Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Video Episode: Antique Quilts with Jo Glass

My friend, Jo, has been collecting and studying quilts for many years. In this episode we go through the quilts that have been passed down in my family as well as vintage quilts I have purchased over the years. The last 10 minutes of the video features Jo's advice on caring for quilts, both old and new.

Jo is Qwiltnknitnut on Ravelry and Instagram
Paula is PrairiePiper on Ravelry and Knittingpipeline on Instagram
www.knittingpipeline.com

Books:
Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman
https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Pieced-Patterns-Barbara-Brackman/dp/0891458158

Dating Fabrics by Eileen Trestain
https://www.amazon.com/Eileen-Trestain-Fabrics-1800-1960-Paperback/dp/B01FOC9RPC

Please leave questions on the Ravelry Thread or on YouTube.

Thanks for watching!

Friday, October 25, 2019

Episode 333 Embroidery Meets Knitting




Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.


This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co


Knitting Pipeline is a Bluprint Affiliate. Bluprint offers affordable online classes and supplies. When you use the link in the sidebar before purchasing I receive a small percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you!


Show notes are found at www.knittingpipeline.com. You can find me on Ravelry as PrairiePiper and on Instagram and YouTube as KnittingPipeline. There are two groups on Ravelry, Knitting Pipeline and Knitting Pipeline Retreats. Come join us there!

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline

Pinterest: Paula Emons-Fuessle

Ravelry Group

Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group.

caringbridge

Pipeliner Notes

Welcome to our newest Pipeliners who have said hello to us on the Welcome thread.

byhookandstix who is Sue in NSW Australia, Nsmerkt who is Nikki from Northern VA (Nikki’s Notables on Etsy---window bags), Linda Chamberlin in NH. Welcome! Thank you to the wonderful moderators in our group especially TwinsetJan who have said hello to those who posted in the thread.

iTunes

Groovy D on 10/22 “Like an Auntie in my Living Room” Listened from beginning and is now current.

Events

Links to retreats and registration materials are in the Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group on Ravelry. There is also a sticky thread with all upcoming retreat dates.

Eagle Crest Retreat October 30-Nov 2, 2019. Also will collect mittens for Threads Hope and Love.

Georgia Retreat Registration will be released in November.

Needle Notes

Cobblestone #3 by Jared Flood.

Barrett Wool Co Woolen Spun in Rain Shower colorway.

I am starting sleeve #2. Body complete to armholes.

Odette Hoodies for girls. Odette Hoodie by Carrie Bostick Hoge.

Both sweaters needed length in body. About 3 “.

In the last episode I explained how I lengthened the hoodies that were knitted from bottom up. I didn’t have enough of same dye lot so there is a wide stripe on the larger sweater. To fool the eye with the dye lots I presented a few options:


  1. 1.       Add a big pocket, small side pocket or two side pockets.

  2. 2.       Embellish with embroidery.

  3. 3.       Both of above

JanMarie said large pocket with embroidery too. Butterfly on sleeve.

I added a kangaroo pocket on each in garter stitch since there are garter stitch details on sweater.

  1. Marked middle of sweater all the way down with waste yarn.
  2. Picked up right leg of stitches along bottom just above ribbing, making sure you stay in the same row all the way across. Start picking up about 1” from side “seam” and end about 1” from left seam. Decreased 1 stitch on each side until width of pocket looked right then straight up.
  3. Used a modified 3 needle BO to join top of pocket to body of sweater. Again, picked up right leg of each stitch in row. (This is where marker in middle comes in handy because you want the same number of stitches on both sides of pocket and body of sweater. Worked really well and looks very tidy and sturdy.


Embroidery


In order to hide the dye lot change I fooled the eye with embroidery. Flower stems look as if they are coming out of the sides of the pocket. Flowers are different heights and colors. Leaves and buds on some, blooming flowers on others.

Helene's sweater size 4
Pocket detail

Butterfly and More flowers

Maeve's sweater with butterfly on sleeve.
A blue butterfly landed on her sleeve
Backs of sweaters:
Bunny on back of Maeve's sweater. 

Can you see the carrot?

Duplicate stitch bunny from My Knitted Doll by Louise Crowther. Grass with carrot in the ground. Duplicate stitch good for repairs and small areas. This came out rather bulky and stiff…but I think she will love it.

Tip: If you are using a grid pattern from a book, make sure it is for knitting or convert. Reason is that knit stitches are not square: the are wider than they are tall; so, if you took a pattern from a cross stitch book, for example, the resulting image would be distorted.

