Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pardon me boys, is this the railway stocking?

During our research, we came across this pattern in the February 1861 issue of Godey's Lady's Book.  When I first saw it, I read through it and dismissed it.  Couldn't work.

The idea is that you cast on and knit the ribbing.  You then bind off and immediately go back and pick up all the stitches.  Fiddly, you say?  What's the point, you say?  It's all in what you do with the picked up stitches.  The pattern says to knit a finger and a half of stocking stitch (stockinette stitch - knit all rounds).  Then you knit a stitch and drop a stitch all the way around.  In other words, you drop every other stitch and let them unravel back all the way to picked up stitches (since you bound off and picked up stitches, the unraveling stops at the ribbing.  I was convinced that dropping the stitches would make it wider, not longer. 

We got talking about it at the Retreat and I decided I just have to try this.  I got cast on, bound off and picked up.  Granted I only knit about 3/4 of a finger but it worked.  It worked!  You can see the socks here along with the beginning of a little matching sweater.  On the right side is the piece before the stitches have been dropped.  Really.  That's it.  Give it a try and see if it doesn't work. 

I'm going to use this as a test and work out a real size pattern.  It may take me a little bit but I'll be sure to post it when I get it done.  I love the sweater.  In the stripes like this, it reminds me of the old Knute Rockne/Win One for the Gipper/Ronald Reagan era of football jersey.  Not sure why but it makes me smile everytime I look at it.  A little bit of magic.  Always a little bit of magic.

Three Sisters Folk Art School

If you're in the Central Illinois area, there's an event you want to put on your schedule.  As a fund raiser for the new Three Sisters Folk Art School, we're going to be putting on Folk Art in the Park.  It will be a whole day of demonstrations and hands-on instruction in a wide variety of crafts represented by the school, including fiber arts such as spinning, knitting and weaving, and wood carving and turning, basket making, dulcimers, pin hole photography and more.  Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 11, at Three Sisters Park in Chilicothe (just north of Peoria). 

One of the projects we, as the Guild, are working on is putting together miniature rooms that have samples of the various crafts that we expect will be taught through the School.  One of my projects is to knit some socks.  Here's the first one.  How fun is that!  It was knit with lace weight yarn and my trusty 6-0 needles.  The second sock will be started and then transferred to the miniature needles one of the other ladies is going to make.  I even managed to get the little heel turned and used the Kitchner stitch for the toe stitches!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Land O' Cotton

I mentioned the project my Mom and I have going.  I spun quite a bit of cotton from the seed so I thought my mother might want to try growing it.  I've never met a plant she can't grow and she does come from cotton country in West Texas.  What better way to feed your addiction than by helping someone else feed their addiction in a way that will feed your addiction?!

So under the warm Texas sun, the seeds got planted. 

First report - there were babies.

Second report - there were teenagers.

Third report - yellow flowers.

Fourth report - pink flowers

Evidently the flowers come up yellow to begin with and then change to pink as they mature.  Once they run their course and fall off, the boll will come up and then we'll really be on our way. 

I'll let you know how it goes.