Lyndon Johnson is president and there was a lot going on in the world.
Civil Rights marches, Martin Luther King arrested along with 768 others in Selma, Alabama, Malcolm X killed, Vietnam, the Gemini Space Program.
Music - February's Top 40 included classics like:
Books - Herzog by Saul Bellow was on the top of the list for fiction best sellers and had been in that position for 18 weeks at the beginning of February. The best seller for non-fiction was Markings by Dag Hammarskjold.
TV - Popular TV shows included Bonanza, The Lucy Show, Bewitched and Gilligan's Island.
The Workbasket issue we’ll be choosing from this month has six crochet patterns. This is a very 1960's cover with the hair and knit buttoned cardigan:
Any of the last four could have been chosen this month. They’re all small projects but I narrowed it down to the Pillbox Hat and the Kitten Napkin Holder. The napkin holder will require some extra work if it’s chosen. It says “The napkin holder frame can be purchased from a craft or hobby store” but I can’t find anything similar so I’ll have to create my own if that pattern is chosen.
Let me know which one you think I should make in February!
Last weekend I took a two day class to learn to nalbind. Nalbinding predates both knitting and crocheting and is found in various forms all over the world. Textile fragments that used this technique have been found in Israel from c 6500 BC, Denmark from 4200 BC, Egypt 4th century CE and Peru 300 BC.
This technique was used in Scandinavia during the Viking age is many reenactors are still using nalbinding to create hats, hoods, mittens and socks.
Nalbinding uses a needle traditionally made from bone or wood. We received one in class that the instructor made but I really like the non-traditional one I found at an estate sale.
Because this process has you drawing the entire length of wool through the loops to create knots you’re generally using length of yarn about a yard long. This means you either need to tie knots when that amount is used up or felt the ends together.
The class was held at the American Swedish Institute and was taught by Melba Granlund. It was well taught and having it two days in a row really helped me get the process down. Melba was a great instructor who was able to help everyone in class no matter where they were in the process. She was very patient and had a lot of examples and books we could look through. If you’re interested in this there are lots of instructional videos on You Tube that show different stitches and tons of information online. The ASI has a class in March too.
Here are my samples from class
And here is my current work in progress -
Next week I'll have voting ready for February.
About the pattern:
The pattern is simple motif with four rounds and the place mat is a rectangle with six across and four down.
The pattern asks for these items:
Last week I said I'd use Panda Cotton but I after doing one motif I decided I liked the lacier look of the thread and I wasn’t sure I had enough of it to make a place mat. I’d planned on filling it out with #10 cotton thread but it wasn’t the right size to match the Panda Cotton. I ended up using all of my DMC #5 Perle Cotton in colors I had left over from other projects. Yay for stash-busting!
How it went:
It wasn’t difficult to make the pile of motifs and it was fun to rearrange them to get a look I liked. Tacking them together was not fun. It wasn’t particularly difficult but I didn’t enjoy it. I made two extra motifs just in case I didn’t like one and it was a good thing I did because as I was sewing them together I came across one where I completely missed a section.
Then there was the blocking. I don’t mind blocking but this required a lot of pins and you could really see how my sewing varied from motif to motif when it was done.
Overall this is a nice pattern but not one I really liked making. I can’t imagine sewing together 32 of these for the table runner.
Next week we’ll go way back in time. This weekend I’m taking a class at the American Swedish Institute on nalbinding. Nalbinding is a precursor to knitting and crocheting. It’s sometimes called Viking knitting. I’ll show you what I made and tell you a little more about it.
I have all of the motifs done. I did them all with DMC #5 Perle Cotton I had left over from other projects. Now I just need to decide how to arrange them and then follow the directions for finishing the place mat. The directions for finishing reminds me of the Great British Baking Show technical challenge; “ Arrange 6 motifs across for 4 rows and tack together.”
I thought about making a recipe this month but didn’t really like my choices. Everything was very “hearty” like these:
Or unusual in ways I didn’t want to try.
We have New England Boiled Dinner; I’m not sure how many this is supposed to serve but it must need a really big pot.
How about Potato Pecan Loaf? I had a hard time figuring out how this would taste.
And of course, Beef Tongue Mexican Style
Next week I should have the place mat tacked together if not blocked.
I'm from Minnesota and have been crocheting since 2003. I inherited a box full of Workbasket Magazines from my mother-in-law and became obsessed with the vintage patterns. I'm a member of Crochet Twin Cities, the local Crochet Guild.