Wednesday, February 23, 2011

let me introduce you . .

to Barbara Walker and her Knitting Treasury series of books!  I was a most fortunate recipient of 3 her "Treasury of Knitting" volumes for my birthday this past year and i have spent not nearly enough hours pouring through them ... just glancing at all the examples that are knit and the written instructions that provide row by row directions so that my knitting can look 'like that too"!  As i did some reading on Barbara Walker herself i learned that she was a younger knitter that was a bit frustrated at the lack of organization when it came to finding good knitting examples so she set out to do just THAT!  Her 1st book was originally published in 1968 and sold for $10.00 hardback.  It contains almost 300 pages filled with black and white examples of each stitch, along with her notes and directions.

Book One is dedicated to the creative knitters of the past and the creative knitters of the future and includes chapters on Knit-Purl Combinations, Ribbings, Color-change patterns, Slip-stitch patterns, Twist Stitch patterns, Fancy Texture Patterns, Patterns make with Yarn-over stitches, Eyelet patterns, Lace, Cables, and Cable Stitch patterns.  All of this in ONE book!  and to think that someone actually got this Treasure for $10.00!   If you do a search today you'll find that it has increased in value substantially . . but it is STILL worth the investment.

Book Two was published in 1970 and was $15.00, probably due in part to the addition of color pictures sprinkled throughout.  The dedication reads:  To the Further enrichment of a beloved craft this book is hopefully dedicated.  It is almost 400 pages long and is filled with many of the same chapter titles but completely DIFFERENT examples.  It also includes a wonderful chapter on Mosaic patterns as well as Lace Panels and Insertions, Borders and one on Edgings.  so of COURSE, it must be included in the my "collection" of reference books!

Book Three is not for the faint of heart, (i,e, those who think they can't read a chart!) . . . but i would still strongly recommend adding this volume to your collection as well.  Published in 1972, Mrs. Walker filled 300 pages with charts AND directions AND pictured examples of every imaginable shape and design!  Cables, lace patterns - even a turtle pattern and chart!  Because she was a front runner in pattern production, her charts are all Hand Drawn which add a touch of personalization (despite the reality of the fact that this was pre computer generating charting ability) ...

This is just a taste of what Barbara Walker has added to the knitting picture over the past 30+ years .... but it also proves the point that you never know what a difference you can make with what you do, or what you share!  There is a website now called The Walker Treasury Project that is designed to continue this inspiration.  Knitters that have come to appreciate all of her examples and who are incorporating them into their modern day knitting are also now contributors to what Mrs. Walker originally intended - - by sharing a current, color photograph of one of the examples in the book they are carrying the torch for yet another generation of knitters ... for those "future" knitters that she referred to all the way back in 1968!
Hebrews 12:1-2 carries a similar sentiment of encouragement to each of us:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and , perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Long before i ever got here there have been men and women of faith who daily lived a life that honored Him.  Despite the lack of publications, or the inability to share with the masses about their struggles OR their victories, these followers of Christ continued to walk by faith, some days simply one step at a time . . and yet their consistent and faithful examples have become the "great cloud of witnesses" that are perched in the grandstand of my own life now, cheering me on . . . encouraging me as i daily seek to live a life that honors Him.  And . . in so doing, i have to ask myself, time and again . . .   Am i leaving my own marks of 'encouragement and inspiration' for those that follow?  Whether that be friends that are walking with me now, or family that i have been entrusted to raise . . or perhaps (i pray, i hope!!!) grandchildren that will one day sit on my favorite porch swing with me . . .
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim You, who walk in the light of Your presence, O Lord.  They rejoice in Your name all day long; they exult (Leap for Joy) in Your righteousness.  Ps. 89:15-16

No comments:

Post a Comment