Friday, April 04, 2008

Finished object, mystery object!

Today, my EZ garter stitch baby blanket is finished, all snuggly warm and waiting for a baby to wrap up. No the baby is not here yet, but it must be close, its not my baby, its a friends baby and its only weeks away. I've got a mystery object (courtesy of Suzanne) so a guess what it is and win yummy sock yarn.

The baby blanket is done, all done, cast off, stitched together, and blocked. I wasn't going to block, after all it was thick squishy garter stitch - but after being stitched together it looked rumpled. the edges were ruffled and the seams thick and wrinkly- so I blocked it. I soaked the blanket in hot water with a little wool wash for 10 minutes, then I fulled it, kneaded the wet blanket as if it was bread dough until the double strands of four ply it was knitted with appeared as one.

I had several reasons for fulling the blanket. First the Mum-to-be said no one in her family knitted so a knitted thing would be lovely. I imagined with no knitters, then the skills to wash merino woolen things by hand would not be inherent. I'm not passing any kind of judgment on her blanket keeping skills here - but repeated cleaning knitted baby things of not-super wash merino and keeping them new looking is definitely a learned skill, and one I'd admit I'm still learning. Fulling the blanket takes away any chance of the blanket being washed and accidentally felted, as its already done.

My second reason - was to tighten up the stitches, to remove any chance of little baby fingernails snagging and pulling out loops of yarn, or getting stuck in the longer more open slipped edge stitches. Remember how fine and little and sharp the fingernails of new born babies are? How they snag all sorts of things? How those little skinny fingers get stuck in holes in knitted things? Fulling lessens that risk.

'after spinning the blanket out in the washing machine, I laid it on a clean sheet on the lounge floor to dry, all pinned and stretched flat, mostly to remove the edge ripples. I thought briefly about buying blocking wires, but .... decided that I should just get on with it. After all I was blocking this in my lunch break and had work things to do in the afternoon.

The baby blanket dried fast in the sun, and very flat, the seams melted beautifully into the structure of the garter stitch. I did sew one section in upside down, but with garter stitch, well a novice or non-knitter would probably never notice. I thought that unpicking the seams and re stitching it was foolish after I'd fulled it, the fulling making any changes almost impossible to do.

And so now I have a thick squwooshie garter blanket in sunny warm goldish yellow, just waiting for a baby shower and a baby. Nearly 4" thick of squwooshie warm sunny blanket, a cot sized blanket.

The left overs were tiny, look, only two wee balls of yarn and my swatch left. I had thought of adding an i-cord edging - but given how little yarn is left, will have to leave that for the next blanket.

Suzanne, sent me a little parcel with this yummy sock yarn, for which I am very thankful. American knitters all seem to experience those yarns which we on the far underside of the world only hear about, like Socks that rock. Well Suzanne enables my sock knitting no end, in the past Suzanne has convinced me to knit on two circs, to buy quality circs, and to try sock patterns with extraordinary shaping or construction details, now Suzanne is egging me on to knit more Cat Bordhi socks. She gifted me the CB custom sock kit from her Socks that Rock collection. The kit includes a pattern for a CB designed sock. I love those blues, truly my favorite colours, and they do resemble the colour of the sea, I love water, just love it and the colours of water make me happiest.

The yarn came with the cutest thing, a tiny skein of emergency sock yarn, labeled don't leave home without it.While I won't discuss the 'where are the knitting needles for the sock knitting emergency' the skein is so cute I've installed it on my key ring. Oh I know it is a fragile thing, but I can re-skein it if it snags, and this way I get to have sock yarn with me at all times. I'm also hoping to attract the attention of random sock knitters about town, ones I have not yet met. After all, how could you notice a skein of sock yarn on some ones key chain and not ask 'do you knits socks to'?

Finally, Suzanne's reason for including the sock yarn was to send me this, a knitting tool, what a great use of sock yarn skeins for packaging! . I've decided to tease you all and make identifying the object and its use a game. Leave me a comment saying what this is, and what it is used for - and I'll draw a name out of the entries and send the lucky person a skein of Vintage Purls sock yarn. I'll leave it open to the end of April, and you don't have to get it right to be in the draw. The winner gets to choose the sock yarn colour they like best. Vintage Purls yarns are up for sale on Ravelry, so apologies if you are not a R-groupie yet, you won't be able to see them. These are the same silky soft merino based yarn that I'm knitting Salto socks with.

Take care


KathyR said...

An interesting challenge indeed! My guess is that the object is used by running the yarn around it in order to conduct any static electricity away from the yarn and therefore the user.

Your finished blanket looks really lovely - soft and squishy!

Knitting Linguist said...

Hmmm...That's a good one. It appears to be a bobbin of some kind -- like the sort in a sewing machine except much much bigger.

I'm loving the baby blanket! It really looks amazing post-blocking and fulling, and the yellow is very cheerful. Enjoy your STR experience -- I hadn't realized you hadn't gotten to try them yet! I love their colors. Love, love, love them. And those little keychains are such fun - I always figure that if worse comes to worst, one could probably use toothpicks to knit in the event of a knitting emergency :)

MarĂ­a said...

is it a ball winder?

Sarah said...

I'm going to say that it is a mechanized sock yarn fluffer. It gives the yarn body before being wound for packaging...

Beautiful blanket! Such lovely colors:)

deepcreek said...

What are the chance that you attatch it to your spinning wheel to wind up mini centre pull balls?

Anonymous said...

csec from kiwi crafters here My sugestion is that you mount this between skein holder and ball winder to help yarn feed on to winder

ikkinlala said...

It looks like part of a ball winder to me. Or like one of those bead stringer things, except I don't think it's dished enough.

Anonymous said...

Csec here again I watched 'Country Calender' last night where I saw something very like you Knitting accessory on a commercial Knitting machine same pricipal as my previous guess, a 'runner'over which the yarn travels from cone to needles on a commercial knitting machine

Zebragirlnz said...

What an interesting looking object! I don't know what it is called, but is it like a bobbin that you can wind your skein of sock yarn onto, and then as you knit it spins and dispenses the yarn if you know what I am trying to say.

Jussi said...

Love those citrus-y colours - yum!
as for the objet? You sit your cone of yarn on it and it spins slowly as you knit, so that your yarn unwinds nicely.

Louise said...

Hi! I found your blog through Ravelry (I'm twentycentmix). Haven't knitted socks yet, but I think I'm getting closer to caving in, especially when I see all the yummy sock yarn out there! Ummm, not sure what the mystery object is, maybe part of a ball winder?

Shirley Goodwin said...

Crikey, someone has probably already won this, but I'm a bit slow on the uptake. I'd say it was a gadget for keeping separate different coloured wools for when you're knitting in colours. Instead of tangling them all up like I do!

Kate said...

It must be some kind of yarn guide - possibly for a knitting machine?

Anonymous said...

Wild guess . . . but without looking at anyone else's guesses to confuse myself, I think the mystery object is something that guides the yarn between skein and hand-wound ball as you wind it.

Love the baby blanket and your photography is always so stunning and shows off your knitting so well.

Kate (Knitapotamus on ravelry)