Friday, October 23, 2009

My Winter Projects

 While I had done lots of sewing in years past I had never held a knitting needle.  Knitting was a big craft in New England because it was very practical.  The women formed knitting clubs and a neighbor offered to teach me how to knit.  After I had purchased the necessary items she showed me how to cast on, knit and purl .  I started on a plain sweater and was about half way up the front panel when I discovered a dropped stitch near the starting point.  In desperation I went to my Swiss neighbor for help.  She took one look at my efforts and said, "Is not nice."  She then took over the teaching job and I was on a roll.  From that moment on I had knitting needles in my hand every time I sat down.  I started with sweaters, graduated to cable knits and finally complicated patterns.    By the time I left New England, my entire family had sweaters, caps, scarfs and many afghans.  

I continued this escape after I returned to Arizona where warm sweaters were rarely necessary so I concentrated on afghans.  I kept finding new patterns to make and, as a result, my sister and children have many afghans now.    The one I am showing on this post took the longest to make. I chose it because I could use up left over yarn in the embroidery of the birds.  That was the hard part.  I have always wanted to do this afghan over in better yarn and different colors, but I no longer have the patience.


Tabor said...

I remember some needlework days when kids were in school and I was housebound. Just think, now all the young mothers will be Facebooking or blogging!!!

Darlene said...

*Tabor - That's why I no longer knit or crochet. I am too busy blogging. ;-)

Nancy said...


Your work is simply beautiful. I have never been able to do that type of work. No Patience! I admire people like yourself that do have the patience and skill to make beautiful afghans.

Granny Annie said...

Wow Darlene it worked!!!! I am so happy to be aware of your new post so quickly. I used to make Afghans but one day I forgot how to make granny squares and have been left behind. Now crochet nylon net scrubbies are all I can make but they are quite useful and sought after.

Darlene said...

*Nancy - Thank you. I enjoyed doing it, but I no longer have the patience either.

*Granny Annie - I'm glad you helped me solve one problem.

Rain said...

Beautiful work. I tried knitting once when I was pregnant with my second child. I did a few things for my daughter and then he was born and I never got back to it. My mom was a wonderful crocheter and made some beautiful tablecloths as well as afghans which I still use around here. I admire the craft in others.

Anonymous said...

Never have I seen such vivid, lovely needlework in an Afghan. I am always amazed by anyone who actually enjoys doing needle work. I know how to knit and purl; but, stringing them together without getting confused at what point I am knitting is par for the course. Sewing pieces of a sweater together is nearly impossible, too, because I just cannot distinguish the stitches well enough.

BTW: We were required to learn to knit in a home ec class that was a requirement for girls in 8th or 9th grade.

You do fabulous work!
Cop Car
P.S. TypePad did the "disappearing photo" trick on my last posting to Cop Car's Beat. Do we suspect a conspiracy?

Kay Dennison said...

I did a lot of needlework in the kids' growing up years but nithing so complex! This afghan is a work of art!

Joy Des Jardins said...

Darlene, those afghans are just gorgeous. I mean it...they are really beautiful. I use to knit and crochet all the time...blankets and sweaters, slippers...and especially baby things. I was always making something. I've even made some afghans; but nothing like your stunning pieces. Outside of some slippers, I haven't knitted or crocheted anything in years. You're right...blogging and my computer has taken it's place. But every so often I really do miss the physical activity of knitting...and the relaxing feeling of it. I've still got a lot of yarn and the needles right here in the closet of my computer room. I really do miss it.

Rummuser said...

They are lovely. I use Wordpress and there are no problems there. If you are interested, you can go here and see whether you would like to experiment.

Darlene said...

*Rain - Thank you so very much.

*Cop Car - Thank you for the nice compliment. Maybe you are on to something - a conspiracy, hmmm?

*Kay - Mucho gracias. It's so nice to see your name in the comment section again. We missed you.

*Joy - Maybe we should get out all that yarn again before it deteriorates. ;-)

*Rummuser - Thank you for the tip. I think I will 'give it a go.'

joared said...

Very intricate and lovely! You should be very proud of your work. Patience seems to be the key to needlework.

I was amazed watching my mother-in-law one time discover she had dropped a stitch, or something wasn't right, in the item she was crocheting that was practically completed. She calmly started pulling the thread undoing the whole thing practically back to the starting point. She wasn't upset by having to do that, but I was. All I could think, was all that work -- for naught -- but she didn't seem to mind.

A good friend here moved from Mass., Boston area, about the time we came. She knits all sorts of things, too. Think that's a winter activity in places with lots of snow and cold as where my mother and mother-in-law had grown up.

Paula said...

Darlene, these are stunning! I'm blown away by the green afghan.
You are a real artist!

As for knitting being a New England cold weather thing, yes, it's very popular up here. In fact, all handiwork support an amazing number of yarn shops, knitting circles and fiber fairs and other support structures.

I'm a (second-time) beginner, still doing baby blankets, simple hats and scarves. Someday I may get up the courage to knit a sweater, I suppose.

Thanks for sharing.