Helene's Sweater Backside

Fluffy bluebird in backstitch. Branch and worm on the ground (bullion stitch with antennae in black embroidery thread.) Much quicker than duplicate stitch.


I used backstitch to outline the bird.

This little caterpillar in bullion stitch might be my favorite thing!


Detail of 3 needle bind off to join pocket to sweater.


Embroidery stitches used:


  • Fly
  • Backstitch
  • Outline
  • Lazy Daisy
  • Chain
  • Bullion. New to me and I love it! Looks like caterpillars.
  • Palestrinian knot. Learned from Anna Zilborg. Works better than French knots on knit, although you can do French knots if you are careful where you put them. Can fall in ditch between vertical rows so don’t stand out much.
  • Algerian Eye ( little bulky but I left it in)


Tips for embroidery on knitting:


  • Use a practice swatch before you start.
  • Easier to do straight lines than curved lines. Knitting makes a grid.
  • Use a yarn equal to or thicker than base yarn. Shows up better.
  • For bird I cut out a simple shape using freezer paper and pinned it to the back of the sweater as a rough guideline.


Blethering Room

I have been doing quite a bit of quilting which I will show in the next video, coming soon.

Nature Notes


  • Lots of rain!
  • Peepers on our windows and at the creek.
  • Wildflowers: self-heal, rudbeckia, daisy fleabane,
  • Johnny Jump Ups self-seeded from our pots in the spring.
  • Goldfinches are molting into their winter plumage.
  • Last hummingbird sighting October 4th.
  • Lots of butterflies:Painted ladies, Buckeyes, Monarchs
  • Revived our deck for fall with mums, winter pansies.
  • Planted bulbs. Scilla and crocus in our Stump Garden.

Hiking in Forest Park and Eureka Lake





William Bliss Carman, FRSC was a Canadian poet who lived most of his life in the United States, where he achieved international fame. He was acclaimed as Canada's poet laureate during his later years. 1861-1929

A Vagabond Song by Bliss Carmen


There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood --
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame

She calls and calls each vagabond by name.

--Bliss Carmen

In the Pipeline

Watching


  • ·        This is Us
  • ·        Survivor
  • ·        This Farming Life on Britbox
  • ·        DCI Banks
  • ·        Durells of Corfu
  • ·        Poldark (the Final Season) Boo hoo!
  • ·        Press
  • ·        The Victim (Britbox)
  • ·        The Great British Baking Show
  • ·        Schitt’s Creek on Netflix
  • ·        Keeping Faith Season 2
  • ·        800 Words
  • ·        Missing (Joanne Froggatt)
  • ·        The Yorkshire Vet

Paula

·        Just Get it Done Quilts by Karen Brown

·        Steph and Momo Show (quiltswag)



Reading

Paula

The Song of Hartgrove Hall by Natasha Solomons

The Woman who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith

One Bird at a Time: Portraits of Individual Lives by Bernd Heinrich

Burying the Honeysuckle Girls by Emily Carpenter



Listening

The Minimalists Podcast

Everything Happens by Kate C Bowler

The Joycast by Margaret Feinberg (Christian)

The Minimal Mom (Dawn)



High Note Low Note

Bob:

High: Paula’s excellent CT Scan on August 8

Low: Coming of winter

Paula

High: Marco Polo app

High: Fed and Fit: Wellness and Healthy Living

Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity by Cassy Joy Garcia






Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Episode 332 Maine and Repair Tips




Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.

This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is a Bluprint Affiliate. Bluprint offers affordable online classes and supplies. When you use the link in the sidebar before purchasing I receive a small percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Show notes are found at www.knittingpipeline.com. You can find me on Ravelry as PrairiePiper and on Instagram and YouTube as KnittingPipeline. There are two groups on Ravelry, Knitting Pipeline and Knitting Pipeline Retreats. Come join us there!

You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline

Pinterest: Paula Emons-Fuessle

Ravelry Group

Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group.

caringbridge

Pipeliner Notes

Welcome to our newest Pipeliners who have said hello to us on the Welcome thread.

New listener from Wisconsin, tidefrog1 who is Sarina in Florida and is listening from the beginning, Wlmermaid who is Cassandra in SD, studionoodling who is Sue from Ottawa, Bilingualann in Charlotte NC, and kpaglierani who is Kathy in Boston. Welcome! Thank you to the wonderful moderators in our group who have said hello to those who posted in the thread.

iTunes

Thank you to:


  • Pattilink on 8/27
  • Mr Snc on 8/23
Bird house with succulent roof garden.

