TBT: Iron Age Tunic, TBT to the Future

In 2014, an iron age tunic was discovered along with a cache of artifacts that were previously frozen in a Norwegian glacier. The tunic was woven, had been patched several times, and had sleeves added after the original garment was made. More details about the textile and its construction are in this article, while the full archeological details are here, including the significance and interpretation of the find. Easier to digest is this video made about the reconstruction of the tunic, which shows both the original and the reconstruction.

It’s interesting to imagine what will survive the present age and how it will be interpreted in the future. We currently produce massive amounts of clothing to the point where, especially in Western culture, it is considered by some to be wasteful. The slow fashion movement is a reaction to clothing as an extension of consumerism, but I would also argue that knitters, crocheters, and weavers have long been rebelling against industrialized, consumer fashion. Handmade clothing (knit, crocheted, woven, hand stitched, handmade in any step of the process) is so much more than a utilitarian body covering or a fashion statement with all its cultural baggage – handmade clothing is all of that and more; a signifier of care and love from one person to another, a signifier of uncommon skills, and probably more that I’m not thinking of at the moment. Handmade clothing just means more than mass produced items, and not just because handmade clothing is unique.

I suspect I could continue along these lines for quite some time, so I’ll spare you by asking you to imagine future throw back Thursdays featuring garments you’ve made, handmade garments given to you, or your current personal wardrobe favorites that you would want to survive.


The Week August 28-September 3

Last week:

    • Take Henry to load his locker on Tuesday, get him ready for the 1st day of school Thursday.
      The first day of school went swimmingly.
    • Help Ethan pack and move him in to JMU on Wednesday.
      My husband ended up taking him (long story as to why, but Ethan managed to stir up some drama before leaving, unusual for him). His first day of classes is today. He really doesn’t want to be there, but I’m hoping he settles in and starts to like it.
    • Work on Aranami/Imanara.
      Finished another complete row of wedges.
    • Make more hearts for Charlottesville.
      I made a total of 6 and created my own heart pattern that will work for any yarn on any needles – it’s knit bottom up in the round with short rows and a grafted edge at the top of the hearts. It’s in tech edit with my good friend Becky right now. I plan to release it into the wild for free ASAP.
Hearts for Cville
All the hearts I made for Hearts for Cville. Laughing Sheep Yarns, a Charlottesville LYS, is collecting knit & crochet hearts to hang around town for anyone to take in an effort to promote healing. I wanted to get my hearts down there ASAP because of the March Against White Supremacy that’s starting there later this week and ending in DC September 8 (I think).
  • Wrap & send Steph’s baby gifts. (Potential blog post.)
    Done. I didn’t write a post about the goodies I sent, but I could. Maybe this week.
  • Write a post about my Knit Together Square and send it off to Melissa.
    It’s in the mail! I had a lot of packages to send today!
  • Set up lunch with Cecily & Rachelle. (Putting it here so I don’t forget.)

I also began spinning another bump of Spunky Eclectic fiber. The back of the label is worn away so I’m guessing that this is a merino-silk blend, 60/40. The colorway is Calypso and it’s dreamy to spin.

My #mdsw2017 haul: 2 skeins of @neighborhoodfiberco Studio Sock in Upton (to make a shawl using a rainbow yarn I got at #mdsw last year) Maple Sugar Candy from Justamere Tree Farm (hands down my favorite candy), fiber from @amyboogie/Spunky Eclectic (I'm
The fiber I started spinning is on the right – these are my Maryland Sheep & Wool 2017 goodies. Those maple sugar candies are long gone, but I wish I had some still.

In addition to that, I got started on my next embroidery project, The View from Mt. Peg. It’s the view from one of two small (very small) mountains in the Vermont town I grew up in up the valley to Killington peak. I got the embroidery floss before drawing the layers of mountains knowing I’d be limited somewhat by DMC colors. Also, I redrew the mountains from a better picture after I took this picture.

