WWW: Preserving Ganseys, Sheep to Shawl Contests, Best Wallpaper Ever, a Winner, and a Giveaway!

All clothing handmade by Maude Richards.

An absolutely fascinating insight into the life of an early 20th century mother of seven…. In 1913, Maude Richards of Exeter, New Hampshire began keeping a record of all the sewing and knitting projects she completed. Each page of the journal contains a brief description, “kimono apron for myself,” or “marble bag for William,” and frequently a swatch of fabric. Barbara Rimkunas, the curator of the Exeter Historical Society, has given us this great snapshot.

Even butter sculptures!

This week marks the 96th annual (!) Pennsylvania Farm Show. It’s a traditional country fair, featuring all those fabulous traditional country fair events and foods and activities, including animal displays, baking competitions and all sorts of fibery goodness.

A member of one of the high school teams, brushing up on his skills...

Among the many events are the annual Fleece To Shawl & Sheep To Shawl Contests, which are being held today, Wednesday, January 11th, starting at 3pm EST. Teams compete by shearing a sheep (the Fleece To Shawl teams, comprised of high-school students who are relatively new to the event, start with a fleece), carding the fleece, spinning the fleece into yarn, then weaving that yarn into a shawl – all in a 3-hour time period. The teams are judged on many things: the quality of the shearing, the uniformity of spinning and the individual quality of the spun yarn and evenness of the woven shawl are just a few of the judging criteria. A highly anticipated event, the Fleece and Sheep To Shawl contests always draw a big crowd of onlookers… and TV cameras as well!

Blogger Yarny Marni live blogs the event, too, so even if you’re not there in person, you can follow it online.

When most people think of fisherman’s sweaters, they tend to think of lovely Irish “Aran” knits. The traditional English and Scottish fisherman’s sweater, the gansey, is less well known, and being a little simpler and less showy, perhaps a little less appreciated by the non-knitters. The BBC has produced an excellent radio documentary about a project to preserve the knitting heritage of the fishing communities on the Moray Firth coastline, in north-eastern Scotland.
Project workers are working to save existing ganseys, helping local knitting groups to create new ones and encouraging modern interpretations of this most traditional of garments.

Mme Defarge, hard at work

Following up on a story from a couple of weeks ago… the “Sticks, Hooks, and the Mobius: Knit and Crochet Go Cerebral” exhibition at the Williams Center Gallery, Lafayette College, Easton, PA, has just opened. The event was marked with a yarnbombing and an appearance from Mme. Defarge (well, an artist in a really fab costume). More activities and events have been announced for the exhibition, including a knit-a-thon, a lesson on knitting botanically accurate flowers, and a talk from Kathleen Greco, an artist who works with glow-in-the-dark “jelly yarn”.

A group of Yarnbombers from the UK has been invited by Vogue Knitting to their Vogue Knitting Live event in NYC this weekend. Can’t wait to see what sorts of things they do…

Best. Wallpaper. Ever.

Our winner in the Tom Bihn Swift giveaway is Eve from Vermont. Congratulations Eve and a huge thanks to the folks at Tom Bihn for a great prize!

Are you knitting a project with tangly, slippery or otherwise unruly yarn? Then this giveaway is for you! You can tame your yarn with a Yarn Cozy.

The creative folks at Buffy Anne Designs have donated 6 sets of three Yarn Cozies for a giveaway.

Three Cozies to hug your yarn

The usual rules apply for our giveaway: Leave a comment on this post before midnight, eastern time, on Monday, January 16, 2012. 6 comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If they answer correctly they will win our prize. Prizes valued at $12.00 each.

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325 thoughts on “WWW: Preserving Ganseys, Sheep to Shawl Contests, Best Wallpaper Ever, a Winner, and a Giveaway!

  1. Mary Caton

    I would love a cozy, would keep the puppy fromt the yarn at least, the needles are another problem!

  2. Cheryl

    What cute little cozies!
    Love that wallpaper, but I don’t know of I could live with it on more than little sections of my wall. Seems like it would be slightly overwhelming if you did a whole room in it.

  3. blogless grace

    Yarn cozies are the greatest! I even use them on regular balls as I am a “pull from the middle” person and as the ball collapses from losing its middle, the cozy keeps everything coming out smoothly and untangled.

  4. Susan

    Sometimes I lose an hour of knitting time just untangling slithery yarn. A yarn cozy would be A GREAT HELP.

  5. Maggie Willie

    Very cute. I don’t believe I’ve seen yarn cozys before. They are just darling. I hope I win, I’d like to see them close up and use them.

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