Wednesday, July 12

In keeping with my theme of knitting and the federal government, I had jury duty yesterday which I viewed as a knitting opportunity. I didn't attempt to talk my way into the courthouse with yarn and pointy sticks - yes, the airlines accept them but the security at the courthouse separates the line into men and "ladies" and I didn't want to challenge THAT system. I brought an Anne Perry and a stack of reports from work; in addition, there was Oprah loudly on the TV. There weren't any court cases being heard so we all got dismissed at 12N. I had to get up way earlier to make the 1hr drive to the courthouse than I do on a regular work day when all I face is a 10-minute walk. But I didn't go back to work . . .

I went to the yarn store. Nana's Knitting is "on the way home" on 95th St. in Oak Lawn. I am very anxious to explore my new-found interest in two-color knitting, Norwegian sweaters, and Scandinavian designs. There is a decoration on the store's front window that made me think I could pick Tricia's brain or walk away with a pattern for the yarn that I bought at the "other" yarn store I visit. Walking away with a pattern would have been too easy: we found a book on Fair Isle and a pattern using Paton's DK. So I picked Tricia's brain. She has plenty left - she's a very smart lady. She pointed out that my 15 skeins, 85 yds/skein, of various colors is not enough for a sweater and tried really hard to get me to do a fair isle poncho thing. Boo hoo. I ended up buying the Handy Book of Patterns to make a vest - no sleeves, no assembly. I will pick my own designs, calculating the number of stitches in the bodice and knit in the round. We had a great time talking about it.

I have a pamphlet of Scandinavian winter wear (hats, mittens and gloves, and apres ski boots - slippers). There are some good possibilities for patterns to follow. I have this already:

Tuesday, July 4

More winter knitting in the summer

I am spending every federal holiday this summer knitting in the Norwegian style. Memorial day: twined knitting. July 4th: Norwegian sweater.

This has been fun. I have always been daunted by the thought of knitting with two colors. My mistake was thinking of this as two strands of yarn. Not so! Same yarn just two strands. Sounds like I just said the same thing but I didn't - you have to make the picture, not knit the two strands of yarn. You might want to sit back and think about this awhile.

Twined knitting helped me with this. And a great book called Scandinavian Knitting from the public library. I spent my eBay money on books that I thought were the right source but those books were not so helpful. Full of description of the type of knitting from different parts of Europe but none of the books I bought described and showed me the technique. Twined knitting is from the Scandinavian area - two strands of yarn of the same color which create a thick reinforced garment, hat, mitten, to fight that northerly cold. How different is that from two-color knitting? The interest isn't in the texture but in the color combinations. Patterns are as traditional as Aran patterns with a little more record of origin, maybe - if the books I read are to be believed - and have many of the same regional importance. The little sweater I am practicing on does not have any traditional patterns but hopefully will give me an idea of how it all ends up.

I already bought yarn for the next generation:

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