Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lexeme Sweater

Pattern:  Lexeme - Berocco Booklet #289
Yarn:  Lustra (it is divine!)
Needles:  Size 6 & 8

There's not much to show until the sweater is assembled.  I'm currently knitting the last of it which is both sleeves at once.  There will be a knitted trim on the edges.

I'm pretty happy with these buttons.  However, the pattern called for 1" buttons and these are way too big so hopefully JoAnn's has 1/2" replacements.

I highly recommend this "Piecework" magazine.  It just came out on the newstand less than a week ago and sells quickly.  It usually features a variety of crafts but annually they devote an issue strictly to knitting.  This one is on the "History of Knitting". 

It was a total joy to read and it was difficult to put down. 

As many of you know, I am originally from Maine.  My aunt taught me how to knit and I've never seen anyone else cast on the way she taught me.  People have asked me what the cast-on is called and I never knew till now.  It is shown in this magazine.  Any guesses?  It's the "Maine Cast On"......who knew!!!

Compass Mittens (pattern in the magazine)

Young boys of families in the lobstering business received hand-knitted felted mittens as soon as they were old enough to join their elders on the boats.  Compass mittens were knitted in either black and white or navy blue and white only.  The story goes that when fishermen were lost in the dense fog off the coast, their mittens would gleam towards the north and they would be able to find their way home. 

Now mind you, I really want to test this theory but I'm not sure I want to be lost on the ocean unless the ocean is calm, I have a crate of lobster with a means to cook them along with my favorite beverage and I can still get a signal on my cell phone.  And .....plenty of melted butter!

I have to tell you that in the early '80's when the air controllers were on strike, lobstermen were unable to fly out their lobsters and they were selling for $1 each.  I "pigged out" or "lobstered out" in this instance. 

Offering Mitts (pattern in the magazine)

Aren't these mitts beautiful!!!!  They are on my list of things I want to knit

This magazine also has a very interesting article on Jewish women knitting during WWII.

Happy Knitting!


  1. Look forward to seeing your sweater finished! Those mittens are stunning omg......Probably to complex for me but very lovely.

  2. I love the colour of your sweater.
    Piecework Magazine I must admit is a wonderful publication and in my line of work I find a great resource.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished project.

  3. Can't wait to see the finished sweater! It's going to be a beauty!

    Where did you get your magazine? That sounds like something I should have. I'm all about the history!

  4. I agree, your sweater is going to be just beautiful. Hope you were able to get smaller buttons. The magazine really does look wonderful!

  5. Oh what a beautiful sweater. I see that you're really making good use of your new Harmony needles! I love those mittens! How do ever how to figure out to set up your photos? Your photos are so original!

    I love the story about your Aunt teaching how to CO & knit and years later finding out that it's called the "Maine Cast-on".

  6. I really enjoyed this post! When you mentioned Jewish women knitting during the war, it reminded me about my cousins first husband. He was a Russian Jew and his mother hid him when he was a child and to keep him quiet, she taught him to knit. They escaped and came to this country and he became very successful. He passed just last year at 83yrs.

  7. Great start on the sweater. Beautiful yarn and buttons to match!

  8. Look forward to seeing the finished sweater :), baby sweaters are so much fun to knit. :) I'll have to see if I can find the piecework mag, love the all knitting ones. Hey go sign up on my blog for the PIF :P. I took down the extra security,and there is only the I have to approve it on there now. If you try and still can not get through and want to participate let me know and i will post that you are one of the 3.

  9. I'm a two-sleeves-at-once knitter, too. Life is so much easier when the sleeves match...

    I love Piecework, but seldom see it for sale up here.

  10. I just found your blog by searching for "Maine Cast On." My story is the same. My grandmother taught me to knit, and I couldn't find her method of casting on anywhere! I posted a little video of it on Ravelry, and the general consensus was that no one had ever seen anything like it. Then someone recognized it, and I started searching.