Book Review – People Knitting by Barbara Levine

Stitching may be my first love, but I also adore knitting. Not only does it bring me peace, but I find it very soothing to watch other people knit. Netflix knows this–you can watch people knitting in two different Slow TV presentations. Author Barbara Levine also knows the calming power of knitting. She has been collecting pictures of people knitting for many years, and now she is sharing some of her collection with the world in her new book People Knitting: A Century of Photographs.

People Knitting: A Century of Photographs by Barbara Levine

People Knitting: A Century of Photographs by Barbara Levine

This is a really delightful book full of great pictures of all sorts of people knitting, dating from approximately the 1860s to the 1960s.  The pictures range from tintypes to real photo postcards to snapshots. The subjects are everyday people, students, soldiers, POWs, and Hollywood stars. Men and women have taken up their needles for ages to create wonderful things from string, and it is so fun to see knitters from the past two centuries doing the same thing modern knitters do everyday.

The book begins with an introduction from Ms. Levine where she shares her obsession for pictures of people knitting and some thoughts on how the attitudes and uses of knitting changed through the time periods visited by this book. The meat of the book is wonderfully reproduced pictures, interspersed with quotes about knitting. The Index of Images at the rear of the book provides all the important details about the one hundred photos featured, including the subject and year.

People Knitting is a quick read, but it is utterly delightful. I’ve gone through it, cover to cover, at least five times since I received it. When my elbow hurts and I can’t pick up either my stitching needle or my knitting needles, I am finding a little bit of solace and peace in pictures of people who came before me doing one of the things I love best. It helps to humanize the past and makes me feel connected to a larger community.

People Knitting: A Century of Photographs by Barbara Levine is avaliable for purchase in bookstores and online. You can find it at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, and just about anywhere else you can buy books.

Thank you so much to Princeton Architectural Press and Raincoast Books for providing me with a copy of this book.

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WIP Wednesday – Almost There

Hello, Stitchy Friends. It is Wednesday again. And, no matter what craziness may be happening out there in the world, our stitching will always be there to help us get through it.

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

Look at that! I’m backstitching! In fact, I’m about 75% finished with the backstitch. Once that is done, I need to add about 50 beads and then that is it! It will be sewn up into a stocking well before Christmas Eve. Yay!

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions - door detail

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions – door detail

This is such a lovely design. I’m so glad that I decided to stitch it, and I’m equally as glad that my dad likes it too. Once this one is finished I will have two more stockings to stitch: one for my husband and one for me. I’m debating on whether to stitch my husband’s next, or take a bit of a break and work on a few other larger projects that I have put on the back burner.

SmallsSAL2016Speaking of stitching plans, don’t forget that the next Smalls SAL check-in is taking place a little late this month. It will be on November 30th, the last day of the month, so that our American friends have a little extra time. (Their Thanksgiving falls on our normal check in day.)

If you have a moment and haven’t done so already, please head over to this post and let me know if you are interested in taking part in the Smalls SAL in 2017. The poll will close on November 15th.

Happy stitching!

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Spooky!

Oh, as usually, I’m late. But, Happy Halloween anyway! We had lovely weather this year, which is truly amazing. But, sadly, we probably had no more than about 50 kids come to our door. Many of our neighbours don’t give out candy, and we are sort of at the end of the street, so I think kids just don’t bother to walk down as far as us.

Argggg! Give me all your candy!

Arrrrrr! Give me all your candy!

The little man had loads of fun, though, walking through the neighbourhood. Between what he collected and what we had left over, I think he has enough candy to last until next Halloween.

Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get my final bit of Halloween stitching done before the big day. I wasn’t able to put the final stitches in until this morning.

Spooky, designed by Lizzie*Kate

Spooky, designed by Lizzie*Kate

It is Spooky, one of the bonus designs included with Lizzie*Kate’s Very Scary mystery sampler from back in 2012. It is stitched on WDW linen with WDW thread in colour kohl. To be honest, I did not enjoy stitching on the fabric. It is very loosely woven, and didn’t have a nice hand.

And that’s it for Halloween. It is time to get back to work on my dad’s stocking and start getting ready for Christmas. 🎄

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Smalls SAL – October 2016 Check-In

Hello, Smalls Stitcher! Welcome to the October check-in for the Smalls Stitch Along. If you are new, you can find all the information right here.

SmallsSAL2016We are only a few days away from Halloween, one of my favourite days of the year. (To be honest, I can’t decide if I love Halloween or Christmas more.) So, of course I had to stitch something Halloween-y this month.

