Saturday, 28 February 2009

Can't Help Knitting Flowers

What a long way knitting has come in modern times. From once being regarded only as a cheaper alternative to ready-made clothes, knitting and crochet are now being taken to new levels and given the recognition they deserve - at least in the creative world, if not by the population in general.
When I started knitting garments as a teenager in the 1970's, I had no idea there was so much in knitting that hadn't yet been done. Take knitted flowers, for instance. Who would have thought of it 30 years ago? Yet now it's not only possible, but easy to track down patterns and methods which give good results.
This flower is from Designs for Kids by Lucinda Guy. This book is mainly children's clothes, but there are other fun patterns as well, like stuffed animals and blankets, all knitted.

The pink and yellow version is knitted exactly as it is in the book, except I used 4 ply (fingering weight) for mine, which makes it smaller than the original pattern, and a nice size I think.

This is the same pattern done in dk weight with some leaves added to make more of a bunch.
The flowers are made on 2 needles and seamed, but the magic of mattress stitch makes the seams virtually invisible from the right side.

I love new books! This is the new title by EllynAnne Geisel, author of the very popular Apron Book. If you like the charm of authentic vintage linens and the special ambience they create, you will love The Kitchen Linens Book.

As soon as I opened this book I was drawn in by the wonderful colours and detail of the photographs. Sunbonnet Sue, Scottie dogs, potholders (which in my family were called "kettleholders"), tea towels, aprons, napkins - they are all represented in this book.
The author looks at these everyday textiles of years ago and relates them directly to the traditional patterns of family life. Maybe this is one reason why they strike such a chord with us today.
There is lots of background information to read, including the best way to care for vintage linens and the various fibres they were made from, and there's even a transfer included so you can make your own embroidered tea towels.
This book celebrates the domestic skills of the ordinary women who made and used these honest and beautiful household items.