Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Swatching swatching, but what will I knit?

I did this last year, knit 'lots-a-little-things' because I couldn't decide what to knit. I'm not sure if that is the time of the year, with my holiday drawing to a close, or the end of large projects and the lull that follows - but I'm in that 'what do I do next' space, yes I am. Still there is knit stuff to show and tell today, a video of that cute little chain decoration, two lots of swatches, the sweater grows, ...... oh, oh, oh, a finished object, and new camera. How could I forget things like that?

Video - more twined knitting, this time how to make what the official authors call 'crook' stitches, but what I think of as little chains. Knitting chains is a lot like knitting double layer fabric, except you want the purls to be on show not hidden, and you want the two yarns to cross over and twist together, so the layers are stuck together. Theresa Vinson Stenersen has a good intro to Twined knitting on Knitty, and there was a little on Knitting with color way back in 2004. Let me know if you find or know of other online resources. The video has instructions for the 2nd row - right at the end,
Note added 18 Jan 2008 The video seems to hitch up at the 8 second mark, just drag the slider on a little and it will resume play. I've uploaded it twice, and re-edited as a quick-time movie again - but the problem still exists (I'm blaming blogger - it plays just fine at home and on u-tube).

Blue merino, do you remember that I was spinning up some 22 micron merino fiber, well it is now all spun, into a 3 ply, at about 19-20 wpi, and totals 750m. I spent some time yesterday dying it blue, and plan to knit a shrug for Poppy and embroider it with colourful daisies using left over yarn from the Ccatta hat. It is to match some cute shoes she is about to grow into. Thats the plan - lets see if it happens or if I get distracted. Now I can make a start on my 'spinning home-work', and spin much thicker and lighter stuff.

Finished sock alert, my 'not' merino lace socks are finished, and with only a little yarn left over. Not merino, because I didn't knit them with merino yarn obviously. With the lace involving lots of k2tog and ssk, the socks have a thickness and warmth that is very nice, but seems entirely inappropriate when we are in the midst of a very summer patch of weather. I washed and dried these on my home made sock blockers, and it has opened up the lace and now the socks present very professionally. I like the effect, very much. These were knit on 2 circs, two at a time, which seemed slow during but it was nice to finish both together. 2 Circs is a great way to knit lace, but I do like my wood or bamboo dpns - for now I think I will swing between the methods depending on what I'm knitting.

Swatch for new project, this is planning for a new sock, in great yarn. Bambewe fingering, Zen String Hopi, from Austin Texas (thanks Suzanne!). This yarn has Merino, Bamboo and nylon and feels like silk but should wear like iron with both bamboo and nylon. My gauge swatch is in the round with sections of both stocking stitch and slip stitch patterning - I love the little v patterning with the slip stitch rows, I've never really felt the appeal for stripy sock yarns - but with slip stitches, a whole new appreciation has opened up for me. This is for Cat Bordhi's Bartholomews Tantalising socks, for me. I am thinking sock swatches should become little jewelery or stitch marker gift bags, perhaps?

Usually my sock projects are take out knitting and my sweaters are at-home concentrate knitting, but this time I think there will have to be more focus on the knitting these socks that my current sweater project. For xtra Brownie points, I hand wound the yarn into the ball using my new home made re-appropriated nostepinne. I recognised the shape of my $1-$2-$3 shop cheap and cheerful pizza dough rolling pin was tapered enough to be a good Nostepinne. Yesterday I sanded it smooth and cut a little yarn notch in one end. We do have 3 other rolling pins - so will still get home made pizza, don't worry. I was so exited about the re-appropriation I wound all my little sock left overs into neat balls awaiting making into fish. FYI - winding using a hand operated winder is much much faster.

And I've spent a night swatching, yes I too have been lured into the We call them pirates craze, except I haven't. I've had this hat on my to knit list since last June (Winter for us in NZ), for Toby. With my not merino lace socks finished, I pulled out my 4 ply fingering bone and black alpaca in stash and worked a swatch - but - I think the moment might have passed, both for the knitting of and the wearing of. I'd rather knit socks right now, or something else. Still the hat and yarn will keep for another day, or year or pattern.

The possum merino sweater grows, I'm stuck in the stocking stitch wastelands of a mid torso, but given Toby is only 8, and skinny, I should be onto sleeves in a week or so. Depending of course on how tantalizing and how much pull Bartholomew's socks really have....

New camera, we are still in the process of applying for insurance. We will get it but they need the documentation that the old camera can't be repaired. Given Minolta's are no longer imported into NZ, so there is no agent, its a given repairs are not possible - but we need an official report. However I plunged and bought a new Panasonic DMC-FZ8 in silver. The Panasonic has the same bright lens specs as the Minolta (f 1:2.8-3.3) and a fab Leica lens, so I'm happy. I 'should' have bought a digital SLR Nikon to take advantage of the 20+ Nikon lenses Bear has for his F5, that would have been the sensible buy, but I didn't want to have to ask to borrow a lens, I wanted my camera to be my camera, just call me independent.



jussi said...

I'm exhausted just reading!

I love those "little chains" I got all excited about them last week after seeing them in "Traditional scandinavian knitting" I find tiny details such as these charmimg.

Hope you have settled on something to knit - or have you changed your mind and started on something else entirely??!

Knitting Linguist said...

You've got a lot going on! I totally sympathize with the stockinette wasteland (as you know!), so I'll send you swift knitting thoughts. Meanwhile, though, your swatches are great fun, and I love the idea of using the sock swatches as small present bags! I always end up frogging mine in case I run out of yarn (which I tend not to do, so I don't know why I do it). The homemade pizza sounds good -- it's one of our favorites around here :)

Sarah said...

Howdy! Welcome back! Well, I guess you've been here for a bit, but I didn't realize it:)

Thanks for the bead love! It's quite addictive, and I totally don't count them as stash or WIPs! Denial is my best friend.

Those Not Merino Socks are calling my name really loudly. So distracting to hear that little sock voice everywhere you go. Problem is I don't have any sock yarn that would look as good as yours! Even though I have 18+ miles. It's just never enough;) So I guess I'll have to plug my ears until I can get some yarn with silver strands!

Love the twined knitting too. You always show such beautiful techniques. And I often run right out and try them because they're so lovely on your projects. I think I'll try this on my next sweater:)