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[30 Dec 2010|01:25pm]

I knit a hat (Knitty's "Coronet") and it turned out a little bit big. I am thinking of trying to shrink/felt it just a tad to get it to firm up and be the right size. Is this a terrible idea? Any ideas on technique (boiling water, washingmachine, etc)? The yarn is Cascade Cash Vero, which is 55% Merino, 33% acrylic, 15% cashmere -- with that much acrylic, will it even shrink in the first place?

Advice appreciated! Thanks :)
6 comments|post comment

Sock and Slipper [19 Nov 2010|02:16pm]

What's is the difference between a sock and a slipper?

Is it the thickness of the fabric? Construction? Or something else?

I'm experimenting with Wanderer. The construction is different from a heel flap so I'm hoping my husband has less issues pulling it on his foot. He wants the sole to be double thickness which is one of the ways I'm playing. The other is doing it as two pieces with the sole knitted to the top a la knitting an edging on to a shawl.

But if the only difference between a sock and a slipper is the fabric thickness then there are plenty of other ways to do this. This comes to mind, for one.
10 comments|post comment

Accident! [14 Sep 2010|12:35pm]

Halp!  I managed to get a few drops of candlewax on the sweater  I'm currently knitting.  I've searched and found ways to get wax out of other items (paperbags + warm iron), but I want to make sure this won't damage the alpaca yarn.  Anybody else ever done this?  Any tips?  This is the first sweater I've knitted, and I'm afraid of damaging the yarn.  Even if you lovely folks have never done this, I'm sure you'll be a better help than many other non knitting, cleaning communities on here. 
Thanks in advance for your help, and for just being here.  I can't imagine living without a world wide resource of knitters to bug when I run into problems!

ETA:  9-15
I rubbed an ice cube on the small splotches, 4 about the size of a pencil eraser.  I managed to pick 90% of two of them off, and all of the other two.  I placed several paper towels in the sleeve and on top of the sleeve, and began with the hairdryer on high.  I waited about five minutes, and there was no softening of the wax, so I put my iron on 1, and very gently held the iron on top of the paper towels with now a paper bag on top.  After five minutes, there was very little heat, so I upped it to level 2.  After another five minutes, there was still very little heat making it thru, so I brought the temp up to 3.  Then slowly, progress was made.  It took about 15 minutes at level 3, constantly readjusting the toweling to absorb the wax without letting it get anywhere else on the sleeve.  But, my sweater is happily wax free, and I'm knitting again and trying to figure out how to do my button bands and hood.  ;-)  Crisis averted, thanks to your help!
13 comments|post comment

Seaming/grafting when you're doing a specific pattern stitch - edited [08 Sep 2010|04:41pm]

Hi everyone,

I've searched and searched and tried multiple ways of seaming the side of a sweater I'm knitting (Duo-toned Cardi from Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 issue). It's not in garter stitch, but it's similar, being that in row 1, you would: knit 1, knit 1 in the row below, knit 1, knit 1 in the row below, etc.
Row 2, you would: knit the entire way across

And these two rows alternate, as do two colors.

I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out how to seam the side up without breaking the pattern. I've tried so many different ways based on instructions I've seen for seaming when the project is in garter stitch, and they all look...awkward. Not quite right. I'll have stitches slanting, or too close together, or not close enough, etc. Having two alternating colors might also be making it confusing!

I've put two pictures under the cut. If anyone has a way of explaining to me where I should be inserting the needle, or could point me towards a tutorial, I would be so grateful!
Photos below cut!Collapse )

EDIT: Okay, the sweater is finished. I'm out of the country without my sewing machine, and I couldn't wait to wear it until I got home (not until December!) and could seam it up using the suggestion from cymrullewes , which I think might have been my best bet. So I tried again and again, and came up with something that works well enough. This photo doesn't show a close-up of the side seams, but it shows a very nice finished product, I think :)
FO photos under the cut!Collapse )
3 comments|post comment

a few questions on felting [03 Aug 2010|08:40pm]

So I'm in the middle of making some felted mittens for a friend. I want to embroider them with some extremely simple Jacobean style flowers, and I have a few questions on the specifics.

I've run them through the washer once, and they're already about halfway down to size and as thick as I'd've expected the finished products to be. This surprised me greatly because I've tried felting a few times before, and it's always taken many runs through the washer on hot to get them even remotely shrunk & felted -- even with the same brand of wool! Not to mention, the proportions are now a little off, and the ribbed cuffs? Forget that -- somehow they're now wider than the hand.

So what I'm hoping to find out is:

1. when should I try embroidering the flowers, when they're done shrinking, or halfway through so that the embroidery can felt into the mittens? If I do it when they're done, would that leave holes?

