As readers of my blog, you will know that Tony and I have been forced to stay in Beaufort NC. This has not been a bad thing and we are both thoroughly enjoying ourselves and making the very best of the situation.
Tony will be writing a post at some point in time about his pursuits, but for now this is all about me!!
Knitting and designing will never fail to keep me entertained and I have been using this current “down time” to further explore the wonderful world of Double Knitting – I’m not talking about a weight of yarn, but a style of knitting. Last summer I spent numerous hours preparing a class and compiling a lengthy hand out and an entry level pattern – “Cell Mitt” (available at London Yarns and here) and subsequently taught the very basics of DK. However, this subject is so vast and the possibilities are endless and the more I delve, the more I find. Many of you realize that the type of knitting that excites me is the “thinking outside of the box” variety rather than the “ho hum” type and DK most certainly fits the bill.
Double Knitting is a way of knitting a double faced fabric while knitting both sides at the same time. It is perfect for any project that needs help in the warmth department!! It can be worked from top to bottom, bottom to top, inside to outside or outside to inside, circularly and flat. Add to this a second colour and DK will produce a perfectly mirrored colour image on the second side.
Who knew that an “alternative rotation” purl stitch would make so much sense. When making a conventional purl stitch, the yarn used is slightly more than when making a knit stitch. This isn’t too critical in “normal” knitting, but with DK, because the two sides (pieces) are being worked at the same time, the purled stitches, if purled normally will be slightly larger and looser than the knit stitches and this will eventually make one side of the fabric a little longer and looser than the other side. To compensate for this, rotate the yarn clockwise around the needle tip (anti clockwise is the normal way). This will result in an unconventionally mounted stitch on the following row or round which has to be addressed, but is only a very slight inconvenience and in actual fact, because of the way I knit, I find this to be a more efficient way to purl. I have been Double Knitting using this purl technique and I like the result and possibly will be purling my stitches this way regardless of what type of knitting I will be doing in the future. Currently I am working away at a rather large DK project which involves a beautiful multi coloured fingering weight yarn (Kauni Effektgarn) and very much enjoying the process. The work is slow going because I am in the process of training my hands and fingers to knit differently than my usual way. It has been challenging at times but I do love a challenge!!
When teaching my classes, I am in the habit of taking along a knitted and felted basket. When I initially knit this, 2 or 3 years ago, I didn’t write an actual pattern but made some notes, which was fortunate. I have received several requests for the pattern, so recently I decided to work on this. I have just about finished the pattern writing and test knitting but because the basket requires “felting” I will wait until the Spring when I will have access to my own washer and can be completely in charge of the felting process. I will then be able to do a photo shoot and at that time I will self publish this pattern. It already has a new and original name, which at the moment will not be revealed. When choosing a name for my patterns, I always do an extensive search to make sure that my chosen pattern name has not already been used in any way by another designer. I only wish that other “designers” would do likewise. That is my pet peeve for this post.
Last month I started to knit a small Moebius project and to my horror found that my Knit Picks interchangeable needles were not up for the job. I did some research and ordered a more suitable needle.
The needle arrived promptly at the Beaufort Docks. Oh my, was I in for a treat when I took the needle out of its plastic pouch. As any knitter will know, the cable of a circular needle will always have a mind of its own and requires a hot water treatment to make the needle useable. Not in this case – the cable sprung into a perfect, non kinked shape and was immediately ready for knitting. Of course, my Captain realized why – the cable is a multi strand, nylon coated and memory free steel one. Not only is the cable memory free, but the cable/needle tip connection is silky smooth and the needle tips are pointed perfectly.
Hello ChiaoGoo ………….. Goodbye Knit Picks. It did not take me long to decide that Linda was going to treat herself to some new tools. A complete set has sizes ranging from 2.75mm to 10.00mm with 2 sets of different sized cables which accommodate both the smaller and larger sizes of needle tips. What a wonderful gift – thank you Linda!!
I ordered my new “tools” from Fibre Space in Alexandria VA and even though the holidays were in full swing, I received my gift within 3 business days and Fibre Space paid for the shipping. My needle set was gift wrapped and included a gift card also – no I did not ask them to do this for me!! Fibre Space certainly know what “customer service” is all about, in fact, so do all of the other business that I have recently dealt with for yarn purchases (love the easy access to beautiful yarns) and other commodities. There are a few businesses in ON that could take a lesson from these U.S. companies and while they are at it, learn how to look after and respect their staff, who after all, make the money for the retailers!!
ChiaoGoo pron Chau Gu and interpreted is: ”Crafty Lady” ……….. yes, that’s perfect for me.