Events

Links to retreats and registration materials are in the Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group on Ravelry. There is also a sticky thread with all upcoming retreat dates.

Thank you to everyone at the Maine Retreat who donated mittens to the Maine Mitten Project.


Eagle Crest Retreat October 30-Nov 2, 2019. Also will collect mittens for Threads Hope and Love. We still have a few spots left at Eagle Crest.

Needle Notes

Eldest son was pleased with his Cobblestone.






Cobblestone #3 by Jared Flood is in progress.

Barrett Wool Co Woolen Spun in Rain Shower colorway.


Modifications: Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Check out project notes on Cobblestone #1. Great retreat knitting. I had big plans to finish the body up to the armholes and get a sleeve or two in as well but that did not happen. I think I have about 10” on the body and will go to 17”.


Northeasterly by Melissa Alexander-Loomis. I’m on 4 out of 10, maybe 12.

Repair, actually modifying Odette Hoodies for girls. Odette Hoodie by Carrie Bostick Hoge.

October 2018
I modified it as a pullover per DIL’s request. They have worn these little hoodies so much and it makes me so happy. Sticks and twigs embedded in wool. I washed them both first.

Both sweaters needed length in body. About 3 “.

Knitted from bottom up and in the round. If they had been knitted in pieces, I would just knit new sweaters.

Process: Will add photos as I go.


  • ·        Where side seam would be, snip one stitch above the ribbing. Very handy to know how you weave in ends. Try to avoid that area. All joins were done using the felted method also called spit join.

  • ·        Start picking out the row. You can secure stitches if you want but not really necessary as the wool is slightly felted and wants to stay put. Pick out the row all the way around. You now have two pieces.

  • ·        Now you have two separate pieces:

1.       The ribbing and several rows above it.

2.       Top of sweater with sleeves attached.


  • ·        Pick up all the stitches on piece 1 so you will be knitting upwards. Make sure you retrieve all the stitches and have them mounted properly or knit them properly on the first round.

  • ·        Knit upwards the desired number of inches to length. Use leftover wool from project or incorporate another color and texture.

  • ·        Use Kitchener Stitch to join bottom section to top sections. This process took me longer than I thought it would because I’m pretty fast at Kitchener Stitch. First put front of sweater on one long circular needle and back stitches on another. These do not have to be the size that you used for knitting the sweater. I felted the new piece of yarn for Kitchener stitch.

My DIL said it wouldn’t bother her that the dye lot is different so I could leave as is. In order to blend in new color or dyelot:

1.       Add a big pocket, small side pocket or two side pockets.

2.       Embellish with embroidery or both.

What are your thoughts?

Blethering Room

My sister and I off to Maine Retreat!

Traveling with my sister is THE BEST!


Sue with her Skagen Shawl at Show and Tell


Show and tell is always a highlight.
Leslie showed an heirloom sweater she had knitted for her father.

Thank our mini-workshop volunteers:


  • ·        Jan Hamby aka Twinsetjan did beeswax wraps. If you have not seen these yet, they are made of cloth and covered with a solution of beeswax and a few other ingredients. You use them instead of cellophane, aluminum foil and save on waste. Very popular and Jan had to bring a lot of materials to do the workshop too.


  • ·        Kathy aka woolyeyes demonstrated brioche to eager learners. Might have shown helical knitting also.


  • ·        Jo aka qwiltnknitnut taught us how to make shawl closures with buttons and hair elastics. Thank you to Angela Loomis for donating her beautiful pottery buttons!



  • ·        Beverly did a trunk show of dolls and animals she has knitted from patterns by various designers. We were so enchanted by ALL of them and some of us might have bought a “few” books and patterns. I immediately came home and looked at Susan B Anderson’s books that I already own and immediately saw some patterns that I had intended to make but had lost in the shuffle. If you go to the show blog there are photos of Beverly’s display. You can look at her projects on Ravelry. She is bszen. I’ve linked to her projects page.




  • ·        Shetland Trip by Sue, Pat, and Debbie.

Thank you to all of you!
Me with Kathy. Flower Garland is behind us. Photo from Sue Witkin.

Flower Garland: Total surprise to me because I did not look at the thread that said Paula stay out. Flowers of all shapes and sizes, pumpkins, a pickle. Totally whimsical and I LOVE it! I think of all of you knitting positive thoughts and prayers into it and I feel very humbled and full of gratitude.



