Monday, November 29, 2004

big eye beading needle Posted by Hello

Handdyed,handspun raglan and beads

Below you see me wearing my new sweater made from yarn I bought 2+ years ago at the museum in Christchurch, NZ. The yarn was handspun and handdyed and it is just wonderful wearing it. Feels so comfy and warm. The lady who made the yarn doesn't want her name mentioned as she is not into publicity so if you want this yarn you'll either have to get to the museum or perhaps find it from them online if they exist. Not sure.

My daughter flew in for the weekend from Hongkong and we pulled out a bunch of new as yet unworn sweaters including this one. The pattern is just very simple and is one of my few raglans that I've designed. I do like doing raglans so have to do more of them. I use the J. Fee book as she has very good instructions for knitting it from the bottom up. I've also done it from the top down but I prefer it the other way.

My newest project is finally on the way. I've been buying beads for the last few months. I took a few lessons in making jewellry with them but haven't learned much. However, I really wanted to knit and crochet the beads so I have also bought a few books on the subject and the one I find most useful currently is the Lily Chin book: Knit and crochet with beads. My biggest problem was how to get the 400 or so beads onto the yarn. I pulled out a skein of light pale blue which luckily for me was also cotton sock yarn so it's very strong which is good as the beads really take it out of the yarn as I move them back and forth preparatory to knitting. So I started last night on her sock pattern which is fun and simple as you purl one stitch, move up a bead next to it, and purl the next one. The purl sts keep the bead in place an d it's really fun. DD has requested she get the socks.

In order to get the beads onto the yarn you need a needle. I have something here made in the US called Big eye which has a very big opening right in the center of the metal piece with two sharp points on both edges. (Have to be careful with those points). So the yarn is supposed to slide in and down towards one end and with the other end you start picking up beads which is great fun. However, I managed to bend the needle in half because I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with it. Then I checked my other needles looking for another way just in case. I found a Clover long beading needle which has a very tiny hole so I put a sewing cotton thread in that and knotted a square knot a few inches down with the thread doubled. That made a loop and into the loop I inserted the yarn end and pulled it around. Then voila, I put a bead on the needle and it went down too. I was so happy. At last I think I can do it. I will attempt some photos soon.

Christchurch yarn Posted by Hello

Friday, November 19, 2004

more wendy aran Posted by Hello

Wendy aran Posted by Hello

RE: new aran pamphlets and some ufos

I just opened an order from Knitwell. They're very fast and sent me a catalog although everything is also on their website. Above are the front and back covers from the Wendy aran leaflet which is 24 pages and has 12 aran patterns in aran wool. Not all of the designs are on those two pictures. The patterns are all written with no charts or schematics unfortunately. I also got Patons leaflet PBN0000 which has 3 aran patterns using aran yarns, and one aran from Sirdar using donegal tweed dk, #8455.

I spent the morning running around collecting food, more knitted hats for the soldiers (have to write about that some time) and then since it was Friday, I felt I could risk driving into the lower part of Tel Aviv to the bead center. This consists of about 7 little stores all selling just beads and supplies. I found a lot of nice ones that I didn't buy like the Chinese beads and larger beads. I wanted just to buy useful beads for my class assignments. I found a parking lot which is rare and so now it'll be easier for me to go again as I won't have problems with parking. The best way to go would be by bus but my grown up children absolutely refuse me this one.

Then I was checking out the latest Dale patternbooks online and found #138 and 144 that interest me greatly. Haven't decided though. 144 is just aran patterns.

I've been knitting lately on a new project; a cabled cardigan for Israel in some Jaeger dk wool I bought years ago at Liberty's. I spotted it on the floor having just been put on sale and for 1.20 pounds a ball it seemed very good to buy it. I really had no idea then just how nice the Jaeger yarn is. I think it's probably about the best of the English dk yarns as it has so much spring to it. This design is entirely my own as I started doing a cable and then began to play around with it so it became something else. I would like to make it a raglan but Israel says he doesn't like raglans so it's going to have fitted sleeves.
I also got back to work on another Jaeger dk wool in a rosy pink which had been set aside for some reason at least a year or more. I can't figure out for whom I planned to knit it so it's sitting again waiting for my daughter to take a look at it.
Then yesterday I decided to re-inventory a section of closet cabinets and there I found a pattern from VK 1998-9 winter,#21. It's by Venishnick and I used the same Wensleydale yarn in the pale green. But I had very little of my own notes to go by so it took a long time until I finally figured out that the body is done and it just needs two sleeves which go up into the shoulders. So this one has to get back on the needles pretty soon also.
Pictures will be added.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

