Update

Blackwork Triangles

I have been trying to rotate through my various projects – to get the ones that were languishing on the go again.

Above is the piece I am working on at my embroidery class I only seem to have time to work on it there – I never make it back to it in my rotation. I should finish it this week and then I am going to need a new project. Various different ideas are floating around in my head, but I haven’t settled on anything yet.

I am also knitting Miss A these mitts

Meow Mitts (image from Ravelry – tinyowlknits)

this is proving to be trickier than I expected – 30 minutes yesterday to knit one row! There’s balls of yarn everywhere and I needed to learn how to capture the floats in purl. I am hoping to achieve more next time.

And then finally I am back onto this quilt

 

Block for my Sampler Quilt

I have gotten a bit more savvy about this quilt – I’ve cut the fabric, backing and batting for 12 blocks and I am just quilting them when I have time. I would love to get this finished because it has been going for a long time.

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Threading Time – A Cultural History of Threadwork – Dolores Bausum

Threading Time – Dolores Bausum

I can’t remember where I first heard of this – I think it was on Amazon in the people who bought this also bought that section. It combines two of my loves – threadwork and literature. Here is the blurb …

In a ground-breaking survey taken primarily from literary sources, Threading Time reveals the essential link between the human spirit and the art of connecting threads. Whether looking at stories about clothing made in the Garden of Eden, a medieval manuscript, or modern fiction and poetry, the author traces the importance to humankind of a craft that has never ceased since it began at least forty thousand years ago. The author’s conception of threadwork throughout is generic, including all kinds of work done with thread, yarn, or fiber.

In the author’s long-range view, threadwork becomes more than a garment, a rug, or a tapestry on the wall. It is often a bond shared with contemporaries and with ancestors, a link between humans and cultural beliefs, even a tie between humankind and the Divine. This age-old association of interwoven fibers and humanity is found today in a metaphor that is used to convey the concept of shared traditions, values, and beliefs: the fabric of society. A rip in the fabric can be alarming; mending it is necessary to avert instability and even chaos.

Threading Time opens with stories from biblical traditions that continue to influence society. Next come portrayals of threadworkers in Greek and Roman myths and those suggested on the famous marble frieze carved on the Parthenon of Athens. The author then turns to Piers Plowman, Chartres Cathedral’s windows, the Bayeux Tapestry, and other textile evidence from the medieval era; she suggests how threadwork in those centuries became identified with spiritual faith and belief in miracles.

An illustrated French manuscript and the Apocalypse Tapestry highlight a discussion of changes in the lives of cloth workers that occurred during the Renaissance. Works by two Germans—playwright Gerhart Hauptmann and artist Käthe Kollwitz—illustrate labor struggles that persisted for centuries in textile production. Selections of poetry by English poets such as Robert Burns and William Blake provide glimpses of protests made by some against economic forces disrupting the lives of textile workers during the Industrial Revolution.

Novels by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, and D. H. Lawrence suggest that threadwork activity itself may arouse, release, or inhibit strong feelings, even erotic passion, between men and women. These novels also demonstrate that needlework and its products can be used to stigmatize, ostracize, or control an individual. Both fictional and real-life accounts follow in a discussion of works by three nineteenth-century writers—Charles Dickens, Louisa May Alcott, and Mary Boykin Chesnut—who illustrate the power of threadwork during wartime to transform solitary individuals into patriots and lift the morale of civilians who share common beliefs and objectives.

Novels by Edith Gaskell, Edith Wharton, and Theodore Dreiser, as well as several memoirs, offer examples of textile work that individuals have done in peacetime when their daily survival hung by a thread. Finally, the author turns to twentieth-century American authors Margaret Mitchell, Alice Walker, Anna Quindlen, and John Updike for glimpses into families whose members are linked by threadwork. As an original view of threadwork written from a broad chronological perspective, Threading Time will appeal to textile artisans and collectors. It will also interest lay readers of literature, women’s history, and cultural history.

This book is lovely – academic, but not overly so, beautiful illustrations and suggestions for further reading. Many of the novels mentioned I have read (I am now keen to read One True Thing), which made Ms Bausum’s analysis even more interesting.

