Monday, June 25, 2007

I am easily distracted ...

Today, I confess the start and near finish of a new project (if it takes less than 3 days does it really count as interrupting my current WIP's?). I reverted back to a previous knit style, combination knitting, with a different wrap technique, but for very good reasons, and my LYS had a yarn for $2 sale - so I was tempted.

So first up, a knitted swatch using three strands of 8ply naturally coloured sheep yarn from Clifton wool'n'things, before and after felting. Felting you say, yes felting, I finally knit me a pair of them Fibre Trends Felted Clogs. I suspect I might just be almost the last knitter in the Knitterverse to make these slippers, just about all my favorite bloggers have posted clogs at some stage, and with the snow it did seem timely. Thats it - I'll blame it on the cold weather! And thanks for all the nice comments on snow from the much warmer climates - it is nice to know in the depths of winter that the sun shines warmly somewhere else.

And here is the reason I switched to using combined knitting purl for these clogs, rowing out - or a marked and visible difference in gauge between the purl and knit rows when knitting stocking stitch. First I discovered how hard knitting chunky yarns is, it is hard work for hands used to fingering and sock weight yarns and finner needles. I did not need to wrap the yarn around my first finger, it just created to much tension, pretty much stopping the yarn in its tracks. I also found that knitting in my usual style resulted in rowing out, a problem I had last encountered in knitting the first take on my cabled powder blue zippie cardie.

That was when I started investigating other forms of making a purl stitch. For some reason with the crepe yarn - the combined knitting method created rowing out in that cardie. The first two thirds of the pre-felted swatch were knit in my usual style, and the last third in combined knitting - and look so even. Still hard work to knit on size 9mm needles, but even. And so cute, white soft and thick when felted. Really thick, nearly 5mm thick - see?

So These clogs knit up fast, around a day and a half, Monday was another snow day, so I took annual leave and knit first one clog, and then another. I realized early on that knitting white clogs was not a very clever idea, Oh I'm house proud in a working mother with 2 kids kinda way, but you wouldn't wanna eat meals of my floors on a daily basis. And I shuddered to think what gunk they would collect on the soles and show up over a week or so. I toyed with the idea of dying, but in the end added a naturally brown sole. That was faster - as in I get my slippers faster that way. This last photo was just before I finished both soles and attached them. I know you are instructed to knit both sole layers in the contrast colour, but I decided not to go pure white to late to follow the instructions to the letter.

Adding on a dark brown sole resulted in a little row of mock stitches where the two layers were knit together - lets see if that lasts as a feature once felted. Sorry no pictures of that yet - but I will show finished clogs as soon as I can. So these are on the large size for my standard sized feet (25 cm or size 9), with a clog un-felted length of over 12", as you can see there is more than a little toe room to spare. The term buckets comes to mind. I knit the womans size medium, on one size needle smaller than instructed (9mm)- it was the largest I have. At present they are in the washer agitating themselves smaller. Quite exiting.

....and the new yarn, well as mentioned my local LYS had a sale, with some stock from $2 a ball, so i fell for this, a 14 ply bulky wool - labeled Hummingbird, and I bought enough for one more set of adult clogs, or 2 child sized sets. I know these clogs would be great in fun colours and here I am knitting all natural type yarns - I do have a graduate student who is doing a project on the enviro cost of wool yarn. We ran into one another in the yarn shop Monday, and discussed the pros and cons of superwash wools for babies kids clothing and the environmental cost of making it superwash. Sobering stuff, did you know they use chlorine to superwash the wool, and chlorine is a pretty nasty chemical. That much I remember from my swimming instructor days, we all had to have hazard certificates to deal with chlorine spills and leaks - it was clear the building stuff it if escaped. I'm not sure if her investigations are clouding my judgment - but it sure made me think.

Any way - I'm off to check the machine for felting progress. Knit night tomorrow, and Poppy has a school visit to the big school. Big day planned.

1 comment:

Shirley Goodwin said...

I have the clog pattern but haven't managed to get them knitted yet!