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Last week I showed Henry how to crochet. He got some light blue wool and a 4mm hook. I had to do the first two rows because he found finding the right loops a bit confusing but after three attempts in between some of Mummy’s crochet he figured out how to do it. That said he laid it to rest for now. Hopefully he will give it another try.

I’m working on Spinning a Yarn. I worked the pattern as a hat before but this time I will make an Afghan. It is meant to be for my mother. She has got self-made red and purple tartan bed linen complemented by a self-made woollen tartan bed spread in the same colours, but she says the wool she used is not so nice. It’s some old machine wash wool she got from somewhere long forgotten. She loves the Wooly Thoughts patterns as much as I do because she always preferred geometrical patterns over the flowery stuff she had to do at school in the 1950s. Back then she was forbidden to do the ‘modern stuff’, i.e. geometrical patterns.

I combined two very nice, but very different yarns: an old frogged red jumper of mine, Schachenmayr nomotta Bossa Nova, made from lambswool, alpaca and silk and White Rose Mohair by Texere Yarns in lilac. White Rose Mohair is a non-fluffy mohair yarn.  I’m sure those two yarns are nice enough for my mother.

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On Friday morning my son Henry sat at the breakfast table being a bit sad. Not about anything especially. He had just woken up and was probably not looking forward to have to go to school yet another day before the weekend arrives. Henry has this lovely theory that four days of the week you have to go to  work or school followed by three days of weekend. I can only agree, but unfortunately it isn’t so.

Henry playing in the water during the Easter holidays

So, he sat at the breakfast table being a bit sad and I thought what I could do to cheer him up. It’s not hard to cheer anyone up if you happen to have James Walters’ book Crochet Workshop lying on the table. I showed him the pictures with freeform crochet. Instant success! Henry liked the freeform crochet and was mightily impressed how people could make all sorts of different patterns and forms just with a hook. I said I could teach him. He liked the idea because he said he already knows how to use a French knitter. I have never managed to teach him to knit because holding tension and trying to work stitches with two needles never seemed to work out for him. Maybe holding tension and working with just one needle works better given that he can already do this with a French knitter.  I will see how it goes.

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So true

I  currently read Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac. Well I only started March. But for February she describes how to make Baby stuff. What she says about the leggins (longies) I find especially interesting. She says she knows them from when she was a child staying in Germany.

“Longies take the place, in one fell swoop, of all manner of dresses, soakers, and booties, and let the child wriggle to its heart’s content, unimpeded, and without uncovering itself.”

I can only agree. My mother (German) made lots of leggins for my son. He loved them. They kept him warm and he was indeed able to move about ‘unimpeded’. The difference in movability was quite apparent every time we went to the playground. He was happily climbing to every height while his peers were sometimes almost shackled by their demim trousers. I will never understand why parents put their little ones in denim. It must be stiff and heavy to wear for little bodies. I know there is this trend to put your little ones into adult type clothing, but why? What’s wrong with comfy baby and toddler stuff? My son was so fond of his granny-made leggins he continued wearing them right into primary school reception class.

“Our favourite longies are those on which we used up odd remnants of wool. A green pair has a cute grey color-pattern at the calf, and then becomes steel-grey for the feet. A navy pair has a white pattern at the knees and scarlet calves and feet. They must be actually seen on young legs for their true charm to become apparent.

“Thrift and conservation are in the wind: how delightful to find that usuing up wool-remains improves the appearance of finished product”.

My mother always used oddments for my son’s leggins. They came in all colourways and patterns. Something my son absolutely loved. Now, I don’t want to say it’s something German to be thrifty or to make colourful leggins. It’s just that my mother is a war-child and hence thrift was a necessity not a choice. And because there were adult times in her life when she had to count every penny, thrift developed from a necessity into a habit.

Something else Elizabeth Zimmermann says in the same chapter is  interesting:  “You know, if our ancestors had thrown out their furniture every decade, as we do, where would we go for antiques? Let us give some thought to the well-being and enjoyment of our descendants, patch up our lares and panates, and hang on to them, so that the future will inherit at least some relics of our heedless and wasteful age. Working over something, and repairing it, -wheather we re-finish furniture, fix over an old house, or put new cuffs on a sweater – not only gives things new life and makes them look cared-for, but embeds them still deeper in our affections.”*

So true!

* Elizabeth Zimmermann (1981), Knitter’s Almanac. Projects for each month of the year. Dover Publications, Inc, New York.

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I always give my friend at work nice knitting tips and how to save money. At some point my friend said I should write it all down to let other people know. She liked mys suggestion to start a blog but I never got rojnd to it. Actually, I was mulling over the thought all this time and finally I’ve managed. Here it is. My very own knitting blog.

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