today in the mail i got this fabulous magazine…

yarn forward

that shannon okey has just recently become editor of. fabulous you ask? YES! it’s beautiful and it’s the green issue, which of course pulls my heartstrings.

i may be a bit biased in other ways though, because…

my article in yarn forward :)

surprise! goes well with the fact that i’m going to be doing a sweater recycling workshop towards the end of march. i even took my own pics for the article.  yay!  my first article.


in the red

craigslist run. first this, then, quite a bit later, this box, and then these.


and now these



a grandmother’s and mother’s button collection. i used to not care about whether there were any sets of buttons in the buttons i bought, but now i seem to be doubly pleased when there’s more of one of something.  especially when they’re red ;)

red spiral

the unexpected

if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know already that the strangest things happen to me. another one to add to the list ;) although not so big as some of the others.

on saturday, i worked a couple of hours at the shop. towards the end of my shift, a lady rushed in to the store with a bunch of bags. she just came from an estate sale or auction or something that she was running and the knitting stuff hadn’t sold, and she just wanted to get rid of it to someone who would appreciate it. so i bought it.

i was first sold by the sight of these two vintage knitting bags
vintage knitting bags

then i was enamored with all of the old wooden needles poking out of a sock
vintage knitting bag

and lastly, there was some old wool
old wool!

and some newer wool
vintage knitting bag

how could i resist?!?

bernat diamond sock pak

we’re back from our mini-vacation, and although i’m not full functioning yet, i have something i needed to show you all right away.

bernat diamond sock pak
reads: Bernat diamond sock pak in wonderful meadowspun yarn
smaller print: the easiest, most popular pattern of all… in the short length men like

google-ing brought up nothing except maybe some of these on ebay at one point or another.  i found this historical gem in a lovely little antique store in clarion, pa.  they sold it to me for a dollar.  i think they were happy that the right person found it :) i was ecstatic.

bernat diamond sock pak

Anne L Macdonald, in No Idle Hands says that in the 50’s, “Argylers were still in full cry, elaborating on the ‘traditional’ Scottish patterns by knitting diamonds within diamonds and combining diamonds with plaids and stripes. Argyles were so popular for high school cheerleaders that the going rate was $20 a pair for handknit ones.” that quote totally reminds me of my interview with Sue and her answer to how she stared knitting… i must remember to ask her if they were argyles…

bernat diamond sock pak
reads on both sides: 12 DIFFERENT COLOR COMBINATIONS TO CHOOSE FROM – see other side…
this side: This pak contains 2 1/8 ounces of yarn… sufficient to make one pair of short length diamond pattern men’s or boys’ socks in any size up to and including size 12. Easy-to-knit instructions inside.
the other side: This is meadowspun… the yarn with the cashmere-like feel… 50% virgin wool for softness and warmth… 50% Dupont Nylon for lasting strength and easy washability… anti-shrink, anti-stretch.

in her chapter on the 1950’s, Macdonald mentions just such kits as these. i wonder if the kits continued to exist after the craze was over? i have at least one sock booklet from the late 60s or early 70s with argyles in it… but did the kits still exist?  i know they weren’t as wildly popular as the 40s and 50s.  anyone?

bernat diamond sock pak

if this kit does happen to date back to the 1950’s, this next quote from Anne L. Macdonald is apt.  the yarn inside is 50% wool/50% dupont nylon. (click here for more history of nylon).

“Argyle-knitting teenagers were humored by one authoress’s jaunty introduction: ‘You all know what I’m doing!  Knitting.  And I love it… knitting all the time.  Right now I’m turning the heel of a pair of argyles-they’re gray, red and navy.  I’m sure he’ll like these…. Socks, socks and more socks!  He just can’t get enough of them.  Socks prove that a little goes a long way.  Probably he clings to the precious wool, but maybe he’s taken up nylon, and if that’s his liking, nylon’s your meat.  It’s a great advertisement, too, with socks so easy to carry around, and knit.’

She never clarified what was being advertise, but with nylon as the ‘meat,’ someone’s trap was baited!”

in the 1940’s, nylon was only used for re-inforceing by most.  by the time of these, it was better respected and not only did it make it into the yarn, but ended up being 50% of it!!  this kit is, of course, never to be knit – but is destined to ride out its time as a precious piece of knitting history.

thrifty, gifty

ben and i took katie to the airport today and went by the red, white and blue thrift store on our way back. i found some super good finds.

two bags of buttons are at the top of my list!! woot!!

and some on cards

plus the craziness of finding ROVING at the thrift store!! happened once before even.
sheepstone natural fibers from darlington, pa. one whole pound of the ugly tweed – i plan to dye it – and less of the nice brown.

i also found some sweaters for ripping, although they’re not so exciting for me to take a pic of them. while katie was here, we also hit a thrift store where i found, 8 skeins of this yarn
it’s more green and less blue, but lovely and heathered. Reynolds Versailles – 90% virgin wool and 10% vinyon

what’s vinyon? wikipedia to the rescue. i think the use of vinyon makes this yarn quite old. i was super happy to find this because, frankly, i very rarely find yarn at the thrift stores here.

as for gifted, a sheep mug.
handmade in ireland. ben’s been drinking coffee out of it. one of the monks at the monastery where ben plays the organ found it in the monastery kitchen and thought i needed it. cute cute.

and lastly, i got a set of dressers from my friend maggie’s aunt with this on it

very exciting. i’m thinking it must have been the logo of a furniture maker at some point. i saw it a week after i got this dresser on a mirror at our local building recycling place – construction junction.

time to go sort some buttons!  hurrah!  look for dyeing soon, the roomies are on vacation.

big plans for chickens

you would think with this blogging nearly every day thing, that i wouldn’t have fibery things happen that i just never get around to telling you, but it’s true. first, and most recent, i did manage to knit in public on saturday. ben and i went to a cafe around the corner and whilst i sipped a chai, i worked on the february lady sweater (ravelry link). what can i say? i apparently want to be flint knits when i grow up since my first and second sweaters were both inspired by her version of said sweaters (she actually wrote this one). if this one turns out nearly as good as the last, i may never make a sweater that she hasn’t made again ;)

american eagle outfitters

if you remember, ben went to germany/austria on a trip with his department at school… and what did he bring me home?

thrifted and gifted

yup. yarn, but not just yarn, yarn from a thrift store :) he said that he chose this one because it made him think of handspun. we are quite the pair.

a while before that i did a swap with the lovely helen of stripy sock studio.

she sent numerous fabulous and fun things
including this woolie and buttony pin which immediately went on one of my favorite bags


this beautiful doll that she made using recycled sweaters, who i have named bianca


and this super super cool old ball winder



which you can apparently get in rhodesia and west germany… if only they still existed! drat!

well, there’s my one swap for the year :)

i’ve also inherited some buttons lately…
quite a while ago when a very sweet person on ravelry sent me this note:

[I was reading you blog and…] I saw you really love buttons so I though I could send you some of mine. I received some in my childhood, others came from the shop (mercerie? I don’t know the exact word in English) my grand grand parents owned.
I never did anything with them…

…I just find it a bit sad that those buttons live in a box for so many years. Maybe you could give them a second chance :)

and then lynne sent me some shortly after our may market experience. thanks to both of you!


the chicken and the polka dot ones came from belgium and the rest from lynne. unfortunately i waited so long to take this photo that the other belgium ones got mixed in with some of mine :/

but i must say, i have BIG plans for those chickens!!

have a great monday!