Friday, April 21, 2006

Sock Nostalgia! Knit for Sammies!

I love to knit socks! Not only is it just plain addictive, but socks are any easy small project to tote around, and the yarns available are just so colorful and yummy!

I also enjoy studying history. I find it fascinating. So, of course, I read everything I can get on the History of knitting and even the history of Socks! I've learned some interesting facts about socks and the 2 world wars.

During World War I, Americans were asked to knit wool sweaters and socks for the soldiers abroad. There is a really interesting essay on the Red Cross knitting drive on Just follow this link!

There were many different posters during that time calling for women to "Knit their Bit.'' Here's my favorite:

For those who also have Sock Nostalgia, you can buy reprints of this poster on ebay. Just search for wwi posters and "knit your bit.'' There are several different kinds.

The knitting effort was a large relief effort. Even school children were called on to help.

In May 1918 the Seattle School Bulletin printed this patriotic knitting song:

Johnnie, get your yarn, get your yarn, get your yarn;
Knitting has a charm, has a charm, has a charm,
See us knitting two by two,Boys in Seattle like it too.
Hurry every day, don’t delay, make it pay.
Our laddies must be warm, not forlorn mid the storm.
Hear them call from o’re the sea,
‘Make a sweater, please for me.’
Over here everywhere,We are knitting for the boys over there
,It’s a sock or a sweater, or even better
To do your bit and knit a square.

Knitters were also called on to "Knit their Bit'' to help soldiers in WWII.