Shopping trip.
Lots of good food, walks to town, walks along the beach and nature preserves, vendor fair, visit to Knit Wit in Portland, a visit to Camp Wool which is always a highlight, walk to Mornings in Paris for a coffee, tea, croissant or all 3, and best of all knitting outside on the front porch with some of my favorite people!

Gayle and I at Camp Wool

Vendors

  • Seven Sisters Arts
  • PrairieBagWorks. Sue makes project bags and rope yarn bowls.
  • Fairwinds Farm: alpaca roving and yarn, lavender essential oil, woodcrafts
  • Starbright Muse. Starbrightmuse on etsy. She is an indie Dyer and also designs designer.
  • January Designs Co on Etsy makes beautiful project bags. 
  • Knot a Llama Goods (moknita on Ravelry)



October by Robert Frost

1874-1963




O hushed October morning mild,

Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;

To-morrow's wind, if it be wild,

Should waste them all.

The crows above the forest call;

To-morrow they may form and go.

O hushed October morning mild,

Begin the hours of this day slow,

Make the day seem to us less brief.

Hearts not averse to being beguiled,

Beguile us in the way you know;

Release one leaf at break of day;

At noon release another leaf;

One from our trees, one far away;

Retard the sun with gentle mist;

Enchant the land with amethyst.

Slow, slow!

For the grapes' sake, if they were all,

Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,

Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—

For the grapes' sake along the wall.





Have a great week! Haste ye back and hold your knitting close!






Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Episode 331 Toast to Good Health


Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.


This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co and Knitcircus Yarns


Knitting Pipeline is a Bluprint Affiliate. Bluprint offers affordable online classes and supplies. When you use the link in the sidebar before purchasing I receive a small percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you!


Show notes are found at www.knittingpipeline.com. You can find me on Ravelry as PrairiePiper and on Instagram and YouTube as KnittingPipeline. There are two groups on Ravelry, Knitting Pipeline and Knitting Pipeline Retreats. Come join us there!

You can also find me here:


Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline

Pinterest: Paula Emons-Fuessle

Ravelry Group

Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group.

caringbridge


Pipeliner Notes

Welcome to our newest Pipeliners who have said hello to us on the Welcome thread.

Ltebrinke who is Lori from WI, NYjets4ever who is Beth from NJ, dmheimer who is Marian from NV, SallyAnnChicago, StewFrue who is Martha in Charlottesville VA, knittertwitter1 who is Ruth in Ontario CN, and LamandaPanda who is Lamanda from GA. Welcome! And that brings us up to date on the Welcome Thread. Thank you to the wonderful moderators in our group who have said hello to those who posted in the thread.


iTunes


Thank you to NYR519 on 6/24 who might be the above-mentioned Beth from NJ.



In case you did not see my post on Instagram, I had my post chemo CT on August 8 and the results were nothing short of miraculous considering how sick I was in January. The CT of my full torso showed no cancer anywhere and my blood work was excellent. Thanks again for all your support, cards, and posts. While my sister was here for the CT and we did a video episode which I think is the best yet. We were a little punchy from quilting for two days. There was a lot of wonderful feedback on the last episode which was Momo’s Knitting and I showed the baby knits and doll knits on the video episode.


Note from Verlyn in Ontario who wrote: …On this beautiful hot last day of July, I’ve come from a walk and was delighted to be accompanied by your podcast of the 15th. Lovely to hear you again!

Coleus…my grandmother also had it outside and inside and looking out the kitchen window I see at least a dozen specimens in pots. My current favourite is a tiny leafed one that cascades. I shall take cuttings next month for indoor plants to remind me that there will be another summer when winter has us in its icy grip. The knitters are coming this evening so I must go and show the carpet the sucking end of the vacuum. Take very good care Verlyn (steelneedles).



Events


Links to retreats and registration materials are in the Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group on Ravelry. There is also a sticky thread with all upcoming retreat dates.

Maine Retreat Maine Mitten Project

Eagle Crest Retreat October 30-Nov 2, 2019. Also will collect mittens for Threads Hope and Love

There will be no February Retreat in 2020 and beyond. I feel it ran its course and a recent remodel at the church would make it challenging to host the retreat there.


Needle Notes

Cobblestone by Jared Flood. Pullover with garter stitch details. Finishing 2nd sweater. Missed one of the decreases so I took out a couple of inches.

Barrett Wool Co Woolen Spun

Modifications: Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Check out project notes on Cobblestone #1.

