Posts Tagged ‘knitting

17
Aug
08

How I spent my Sunday morning

This morning I used J.’s new swift to transform my 2-ply Wensleydale yarn into a skein:

I really love this antique swift. Firstly because it looks great, and secondly because it has a funky gear-and-hammer system that tells you when you’ve turned the wheel 100 times: 10 turns of the wheel = 1 turn of the first gear, and 10 turns of the first gear = 1 turn of the second gear, by which time a peg protruding from the second gear will have lifted up a hammer and let it drop again, acting as a sort of alarmĀ  (probably to wake up the spinster who had fallen asleep by that stage, still cranking mechanically). We measured the circumference of the wheel and found it to be 2.34 metres (is this maybe an old unit of measurement?), meaning that once the hammer drops, you have exactly 234 metres of yarn (Arja, blijf je bij de les? :-))

Our calculations revealed that I’d spun around 260 metres, which is surprisingly little for 130 grams of wool at this thickness. My conclusion is that Wensleydale is simply a heavier fibre. In any case, here it is, all wound up and looking divine:

And again, as a scrumptious skein:

Previously I had already spun around 360 metres (100 grams) of this same wool, which is currently lying at home so unfortunately I’m unable to compare it with this one. I was hoping to end up with two skeins of comparable yarn, but given that this skein has less metrage yet more weight than the previous one, I don’t think I’ll be able to use them both for the same project. Alas and alack.

Still, I think it looks beautiful, and it feels lovely. Maybe I’ll dye it!

17
Aug
08

How I spent my Saturday night:

16
Aug
08

Women, whine and knitting

In two weeks’ time, after having sung my guts out for a week in Canterbury (and quite possibly ruined the tenor solo of the Vaughan Williams Mass in G Minor, more on that later), I will be sittin’ an’ knittin’ in the Royal Horticultural Hall in central London at the annual “I Knit” day. Yes, I will be surrounded by yarn, needles, books and knitters of every shape, size, colour and weight. It’ll be fabulous.

I’m going there under the auspices of The Dutch Knitters, a sub-group of hard-core knitting maniacs from the Utrecht Stitch ‘n’ Bitch. Today I visited The Dutch Knitters site for the first time.

See what I mean? Good thing I’m actually a girl.

14
Aug
08

Updated sphere pattern

Just a note to say that there are two sizes available for my knitted sphere pattern. Now you can knit either a golf ball or a cricket ball! (Actually the golf ball size is a little smaller than a golf ball, but I thought the name sounded cute.)

10
May
08

Frisson

Yesterday I had a knitting frisson. Here’s the skinny:

Hand-dyed sock yarnA couple of weeks ago, we had a sock-yarn dyeing day at Jantine‘s (Lisa was there too). We used several different methods to dye the wool, from simply mixing a dye bath of a solid colour and throwing in the skein, to dipping sections of an ultra-long skein in different baths, to putting the skein in first and then adding different dyes to see what would happen. This last method was pretty scary to me, being a control freak and all, but I did it anyway and this was the result (the ball on the right). I was tempted to call it my “vomit” colourway, or “pizza” or something, I just thought it looked so random and retro… but Jantine was crazy about it, so I trusted her good judgment and decided not to incinerate it just yet.

Now to part 2: Recently M. of the DomCantorij turned 36, and therefore a birthday present was in order. I had been to Cologne and picked up some skeins of sock yarn there, including the purple one in the photo below.Cologne sock yarn She said she liked the colour, and when I showed her the Monkey Socks by Cookie A., she was delighted. I decided I would knit M. a pair of purple monkey socks.

But then I thought: nah. The purple was too diffuse to do justice to the pattern, so I went over to M’s with a bag full of other options, one of them my vomit yarn. She had conniptions when she saw it, and I started to think that maybe the short colour segments in that yarn would actually show off the pattern quite well. So I started knitting yesterday, and… I think the result is just amazing. This is going to be the best ever pair of socks I’ve ever knit, and I’m so happy Brent\'s Monkeysthat M. is going to be the one to wear them!

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20
Apr
08

Sphere Pattern

Hello All!

Here is the pattern I used to make my stockinette spheres. At the moment there are two sizes, but stay tuned for a third.

Yarn: Any, but this is a great project for stash-busting all those sock-yarn leftovers!
Gauge: Shouldn’t matter, but try not to make the fabric too loose, otherwise you’ll see the stuffing.

Small size (golf ball):
CO 16 stitches using a provisional cast-on (I used the Invisible Crochet cast-on II from Eunny’s blog).

