Saturday, March 28, 2009


As if this hobby wasn't addictive enough, with all the soft fibers, the pretty colours, the amazing knit stitch dictionaries, the clever designers ... and the beautiful tools. Just when I have it sort of under control, in the loosest sense, a new book on a knitting technique seems custom made for knitting with hand spun yarn ... a combination that really fuels two of my current addictions - there is no hope, and I'd have to admit to not seeking treatment yet. Today ... I'll share my latest connection, a finished hat and another all ready on the way, an update on Signe, and an exhibition that is a must see if you are in Dunedin (or look out for one near you).

Knit one below by Elise Duvekot arrived last Tuesday, its now Sunday. I've fallen, one and a half hats latter I'm a convert, there will be more, much more of this knitting for me. I do have to thank Suzanne (aka Magpie) for alerting me to the blog and Ravelry buzz around this book. Elise Duvekot has a simple technique for using variegated (or not) yarns to create vertical stripes in knitted work. And it need not be vertical stripes, it can be squares, or a mosaic of colour, or some other pattern, graphic or subtle. The fabric created by her knitting technique is amazing, flat, flexible and with a soft floppy drape. I thought this might be worth a try for my Dad's birthday hat. One of the patterns had a similar gauge to the hand-spun I had swatched .... well it was knit on the nearly same size needles (3.5mm vs 3.75mm) ... so I took a chance, cast on 72 stitches and knit away. What fun, absolute fun, watching the hand-spun colours work up into vertical stripes. What more fun to realize this knits into a fabric where the edge has no curl ... yes, this fabric is flat and does not curl. Knit in a solid colour yarn, you would get a rib effect stocking stich with no curl.

I'll admit to breaking and joining the odd section of yarn, just so as I would be working with yarns of two different colours. I used a hand-spun, navaho plied from a hand dyed roving. Hand-spun yarns made from roving like that tend to have long colour changes and if spun a certain way, have graduated sections between the pure colour sections. I see a very very nice use for many of those hand dyed rovings that have called to me from various sales tables .... now I see more than pretty fiber, I see hats, mittens, blankets, scarves, shawls, socks ... and even whole garments. this link here has the projects from Knit One Below shown, and if you scroll down ... the socks, well those socks. I almost texted my yarn supplier at 10pm on the evening the book arrived ' black and white please... or pale grey to work with my Bears Bunker Please'. My addiction is a polite one at least. I never did text her ... but the intention is there.

The back of the knitting has a pretty cool appearance as well, Elise describes it as little swallows, and its pretty. Long story short .. you might have noticed the hat was modeled by Toby, who fits this hat well, and it is clear that hat will be a trifle small for my Dad. His birthday is on the 25th of April, so I have time. After all, this one took only a few days.

So I've cast on another, and renamed the first Not-Grandad's Hat. My dad has become Grandad, as adults of his generation do, its just clearer when my Dad is known as Grandad, and this families Dad is Bear ... otherwise it gets fairly confusing, when I talk of 'Dad' my kids were never sure if I meant my dad or theirs. Not-Grandad's Hat weighs 34g, and I have 55g of yarn left so I think I have enough to knit a turned back cuff on the Real-Grandad's Hat. I've added 4 more stitches ... which should be enough to make it fit a little more easily.

Much of the reason I have knitted on the two Grandad Hats, is that I became confused by Singe. I've been in touch with the Designer, , and she has clarified my confusion and posted a really informative update on her blog, showing clearly her clever thumb gusset construction. I do have to say ... it differs a little from that in the pattern instructions (e.g. waste yarn vs cast on and latter pick up), and now I'm clear about how to work the gusset increases and decreases. Yes Johanne Landin, not only works a gusset , but then reverses that shaping, and she decorates the gusset as it decreases. Very very clever, I'm looking forward to working that.

Now I don't spend all my time knitting, Today we headed off to the opening of a Fringe Festival Exhibition at the Art Gallery (DPAG), on Chindogu, which was brilliant. (Note the link is to an explanatory site on Chindogu -not the exhibition I was at). Simply brilliant, there was no knitting there (why) or Tatting (Suzanne, surely tatting is Chindogu?), but my all time favorite was either the public bathroom tap that squirted soapy water when used. The inventor had concerns about washing their hands only to have to open a public door perhaps used by many others, some of whom perhaps were not so careful to wash their hands. The other was by a child, a mere boy of 10, who simply strapped a shrub in a bucket onto roof-rack, as a low carbon-neutralizing attachment for a car. Fabulous - rib crackingly fantastic, I'm still giggling

na Stella


neurula said...

I'll have to go to that exhibition! I remember buying my dad the Chindogu book of 101 useless Japanese inventions, when I was about 10..

Knitting Linguist said...

Oh, I love it! What a great idea (the shrub on the car) :) And those hats are absolutely gorgeous. Dang it, now there's *another* book I have to get!!

Shirley Goodwin said...

I've seen that book mentioned on one of the knitting emails I get - the hat looks great!

Suzanne said...

Tatting probably is Chindogu. Don't tell the others I said that, they'll lynch me!

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.