Monday, December 29, 2008

At the Other End of the Year

This blog is not dead yet!

It's been a busy year, mostly involving non-fiber projects and commitments. And thus, the blog went quiet.

I don't think I knit any major doilies this year. I do have one or two that I'm in the middle of. I'm hoping they'll get finished next year.

I did knit some socks. Here are photos of a few of them. I'm trying to get through the self-patterned sock yarn stash. It would help if I'd stop buying self-patterned sock yarn. I keep getting tempted. I think I'm mostly going with simple stripes now instead of these more complicated patterns. That way, I can double-strand the sock yarn if I want to and still come out with nice socks.

I knit most of a sweater, then unraveled it and started over. I did some small projects that I can't remember right now -- a scarf or two, maybe some mittens and hats. I'm in the middle of several spinning projects. So it's been enjoyable, but not as productive as some years are. I didn't have much I felt like blogging about, so I didn't blog about it.

I did a fair amount of spindle spinning. I taught my oldest how to spindle spin in a ski lodge one cold winter afternoon.

I did do some crocheting. I decided that crocheting made for better travel projects than knitting. There's only one hook, inexpensive to replace. I didn't want the TSA to take a dislike to my expensive steel dpn's or circular needles, nor did I want to drop a think dpn on a crowded airplane or car. So I crocheted.

Crocheting doilies is different from knitting, but it's still fun. Here are a few. As you can tell, I haven't blocked any of them yet. The patterns are from online sources and from old pattern booklets. Dover has reprinted some, and I've collected some over the years. Not all were in English. Some were charted, some in text. As with knitted doilies, I'm OK either way.

As I wandered through the world of vintage crochet patterns, I wondered how and why the pineapple got to be such a popular motif. Does anyone know? It's fun and easy and attractive, but why this motif? And why is it called a pineapple?

I've also done some crocheting with yarn and not just thread this year. Right now, I'm in the middle of a simple square granny square afghan. One does a classic granny square. Change colors whenever you want. That's it. I will stop when I run out of ambition. Hopefully the thing will be big enough to be useful when I'm done.

Granny squares are also a very old motif. I was reading a book from the library which claimed that the pattern can be found in patterns from the mid-nineteenth century (1860's, specifically). I know that crocheting isn't all that old. So the granny square is quite a venerable pattern, not unlike some of our favorite lace knitting stitches.

I have some of Niebling's delta crochet patterns. No doubt I'll do some of them, too, as long as I'm crocheting. But first I have to recover from the most recent crocheted snowflake binge.