Posts Tagged ‘Viking Knitting’

Day 3 blog topic for Eskimimi Makes Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2012 is all about your knitting and crocheting hero.
My hero, of course, is my mentor Ethel Grogan.

Ethel and Zimmerman Surprise Sweater

Ethel was the originator of our Wednesday Night Knitting Group.

Ethel with a tatting shuttle

Of Norwegian descent, which automatically puts her in the running for Needle Diva-dom, Ethel knows and seeks out any variation of fiber pattern work, and does it well. She has introduced and encouraged me (and the others in our group) to traditional and avant-garde forms of needle work.

I thought I might take up knitting again, after a 40-year hiatus. I was having some real problems, though, so I showed my ugly work to her and asked for advice.
“Well, I don’t know what that is, but it’s not knitting,” she said, and then proceeded to show me what knitting is. Although she knits continental-style, I couldn’t quite grasp it; my hands needed to knit English-style. She is light years ahead of me, but always there to encourage and inspire.

She brings new ideas, fabulous projects, historical knitting lore, and lots of fun and ambition to the group.

Ethel and Fishy

Viking Knitting

Zimmerman sweater
, Fishy
Just a few little examples of some of the things she’s introduced in the past year, along with Tunisian crochet, Japanese short rows, knit skirts, shoes, hats, scarves, dresses and ponchos, lace, felting, beading, bags, toys, flowers, knit and crochet food items to play with, embroidered knits, Fair Isle, whew! Every week, something different and new!

Ethel Grogan is my Fiber Diva hero.


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Ethel brought her finished poncho to Knitting! Oh, didn’t it turn out to be


wonderful? A long labor of love!
“Isn’t it great to know that–”
“That it’s FINISHED?” Ethel finished my sentence. “YES! I’m so glad!”
“I mean, that you made something someone will appreciate!” We were laughing. One, she asked her son what he wanted her to knit for him, and he did say, “a poncho.” Always good when you knit what they ask for. Second, he lives where it is actually cold in the winter. This is a warm, densely stitched, woolly covering that will be great to wear. Three, a guy-poncho is really cool. Modeled by its maker, it is cool, but imagine it being worn by the movie-star-good-looking owner, tall and broad shouldered! She should hurry and put one of those tags that says “knitted with love by your mom” inside in case it gets misplaced on the subway, or someone wants to know where they, too, can get one and searches for the label while he is telling the waiter what he wants for lunch.

Ethel showed Lois and Tina her Nalbinding cuff, and demonstrated the Oslo stitch for them. Tina didn’t bring any knitting, and what I was doing didn’t bring me any degree of pleasure, so we just talked. Sorry that Tina will be moving soon, to NC. We are already scheming how we can plan a field trip to visit her. And how she can lay the groundwork for another spin-off knit and natter group “up there.” 😦 for our loss, but happy that she will have a great new world to conquer!

Ethel showing how to do Viking Knitting

Ethel and the Zimmerman surprise baby sweater

Ethel started working on a baby sweater which is an intriguing Elizabeth Zimmerman creation knitted all in one piece (except the collar) and then folded together and the seams sewn. Bob is watching from his perch above.

Lois worked on a hat in a beautiful light blue. Robin’s egg blue? Can it be that spring is on the way?

Lois and spring hat

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At WNK, we had a very small group this week. Too much partying this week? Ahhh! Ethel and I went over some possible spin-off activities. Our art course has thus far has included sketching and painting a still life with acrylics. Now we are semi-committed to do at least a sketch a day for the next month.


pencil & pastel sketch of the tree down the street

Another art niche Ethel wants to get into is jewelry making, at which she is already very experienced. I want to say yes to it, but I am already involved in many things. Still, the allure is very strong…oooh, sparkly, shiny things, presh—-shhhhious….

Needless (and I mean needle-less) to say, I didn’t do much knitting this week. I made another attempt at my previous project and still ended up with the wrong number of stitches, so “rip, rip!” I watched Ethel do her new technique, sometimes called “Viking Knitting”–here’s a link with a tutorial, from abigailscraftshowto.

Ethel's Oslo stitch cuff, so far

finished and beaded Oslo-stitch bracelet

So, this is how Ethel combines love of knitting and love of jewelry! Gorgeous, fun to do, and something new!

Oops, I almost forgot to report the actions of Deb and her achievement day girls: they “heart attacked” our cars Tuesday Night for Valentine’s Day, and left us each a heart-shaped craft basket of goodies!

Deb's girls' Valentines Day treat packets

Each woven paper heart basket had a ribbon for hanging, and was stuffed with cinnamon red hots, hearts and a little candy bar! Sweet!

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