On it's website, the Red Cross talks about the impact those knitters had.

~~~ If the Guinness Book of World Records had a category for the biggest knitting party of all time, the winner would be the American Red Cross and its millions of volunteers who “Knit Their Bit” during World War II to support American troops fighting around the world.

The Red Cross played a critical role in outfitting troops during World War II with warm socks and sweaters. Nearly 7.5 million Red Cross volunteers supported the war effort then, many of them knitters. The Red Cross provided the materials, and volunteers came back with thousands and thousands of socks, sweaters, “sea boots,” and gloves.

Each military pattern was designed to be compatible with soldier's and sailor's uniforms and were required to be knitted in olive drab or navy blue.

“If the garments did not pass inspection, they were ripped out and redone,” said Steve Shulman, executive director of the American Red Cross Museum. “Any leftover yarn or rejected pieces were returned to the Red Cross and recycled for use by another knitter, and not a bit of it went to waste.”
Upon passing inspection, each item had a label sewn into the garment reading, "Gift of the American People thru the American Red Cross."

And to commemorate the Knitting drives in WWI and WWII, the Red Cross has "Knit Your Bit'' knitting kits for sale in its store! I found out about it while looking through an old copy of "Knit It'' from 2004 that I picked up at the thriftshop yesterday.

All proceeds from the "Knit your Bit'' kits benefit Red Cross projects. The kit is in a nifty nostaligic tin, and contains everything needed to make a pair of servicemen’s socks: an original 1940’s knitting pattern, one skein of olive drab wool yarn, four knitting needles and one finishing needle. It sells for $25.00. I ordered mine this morning -- 2 day Fed Ex shipping is about $9. Ground Fed Ex shipping is about $6. I can't wait until mine comes!!! I will be sure to post pictures. I'm really curious about the 1940's sock pattern!

Check out the Red Cross vintage store here.

There are lots of books that talk about the history of knitting, whether its women and girls knitting for their families, or the people who worked in early mills. It's very interesting!

A great book, if you love history and knitting socks is "Knitting Vintage Socks'' by Nancy Bush. She took old sock patterns from 1887-1914 and updated the instructions. Lots of wonderful illustrations and information from the old pattern books is included, as well as background on knitting at the time, and color photographs of all the socks.

It's an awesome book!! :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ohhhhhhhhhhh Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

You know that sinking feeling you get when your latest knitting project gets pulled off the needle by accident?? Or when you finish crocheting a round on a doily and realize halfway around you missed a repeat and the whole row is lop-sided?

Well, I now know that you also get that sinking feeling when you discover your favorite yarn supplier is moving out of town!

Cry, whine, bottom lip stuck out.......

By June 1st, Elmore-Pisgah will have moved their yarn mill in Spindale, NC to Old Fort -- about 40 miles from where I live. They will still be in business -- so their threads, yarns and Peaches and Creme cotton will still be manufactured. Just not 6 blocks from my house.

The worst part of it is that the move also means that there are jobs that have been lost here in town. Spindale has lost a lot of its mill jobs -- and I'm always sorry when hard-working, nice people get laid off.

I'm sure they announced the move quite awhile back, but I just wasn't paying attention to the local news. I will really miss being able to drop in at the mill and pick up yarn. But, I can still drop in when I make trips up that way. It's a longer drive, but not so far away that I can't make it there 2-3 times a year.

I made sure to stock up yesterday....

And I'll drop in one more time before they close up shop completely and pick up some more. I got a lot of pretty colors and two cones of the Gumdrops variegated. :) That ought to keep me in dishcloths, towel toppers and all things cotton for awhile. :)

And my husband, the sweetie pie that he is, didn't say one word about my buying more yarn. :) My stash hadn't been fed at all in a month. I was going into a NYA tail-spin (No-Yarn-Acquisition).

There is nothing like new yarn smell to make a Fibrist (My new made up word for "One who dabbles in the fiber arts; a yarn addict; anyone with more than one unfinished knitting/crochet project and who owns more than 10 skeins of yarn") just giddy with delight. It's the Joy of Yarn. Cat-nip for Fibrists. Fiber nirvana.

Gotta have yarn. :) Essentially it's string.....and a world without string is chaos. :) To quote "Mousehunt''....a very cute movie! :)


Sunday, April 16, 2006

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter!! We had a nice family dinner today with my in-laws and brother-in-law and some family friends. :) I stayed home from church this morning and cooked like a mad Mashed potatoes, apple cobbler, 2 chocolate pies and a banana creme pie. :) It's nice to cook for a lot of people sometimes -- I just hate the cleanup afterwards. The sink is full of mixing bowls, etc. Ugh.

Meanwhile....on the needles....I'm finishing up a dishcloth and I'm working on a diagonal garter stitch pillow from Easy Knitting.

For the dishcloth I'm using Peaches and Creme cotton in Gumdrops -- it is just such a pretty cotton variegated! I just love it. I'm going to go to Elmore-Pisgah on Monday and see if they have that color in cones. It's just so springy looking!

I love it that Elmore-Pisgah's mill is just right up the road from my house -- I need more cotton so I'll just go in and buy some direct from them on Monday. :) Such a cool place, and the employees are SO nice. :) If you ever get a chance to come to Spindale, take a tour of the mill. It's quite a thing to see!

The pillow I'm working on is one of 3 pillow patterns in the last issue of Easy Knitting. I'm going to make all 3 of them for throw pillows for the screened in porch patio furniture. I started with the diagonal garter stitch pillow -- which is 14" by 14". I'm making it with Red Heart variegated in "Pinata.'' Very pretty bright happy colors! :) Here's my progress so far:

Another inch and I'll be ready to start the decreases for the last point. Then seams and the pillow form and it will be done. :) It's a very easy pattern since it's all just garter stitches and simple increases and decreases.

I also got some new craft books in the mail on Friday!! :) Something new and different!! Gift Baskets and handmade cards! Two things I've always wanted to try out!

And I've also received some really cool postcards in the mail lately through Postcrossing! If you like receiving postcards, and are interested in foreign countries, check out their website! My latest cards have been from: Portugal, Holland,Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Poland, Canada, Ghana, Germany, and England.

I really enjoy sending out postcards and receiving them back from all over the world!

Well, I have Easter dinner dishes to clean up -- I'd better get busy!! :)


Friday, April 14, 2006

A Million Questions