2. Is it OK to use feltable wool for the embroider? I understand that my felting mileage may vary, but I was hoping to get more past experience-type advice on this one.

3. They are very shaggy right now, should I trim that with scissors or will it go away in the next wash?

Thanks in advance, and I really appreciate any & all feedback!
4 comments|post comment

Stitch patterns / Bind offs [24 Jul 2010|10:54pm]



So, at a fiber festival last year, I bought an oz of cashmere from a goat named Deiter.  After I got done laughing and shouting "Touch my monkey!", I decided I wanted to knit something with it, to honor that series of skits.  However, I can't seem to find anything that rings true.  Has anyone seen any lacy patterns that might work?  I'm thinking monkeys, palm fronds (as a last resort), maybe dancing ("And now we do the Deiter Dance!")... Does anyone have any ideas?  I haven't spun it yet, so there's no specific gauge to match if you can think of a specific pattern.  I'd prefer free, but if I have to pay for the perfect pattern, so be it!  I can crochet too, so if you know something in that realm too, please share!

If this isn't appropriate, I do apologize.  I thought that you folks would have looked at so many patterns, you might have come across something. 

Also, completely unrelated, what good bind offs are there for socks?  I'm never happy with the way mine come out.  I know, practice, practice, but mine look  loose and sloppy.  If I get them tight enough to not look sloppy, then they're too tight.  I've used so many that I couldn't name them all, but if there are a few tried and true that you all can reccomend, and I can keep practicing with, I'd appreciate it.  Oh, duh, might help if I tell you all that I like doing toe up socks!  I know if I switched to top down, it would eliminate the problem, but I like being able to try them on as I go.  That, and since DH and I like long socks, I don't have to worry about running out of yarn!
11 comments|post comment

problems following a lace chart [09 Jul 2010|01:06am]

I'm having trouble with a pattern. I've never followed a lace chart before (I've done plenty of lace, just not using a chart). The pattern is from Luxury Yarn One-Skein Wonders-- pg. 220-221, Lacy Leaf Alpaca-Angora Hat. I looked up corrections and there aren't any, however there are plenty for other patterns in the book (over 1/4 of the patterns), so I'm wondering it it's not just the pattern.

The pattern calls for casting on 85 stitches and joining in the round and knitting/purling a few rows, placing a marker every 17 stitches. I've done that fine and have gotten to the chart. The pattern just says to work the pattern (10 rows) between the markers for 4 repeats. The problem is that, as far as I can tell, the first row of the chart only covers 16 stitches-- here's how the pattern reads-- yo, k, ssk, p, k2tog, k, yo, p, k, p, k2tog, yo,k, yo, p, k, p-- so I'm left with one stitch before the marker unworked. I've tried getting an idea by looking at the next row, but it shows 17 worked stitches, which lines up fine with the first row of the pattern as written (the first row takes out three stitches with the SSKs and the K2TOGs and puts in 4 with the YOs). I guess I could repeat the pattern as is, but I'd be left with 5 stitches at the end of the row... I'm assuming this will make the whole thing look wonky. And if I did do that, would it off-set where I'd start the pattern in the next row? Should it be 80 stitches with each row having 16 stitches?

Help?! Is there something wrong with the chart or am I just doing this chart thing all wrong?

I don't think this breaks copyright since I didn't explain anything exactly, and only a little bit of the pattern, but please let me know!

*UPDATE*-- Thanks guys-- happy to know it was the chart and that I don't just totally fail at chart-interpreting. :) I looked at that site all of you linked before posting and I just can't believe that I somehow missed the pattern on the errata (though with such a huge errata it was easier to get lost!). Note-- make sure your find toolbar isn't set to matching case!
15 comments|post comment

[28 Jun 2010|05:04pm]
I'm wondering about slipping stitches.  Specifically, I've noted that a lot of patterns are emphatic about whether you should slip a stitch purlwise or knitwise.  I assume they do so because it makes a difference in the FO, so I wonder what a knitter can assume when there are no explicit instructions.  My inclination is to always slip knitwise, unless I'm purling across a whole row, wherein it makes sense to slip purlwise.

Does it actually make a huge difference when it's not specified?  I'm getting more and more into knitting lacy patterns that call for a lot of slipped stitches, and many of these patterns don't address how to slip a stitch.  My first assumption is that this means it doesn't matter, but there's so much variance and ambiguity in the different stitch patterns, and even the knitting how-to guides I've looked at (online, in patterns, videos, and books) that it's hard to tell. 

