"Learning to knit was a snap. It was learning how to stop that nearly destroyed me."
Erma Bombeck

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Summer 2009

Topics: Solstice Trivia, Summer Knitting, On the Web, Great Deals On Yarn, Holiday Head Start

Summer has officially arrived, although for those of us who live in south Louisiana, hot weather arrives well before the longest day of the year. When the temps get up to the mid-eighties the exuberant calypso rhythms of “Hot! Hot! Hot!” come to mind. Here’s a link:

And some Summer Solstice trivia: Awed by the great power of the sun, civilizations have for centuries celebrated the first day of summer otherwise known as the Summer Solstice, also Midsummer (see
Shakespeare), St. John's Day. The Celts & Slavs celebrated the first day of summer with dancing & bonfires to help increase the sun's energy. The Chinese marked the day by honoring Li, the Chinese Goddess of Light. Perhaps the most enduring modern ties with Summer Solstice were the Druids' celebration of the day as the "wedding of Heaven and Earth", resulting in the present day belief of a "lucky" wedding in June. Today, the day is still celebrated around the world - most notably in England at Stonehenge and Avebury, where thousands gather to welcome the sunrise on the Summer Solstice।

I auditioned/swatched several summer knitting projects, and the winner was…Girasole by Jerod Flood, aka Brooklyn Tweed. Since girasole means sunflower in Italian, I decided to knit it in a golden semisolid. Knit Picks Kettle Dyed sock yarn fit the bill and my budget constraints; at $8.99/462yds/ball I needed just 3 balls, and the yarn is lovely to work with. Girasole can be knit in worsted/aran weight too, as it is in the photo. There is web KAL going on, and local knitter Debbie A. is knitting it too. The pattern, which is well written, is available on Ravelry. What are you knitting this summer?

The summer issues of Knitty and The Twist Collective are now available online, and I am pleased to see yet another web magazine; you'll want to check out
Petite Purls, which is devoted to knitting for little ones. The first issue contains six patterns, from a cute dress to a knit lobster, plus an article on knitting for kids and a few product reviews. If Jacques Crusteau was knit in orange yarn, he could be a crawfish! The adorable patterns are free.
Fiber Gypsy has a useful Size/Measurement Chart for Children:

Elann continues to feature the best deals around on yarn, usually discounted 40% and more. Yes, they are closeouts, discontinued colors, etc., but from the best companies in the business. And often, the more expensive and exclusive the yarn the better the discount. Listings are added nearly every day at 11:00am CT, and sometimes sell out in an hour or two. Recent listings included Noro, Vittadini, Filatura Di Crosa, and Debbie Bliss!

HOLIDAY HEAD START: I started this newsletter in early summer, and although school has begun, it’s still summer with plenty of hot weather yet to come. However, for knitters, some holiday head start classes seem like a good idea. Starting next Wednesday, August 26, I will teach a Christmas Stocking Class. I have a book of great stocking patterns which features a large variety of patterns, incorporating various techniques such as Fair Isle, intarsia, textured stitches, lace, duplicate stitch and more. This is a class for intermediate knitters who can choose to knit a pattern as written, modify one, or create a unique design. The first class, in which we will plan our stocking, will take place at Debbie 's home Aug.26; the dates for the following classes are Sept. 8 and 23, and Oct. 7. Classes will begin at 1:00, but there will be a pot luck lunch at 12:00 on Aug. 26. The cost for the four classes is $40. Class enrollment will be strictly limited to six. Reply to this email or phone me to save your spot.

Patternfish is an online store where you can buy or sell your knitting or crochet patterns as customized PDF downloads. That is all we do, and we want to be the best in the world at it. You won't find free patterns here. Nothing in Patternfish is available for less than $2.00 US. You won't find advertising, either.

3,548 patterns! I copied the above paragraph from the Patternfish website. I’ve really enjoyed browsing the patterns, and the search engine works well, especially if you clear the previous search before starting a new search. I’ve found some wonderful patterns, purchased a few, and saved the rest in my “wish list”, a site feature you can access after you register. I love downloading patterns, because I can save them on the computer or a CD and print them later. Patternfish also saves them in your “account”, should your computer crash or you lose the CD. You can also access them on another computer, out of town or otherwise. Many of the patterns are “oldies”, but there is gold to be mined and I love being able to search by favorite designer, yarn company, item name, and more.

Check out the new Drift cardigan, a free pattern on the Berroco website. It is knit in worsted weight Vintage yarn, and I love the textured stitches and flattering vertical lines. It would be easy to convert it to a pullover too, and it comes in sizes 32 thru 52. I think I’ve talked myself into making it…anyone interested in a KAL (knitalong).

Hugs and thanks for all the positive feedback. I love my knitting friends!


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