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April 1, Knittingnews

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Knittingnews - April 1

April 1, 2003 
Happy April Fools' Day!

Just to let you know this newsletter will contain no tricks. As a child I would try to play April fool jokes on people. I was so bad at it. I am still bad at it, so I don't even try. My children unfortunately take after me. I hear awful knock, knock jokes from them all the time. They go a little like this: "Knock, knock." "Who's there?" "Me." Followed by child cracking up in laughter. Not a comedian in the bunch! I hope your April Fools' Day is filled with lots of silly laughter, too.

The Latest in Fashion from New York City:

New York City had a whole lot of visitors in March for my favorite time; the fall fashion shows. It's my favorite because even though I never get a chance to go, I like to see what the designers think we are all going to wear come fall and winter 2003. You get to see good well thought out designs and some freaky things. I also get to see if I can make my own versions at home.

Here is what I got out of this years show: Black is completely back, or as the joke, black is the new black. I saw black on black for men and women. My favorite was black with shots of vibrant color, red, purple, teal or royal blue. I saw mostly simple cuts with geometric splashes of color. Straight skirts, simple tunic sweaters, mini skirts cut right above the knee, and smart jackets. They were all made special with just a little embellishing, a little beadwork, a patch of sequins, or an exciting scarf or bag. It was very conservative, perfect for these uncertain times. Use simple patterns that you already have to achieve these fresh new looks for fall by choosing black as the yarn color.

Square 10 Perforated Rib:

This cool beginner rib is perfect for sweaters. It makes a great phony cable that looks really classy on men or women.
Using a worsted weight yarn and size 8 US (4mm) needles:
Reminder: CO=cast on, P=purl, K=knit, STS= Stitches, YO=yarn over needle to add a stitch, P3TG=slip needle through 3 stitches and purl them all together, *, RPT to= repeat pattern between *, till noted, BO=bind off

Seed stitch border:
Row 1: * K1, P1 *, Rpt to last ST, K1
Repeat row 1- 3 more times.
Continue this pattern on 1st 3 and last 3 STS.
Center motif:
Row 1: P1, K1, P1, * YO, P3TG, YO, P1, K1, P1 *, RPT to end
Row 2: K1, P1, K1, * P3. K1, P1, K1 *, RPT to end
Row 3: P1, K1, P1, * K3, P1, K1, P1 *, RPT to end
Row 4: same as row 2
Continue pattern until you have worked 11 inches from CO edge end on row 4.
Work 4 rows of seed Stitch border, BO.

Remember these squares also look great as a pillow top or you can knit them up in 100% cotton for a generously sized washcloth or dishcloth. My daughter's Barbie dolls have a couple as bed quilts. It is a very versatile project.

Time marches on quickly!

Since I write these a little ahead of time, by the time you read this my littlest baby Lauren will be turning 2 and no longer my baby. Some of you remember when I started writing this newsletter right before she was born.  It is so hard to believe as she is growing so fast and learning so much in a short amount of time. She is so precious to me I just want to freeze this moment and keep it forever. She is my last baby and will be a toddler, not a baby anymore. So join me in wishing my littlest one a Happy Birthday, Princess!

Yarn of the Newsletter:

Washed sample is on the right.
Today's yarn is: Sirdar Stampata
Weight: super chunky, 100gm, 151 yds.
Needle size recommended: US 11, 8mm (UK 0)
Fiber content: 63% acrylic, 29% merino wool, and 8% polyester
Wrap: 2 per inch
Gauge listed: 12 sts x 16 rows = 4"
Actual gauge: Same
Washing instructions: Machine wash, air dry
Gauge after washing: Same
Abuse test: After a few passes with my light sandpaper there was noticeable pilling and fuzzing, but no harm to the yarn structure.
I paid $9 for this yarn, usually a price I sigh and walk past. The colors drew me in.
Where to buy: Go to your local yarn shop first.

Personal thoughts:

It is a beautiful yarn and it was on sale and the colors are beautiful. I loved the cerise, teal and purple the most. The fact it was machine washable was a dream. The swatch worked up great and the yarn flew through my fingers, so soft. It had a wonderful drape. After the washing, Stampata was no longer my dream yarn. The swatch came out faded right from the wash with a highly noticeable whitish halo. The bright colors in cerise "oranged". I would not use this in anything that had to be laundered frequently. Do not wash it with anything but similar colors.

Use suggestions: If I had to use it, it would be used for an accessory item, such as a scarf. It is too soft for much else. Better yet, leave it on the shelf.

Scarf Directions:

If you do make a scarf, mine came out fantastic:
Needed: One skein of yarn, size US 10 (8mm)

Cast on 20 stitches, knit every row until yarn is gone.
Use this scarf with a smart black turtleneck and black trousers and you will be turning heads!

History of Knitting on Long Island:

This is my tiny corner of the world. It is an island with bridges attaching it to Manhattan and Staten Island.

Long Island was settled first by the Dutch in 1640. It was favored because of the high water table, multitudes of fresh water lakes and ponds and it's mild weather , similar to Southern France. It was (and still is) filled with deer, quail, wild ducks, pheasant, and rabbits. The only thing that it was lacking is a fiber source.  Cotton and linen cannot grow here. Unless the settlers brought sheep, there were none to be found. Its dense woods were more suited to other animals.

Early knitting in this area consisted of knitting back up worn items and knitting fabric scraps from worn clothing. The first bulky knitters were born! When the English settled here in the 1700's they set up large farm tracts and brought some sheep, knitting became a little more widespread. Fishing and farming were major sources of income, so wool sweaters and socks were the most frequently made items. Since life was rough on Long Island women had little time and even fewer resources for decorative needlework. These items were still very rare until heavy overseas trade was set up on parts of Long Island. The north shore's rocky coast had deep water ports perfect for letting large ships arrive. This enabled the people of the north shore international trade with England and other countries. Fabric and yarn from Europe could arrive and knitting finally thrived. In my county there were many successful ports: Greenport , Port Jefferson, Smithtown, Huntington, Kings Park to name a few. Most of these historic harbors are still in use today. With lots of nice yarn shops to visit!


Some things change and some don't! I haven't, but my email address has.

Looking forward to hearing from all of you at my NEW email address:

I try to answer all questions, friendly chat, or anything else.


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