Sunday, May 21, 2006

Ok long time no blog. We had crunsh time at work :-P and afterwards I just plainly forgot to blog. I have bought some nice colorful cotton just for the fun of it. I just started some swatches to try some lace patterns.

Like this one. I actually like, how the colors blend. The pattern is pretty simple, because the colors are strong enough.

I got this pattern from the absolute fabulous book.

Lisl Fanderl

Bäuerliches Stricken

Verlag : rosenheimer

ISBN 3-475-52781-2 , this is the version with all three books.

Sorry probably only available in German and probably not available at all, because it is out of print. I was happy to snatch the books at a sale.

The title is rural knitting. There are three books with old knitting patterns from the alpine regions, i.e. Austria, Bavaria, Switzerland.

There the ethnic costume calls for intricate white lace socks and it was the pride of every girl to have the most complicated lace patterns on her socks. Because of the famous Lederhosen, men also needed long socks, which were highly visible. There is a well-known folk song about a girl, who doesn't want a guy with thin calves. So socks where important, often overlong and pushed down to emphasize the calves.
There are also cardigans and vests and some patterns are especially suited for these. If you ever find these books, buy them, even if you don't understand one word of German. I will post a translation of the stiches, once I have puzzled it out. This book just contains the patterns, it is not for the beginner, it does not explain how to knit socks or cardigans, it just has the patterns, some history and some examples of old socks.

An other book I love, because it is a great source of inspiration is this one :

Here you can see the principle of the method. Make little colorfull swatches and paste them together.
This book is available in English. Here is a review. More examples of his work.

And one more book, this time in English. I bought it in a obscure bookshop somewhere in Scotland and I really, really love it. I bought it before the Schulz book, but somehow it takes from there and goes further, way further.

It is about knitting without rules.

Just start, make a swatch, a small one, take some stiches out of it, somewhere, anywhere, knit a little bit. Take some stiches somewhere else, knit some pattern, ribs or bubbles or lace, repeat. The piece you get out of it has no direction, it grows organically and is, at the first glance, not really identifiable as knitting. The title image shows this really well, look for the blue ribs, in the lower middle, the only point where you actually see the knitting.

Oh and you can felt the stuff afterwards :-).

The examples on the photos are just breathtaking, it looks like moss, stones, flowers, but not like knitting.

It does not really explain how to knit, but somehow it could be the book for the beginner, especially kids. No frustrating do it right, just do. The knitting grows really fast and you cannot do anything wrong, because there is no right. And you can use all the unhappy, lonely little skeins in your stash. You probably need a fair amount of wool in the finished piece, to hold it toghether, only cotton or silk won't work.


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