Saturday, June 30, 2007

Want to see something really really scary?

This, a mass (or is that a mess?) of yarn ends which have not been woven in! Imagine having that job awaiting at the end of a knitting project!
So in today's post, I'm back to knitting the baby blanket - and I show you the inside view, there is a Pomatomus update, and those slippers which distracted me? Well lets just say felting in a 'gentle action' washing machine is a very time consuming experience. For now those slippers are warming by a fire after a simmer in in a dye pot - and I promise photos soon.

So those yarn tails, I have been knotting the tails together. I had to, after discovering loose stitches for a few stitches either side of any yarn colour change. Using a steek 3 stitches wide means lots of loose stitches around the rounds 'join'. Knotting the yarn ends prevents that and in the final those knots will be cut away. Using knots is not a problem here - it is almost essential. If I was knitting this colour work pattern in a sweater - well I think I would use just one background colour, or one back and one foreground - and switch them to reduce this yarn ends problem.

And this is the inside of the fair isle baby blanket tube. Quite attractive with the floats forming a cool chevron pattern on their own.
I am pleased with progress, the blanket is growing still and no sign yet of project fatigue. You know, project fatigue - when you are board of knitting the same thing and just want to start something new. I'm up to 16 inches or40 cm , which is around 2/3rds of the way. Right now I am aiming at around a finished length of 60 cm of Fair Isle, and a 4-5 cm boarder around so it will be around 70 cm long. Thats to fit a 90 cm long baby bed. The geeky fact this time is that should be around 54 096 stitches - assuming I don't drop any! I have a weeks leave starting tomorrow so lots of knitting time to look forward to. And steam blocking relaxes the yarns, the narrowing of the tube is a result of crimping of the floats not any changes in tension, a relief.

And just in case you were wondering - this is what the 3 stitch steek looks like from the outside. in a just knit - not steam blocked section. I guess in a real sweater knitted in the round it would pass as ok under the arm at the side seam location, if you were not to fussy. Though you would have to weave in all those ends. Instead I would probably plan some design element to eliminate the loose stitches and jog between colour changes. Something like a narrow checkerboard or stripe to hide the jog.

and Pomatomas? well - I have put it down and picked it up without thinking a little to often of late, and got myself a little lost in the lace repeats. There has been some frogging - a half repeat or so to remedy some errors made earlier in the knitting. But for a novice lace knitter, I am surprised at how easily I have found it to frog, pick up stitches without a life line, and sort out where I am in the chart. I still think the ribbing lace is an ingeneous invention for socks.

And the felted clogs?, they were placed with care in an old pillow case, using a rubber band to close , and in the washing machine they went. Well after the first wash, there was not much evidence of felting, so I rounded up more jeans and sent them round the wash cycle again. More felting but again not a lot of shrinking. They still fitted like buckets, very large roomy buckets. Remembering how well the swatch had felted by hand, I resorted to trying to hand felt the clogs in the kitchen sink - and talked Bear into some active squeezing and twisting when my hands and arms ached. But unfortunately there was still not a lot of felting and shrinking to show for it.

So over the next 2 days the clogs joined every wash load we did. Then I gave up and dried them in front of the fire. They were still to far to big. I tried to give them away to my big footed Dad, but he needed indoor outdoor soles, and refused to take them away. So today I gave it one more try, I zipped the clogs into a lingerie wash bag, and sent them around another jeans wash - finally hooray, the clogs were near the size of my feet. So feeling on a high - I found more jeans (we now must have the cleanest examples of jeans in the city), and did another wash - more success - clogs the size of my feet. I celebrated by soaking the clogs in acid water, and boiling for 10 minutes in food dye. I was secretly hoping they would shrink a tiny bit more - the pattern says to fit them tight, as they do stretch some with wear. The felted, fitted and coloured clogs are now drying before the fire as we watch Mansfield Park. Photos next time, and you will just have to guess what colour.

1 comment:

Marina said...

If it were a sweater, you could knot and trim as you go. It really does not look too bad.

Or you could do a spit splice or Russian join. A spit splice would give you a barber pole effect but only for a few stitches. With the Russian join, you might end up with a couple of stitches in the wrong colour if you can't guesstimate too well.

But, if dealing with ends or having knots bother you, I think it is worthwhile doing one of those two methods.