Saturday, October 27, 2007

make 46 tiny Punta you say?

Today I attempt to explain what are tiny Punta (hint : Andean knitting), a "3 hours and I only knit that" moment, new imports from the USA, some exquisitely made stitch markers, and super pointy knitpics harmony wooden circs that make Brother Amos sock number two and the 2-circ method a success, and I start a roving stash. btw Fannigan is on hold until some longer 2mm circs arrive from the UK.

So, what is a tiny Punta you ask, well I was asking that just yesterday myself at 11am, now I know so I'll share. Yesterday was the first of the two Andean knitting workshops, mostly based on the two editions of Marcia Lewandowski's book Andean Folk Knits: Great Designs from Peru, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador & Bolivia. Both editions of the book were there to look at and they are different. The older edition has more history, the latter edition more patterns for contemporary variations in larger than historically correct gauges. I've ordered a 2nd hand copy of the book, and hope its an older one. Lorna, our local knit guru was there and so patient and helpful - she is a amazing. I've lent her my EZ glossary dvd and had many admire my cabled cardigan, especially the zip. I like that class, they notice the little things in your knitting. Pauline had the most amazing lace shawl in black - the lace gods are conspiring to tempt me, resistance appears to be futile. Sorry borg star trek moment there.

So the Punta are little points or triangles created along a cast on edge and used in Andean knitting, especially hats, for boys and men. Yesterday I spent about an hour and a half with vintage steel 2mm dpns and 3 colours of yarn creating my very own Punta & popcorn sampler. Popcorn a little bobbles. It wasn't pretty, nor easy, involving crocheting a chain (think super fine fingering and 2mm), picking up 7 stitches at a time in a 2nd colour on a dpn sliding these to the 'other end' then knitting and decreasing in a 3rd and possibly 4th colour to create the little points. Once I mangled opps - managed a few the process became much clearer, and easier. But 3 hours latter I only had a little 1.5" square sampler to show. I tried to cast on for the hat, repeatedly in class, but it needed more time and focus to pick up all those little loops on the crochet chain than was possible in a busy class. At home I crocheted the loops over a circular needle - much easier.

So I've chosen the more adventurous of the 2 projects on offer, the other is a little bag. That is where the 46 tiny Punta come in, which are followed by around 20 -30 colour work rows in predominantly purl. Yes purl and the floats are on the other side - and only last post I was practicing my purl colour work in the flat colour work sampler. Well it paid of, I'm fast becoming proficient at it, although it is harder to work than knit and I can't wait until the knit section begins. And no, it probably wouldn't be easier to knit, and yes, I know Andeans purled differently - but we can only go so far in a project. I'm using the swatch from last week to select colours, so far its looking good. And I have no idea who will wear this, a total process project, but it will prepare me to knit the next Bohus as a flat cardigan, not steeked.

And these little sweeties, very clever and cool stitch markers designed to accompany CB'sock architecture book. Sent to me by Suzanne, along with some knitpicks circular needles I'd ordered delivered to her (why oh why won't they ship overseas?). Thank-you again Suzanne, huge favor and much appreciated as you know. These little stitch markers make me think of William Morris, and his 'have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful' to me these are both. See the little hinge so they sit flat against the knitting, cool and clever! From the Etsy shop HIDEandSHEEP if you want some of your own.

And Brother Amos, sock 2 this time is being knit on 2-circs, the Knitpics harmony in 2.25mm. Wow are these pointy, I love them, I tried to photograph the points, but no luck, you will just have to believe me these are very seriously pointy points. With these needles my previous complaints about 'snagging' of stitches when knitting the 2-circ way is no longer valid - I can finally see the merit of the method, especially for lace. No more juggling and splitting pattern repeats over multiple dpns.

and fibre stash, today I hit the buy now on 1kg of silver gotland carded roving on trademe(new zealands e-bay, it was cheap). Gotland were one of the sheep breeds my postdoc involved, but I only ever had leather, so when i spotted it I was curious. I'm told the fiber is long and softens beautifully when washed - so I'll let you know how that goes early next year. I'm working my way thru 600g of Ashfords corridale roving, so after that .... I'll be ready.

Take care


Angelika said...

Everybody is raving over the harmony needles and so do I. First I was afraid to split the yarn, but I love them and the fun colors make even a dull grey look good.

Sarah said...

You never cease to amaze me! Things you try are so beyond my skill set:) Thanks for the encouragement, by the way:) Your magic box will make everything better!

Knitting Linguist said...

Wow -- you got a TON done this weekend! I'm dying to try the Harmony needles myself (of course, I haven't invested in the steel ones, yet; maybe this Christmas); I love me a pointy needle. The Andean work is absolutely stunning -- I can't wait to see how the project turns out :)

Sarah said...

Wonderful Stella, thank you! Your box of magic arrived today! (Pictures on my blog.)I love everything in it. I almost bought yarn that color last week, but held out. I'm so happy with it. My Seneca seminar also loved it:) The stitch markers and buttons are fantastic, and the bag is much appreciated. I'll be putting it to use soon:) Finally the little flax basket is so sweet. I think I will use it to hold my special buttons:) Thanks for making my Monday glorious!

Knitting Linguist said...

Hi! Thanks so much for the compliments on K :) The v-neck steek was totally easy -- you could do it no problem (just decrease on each side of the steek) :) Now if only it would get cold!

Kelly said...

Holy Toledo"!!!! 46 Puntas is ALOT of puntas. Whew, I am glad that bit is over.
I do love that wee little tricky crochet cast-on.

kelly said...

Stella, Stella, Stella
I have a sad story for you. Do you think it was meant to be 2mm size needle, not US size 2? I was so busy doing the little buggers, that I didn't notice how large the thing was. I didn't make the bottom of a cap, I made the bottom of a jersey!!!
I need a lie down and a gin, now. I think I will weave for awhile.

Rosemarie said...

What beautiful puntas!! Can you tell me where I can find a basic instruction for punta? I'm looking for a non ruffled version but I think I could adapt a ruffled instructions.