watervole: (Default)
 About five years ago, I started knitting  a pair of Norwegian socks.  The pattern comes from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush and should look like this



I got about half way down one leg and then I stopped. I cannot now tell you why I stopped, because I can't remember.  Life throws you wibblies and sometimes you abandon projects when a wibbly hits.

A few months ago, I was feeling organised and I picked them up again.  In the intervening time, I'd worked out how to do two colour knitting with the technique of knitting English with one hand and Continental with the other.  It makes the knitting much faster as you don't have to keep swapping from one ball of wool to the other.  I also (thanks to Youtube) found a better way of catching in the strands of yarn (of the colour you aren't using) that float across the back of the knitting.

I did a tension square and was all ready to get going again.

Then disaster struck!

I  found a inch wide hold in the part sock I'd already knitted, and lots of breaks in some of the balls I was about to use. Moth!  How much yarn had I lost, could I salvage anything, should I abandon the project alltogether?

It took a couple of weeks research, increasing puzzlement because of the total lack of visible larvae, droppings, etc, before I noticed some short, pale hairs on the yarn and my brain finally flipped back five years and I remembered.

It wasn't moth. It was Molly's greyhound!

Probably because the balls smelled of sheep, the dog had taken to grabbing them and running off with them.  I hadn't realised at the time how much damage had been done, but greyhounds have big, sharp teeth.  (Maybe that was why I'd abandoned the socks?)

I've now rewound the worst affected balls and removed all bits less than 2 ft long - I'm sure Molly would have been pleased that I managed to work out how to use the swift and ball winder that I picked out from her collection after she died.

However, I've lost quite a bit of yarn in the process.  Whether I have enough to complete the socks is a tricky question.  I've weighed all the bits, and the stuff I've completed so far, and I still don't know....  It's an imported yarn and it's going to be very tricky to replace (although it is still produced in Norway).  The places I can find selling it are in the states and the  price for a single ball to the UK is crazy.  

I'm thus going a bit by guesswork (because I can't yet predict the weight of the part of the sock that I haven't done).  I'm aiming to reduce the length slightly, and do the back of the heel and maybe the toes in the remainder of the ball from the contrast colour at the top, but I really don't know if I'm going to make it or not....

Cross your fingers for me, and if you have any Heilo Dalegarn yarn in black or grey, just give me a wave!

watervole: (knitting)
A few months ago, as part of my resolution to get more of a social life, I started a new knitting group locally.  It's very small, usually only two of us show up, but we get on well, so continue meeting once a month.

Yesterday morning, I got a phone call from a lady who'd been given my number by the owner of a local knitting shop (I'd left details of the group with her).  Perfect timing, as we meet on the first Wednesday of the month.

She came along yesterday evening to our gathering in the cafe at the local gym and it really was perfect timing for her.  She was stuck on her first pair of socks and couldn't understand the instruction as to what to do next.  I showed her how to shape the heel and Jenny showed her how to pick up the new stitches to turn everything round and start the gusset.

She was a very happy knitter!  She left with a real sense of accomplishment and we both felt really happy at having been able to help her.

We're all three looking forward to next month.
watervole: (knitting)
Richard and Henry have pretty much mastered cross-stitch appreciation, but still have to work on knitting.

For gentlemen who want to know how to do it, here are the fail-safe techniques:

(the advantage of this technique is that it requires no knowledge and can be memorised for handy faking)

1. Look closely at the piece of work for at least ten seconds.  Bonus points if you examine the back as well as the front.

2.  Say one of the following:  "That's really neat", "It must have taken you ages", "I love the colour".

3.  For advanced marks, try one of these: "Which was the most difficult part?", (Pick any bit that looks different from the rest) "How did you do that bit?"

Remember, this is advanced, because you now have to listen attentively to the answer and appear to understand it.

4.  Now, for the highest marks of all - this one is dicey as you will have to actually wear the article in question - "Can you make one for me?"

Remember these handy tips, they will save you from ever having to know the ins and outs of heel flaps, increasing, decreasing, pattern reading and the various types of self-patterning wool.
watervole: (shaun)
While looking for a suitable knitting icon (by putting 'knitting' into Google), I came across Naughty Needles. So, I post the link here mainly for the amusement of <lj user=rockwell666> in thanks for him making a much nicer knitting icon than the one I'd made for myself.  (He made the Shaun one!)

It's a link you probably only want to follow if you're into burlesque dancing or BDSM (as well as knitting, of course).  That will eliminate many of my flist, but I reckon at least half a dozen of you will click on the link!

watervole: (Default)
Just finished the toe of my second sock with Kitchener stitch (as I wasn't totally happy with the shape of the round toe in  the pattern).

The technique is also known as grafting.  It's a way of joining up two pieces of knitting so that they appear totally seamless, like a continuous piece of knitting.  so, it goes up the front, over the toe and down under the foot without  a break.

This is a truly scary experience.  If you lose track of exactly where you are, (and it's very easy to do so), then you can be very lost indeed.

Fortunately, I got through the experience relatively unscathed, but I recommend anyone trying this to count their way through the steps very carefully and to make sure that you can't be distracted by anything else before you get to the end.

You, know, I really need a knitting icon!

I bought myself a book on folk socks on Richard's behalf for my very belated birthday present...

watervole: (Default)
Making progress.  I have now mastered the art of knitting with four needles in a circle, as testified to by a centimetre of ribbing.

I'm still using my scrap wool.  I want to see if I can follow the instructions for turning a heel before I go into my nicer wool.

One problem.  The pattern tells me to use 44 [52,56,64,68] stitches for the leg, but gives no clue as to what size of actual leg these are likely to fit.  It gives details for length of foot and length of leg, but no clues as to circumference of leg.

does anyone have suggestions for what circumference of leg sock patterns typically cater for.

Knitting

Apr. 27th, 2010 07:58 pm
watervole: (Default)
Thanks to those who recommended knitting help; I've found it every bit as good as promised.  I seem to be settling easily into the Continental knitting style.

I'm practising on some scrap wool from a charity shop before I use my proper sock wool.  I've mastered ribbing continental style now.  I think I'll now move onto the circular knitting, still with the scrap wool, and see if I can do a short bit of ribbing and then turn a heel.  That could be interesting...

Knitting

Apr. 23rd, 2010 09:09 pm
watervole: (Pike - craggy)
I've decided to try knitting.  I've bought some wool and a basic sock pattern  (I know socks aren't the easiest thing to start with, but they're small and I fancy giving it a try).

I have successfully knitted a jumper and a cardigan in the past, but that was mumblety years ago.  Thus, I feel the need to pretty much start again from scratch - I can't even remember what the instructions in a pattern mean (though they'll probably come back relatively easily).

What would people recommend as a web site to show techniques of casting on, basic interpretation of patterns and how to do things like adding/joining stitches.

Also, am I better going with the English knitting that I remember, or trying to learn how to knit Continental?
watervole: (Default)
A friend (in a locked post) just mentioned that she was trying 'continental' knitting.

I'd never heard of it before, so did a quick hunt and found this excellent little video  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLFl36tDY

If I ever take up knitting again, I shall definitely try and teach myself to do it that way.  It looks both faster and easier.

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Judith Proctor

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