In which NutmegOwl takes you on a tour of knitting past …
Once upon a time, when NutmegOwl was a new knitter, she churned out many a project, but never documented a thing. She knitted and gifted and knitted and gifted some more. A holiday visit home, and now we can see fossils from my knitting past.
Fluted Rib Wrap with Bobbles, the “Very Easy Very Vogue” from Fall 1997 Vogue Knitting was my second knitted project. Ever. It was my first experience knitting on a circular needle (and I’ve never gone back) and knitting with alpaca. Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, to be precise. The photo does not show the fluted rib pattern, but it was an excellent tutorial in learning how to work pattern texture into knitting, and how to read knitting. I made it for Mom, who is perennially chilly. It warms my heart to know that around the house, this is her go-to wrap. If she’s on the couch, chances are, this is around her shoulders or over her feet.
This followed maybe a year later. It’s an old Cleckheaton flyer pattern worked up in a very splitty sport-weight merino called Baruffa Aerobic. The knitting seemed to go on and on and on. But the finishing went very well, with the raglan sleeves coming together perfectly. Another project to keep cold Mom warm. Cowl-necks look especially good on her, too.
Over the years, dozens of children’s projects made for the nieces have disappeared. That makes my knitterly heart hurt just a little. But I cannot expect others to care as much as I do. There are a few things left that will be passed along to Darling Bebe during the toddler years, but most have seemingly evaporated.
When the nieces got a little older, they loved the pair of these knitted in opposite colors: Chain Link Scarf from the cover of Teva Durham’s Loop-d-Loop. I loved the construction of the interlocking rings, though I could pull it off MUCH faster today using magic loop than I did with mohair on DPNs. That’s right, Classic Elite La Gran pink mohair. The last time I used it – or ever will. (And those of you who know me know how much I despise pink. I must love those nieces.) Unless it’s part of a really good blend, mohair hates me and the feeling is mutual. I also found it interesting that the rings naturally turned themselves purl side out. If this looks a little worse for wear, well, it’s now on its third niece. It’s been loved, and that counts for everything.
Let me state for the record that I have never been accused of being a trend-setter. Never will be, either. Nope. Sheer geek here. So I think it’s wickedly funny that I taught Sandy Cushman’s Mosaic Mitts a couple of years before anyone was making mitts. Also for the record: Barbara Walker was a genius to invent mosaic knitting (and for a host of other reasons …). If you have a chance to take a class in it, do it. Throw some unusual color match-ups on the needles and get swatching and you will be surprised by how effortlessly you can create something stunning. (Owl gets down from soapbox) These are special because it was the first class I ever taught. Yes, I taught colorwork on DPNs as my first class. Amazingly arrogant and/or stupid. But everyone save one finished their projects, and I was asked to come back to teach more, so I guess I did okay. It started my passion for empowering other knitters to try things and bring their knitting to the next level. The yarn, Mirasol Miski, was lovely to work with; the photo does not really do them justice, but I enjoy them very much.
Finally, these have been one of my favorite gifts over the years: Fetching made from Elsebeth Lavold Silky Cashmere. Three skeins yields one pair. The yarn feels nice enough to work with, but you need to let it soak in a warm bath to see it really perform. I made these for Mom during the weeks she spent helping me after the birth of Darling Bebe. Her hands were always so cold before – but not after these. Mods: I use a sewn bind-off to give the top elasticity without the flaring that the as-written picot bind-ff produces. I’ve made these at least three times and sent them off on their merry way without so much as a little pic to show that they ever happened. Oops.
As I pause before posting, I suppose it’s really no surprise that so many things I knit are for my mom. She is simply the best.
So ends our little archaeological dig this afternoon. Be well, be merry!
Tags: alpaca, barbarawalker, chainlink, classicelite, cleckheaton, elsebethlavold, fetching, incaalpaca, knitty, lagran, loopdloop, miski, mitts, mohair, mosaic, shawl, silkycashmere, tevadurham, vogueknitting, wrap