Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sámi Mittens

Sigh.  Just posted this Blog update, and all the writing was extinguished.  This means I have to type faster the second time around...

Today, after many attempts, Fed Ex finally got this box to me.

It's from Piecework Magazine, and it is their seventh annual historic knitting traditions magazine.  More importantly, it is my first published article, and it is on Sámi Knitting Tradition.  The Sámi are the European people group native to Northern Scandinavia.  They live across the Northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Komi peninsula of Russia.  

This article talks a bit about the history of their knitting tradition, and some features that differentiate it from the knitting of the other peoples around them.  

It's so nice to have these little mittens home again, along with the dolls I sent and the yarn for the pictures.  Props also to Kenneth Hætta for the lovely opening picture.  The magazine sent me two extra copies that I will mail tomorrow to Dikka Storm of Tromsø University, Norway and Aile Aikio of Siida Museum in Inari, Finland.  Both of them were invaluable in their research help.  Thank you so much!

In other news, my hubby had bunion surgery this morning.  I knit and knit on baby legwarmers and did the whole pair.  Here he is doing a little light reading beforehand.

And, after.  Isn't he cute?  He's resting his straight foot on a McGill pillow.  No better way to heal.

The Eternal Husband.  Any of you ever read that one?  I've never heard of it, but I bet it just goes on and on.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013

January knitting

Knitting, knitting, knitting...

Got over the 'bout with flu.  Yuck.  Ya'll get vaccinated now, ya hear?  I got vaccinated, and my round with the mucus king was rather mild compared to the myalgias and fever others have had.

Any how, I got to feeling better and not choking on my own phlegm, and have been able to knit again. While going through my ravelry favorites I was reminded of so many beautiful patterns I have wanted to knit.  Then, I started going through my stash again.  The final piece to the puzzle is The Loopy Ewe's quarterly contest.  This quarter the challenge is to knit something with cables out of one skein.

I seized upon a Madelinetosh dk and a beautiful pattern of Ysolda's called Rose Red.  I tried the two together, and, lo and behold, the variegation masked the beauty and cleverness of the pattern.  The yarn needed to be knit, though, so it turned into Rikke hat.

My next personal challenge is baby leg warmers knit in a bulky grey yarn Schluna Cortina. Paisley's mother requested some in grey.  After looking around several pictures, I have been working on a cabled pair.  Pictures next time.  The yarn I am working with, however, I have used before to make this chunky cowl designed by Ciliria Rose called Columbia cowl.  I met her at the Seattle Nordic fest.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cleaning up in the New Year

Here it is, the 10th of January, and what have I to say for myself?

Besides getting a nasty cold (RSV?), and hunkering down beside a nice, new box of Kleenex on one side and a disgusting pile of gooey tissues on the other, disinfecting my keyboard, door handles, light switches, and, especially, the handle on the refrigerator, and making homemade chicken noodle soup with homemade noodles, I have been combing through my Ravelry "favorites," and adding pictures to my pinterest boards.

For those of you who live under a rock, Ravelry is an excellent knitting and crocheting website that connects crafters, yarns, designers and patterns.  Go check it out at  One excellent feature, as you spend hours trolling other peoples projects, is that you can "like" or favorite any project, yarn, or designer.  Probably much more, too, but I'm a limited human being.  After being on Ravelry for five years, I had 80 pages of favorites.  At 25 favorites a page, I was pushing 2,000 chosen patterns.  Keep in mind, I am a discriminating crafter.  There's a lot of stuff on there.

When I first starting clicking the heart button, I didn't take advantage of the box that popped up which allowed me to make notes on about the favorite-d thing.  Later I added notes, but in the wrong box.  It is only the tags one adds in the last entry that will cross-tabulate with all your other tags and build into a reference list.  That list appears on the left hand side once you are on the favorites.  So, if I label all cowls as "cowls," a reference tabs will keep a tally.  I can click that tally and it will take me to a new page where all those projects will be appear together.

Oftentimes I have added favorites after researching a particular yarn or project.  After 80 pages, it has become hard to find them again.  The last three days I have gone through each entry, evaluated whether to keep it or not, and added tags or notes.  I rediscovered lots of old project-friends, been reinvigorated with old dreams, and remembered yarns I mean to knit.  Not a bad exercise at the beginning of the year!

I have also finished spinning the pinkish roving I spoke of in the last post.  One skein is soaking right now.  The other still has to be plied.

Finally, I am almost done with the double-layered hat my husband requested and designed.  Then, I can tackle one of those resurrected projects!

Monday, January 07, 2013

I'm just spinning my wheel...

It's amazing what you can get done if you do it. I have had some lovely BFL roving next to my wheel for a loooong time.  I bought it from The Trading Post in Pendleton, Indiana, not when I was there weaving, but from a time or two before. One spool was almost full. Well, in this last week, I have completed that spool, and half filled another, just during our evening family reading my husband has resurrected since January first. It may not seem a lot to some people, but to this woman who has been knitting and crocheting most of my free time, I am ecstatic to be nearing completion of any spinning project!

In addition, I am excited to knit with it, after almost knitting up a huge ball of handspun I won at the first Nordic Knitting Conference I attended in October 2010. And, my cousin said she loved the mittens I posted about last week. Hopefully it won't be two years before I knit up the Knit Picks lace ball I won this year! Four of us vowed to each knit off a matching ball of yarn from the 2012 conference.  Hmmm.... who will be the first to complete their knitting? I will be shocked if it is I.

The knitting I have been working on is a self-designed, double layer hat for my husband. He recently lost the Carhart hat that has seen him through several winters. He begrudgingly asked me to knit him a hat, stating that going out to buy a hat would be "like me going out and buying a bookshelf." He is a self taught woodworker who has made an item for every room in the house by now.

My only response was, "you mean a press board, laminate bookshelf? Yeah. It'd be like that."

He then proceeded to pick out the yarn from my stash and draw a fair-isle design for one side, and tell me it should be tight on his big head. All within several minutes. He's been around me way too long.