Sunday, January 31, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
Or, "A Lesson in Gauge"
I special ordered Twinkle’s first book right when it came out. I had it in Kingston in 07. I wanted to make the Best Friend Cardigan straight away. It was IMPOSSIBLE to get the yarn. I could not find any of the subs the book suggests, except for Rowan Big Wool which I could not find more than 50g of. I really wanted to make myself one of these little cardigans that are just a little more than a spencer and a little less than a viable jacket.
LB Wool Ease Thick and Quick claims to be a ‘super bulky’ yarn and, despite knowing in my heart of hearts that I did NOT have gauge, I sallied forth thinking I was just adding drape and openness with my inappropriate 15mm circular needles.
Obviously this cardigan is enormous.
The real problem I have with this sweater is the horrible position the pattern’s construction puts you in. Come time for finishing, this pattern's instructions would have you seam at every opportunity. Why, when the book's materials suggestions are so very important to follow, (in terms of yarn at any rate) would the fair MsTwinkle have us buy circular needles and not knit things circularly? Naively, I followed the instructions and knit everything flat. Stupidly, I used the yarn, full ply, to seam with. With such a big gauge all the shaping is visible and any decrease looks like a K10tog or something.
The cardigan really shouldn't’t have so much seaming in it. Seaming at a big gauge is coo coo and if you didn’t find a nice fluffy yarn to knit this with (something that is really 2.5st/1” with no gaps). it will be like trying to discreetly mattress stitch double yarn overs together.
I made this cardigan again, using the right yarn. The results were shocking. The cardigan produced by Twinkle yarn is a miniature version of this giganto Grandpa Cardi and illustrates, like nothing else I have ever encountered how vitally important gauge swatching is. You must swatch. You must swatch for each stitch pattern. That said, using the correct materials, I still had to make adjustments. link:
I have many tips and gaffs to share.
In the end, I like the grungy look of this. Also it’s lived-in vibe. Do I like these laboured photos of it? Yes. Do I wear it out? No.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Loop is holding a fundraiser for Haiti Disaster Relief. Knitters are invited to donate yarn from their stash and then to come in and buy from someone else's stash this weekend ( January 23rd and 24th) Proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross Haiti Disaster Relief Fund. We've been receiving great stuff. There will be a raffle, advice for donations, and general good feelings.
Non-Knitters are invited too. "Darning for Dollars" will be on all weekend to help mend your worn out woolens. Your $10 donation will help mend overseas. Bring in your holey socks or snagged sweaters for us to fix...we can teach you to mend as well! Gentlemen and Needle-phobics encouraged.
I think it should be good fun and promote warm feelings in and out.
Find out more at The Loop's website http://www.theloophalifax.com
While there, check on two upcoming classes; Intro to Crochet and an Amigurumi Crochet Workshop.
I am trying something new with the Intro Class. Project orientated classes always work best and I've tried many different patterns in the past. I'm now going with a Sampler Scarf. Most of the Stitch Patterns are comprised of cleverly placed single crochets and I, myself was shocked with the many textures and patterns that came about with just a little experimentation.
It's a great exercise for any crocheter and frankly, nothing beats a Sampler.
The Amigurumi class is one we've never run as a workshop so it will be fun to see how many different animals and characters we can produce round the table.
I'm also lending my hook to the Lunchtime Enrichment Program at Le Marchant St Thomas.
Parents please note:
Sessions are every Tuesday lunch starting February 2.
Materials will be provided, but favorite colours and bits and pieces from home are welcome. We will be crocheting, but will also try spinning our own wool! Kids will be able to produce results after the first lesson and will learn about where the yarn we use comes from.
As in previous years a blog has been created to recap each session as it takes place and to cover any new techniques we learn. Each technique will be videotaped from the Crocheter's perspective for easy translation to hands. Although there is no 'homework' for this program, students will be able to use the blog to perfect any tricky stitches or catch up from home.
This blog will be private, uses no names, and the web address will be given to each student (along with this web address) at the first session.
I am always available here at my personal blog for questions or concerns; just leave a comment (these are private). I may also be tracked down at The Loop at 1547 Barrington St on Thursdays and Sundays. We'd love to see you...maybe someone else in the family is a bit of a yarnie, or would like to revamp their skills?
Thursday, January 14, 2010
For a long time I convinced myself that Coats & Clark's O.N.T. thread was made in my native Ontario. It wasn't, just like Naughty By Nature did not write a song about the Ontario Police (but Sir Paul McCartney is a real O.P.P. Sergeant-he serves in Tweed, keeping an eye on Elvis who works at the gas station).
O.N.T. stands for Our New Thread.
Don't these guys have a way with words?
Aren't Rebuses supposed to omit the illustrated words?