Sunday, May 28, 2006

Stitch markers

Basically I had enough of the improvised stitch markers I am using at the moment. I bought some thin rubber hair bands from Claire's last year and they are sort of ok-ish when knitting wool or cotton but it's a total nightmare using them when knitting mohair yarn as they get totally tangled.
After a lot of frustration I thought I deserve more, so I've started doing some googling in order to buy some proper ones.
The conclusion is there is no way I am going to pay 14 pounds for a set of four, when I need at least three sets for my doillies.
So what's left if not the old Back to DIY.
Research phase : I've asked Angel yarns forum and got all the advice I needed, thank you all.

Here is me, two hours later, in Leeds, in Corn Exchange getting the components.

Prior to this was the trip to Hobby Craft - there is where I bought the tools and the pins from.

And here is the result, this morning.

One single remark for who ever wants to try it: my sticth markers will be ok for thin needles, but the ring is too small for normal knitting (on 4-5 mm needles or bigger).
I've used 7 mm jump rings, 10 mm would have been much better.

And was it cheaper doing then buying them? No way! But it was definitely FUNNIER :) .

Thursday, May 25, 2006

FO - Entrelac sweater

This is my first entrelac achievement: Debbie Bliss Entrelac sweater.

It took me almost two months to finish it and I've really enjoyed it. Entrelac is fun and addictive.
Noro yarns are great, I've used Kureyon, which is quite thick - my hands and wrists were hurting for days after finishing the sweater.
It's all the turning in entrelac which makes it very difficult to handle.
Knowing this now, I would probably use Silk Garden for any next Noro project.
The picture is taken in Scotland in Stonehaven - during a two days kiosk installation session in Aberdeen - and I was really glad I had this sweater ready - I definitely did not expect 1 grade Celsius temperature in the middle of May.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Flower Basket Shawl

Quote of The Post

"It is our choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. "
- Albus Dumbledore

That's next on my list - Flower Basket shawl.

I think I finally found the right yarn for it : it's Blue Sky Alpaca Silk in brick red.

I've started the shawl a few weeks ago with Jamieson's Ultra and I didn't like the way it turn out - the yarn is too thin, so it went back on the ball.

I ordered the new alpaca from US, from and stronly hope I am not going to be disappointed by the color - buying online is tricky, specially with my laptop monitor.
And I've also received a color chart yesterday from Artesano Alpaca - so I know exactly what I'm buying next :) for a short sleeve blouse.
But I need a financial recovery first.
No, I'm not broken due to 4 skeins of silk Alpaca, it's because I've been greedy and ordered 900 grams of Aurora 8 violet as well, in the same order ... well, just could not resist. And to save on shipment, of course.

I start to wonder what's more addictive : the knitting itself or buying yarns...
Please feel free to vote on this thought :).

Monday, May 08, 2006

Joining Entrelac shoulders seamlessly

Thanks God, finally finished both parts of my Noro entrelac sweater.
My hands and wrists are hurting - the parts are quite heavy and it's too much 'turning' in this entrelac technique. I need to learn to knit backwards.
Anyway, it's Joining Time !
All other problems I had seam to fade away as, at this stage, the pattern only says : join the parts together :).
I am not going to complain again about the pattern, as it definitely has a good part as well: it does force you into thinking a lot.
I've rejected the idea of closing triangles from the start, so I needed to come up with something else, more intelligent eventually.
And this something else needs to be a seamlessly method!

I started with a few hours of staring at both parts lying flat on the table, trying to fit them together in different ways. Finally enlightenment struck.

You want to find out the result, don't you?
Well, in this case send me an email to enroll in my knitting class or simply pay a fee for written instructions.

Sorry, just joking :).

Right, stay tuned. Here it is what I've noticed:

- If you end up both parts on the same side ( WS or RS ), you'll be able to get them together perfectly like this, the open stitches facing each other and the edges being parallel with each other. Well - it looks OK but actually it isn't: as the blocks are suppose to be oriented against each other and not parallel with each other!

- But, if you knit one more row for the front part, which was good anyway as it's going to push the back a bit down, then you get the blocks facing in the right direction: against each other.
Now, try to get the parts together again and you'll notice, (sh..t), they don't fit anymore!
Don't despair - what you can do to get them to interlace is to shift one of the parts slightly to the right or to the left - your choice. Just make sure you are shifting the other side symmetrically. I've decided to shift the front in a kind of inner position, the back part end triangles covering the edge of the front on both sides.
You will need to work an extra triangle at one of the edges - but this is easy to figure out.
See image.

So, now it's a case that the blocks are against each other, as in normal entrelac, and you have to join four live stitches with a block edge.
My method is quite simple and worked very well - it might be that there are other better ways.
What I did was to pick up four stitches from the edge of the block and get them alternatively on one single needle, together with the live stitches : one live stitch, one picked-up, one live stitch, one picked-up etc. You'll end up with 8 stitches and all you have to do is work them on the WS , 4 times (k2tog). The result is 4 stitches.
Just continue like this for each block. You might need to 'k2tog through the back' on some blocks - decide this by checking on the RS that the picked up stitches don't get twisted after k2tog.
Turn at the end of the row and cast-off all stitches. All this is happening on the WS, right?
Done,that's all.
You will end up with a kind of zig-zag seam on the WS, but it's just making the shoulders to look a bit higher.
I am really proud about the result - there is no way you can see any difference between the knitted rows and the joined ones.
...Sleeves next !