While I was blog-browing early this morning, I came across a list of questions that looked really interesting!! There's a lot of them, but I'd love to see some other of my blog pals answers! :)

Here goes!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6 a.m.
2. Diamonds or pearls? Between those 2, I'd say diamonds. But I really prefer sapphire or just plain costume jewelry. I don't have expensive tastes.
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
4. What is your favorite TV show? Doctor Who (Old and New)
5. What did you have for breakfast? A poached egg on wheat bread toast with canadian bacon and low-fat pepperjack cheese.
6. What is your middle name?Lynne
7. What is your favorite cuisine?Chinese!
8. What foods do you dislike? Beef Liver.
9. What kind of potato chips do you like? When I'm behaving, Baked Lays. When I'm not behaving, Doritoes.
10. What is your favorite CD at the moment? "Let It Be Naked" - Beatles CD.
11. What kind of car do you drive? Saturn GL
12. Favorite sandwich?The egg sandwich I had for brekkie this morning. :) Love it! .
13. What characteristics do you despise? Rudeness, excessive pride, racial prejudice, know-it-alls, liars,child abusers and "users.''
14. Favorite item of clothing? My green t-shirt with the holes in it that I wear to bed. Comfy!
15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? Germany and Austria
16. What color is your bathroom?Two bathrooms -- both white with ugly wallpaper. lol.
17. What is your favorite brand of clothing? Lee and Levi Strauss Jeans. And hand-knitted scarves and clothing ... of course!
18. Where would you want to retire to? Right where I am!! NC is great!
19. Favorite time of day?Late night, early morning.
20. Where were you born? Kansas
21. Favorite sport to watch? Football.
22. Who do you least expect to send this back? Not emailing it to anyone. Just blogging it.
23. Person you expect to send it back first??Again, no answer here.
24. What laundry detergent do you use?Whatever is on sale and doesn't smell bad. lol.
25. Coke or Pepsi?Whichever is on sale.
27. What size shoe do you wear? 8.5 US Women's
28. Do you have any pets? Yes, 3 cats. 1 husband.
29. Any new and exciting news you’d like to share with everyone? I'm a space alien. JK. lol.
30 What did you want to be when you were little? A writer.
31. Favorite Candy Bar? Twix
32. What is your best childhood memory? The Christmas when I was 6.
33. What are the different jobs you have had in your life? Babysitter, Waitress (twice), Tutor for English and Spanish students, Resident Assistant during college, newspaper reporter and editor, radio reporter and news director, Rural Development director (economic development), Tax preparer, Accountant's Receptionist and Assistant (payroll, tax preparation, phones, etc), Receptionist for tech college, Computer tech, and Bill Collection Agent/Customer Service. And my favorite job.....MOM!! :)
34. What color underwear are you wearing?Pastel Stripes.
35. Nicknames? Hoolie, Baggie, Jules, Julcifer (pinned on me in college for being a practical joker), and Fuzzi.
36. Piercing?Ears.
37. Eye color?Hazel.
38. Ever been to Africa? Yes!
39. Ever been toilet papering? As a teenager. We called it Teepeeing. :)
40. Love someone so much it made you cry? Hasn't everyone?
41. Been in a car accident? No.
42. Croutons or bacon bits? Neither.
43. Favorite day of the week?Tuesdays -- I make that my day to run around with my friends.
45. Favorite flower?Yellow Roses.
46. Favorite ice cream?Neapolitan or sherbet.
47. Disney or Warner Brothers? Depends on the movie/cartoon.
48. Favorite fast food restaurant?Taco Bell.
49. What color is your bedroom carpet?Beige.
50. Failed your drivers test?Nope! .
51. Before this one, from whom did you get your last e-mail from?I didn't get this from an email; I found it on a blog. My last e-mail came from a knitter who wanted some help with a pattern.
52. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?Oh that's easy -- Knit Picks! Or another yarn store. :) But, in reality, I wouldn't max out my credit card anywhere.
53. What do you most often do when you are bored? Watch TV, knit/crochet, design a pattern, look through my crafting magazines and books and start a project, work on UFO's, blog, look around on ebay.
54. Bedtime? Whenever I'm too tired to stay up any longer. I love my late night "me'' time.
55. Who are you most curious about their responses to this questionnaire? Dunno. I'm not emailing it out. Just blogging. :)
56. Last person you went to dinner with? My friend Kathie.
57. Ford or Chevy?Whichever car runs the best. Don't care about make.
58. What are you listening to right now?Nothing.
59. What is your favorite movie?"The Philiadelphia Story'' with Cary Grant, Kathryn Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart.
60. Lake, Ocean or river?Ocean
61. How many tattoos do you have?None.
62. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?Dunno. Not really important, is it?
63. How many people are you sending this Email to? Zip, Zero, none. Just blogging.
64. Time you finished this? 5:46 PM EST

Anyone else wanna answer a million questions??? :)

Friday, April 07, 2006

Spring has finally sprung!! :)

The weather is just fabbbbbulous here in NC this week!! Sunny, breezy and great! Flowers blooming all over the place! It's just great!

I haven't had much time to knit or crochet this week. I'm still working on pillows from Easy Knitting. I've picked out a pattern for the Summer Scarf exchange at Crochetville, but I haven't started working on it yet. Still trying to make up my mind what yarn to use.

I've been working outside a lot lately. I planted some new flowers, and I'm digging out a spot for some cobblestones in the backyard. It's slow going, as it seems every two inches I have to stop and chop out tree roots. So, it really just looks like a big mess right now.

When I first moved out here from Kansas, I thought the red dirt was really cool. I'd never seen red dirt, except in Gone With the Wind. But, now that I've actually tried working with the stuff.....Yikes! It's the most stubborn clay hard pain in the butt And it STAINS clothes like nobody's business. I have found that Oxyclean powder and a bit of goop hand-cleaner on the stains cleans up socks and baby clothes quite nicely though. :)

There are lots of butterflies and bumble bees visiting my flowers.

It took me a long time to get a good picture of one of these big yellow butterflies (swallowtail???) because everytime I got ready to snap a photo, they'd fly to another flower or plant. But finally, I got this one. One day last week we counted 12 of them in the backyard -- and they were just soooo pretty flitting around. :) We also have HUGE bumblebees that like the yellow flowers on our fence, and they also visit in our screened in porch because one of the screens is missing. They seem docile and don't try to sting or bother anyone, so we just enjoy watching them. One posed for a photo for me:

Digital cameras are SO cool! :)

And I have to include a picture of my favorite helper. :)

Joshua looks so serious in this picture. I guess chewing on a straw is something that requires a lot of concentration. And he had such a dirty When he helps with yard work, he really gets into his job.....playing in dirt, eating dirt, rolling in dirt, throwing dirt. Dirt is fun. lol.

I'll make a more "crafty'' post tomorrow! :)