The View from Mt Peg
The Beginning of The View From Mt. Peg

This week:

  • Decide what’s next for Aranami/Imanara. The choices:
    1. Work the final row (different from regular rows) in the bright colored yarn. The final stripe would be 1/2 a row taller than all the other stripes.
    2. Work another stripe of the dull colored yarn, with the final row being part of the stripe. All stripes would be the same height, but the stripe sequence would be off by 1 – I started with the dull yarn but I like the bright yarn better and would prefer that to be at the top of the shawl.
    3. Work another stripe of the dull yarn followed by another stripe, with final row, of the bright yarn. Risk running out of yarn. Ripping back would be especially tedious and cumbersome since the shawl is knit in wedge modules.
This is basically where my Aranami shawl is (I named the project Inamara on Ravelry), just so there’s a visual along with the options.
  • Publish This Is My Heart, the heart pattern that I came up with for Hearts for Cville and write a blog post about the whole heart thing.
  • Begin actual embroidery work on The View from Mt. Peg.
  • Decide on the next knitting project, which will use either a rainbow variegated yarn from Marigoldjen that I got at MDSW 2016 and the black yarn I got from Neighborhood Fiber Company at MDSW 2017 or yarn that I got from The Fiberists at Shenandoah Fiber Festival 2017. Or I may re-knit or crochet Jeff’s cat cave, which is currently laying collapsed and unused in my family room.

I hope we have a good week, all of us!


lol Friday: Woman, Marionette, Squirrel

I saw a tweet this morning and was instantly enamored:

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 11.46.50 AM

I would now like a marionette of myself to feed squirrels and bunnies and other small animals, and I also wouldn’t mind having a movable mini-me to knit for. Just imagine how quickly FOs would fly of my needle for mini-Mandy/mini-madgeface! Think of all the small animals I could feed with mini-me safely bundled in hand knits!

I poked around a bit more and found an unoriginal article on Laughing Squid, from another unoriginal article in The New York Daily News – the pair were first featured in Humans of New York, not once, but twice! In a nutshell (ha ha – a pun!): the woman in the photograph is 85 year old Doris Diether, who lost her voice; the marionette maker is a professional puppeteer and street performer, Ricky Syers; and the photographer is Nathalie Kalbach. As I read the stories behind the picture, I went from chuckling to myself and imagining a mini-me, to feeling truly touched, with some of my faith in humanity restored: I hope you have time to read them and that they do the same for you. Happy Friday!


TBT: Hero

I didn’t know tape measures were such a bother! The only thing missing from these needles are the capes that will make them super. 🙂


Knit Together Project

Melissa over at Knitting the Stash started the Knit Together project in late July and I signed up pretty quickly as a veteran of group blanket projects. All the details are on Melissa’s blog, but essentially it’s a DPN relay: each knitter receives the DPNs (symbolically or actually), makes an 8″x8″ afghan square using meaningful or special-to-them yarn, and passes the DPNs and the project on to another knitter. Knitters send their squares to Melissa, who will seam them all together into a blanket. When the blanket is complete, Melissa will choose a winner from among the knitters to receive the blanket.

Knit Together project

So, for my square, I chose to use some handspun yarn that I’ve had around for a while. I spun it to make my first Bohus cardigan, the Blue Palm Cardi, which is also my first (mostly) hand processed & hand spun cardigan. The pattern is supposed to be red and is based on the Red Palm Cardigan, but I like blues and had the brown fleece. (Side note: I just checked the pattern page on Ravelry and they’ve featured my sweater on the pattern page! Neato!)

The brown yarn is from a local sheep named Abigail who is 1/2 Romney, 1/4 Finn, 1/8 Corriedale, and 1/8 Merino. Abigail lives at Willow Hawk Farm in Lovettsville, VA, which is local to me. They generously invited my knitting group to their spring sheering day in 2010 and I’m pretty sure I watched Abigail being shorn. I bought her fleece and split the cost of two other fleeces with a knitting & spinning friend. I hand processed the fleece, from skirting & washing it, all the way through carding and spinning it into a fingering weight 2 ply yarn. For this project, I doubled the yarn to make it more suitable gauge wise to the US size 10 DPNs that Melissa sent me along with the project instructions and a mini skein.


After looking through my Barbara G Walker treasuries (I have 1-3), I settled on using the Wager Welt or All Fools’ Welt pattern. Barbara explains:

This type of ridging owes its fame to an amusing little sidelight in the history of knitting. The “wager” was concerned with the question, out of eight pattern rows, how many rows are purled? From the appearance of the pattern it is very hard to guess, and so the French call it Puzzle Stitch and the Germans called it Dispute Stitch; but the English, who seemed to believe that only a fool could be stumped by the problem, called it All Fools’ Welt. The answer, of course, is “one.”

