Thin wafer, for garnish

Mix espresso, brandy, rum, crème de cacao, and chocolate syrup in a glass. Add 1 ½ ounces steamed milk and 1 ½ ounces milk foam. Top with shipped cream, sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and garnish with a wafer.  Serves 1.

That ought to keep you relaxed and knitting!


The RING

I'm IN! In the Knit Ring that is, as soon as the OK is given. Stole a button somewhere and love it (hope that’s ok). It feels good to be a part of the web, strand, thread, tie that binds us all together as knitting maniacs, fiends, addicts and passionate “yarn” divinities (is that a word?). Now I have to talk about knitting all the time….RATS, oh well!

Here is my newest WIP.

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It’s Willow, a linen/cotton blend (see March 18th’s post) by Tahki. The color is Copper and should be versatile. It will be a(nother) cardigan and it will work up quickly. Hopefully the Fair Isle will be finished soon and this can be my main project. It would be nice to wear it while the weather is warm, unlike the Everyday Cardi and FI which are being finished up just as it becomes too warm to wear them! However, it is still cool and rainy here so maybe the EC will be worn a few times before it gets way too warm. That should be finished soon as well.

Have you read Knitty? Here is My Knitters Geek Code.

-----BEGIN GEEK CODE BLOCK-----
Version 1.1
KCmR+++Exp++SPM++ BamdpCP+++@
AddiT++Wood+Denise+Wool(++)- -!Syn Cot+ Lux(++)Stash
Scale+++Fin !Ent-FI(++) Tex+@ !Lace- Felt++
Circ+ DPN5 Swatch++ KIP(+) Blog(+) SNB++
EZ++ FO(+)> WIP6> GaugeF++ S+ DK+W+B—ALT Em*CT,JE
------END GEEK CODE BLOCK------

That’s the sign of a very passionate fiber freak if ever was one!

Have a super weekend!


Martha Edlin - Embroiderer Extraordinaire

The answer to the mystery embroiderer is Martha Edlin, as many of you knew.  She was born in 1660 and at the young age of eight years, made a beautiful sampler which you can see here. There is some historical information on Martha’s life on that page, too. 

She may be considered precocious by some today but in the 17th Century many young girls were beautiful embroiders at early ages. They didn’t have the distractions and responsibilities that girl’s of today encounter. Life was slower and there was little for a woman (girl) of leisure to do.
The sampler is a polychrome band sampler (multi-colored rows of different stitches) stitched on linen, usually around 50 threads per inch, with silk thread. It is dated and signed. Most 17th C. band samplers are reversible!  That is quite a time intensive and embroidering feat!  The next year, 1669, she embroidered a whitework sampler. That is a sampler stitched with white silk and/or linen threads to create a lace look.  This is a modern example.

At the age of 11 she made an embroidered casket. The caskets were made as a ‘final’ project of a girl’s education at the time.  They are small at about 12”w x 10”h x 8”d.  Here is one for sale that you can own!  Click on the picture for a closer view.  The information on that page tells you more about the work on these exquisite treasures.  This is a link to see Martha Edlin’s Casket using MS Media player (best with broadband). It’s a 2:38 minute video.  Sometimes the link is busy but, it’s worth checking it until you get through as it shows her work up close.

Several other items of needlework were found inside the case, as well as a few needlework tools.  Both her samplers were housed inside, too.  This is the reason they are in such good condition today. All the items were passed down through the female line of her family and lately given to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

The needlework that women have done throughout history is an important part of our heritage and history as women.  It proves we were here and well educated (if money was available).  Antique samplers can be sold at auction or by dealers at very high prices and are highly collectable. 

Now you know a little more (more than you wanted?) about my other passion, embroidery.

And now to the business at hand!

The winner’s aaaarrrreee (drum roll):

Laura Gallagher (she asked for the Denim if she won) and
Cameo Voltz (what a great name!)

I don’t think either has a blog so if you do please let us know. Let us also see the finished Broadripple’s when they are done. 

Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!  Your embroidery education will continue each time a contest happens here at Zeneedle.