mohair Posted by Hello

New acquisitions

Just working on wips these days. I pulled out a mohair pullover (see above photo) from some nice yarn bought 2 years ago in Auckland. I don't like mohair. I don't like to knit it and especially I hate to wear it; but this color just got to me so yesterday I finally finished the back and decided to keep going and so today I might finish the first half of the cardigan front. Picture above. I have changed the design in many ways but basically decided to make it a cardigan of about 21" in length but not with that collar which I detest. So I will make the neckline rounded and probably between 3-4" deep as I don't enjoy having that mohair so tight around me. On the other hand, it's a warm yarn so I do want it to keep me warm hence the higher neckline. My color is a really lovely variegated blue.

Israel came over and told me he wants a gray sweater but I don't think I have the right gray for him. I'm not buying any yarns as I've declared a moratorium until I finish the new purchases from the far East whenever that is. However I continue to buy patterns and books and several have arrived, to whit:
McTague, Fiona, Knitted toys. Looks really nice. Only drawback is mainly done in Rowan yarns but it looks like they can easily be substituted.
Allen, Pam, ed. Scarf style. The Kathryn Alexander one is the most interesting. It's interesting in that up until this past year there were no scarve books at all. I think it's good they've arrived as why should we just think sweaters all the time. Ditto for the poncho which seems to be following after the scarf. What's next? as the new knitters get more confident.
Habibur-Rahman, Hajera and her two sisters, Gorgeous knitted afghans. Knitted afghan books are pretty scarce as compared to crocheted afghan books. I think I have all of them and they don't take up much room on my shelves so this is a welcome addition. Nothing especially grabs my needles just now but it's a good solid book.
Luters, Ginger, Module magic. This is definitely a thinking book which needs to be read first so ...
Stauffer, Jeanne, ed. Knitting in the round. Nice asssorted collection of small items plus sweaters and afghans done by the usual Knitter's mix of good designers. Nothing I must do though.
Sabrina, Strickmuster. good charted collection of knitting patterns with some details in German.
New magazine additions: Verena winter 2004/5, Anna Extra Strickmuster, VK holiday 2004, IK winter 2004, Woman's weekly Knitting and stitching special 2004 (has two exciting aran patterns), Sandra Oct 2004, Sabrina, Nov. 2004, Cast on Winter 2004.
The Knitwell catalog for 2004/5 arrived and I've ordered a few items from it mostly arans.
Koigu patterns: Magique and a shrug and 3 shawls.
Lisa Lloyd aran patterns including her new aran poncho.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

cotton aran Posted by Hello

IK complaints

Yesterday the latest Interweave Knits arrived. Winter 2004. Except for one sweater, they all have extra long sleeves or the models have short arms, one or the other. Only Veronik Avery's sweater fits the model well. The gansey for the man by Ann Budd fits the worst. Looks like the top of the sleeves are way too big for the armcycle and the neckline is too wide. The small items are ok but one doesn't buy a magazine for a hat and a pair of socks. Despite my comments, I feel that IK is the best knitting magazine around these days and has been for some time.

I've finished two cotton tops and finally the Szabo aran for myself (see just above. model is my friend Israel) . The aran had to be redone at the neck 3 times until I was satisfied as the pattern called for 124 sts in ribbing. It was wrong so I dropped off 12 the next time around and still too much so another 12. This is now pretty much how I like it. The sleeves are a good fit by the way. I asked Janet about adding afterthought pockets and she thought it would be fine, so in the forthcoming photo, notice the pockets. Normally I only do pockets in cardigans but this is going to be a favorite sweater to wear anytime it isn't that cold for wool as it's made of Cantata which is 90% cotton and 10% nylon. The pockets are on the sides where the mistake ribbing is.