Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Slow progress ...

One of the 'problems' with having multiple projects, or time consuming projects on the go, is seemingly lack of progress to show for any time spent knitting. Today is just a progress report, some knitting (Andean hat), some spinning (corridale roving), some buying (weird needles, and clasps for Fannigan), some reading (Clara's yarn book).

Andean knitting, I must be a process knitter, I am loving the challenge of knitting this one, even though I can't even think of a wearer for it. First challenge is the colour work in purl with the floats across the knit side, I was worried about tension - even though my purls tend to be tighter than my knits, but so far so good. The exiting thing with this project is I only have a text photo copy of the pattern, so no photo, drawing or illustration to go on, its like making a surprise, I read a few lines ahead and 'discover' the next pattern section of the hat emerging from the needles. I'm up to the 'comb' pattern, 3 rows of K1 colour 1, K1 colour 2, then a row of colour 2. I think I have left the purl colour work behind, but do quite like the appearance of the little purl squares. Each change in colour is worked on a knit row - so the squares have a subtle separation or indent between them, they remind me of little squares of chocolate or computer buttons. btw the knitting is upside down in this photo,


And spinning, this is my new favourite thing, really it is, I love watching the soft bulky roving being pulled into fine smooth twisted singles. I have filled 2 and a half bobbins so far, and earlier this evening I stopped to do a little test plying. I plied together around 1.5m of 3 singles, and then a similar amount of 2 ply. I soaked these in hot water, and hung up to dry. I think I will make this yarn 3 ply - and it gave me a good indication of the 'correct' amount of twist to add - I over-twisted the 3 ply tester. If I feed in nearly twice as much singles yarn as I feed in roving, per treadle I should have a better behaved amount of twist. Why 3 ply - because I feel it will even out the irregularities in my beginner knitting more than 2 ply. I'm getting around 20 minutes pure spinning each morning, after Bear catches the bus to work, while the kids play and watch tv, before I have to transport them to school and me to work, and another 30 mins or so before the evening meal. I never know what to call that meal, half of the locals call it dinner, while the other half call a mid-day meal dinner, and the evening one tea. I was an import from Auckland at age 7- so that totally confused me as a kid. I never quite knew what meal I was invited for. Weird - but I think it comes from ancestral origins in different parts of Gt Britain, and and when the main meal was eaten in those parts of society (working class or upper class).

I've finally had some useful information about using the different combinations of bobin and flyer whorls on the Ashford Double Drive Traveller, most sites or the Ashford book discuss setting it up rather than the intricacies of using it in its different double drive modes. Eepster, at KR provided some guide lines, here, put simply - big flyer whorl and the small end of the bobbin, give a low twist yarn, and the small flyer whorl and the large end of the bobbin give a more tightly twisted yarn. Knowledge = power! I was doing small flyer whorl, and large end of bobbin - hence the over twist. Perhaps I should ply on the 'other' setting?


Clasps, I ordered two different types for Fannigan, the top ones from School House Press, on their recommendation, as the lightest and smallest they have in stock. The ones below the tape were from Knit Witts Yarn shop and are Dale of Norway clasps. These are I think my favorite, but I'll wait until the front bands are done before I decide finally. I did find not many places indicated size on their sites, but both of these are pewter not foiled nylon or plastic.



And these little oddities, which are twice as long as the photo shows, and have a knitting point on the other end. I sort of given up on the mythical addi turbo cro-needle, , just like the famous David Reidy, from sticks'n'string. But I did learn from David and his followers about these little hooked needles on sale at Lacis, traditionally used for Portuguese knitting (how to videos here and here), but ideal for picking up stitches around edges - just like on Fannigan! And cheaper! I stuffed up my order, and thought I was getting a set of 5, each in a different size, US0-4, but I got 5 all sized 2. I've been in contact with Lacis, and it was my error, I have now got a multi sized set coming - so now I have a set I guess sometime, well I just might learn how to knit Portuguese style. And yes, since you ask, some months I do contribute a little to New Zealands import/export exchange!

And new book, Suzanne/Magpie, well the two of us have been exchanging favors, Suzanne has family history links to Dunedin, that I've been able to source details on, and I wanted things from Knitpics who won't ship internationally, and for now I seem to have the best end of the deal. Suzanne gifted me a copy of Clara Parke's (Queen Bee at Knitters Review) new book - The Knitters Book of Yarn, the Ultimate guide to choosing, using and enjoying yarns. This book should be on any thinking knitters wish list, if not on their bookcase. Clara discusses fiber types, yarn types, whole chapters and ideas for 2ply, and then 3 ply, and 4 ply .... oh the information in this book. For me, a happy successful knitter is an informed knitter, and Claras book would go a long way towards making that happen.

8 comments:

Angelika said...

Can't wait to see more of the Andean Knitting.

Hilary said...

So pretty!

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh! All kinds of good things :) I love the Andean knitting -- the colors are so bright and lovely. And the spinning is really coming along! Did you say you'd just started? It's on my lifetime list of things to learn, but I'm taking my fiber arts one at a time right now...

KathyR said...

The Andean knitting is really lovely! It will be interesting to follow its progress. Your spinning is really coming on - it looks so fine and even. I'm glad you got it sorted with the whorl sizes. You're right about the lack of info on the Ashford site, and anywhere else I looked. I haven't had a lot of experience with double drive but I know the theories but my brain was just not co-operating when you asked on KR. You got a very good, in-depth response, though. Much better than anything I could have come up with. Lucky you getting your copy of Clara's book already! That is on my wish-list but will probably have to wait until after Christmas.

Desiknitter said...

That andean knitting is so pretty! It must be fun but daunting to strike out without a picture for all those colour changes. And I do believe it's the first I've seen of purl colourwork.

And I love those clasps!

Theresa said...

Your color combo looks fantastic.

Knitting Linguist said...

Hi :) Thanks SO much for the supportive comments. Also for the podcast recommendations. I'm going to go find all of those and download them -- it's so good to know that no-one here bats an eye at listening to knitting podcasts! I've already downloaded the ones from KnitPicks, which I am liking. BTW, are you on Ravelry? If you want to email, it's jahlers@csusm.edu :)

Kirsty said...

Oh that Andean knitting! Every morcel you show us makes my mouth water...