Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Heaving up my either hand

Robert Herrick wrote this Child's Grace some 400 years ago Here a little child I stand heaving up my either hand, cold as paddocks though they be, yet I lift them to to Thee For a benison to fall, On our meat and on us all. A paddock was a frog or toad in dialect, in case you didn't know. That had to be explained to us as school as well. Yay! Developed mittens that fit either hand. On the sock machine, long writs then pretty much like the heel-less socks with a 5x1 rib. The handknitting decreases faster, afterthought thumb cut in, handknit 20s sts, 25 roounds. Then also played about with the 12 st repeat Little Lithuanian pattern. Started with a turned-under cuff, 60 sts for a mitten on the Knitmaster. Tried to sew the seam as invisibly as poss. Again, afterhought thumb over 20 sts (machine knit this time, and seamed). Top handknit. Then, having bought the book Saltwater Mittens (Newfoundland), spotted another 12 st repeat pattern called Nor'easter. Very clever, repeat is only 6 rows but the overall appearance is of waves moving diagonally, and the light and dark ares re exactly the same. Devilish tricky to do the punchcard though. This will probably look better as gloves, plan first pair to be pink and white as in the book.

Thursday, 24 January 2019

Now knitting

Griswold's Stocking Knitter is now knitting with a combination of old needles and my (also tailless) Cymbal needles. Seems quite tolerant of the mix. However, my ribber needle are too long so going to try experiment of chopping off the ends. Use a hairband for a clasp band and another one for a make-do buckle. Crochet kitchen curtain - just started the base of the flower vases. In other news - no more signs of mice in the attic, neither have they taken the bait.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Dyed in the Wool

Many years ago, 2003 in fact, when I was in the Knitting & Crochet Guild, I had some old dyestuffs to play with - the lac going back 70 years and still viable, Scottish Crottle wrapped in 1963 newspaper. These had belonged to Kim Wright, a well-known spinner and weaver, who said he had married his wife "to die for him". We had some of his items in the Guild's Collection. Some years later it went back to the family, but my book about the experiments lingered on in the library. The Collection is now on the move to another village, and today I was was asked if I wanted that folder back. I declined. However, it got me thinking, about all the natural dyeing I used to do. I did demos of spinning and dyeing, and kept a couple of basketfuls of rainbow dyed wool. One of the baskets I even wove myself, under the guidance of Maggie Cooper. http://www.maggie-cooper.com/. I’ve given up doing demos in cold outdoor locations now, and the stuff is just lying up in the attic. As part of my mission to empty the attic by bringing down at least one item every time I have cause to go up there, I am going to bring all the spun wool down and knit a top down jumper rainbow fashion. Red near the neck, then orange etc, but occasionally mixing them up so it’s not a sharp division of colours. Maybe even insert some natural Shetland in there. When I did my Walnut 'n' Wensleydale, the pattern was word of mouth from my friend Bea, but turns out to be the Oddball Sweater by Ann Tudor who credits Mrs Winkler as far back as the 1950's. Would prefer a cardi, but have noted other people’s comments on saggy bias front edges when they tried this. Basically cast on 80 sts, double increases at four equal points until it is well over the shoulders and at armhole level, then divide for back front and sleeves. These are worked circularly, two points of increase, two points of decrease until long enough, Match stripes if you can! Have also, almost accidentally, acquired a very old "Griswold's Stocking Knitter" (note the apostrophe), probably dating back to before the association with I L Berridge. It's not the 60/30 combo I wanted, but a non-standard 4 inch cylinder 84/42, so is probably going to cause a headache. The needles appear to have been adapted from longer ones by having a bit chipped off. I've brushed the rust off and oiled it and put it back together but it's not behaving as it should and I am now tired out. Tomorrow is another day.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

... and another New Year

Hap Yoke cardi in final stages. Making more tea cosies and coat hangers for the museum. Nothing thrilling! Estonian Socks & Stockings book came for Christmas, wonderful wealth of techniques to try out, if I ever get round to them.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Happen I'll make a yoked cardi...

At last, cast on, on the Knitmaste, for the Hap Yoke Cardi. Did the back yesterday, and the two fronts today. The row number is a bit odd, a mish-mash for two previous jumpers and mis-reading sleeve length for body length! I expect it will all fit together okay, they usually do when I trust my own patterns. Have also scanned all the pages of the Harrison V-bed manual and made the discovery that the first entries in the handwritten notebook are 1890. This is quite a find - 138 years old, wow! The machine is now moving, but have not tried any yarn again yet. Plan now is to write up more about it, make a new "manual" of ring binder with scanned pages as the original is so fragile, and do comparisons with modern flatbed/double bed knitting. Will keep the machine here all winter then is can go to museum via Sock Machine Event at Kegworth in March The original practice sock pattern given is for an e-wrap start, no welt, shapings along back seam, heel flap and gusset (bit of a surprise, that). Toes finished down to 6 or so stitches then latched off from one bed to the other, not k2tog fashion. May try this method out on the Knitmaster.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Bagging it up

All Christmas presents now knitted. I am particularly pleased with the coat hangers, but definitely need to get the stitch count down from 41 start. Inevitably made more diamonds, as they are too easy, but blankets are proliferating. Thought I might make a tote bag along the lines of the cushion. Initial plan was 3x3. Needed to do a straight edge for the top, but sides and based can be folded round. In the search for straps came across pyjama girdles in Rowells (along with nice spotted fabric for lining). This would be better as single strap. Note that Rowells also have curtain rings and D rings sold singly. As shop is up for sale and will most probably close down, must get back there quick if idea works out.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

The prophetic mouse

The day after finishing Noelle Mouse, went into the attic to get items for show on Sunday. We've got mice! First time in this house, and we've been here 35 years. Bait and trap put down, but will have to do major overhaul of all woolly items up thee. Plus they have nibbled away at a couple of polystyrene Christmas ornaments. Perhaps I ought to knit a cat next.