How the West was Wooled: Part 3
By Hypatia Francis
Wool is everywhere, from knitting magazines to wool shops to clubs and klatches. A quick look at any popular online decorating blog will tell you that one of the must-have items for your house is a Hudson Bay blanket, that familiar white wool bed cover striped with bands of blue, yellow, red, and green stripes. A walk past any hipster-owned boutique shows a window full of wool products. Wool is what's hot.
We All Get the Blues
By Fiona Ellis
Blue, it seems, is a study in contrasts, visually, historically, metaphorically, and in its cultural associations.
It can range from a subtle, barely-there tint of powder blue to the deep depths of shades of navy or midnight.
Even though we are surrounded by what we would call blue skies and oceans, most ancient cultures didn’t have a word to describe the color and described the sky by other means, such as how many clouds were present.
The Bead Goes On
By Susanna IC
To say that I like to add beads to my knitting would be an understatement—I simply love working with beads. Those tiny little nuggets of happiness can add a bit of sparkle to any project, add lovely weight and drape where needed, and even add interesting texture to plain stockinette.
Taming the Tubular Cast-on
By Marnie MacLean
Take a look at any of your ready-to-wear knits and you may notice something about the hems, cuffs, and other edges. They don’t have the sorts of cast-on edges that you normally see in handknit pieces. While there are exceptions, most hems are either a band of knit fabric (ribbed or jersey) folded in half and sewn on, or…what? How do you even describe what’s happening on the cuffs of those socks and the hems of those sleeves? When you follow the stitches from the right side of the fabric to the edge to the wrong side, there is no apparent beginning or end, just stitches flowing from the right side to the wrong side, yet the fabric is a single layer. The edge is somehow both sturdy and flexible, keeping the edge neat and flat.
How the West Was Wooled Part 2
By Hypatia Francis
Towards the end of the 19th century, both the United States and Canada were opening up the West. With western expansion, came a rise in wool production. Cotton might have been king on the East Coast, but in the West wool was an important part of the economy. “Wool production was vital,” says Jeanne Carver, who runs Imperial Stock Ranch in Oregon with her husband Dan. “In the early days of Oregon’s settlement, Oregon was the second leading state for wool production in America.” Sheep-raising had changed as people moved west, and was being done on a much larger scale than before. Sheep ranches like Carver’s, founded in 1871, were much larger than anything back east. “At one point Imperial Stock Ranch was the largest wool producer in Oregon, with 85,000 head of sheep,” says Carver.