Monday, May 2, 2016

Have You Seen This?

How great is this?!  Knitting reference books are stored in the vault of University of Southampton Library
You could spend hours upon hours browsing through this collection of works

 All at the touch of a finger, you can turn pages without taking the trip to the library or
wearing white gloves.
This is technology at its best! 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy May Day!

May Day

May Day, or Labor Day, is a public holiday in many countries worldwide. It usually occurs around May 1, but the date varies across countries. It is associated the start of spring as well as the celebration of workers.
Argentina: Daylight Saving Time start on December 30, 2007
May Day, known as Labor Day in some countries, is a day of rest and is usually held in the spring.
© rodriguez

Celebrate May Day/Labor Day

May Day ceremonies that stem from the traditional centuries-old May Day traditions are celebrated across the world. In Hawaii, May Day is known as Lei Day to celebrate the island’s culture.
In the United Kingdom, May Day is still celebrated in many towns with the crowning of the May Queen. Maypoles can still be found in some towns and May Day traditions may include hobby horses and local people dressed in costumes.  In Oxford, traditions are upheld for May Day celebrations, starting with the choir of Magdalen College singing from the top of the chapel tower.
Labor Day stems from the efforts of the labor union movement to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers. In Mexico, it is referred to as Primero de Mayo, and is a national holiday honoring workers. Some groups organize parades or protests to promote and protect workers' rights.

Public Life

May 1 is a national holiday many European countries including (but not exclusive to): Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.  It is also celebrated in countries in Central America, such as Costa Rica and Panama, and in some parts of the Caribbean, including Cuba. It is also a national holiday in Mexico. In South America, it is observed in countries such as: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. May 1 is also a national holiday in the Russian Federation and Asian countries such as China, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The Labor Day holiday, or Labour Day, is celebrated in the United States and countries such asAustralia and Canada at different times of the year.

About May Day/Labor Day

Originally a celebration of spring and the rebirth taking place in nature, May Day dates back pagan cults that worshipped trees and other symbols of nature. Traditionally, May Day is characterized by the gathering of flowers and the fertility rite of dancing around the maypole. In recent years, particularly in socialist and Communist countries, May Day has become a labor festival honoring the military and industrial efforts of the country.
The eight-hour movement to reduce the working day from 10 to eight hours began after the Civil War. It was a major aim of the National Labor Union, whose first congress met in 1866. By 1868 congress and six states passed an eight-hour legislation. In 1884 the National Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Assemblies decided to call for a general strike on May 1, 1886, to enforce demands for employers to observe the eight-hour day. In 1947, amidst the anti-Communist Cold War hysteria, the US Veterans of Foreign Wars renamed May 1 as "Loyalty Day" and a joint session of Congress later made the pronouncement official.
In many countries, the May 1 holiday was obtained by trade union agitation supported by socialist parties. However, in Germany where such agitation had proved fruitless, it was instituted in 1933 as a gift from Hitler, being promptly followed by the abolition of trade unions. In the United Kingdom, a May Day Bank Holiday was instituted in 1978 for trade unionists to celebrate, but was held on the first Monday in May to minimize the damage to business.
In China, Labor Day was extended to 3 days during the 1990s. The Chinese government made it a seven-day holiday by moving the prior and upcoming weekends together with these three days. This holiday allowed millions of Chinese people to travel during this period. The Chinese government reduced this holiday period down to one day in 2008, while simultaneously reviving three traditional Chinese holidays: the Dragon Boat Festival, Tomb-Sweeping Day and the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Symbols and Superstition

Many ancient customs associated with May Day come from the old Roman festival of flowers. These include gathering branches and flowers, choosing or crowning a May Queen and dancing around a bush, tree or decorated pole (the May Pole). The sports and festivities held on this day symbolize the rebirth of nature as well as human fertility. In Spain, a tall pine tree is used as a Maypole. It is decorated with ribbons, beads, and eggshells as people dance around the pole and sing May songs.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Don't Dilly, Don't Dally, Get This NOW

This pattern will be a free download until May 1, 2016 at that point it will list for $5.00. Enjoy!
Centripetal Mittens is a pattern that creates a pair of mittens using the brioche stitch. It is a great pattern to introduce knitters to brioche knitting and for hand-spun long color repeating yarn. With 2 color brioche a fabric is created that is reversible but one side has a completely different look from the other side. This brioche pattern is unique as a cable has been added, not just a cable but also a reversible cable using double knitting.
20 sts/28 rows = 4 inches/10 cm stockinette st
14 sts/44 brioche rows = 4 inches/10 cm brioche stitch
1 brioche st = slipped st with its yo
Commercial Yarn
1 skein each of 2 coordinating colors of Knit Picks Chroma Worsted, 70% wool, 30% nylon, worsted weight, 198yds/178m 3.5oz/100g per skein
  • Yarn Needle
  • 2 Cable Needles
  • Stitch Markers
  •  2 Closed Opening Stitch Markers
US 6 (4.00mm) dpns

Friday, April 29, 2016

Free Pattern Friday

Little Church Knits has a free pattern Friday!
What could be better than that--nothing!
Check out her website for tutorials, free patterns, and 
other sundry items.  You'll be glad you signed up
for her newsletter.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Spooky Delights QAL!

Oh My!  It's time to sew for fall..............
Here is a 'spooky quilt along' sponsored by
Stop in and check out the nifty fall fabrics for this table runner.
I'm sewing this one up for sure!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Yarn Along With 2016 Lace Scarf

This week I worked on my 2016 Lace Scarf, a project by Elizabeth Ravenwood--You can find
her designs on Ravelry.  This month to month scarf is free to join and free to knit.
April's pattern called for beads--or if you choose, no beads--but I chose beads.
I use a small crochet hook and load it up so I don't need to dip into the bead jar
each time needed.

I even have a fancy bead storage jar.  Some people prefer to string their beads onto 
the yarn before they begin and then just push up a bead when needed;
I rather use crochet hook

I'm using my handspun wool/silk blend on this scarf--
loving the divisions in color.  I was concerned at first that it would
not look good-=but no problem.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Snow Row By Row

Let's do a hip hip hooray!  I've taken an UFO out of the stash box and brought it out into the light of day!  Feels so good--I'm patting myself on the back!
This snowy row by row was designed by Carol Steely Fun Threads is her blog.
We began with the snow block row--was fun to piece the letters.

There is some paper pieced blocks as I wrote about in an earlier post.
There are a few applique rows, but when it all comes together,
you have a chilly quilt.  You can find these patterns on Craftsy.
Now, I need to see what other UFO is hiding!