Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Threads" and lichens.

Many years ago I found Threads magazine at Lichtman's at Atrium on Bay in Toronto. Yes, it was way baaaaaaack in winter 1987 or 1988. I was there with my then boyfriend, current husband. It had an article about crocheted coats and sweaters and what struck me was that the author said how crochet has poor drape when worked horizontally back and forth, and how working on diagonal improves it. I had always thought the same, just did not know how to express it or that anybody else cared! There were photos of a phenomenal full-length coat with appliques of lichens at hem and sleeves. Now, I do not know why, but I adore lichen. It has something to do with its symbiotic nature (algae and fungi together growing where neither can alone), its pioneering - it usually is the first to grow onto naked rock, erode it and make it available for other plants years later and its fantastic colours - golds, russets, greens, greys, blues. The coat was too much for me, I would never wear something like that, but it was beautiful. At the time I thougth that I could not knit, and crochet was the only thing for me. I loved the fact that somebody was actually thinking about the drape and design in handcrafted items. It was a revelation. Of course I bought the magazine even though it was a bit much for my pocket ($5.95!!!!).
The other article was by Alice Starmore and how she used the colours of the islands to design her Fair Isle sweaters' colourways. Wow.
I continued to buy Threads until it became sewing-only magazine. I learned oodles from it over the years and loved the articles on Shetland lace, Fair Isle knitting, glove knitting, shaping and finishing, mitering corners and buttonholes in knitted articles. There was always a little bit of history. There were great photos. I miss Threads.
And lichens? They are still around, and I still love them. The photo was taken this October, at Ball's Falls in Ontario.

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