Also, a more minor question, which I hope is okay to ask here:  I much prefer knitting with circulars than straights because of the reduced stress on my hands.  I've been told that it's not a good idea to use the longer circulars for smaller projects (i.e. if you're knitting something that's, say, twelve inches long, and all you've got is a 40 inch circ, you're better off acquiring a 24" at least, if not a 16," than in using the 40").  I'm unclear as to the reason, especially if you're using the circs to knit flat, so I was hoping for more opinions on the subject?  Since I'm currently interested mostly in lace work, I was thinking of getting some 16" circs in the smaller sizes (0-4), or possibly 24", depending on which length I decided made for an appropriate general purpose needle.
19 comments|post comment

Some help on choosing which length of DPNs to order? [27 Feb 2010|03:18pm]

I'm going to order a set of 75 DPNs; that's 15 sizes ranging from 0 to 15. The company offers two different lengths-- 6 in. and 8 in. and I just can't decide which to order. The DPNs I have now are 7 inches, which seem perfect, but I can't get that length at such a great deal or in so many sizes. I've never worked with really large DPNS before, so worry that the 10-15s will feel uncomfortable if they are too short or too long. I'm leaning towards the 6 in. because I'd rather have less bulk and I don't need the few extra working inches 8 in. would give since I'm also ordering 16 in. circulars and will only be using the DPNs for very small things, but I'm worried they'll feel too short in my hand. Anyway.. so does anyone here have experience with both lengths and if so, what would you recommend? I know it's most just a matter of personal preference, just looking for some opinions. Thanks!

I don't know if 'what materials or tools to use' posts are allowed, but I thought you folks might have more experience with and opinions on different needle lengths than the users over in 'knitting'.


Thanks for all of your suggestions.

I've measured my 7s against my hand a few times and they stick about 2 inches past the edge of my palm. I measured my circulars, which have 5 in. needles.. the butt where it joins the cord sits right against the edge of my palm when I knit. I played around a bit with the positions I prefer to knit in and decided that the 6's would not stab the edge of the palm and the 8s might stab me in the belly or wrist, as I like to hold them close to my body while I recline and knit. That, with your suggestions, has decided me. Thanks so much!
8 comments|post comment

knitting with sock elastic [26 Feb 2010|09:11pm]

I am knitting some knee socks, and I worked the sock elastic (in a 1x1 rib) in with the yarn like normal, but it made no observable difference. Am I missing something in using it?

1 comment|post comment

Darn socks [25 Oct 2009|10:21am]

My husband is wearing through the heels of his socks very quickly. I've started darning them, and he's now wearing through the darns! Is there some sort of extra-strong way to darn or otherwise mend socks? I have some reinforcing nylon thread to run with whatever mending I do, but I don't want to bother if it's just gonna wear through again.

Thanks in advance!

Oh also, if anyone has good suggestions of where I could get a knitting icon or two, I'd appreciate it :)
11 comments|post comment

[22 Sep 2009|04:18am]

Has anyone here made the lace-up opera gloves (Ravelry link) or have access to the (free) pattern? The website with the pattern is defunct was down. They look quite simple overall, but I'd like to know how to make the knitted lace holes as shown in this photo (credit to "flycello" on Ravelry):

<img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3555/3392933854_a146826b36.jpg">

Thanks for any help.

16 comments|post comment

Knitted thorns [10 Sep 2009|10:38am]

I'm trying to work out a pattern to make a Rose Goblin. It's basically the child of a cat and a rose bush. I can make a cat, but this one needs thorns, that are directional, like a hedgehog's spines. (The Rose Goblin is from Seanan McGuire's _Rosemary and Rue_, which is a wonderful book.)

Can anyone help me figure out how to make these thorns? They need to be several different sizes.
15 comments|post comment

[22 Aug 2009|11:49pm]

I'd like to duplicate the red cap that Mathilda wears in the movie "The Professional". From screencaps, it looks like I could get something close by knitting the top first, then flipping it upside down and using crochet to get the 'lace' detailing, then finishing with a knitted seed stitch brim.

Image - contains gun, may not be safe for workCollapse )

The assumption here is that the 'lace' section is crocheted and not knitted - suggestions for how to duplicate it via knitting, or other suggestions on doing the cap as a whole, would be welcomed.

10 comments|post comment

Anne Scott-James RIP [16 May 2009|12:45pm]

I loved this paragraph from her obituary this week, about her first job at Vogue magazine in 1934

She got the job none the less, on the strength of her claim (untrue) to be an experienced knitter. An early assignment was to unravel and remake a baby's knitted jumper sent in by an irate reader; the jumper had been made without a hole for the head because of an error in the Vogue knitting pattern. Soon she was unravelling and reknitting all manner of misfits. Later she became beauty editor.
3 comments|post comment

Dipping into pattern design [01 May 2009|11:32am]

[ mood | confused ]

Recently, I was asked to design some sock patterns for an acquaintance. Now, I've written my own patterns before, taught classes on sizing and designing socks, and feel pretty confident about the whole thing, but the (ought to be) simple process of converting a written pattern (a la Barbara Walker) to a circlular chart is driving me up the wall! There's a section on how to do this in Cookie A's Sock Innovation, but the book is at home and I'm at work with a lot of downtime on my hands. Can anyone recommend a good online explanation, because my Google-fu is failing me at the moment.

