DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
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30 September 2014

Summer knitting here I come!


I knit all year through. In winter I often, but not always, knit with wool. In summer I often, but not always, knit with cotton. Although I love knitting, I don't knit for pleasure. For me, knitting is part of my system of home production, providing clothing, gifts and everyday items to use in my home. I am fortunate to have Vivian at EcoYarns as a sponsor and I use various cottons, wools and alpaca from EcoYarns for my projects. My favourite yarn to knit with, not just now but in my knitting life, is Vivian's 8 ply organic cotton. Not only is it a real pleasure to knit with, the cotton comes in a range of beautiful natural colours and it has a great story attached to it. I love the names of the colours too - patience, temperance, courtesy, pride, honesty etc.

These are my jars of bits and pieces for knitting and sewing. They're filled with small scissors, pins, stitch holders, place makers and darning needles.



I love being surrounded by good quality yarn.

Soon I'll be doing my summer knitting. The point in the year that marks the start of summer for me is when the first cricket test match starts. Usually that is late November or early December. This year the first ball is bowled on 4 December and on that day I will be ready with my knitting basket on one side and a cold drink on the other. I know another lady, Sue in Perth, who does the same thing. : - ) I sit there, take it all in and know that for me, the hot months ahead will be made better by clicking those needles together and looping yarn around them. These test matches start at 11am so it gives me ample time to organise my chores or water the garden before the time comes to take my seat and pick up my needles. It's a nice easy start to summer for me.

November and December is a good time to get last minute Christmas gifts organised and finished, then I go on to new or larger projects. At the moment I'm knitting something for myself - a blue organic cotton  sleeveless vest. I think it will be good to wear on those very hot days when we have the air conditioner going and I need something light on my back. I've just gone through a period of knitting cotton dish cloths. I did some as samples for my library talks and some as gifts.  Over summer I'll knit another batch of about ten to have on hand here.

Have a look at this delightful English knitting group. Knitting brings all sorts of people together through their love of knitting. If you belong to a knitting group, I'd love to hear about it. And this is about how knitting became popular again, and why.  I'm really please newspapers and magazines are featuring knitting and knitters again because it brings more people to the craft and for those who rarely make anything, that's very enriching.

My knitting books.

What inspires you to knit? I have several knitting books and usually go through them when I'm looking for a project, but I also browse Pinterest, Ravelry and Knitty for ideas as well. It doesn't matter how you're inspired to knit but it matters that you are. I can't imagine a world with no hand knits and no knitters.  Happy knitting everyone!

  Great knitting blogs  
My sister's knitter
Knitting to stay sane
Queerjoe's knitting blog
Wendy knits
Queen of the tea cosies

29 comments:

  1. I ordered myself some bamboo knitting needles this weekend. I practiced this weekend with aluminum and it was very slick. I would love to get my hands on some of these books you have!

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  2. I too love to knit, but knit out of necessity. I am lucky enough to live in a rural area where many people keep a few sheep (myself included) so people give my fleeces, which I spin into various kinds of yarn (I also spin cotton from my sister's farm for summer knitting).
    I knit all my socks, gloves and shawls (and some for my family too). Recently I have been knitting dish cloths from cotton and blanket squares from wool.
    I sell any homespun yarn I have left over in my Etsy shop along with some knitted and felted items. In this way I can make use of my local products and keep myself amused on the bus going to work.

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  3. I'm not a huge knitter (yet!) but with winter coming up for me I can't wait to learn how to knit socks and mittens. My dream is to homestead and knit many things I need, but for now while I'm practicing I like making small gifts for people that help me practice different techniques. I just learned cable knitting and can't wait to use it on everything!

    Hayley
    ElizabethsForrest.blogspot.org

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  4. Rhonda, at the moment I am trying to improve both my knitting and crochet skills. I did both when I was younger but only used simple patterns. I have found some helpful YouTube tutorials which are great for beginners. Thanks for those links. I will check them out.

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  5. I have knitted since childhood, & although I also do patchwork, crochet & x-stitch, it remains my 1st love -- going into a well stocked shop with wall to wall wool is such a joy -- feeling the softness & seeing the colours. I use handmade dishcloths, make socks, jumpers, summer tops etc.. so I knit for presents & pleasure & usually have a project with me where ever I go, it is such a great skill to have

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  6. I started knitting a few years ago. My first project was your waffle dish cloth. I've been knitting ever since and now can knit patterns and have made lots of gifts for friends and relatives. And even for charity. And it all began with your dishcloth. Thanks for giving me the inspiration and. Confidence. I love knitting ANC crochet and it helps keep me sane as well as providing inspiration for gifts

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  7. Summer means smaller knitting (as in socks, beanies or baby wear) for me or else I knit in cotton. And oh yes that First Test, that's the demarcation line for the knitting season. I am going through a love affair with a US company which is small and ethically based: www.quinceandco.com

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  8. I love the book in your stack......knitting without tears....I think that is my kind of book! I think it is great that you get yourself sorted with your summer knitting but I just can't understand people's interest in cricket....I guess is horses for courses...if it was dressage competitions I would be glued to the tv lol...or maybe some great permaculture series....

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    1. Vikki, cricket is good because you don't have to watch the screen all the time, you can talk to people, get up and walk away and just get an update when you come back. I'd be snoring in front of dressage but wide awake for permaculture or gardening.

