Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The BIG Knitting post

So last weekend we went to my inlaws' home in Schenectady, New York. I have no problems with my inlaws. However, the nine hour drive each way has always posed a challenge. My spouse says I am a far worse traveler than our children. What can I say? I am bored by car travel. Especially since the arrival of children, which means I ride with the "food bag" between my feet and spend half of each trip contorted to pass snacks and books to the back seat.

This time, however, things were different. I loaded up my wonderful BagSmith birthday present...

...and knitted my way across Ontario and New York. I did not get motion sickness (which has plagued me from childhood and acted up as recently as my FIRST trip to Sch'dy as a new bride when I puked up a footlong hotdog on the side of some highway between Albany and the Berkshires). In fact, it worked quite well, with the exception of having practically nowhere to put my feet, now that the knitting was riding aside the food bag.

Between the trip to and from, and the quiet evenings at my inlaws', I was able to make this much progress on a summer cardigan from the last issue of Creative Knitting:

You probably can't tell from the photo, but the yarn is a soft coral (Cascade Sierra in color 55). It has a lacy bottom that was very fun to knit. Now I'm into the garter ridge, which is pretty boring. Maybe that's why they have you do the back first: get the longest rows out of the way first.

My mother-in-law is a wonderful, old skool knitter. She learned as a girl in Maine. She has been knitting with wool (and only wool -- no acrylic for her thank you) ever since. She has years and years of patterns, knitting magazines and yarn in her craft room. She was generous enough to open her craft room to my eager eyes. I came away with a bunch of Green Mountain Yarn patterns and these items from her stash:

1. Two skeins of bulky yarn left from a mitten project of hers.
2. Yarn for the Christmas stockings I promised my friend who got married in February.
3. Half a cone of mulberry-colored chenille (project suggestions?)
4. Leftover yarn from the sweater she knit my youngest when he was born (how could I not take that?).

5. NORO!

There's a bit of a story behind the Noro. Namely, I did not get it from my mother-in-law. Instead I bougth it at the yarn shore she took me to the day my husband and sons went with my father-in-law to tour a decomissioned navy ship in Albany. We drove to Altamont and went to The Spinning Room, which was very well stocked and had helpful staff (one of whom appeared to be the owner). Noro was on sale for $9 (which maybe wasn't such a sale, but it was $2 off the usual price there, so I registered a bargain). I don't know what I'll use it for but now I have 4 balls of Silk Garden. I have wanted Noro yarn for quite a while. My desire chakra has been temporarily appeased. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

Finally, I wanted to share a few tidbits from my mother-in-law's pattern collection. In thumbing through old Reynolds patterns, I came across these two photos, which have to be of Christie Brinkley and Tia Leoni before they hit the big time. Am I right?

Finally, for those of you who like "vintage" knitting, check out this swingin' pattern I uncovered.

If you knew my mother-in-law, you would realize this could only be in her posession through some accident. Perhaps my spouse's older sister bought it in the hopes her mother would finally make something "groovy" instead of "square." Or maybe someone put it there as a joke. Either way, I would pay a hefty sum to see my mother-in-law knitting this pattern, let along wearing the finished garment.



Anonymous Julie said...

Project suggestion for the chenille: something SUPER simple with no stitch pattern because you will not be able to distinguish one stitch from another. Keep in mind, too, that chenille has NO elasticity whatsoever and it's very slippery. I recommend a garter stitch scarf. Do I sound bitter? I don't go near chenille any more.

And can I also say in your MIL's defense that the grey sweater is sooooo groovy!

7:36 AM  
Blogger I am a Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

Cracks me up that Tea and Christie would have modelled for knitting patterns!

I have a cookbook I've had since childhood. The back of this magazine sized cookbook (which is like the ones sold at grocery store checkouts now) has this woman:

who used to appear in the show Knots Landing. It wasn't until years after the show airred and was over when I realized it.

I also found--this is even weirder--postcards in a "junque/antique" store. I picked them up to go through them because my Dad collects stamps. One was of the Shakespearean Theatre in Oregon. And who was on the front (looking about 20 years old) but this woman:


7:36 PM  
Blogger doulicia said...


I had thought to keep the chenille for accent work -- a hat brim, say, or stripes in a scarf. If it's inelastic, then the hat brim is a bad idea. One needs their hat edges to hug the head. But your scarf vote seconds mine. We'll what I do with it.

And of course I didn't mean to imply my mother's knitted products are "square." As you know, they're pretty darn amazing. Even, I suspect, to her daughter!


I followed your links and recognized both women. I guess everyone has to get his or her start somewhere. I'm sure we all have prouder photos than those in our high school yearbooks, right?

7:57 PM  

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