Faerie Knitting: A Review

Regrets, I’ve had a few….

My Way by Frank Sinatra

As Frank goes on to say, not that many regrets, but there are some.

One of my regrets is that, with my love of reading and literature and the core values of the library, I never seriously pursued the idea of becoming a librarian.  Once, when I had been living abroad in Asia for a few years and I was about to take my first trip back to my home country, someone asked me, “What’s one of the first things you want to do” (after seeing friends and family, obviously) and I quickly replied, “I want to go to the LIBRARY!!”.

So, while becoming a librarian is an unlikely goal these days, I am a frequent patron and participant at multiple library locations in my area.

One library I visit at least once a week is the small local library, in a tiny town where I take my grandson for Storytime.  The ladies that work there have gotten to know both of us quite well as a result.  Recently, when we came in, the ladies handed me a new book they had just added to their collection:



Faerie Knitting 14 Tales of Love and Magic by Alice Hoffman and Lisa Hoffman.

Many will recognize the name of prolific author Alice Hoffman.  Her book, Practical Magic is one of her best-known works.

Lisa Hoffman is a knitwear designer and cousin to Alice.

In this book, they collaborate to create a book of tales reminiscent of the fairy tales many of us grew up hearing or reading as children.  Not surprisingly, knitting figures in some way in each of the tales.  Then talented Lisa pairs each chapter with a knitting pattern connecting to that tale.  All patterns are for accessory knitting projects, such as a Capelet for Seventh Sister, an infinity cowl for Love Never Ending, and double-knit glovelettes with the tale of Rose.  I’ve already started a mental list of several of the patterns I intend to do once I have cast off at least a couple of my current ones.

Happily, I just received several skeins of Rowan felted tweed wool that I’m considering for the Blue Heron Shawl pictured on the front cover of the book.

I can plan all these projects because, well… within a very short time of perusing the library copy, I had ordered my own.  “Happy Autumn to meeeee”

The project I’m most likely to begin first is the Three Wishes Mittens.  As I mentioned last week in Making Progress the change in temperature from quite hot to very cool has been rather abrupt.  It was on my radar to knit myself a pair of mittens before the cold weather set in, but I have waited too long to begin.

This was primarily due to the double knit project I have been working almost (not quite) monogamously on to complete it before Halloween.  (You can see the beginning stages of this project in A Restored Peace.)  With the deadline looming I have had to use a great deal of self-discipline to not cast on anything new until I have completed it.  But the end is in sight and if I work steadily, I should have it cast off by the end of the week.  I will include an updated picture of the completed scarf in an upcoming post.  I’m calling the style “rustic” which is a nice way of saying it has some minor flaws, but still looks nice and will certainly be functional.  I’m choosing to see them as “design elements”.  I honestly think the recipient of the scarf will love it as it is.

Upon reflection, saying that I didn’t begin anything new is a bit of an overstatement.  There was a section of this scarf that was 31 inches (almost 79 cm.) of just straight color with no design at all.  This became rather mind-numbing after a while.  So, I took a short break to make a couple of small gifts to welcome some new babies who arrived this Autumn (one in September and one in October).  Although I am a knitter at heart, I also know how to crochet.  I decided some quick, crocheted baby hats would be a nice break from the monotony I was currently in.

Ever since I was a child, one thing that shows itself every Autumn is “candy corn”.  Los Angeles, Ca. – Halloween candy corn for an illustration about the anatomy of a sugar rush.

This is a staple treat of this time of year, found at every Halloween event, Autumn festival, pumpkin patch, or hayride.  So it seemed an appropriate way to welcome these two sweet additions.

I have not made many hats, sizing was always a little tricksy for me, turning out too large or small for the intended recipient, although I am improving in this.  But happily, after making a few adjustments the Candy Corn Hat pattern I was using (just to suit my gauge) I completed two hats that fit just fine.

Earlier I mentioned the Rowan yarn I received recently.  I wanted to build on that for a moment.  I have mentioned before, attending monthly meetings of the Tri-State Fiber Arts Guild, a group of fiber enthusiasts who get together to learn from each other and just generally share our love of all things fiber.  In our group, there are knitters, crocheters, spinners, and weavers.

One thing that we practice at our meetings is setting up a freebie table.  We bring in pattern books and magazine, needles, hooks, notions, and yarn we no longer want or need.  It’s a fun way to destash and share.    Just before our last meeting, a friend had given me bags and bags of yarn she was removing from her stash.  So after selecting out the skeins I would most likely put to use, I still had lots of yarn to take with me for the table.   It’s a great way of making sure nothing goes to waste and sharing what we have.  I love it!

Here’s to the yarn!  All the pretty, pretty yarn.





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