Saturday, February 13, 2016

Old Favorites

Sharing picture books with my grandchildren is a joy. Thanks to their parents, a generous aunt, grandparents, and others, they have a wonderful library of their own. When I gave books to my children, I often wrote a short  inscription with the date, occasion, and signed my name. I do the same for my grandchildren. When I read to the boys, I call their attention to the title, author, illustrator, and text. Throughout the book, we talk about the artwork and how it might have been created. I encourage them to point to pictures and discover small details.

Reading and talking about the inscription is also part of our ritual. When they pull out old picture books, they want to hear the story behind the inscriptions to their mother or uncle. Even the two year old points to handwriting and asks,"What does this say?" Print awareness begins at a young age and it is marvelous to watch it develop. Now the newborn in this family is hearing the rhythm of language.

Books for children and adults are scattered around our home. This year I going to try and knit a few projects from knitting books in my library. In January, I knit the Strie Socks from "Sock Architecture" because I wanted to better understand toe-up sock construction. I also thought the mental gymnastics of reverse knitting the heel section would be good for my brain cells. I may not have created new neural pathways but after knitting the heel and gusset four times, I can safely say I understand the construction. I hope I remember the learning because I want to modify the Tintern Abbey sock pattern  to better fit my foot.

Right now, I need mittens with extra long cuffs in heavy yarn to wear when I walk. I cast on cable backed mittens from a pattern I've knit twice before. Although I can't find a publication date for the"Two-Needle Mittens" booklet, the price on the cover is $3.75. I made the first pair when my children were quite small so the booklet with fourteen patterns, most in several sizes, is almost thirty years old. Since I don't have any bulky weight yarn, I am combining a worsted with a lace weight yarn. Of course, it took two attempts to find a yarn to go with the gray worsted. I'm not sure yet whether I like the resulting fabric. I find it hard to knit with gray yarn during the last month of winter. Time will tell.

Even though the day is cold, the sidewalks are clear and the wind is quiet. I'm going out to walk through my neighborhood and look for the chickadees. Then I'll meander over to the bookstore. Valentine's Day is this weekend and I'm looking for books for my four favorite little/big boys. Happy Valentine's Day!


1 comment:

  1. my mil used to write a little note in books that she bought our children. I saved every single one of them. Reading was a big part of our lives while the children grew up. I had a fourth grade teacher thank me for reading to my son....I thought that was sad that there were many many parents not reading to their fourth grade children. Anyways have fun with your sock knitting. I am such a die hard cuff down sock knitter on dpns....really I am stubborn that way!