Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Fibers and Books

I am trying to determine the shape of this blog. My diary keeping record is not so good (usually one or two entries followed by a lapse of a year or years), so I need to set some parameters for myself. One is sharing the photos I take each day for the 365 project. I also know that I want to use this blog as a record of the books I have read, knitting projects I have finished, etc. But I also want to include a good dose of ecological/botanical content, as I am trained as a plant ecologist. I have not yet decided how I am going to incorporate this content into the blog., but I need to remind myself that this is one of the goals, even one of the justifications for spending time on maintaining a blog. It could be very easy to get lost in the fiber and photos.

That said, today’s entry is going to center on my fiber projects.
Right now I have several knitting projects.

1.) Cul-de-sac Vest from Knitters Magazine - Fall 2003.

I am knitting it in Suri Merino by Plymouth, a buttery soft yarn that is 55% suri alpaca and 45% merino wool. The color is slightly less grey in person.

2.) Spey Valley Socks for the "Knitting on the Road" Knit-along (KOTR KA). These are being knit in trekking sock yarn. I have just turned the heel of the first sock. They may be a little tight, but final judgement will be reserved until after blocking. The main worry is the Vikkel braid, which is not as stretchy as the ribbing.

3.)Blue Ribbon Wrap Knit-along, Travel-along, Wrap-along.I am further along than this picture shows. I am using three yarns: handspun gray wool, frog-tree alpaca (light blue), and an unlabeled wool yarn (darker blue)

4.) Shell Socks for the "Knitting Vintage Socks" KA (knit-along) for the January Challenge. No picture yet, but I am using Fortissima Cotton by Schoeller Esslinger. This is a blend of cotton (75%) and polyamide (25%). This is the first time I have used this yarn and I hope the socks will not be too saggy. The yarn is wonderfully soft though. Oh and the color is soft pink.

Now for a book reveiw, of a book that is a fascinating introduction to ethnobotany. It's called "Plants for the People" by Anna Lewington. It is about how different plant species are important to the everyday lives of human beings, focusing on those plants that are actively used by humans. Although there is a chapter about "Plants that feed us", most of the book discusses non-food plants. Each chapter focuses on a different way that plants are used - for cosmetics, for clothes, for housing, for medicine, for travel, for entertainment (did you wonder where the wood in a baseball bat comes from?). An important component of this book is looking at the environmental costs of over-use of plants. The book is beautifully illustrated with photos from around the world. I highly recommend this book.


Pat said...

Hi Jennifer - I ventured over from the Vintage Sock KAL - I'm knitting the same shell socks. My only concern is that I've chosen a dark purple color and the pattern may not be as visible as I had hoped. I also just finished the Spey Valley socks...your's are so pretty in the Trekking. By the way your blog looks great and your works in progress are beautiful!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the nice words Pat, and thanks for leaving me my first comment.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Plants for People is one of my all time favorite books, by the way.