Coffee in Utah

A couple of very good coffee recipes have arrived in my email box. Greta's was first, as mentioned yesterday, and it will keep me going for hours in the dead of the night. Anne had a nice icey, minty, nutty recipe....YUM! And Larisa's recipe was one from her birth place, the former Soviet Union which sounded rich and exotic (she said best with cheeses). But Susan really topped it off with a gift, "Making Your Own Gourmet Coffee Drinks". It's a great book! This is going to be my morning drink all summer.

Tropical Coffee Delight
1/2 cup coffee
1/4 cup papaya nectar
1/2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
1 tbs cream of coconut
1 scoop vanilla ice cream!
3-4 tbs heavy cream (optional-NOT!)

Mix everything but the cream, in a blender for 20 seconds until smooth. Garnish with remaining kiwi and pour heavy cream on top (if desired), why not!

There's a reason to get up in the morning. Tomorrow I'll share the one that might put you over the edge (of heaven). See, we do have coffee in Utah (and you can get an alcoholic beverage here, too).

Speaking of coffee...after the Fair Isle group last night I ran in to the Jitterbug Coffeeshop to see the local Stitch and Bitcher's. Erin, who I know from the Knitters Guild, was there. It was so fun to see her. She knit an awesome Einstein Coat last winter. Laurie was being a "loose" woman and was WAY too big on her Everyday Cardi. If you drop by her blog you'll see she did the right thing and is starting over...so sorry, Laurie!

There is still one more day for the contest (see Monday's post), so try your luck. Join the Broadripple sock group and knit on!


WOW!

There are many of you who know the answer to the contest! How cool is that?!  Thursday morning will be the end of the contest and I'll draw two names then.  This is exciting that so many people know who our historic stitcher is.  Greta is the winner of the red Fixation for her "quick service" on the favorite coffee.  Thanks to all of you for joining in the contest!

Here is the Everyday Cardi

Cardisl.jpg

It is knitting up quickly and the Peace Fleece makes for great knitting.  I knit both sleeves to make sure there would be enough yarn. Annie was concerned  about her amount of yarn (different pattern than mine) and nearly ran out.  It looks like there will be plenty to finish mine.  Had to try it on and it fits well.  We'll see if the sleeves need a bit more length when the collar is done.  Hope you can fix your problem with the fit Kerstin. And you should go to her blog and see how cool her "Waves" turn out!

 


Contest!!

Susan is having a Knit Along for the Broadripple sock.   While it would overwhelm me at the moment to join in it looks like fun!  So instead of joining I'll enable someone to join by giving away some Fixation yarn so YOU can join in!  broadsock.bmp  Cool button, Susan.

Color 9966 is a black/gray/mauve/gold mix and 9967 is a white/denim mix. 

fixation.jpg

The photo isn't very good as it's small but check the site for a color card. Also there is one skein of red that someone could use for the "Java to Go" from Mag Knits.

So the deal is... a contest!  Seems everyone on the blogs like contests so we'll try it here. This is going to be a tough one (perhaps!). 

There was a girl child born in 1660, who became a very accomplished and prolific needleworker.  Many of her incredible pieces are housed in a well known museum in London.  Passed down through her family and given to the museum where several inspiring and beautifully executed embroideries.  One is a 'casket' that was embroidered and then used to store her polychrome (colored silks) sampler, a whitework sampler, pincushions, small decorative gloves and other items. She also has a beaded box in the museum which as pictured in Piecework a couple of years ago.   She lived until 1725 and we only know of her because of her exquisite work. The needlework was inside the casket  so it has been beautifully preserved over the years. Pictures have been published in many museum catalogs, needlework books and note cards. If no one gets it I'll give more hints.

You win if you can name this embroiderer.  If there are too many winners we'll do the proverbial 'hat trick' and draw two names.  For the Java to Go tell me your favorite recipe for a yummy coffee drink...first come first serve (so to speak).  My email addy is under the title of this blog.

Tomorrow there will be pictures of my EC progress as they were left behind today. It's looking good and has been quick knitting.