I seem to have lost the entire last month being caught in the cyclone powers of a family death followed by the flu and then pneumonia. . I have missed blogging albeit the benefits are largely one-sided, mostly my side. I prattle on and on about things that are insignificant to many who happen upon my posts but occasionally I strike a chord with some like minded person out there in this shrinking world and that brief exchange of words makes the whole process worthwhile.
Two days ago I finally felt well enough to do something other than sleep so I started reading a book. Today is Yarn Along on Ginny’s Small Things site. It is the day knitters all around the world share their thoughts on a book they are currently reading and then share about a project they are currently working on. It is a good way to find great books to read and an even better way to meet new friends across ocean expanses as well as in our own back yards.
For anyone who enjoys watching the PBS series Downton Abbey, Below Stairs by Margaret Powell is an interesting read. The billet under the title says it is ‘The Classic Kitchen Maid’s Memoir That Inspired Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey. The author left school in England at the age of thirteen, around 1920, to start working. She wrote her memoirs in 1968 which gives insight into the long-vanished world of masters and servants. Ms. Powell’s tales of her time in service were eye opening to me. Her tales, although interesting and witty are not nearly as glamorous as those of the servant’s hall in Downton Abbey. The book is more in keeping of what a British friend shared with us in Cambridge last May. It was his opinion that those lines of servant/master were never crossed to the extent that they are in Downton Abbey. Servants were ‘invisible’ and were not treated well in the majority of homes. I would love for any UK readers of this post to weigh in on that.
The knitting project I am sharing today are the first three blocks of my Building Blocks afghan. I am using Hikoo Simply Worsted, a wonderfully soft washable wool. My LYS, Nikki’s Knots, uses Michelle’s Hunter’s Building Blocks to teach basic knitting skills. I have watched the confidence level build with many of Nikki’s customers as they work through this book knitting the twelve blocks. One outstanding feature in this book is that the techniques demonstrated are supported with online video lessons on Michelle Hunter’s website. I can highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to expand their skills a bit or brush up on rusty skills.
Building Block #1 focuses on the foundation stitches of knitting – the knit and purl stitch. You learn how to do a long tail cast on, how to maintain and seed border, create a design and bind off in pattern. Building Block #2 teaches you how to read charts. With Building Block #3 you learn how to do a yarn over which is a simple increase resulting in a hole that is the basis for lace knitting. You also learn how to make bobbles which add texture and are great fun to make.