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  9. g'day again rhonda
    love your post & love knitting too! just finished a few projects of knitting, which i will share on the forum soon, been knitting many items for my daughter who is now over in england & very much feeling the cold there! my hands go stiff with a lot of knitting so i usually have to space myself & i recently learned how to use DPNs am stoked about that :))
    have a great week

    selina from kilkivan qld

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  10. I know one stitch in knitting and make scarves. I do it for me (the knitting relaxes me) and as a bonus I have gifts to give family and friends. I also have to tell you that I love reading your blog especially when you remind me how big our world is - the title of this post "summer knitting here I come!" made me do a double take. Autumn leaves have just begun to fall in my front yard. Wow! Love your work, Rhonda! It makes me smile and some days I learn a thing or two or three or....

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  11. I love to knit but don't get there very often. I would love to sit, knit and watch the cricket. My family won't allow it. Someone always need something and as mum becomes frailer the interruptions are more frequent.

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  12. I'm re-learning how to knit this summer, starting with many dishcloths. I want to start knitting us socks and jumpers but will focus on more easy items first. I've been crocheting for a long time, but I need to broaden my skills. And there is nothing like a homemade woollen jumper to keep you warm in the cooler months.

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  13. Your wool looks really soft and lovely. Here winter is nearing, so l will soon be changing from cotton to wool knits. Trying to finish off UFO's (unfinished objects) at the moment, then l will be starting a big woollen jacket for myself. I get inspired by useful things and don't often make "frilly bits" for decoration only. I have some lovely books, but find myself getting inspired by earlier farm life and tradition. I am also greatly inspired by the cold up here in the north, warm clothes and blankets are greatly needed and far lovelier homemade than store bought, better quality too, and full of love. Pam

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  14. Most of what I knit is for gifts, with the odd bit of clothing for me and my family. At this time of year nearly all my knitting is for Christmas presents lots of small items that don't take that long to knit up. I love your yarn basket the colours are just beautiful I could sit and look at that for hours.

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  15. My hobby (full-time!!) is family history research and I am trying to link all the people with the surname CAWDELL together into one family. It's been described as 'knitting with people'!!
    (I know there are quite a few CAWDELL's down under!)

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  16. Thanks to Rhonda's posts about dishcloths, I started knitting again around 4 years ago. The last time I'd knitted was around 35 years ago, so I needed to refresh my memory.
    The video tutorials I found most useful were from Staci Perry at Very Pink. Here's a link to the tutorial for dishcloths that got me started again:
    http://verypink.com/2011/06/14/learn-to-knit-a-dishcloth/

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  17. Knitting and cricket - a fab combo!!! I too will be watching out for that first ball here in South Africa! Desperately trying to finish off socks at the moment for Xmas pressies! xxx ps it doesn't help when my knitting needle snaps!

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  18. It is such fun to see stacks of knitting books I'm familiar with coming from a country far from where I live. It speaks of how ideas are transmitted by books, and of the online communities interested in the same things, that span geography. It also reminds me of the long ago time I was briefly in Copenhagen, and went into a book store. They actually had more English books than any other language, many familiar to me, and made me think about the problems of maintaining a publishing industry with a relatively small population speaking the local language.

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  19. Just looked at the Sidmouth Knit Cafe link - far from my home, but so much fun to recognize a bunch of Ravelry patterns!

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  20. I love knitting too. I've only started again in the last few years. The kids learnt at school in craft lessons and it inspired me to start again. I get books from the library for inspiration and beautiful yarn is an inspiration too. I think I bat a bit further up the order than my abilities but I recently completed a beret to match a scarf I made. The ribbing around the edge is a bit confused and I ended up with 8-10 stiches more than I was supposed to and it seems to have a bit of a pixie point on top! But its warm and when people comment I say it has many original design features.
    Looking forward to trying cotton.
    kxx

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    1. My son got me started five years ago when an after-school teacher taught him a bit of knitting! I had long before given up because I never took to it when I was a kid (my mother was an avid knitter and tried a couple of times). Sam (my son) didn't stick with it, but I have...and I love that we have this story of how I started knitting!

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    2. Such lovely stories. I feel very connected to other women and men who knit. That yarn seems to tie us all together in the best way.

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  21. I am very much an amateur knitter, but the holidays get me excited every year--not only because home-made gifts are the best (we do one home-made gift night at Hanukkah every year, and it's hands down the best night)...but also because here in northeast USA, it's *fall*...and there is nothing lovelier than knitting when the weather starts to cool and the trees are changing colors!
    Thanks as always for your inspiration, Rhonda.

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  22. Máte nádhernú zbierku kníh o pletení!
    I like knitting. Now I prefer embroider:-)

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  23. I enjoy both knit and crochet. Mostly I make samples for the yarns we sell in the shop, then gifts for family and dishcloths for the home. Currently I'm working a shrug in a yarn called remix. I like that it 100% recycled yarn. My favorite yarn for dishcloths is ultra pima - 100% pima cotton, wears well and the colors are beautiful!

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  24. Hi Rhonda, thanks for your post. I learned to knit and crochet as a child but lost my way over the years, amid work, children and new craft pursuits. A group of friends recently started Pub Knitting at our newly renovated(since the flood) local hotel in Ipswich. We meet there fortnightly and everyone brings their own project to work on. There is a lovely vibe of sharing projects and skills, and lots of laughs and chatter. It is a highlight for all of us and I am actually getting back into crochet and knitting and achieving projects! Love it!

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    Replies
    1. Jenny, I love that your knitting group is meeting at the pub. It shows that your pub is not only about alcohol but about friendship and community as well.

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