Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Inspired ...

This week I have been inspired by another knitter, something that happens all the time, when I see the knitters around me do clever beautiful things,when I see clever beautiful things on Ravelry and on blogs. This time it was a local knitter who has inspired me to finish and complete. As well I've been playing with my new hand carders, and making rolags, and I have that new project to introduce.

This is the project that inspired me, Kiwimoth from Ravelry gifted the youngest cub her Sanquhar mitts. Knitted in lace weight yarn, stranded, and on 1.25mm needles. The gauge is 13 stitches in 2cm, so 65 stitches in 10 cm or 4 inches, 17 stitches per inch - give or take. I am in awe, awe that Kiwimoth knit one, then two of these, awe that she gave them away! Her gift did inspire me to finish knitting mine, which has a gauge of 43 stitches in 10 cm or 4 inches, or 10 stitches to the inch. 
Here is the difference those seven extra stitches per inch make, on top Kiwimoths child sized mitt, underneath my more adult sized mitt.  One of the reasons I was dragging the chain on finishing mine was indecision. I didn't know if I wanted to make them gloves as the pattern was, I've never had a pair of gloves I felt comfortable in. I already had several pairs of mittens, and and to turn these into mittens seemed odd. When I saw how good Kiwimoths mitts looked, which she had finished with a teeny tiny picot edge ... I was inspired to do the same to mine.

I tried the picot edge, and it didn't really work.The top edge stretched, so I frogged and worked the picot again this time decreasing the facing stitches by a factor of 10%. I grafted the live stitches down .. but still the edge flared and the picot didn't sit on the edge. So I was in awe a third time that Kiwimoth had worked a picot edge at that gauge and had done so successfully. I frogged the top cuff back and worked a round of plain chocolate, then three rounds of single rib, then I worked two rounds of rib-slip to set up for a tubular cast off. I loved the final result, not as pretty as Kiwimoths, but neat and tidy.
I also spent some time playing with my hand carders, making little rolags. I turned a 100g  braid of soft silver grey Perendale from Vintage Purls into light sleek roalgs, and then spun a few.  I've played with long draw before, but not really felt in control of the process. After watching the two dvd's I bought I was convinced that like everything, success was reliant on good preparation. I have (Drafting the long and the short of it & How to card wool, as well as several books with instructions on carding it hand carders.   The thing about preparation seems true, because the silver grey rolags are a dream to spin.

I also visted you tube, and the most useful video I found was one by Hervorandweyland. Most videos and books told me the carding teeth should not touch, that they should skim over each other and not even mesh. I understood that to mean the teeth should just skim past each other, and I couldn't see how the fibre would be carded. This video shows the difference between a light hand with carding, where the teeth just brush past each other and meshing the teeth deep into each other (around the 2min mark), Seeing that made it clear to me that the teeth could touch, just not deeply.

I had so much fun spinning the first few rolads of pale grey that I dug around in the my stash to find something else to hand card into rolags. This is deep green, purple, wine merino, dyed by me 160g. At the base of the bag the fibre is more  black and green, at the top more wine and teal. I have no idea how I will ply it yet, but I plan to spin long draw.

And this little project, a hat, knit in the Knit one below style developed by  Elise Duvekot. The knitters study group project this month was Knit one below, which I have done not once but  twice before. I wanted to knit socks, but two things worried me, having enough yarn, I had 50 of the grey green and 100g of the variegated mauve, and fit. Elise recommends yarn with lycra or elastic fibres as being great for Knit one below socks, and I didn't have any yarn with lycra and didn't want to knit baggy socks. So I switched to knitting a hat, using the garter strip as the 'cast-on' edge. I love the way the stripes transition from the garter to the body of the hat. In an effort to stop the hat colours being to regular I'm switching the variegated and plain columns at the pale section of the colour way repeat.

I'm hoping that when little cub comes back from her grandads she will let me post her current project. She is knitting Elijah, and it is such a clever little project. The increases and decreases are all planned very carefully so the knitter knows exactly where and how to pick up stitches for the body, the legs, the arms, the ears and the trunk curls up a little because it has extra decreases to shape it upwards.

Take care
Knit lots, or spin, try long draw ... even
na Stella

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

The mitts turned out beautifully. I particularly love the hat, though - the colors are wonderful, and they work perfectly with the pattern. I've been bad about spinning lately, but I do have a long-draw project on the wheel (OTW?), it sounds to me like it's time to get back to it.