There are nine chapters

  • A Time to Sew
  • Athena’s Gift
  • Threads ‘Twixt Cloister and Crown’
  • Art of the Loom
  • Ballads of  Harp Weavers
  • With Passion and Thread
  • Battle Yarns
  • Sewing for Bread in Years Gone By
  • Fortunate Daughters and Sons

Each chapter looks at a different period of time and refers to literary texts of the period: the bible, works by Homer, etc. She also references the Bayeux tapestry and the Apocalypse tapestry.

If you are at all interested in textiles, women’s history or literature then I think you will find this book fascinating. In fact, this is the book I would have liked to have written.

 

 

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A few projects

My irises are growing

I love irises and I plant bulbs every year – I never dig the old ones up so some of them come up again – this year they have been spectacular. A reward for how wet and cold it has been.

Blackwork triangles

I have done a small amount of work on my Blackwork triangles – mostly just at my class. I feel re-invigorated on this project and now just want to get it finished.

It is Miss A’s turn to have something knitted and she picked Meow Mitts

Meow Mitts (image from Ravelry – tinyowlknits)

She has picked her own colours – our base is going to be blue and the bow red.

Here is the swatch

Meow Mitts Swatch

This will be my second attempt at colour work so we will see how it goes.

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A New Start – Mitre Square Blanket

Mitre Square Blanket

I am still working in my Hap for Harriet – I just realised (after doing a search) that I haven’t blogged about that, but I will save that for another day. Anyway, I need a bit of a break – knitting with lace weight feels like knitting with dental floss! I decided a new project and one that would use up all the copious amounts of sock yarn I have!

I found instructions here it was a little bit confusing as to what to do with the two stitches on the stitch holder  when you pick up for Square 4 – someone asked in the comments, but she couldn’t help at that time. For the record, I am knitting them together and including them in Square 4, so far so good.

My plan is just to keep going until I feel it is big enough. I have selected 13 different yarns (yes I have a lot of sock yarn) and I will just swap them around as I feel like it.

The misti alpaca yarn is much nicer to touch than the others.

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A Finished Object

Hitchhiker Beyond Finished!

I’ve been plugging away at my Hitchhiker Beyond scarf – it was slow going towards the end, but I am happy with the final result.

Super easy – if you looking for an interesting garter stitch project.

The yarn is a Misti Alpaca Hand Painted Sock Yarn.

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Blackwork – Triangles

Blackwork Triangles

I have done a bit more work – a tiny bit – on my blackwork sampler.

The new stitch is waffle (that’s what Becky Hogg calls it). I am struggling a bit with this stitch – working out what to do at the edges and just how to follow the pattern properly.  Class starts again tomorrow though so I need to get going. I thought my eyes were part of the problem, but my optometrist says not yet – she suggested better lighting.

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Square Knitting Needles

Square Knitting Needles

I needed 3.5mm knitting needles for my Hitchhiker Beyond scarf and all of my other needles were occupied (I think I only have one other set), so I found these ones – they’re square!

I don’t know if you can see it in the image above but they’re Kollage Yarns.  I can’t remember buying them… I don’t notice any difference between these and normal round needles, but I have read that these are easier on your hands.

I am really loving this pattern – easy to do but not completely mindless.

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Perfect Afternoon

Knitting while watching Kristy Glass interview MDK

It’s raining – I am in bed, with my wheat pack, knitting and watching Kristy Glass interview Mason Dixon Knitting.

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A New Project – Hitchhiker Beyond

Hitchhiker Beyond

I have started a new project. I love my hitchhiker and thought I would make another one using a green/blue yarn and then I came across Hitchhiker Beyond! It’s symmetrical!

It is an easy but amazingly effective pattern – made even better by Misti Alpaca sock yarn.

I have been watching The Collection

The Collection

Described as

A gripping family drama and entrepreneurial fable, set in a post-war Paris fashion house. It exposes the grit behind the glamour of a rising business, spearheaded by two clashing brothers.

It is beautiful and sinister and there are mysteries and secrets to be revealed.

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Finished

Finished Arachnid Mitts

I learnt a bit on the second one – I put all of the stitches of the spider pattern on one needle, so I didn’t have to cable and swap needles – genius! This one progressed quickly because I was watching Halcyon – any excuse to watch a bit more – I haven’t finished yet.

The costumes and settings…

Halcyon Cast

are spectacular.

The pattern is Arachnid. The yarn is patonyle ombre in coral (I used two balls, but there is heaps left you could probably get by with one ball).

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