One of the wonderful friends from upstate New York is Dave, with whom I studied and performed Shakespeare while I was living there, and who still performs (and has recently started writing (well, not writing Shakespeare, but writing short stories and plays)).
Four years ago I secretly determined to knit him a pair of period stockings, complete with garters. I had another friend secretly obtain measurements, and I cast on. I knit the cuffs using the two-at-a-time method, which I decided is not for me. Then I had a stroke.
I regained my ability to knit. Slowly regained my ability to knit slowly. On size 000 needles, these were never intended to be a quick project (Dave is 6'4"). But I lost heart in the project for a while, daunted by the immensity of the task.
Then I started work on them in earnest. I finished the motif on the backs of the calves and had my husband try them on. A bit tight for him. I emailed Dave himself for measurements, which turned out to match the covert figures from my friend.
Here is one being modeled by someone a little smaller than Dave. They look pretty good, if I do say so myself!
Yarn is Verve by The Unique Sheep.
photo by Shane Baskin/Blackbox Studios
One of my favorite patterns is the Meandros Hat. It features a Greek meander done in mosaic, or slip stitch, colorwork using only one color per row. It's easy, pleasant knitting and goes quickly without having to use a bulky yarn. It sits lightly on your lap while working and you can wear it different ways when finished.
This fun hat is modeled at left with a little slouch in it, which looks great, especially with all that curly hair. But it also looks wonderful pulled down over the ears for warmth. The yarn is resilient enough that you can wear the same size both ways.
These colors look great together, but you can check my Meandros Mittens post for other possibilities. I plan to start another one soon--this one looked so good on everyone!
A few years ago Baton Rouge Little Theater performed a staged reading of my musical Nannerl, based on the poetry collection The Other Mozart by Sharon Chmielarz. Now I'm orchestrating it in preparation for a future performance. I don't want to say too much about it just now, but it's very exciting. A sample of the overture (some sound quality was lost in the conversion to mp3):
Knitted Lace Designs of Herbert Niebling by Eva Maria Leszner;
Yasmin Syed and Mary Frances Wogec, trans., pub. Lacis, 2009
It's hard to know where to begin discussion of this book. With the history of lace? The astonishing biographical information about Niebling? Technical tips for casting on and blocking? Chart reading support? Fiber recommendations? Or with the large number of people involved in getting this version into print?
I'm going to start with the designs. After all, they're what caught my attention when I first opened the book.
These are what Leszner's introduction calls "ordinary works of knitting," and in many ways she's right. They are produced not with the use of magic or even bobbins, but just plain yarn and knitting needles. But the results are extraordinary. Revealed in this printing's new charts (edited and revised by Mary Frances Wogec) are the methods Niebling used to create the tablecloths pictured in this book. That's right, tablecloths. But they're gorgeous!
There's a certain kind of knitting book I like. Color pictures of modeled garments with striking backdrops. Well laid out instructions featuring interesting constructions and new techniques. Informative text sprinkled with a sense of humor. This is not that kind of book.
The photos are mostly black and white. A couple of the color images are out of focus and depict household items with not a person to be seen. Except for a few notes here and there, all the text is at the beginning of the book. The glory of this book is in the charts.
Each tablecloth is shown in a very clear full-page black and white photo with accompanying charts. The photos are not always on the page facing their charts, but they are clearly labeled with the corresponding page numbers. And the charts themselves are a wealth of information! The symbols are well defined and logically laid out in the shape of the lace. I have yet to knit any of the tablecloths, but I have used Niebling's techniques in several of my original designs.
I sat for hours poring over the pages of this book as soon as I received it. It's a slim volume--less than 100 pages--but packed with information and excellent, thoughtfully-produced charts.
I highly recommend this book for lace enthusiasts, designers, and anyone interested in how knitting works. It's also a wonderful book for anyone who appreciates the beauty of black and white images. There are some amazing pieces herein!
Disclosure: Kangath reviewed her personal copy of Knitted Lace Designs of Herbert Niebling. Kangath was not compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in the review are the blog author's and are not necessarily the opinions of Lacis, Herbert Niebling, or Eva Maria Leszner.
I've been busy with several knitting-related projects: finishing a sample, preparing submissions, checking tech-edits. These are all great fun! The sample was a wonderful combination of comfort and thrill, rhythm and surprise. I was driven to prepare the submissions by the clarity of my ideas, which hopefully will keep me powered to the end of the week. And the tech-edit? Well, that wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs, but I finished it.
Now I have several new projects which require attention. I'm trying to create a tutorial for someone on stranded colorwork. This involves just sitting down and doing it--easier said than done. I'm finally orchestrating my operetta. And I'm trying to finish reading War and Peace.
But it's farm season and vegetables need to be harvested, washed and maybe cooked, eaten or preserved, pureed or pickled, frozen or fried. My children are participating in rehearsals and swimming lessons and sundry other activities. Where's my summer vacation?
We went blueberry picking yesterday. Got up early and drove to a friend's house, and from there (with said friend and her two kids) to the blueberry patch.
The pickings were a bit sparse on most of the bushes--one berry at a time instead of handfuls. But we left with around 13 pounds . . .
. . . to put into pancakes, kefir, oatmeal, and muffins!
One of my neighbors gave me some kefir starter. It's like sourdough starter, that is, you leave it on the kitchen counter and feed it every so often, only instead of baking with it you make smoothies with it.
Kefir contains different types of beneficial bacteria than yogurt. Yogurt's bacteria is like a team of maids and cooks, making sure the digestive system stays tidy and providing food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir's bacteria and yeasts form a virtual SWAT team that destroys pathogens and strengthens the intestines by penetrating the mucosal lining where unhealthy yeast and bacteria reside. Hence, the body becomes more efficient in resisting E. coli and intestinal parasites.
We took home the starter, filled its jar with whole milk, and attached a paper coffee filter to the top. Two days later, the jar was full of nice curdy kefir. We strained it into a blender, added peaches, honey, and frozen strawberries, and made a smoothie. It looked good.
Then I took the lid off. Phew! It smelled like garbage. I tentatively dipped a spoon in and had a taste. Not bad. I poured a small cup to try. Quite good, in fact.
My kids liked it, too.
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
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