Washed, laid it out on the guest bed…a dropped stitch…right in the front of the yoke. Fixed by pulling loop to the back and carefully weaving it in. Does not show at all on the front, which is all that matters…to me anyway.

Plan is to make two more Cobblestone sweaters so my husband and all 3 sons each have one. I’ve tried to get excited about other projects but this is all I want to do right now.

Northeasterly by Melissa Alexander-Loomis. I’m on 4 out of 10, maybe 12.



Nature Notes

This morning we’ve had hours of thunder and beautiful rain. All the birds and insects have been quiet. I heard the call note of a black capped chickadee yesterday morning, which I noted in particular because most of the sounds in Central Illinois in August come from insects. Around noon the chorus starts in. It ebbs and flows with a buzzing that reaches a crescendo and suddenly stops as if a conductor has waved a baton. I’ve never been curious enough to find out more about the insects that are part of our August symphonies but I believe there is a combination of grasshoppers, cicadas, and no doubt more.  Other August sounds are the occasional whirr of a hummingbird as it zips across the deck. The hummingbirds are not afraid of us. There are loads of hummingbirds now as the juveniles are now eating at the feeders. They don’t like to wait for their breakfast so Bob gets the feeder out as quickly as he can in the morning. Right now we are only putting out hummingbird nectar and niger thistle seed. At this time in the summer we take a break from the black oil sunflower seeds to keep the chipmunk population down. There is plenty of food around for the birds that generally feed there. The downy woodpeckers love the hummingbird nectar and they will visit the thistle feeder as well. Mostly we see the goldfinches eating thistle seed. The male goldfinches are still in their bright yellow summer plumage. I still get a thrill seeing the goldfinches as they are such a pop of color. Goldfinches are among the last of the birds to nest and raise their young. When our purple coneflowers go to seed we leave the seed heads. I’ll see a Goldfinch pecking at seeds as the coneflower sways beneath it.

In the last episode I talked about how much I love our coleus that we are growing in pots on our deck. I had been pinching back the blooms but then I saw hummingbirds feeding off the nectar so I’ve let the coleus keep blooming. One or more of our squirrels (we think it is the same one) likes coleus too. We saw stalks that had been bitten or torn off and one day I saw him (I always blame the mischief on the males) biting off a stalk and eating it. Before the summer is over and before the squirrels eat it all, I will take cuttings and put them in water to root new plants to cheer up the winter months.

Every year we plant zinnias as a border in the front garden. This year the seeds we bought turned out to be very short, flat zinnias as opposed to the ones that have a more round flower head. We are not seeing as many butterflies on the zinnias as we usually do. We don’t know whether it is the short stature or the flatness of the flower that does not appeal as much to the butterflies. We do have butterflies though. Eastern Tiger Swallowtails are probably the most common right now. Monarchs and Red Spotted Purples are here too.

We went on our first hike of 2019 at Forest Park Nature Center. This is a hilly nature park on the west bank of the Illinois river. I was eager to build up muscle hiking the hills and it went better than I thought it would. We hiked for an hour and I wasn’t even exhausted afterwards! We saw a doe and 3 fawns. The deer in this park are so accustomed to people that they don’t run away quickly. I also saw 2 Pileated woodpeckers. There were Tiger Swallowtails in the meadow.




In the Pipeline

Watching

  • ·        This Farming Life on Britbox
  • ·        DCI Banks
  • ·        Grantchester (over now. Wish there were more episodes)
  • ·        Missing  (Joanna Froggatt)



Reading






Saturday, August 17, 2019

#29 Knitting Pipeline Video Extra



We barely squeezed this episode in while my sister was here for my post chemotherapy CT. Show notes are a little sparse because we were winging it after quilting for two days. If you have questions, feel free to ask us in the YouTube comments or on Ravelry and we will answer. For some weird reason I cannot respond to your comments on the blog but I do read them.

  • Paula is PrairiePiper on Ravelry and Knittingpipeline on Instagram
  • Gayle is gaylejoehl on Instagram and gajoehl on Ravelry (we think)


Knitting is from the Knitting Pipeline audio episode "Momo's Knitting" which is #330. There is a lot more information on the audio.

Quilting starts at about 12 minutes in this episode.

