I can't believe a week has gone by since my last post. This is the first time I have broken my twice a week vow. But I do have I a great reason. I have frantically been organizing my yarn loft for my visit from the photographer for the Detroit News. I also having been knitting up a storm. I have two great new projects on needles which I will share with you soon.
Since our trip to Lawrence, Kansas for Donn and Andi's 50th anniversary celebration, I have been thinking in terms of 50. In the next few posts, I am going to talk about 50 things knitters didn't have 50 years ago. I have been having fun thinking about the fibers, tools and techniques that weren't around 50 years ago. Here we ago.
These are the most important inventions ever for the knitter--the SWIFTER and the YARN WINDER. I have vivid memories of the men in my family (grandfather, uncle, dad) whining as they held a skein of yarn while my grandmother, aunt and mom wound a ball of yarn. There often was a little swearing but there was always much grumbling. My grandmother was amazing. She could wind a perfect center pull ball before the yarn winder. Some how she attached the yarn to her thumb and ta da, she had a center pull ball. I never got the hang of that. My balls were always the outside pull that you found yourself chasing across the floor. When Dick and I married he became the next generation of male skein holders. I think he was the worst. He would never hold his arms up level and the yarn would fall off. What a mess! Or he would try to make it go faster by moving his out stretched hands and the yarn would fall off. With this would be the continuous whining of, "How much longer?" "My arms are tired!" "I can't do this any more!" The happiest day of our married life wasn't a vacation or the purchase of our home but my purchase of the swifter and yarn winder.
The next fabulous invention was INTERCHANGEABLE KNITTING NEEDLES. These are my favorite Dreamz by Knitter's Pride. It doesn't matter if you use their single pointed, double pointed or interchangeable, the size 5 is always brown, the size 8 is always red, etc. The size of the interchangeables are printed on the on every needle, too. How many times have you needed to use circular needles but couldn't tell what size you had? Annoying! You would think that with interchangeable needles my needle supply would be smaller. Not the case. I still keep buying needles when a new kind comes out. Sometimes because they're pretty, sometimes because they're square, sometimes because they're clear. I guess I just love knitting needles.
50 years ago we didn't have the gorgeous EXOTIC YARNS we have today. It used to be wool (mostly scratchy), cotton, worsted, baby, fine with cashmire thrown for those who could afford it. But today we have buffalo, alpaca, mink (shown in the pictures), qivit, hemp and the list goes on. My goal is to knit something out of every exotic yarn. I have used buffalo, and believe it or not it is soft as a cloud. To get buffalo yarn, the hides are bought from companies who sell buffalo for meat. For obvious reasons buffaloes can't be sheared (like putting your life on the line to get that soft under coat.) Buffalo is the perfect yarn to knit a scarf for a man. I knit one for Donn and included information on the path from buffalo to yarn and he loved it.
These are my first three of the FABULOUS 50. I have many more (47 to be exact) to share with you.