Monday, April 23, 2007

From the library of....

My good friend Dorrie gave me this book in 1972.

At the time, the only kind of knitting I'd done was garter stitch scarves.
Make that singular: scarf.

My pal must have imagined that I would one day (sooner than later) be capable of tackling the most complicated of patterns, for this book contains knitting graphs for the fanciest-looking lace, extremely involved cables and multi-colored knitting.
Who, me?

I shelved the book and eventually forgot about it, but kept on knitting.
In the 1970's and 80's I cranked out a number of sweaters and knitting did become an obsession for me. Still, the most complex stitches I attempted were the simplest cables. They look difficult to do, but are actually easy and fun.

The most challenging project I took on was a 2 - color Scandinavian design pullover, which I fancied knitting for myself.
The sad story of this cute (imagine reindeer, trees and snowflakes) sweater project began when
(1) the pattern got too confusing and
(2) I got distracted with life-beyond-crafts...(read: a new home in a new town, a small child starting grade school, a new baby and HD getting furloughed from his job).

The super demanding (for me) craft project was all but abandoned...tossed into a bag, then into a box and ultimately into the garage....for... over 25 years! I eventually stopped knitting altogether.

Now I'm back - with a vengeance.
These last weeks of knitting class, our focus has been on mosaic knitting.
The guru of this technique is Barbara Walker, who authored a book on the subject. The book is considered something of a bible on mosaic knitting, and is a 'must-have' for those who are fond of this approach to using multiple colored yarns for needlework.

You can imagine my amazement when I discovered Walker's original book was already in my home library (DOH!).
Along with the charted lace, cable and fair isle patterns, this book introduces the mosaic knitting technique that made absolutely no sense to me all those years ago.
Now that I 'get it', the patterns will keep me plenty busy until Barbara Walker's definitive book on mosaic knitting is finally added to the home 'fiber craft library' (hint hint).

Go figure.
After 35 years, I can finally relate.

Happy Ending - With my renewed passion for knitting and fascination with more involved knitting patterns, it looks like I will finally be finishing this decades old project this year, folks!
The resulting sweater will be too small to fit me now, but DDLLS said if I complete the dang thing, she'd wear it at Christmastime 2007.

Since we're perusing 'bibles' from the home library, here's another:

'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' was one of The Books of the 1970's.
Native Americans + Settling of the New World = Painful truths and realities = Yes, Gracie, there really was a holocaust in this country.

My weathered copy will be re-read before May 27th, when the HBO miniseries airs.

We can only hope the series will do justice; that all who screen it will benefit from the awareness that an accurate adaptation of a quality book can provide.

Good times rollllllllll:
An offering from the home library that excites the crafty senses!
The satisfaction of finding out a favourite book has been made into a movie!

What good fortune that neither book made it onto any past 'purge lists'.


Conn said...

good things never go out of fashion.
what a great book.
I have 2 walker books that I used in school. they really are amazing and so easy to follow instructions for lace, cables, mutli color and textures.
looking forward to seeing that 25 year old project get it due glory!

baffle said...

Life is short.
So much (craft, reading, art, films cooking, traveling, learning) to do and see.

You better believe I'm not waiting another 25 years to get round to finishing that sweater!

Someday you must share with me the things you've learned from your B.Walker books.

Conn said...

oh but of course i will share.... hmmm....
lest's ee what i remember one of these days.
i wish i had pics of my old college sweaters... they were a riot... think 1984/85. that should paint a picture.