Two Needle Christmas Stocking

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It’s not too late to whip up a couple of new Christmas stockings for decoration or use. Quick and easy, especially if using only one color. It’s also simple enough to add motifs, stripes, or other elements if desired.

Worsted weight yarn, size 10 (US) needles. Knit flat, seamed up the back.

Pattern available here from Plymouth Yarn.

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Dressing the 18th Century Woman

IMG_1028Visiting history museums is one of my favorite activities, especially places like Plymouth Plantation, Old Sturbridge Village, or Williamsburg, where great care is spent getting things right. But something I find really irksome is seeing interpreters playing “dress up”, wearing clothing that sort of evokes the period they are portraying but is far from authentic. Pants with zipper flies, for instance, or sneakers, or push up bras.  You also see this kind of thing in parades. If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. So it was with great interest that I viewed the following video, produced by National Museums Liverpool.

The video can be accessed here

 

 

 

Shakespeare Knits: Act I

William Shakespeare was one writer who was familiar with the fiber arts, and he referenced them often in his work. Thinking about “the ravll’d sleeve” made me curious enough to look up more references. Here are the first few:

Antony and Cleopatra

II 2:

To hold you in perpetual amity,
To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
With an unslipping knot, take Antony
Octavia to his wife
; whose beauty claims
No worse a husband than the best of men.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

I, i:

HERMIA. My good Lysander!

I swear to thee by Cupid’s strongest bow,

By his best arrow, with the golden head,

By the simplicity of Venus’ doves,

By that which knitteth souls and prospers loves,

And by that fire which burn’d the Carthage Queen,

II, 2:

O, take the sense, sweet, of my innocence!
Love takes the meaning in love’s conference.
I mean, that my heart unto yours is knit
So that but one heart we can make of it;

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IV, i:

THESEUS Fair lovers, you are fortunately met:
Of this discourse we more will hear anon.
Egeus, I will overbear your will;
For in the temple by and by with us
These couples shall eternally be knit:
And, for the morning now is something worn,
Our purposed hunting shall be set aside.

V, 1 :

Thisbe
O wall, full often hast thou heard my moans,
For parting my fair Pyramus and me!
My cherry lips have often kiss’d thy stones,
Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thee.

The Tempest

III, 3:

My high charms work
And these mine enemies are all knit up
In their distractions; they now are in my power
;

Macbeth

II, 2

Methought I heard a voice cry ‘Sleep no more!
Macbeth does murder sleep’, the innocent sleep,
Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleeve of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course

How many people realize that sleave, as the word was spelled in Shakespeare’s work, means, not part of a shirt, but a knot or twist of silk fiber?

Lovecats Cowl Kit

I hardly ever promote products here at Dances with Wools, but when I saw this cowl, I just had to post it. The designer, Caroline Sommerfield, is a dedicated animal rights activist. She created a line of cat and dog colored yarns called – what else? – Meow and Woof, and donates proceeds to rescue and adoption agencies, spaying and neutering programs, and trap-neuter-return programs that support feral cat colonies with safe shelter, food, and vet care. What a brilliant way to combine the love of knitting with love of animals! Those two things are also close to my own heart; hence, this post.

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This particular cowl is made in Silver Tabby Ursula, and features tabby style stripes interspersed with little  paw prints. Caroline’s company, Ancient Arts Fiber Crafts , features other kitty color ways in the Meow line, as well as an array of other yarns, patterns, and kits, along with a list of retailers.

You can order the Lovecats Cowl Kit , which is $39.99, here .

52 Dishcloth Patterns

imageFor some time now, Knit Picks has been posting a free pattern a week for dishcloths. I generally knit the same simple pattern over and over for mine, because after a few uses, a dishcloth tends to look, well, like a used dishcloth. But some of these are pretty enough to give as gifts. I like to use a nice one to gift wrap small items like soaps or shower gel. This site contains both knit and crochet designs.

So, without the proverbial further ado,

here’s the link

to all these great little free patterns. (Wait, isn’t ” great little” an oxymoron?”)