Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Way to Knit

I played a little hooky today from pulling down the Christmas decorations, and trekked over to visit my spinning group, already in progress.  The group was smallish and laid back today (it can get crowded and boisterous at times), and everyone had beautiful projects that they were working on or showing off.

Joanne, JRF's resident knitting designer, had a basketful of coffee cozies she'd made from recycled sweaters.

Joanne had also carded a bunch of very nice batts, shown here by our lovely Barbara.

Kay was spinning and plying some gorgeous textural yarn, which she may knit herself, or feature in her Etsy shop.

Linda knitted away on a nice cowl pattern, with a commercial alpaca blend yarn.

Our new friend, Beth, knitted like the wind on a very nice ripple-pattern scarf.  A great purple, too.

Laurie's Hands spun some super soft Merino superwash roving, blending in shiny mohair locks as she went.  This is her signature yarn, and it's the stuff of dreams.

No moss growing under Joanne today - here she is knitting her own pattern, "Trinket," which features a cool unraveling process.

Kate showed off the first colorwork she's done that she was happy enough with to show to the group.  Very nice job of combining handspun and commercial yarns in this lovely fair isle pattern.  These mittens are going to be warm!

I didn't get there with any show and tell, but I did bring a project that the group helped me problem-solve.  I just grabbed some hand spun Jacob yarn and a circular needle on my way out the door, hoping that the gauge I needed for a hat would magically work out.  But my swatch (yes, I swatched--the earth continued to revolve) told me the yarn was too thin for the size 10 needle I wanted to use.  The fabric would be too open and breezy to be a nice warm hat.

The Texas Twisters to the rescue.  Our group has been talking about a new video Lucy Neatby put out about her new invention: Navajo knitting.  I hadn't had time to watch the video, but the ladies, none of whom had actually tried this, showed me how.  It worked like a charm.

All you do is pull a long loop of yarn through the first stitch, hold the working yarn and both "sides" of the loop together as one, and knit the three "plies" as one yarn.  Instant three-ply yarn with a nice bulky, smooshy feel.  As you knit to the end of the loop, you stop, pull another loop through the first one, a la crochet, and off you go again.  If you've ever done Navajo plying on the spinning wheel, this will be a snap.

There it was -  a wonderful, practical, spontaneous, fun knitting workshop that took 10 minutes.

Always learning something new.

1 comment:

  1. Great projects! What pattern is Kate's mittens? I wish I lived closer to you ladies!

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