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
- for using completely smaller needles,
- reworking the heel cup,
- and using using 3 different sized needles on the leg not two.
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 ........