I just inadvertantly noticed that it was one year ago today that I joined MWK as member #296. Now, we're up to 688 members with thousands upon thousands of postings. I especially have enjoyed the comraderie of this community and have learned lots of new ideas and techniques to improve my knitting. In particular, I've been frequently awed by the fantastic knitted projects which have been displayed here. Being probably the only male knitter in Middle Earth (I can't seem to discover any others), I'm grateful for the new knitting friends I've made on this site. It really does make a difference to share our craft with other men.
Great holiday wishes for everyone, especially those in the northern hemisphere! Somehow, celebrating the summer solstice isn't quite the same thing...
My copy of "Finishing Techniques For Hand Knitting: Give Your Knitting that Professional Look" by Sharon Brant arrived today from amazon.com.
I think I was hooked by the title, thinking that this would be a book of "cold, hard knitting facts" (as my knitting buddy Azza says) but it's just another knitting book. It is filled with the basics and some patterns; end of the story. There is nothing new or exciting in this book. I wouldn't even recommend it as a learner's book as I've seen much better on the market.
The title is so misleading that I thought the cover must have been accidentally put over the wrong contents. If you are considering purchasing this book, save your money and don't! In my opinion, it is a complete disappointment. I won't even waste my time taking a photo of it and up-loading it here.
There is a great podcast called "Sticks & String" by David Reidy, an Aussie knitting bloke. This can be found at http://sticksandstring.wordpress.com/
Dave has done only 6 shows to date and all are pleasant to listen you. He has a definite male energy about his programming which I enjoy. In addition, he is doing a great job raising the profile of men knitters.
To be honest, I'd never heard a podcast before but now I'm very keen to hear more. He has links to other podcasts about knitting, a couple of which are by guys.
I am searching for this pattern book from Lana Grossa wool company. None of their products are available in the southern hemisphere; I rang my contacts in the US but those stores do not have this book in stock.
I have the other Filati Men's editions and I like the patterns a lot. I wish I could order the wools locally.
I'm wondering if you guys would be on the look-out for this pattern book and let me know the details of the LYS which carries it so I can order it by phone. I would really appreciate any assistance here.
This month I read in two knitting technique books that one should let a knitted gauge/tension swatch "rest" for 24 hours before measuring.
I'm wondering: does anyone do this? I'm always so keen to start working with the new wool that I just jump right in.
I'd fancy knowing your thoughts on this.
I posted yesterday about the handspun wool I purchased yesterday and which I began to knit upon arriving at home. I bought 2 colours, white and acquamarine, each spun by a different person. The white is soft but the other is a bit course (but such a beautiful shade of blue!). Both look identical to my eye. But, when I knit with the blue, the strand of wool from the knitting to the ball continuously keeps turning in on itself (twisting) and driving me mad. I sometimes have to hold the ball and drop the knitting to let it twist itself right. A elderly friend who was a life-time spinner and knitter said that the wool was incorrectly spun (she guesses that the spinner sat at an angle and not straight on the wheel) and that it will not knit up well and most likely will "pill" when washed.
I'm absolutely ignorant on fibers so I'm soliciting opinions from our MWK spinners on this. As this wool was quite dear, I have a substantial investment in it.
I spent the past week working on teddy bears. But, no matter how much I tried, I just could not find any enthusiasm and I certainly disliked the novelty yarns. I ripped out every project I started except for the last one and that one I biffed into the skip! As I pondered this situation, I came to the realisation that I am not interested in knitting anything that I don't consider to be useful. If I'd had a child to give the teddy bear to, it would have been different. I love to make something that is needed, a hat or scarf or a jumper but I don't want to knit just to knit -yuch!
Today, we went downtown to spend some time in our artsy-fartsy centre and I discovered a shop that is a co-op store for hand knitters, weavers, spinners, felters, etc. It was filled with wonderful woolen items and I couldn't believe me luck. I finally found a place for hand-done wools that are not over-processed. It seemed like such good fortune to come into my life just when I needed it the most.
I bought this scrumptious hand-spun and dyed wool (about an 8 ply) which was spun by a man (!) and happily came home to start a new jumper -one can never have too many of those :-). I hope the colours show up well on your monitors; the wool is a gorgeous shade of light aquamarine.
I decided to knit something totally different this time and I bought the Debbie Bliss book on teddy bears and clothing for them. I have always admired the knitted toys done by other MWK members and a teddy was challenging for me. However, I cannot get the proper gauge/tension required by the pattern. I spent 2 days making swatches, trying all sorts of needle sizes but had absolutely no luck and I'm not talking about a 1 stitch variance here. Has anyone had experience with the patterns in this book? I've given up and put the book away in exasperation.
Today, I learned how to do the Norwegian purl stitch (continental) after an embarrassingly long time of watching and rewatching the instructional video. I then practiced it, trying various combinations of knit and purl stitches (again, continental) along with my usual contintental purl stitch. I must say that after a few hours of practice I was able to get my gauge (and "tension") under control and am now quite pleased with doing this purl method, preferring it over my old way of purling. There are a few more hand/finger movements involved but I think it's easier to execute.
Anyone else using this purl stitch?
I would like to learn how to do the "invisible increase" stitch. Elizabeth Zimmermann describes it on page 27 of "Knitting Without Tears" as does Anna Zilboorg on page 49 in "Knitting for Anarchists". I cannot seem to do it properly. My stitch is not invisible as it leaves behind a funny single slanting stitch. I cannot seem to manipulate the increase stitch when I follow EZ's diagram. Can anyone help me with this or give a link to an internet site? I've looked around but can't seem to find a place that shows how to do it.
Edit: I forgot to mention that this is the increase made by knitting into the stitch below.