Sunday, July 29, 2012

What Grandma Meant by the Knitting Term "N"

My grandmother passed away back in the 1970s, but she recently reached out to teach me a new lesson.  This is the same grandmother that taught me to knit, tat and various other handicrafts.

Much of my grandmother’s craftwork treasures ended up in my aunt’s basement.  In my family, “The Basement” refers to that stash of stuff that ends up being collected for the life of the house - and sometimes longer.  My aunt and uncle had lived in their house for over 50 years, so you can imagine what treasures were found in their Basement!

Grandma's Pattern Book
One of my older sisters went to help clean out The Basement and was bequeathed several boxes that were originally my Grandmother’s.  In one box was one particular treasure: a packet of 3 x 5 notebook papers pinned together, obviously an old set of knitting patterns.  Some of the patterns indicated a source, some included dates and others had no references at all.  The gem was the very first pattern, which in my grandmother’s handwriting was the “Five Petal Doily,” dated July 24, 1942.  Each line of the pattern was written out and included some very strange knitting abbreviations, including an unfamiliar “n.”

Detail of one petal of the Five Petal Doily
I immediately started knitting the doily (fortunately, I had my Addi Click Lace Long Tips with me!).  I became obsessed with it.  I read the instructions over and over and tried to make sense of the term “n” that was often used.  I knit and ripped and graphed and knit and ripped some more.  Well, it turns out, 70 years ago “n” meant “narrow,” which was actually a “SSK.”

The doily was knit, and I am adding my legacy to it … it will eventually be a large circular shawl.  Thank you, Grandma!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Progressive Knit Along Pillow - And the Yarn is On Sale!

Pillows are a perfect summer project!  They're a great way to try a new stitch or technique, and they're sized just right to fit into your travel bag.  So I'm excited to join in with Michelle Hunter's latest Progressive Knit Along - The Independence Pillow!

While knitting the pillow you'll learn how to cable without a cable needle, create better buttonholes and increase your finishing skills with both written and video instruction.  Michelle reveals the free pattern over four Thursdays in July so that you and all of your KAL pals will be working together.

You'll need two skeins of Simpliworsted yarn - and we've got over 50 colors to choose from!  Plus, the yarn is now on sale for 20% off! 

If you like this Knit Along, you will definitely want to check out some of Michelle's other KALs, such as the Disappearing Act Socks, a toe-up sock that has fun with two colors of Royal yarn, or the Winter Buzz Mittens, a lattice work mitten knit with Simpliworsted

Michelle's new book "Building Blocks" is another great tool to help build your skill set while creating an awesome afghan or several pillows! 

Call or drop me a line if you need any help!