Saturday, June 14, 2008

one spoilt knitter

I was one spoilt knitter yesterday, with six hours of social knitting, first at the Knitters study group run by Lorna, and second at our little WWKIP event. As a result I do owe Bear some darkroom time to repay all the solo childcare on Saturday - A happy bear is an unstressed bear, and continuous care of small bears can lead to bear-stress. Today's post includes my latest cast-on project (a striped BSJ), a twined mitten update, a report of our little WWKIP event. and the recipe for the home made wool wash, following multiple requests, here, on email and via Ravelry.

The item under study at the Knitters Study group for June and July is a hooded BSJ, but Lorna being Lorna has little sneaky tricks and clever techniques to share with us. Despite that I frogged this one inch after the cast on. I managed to mistake my counting marker (placed every 50 stitches during the cast on to prevent me loosing count) for a decrease marker. Then I knit 1" of a BSJ for a deformed baby. One sleeve was much longer than the other. So I frogged, and began again.

I also found the Baby Surprise bootie in The Opinionated Knitter and knit me one of those, but then forgot to photograph it, so will save that for next time. I think it need to be knit in stripes to really amaze, I knit it plain.

Usually when knitting garter stitch, colour changes take place on a right side row, but Lorna has a sneaky trick to enhance the colour changes. When its time to change colours, knit the right side row as *K1 purple, K1 bone*, repeat to end. Then knit the subsequent rows in bone. Look what happens, a neat little row of dots just after the colour changes. How cool is that?

And on the wrong side, short floats of one stitch long. The other trick was to knit the decreases as centered decreases. Slip 2 stitches together as if to knit, knit one, pass slipped stitches over. This reverses the order of the slipped stitches so the center stitch in the decrease is on top, and the decrease ends up straight, not left leaning. Very very nice. I've done this before, but it was nice to be reminded of all the available options.

And before I got to study group, my twined mitten grew a little, see?

WWKIP day, we meet, a small group as many of the study group knitters had already devoted from 11-2 of their Saturday to knitting, so were not able to join us to knit from 2-5 in town. A hard core of 6 of us knit away in public (4 in the photo here - the rest were shy), and were joined by another 3, one random passer by, and 2 who came looking for our WWKIP event. If a group grows by 50% - well thats a success in my book. And yes, that is some spindle spinning going on.

And finally Wool Wash - the home made kind
to 4 cups boiling water add 4 cups Lux soap flakes or grated pure soap.
Whiz using a stick blender (my original instructions said to beat using a wooden spoon - but life is to short for some things)
Add 1 cup of methylated spirits and 1 Tbsp (25ml) of Eucalyptus essential oil (or other scent)
Whiz together again. My original instructions said to put in a large jar, seal and shake until mixed - that never worked for me, it leaked and it never blended, just stayed lumpy.
At this stage it will look like greenish water, leave it alone overnight and it will set into firmish white jelly.
To use : dissolve 1 Tbsp in warm water and swish the woolens, or soak the woolens, rinse. I've been told it doesn't need rinsing, but as its soap and soap can irritate I rinse. I've rubbed this direct into dirt on Toby and Poppy's knitwear, and preschool paint, and its worked wonders. Rub the jelly into the stain before you wet the garment, then soak gently. Disclaimer - I'm not promising this is any better than the stuff you buy, or that it works better, but we like making and using it.

happy soap making


Webfrau said...

Brilliant, thanks for the wool wash recipe. I must try it.

Windyridge said...

Oooh I bet the wool smells good with that eucalyptus!

kms said...

i never get sick of the wonder that is the BSJ and so happy to have the wool wash recipe, i restrained myself from asking so thanks!

Knitting Linguist said...

Sounds like a great weekend all the way around! I am loving those twined mittens. I may have to make a pair for myself (because I need mittens in San Diego *how* often?!). :)