Monday, September 06, 2010

Knitting Washcloths And Other Things

It's raining today! Great day to knit washcloths! I have found that many of our washcloths are wearing out at the same time. Why does that happen? It's sort of like underwear-they all wear out the same day! Then I go out and buy ten pair all at once and then they all wear out the same day!

I knit this washcloth yesterday and started another with the same pattern, It's really nice and "cushiony". The pattern is from this blog: Knit with KT

I also read two really nice books: The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club and Needles and Pearls by Gil McNeil.

For every woman who has ever dreamed of starting over, or being a better mother, or just knitting a really nice scarf . . .

When her husband dies in a car crash--not long after announcing he wants a divorce--Jo Mackenzie packs up her two rowdy boys and moves from London to a dilapidated villa in her seaside hometown. There, she takes over her beloved Gran's knitting shop--a quaint but out-of-date store in desperate need of a facelift. After a rough beginning, Jo soon finds comfort in a "Stitch and Bitch" group; a collection of quirky, lively women who share their stories, and their addiction to cake, with warmth and humor.

As Jo starts to get the hang of single-parent life in a small town, she relies on her knitting group for support. The women meet every week at the shop on Beach Street and trade gossip and advice as freely as they do a new stitch. But when a new man enters Jo's life, and an A-list actress moves into the local mansion, the knitting club has even more trouble confining the conversation to knit one, purl two.

The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club is an uplifting, winning tale about the healing power of friendship and new beginnings. It's a charming novel that will delight all passionate knitters--and win over befuddled, would-be knitters, too.

A brief affair after the death of her philandering husband yields a surprising result for a shopkeeper in Needles and Pearls, McNeil's warm and fuzzy sequel to The Beach Street Knitting Society and Yarn Club. Jo Mackenzie's succeeded in rehabbing her Gran's wool shop in Broadgate, a lovely seaside town in England. Her Stitch and Bitch group is popular; her two young boys, Archie and Jack, have settled in; and her Gran's getting married. But Jo's liaison with Daniel Fitzgerald, a globe-trotting photographer, has ended, leaving Jo to sort out what's next. Big changes and a bevy of stressful obstacles test her mettle and reorder her world. It's a on the chatty side, but McNeil spins a comfy, hopeful yarn with believable characters.

Two light but enjoyable reads!

I spun up some lovely fiber that our Michelle Z. gave us at one of the String Along meetings. It is a variegated blue and purple I think she said Romney. It spun up
pretty fuzzy for me so I was thinking about what to do with about 110 yards and I think I will look for a fingerless mitts pattern.

Maybe something like these...Waffle Stitch Fingerless Gloves by Jill Toporkiewicz.

Or these, Diagonal eyelet Hand Warmers by Creativeyarn.
Both really cute!

Well back to the knitting,


with Anu Garg

What's common among a disc jockey, a spider, a PR agent, and a cricket bowler? They all spin. But this week we are talking about a different kind of spinning, the original kind: the spinning of yarn.

Before modern textile mills, and before specialization, people used to spin yarn and weave cloth at home. Even though a typical home doesn't have raw flax and wool any more, that era has left its imprint on the language.

By looking at these terms in the English language we can tell who used to do the spinning, and what was thought about people related to the job. This week we'll see five words relating to spinning that are now mostly used figuratively.


Of or relating to women.
1. A staff for holding flax, wool, etc. for spinning.
2. Women considered collectively.
3. A woman's work or domain.

From Old English dis- (bunch of flax) + staef (stick).

A distaff is a staff with a cleft for holding wool, flax, etc. from which thread is drawn while being spun by hand. In olden times, spinning was considered a woman's work, so distaff figuratively referred to women. Distaff side (also spindle side) refers to the female side of a family. The corresponding male equivalent of the term is spear side (also sword side).

"Volvo's gender politics are distinctly distaff, with safety and familial obligation easily trumping the sorts of values cherished by the aroused arrows of the world."
Dan Neil; Herr Doktor, Your Ride is Here; Los Angeles Times; Mar 3, 2004.

The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful. -E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

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