Note: each row in this pattern ends with a wrap/turn/slip first stitch. Make sure the stitches on either side of this process are fairly tight, or you may end up with loose stitches.

Row 1: Slip 1 purlwise, K13, wrap yarn around next stitch, turn.*
Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise, P11, wrap next stitch, turn.
Row 3: Sl1 purlwise, K9, wrap & turn.
Row 4: Sl1 purlwise, P7, wrap & turn.
Row 5: Sl1 purlwise, K to end, knitting wraps with stitches.**
Row 6: Sl1 purlwise, P to end, knitting all wraps with stitches.
Repeat these 6 rows 7 more times (8 times in total), then move on to Finishing (below).

Medium size (cricket ball):
CO 31 stitches using a provisional cast-on (I used the Invisible Crochet cast-on II from Eunny’s blog).

Note: each row in this pattern ends with a wrap/turn/slip first stitch. Make sure the stitches on either side of this process are fairly tight, or you may end up with loose stitches.

Row 1: Slip 1 purlwise, K28, wrap yarn around next stitch, turn.*Brent\'s Balls
Row 2: Slip 1 purlwise, P26, wrap next stitch, turn.
Row 3: Sl1 purlwise, K24, wrap & turn.
Row 4: Sl1 purlwise, P22, wrap & turn.
Row 5: Sl1 purlwise, K20, wrap & turn.
Row 6: Sl1 purlwise, P18, wrap & turn.
Row 7: Sl1 purlwise, K16, wrap & turn.
Row 8: Sl1 purlwise, P14, wrap & turn.
Row 9: Sl1 purlwise, K11, wrap & turn.
Row 10: Sl1 purlwise, P8, wrap & turn.
Row 11: Sl1 purlwise, K to end, knitting wraps with stitches.**
Row 12: Sl1 purlwise, P to end, knitting all wraps with stitches.
Repeat these 12 rows 7 more times (8 times in total), then move on to Finishing.
Finishing
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Using a darning needle, thread the tail through the rear loop of each of the 8 selvedge stitches forming the ‘top’ of the sphere, repeat, and pull tight. Now use the kitchener stitch to graft the loops of the provisional cast-on to the live stitches still on the needle (don’t forget to insert stuffing/bell/polystyrene ball first!). Thread the remaining yarn through the rear loops of the 8 selvedge stitches at the opposite end, repeat, and pull tight. Use the remaining tail to hang up the sphere somewhere, or thread it through the sphere itself and cut off.

*To make a wrap, slip the next stitch purlwise onto the right needle, bring the yarn to the other side of the work (i.e. if you’re knitting, bring it to the front; if you’re purling, bring it to the back), put the stitch back onto the left needle, return the yarn to its proper side, and turn the work.

** To knit a wrap with a stitch, insert the needle under the wrap from front to back (when looking at the right side) or from back to front (when looking at the wrong side), then insert the needle into the stitch (either knitwise or purlwise, as required) and then knit the stitch and the wrap together.

12
Apr
08

Saturday

I love Saturdays free (i.e. no singing), I get so many fun things done and just float on through the day, no pressure, no deadlines. Today I finished two more knitted spheres, so now I have the three primary colours. Here’s a perfectly awful tungsten photo of them:
I’ll take better photos of them tomorrow in more natural light, and put them on Ravelry. I knit these while at Jantine’s house, where I spent the afternoon keeping her company while she’s ill. Her husband Mick cooked us a loverly chicken tikka masala for dinner, and then we ate Tim Tams and watched the New Doctor Who. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my memories of the old Doctor Who were much actually much more believable than the episode I saw tonight, despite the bad 80’s special effects and Daleks and all. But I’m willing to suspend judgment until I’ve seen a few more episodes.
I also have another bone to pick about Holland. Today I bought a new strippenkaart, or “strip card” for the bus. It’s a long cardboard card you buy that has 45 strips on it, and each bus journey you take requires a certain number of strips, so the driver just keeps stamping the card on the appropriate places until you have used up all 45, then it’s time for a new one. Here’s what it looks like:
As you can see it’s pretty long, so you usually fold it twice in two to fit it in your wallet. The card is scored between each strip, supposedly to make it easy to fold. But look at what happens when you try to fold it in half:See? The required fold falls precisely in the middle of strip 13, meaning that the folds provided between the strips are totally useless. So the ends of the card when folded never precisely match up, and you end up with this messy-looking misshapen blob of cardboard in your wallet. I’m sorry, but that is so not me.
Off to church tomorrow, I hope we’re singing something nice and old. Gooooo, Tallis!

Random Quote:

Life is in the details.”
-Saffy, from Absolutely Fabulous