Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still Cold

It seems that winter has finally settled in. As I write this post, the wind is howling outside, making the windows rattle in their frames. We got a dusting of snow tonight, with more on the way Thursday and Friday. Usually, I'd be ecstatic that there's a chance of snow. But not this weekend. This weekend we're traveling to my parents to celebrate...

(Drumroll, please!)

...their 50th wedding anniversary!

It would be fitting, however, for us to have seriously inclement weather on Friday. The day before our wedding (also on February 3rd), the northern Virginia area had 12 inches of snow dumped on it. Regions south of here got ice. Nonetheless, my intrepid parents were undaunted, tossed my grandmother in the car, and braved the wintry weather to attend our wedding. By the time they arrived, their car was coated in ice, making the locals wonder where they were from. The weather was just the beginning of the wedding adventures. But that's a story for another day.

The Swedish twined knitting (also known as two end knitting) class was excellent. If you ever have a chance to take a class by Beth Brown-Reinsel, do so. She explains techniques well and is very patient with knitters who are literally all thumbs (that would be me!). Her handouts are very well written. Beth provided various samples of the twined knitting, as well as a blouse from the 19th century (the knitting was impressive).

We learned how to cast on using three yarns, making the cast-on edge twined as well. The cast on method is the same as Old Norwegian (or German) cast on and makes for a nice stretchy cuff. We then moved on to the basic knit and purl stitches. If you think regular purling is awkward, you ain't seen nothin'! All twined purling is beyond awkward. The tendency, for me, was to purl using my thumb. I was beginning to despair that I would get beyond the first row. However, the twined knit stitch was a breeze in comparison, and the stitch patterns that alternated purls and knits were also easy. I (the world's slowest knitter) actually kept up with the majority of the class.

Beth introduced us to the work of Anne-Maj Ling, showing slides of her work. In addition to the usual hats, mittens, socks, and sweaters, Anne-Maj also knit dresses, skirts, dickeys, and (get this!) slacks! The slacks were stunning...very tailored and not saggy at the back end at all. Warning: Anne-Maj's web site is in Swedish, but browse through it anyway. Click the links in the left navigation panel below the phrase Bilder på några av mina: to see examples of her work. (Alas, there isn't a picture of the slacks.)

Knitting Progress
I haven't made much progress lately. The Jenna sweater grows by about three rows a day. The Christine sweater still languishes. I think I'm going to take the rather desperate measure of redoing the chart, this time including all the repeats. It's probably unnecessary, but it will give me a good sense of how the Fair Isle pattern is behaving. Of course, if I don't understand the marking for each of the pieces of the sweater, I'll get nowhere, other than having another colorful chart.

The knitting group at work met again today, since we can't meet Friday. Attendance was much better and everyone was very enthusiastic. I love the feeling of walking into a group of knitters and knitting with everyone else. It feels like coming home. The Divine scarf will be the primary knitting group project, since it's rather simple.

I'll have pictures of my twined knitting sampler, as well as scarf and sweater pictures later this week or early next week. I probably won't post again until Sunday, depending on what time we get back.

Have a great week and happy knitting!


Sheepish Annie said...

Fifty Years!!! A big congratulations and best wishes to your parents. And happy thoughts for a safe trip for you...we're looking at snow on Friday here. I may pull off a five day weekend since I'm off today and tomorrow. It's like a vacation!

Anne said...

Wow! 50 years - that is fantastic. I hope they have a wonderful time.

Winter and the cold snap are hanging in here too, I'm afraid.