Sunday, March 23, 2008

About matching the begining to the sides to the ends

Happy easter, belatedly, but happy easter all the same. Its Easter Monday here, home made easter buns with currents, honey, craisins and candied peel were made and eaten on Friday, and between visiting friends, and supervising bike riding at the park - there has been a lot of fiber activity, a new sock started, my carding machine is up and working so I had fun yesterday carding and blending, the renovated parts for my Pippy spinning wheel arrived, so I just had to spend some of the easter break spinning, plus a new video of an easy crochet cast-on that is a match for both a slipped stitch edging and the old fashioned chained cast off. Here goes ....

New project socks, but first the yarn, this is sock yarn (75% super-wash merino/25% nylon) kettle dyed by Vintage Purls, and it is so soft, very soft. This colour is beautiful, I deny any one to not have warm and sunny feet while wearing it. The pattern is Salto by Rebekkah Kerner, from the latest Knitty, and is lovely to work so far as long as you follow the charts exactly. I did get a little carried away with the ribbing, working more than required - but I'm not going back to frog, and I ignored the shaded purl stitches either side of the cable chart which threw the stitch count out a couple of times until I just did exactly what the pattern said, instead of what I thought it said. The green- blue yarn keeping the sock company is a sock yarn trial I've spun, a little 3 ply and a cabled 4 ply - just to see what finished thickness the yarns will be when spin them. The other sock pattern I mentioned last post, "American in China" on my to knit list will be from that yarn.

Which is going to be made from this, Perendale combed sliver from the Milton mill, but this lot passed thru the dye pot of M, and who then included 20% of nylon dyed to match for sock durability. This fiber was a gift for sharing the little tips and tricks we've found out about Wing wheels and its maintenance - I think I got the best end of the bargain, these colours are amazing!

After a few trips thru the drum carder I had this, 5 huge lofty batts of blended fiber. The quite separate yellow, natural white, green and blues became a subtle aqua paua shade I blended these 3 times thru the carder to mute every thing, but it still has that interest that dyed in the fiber material has, and dyed in the skein does not. Reputedly about 200g of fiber, to me, a newbie to carding it looks much more than needed for socks ... but I'm learning with spinning to much is better than not enough. There are several hand spun skeins of 100m length in my stash now, which I have to find a use for some time.

.. and now its being spun on the working Pipy, which is just delightful to use.

And finally talking about cast ons, there is much out there in books and the internet about matching a cast of to a cast on. Most of the talk is how to match a cast-off to either a twisted stretch german cast on, or a tubular cast on, but sometimes simple is best. I often knit garter stitch wash cloths, and BSJ's, and at times other designs featuring garter stitch (Tomten anyone? Baby blankets?), and I always slip first stitch purl-wise so I have a nice chained stitch edge along the side of my knitting. To match this I use what must be the oldest cast-0ff technique,, the chain stitch cast off.

More recently I have been using Montse Stanleys crochet cast on to continue the chain effect right around the garter stitched piece. I re-read her instructions on how to do this when knitting my andean folk hat. The tiny puntas needed a chained edge, and this was much easier than picking up from a crochet chain on 2mm needles (size 0), in fine lace weight 2 ply.

Here is an example of the cast-on and a cast-off, matching, so well matching, I'm not sure exactly which is which. Well ... I think the top one is the cast off, it is a little more even and tighter. Below shows the slipped stitch chain edging, which also matches nicely.

Hope the easter break was relaxing, not to much chocolate, nice weather, and some fiber time


Knitting Linguist said...

The spinning is looking great! And I know (now) exactly what you mean about those 100 yd hanks of yarn. Jan suggested in my comments making a small cushion cover out of one of them, which I might actually do, as I love the color, so I offer that your way, too :) The aqua of that roving is just lovely -- I can't wait to see how it knits up!

Anonymous said...

Oh, oh, oh - your playing with stuff I dyed! I can't tell you how exciting it is to me to see other people use my yarn - I have to restrain myself from stalking and hugging them. All your work beautiful as per usual.

Doespins said...

Hi Stell,
Really enjoy your blog.
I like to recard predyed roving too sometimes, good to see someone else does it as well. I'm even guilty of dyeing it with different colours with recarding and blending in mind, weird hey?
The aqua batts are lovely.

Windyridge said...

That's some pretty luscious looking fiber!


i came looking for one thing and found not ask me how i was originally taught this but trust me, it was sure harder...especially if i didn't hold my mouth right! i have have been able to remember it so have to review my notes each time. this method even my simple brain can retain!