My current work in progress:

Pitch by Emily Greene, knit from Elsawool Cormo worsted on a US 6 needle

Archives for February 2016

Knitting Ephemera

This landed in my mailbox last week:


(The book, not the kitty.)

This is a review copy of Knitting Ephemera: A Compendium of Articles, Useful and Otherwise, for the Edification and Amusement of the Handknitter by Carol J. Sulcoski. Published by Sixth&Spring Books, it is due out on February 17, 2016.

What is “ephemra?” The dictionary definition:

  1. anything short-lived or ephemeral.
  2. ephemera, items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially pamphlets, notices, tickets, etc.

So . . . did you ever wonder how WEBS managed to snag the domain This book has the answer. Do you need to put your hands on a list of celebrity knitters from Hollywood’s Golden Age? This book’s got it. Why is an afghan called an afghan? The answer lies within the covers of this handy volume.

I am in awe. I cannot begin to comprehend how Carol  researched this book, let alone wrote it. It is crammed full of trivia, lists, definitions, tips, historical references, et cetera, et cetera. I would also like to applaud the individual who did the page layouts.


I have been spending a lot of time reading through Knitting Ephemera. You could start at the beginning and just read your way through. (Easy to do: this nice hardcover book is a neat little size, 8″ x 5″, so you can pop it in your bag and take it with you, and it has a ribbon bookmark built in to the binding so you can easily mark your place.) You can also open it at random and start reading and become instantly immersed.

So on February 17, run don’t walk to your nearest book seller and grab a copy of this book as soon as it hits the shelves. You might want to buy two copies so you can give one to the knitter on your gift list.

Loki sez:


“Prior to the 17th century, the merino industry was so important in Spain that exporting a merino sheep was an offense punishable by death.”

Have a Heart

A knitted heart, that is:


This is an afghan square (and an unblocked one), the very start of the Martin Storey Knit Along 2I read the announcement of the KAL in December and decided it would be a fun project to use as fill-in and commuter knitting. The project is an afghan that consists of 48 squares in 8 different designs. The seed stitch heart square is the first pattern, which was released last Thursday. I need to knit 6 of those squares. Subsequent square patterns are released every 2 weeks, so the next one will be out on February 11. Here is the completed afghan (in the colorway I am using):


The yarn used is Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, and the afghan is offered in 4 different colorways: Calm, Blues, Evergreen, and Spice. I bought my wool, the Blues colorway, as a kit from Webs. You can see the kits on offer here. A nice thing about ordering from Webs is that they give you a very generous discount on orders above a certain price so that the kit ended up costing 25% less than list price. Score!

There’s some great discussion of the project on Ravelry, in the Rowan Yarns Group. If this looks like something you might want to do but you think you might need some support, rest assured that there is a group of lovely knitters over there who can offer advice and assistance.

An afghan is a large undertaking, but it is knit one 8-inch square at a time, so it might be a good way to get your feet wet with some techniques you are not experienced in. The afghan includes a little bit of everything. In the designer’s words:

For my second KAL in the Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, I looked to the motifs, textures and colours of our Northern European knitting traditions – the knitted textures and fairisle patterns of the Shetland Isles; the Faeroe Isles; Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland.

And of course you don’t need to limit yourself to the 4 colorways offered in kits: you could put together your own colorway.

Mine will likely grow slowly because I am using it as a secondary project, only knitting on it during lunch breaks at work. Carrying one 8-inch square to work is a lot more convenient than schlepping a big project.

Speaking of big projects, I am knitting along on my rainbow-colored Autumn Wave and am cautiously optimistic that I’ll have it done within a week.

This little guy is no help at all!