I was listening to the knitting podcast "Stitch Stud & His Bride" in which he mentions a survey being conducted about what to call a group of knitters.
I must confess to being very spastic when I try to use a crochet hook. I can inflict far more damage with the bloody hook than I could ever do with a pointy needle. It's no wonder that I took up knitting instead of crochet.
At the NZ Knitters' Weekend, I met Jenny King who is an Aussie crochet designer. She is a lovely person and a fantastic crocheter. She has commissioned her own line of bamboo crochet hooks which are beautiful, and if you must use one, lovely to hold. I ordered and just received mine and I'm so pleased that I thought I'd alert others here about them. The hooks are bamboo with very nice hooks ends. I only use crochet hooks for repairs and have not, until now, found any that I could use easily. Somehow, the hooks are cut just right for me.
So, I biffed the metal and plastic hooks I had in my knitting tool kit and added these lovely wooden hooks. I think it's a bloke thing but I love quality tools!
Have a look at her site; you won't be disappointed:
She is such a great person and talented fiber artist! If you order from her, tell her "Hi!" from me!
I came across these these YouTube vid's this arvo and thought MWK lads might enjoy them:
It's good to laugh at ourselves:
Portugese Knitting (like knitting with 2 crochet hooks):
I'm not a lace knitter (at least I don't add the extra stitches on purpose) but Christine (knitmaniac) showed me this website and I noted that Addi has added lace circulars to its line of knitting needles. Maybe this is old news, but I thought I'd put it forward here in case some of the lace knitters didn't know.
At last my “woolly horse” aka “jumper board” but not to be confused with a “woolly jumper” (Aussie boomer joke) arrived from the Shetland Islands. I believe it is originally a Shetlands invention and is discussed in books about Fair Isle knitting; a pattern to make your own is in “The Fair Isle Knitting Handbook” by Alice Starmore. I’m not skilled enough to build my own so I bought this. It is really quite an interesting piece and I used it recently to block the Scalloway Yoke jumper. It worked brilliantly. I was able to adjust for my size and block the garment to fit. Because the air can reach all sides, the garment dries very quickly. I purchased it from Jamieson & Smith and it wasn’t cheap but given the amount of knitting that I do, I felt the money spent was justified. A benefit for me is being able to block a garment knitted in one piece. When working with Shetland knitting wools, the garment must be washed for the wools to soften and of course it assists to set stitches and the FI design. I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t work with an Icelandic yoke jumper but I had no problems. I know that a number of knitting yarns don’t need blocking but Shetland wools definitely need it. In fact, I’ve read in numerous sources that Shetland knitters don’t consider a garment finished until it’s washed and blocked.
1. This is a pattern from the book “The Art of Fair Isle Knitting” by Ann Feitelson. I love this book and I like this design. This is my first real stranded knitting project worth mentioning.
2. The knitting wool is from Jamieson & Smith in the Shetland Islands (Scotland) and they are lovely to deal with. Very nice emails and phone conversations and speedy service. Given the fantastic colour palette of their knitting wools, I reckon they have become my supplier of choice!
3. The Shetland knitting wool was so different from the knitting wools I’ve been using. It feels “hard” to the touch, just like the home-spun that I had purchased a while back. But, unlike that horrible home-spun, this wool knits beautifully. And, once washed in only water, it becomes very soft to the touch.
4. It’s my experience that Shetland wools need to be wound into balls. When pulling from the centre, I ended up with lots of yarn spew which usually was tangled as this wool tends to knot up easily. It was too risky to trust the skeins to pull cleanly.
5. It is a 2-ply that knits as a 4-ply. I know that there are several MWK members who will knit jumpers in nothing larger than a 5-ply. I can now see the advantages of knitting a stranded multi-colour pattern with a smaller wool. The pattern stands out so much better and there is a definition and intricacy of the knitted design that the larger size wools can’t achieve (in my opinion).
I've been hearing lots lately about the Knitpicks circular needles kit. It looks pretty nice and I'm wondering what others have to say about it, especially in comparison to the Addi Turbos. I have a huge investment in the Addi Turbos but my objection is that the memory of the coiled cable is too strong and even with the hot water method of relaxing them, they still revert to the coiling. I like the Knitpicks idea of having a goodly selection in a smallish case. The difficulty with their product is that the smallest needle size is the 3.5 mm and lately I am using even smaller sizes. I also understand that the tips are quite sharp and I wonder about that. The bamboo set looks nice but I never use bamboo any more. Anyone care to give their opinions?
Calling all Kiwi and Aussie knitting blokes! I just heard on David Reidy's "Sticks & String" podcast about the New Zealand Knitters' Weekend on 15-17 June in Wellington on the North Island. It is sponsored by KnitWorld (a chain of yarn shops) and it sounds like a lot of fun. There will be celebrity speakers, workshops, competitions, stash-trading, charity knitting, Stitch 'n' Bitch along with a special 3 hour session just for blokes called "Knitting With Testosterone", led by James Herbison of the FiberAlive blog fame. The costs are very reasonable and I, for one, intend to be there. Here is the link:
Since it's so inexpensive for Aussies to fly to New Zealand, maybe some of you guys from Oz will come over and join us? I'm keen to meet other men who knit and wouldn't it be cool to actually meet some of the MWK regulars!
If I can ever possibly figure out how to post an event for June on MWK, I'll do that. I can't suss how to move forward in the calendar. Anyone know how?
Here are two handy little tools for those knitters who want to do their own knitting garment recipes. They’re called the “Sweater Wheel” and I got these on ebay recently. One wheel is for raglan sleeve jumpers, the other for inset sleeves.
The original packaging for the raglan sleeve jumpers gives the following:
“Knitting instructions for 360 raglan sweaters – just turn the dial and select your size. When dial is set instructions for entire sweater are shown. 3 styles: cardigan, round neck pullover, V-neck pullover. 3 wool weights: fingering yarn, sport yarn, worsted. Sweaters for the entire family (sizes range from baby to men’s 48.“
It is by Bea Freeman Enterprises of Bryn Mawr, PA. The wheel is a good size, 11.5” across and is 2-sided. Each wheel is divided into three parts: Back, Front, Sleeves. The instructions are clear and easy to understand. One just dials-in the size for whichever sort of person (man, woman or child) the jumper is for and presto – all the directions are there! Although these are for flat knitting, I still can use them as a reference when I’m trying to decide the decreases for a set-in sleeve or a neckline.
I enjoy vintage knitting items, especially those I can use. There are certainly many ways to create a knitting garment recipe but this is a fun item – just wanted to share it. BTW: some nice MWK member told us about knittingfool.com and that's where I first learned about these. Thank you!
Yesterday in the post I received my latest knitting book. It's called "Selbuvotter - Biolgraphy of a Knitting Tradition" by Terri Shea in Seattle, WA. The book is a result of her work at the Seattle Nordic Heritage Museum, cataloging Nordic knitted garments. In that project, she charted the designs of the mittens and gloves she was cataloging. The book has 30 patterns for the Norwegian black and white stranded knitting patterns for mittens and gloves. There is a nice section on the history of this style of knitting as well as some practical how-to advice. The graphs are large and easy to read and there are photos of each style knitted up. I ordered the book directly from the author and she is lovely to deal with. Check out the website:
My thanks to JPaul for telling me about this book!