– Barbara G. Walker, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Schoolhouse Press edition 1998, 10th printing 2013

It’s perfect for this, no? The only problem is that I gave away the answer, but whoever ends up with the blanket can always challenge their knitting friends and family to answer the question.

For ease in achieving the 8″ square, I did change the pattern up a bit by knitting it on the bias. I cast on one stitch and increased at both edges until I reached what I have to admit is a generous 8″ and then decreased at both edges until I was back at one stitch, which I bound off. It was a lot of fun to knit and I suspect it took me about as much time to actually knit as it did to plan and to write this blog post. (Okay, maybe a little bit longer, but not much.)

Knit Together square

Knitting and blogging friends and anyone reading this! Would you like to participate? I’ve already asked my in-real-life knitting friend Lisa and I’m going to ask a few others who aren’t in the blogosphere, but now I’m asking you. It’s fun, relatively easy, and it’s been really interesting to see what other people have done with their squares.

Let’s see if I can zero in on a few people who I think might be interested, and hope that WP notifies them properly. (I hope I’m doing this right!)

Mrs. Craft, are you up for it? I know another Brit has joined the project, so it’s certainly not limited to this continent.

Weird Weekends, how about you? I seem to remember that you don’t knit or don’t knit well – maybe this is the perfect weekend project for you?

Naomi of String Geekery, are you up for this? I love your designs, maybe you’d like to take one for a spin for this?

Suzy Sells Sea Shells, I know you just got a new dog and you’re working on a fabulous shawl, but maybe this would be a fun diversion too?

Nothing But Knit, and Allision of On the Needles, how about you?

Boy I hope I got that tagging thing right; it’s not as easy as typing @ on Twitter or Facebook, is it?




The Week August 21-27

Last week:

    • Start chewing soft food.
      I ate Triscuits, my current food obsession, so I’m pretty much back to all-normal food. Hurray!
    • Get Ethan, middle son, ready to go to his first year of college 8/23.
      He’s not ready, physically packing-wise or mentally. We should have let him take a gap year – he’s not even 18 (his birthday is early September). But the show must go on, tuition has been paid.
    • Continue working on the summer top.
      I’m really unhappy with how it’s turning out and have put it in time out for the moment. I used the Flinders Sweater Vest pattern because a tank top is basically a vest and a vest is basically a tank top, but the neckline is way, way too low on me and four rows of 2×2 ribbing aren’t going to fix that. I don’t want to rip it all the way back to near the beginning again, but I also don’t want to continue with it, nor do I have another pattern I’d like to use. So into timeout it goes.


  • Start spinning something new.
    Nope. I spent potential spinning time on social media attempting to debate with people about what’s going on regarding Charlottesville, white nationalists, the state of the Presidency, etc. I don’t think I made a difference. I did use Resistbot every day to make my views known to my Senator, signed some petitions, and persuaded 2 friends that their viewpoint was wrong-headed because they hadn’t considered all the information. I don’t get out much, so social media is my social outlet a lot of the time. I also happen to live in one of the richest counties in the US, so even when I do get out, I’m very insulated from the problems.I did stumble upon something small that could help make a difference; Hearts for Cville is a project started by an LYS in Charlottesville to hang knit and crochet hearts around town to promote healing in the wake of the rallies and deaths that occurred on August 12. I think it’s a sweet idea, so I’ve already knit two hearts using leftover sock yarn. I also posted about it on FB and in my knitting groups offering to be a collection point for hearts if anyone wants to join in. I’d do the same for all of you except it makes more sense for you to send them directly to the LYS. All the details are in the About section of the Hearts for Cville FB page (linked above), including pattern & labeling suggestions.
My first, slightly wonky, stuffed heart for #HeartsforCville

This week:

  • Take Henry to load his locker on Tuesday, get him ready for the 1st day of school Thursday.
  • Help Ethan pack and move him in to JMU on Wednesday.
  • Work on Aranami/Imanara.
  • Make more hearts for Charlottesville.
  • Wrap & send Steph’s baby gifts. (Potential blog post.)
  • Write a post about my Knit Together Square and send it off to Melissa.
  • Set up lunch with Cecily & Rachelle. (Putting it here so I don’t forget.)