My own knitting life is sadly quite boring at the moment.
I've been going through physio to put my shoulders back in some sort of sensible condition after 40 years of knitting several hours per day. All is progressing relatively well, but it means that while I'm knitting, every time I feel any sort of twinge from mid back to the top of my head, I drop the needles immediately and take a break, walk around the living room, stretch limbs and neck, then try and figure out where I left off in my pattern.
Needless to say, this little exercise protocol every 15 minutes or so doesn't lend itself to any sort of fancy work, nor to much knitting at all. So to keep inspired, I have turned to my other great love: reading. And in this case I've been specifically reading some of the knitting magazines that I don't have regular access to at the WOOL-TYME Kingston store.
Last Saturday before going to work, I brought my mags to Starbucks and was greeted by the barista who exclaimed as I paid for my tea: "Oh wow! You have knitting magazines. I love knitting, I do it all the time with my friends." It's not often that women of a certain vintage inspire such a reaction from a girl in early twenties. My selection included the most recent edition of Love Of Knitting (a newish American publication), the Spring/Summer issue of Vogue Knitting, which sold out at the store before I got back from my week away early in March. The last of the magazines, which at $13.75 CAD was quite an investment but I'd heard good things about the publication, including the fact that one of our customers had recently sold them a pattern, so it was worth a closer look: Yarn Forward a monthly magazine from the UK.
What a quality publication! I wouldn't say that I'd be lining up at Chapters for the next issue each month, but as a knitter I certainly felt that I got my money's worth for the information, techniques, innovations, and excellent variety of patterns.
So here is what I discovered about what's hot on the knitting scene both here and across the pond:
-Cables everywhere, in pillows, throws, bags, and in garments, to accent the shape: "Vertical cables are very flattering for most body shapes. They help to create han hour-glass figure, drawing the eye down to the waist." Anniken Allis, designer of the Selina Jumper in Yarn Forward.
-And the latest trend in knitting "must haves"... Yarn bowls. I saw them featured and advertised in all 3 magazines. How cute, but is it really a "must have"?
I also learned that in the 1940s, women incorporated the finest of lace or cable patterns into their knitting to perk up the dreariness of the colours that were available, but they would only add these at the yoke, to save precious yardage. In the 1950's with the end of rationing, knitwear designers seemed to have gone hogwild, with dolman sleeves flared and lacy knitted skirts and swing jackets of the widest proportion.
I learned that Alice Starmore has a new book called Fishermen's Sweaters which I have serious doubts about the number of fishermen who would get a chance to wear these magnificent and intricate Aran designs, especially to work on a smelly boat.
Finally Nicky Epstein has come out with a smart thing to do with the miles of "corking" that kids can produce, using it to embellish store bought pillows - we'll have to do up a sample of this fun and easy craft for the store.