kiwiknitter's blog

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Question for Spinners

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.

Cheers!

~Jesse

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A Lesson Learned

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.

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Debbie Bliss Teddy Bears

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.

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Norwegian Purl Stitch

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?

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Invisible Increase 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.

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Steek Question

I am currently working on a jumper for which I intend to steek the arm holes. I would appreciate hearing from any members of MWK who have done armhole steeks. My question is: how many stitches did you allow for the sleeve hole? The reference sources I can find give a range from 1 to 6 stitches.

Any assistance will be appreciated.

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Knitting help.com DVD

Does anyone have the DVD by Knittinghelp.com?  I am always searching for new ways to up-skill my knitting.  We don't have any knitting classes here and the selection of knitting books is poor.  I thought that this DVD might be useful.  Any comments or suggestions for other DVD's?

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cable repairs

Can anyone direct me to an internet site that shows how to correct cable errors in situ without frogging the entire piece back to the error?  Thanks!

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The Sweater Workshop

I don't care much for groups and MWK is the only group I belong to now, but today I joined The Sweater Workshop Yahoo group.  For those of you who are working from this book, you might want to join.  Jackie Fee is the moderator and offers advice and assistance.

I might add that I've had a couple of very pleasant emails with Ms. Fee and she is great!

So, if circular seamless knitting is for you, come right along and join up!

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sweaterworkshop

Jesse

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Knitting-in Ends

I decided to try something new (for me) and to knit-in the ends of the wool when I start a new ball.  I find the method very simple to do but I don't like the way it looks on the right side (a little uneven, lumpy, just wrong).  First, I knitted-in both strands (old and new) but that was absolutely unsatisfactory so I took it out.  Then, I tried knitting-in just on strand and that was better but still not acceptable.  I'm not knitting tightly and am trying to accomodate the strand(s) on the back side.

Does anyone have experience doing this and can you give me some suggestions so that it looks fine on the right side of the work?  It would be nice to have one less step to do when finishing a project.

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