Saturday, April 19, 2014
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I used to think I was allergic to wool. Every time I used it, my fingers would itch and it felt very scratchy. More recently, though I’ve found it’s not the wool: it’s the processing!  Some processed fibers still are too scratchy, but the lesser processed fibers work just fine.  Good thing too, or I wouldn’t have been able to finish my latest project. Here’s what’s left of two balls of handspun that wasn’t dyed. It’s from Brown Sheep Mills mill end roving, and is very soft to knit. Homespun yarn natural colors It was a real pleasure to knit this... (Read More ...)

I’m typing while wearing one fingerless mitten. Why? Well, my fingers were cold and I decided to experiment. I was curious to know how fast I’d notice a difference between the two hands, I decided to try just one. Striped fingerless mitten In less than 10 seconds I noticed an improvement in the hand wearing the mitten. Wow! What a surprise! I always thought they’d warm the hands but not the fingers. Now if I could just knit that fast. While I like mittens and gloves, fingerless ones are better sometimes. For example, when you’re working at a keyboard, wearing regular mittens make typing... (Read More ...)

As a child, I learned to knit. My knitting was a mixture of: what my mother taught me, what I learned from a knitting pamphlet, and my own invention. Amazingly enough, it worked. Actually, it worked quite well. That is, until I attempted circular knitting and lace. They were much less forgiving than knitting, purling, and even cables. Over the past few years I’ve been seeking new ways (for me) to cast on. In retrospect my original cast-on either never made it to the knitting manuals or I remembered it wrong. Which is probably why it was so difficult challenging. When I learned a two needle... (Read More ...)

Do you closely follow knitting instructions? Okay, I confess: my tendency is to knit the “perfect” item. The first time. Up tight knitter? Who me? Sometimes I follow the instructions exactly. And sometimes I adapt them as I knit. Following the knitting instructions exactly is not as important to me as the finished project. Ideally, I can try on a project while knitting, making adjustments as needed. Finishing a big project only to decide it doesn’t look right or doesn’t fit quite right — and can only be fixed by copious ripping and re-knitting — is not my idea of fun.... (Read More ...)

Sprucey Lucy Knee High Socks free knitting pattern available from Wendy Knits. "Baby" enjoying his new sweater Follow-up to this post. Participating in Wordless Wednesday.  Well, it’s almost wordless!  (Read More ...)

Well, after 6 months — 4 of which they sat on a shelf waiting for me to be inspired to knit them again — I finally finished my knee socks! They are my first very own hand knit knee socks, custom-made using several sock knitting instructions which I combined. I do like the toe-up knitting instructions, because the sock can be tried on as you’re knitting. That way, changes can be made immediately and — at least theoretically — keeps the frogging to a minimum! Fairisle knee socks from multiple knitting instructions The patterned sock yarn is: Austermann Step Sock Yarn in the Sunset... (Read More ...)

Recently I bought a book on knitting dog sweaters, glanced at it, and set it aside. When you live in the South — and it’s the middle of summer — it’s hard to get excited about knitting sweaters, even for dogs! Then I learned a dear friend recently became suddenly critically ill. It was quite a shock to learn of her crisis, even after she’d started her recovery.  I knew she had a dog that she calls her “baby.”  So, I casually asked her if her baby could use a new sweater.  The answer was a very excited “Yes!” Well, I figured that was as good a reason... (Read More ...)

When I read about a bride’s purse in Knitting Daily, I knew I wanted to try its free knitting instructions. However, I didn’t have enough white crochet thread, and the correct size needles were in use for socks I started a while back. I did, however, have a purse I’d started which was sitting on a shelf. Sitting alone because I found it too hard to knit. Not wanting to give up on crochet thread, the Knitting Daily pattern was just what I needed to try again. Knitting with 2 strands crochet thread I like the way the two colors of crochet cotton blended, and wanted to use them.... (Read More ...)

When reading about dyeing wool yarn, the instructions usually say to dye the yarn before you knit it. Since I wasn’t sure how much my project would take, I decided to finish the baby jacket first, then dye it. Baby Surprise Jacket before dye I used Kool Aid and food coloring for a nontoxic dye, and am happy with the results: Baby Surprise Jacket after dye The dye looks as even as dyeing the wool first, both inside and outside. I first soaked the jacket for 20 minutes in cold water with white (distilled) vinegar. It took 1-1/2 quarts of water to cover the jacket in the pot. After 20... (Read More ...)

When most folks think of “plain knitting” they usually mean stockinette stitch. Because it’s smooth, and looks like the same stitch on the right side, it’s often thought by non-knitters to be the first stitch knitters learn.  Usually garter stitch is practiced first, because garter stitch uses only the knit stitch.  That is, every stitch is knit (no purl stitches). Its ridges often make it seem more complex. On two needles, stockinette stitch is a row of knit stitches followed by a row of purl.  For circular knitting, whether using a circular needle … two circulars... (Read More ...)