Knitwhitties: A Little Knitting Nothing

I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex. - Oscar Wilde

Monday, February 23, 2009

Something To Look Forward To!

I registered for a couple of knitting classes at the local adult school. Let's see if this gives me the kick I need to start and actually finish something. And finish it well. I am really looking forward to both of them.

Knitting 102
This class is designed for those of you who had Knitting 101 and want to go further or for those who feel that their skills are more advanced than an introductory course. We will learn more advanced techniques such as knitting in the round, making garments from the neck down, socks many ways such as toe up and on circular needles. We will be able to make a sampler using intricate cables and a variety of special stitches. Special attention will be paid to reading patterns and finishing projects so that they look like an artisan made them instead of homemade. You will need to bring your current or desired projects,knitting worsted weight yarn and size 8 needles to class.

If you have knitted garments that you have put away because you do not know how to put them together, bind them off, add edgings, this class is intended to let you get those garments out to finish and use. We will cover all those problems and include seaming, picking up stitches for neckbands and sleeves, blocking, buttonholes and any other technique needed for you to have a finished garment. Reading charts, duplicate stitching, I cord borders will also be included as appropriate. Since this class will not teach knitting,you need to know how and have some garments you need help on, however,please bring size 8 needles, straight or circular and smooth knitting worsted to class as well.

Now, doesn't that sound like fun?

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Liesel Scarf

Since I obviously don't want to work on Arwen, and the Harry Potter scarf is good for a take-along project, I wanted to start something a little more difficult to work on at home. I have some beautiful Louisa Harding Grace, in a gorgeous green, that I thought would make a wonderful leaf-themed scarf. After searching Ravelry (gotta love Ravelry!) for hours and hours and days and years, I finally found a pattern I thought would do - and it's even free! It's the Liesel scarf, and it's not too hard. Famous last words. After working nearly an entire skein, I realized that about 5 inches back I had started working the wrong side as the right side (and vice versa). Sigh... So I ripped it out, and re-started. I have managed one pattern repeat. I think this is going to be another long-unfinished project. No pictures of the disaster, out of respect for the deceased.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Imbolc!

Imbolc ("IM-bulk")is an ancient festival generally celebrated on January 31, February 1, or February 2. It is also known as Candlemas, Brighid ("breed"), and Oimelc ("EE-mulk") which means ewe's milk. Imbolc is a Greater Sabbat in the Wiccan year.

The celebration signals the middle of the season of long nights and anticipates the upcoming season of light. Celebrants make Corn Maidens from corn and wheat. The Maidens are dressed up and placed in a cradle known as a "Bride's Bed". A wand, usually tipped with an acorn or other large seed, is placed in the bed with the Maiden. The Maidens are generally kept year round as a symbol of fertility.

Other interrelated interpretations of the festival center around the Irish Goddess Brighid, known for her healing, smithcraft, and poetry gifts. Additional interpretations revolve around the birth of lambs and the lactation of the ewes. Still others celebrate Imbolc as the recovery of the Earth Goddess after giving birth to the Sun God.

Imbolc Chant
Now I banish winter.
Now I welcome spring:
Say farewell to what is dead
And greet each living thing.
Now I banish winter.
Now I welcome spring.

And this poem always gave me hope that spring would return:
"Summer is a-coming in,
Loud sing cuckoo;
Groweth seed and bloweth mead,
And springeth the wood new,
Sing cuckoo!

Ewe bleateth after lamb,
Loweth after calf the cow;
Bullock starteth, buck verteth,*
Merry sing cuckoo.

Cuckoo, cuckoo, well singeth thou cuckoo,
Thou art never silent now.
Sing cuckoo, now, sing cuckoo,
Sing cuckoo, sing cuckoo, now!"