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Knittingnews - March 17

March 17

Happy St. Patty's day to all! Enjoy this one day when everyone has the opportunity to at least play like the luck of the Irish is due them though birth!

And, happy freezing cold weather to all, except our friends in Australia where it is summer weather. Even though it has been a while, never fear I am still the same old me.  I am still recovering from a bathroom remodel, which spread out into my daughter's room and the downstairs hall.  The dust and dirt made from this has taken over.  The bad news is it is taking forever to finish; the good news is I have a real reason to not dust upstairs.  Can you use a leaf blower to clean a house?  Just wondering!

Please let your knitting friends know I am back and better than ever.  I have been practicing like the dickens with many different techniques and hope to share lots of information with you in future newsletters.

Free Pattern: Square # 9

This is the Flying Geese Square for the 12 square quilt.  For the previous squares, please see the previous newsletters.  If you do not know how to access them, please email me at: Kathleengallagher@ivillage.com

Use a worsted weight and size 8 US (4mm) needles.
You will need about 1 oz of yarn.
BO = bind off, K = knit, P = purl,  *   * RPT to  = repeat pattern between the two stars.

Start by casting on 45 stitches.
Seed Stitch border:
Row 1: * K1, P1   * Rpt to last ST, K1
Row 2:  Rpt Row 1
Repeat these rows for pattern 2 more rows then continue with seed stitch on 1st 3 stitches and last 3 stitches. 

Center pattern:
Row 1:  K1, P1, K1,  *P3, K1, P1, K1,  *RPT to end
Row 2:  P3,  * K3, P3, *RPT to end
Row 3:  P1, K1,  * K5, P1, *RPT to last ST, K1
Row 4:  K1, P1,  * K5, P1, *RPT to last ST, K1
Row 5:  P3,   * K1, P1, K1, P3,  *RPT to end
Row 6:  K3,  * P1, K1, P1, K3,  *RPT to end
Row 7:  P3,  * K3, P3, *RPT to end
Row 8:  K4, P1,  * K5, P1, *RPT to last 4 STS, K4
Row 9:  P4, K1,  * P5, K1, *RPT to last 4 STS, P4
Row 10:  P1, K1, P1,  * K3, P1, K1, P1,  *RPT to end

Repeat rows 1-10 (5 more times), you will have a total of 60 center rows + 4 lower border.  Knit 4 more rows of seed stitch then BO.
Make sure to weave in the ends and block.

  

Even though it is cold here my mailbox is filled with my two most favorite things; yarn catalogues and seed catalogues.  I am getting spring fever or cabin fever, one of the two!  The kids are all bouncing off the walls.  The cats are nervous bundles of energy.  I can't wait till "park weather".  I can go to a local park and set all the kids loose to play. I get to relax with a cup of coffee and a new project.  Sounds like heaven to me!

 

New Yarn Testing Section

Note:  In the photo, washed is on the right, unwashed is on the left.

The yarn to be tested is: Plymouth Encore   Color 999(dark red)
Weight: worsted, 100 gm. 200 yards
Needle size recommended: Us size 8 or 9 (5 or 5.5 mm)
Fiber content:  75% acrylic/25% wool
Wrap per inch: 8
Gauge listed: 4 ½ to 5 stitches = 1 inch
Actual gauge:  20 stitches x 24 rows = 4 ½ inch square
Washing instructions: Machine wash 80* F, machine dry
Gauge after washing: There was no difference between washed and unwashed swatch, except a slight roll (no problem after blocking).
Abuse test:  I took sand paper to my knitting to see how it responded to abrasion.  Lets face it my kids are tough on clothes.  There were no signs of pilling or wear, just a slight halo of fuzz.
I paid $4.50 US at my local yarn shop
Where to buy this yarn: look locally first!

Http://www.patternworks.com

Http://www.yarnware.com

Http://www.fibreshop.com

Http://www.lambsearfarm.com

My personal thoughts: I found it soft to the touch, even before washing.  It was not itchy at all.  The color choices were amazing and the local shop owner brought the new multi-colored Encore for me to see.  They were beautiful and looked just like designer hand paints, but much cheaper.

Use suggestions: Children's sweaters, cabled or heavily textured work, intarsia work, or Fair Isle work.  The yarn has a crisp look that would make any textured work beautiful.  I would not use these yarns for a solid color stockinet stitch.  It would be nice, but not interesting.  They now have a beautiful Multi version of this yarn I would recommend for use in more simple designs.

 

History of Knitting- Egypt Style

Knitting was popular even way back in about 4th century Egypt.  Most items found were just fragments, but they are still beautiful.  There is still some historic controversy about the origin of knitting as Muslim knitting and Egyptian knitting are so similar and started about the same time.  Due to dry conditions a few samples did survive and could be studied.  Many types of arm and leg warmers were made as well as beautiful stockings.  I got a chance to see some at the Museum of Natural History in New York.  All the examples I had seen were bicolored and heavily patterned, except for one.  The display noted that the yarns were mostly cotton fibers, finely spun then yarn dyed in plant dye. There were a blue and ivory arm set and a green and ivory arm set.  The patterns were geometric and very decorative.  There was a small sock that was knit in many earth-tone colors, but still keeping with the geometric pattern theme.

Today Egypt continues to be a major exporter of fine cotton yarns and yarn-goods.  Extra-long staple Pima cotton is a pleasure to knit with.  The texture is similar to silk.

Sties to see recreations of similar items:

Http://www.witch.drak.net/lilinah/latest.html
Http://www.witch.drak.net/lilinah/Egyptknit1.html

  

What have I been doing on my hiatus?

The question "where are you?"  Came to me via email several times while I was "out".  While I was gone I worked on several projects to help grow as a crafter.  I learned the ins and outs of craft fairs, street fairs and EBay.  I had lots of fun and met a whole lot of new people in my venture to create a business based on my crafts.  I made a whole lot of mistakes and to my surprise made some money.  I also took some advanced knitting lessons.

I spent extra time with family and friends and just plain enjoyed myself, now I am back to the other thing I love most, knitting and sharing.

  

What a blessed year this past year has been.  Despite all the bad things that have happened, I still am very happy.  I have decided to concentrate on the little things and forgo the big picture that comes through on my television screen all day. I find joy in my children's laughter, my husband's smile.  I feel joy when the sun shines on my face.  I smile when it's noisy and things go wrong and sometimes someone will smile along with me… Are you smiling yet?  If not take a step back from all the silliness and just smile.  It isn't worth all the fuss, if you can't enjoy it.

Till next time…
Wishing you all peace, love and good health

Kathy

 

Can't find something?  Need advice?  Just need a friendly word?
Email me at:
kathy@mail2green.com

 

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