Quilts
  • 3-D Table Runner by Missouri Star Quilt Co Block Magazine Volume 6 Issue 2 (front cover photo)
  • Mom’s 90thBirthday Quilt is Baby Blocks from Block Magazine Holiday Vol 4 Issue 4. 
  • Quilt above fireplace is same as above.
  • Double the Fun by Missouri Star Quilt Co
  • Hanky Panky by Darlene Zimmerman and Rachel Shelburne
  • Fiona (baby quilt and doll quilt) from Three Times the Charm by Leisure Arts
  • Bear Pillow from Sweetly Stitched Handmade by Amy Sinibaldi
  • Gayle doesn't remember the name of her Halloween quilt but it was a kit and probably is not available now.

Products we like


Thanks for watching!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Episode 330 Momo’s Knitting

Listen here or use the handy Flash Player in the side bar.

This is an episode that has been brewing in my head since before I started the podcast. I’m skipping the usual segments of the show today because this topic will fill the show. I forgot to mention last week that on July 3, 2019, we reached the 9 year anniversary of the show. Never did I dream I would be able to continue coming up with shows for so many years but here we are. Thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. Without listeners there would be no podcast and your input and feedback keep me going.

My grandmother in front of the school that she attended and where she later taught briefly after college.

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes. Flash Player is not compatible with Internet Explorer. Try a different browser like Safari. Or jaunt on over to iTunes to find the show there.


This episode is sponsored by Quince & Co and Knitcircus Yarns


Knitting Pipeline is a Bluprint Affiliate. Bluprint offers affordable online classes and supplies. When you use the link in the sidebar on my blog before purchasing I receive a small percentage of your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thank you!


Show notes are found at www.knittingpipeline.com. You can find me on Ravelry as PrairiePiper and on Instagram and YouTube as KnittingPipeline. There are two groups on Ravelry, Knitting Pipeline and Knitting Pipeline Retreats. Come join us there!


You can also find me here:

Ravelry: PrairiePiper Feel free to include me in your friends.

Instagram: knittingpipeline

Twitter: knittingline

Pinterest: Paula Emons-Fuessle

Ravelry Group

Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group.

caringbridge


Events

Links to retreats and registration materials are in the Knitting Pipeline Retreats Group on Ravelry. There is also a sticky thread with all upcoming retreat dates.

Maine Retreat Maine Mitten Project

Eagle Crest Retreat Registration is now open! October 30-Nov 2, 2019

My grandmother's high school graduation photo. 1916




I come from a family of makers. Today I’m going to share some of my knitting heritage which began with my beloved paternal grandmother, Helen Emons, affectionately called “Momo” by her grandchildren and in later years, neighbor children. She was born in Southern Illinois on August 1, 1898 and was named after her two grandmothers: Helen, her Scottish grandmother, and Auguste, her German grandmother. Her father owned a furniture store/funeral home so they were probably upper middle class in the small town. I have many photos of her.  One with her pony, one with her at the piano with a long braid down her back, and standing in front of her house at age 15 with a large muff covering her hands. Her father embraced photography as a hobby so we have more photos than most people probably do of her family and their daily lives. She went to Lindenwood College to become a teacher. After a short teaching career she married my grandfather, Walter Emons, and had to retire from teaching since married women weren’t allowed to teach.


My grandmother was an optimist and always cheerful. I cannot remember a single time when she lost her temper or even was in a bad mood, no matter the circumstances. I learned to love flower gardening from her as we often would take walks along her garden as she told me the names of flowers. On summer evenings we walked down the back alleys of both sides of their street looking at the neighbor’s gardens and sometimes chatting with them and being invited to see the gardens up close.


Momo was a maker of things. She loved crafts, especially working with beads to make Christmas ornaments of Styrofoam, velvet, ric rack, beads, ribbons and other oddments. We fondly call them “sputniks”. She would love the big box craft stores that we have today. Her only source of materials was the local Ben Franklin, which was a five and dime store. I did a little research and found out that Ben Franklin stores still exist today though not in great numbers.


My grandmother was a knitter with a capital K. She always had a knitting project or two in the works almost until the day she died at age 98. I have photos of my aunt and my father as young children wearing handknitted sweaters and I remember her telling me that she really started knitting when she was expecting her first baby and the first sweaters did not turn out well.

Our grandparents lived close to us (though not within walking distance) and we spent a lot of time with them as we were their only grandchildren that lived close by. A big highlight of our year was when our two cousins from northern Indiana visited for a few weeks and we spent extra time there.