Pumpkin Pocket, designed by Lizzie*Kate

Pumpkin Pocket, designed by Lizzie*Kate

I stitched up Pumpkin Pocket, a limited edition kit from Lizzie*Kate. I stitched it using the fabric in the kit and DMC threads. The fabric and trim for finishing were also included in the it. I made a minor change to the “1” in the “31” within the O just because I thought the original looked a little odd.

Love Summer, designed by Lizzie*Kate

Love Summer, designed by Lizzie*Kate

As a little bonus, I also finally sewed up Lizzie*Kate’s Love Summer, the finish I shared as my August Smalls SAL check-in.

Speaking of check-in, you can do so using the form at the bottom of this post. Please be sure to leave the permalink for your check-in post, not the link for the main page of your blog. Also, please use a picture of your finish with your link.

The link list will stay open to new entries until about midnight Eastern time on November 4th, so you have piles of time to get something stitched and added to the list if you’ve forgotten. 😉

Next Month and Beyond

The next check-in will take place on Wednesday, November 30th. Note that the date is moving to the last Wednesday of the month just for November. This is because our American friends celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November (the 25th this year), and I wanted to make sure that they had lots of time to get their stitching done and added to the list. We will return to the last Thursday of the month for December’s check-in.

And, after December? Well, that is up to you. Let me know if you would be interested in taking part in the Smalls SAL in 2017 by answering the poll question below. It will remain open for voting until midnight Eastern time on November 15th.

Would you like to partcipate in the Smalls SAL in 2017?

  • Yes (85%, 33 Votes)
  • Maybe (15%, 6 Votes)
  • No (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Other--I will leave a comment/email you. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

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That’s it for this month, my stitchy friends. I can’t wait to see all your wonderful finishes for this month. Happy stitching!

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WIP Wednesday – Just a Toe

It is Wednesday again, and that means it is time for another stocking update.

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

Look at that! All that is left to stitch is the toe… and the name… and the backstitching. Okay, it is still a lot, but the end is in sight for sure. And it looks gorgeous. I’d say that generally I’m not a huge fan of Dimensions kits, but this is sure turning out wonderfully. I couldn’t be more pleased.

As a reminder, the kit is All Hearts Come Home Stocking from Dimensions. I’m stitching it with the kit fibres on the kit fabric, an 18 count light blue Adia. (I like Adia for stockings since it is very sturdy.) I will be leaving off the writing that goes across the path and says “All hearts come home for Christmas.”

SmallsSAL2016Smalls SAL – Tomorrow is check-in day for October! I can’t wait to see what you have stitched. The post will go live tomorrow morning at about 6:30am Eastern time.

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White Wilderness

Okay, I know that I’ve been saying that I must focus only on stitching the Christmas stocking for my dad. And, really, I have been working hard on it. But we all know that it is very easy to get burnt out on a project if you never give yourself a little bit of a break. My break has been working on Muskoka Landscape, a whitework project designed by Kim Beamish and offered through my Embroiderers’ Association of Canada guild, Virtual Threads.

Muskoka Landscape, designed by Kim Beamish (WIP)

Muskoka Landscape, designed by Kim Beamish (WIP)

We are on to lesson 2 now, but the picture above shows my piece through to the end of lesson 1. It is stitched on 32 count white evenweave using white DMC threads. (Unfortunately the colours in the picture are a bit off. Click the picture to embiggen it and see it more clearly.) The picture is a waterside scene of trees and rocks.

Muskoka is part of what we call “cottage country” here in Ontario. It is an area near Georgian Bay in Central Ontario, full of forests and wildlife, small towns and little vacation areas. (And, in the summer, it can also be full of black flies!) Kim has done a wonderful job capturing the beauty of Muskoka in this piece, and I can’t wait to finish it.

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WIP Wednesday – A Pathway

Hello, Stitchy Friends. It is time for another WIP (work-in-progress) Wednesday update. This past week I was able to dedicate quite a bit of time to stitching, in fact, I spent almost all day Saturday stitching. It was wonderful!

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

All Hearts Come Home Stocking, designed by Dimensions (WIP)

My hard work is really paying off! I’ve made so much more progress than I was expecting, thanks in part to all the half stitches in this section. There are a lot of whole stitches in the toe, but I have high hopes that I will make my Christmas deadline.

SmallsSAL2016

Smalls SAL – It is almost time for this month’s Smalls SAL check-in. The post will be going live at about 6:30 am Eastern time on Thursday, October 27th. I need to get stitching! I haven’t even started my small for this month yet. Yikes!

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