Wednesday, 21 May 2014

25 years on...............

They said that we were being too quick, we should wait and that it would never last............  Who, why our mothers, both of whom were singing from a different hymn sheet to each other...

Mr S's mother wanted him to remain a single parent so that she could have daily contact with her two grand-daughters (here I should point out that the only good thing that Mr S did, in her eyes that it is, was to father two girls).  His arrival as a second boy was her big disappointment, but as he had been born at home she couldn't deny him as she had his brother five years earlier.

My mother had decided that I was to be her carer and companion in her old age as a dutiful daughter should.  A role that she deemed I that I was eminently suitable for as a widow and a female.  Indeed this role was, she considered, to be my only redeeming feature as I had failed to be the son she had so wanted forcing her to endure a second pregnancy to produce the desired son.

Well we didn't listen and selfishly put ourselves first - so 25 years ago yesterday (May 20th) we tied the knot and yesterday we revisited our honeymoon venue.  With only one day we had spent what we grandly called our 'honeymoon' on a steam train.  To be precise we traveled from Kidderminster to Bridgenorth and back again - First Class!

Well we couldn't replicate the journey exactly, because there isn't a First Class guard's van - which is where wheelchairs users have to travel on preserved railways - but we did have a fabulous day on the Sir Keith Park, which sadly was

a Southern engine, not a Great Western engine (:

We bought each other a silver sheep and a Pine Cone carved with a chain saw!

And despite all the dire warnings it has lasted and we are still together, so here's to the next 25 which we will both need if we are to use up our wood and wool stashes....

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Further thoughts on lever knitting

More and more proper lever knitters are coming out of the woodwork!  Sarah who enlightened me to my method of knitting is a prodigious knitter, and very speedy, to this end it was assumed that she must be a continental knitter!  When she disclosed that she was a lever knitter immediately she was linked to the Yarn Harlot as if she (Sarah) must have learnt from her.......  No I always knitted this way was her response - the debate continues :)

But the assumption rekindled my interest into the history of knitting and variety of stitches available today and the complexity of  knitting terminology.

One of my favourite knitting books is Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby, not just for the lovely designs, but for the potted history of knitting and the early design books or knitting manuals.  One thing I find most fascinating is the lack of abbreviations, this comes from Miss Lambert's My Knitting a book published in 1843 and it included an explanation of the terms used in knitting and I can't resist listing them here:

To cast on.—The first interlacement of the cotton on the needle.
To cast off.—To knit two stitches, and to pass the first over the second, and so on to the last stitch, which is to be secured by drawing the thread through.
To cast over.—To bring the cotton forward round the needle.
To narrow.—To lessen, by knitting two stitches together.
To seam.—To knit a stitch with the cotton before the needle.
To widen.—To increase by making a stitch bringing the cotton round the needle, and knitting the same when it occurs.
A turn.—Two rows in the same stitch, backwards and forwards.
To turn.—To change the stitch.
To turn over.—To bring the wool forward over the needle.
A row.—The stitches from one end of the needle to the other.
A round.—A row, when the stitches are on two, three, or more needles.
A plain row.—That composed of simple knitting.
To pearl a row.—To knit with the cotton before the needle.
To rib.—To work alternate rows of plain and pearl knitting.
To bring the thread forward.—To bring the cotton forward so as to make an open stitch.
A loop stitch.—Made by bringing the cotton before the needle, which, in knitting the succeeding stitch, will again take its own place.
To slip or pass a stitch.—To change it from one needle to the other without knitting it.
To fasten on.—The best way to fasten on is to place the two ends contrariwise, and knit a few stitches with both together. For knitting, with silk, or fine cotton, a weaver's knot will be found the best.
To take under.—To pass the cotton from one needle to the other, without changing its position.
Pearl, seam, and rib-stitch—All signify the same.

Very different from the detailed abbreviations and charts from today's patterns.  Miss Lambert's receipts which were not exactly precise and must have assumed some experience in the knitting department.

For Example these are the first two rows for Scotch Lace design suitable for a shawl:

Cast on seven stitches for each pattern.  First row—knit two; knit two together; bring the thread forward, knit one; bring the thread forward, knit two together.—Repeat. Second row—plain knitting.

Not exactly Row 1. k2,k2tog,yo,k1,yo,k2tog.  Row. 2. Purl

I particularly like 'to narrow' which is achieved by knitting two stitches together.  Not for Miss Lambert the right and left leaning decreases that form a major part of lace knitting today.

That brings to me another reason for lever knitting - left leaning decrease is so much easier with this method and the English throwing method than with the Continental style where the yarn is in the left hand. 

I had never heard of SSK until I downloaded some American patterns on Ravelry, so I course I had to Google the abbreviation to discover what in the world was a SSK - well of course it is a left leaning decrease which involves slipping two stitches individually and then knitting them together either through the front or the back according to which YouTube video you watched.  Complicated or what? A lever knitter does the whole stitch in one smooth action - well I do!  I put the right needle in through the first stitch and then out through the back of the second and knit them together - voilĂ  one left leaning decrease - well guess what the Yarn Harlot invented this method - really??

I was taught that way by my Grandmother and Great Aunt over sixty years ago - think that the Brits invented that one Stephanie! 

A little PS - Set up everything yesterday to film this technique and guess what every blinking camera in the house had a flat battery and the spares were flat too - so demo to come at a later date (-_-;)
Related Posts with Thumbnails