Friday, October 19, 2007

I'm enabled...

Today, I'm enabled to spin, Brother Amos number 1 is finished (so half a FO?), and I will provide details of the fit when knit on smaller needles, I borrowed a big knitting book, and finally I cut both the Fannigan steeks, but I'm no further along with deciding what to do with the edges. I'll continue to collect readers comments for a 10K visitor thank-you gift over the next week or so, visitors between 9950 and 1050 methinks, so do leave a note letting me know you called in, and I put you in the draw.

A few days ago, reading Janes post about enabling a knitter to spin, about buying a wheel and putting it together and getting her spinning in a few hours before she left to drive home, well it seemed so easy. Why was I leaving my Ashford in the box? Why, if it only took a few hours to get up and going? Why? So completely missing the fact Jane was speaking about an Ashford Joy wheel, this morning I decided to start assembling my Ashford Traveller. At 9am I opened the box, I rubbed linseed and wax polish over all the pieces. This is our 'household' polish and we make batches every few years, the current batch is lavender scented.

Long story short, a few cups of tea, a few false starts, a little help at times from Bear, and by 12:30 it was all together. Love that wax polish, takes no time to dry. Oh the polish will cure and harden over the next few days, and darken a little, but there is no drying time to speak of on a warm sunny day. And no (hangs head in shame) the assignment is not done, I have an extension, but the end is in sight.

And the first Brother Amos sock is of the needles, I just have to weave the i-cord ends in invisibly to finish it, but I will do the pair together. The pattern worked well, I followed the instructions almost exactly except
  1. for using completely smaller needles,
  2. reworking the heel cup,
  3. and using using 3 different sized needles on the leg not two.
The toe was knit on 2mm needles, the foot, heel and first lace repeat of the leg knit on 2.25mm, the 2nd lace repeat of the leg knit on 2.75mm, and the 3rd and last lace repeat and i-cord on 3mm needles. The pattern increases needle size to widen the leg to fit the calf, and that worked really well as you can see in the flat sock photo, I went up one needle size at a time with each lace repeat, from 2.25mm, to 2.75mm and 3mm

My dainty wee foot is 10" long, or 25.5cm, and measures 9.5" or 24cm around the ball of the foot. Brother Amos is designed for a L womens foot, size 10 - sorry I've no idea what that is in local sizes, and the intended gauge on 2.5mm needles is 30(7.5 spi). I knit the womens size but with the mens 'lace' so used M1 not YO and have no holes.
Knitting on 2.25mm needles with a guage of 8.5spi fits made a sock that fits me fine, I think the foot is a tad slightly short, but only just, the heel flap just curves under - see? To fix this for sock two I will knit the toe section 1/4" or .5 cm longer which is all it needs to fit me. I probably will cut off the toe of sock one, and reknit it 'top down', fusspot that I am.

And I have a new book in the house, on loan, Principles of Knitting, by June Hemmons Hiatt, this is the one that sells for mega dollars on amazon second hand. And I do mean mega, US$179! I was interloaning some stuff at work and realised that i could look this one over by interloan, so its mine for 4 weeks, from the Hamilton public library, thanks ratepayers! And what do I think? Well .... its good, very good, very very good but.... its dated and opinionated. June believes there is only one way to knit - hers, and if you knit some other way and it works, you can keep doing that, but if all knitters learn to knit like her, well they won't have problems. The chapters, and I do mean separate chapters, of close spaced text and lots of words on increasing, decreasing, and making symmetrical vs leaning eyelets, and such, are full of detail, much of it very good value. If this book were under $100 new, I would buy it, I'd prefer it to be under $40, but it is a big book, at 571 A4 pages so would be pricey. Dated, yes, there is a whole lot of this and more recent technical knitting information out there on the web, like Techknitting, where I've recently been reading about the new and improved ssk, the sytk, which I am really keen to try. I know that a good wash or two makes most paired decreases look better, but I'm feeling the need to soon make my own personal sampler of increases and decreases, just to work thru the many and varied options myself, and decide what works best for me.

And fannigan was steeked on Thursday night, in the foyer outside the University library, with Jenny steeking her hand spun sweater armholes beside me. The neck worked, it fits better than I hoped. No monkey arms, the cuffs sit low on my wrists and a little extra length pools, and I've got a nice slim fit thru the body. I will pick up the edging stitches this weekend sometimes, its a long weekend, so we have an extra day. And its asparagas season, so off to Palmerston to buy farm fresh and eat green meals for the week. Yum.

Here is the cut edge from the inside, I probably will cut away much of the 'extra' steek stitches, right back to the 2nd line of stitching. I'm tending towards a facing similar to the baby blanket one, completely hiding the cut edges. The only question is moss stitch or rib, I think moss stitch, and an i-cord edge. Fannigan was knit on 2.5mm Addi needles, so I aim to drop to 2mm for the facing, which should work.

ok, I'm off to play with my new wheel now ........


Windyridge said...

We need a steeking expert for our little "workshop" in a few weeks. It will be the blind leading the blind. We need you! LOL
You're not so far away.

Knitting Linguist said...

Your new wheel is just lovely! I can't wait to hear how the spinning goes. And I really like the socks; using bigger needles to increase is a nice way to handle an allover lace pattern... Enjoy your longer weekend (especially the asparagus -- I was all envious until I realized that it's just spring there, and you've been waiting for asparagus all winter), and good luck with your assignment :)

fibergal said...

Have fun with that new wheel. I had one and loved it. And it is wonderful to be able to assemble and disassemble your wheel since now you will be able to tighten or tune it as needed. See, you already know more than a lot of spinners. Welcome to the fold.

Knitting Linguist said...

Hi! Thanks so much for your comments on the shoulder bind-off/grafting question. The bit about needing extra strength there because the whole sweater hangs from that spot makes a lot of sense. I'll definitely either bind off and seam or do a three-needle bind off (doing it inside out is an intriguing idea; I could hold off until after I cut the steeks...). BTW, odd as it may seem, I really like NZ accents (R and I spent a month in NZ once years ago and *still* talk about it), so no worries there! :)

KathyR said...

Fannigan is looking really good! Great to see your wheel all ready for spinning and I look forward to tales of your progress there. You mentioned that you make up your own polish - what is your recipe? I haven't really found anything I like, yet, for my wheels and would be interested in trying your recipe.

TheBlackSheep said...

Wow, Fannigan is grogeous! It also helps me understand your comment on my blog. It looks like you should never anger the pink gods -they get you for all variants of pink you know!

I'll be stopping by. Looks like I could learn a thing or two from you and that's always good!