Thursday, April 4, 2019

Vintage Knitting Patterns Online

There are numerous vintage knitting pattern sources online--either free to download or as excellent references. These are fabulous sites to learn about the history of knitting in the 19th and 20th centuries as well as to acquire some cool patterns. Below are links to collections I've found useful.

A note of caution: if you download patterns, be sure they are out of copyright. Unfortunately, there are people who post copyrighted patterns illegally.

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Project Gutenberg

Free Vintage Knitting

Antique Pattern Library

Knitting Reference Library of the University of Southampton

Vintage Purls - vintage patterns no longer under New Zealand copyright

Australian patterns from the '30s, '40s, and '50s

PDFs of Canadian knitting booklets issued during WWII

Library of Congress

The British Library

On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics
OK, this site is for weaving, but it's great!

And if you want to purchase vintage patterns or reproductions of them:

The Vintage Knitting Lady

Vintage Knitting Patterns

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Baby Lambs!

Galadriel had twins late Tuesday night -- a boy and a girl. I was getting ready to go to bed about 11 pm when I heard something that sounded very much like a lamb. Sure enough, there were two! In order to move them to the lambing pen, I had to put the flashlight in my pocket. It's not easy catching two black lambs, one in each hand, on a very dark night.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Channel Island Cast-on

Wanting to view the Channel Island cast-on, I went to YouTube. The first video that came up was from Eunny Jang. I've watched several of her other videos and liked them, so I watched this one. It taught me what I needed to know.

I figured it's always useful to get more than one take on a subject, so I watched the next Channel Island cast-on video in the YouTube queue. That knitter presented the subject a bit differently.

So I watched two more YouTube videos, and each of them took varying approaches to the cast-on, especially the last one by Ann Kingstone.

The moral of this story is don't rely on just one source to learn something new. The more you know, the more options you have. Oh, and this is a very cool cast-on.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Sheep on a Schedule

When the summer monsoon rains come, I let the sheep out most afternoons to graze on the green grass. They love it, of course, and it lowers the feed bill for the alfalfa hay.

Awhile back, I opened the gate for them to graze in the morning. Apparently, I messed up their schedule. All the sheep hesitated to go out, and Gimli, one of the rams, simply refused to exit at all. Instead, he shifted over to his usual spot to await hay. I finally scattered COB (corn, oats, barley, and molasses) on the grass to get Gimli out. After they ate it, the sheep dispersed and started browsing.

Seriously, guys, you can graze in the morning as well as the afternoon. Silly sheep.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Autumn Towels

I just finished weaving five autumn towels and a bread basket cloth. OK, so the bread basket cloth was supposed to be a sixth towel, but I ran out of warp yarn. Hey, bread basket cloths are good. They're all from the same warp. Changing weft yarns certainly makes a huge difference.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


Some of this year's wool from Madeleine, one of my Cotswold sheep. Her fleece is absolutely gorgeous. It was her first shearing, though, and she was not cooperative. I had the bruises to show for it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Knitting Lessons

I'm teaching a woman to knit who works in the same building as I do. I dropped by the other day to say hello.

When she saw me, she said, "Emergency!"

I asked, "Knitting emergency?"

"Yes!" she replied as she grabbed her knitting.

She's knitting her first slipper and somehow managed to wrap a stitch instead of knitting it. I was pleased she recognized there was an error even if she didn't know how to correct it. She's enthusiastic about knitting and already has a list of things she plans to make. Teaching is so much fun.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Herd or Play?

Yesterday, returning the sheep to their pen after grazing was easy. It was hot, and both Logan and the flock were tuckered. The sheep simply followed Logan as he ambled to their enclosure and through the gate. Below is a picture of a job well done.

Today, however, was more exciting and involved a chicken.

Instead of gathering the grazing sheep, Logan entered the barn and discovered a hen. He was in a bouncy, playful mood and started chasing her around. He plays with the chickens often and doesn't want to hurt them, but he was overexcited and kept trying to pick her up. I told him to stop, and the chicken ran off. She didn't go far, though, and Logan continued the game. I finally scooped up the slobber-covered hen, put her in the hay storage room, and gave her some COB (corn, oats, barley, and molasses) to mollify her. She can leave via the open window when she's ready.

I turned around to find the sheep entering their enclosure under Logan's watchful eye. Huh, well, that part was easy.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Vet Visit Anxiety

When you run into your vet while out shopping, someone who you usually see just once a year, and she greets you by name, does that imply that your dog is a bit too memorable?

Logan is perfectly happy to go to the vet's and to see her and her office staff, but he emphatically does not want to be examined or treated. The situation makes vet visits a challenge.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Sometimes Sheep Respond to Their Names

While taking the trash out to the road, I saw all but one of the sheep grazing nearby. Coming back, I noticed Logan had encouraged the group to move along.
Wondering about the other sheep, I asked Logan, "Where's Gimli?" Immediately, I heard a deep baa and looked up to see Gimli rounding some scrub oaks and trotting towards me. After I petted him, he wandered off to graze some more. That was a really weird experience: I had no idea the ram knew his name.