During the day she was too busy to knit. There was always cooking, gardening, and laundry, which included ironing which she did seated with sweat dripping down her neck in the summer. She kept a handkerchief stuffed down the front of her housedress to mop her brow. Despite her housekeeping duties, she always found time to play a game of canasta with us on the back porch in the summer. Our glasses of cold iced tea or lemonade beaded with condensation on the card table set up for games. She loved the back porch, and especially the house wrens who nested just outside the window. She and my grandfather counted the days until the fledglings would take their first flights out of the nest and this was a major event that we kids were encouraged, though not forced to watch.

My grandfather did not drive though he did have a license. Each day she cheerfully drove him to his dental office, returned home, picked him up for lunch, took him back after lunch and a short nap, and then made the return trip when his workday was done. He would give her a quick call with one word, “Ready”. Whatever was simmering on the stove or in the oven was put on hold as she grabbed her purse and headed for the garage. When we were too young to be left alone at their house, we all piled in the car, sometimes with our cousins if they were visiting in the summer, and rode into town with her and back. When we asked her what we were having for supper, she would usually answer, “Whatever falls out of the icebox.” Her refrigerator was filled with bits of leftovers and had to be opened cautiously. As we grew a little older we were able to stay at the house during the twenty or so minutes she was driving our grandfather to or from work. This gave us a little time to raid the cookie jar. Our grandfather was fond of ginger snaps and ice box cookies. At home we weren’t allowed to have cookies so she turned a blind eye.


After dinner, when the dishes were done, she picked up her knitting, always in her chair in the living room where the black and white television was. On one side of her there was an end table piled with wool and knitting accessories. On the other side of her was a walnut sewing box, the kind that had legs and two lids that opened on top. A magazine rack nearby held some McCall’s magazines and knitting patterns, although she didn’t usually use patterns much. My grandfather had a chair opposite her, also facing the television, where he often smoked his cigar and watched his favorite show, Perry Mason. Actually when he watched Perry Mason he preferred that we kids stay out of the room so he wouldn’t miss anything.

Leggings, sweaters scarf, and bonnet knitted for me by Momo. 

As babies we all had handknitted outfits knitted by Momo. I have a faded pink sweater that she made for me, probably started as soon as she heard that her second grandchild was a girl. My cousin, a boy, is only two weeks older than I am so my grandparents had their #1 and #2 grandchildren close together. She knitted us each complete out fits when we were a year old. My cousin’s outfit was a lovely shade of blue and his helmet style hat closely fit his round face. His mother, my aunt was an accomplished knitter as well.

My outfit, which I do have stored in a cedar chest, includes 4 pieces, all basically in seed stitch and cables. pink leggings in seed stitch with a cream waist band and crocheted cord to hold them up, a sweater with a cabled yoke and seed stitch body, and a bonnet with cables along the top and two pompoms, one at each temple. There is a seed stitch scarf with a bunny embroidered in white angora. All the pieces are in excellent condition although the sweater is no longer pink, probably because it was worn and washed more often.

Black and white photos of my cousin and me in front of my grandparent’s home at Thanksgiving, just between our first birthdays, show us head to toe in our knitted clothing. My poor cousin was always compared to me in an era when I don’t believe people generally knew that girls were often ahead of boys in development. Even on the back of the photo it says, “She walks circles around him.” And on the back of another photo: “His feet are glued to the pavement”.
My cousin and I as one year olds. Written on back of photo: "She walks circles around him!"

"His feet are glued to the pavement." Poor cousin of mine.


My mother had learned to knit and her first project was argyle socks. She made a white sweater and cap for me that is beautifully knitted and in perfect condition. This was my “going home” outfit. Back then the mothers and babies stayed in the hospital for a week.  Photos of all these knitted items are on the blog.


There is a pink sweater and bonnet that Momo made for me shortly after I was born. It is done in a fine wool with a very small gauge, probably 10-12 stitches per inch. The bonnet has cables running up each side and the sweater has bands of reverse stockinette in the yoke. This little sweater set is not in the best condition, but it is beautiful nonetheless.


Knitting for babies was one of Momo’s great loves. I remember that she would knit a small cap for a baby and then tell the mother that when Baby outgrew the hat, to give it back to her. She would take it all apart and knit a bigger hat. Thriftiness and frugality were in her nature.


During the years we were growing up we were not swaddled in sweaters and knitted items as one might expect, perhaps because she waited to be asked. I asked her to knit me a sweater with a colorwork yoke when I was in high school. I wore that sweater a lot. It had a blue body with pink and gray colorwork.


