Waiting for Spring

I have finished handknitting the scarf. My interior light was so poor that I photoed outside for a truer colour. This was the yarn that I had been complaining about. After a soak, air dry and a shot of steam, it has some nice features. The colour changes are very nicely positioned. The “hand” has a lovely silky feel to the touch. and it drapes beautifully.

My sheep buddy is waiting for Spring. It is much to cold for foliage in my area of Canada.

My tip for day, is don’t give up on a yarn. The best is yet to come.

 

 

Thoughts on Designing……choices

Thinking about designing your own items? So many choices.

I approach it in 2 different ways. My choices are….. Do I use a particular YARN? ……Or do I approach it from the desired ITEM? Is it a need, a want, or a challenge?

YARN

All Yarns are not the same. The variety that we can access, is mindboggling. Origins from all over the globe. They are thick and they are thin, they are synthetically made or natural animal or plant. We can combine them to make them thicker. We can ply the colours for a new shade. We can make them suitable for use on the knitting machine, i.e. rewinding Handknitting yarn into cakes.

Read the ball bands on the handknitting yarns. The clues are there. What did the spinning mill designers feel was most suitable for that particular yarn. Of course, we be experimental and use it differently in our designs with stunning results.

STITCH

Next, I think of a suitable stitch. Will it be a nice weight for my item? Will it complement the yarn. Is the colour suitable? Do I want a pumpkin orange felted purse? The answer might be, yes. Do I want a pumpkin orange hat? Maybe no.  Do I want to add another colour to the mix. Black or blue trim, or none at all. Some fairisle as an accent trim or the body of the item?

Do I want to follow someone else’s pattern design? Is the yarn readily available in my Stash? Can I substitute? Is my knitting machine suitable for the technique?

ITEM

Is the item within my skill set, or is this project suitable to improve my skill?

Is it suitable for my chosen yarn? The Drape, the body, the eventual care and maintenance? Think, baby blankets.

TESTING

The dreaded swatch. So necessary, if you want your project to be successful. There is
no point in spending $$$ for yarn and no satisfactory result. Although, all is not lost, it can be unravelled and repurposed. The testing may bring out wonderful attributes or turn out to be, an unsuitable use of the yarn.

ENJOY the journey. We never know where the road will take us.

Mary Anne Cutler,

Yet Another Canadian Artisan, 2020

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some yarns are surprising……

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I’ve been knitting with this lovely dyed yarn. The colouring is beautiful. The feel is wonderful. As I was knitting, quite far into the project, is that this yarn has some spinning issues. It was not evenly spun. I believe this to be a spinning mill issue.The yarn has thick and thin spots that is now showing up in the finished item. I don’t believe this to be intentional, due to the randomness of the locations.

There was no way to tell when looking and handling the ball. It was not sold as a 2nd grade.

Oh well, Sometimes we are very pleased and other times disappointed…….I’m glad it’s not a sweater!

Mary Anne Cutler,

Yet Another Canadian Artisan, 2020

Sock heel for Knitting machine

1B1EB6FA-5F44-4B42-AC08-7527A0D2AD2AKnitting the heel of a handknit circular sock can be achieved on a knitting machine WITHOUT a ribber. It is very doable.

My handknitting group was knitting socks. I joined in. Circular knitting on 4 needles has alot of options for patterning, whereas machine knitting circular knit socks is limited.

The handknitting went well until I reached the heel. My thought, it is so easy and quick on a knitting machine.

I decided to knit the heel on the mainbed of the knitting machine.

It was quite easy to hang up the heel stitches and “short row” the heel down to 8 stitches and reverse shortrowing to complete the heel. Then, add a few rows of waste and remove from the mainbed needles. Hand manipulating the straight needles to a position for the carriage travel, nor weighting the sock was problematic.

Replacing the open stitches from the waste to the handknitting needles was very smooth, remove the waste and continue using the double ended needles to finish the foot.

This is a method I will use in the future.

Note:For this style of heel you would use 1/2 the number of stitches of the circular handknitting. i.e circular 64 st, the 32 would be allocated for the heel.

I used a 80%wool/nylon sock yarn, on a standard gauge Studio knitting machine, Dial setting 7.

Short row technique is displayed in the Knitting Manual that comes with your Knitting machine.

Mary Anne Cutler,

Yet Another Canadian Artisan 2020

Back to roving spun yarns…

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I’ve been comparing two types of Roving spun hand knitting yarns. One is 80% acrylic/20% wool, the other 100% wool.

COLOUR….I have found that the synthetic yarn, dyes with a nice sheen and a brilliant colour.

The 100% wool ones, the colours are more subued and a “matte” look. Of course this could be the techniques used by the Dye house.

WEARABILITY…….the synthetics are not as warm when compared to 100% wool. It only matters to the wearer.

The HAND…….feels relatively the same, pleasant to the fingers of the handknitter.

PRICE…….the Wool is 30 to 50% more than the synthetics. Some grades of wool is even more. All yarns are graded for quality, be they synthetics or naturals.

The above photo is acrylic/ wool mix yarn. 7mm needle, cast on 56 stitches, 7×7 stitch rib. Finish the crown in any one of many methods. Approx 80 gm of yarn.