I'm also curious if any of you own a copy of Knit Visualizer. I have the demo, and I quite like it: I'm just wondering if the full version is worth the money.

3 comments|post comment

ISO of charts for Schachenmayr Princess Vest [29 Apr 2009|11:51pm]

[ mood | Antsy ]

Elann's free patterns are not up forever. The Archive.org does not archive images when it archives the HTML. I did write down my modifications in a locked LJ post but really, blue sweater Back of sweater is 7 repeats now. Needs to be 6. Fronts are 4 repeats. Needs to be 3. So 12 on either side. Need to remember to use two outer stitches. is NOT enough information to be useful when the Archive has http://web.archive.org/web/20040611151415/secure.elann.com/ShowFreePattern.asp?Id=23024 just the text and the pattern was mostly in the chart images. What I had done was knit the sweater (probably 5 hours of work) then took it apart when I realized it was too large so I don't even have the original to compare to.

Does anyone have the charts and are able to scan and send them to me? Failing that, does anyone know where I can go to find the charts as Googling as gotten me nothing but mentions of the pattern.

Thank you.

5 comments|post comment

[21 Apr 2009|08:31pm]
Hi everyone! I'm looking to design my own three-dimensional toy pattern, and I'm looking for a few tips as to where to begin. I'll be looking at a picture of what I'd like to design, obviously. As far as I can tell, the pattern shouldn't end up being too complex, but I'm really not sure where to begin as far as working out the shapes I need and such...I hope this makes sense? Basically, what I'm asking is, are there any special techniques out there for knitting up something three-dimensional? Can you sort of chart it out on graph paper or something, or is this going to basically be a trial and error sort of thing?

Thank you for any help!
6 comments|post comment

Teach me something about fibres, please! [19 Apr 2009|03:29pm]

I've been an avid knitter for years, but it's only recently that I've really started taking this hobby seriously. In the last couple of months I've produced two half shawls (one of which was frogged to provide yarn for the other, which is nearly finished), one brioche beret, and one Fair Isle tam (or hat - I haven't decided how to block it yet). In the past I've mostly used standard yarn types that I found at my LYS, but now I've come into possession of some more interesting yarns. The problem is that I don't know what to do with them: knowing very little about fibres and what everything is appropriate for, I'm at a loss.

Firstly, I have an unknown amount of angora (rabbit) yarn (50% angora and 50% sheep wool) in two colours (white/undyed and green). It is handspun and lighter than the sportweight wool yarns I've been working with before. Recommended needle size as stated on the label is 3.5-5.5 mm. I took a chance and knitted one of the Three Tams using the needles stated (3.5 and 4 mm), and it turned out fairly shiny but slightly small (maybe 5-10% smaller than I expected).

I also have five skeins of homespun, personally dyed wool all in different colours (using natural dyes from plants and things - that was fun!). I don't know how much is in either of them, but my guess is that it's a fairly significant amount. For this yarn I don't know anything about what size of needles I should use or anything like that.

So my first question is what types of projects are appropriate for each type of yarn. I'm leaning towards making more tams with the angora yarn, but I have no idea what I want from the wool (experimenting and learning, most importantly).

I would also like to know what methods there are for determining what "thickness" a yarn is - using Ravelry I've come across terms such as "-ply" and "wpi", but I don't know what they mean or how to use them.

Finally, I'm Swedish so I don't have all the technical vocabulary down. I'm also young, so I don't have all the technical vocabulary down in Swedish either. But I'm eager to learn, so! I'd appreciate anything. Information on websites or book recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance!
23 comments|post comment

Purl Panels [08 Apr 2009|10:33am]

I'm working on a panel design and I need help.

I'd like the purl panels to sink down behind the knit columns. The sides do this just fine. However, the purl rises above the bottom and top knit separators. The 7 rows of stockinette do tend to want to sink a little by the sides but slipping them on the knit row and purling them on the purl row brings them back up. I don't like the look of the panel separator if I slip knit, slip knit, all the way as if it were a heel flap.

The knit separators are 7 rows tall. The purl panels are 30 rows tall by 16 stitches wide.

My gauge is 6.5 stitches to the inch and 10 rows to the inch. Red Heart Super Saver (No Dye Lot) on US size 2 needles.

Does anyone have an idea? Will blocking help? (I know you really can't block acrylic but maybe I could very gently iron down that purl row on the back side to make the front knit pop?)
11 comments|post comment

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