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Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 67

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Lara Neel - The Journal Gazette
This is the beginning of the third strip of Gina's Afghan.

Math4Knitters, Crafty Living: Show 67

This week's show includes the next installment of Gina's Afghan and a chat with Annie Modesitt, known as modeknit on Ravelry.

Gina's Afghan, Chart 12

This is the start of strip #3. Very simple, short and sweet. I did have a lively discussion, recently, on Ravelry's Historic Knitting message boards, about the origin, and proper use, of the word "afghan." Apparently, shaggy coats are sometimes called afghans, too. Also, at least during the Victorian era, an afghan could be a wrap to be worn around the shoulders.

In the context of blankets, I chose the word to describe this project because "blanket" seemed too big and "throw" seemed too small. In my mind, an afghan is any fairly heavy blanket, made with either crochet or knitting, that isn't large enough to be used as a bedspread. In my home, growing up, a woven blanket that is not a quilt was nearly always called a "bedspread," and was usually pretty warm. Although, something very warm, especially if it involved down, was called a "comforter." On Ravelry, someone remarked that bedspreads weren't warm where they come from, just decorative. I never knew, before now, that my choice of words was so specific to the time and place where I grew up.

According to Laurel Thatcher Ulrich in her book, The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth, "coverlit" or "coverlid" or even "keverlid" was used as a word for what we would now call rugs. Rugs were originally too valuable to use on the floor, and instead you snuggled under them in bed. That's where the phrase "snug as a bug in a rug" comes from.

That's kind of an aside, though. I probably just mentioned it because I love the way "keverlid" sounds.

Various people on the Ravelry board suggested that "blanket" and "throw" are much more commonly-used words for the object I mean, especially in Britain. "Counterpane" is supposed to a universal term for anything that could lie on a bed, but I've only heard it used for old, very-fine-gauge, white, knitted bed covers.

Conversation, Part 1

Annie Modesitt and I ranged far and wide, from knitting, to politics, to money, to knitting, to knitting for pay, to photography...

When I had edited it all, it was still an hour and 45 minutes long. So, I've cut it into two parts. You'll get a little over half of it this week and a little less than half next week. I'm putting all of the links to what we talked about on both show notes, though, just in case you want them all at once.