Monday, February 06, 2006

Hunting for yarns around Halifax

  • For Debbie Bliss I would go in John Lewis. They stock lots of colors and types. The store in Sheffield is pretty good.
  • For anything else than designer wool, I would go in Bradford : Texere Yarns Mill. Visiting the Mill is in itself a great experience - three huge floors packed with all sort of yarns. They stock alpaca, mohair, wool, cotton, basically anything you might imagine. And the people are very nice and helpful.
Texere Yarns Mill

    <>For posh designer yarns visit Attica in Hebden Bridge. We bought two skeins of gorgeous Colinette in order to get Georgia to take up knitting. They stock Noro as well. It is a small shop - but very nice and friendly atmosphere.
Colinnete from Attica
  • I guess ColdSpring Mill is OK for bargains - Ioana found some nice colorful wool for a scarf and here is her progress.

2005 - Year of cable

The story:
At some point last year David went visible annoyed that I am demanding too much of his time, so he suggested I should take up a hobby of my own : Why can't you do knitting for a change, he said :).
I highly appreciated his point of view - as obviously a man needs to have more space and time to keep the remote, the TV and the sofa hot.
So I thought - knitting would not be such a bad idea afterall.
I went through a phase of searching for yarns and designer magazines and this was quite exciting - I remembered my old good times in the knitting arena :).
Finally I found a nice pattern for me, unfortunately the most important part was crochet and I had to cancel the idea.
BUT, as it happens, we've seen a nice sweater pattern for men and I said to myself: let's reward him and make him a sweater. He got me into knitting again after all :).
Here is the original pattern, it's a Jo Sharp design - Book no. 2.

and here is the result, after 4 months. I made a few change to the original design, as I did not like the sleeves :)) .
It took aprox. 1 kg Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran.

My first doily experience

...And how (and why) I failed.
Well, as a start, I chose the wrong yarn, the wrong needles and the wrong pattern :). Did I forget anything :) ?
The pattern is called 'Konigin' and it's from a German publication : Kunststricken. In German, Kunststricken means lace knitting.

Right, here is the beginning.
First I failed a few times to put 8 stiches on 4 needles - don't assume it's easy coz it ain't.
In all knitting magazines you will see nice diagrams depicting this stage - well nothing beats the real life.
Sitting at the table helps a lot, do not do it on the sofa and don't imagine you will watch TV in the same time.
This is my doily after 4 hours of struggle.

The cotton is Twilley's no. 5, with a 3 mm needle.
The yarn label asked for a 3.25 mm needle, so I thought it's going to be ok. Well, it wasn't !
After another 3 days, I started to have big doubts about my doily being 2D :).
Went on a forum and got the obvious advice : try to block it : and I did !

If you want it flat then look at the effect this has for the next sector - it ruffles.
Now about the pattern. Here is the original photo.

Can you see the red circle? That area is suppose to be 8 stiches of plain knit. And there is a dark line right in the middle : that's a shadow - the original does not lie flat either.

And here is a bit of the pattern.

It grows quite fast in row 23 to 35 : more than 8 stiches per round, as it would suppose to do, at least according to this article:

My conclusions :

Analyze the pattern before starting. Go with the 'pattern recommended' thread/needle or equivalent. Do not assume any yarn would do with the 'yarn label recommended' needle size.

I would start again probably, with a size 30 or 40 cotton on a 3 mm needle, but I haven't got much enthusiasm left at the moment.

Friday, February 03, 2006

10 Principles of Knitting

10 Principles of Knitting

1. It's all about the awesome yarn choices. Simple stitches & patterns create gorgeous pieces.
2. Strive to relax and have fun. Do not strive for perfection.
3. Be clever & daring. Take a risk!
4. Every mistake can be fixed.
5. Swatch, swatch, swatch.
6. Set goals, not deadlines.
7. Never stop learning.
8. Share the legacy, teach someone to knit.
9. Put your signature on each gift.
10. Knit with love.