When I was about 8 or 9 years old I asked my grandmother to teach me to knit. My first project was a scarf in gray wool. I believe Momo sneaked in a few rows now and then when I wasn’t looking. It was the kind of scarf that had an opening so you could pull the other end of the scarf through. Then I aimed to make a hat. If you grew up in the 50’s or 60’s, you probably had one of these too. It was a band, about 6 inches wide, that covered the head and ears and tied under the chin.
I'm wearing a wool hat my grandmother knitted and like the one I attempted later. That's my sister, Gayle. Circa 1961
Wisely, Momo kept me to garter stitch instead of the stockinette with garter borders that I am wearing in the photo. I took it home to work on it. When I brought it over to her I had done what many beginning knitters do. After turning the work, I I had flipped the yarn up and over the needle, creating what looked like two stitches; therefore, both ends of the hat flared out. Without missing a beat, Momo secured the flared ends at the back of my head with a large button and turned it into a bonnet which I wore very proudly. This was my first lesson in being resourceful as a knitter.


Besides baby clothes, her favorite knitting was doll clothes. All of our dolls had sweaters, hats, and also sewn clothing for she had sewing skills as well. She liked knitting with fine wool, often fingering weight. When we were recently at my Mom’s to celebrate her 90th birthday she had some of these dolls and their handmade clothing out for her great grandchildren to play with.


I have some doll clothing in my possession also.

  • ·        Yellow cardigan knit in angora wool blend. Perfect condition. Gauge is so small I can’t even figure it out. She must have used a US 00 or 000 to knit this.

  • ·        Another blue sweater in a heavier weight yarn, probably light sport.

  • ·        Assorted hats, sleeveless sweater, and shrug.

  • ·        Tiny purse sewn in green velvet with a metal ring for a handle.

Although she would knit for any doll, Barbie dolls were her favorite. She never used a pattern and was always unraveling and re-knitting. She didn’t think twice about it until she got it right. Our Barbie dolls were always decked out. The style was a bit Jacqueline Kennedy with a bit of the Midwest thrown in for good measure. She liked to make fitted skirts and dresses with colorwork yokes, pillbox hats, knitted purses, and sometimes a poncho all in fingering weight wool. She bought Barbie knock offs at the Ben Franklin and dressed them from head to toe, then donated them to the church rummage sale priced at $3 to $5. I told her that was priced too low because one Barbie outfit cost twice that at least, but she so enjoyed making them that it didn’t matter. Sometimes she left out the Barbie knock off and pinned the outfit to a piece of cardstock. Those sold for less.

Barbie doll clothing knitted by my grandmother when she was about 92 years old. 


Barbie without her poncho.
When my grandmother was in her early 90’s, I believe 92, I asked her to knit me a whole Barbie outfit. She gave me a Barbie knock off dressed as follows: Dress with navy bodice and colorwork yoke in gray and red; gray straight skirt, tiny red crochet belt; red, navy, white pillbox hat, navy blue tamoshanter; and navy poncho with same gray and red colorwork as the dress. Barbie is barefoot. She knew better than to bother with knitted shoes. She died at the age of 98 and pretty much kept knitting until the last year or two of her life.


When I was in college I asked her to knit me a hat, scarf, and mittens in brown wool. The scarf was stockinette per my request. It rolled into a tube. She added garter borders and it still rolled into a tube. With all her knitting experience she didn’t realize that this was the nature of stockinette. I still wore those for many years. I had also asked for a string for the mittens so I wouldn’t lose them. I may have been the only student on the whole University of Illinois Campus wearing mittens with a crocheted string through each sleeve and the back. But I didn’t lose them. The hat had a brim and I sent my grandmother sketches of the different ways I could wear it: Tyrolean style, 1920’s, and so on.
My aunt and my father in hand knitted sweaters and hats. Circa 1930


My father and my aunt in more handknits.
Momo and Papa on their 50th wedding anniversary.

So why wasn’t I knitting my own hat, mittens, and scarf? That is because knitting did not “catch on” with me until after I finished college and went to Denmark for a year on a Rotary International Fellowship…


(This part not scripted but is detailed in Episode 00 July 3, 2010.)


I have many family members who have contributed to the person I am today but here on August 1, 2019, 121 years after her birth, I remember Momo's love of knitting and the lessons she taught me, by example, about being optimistic, positive, resourceful, creative, and most of all, having unconditional love and setting an example for me so that I can be the best grandmother I possibly can.

Happy Birthday, Momo!
Love,
Paula

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.