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Thread: Knitting!

  1. #31
    Registered User jannilee's Avatar
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    I agree about the pleasures of winding a centre pull ball by hand. There are great ipod apps for needle sizing and gauge calculations (tho' calculating gauge is a lovely little mathy moment for us geeky folk).

  2. #32
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    Hi, Katy.

    You can wind a skein into a ball without any equipment. For example, sit cross-legged and drape the skein so it goes around both knees. Or drape it over the back of a chair.

    Someone at the yarn store can show you how to wind a center-pull ball with just your hands. (Ask about how to check for grain, so you know which end goes inside.)

    Knitting doesn't demand a lot of equipment: needles and a small bag for ring markers and small safety pins (for row markers), a crewel-type needle for working in ends and grafting, a tape measure, a needle gauge, thread snips, paper and pencil for sketching and taking notes.

    And a nice bag to carry the project in (which could be a Swift or a stuff sack in a backpack).
    GRAIN?
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  3. #33
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    @ MaggieScratch, Moose, and dorayme -- thanks for your input regarding your experience with the nostys! You had some precise measurements in there, so I hope it wasn't too inconvenient to dig out your favorite nostys and measure them for me. It sounds like a bit of taper is a good thing for decreasing tangling, then. And I suspect that I too will find it easier to work on a smaller nosty -- I have small hands with short (kinda stubby) fingers.

    @ dorayme: I haven't seen too many nostys around the 7" range on Etsy -- do you have a recommended source for the smaller ones?

    @ Katy: Oooh...need for vicarious smooshiness fulfilled! Your yarn choices sound lovely. Malabrigo is luscious...FYI, if it's the one-ply type, knitting it more densely (i.e. smaller needles) will keep it from pilling as much, though it diminishes the drape of the fabric. Bummer about the alpaca tangling...hope you were able to disentangle it from itself. Goodness knows I've reversed some major tangling before. I don't have a yarn swift at home (but I do have a lovely Cork Swift!) so thus far I have used the yarn-over-the-knees technique that gmanedit mentioned, and wound balls by hand. P.S. Eliam will be very lucky to get an alpaca scarf...

  4. #34
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    Hi, Katy.

    Take a bit of a wool strand in your left hand and lightly pinch your right thumb and forefinger over it; move them up and down along the strand, paying attention to how it feels. Now turn the yarn around (reverse top and bottom) and repeat. You may find that your fingers move more easily/sense less resistance in one direction than the other. (This is because of the structure of the cuticle on the wool—overlapping scales.) You want to follow the path of least resistance, so identify which way it's easier to slide your fingers and start the ball with that end. Otherwise, you're fighting the grain as you knit.

    Not all yarns have a discernible grain, but it pays to check.

  5. #35
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    @ Yeti, mine was custom made by Beech Creek Naturals. He's a local wood craftsman who turns by hand and resists using any tools with tails. He also uses locally sustainable and reclaimed woods, no dymond wood here. His work is lovely and born from wanting to craft fiber tools for the mother of his 5 sons, his wife Amber. The purity and simplicity of his pieces to me make them sooooooo beautiful.

    @gmanedit, I have been crocheting for almost 30 years, knitting for almost 7 and spinning for almost 3. I have never heard of yarn grain. It makes perfect sense and may explain some things, but seriously, I have NEVER heard of it. You have fulfilled my daily quota of earning something new.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  6. #36
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    Ordered a Nosty...

    Thanks for the link, dorayme. Beech Creek Naturals does indeed do beautiful work. I think the Cherry nosty is especially pretty...and how neat that it was harvested from his parents' land. Unfortunately right now their stock is all >10" and I'd like to have some experience with one before placing a custom order, so I found a different nosty on Etsy that I thought fit the bill...what do you guys think?
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/63929272...sty-nostepinne

    It was the shortest/narrowest one I could find so I hope it works for my stubby hands. I do like Black Walnut. It's domestic and I think it ages nicely (my hand-crank coffee grinder is Black Walnut and it's gotten darker and shinier with use).

    gmanedit, I have to second the thanks for clarifying the term "grain". I must admit that I had no idea what that was but was too embarassed to ask I just checked my current knitting project -- by chance, I'm knitting with the grain (phew!).

  7. #37
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    Hi, dorayme and yeti. Glad it was helpful. Knitting is the best—one thread that can cover the various shapes of the body with no fabric cutting. It's magical.

  8. #38
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    I spent the weekend at my grandparent's house recently. My grandma helped me start Eliam's scarf. It was helpful to watch her for the first couple rows before I started on my own. I've spoiled grandma over the years. She now has a Swift in Cork, Pen/Pencil/Needle Clear Organizer Pouch and quite a few Stuff Sacks in both Steel and Iberian.
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  9. #39
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=yeti;23159]@ MaggieScratch, Moose, and dorayme -- thanks for your input regarding your experience with the nostys! You had some precise measurements in there, so I hope it wasn't too inconvenient to dig out your favorite nostys and measure them for me.

    Hi yeti,
    Oh my yes, a dreadful inconvenience, I had to fully extend my arm to get my nosty in my hand.
    Happy travels,
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  10. #40
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmanedit View Post
    Hi, Katy.

    Take a bit of a wool strand in your left hand and lightly pinch your right thumb and forefinger over it; move them up and down along the strand, paying attention to how it feels. Now turn the yarn around (reverse top and bottom) and repeat. You may find that your fingers move more easily/sense less resistance in one direction than the other. (This is because of the structure of the cuticle on the wool—overlapping scales.) You want to follow the path of least resistance, so identify which way it's easier to slide your fingers and start the ball with that end. Otherwise, you're fighting the grain as you knit.

    Not all yarns have a discernible grain, but it pays to check.
    Hi Katy,
    The same thing is true with spinning. It is easier to pull from one end of the roving than the other. I cannot explain the science but it makes total sense to me (a non knitter) that the difference would show up in the finished yarn as well.
    Happy travels,
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  11. #41
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    Katy, I'm not a knitter but that looks awfully nice for a beginner!

  12. #42
    Registered User dorayme's Avatar
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    Katy, you have a lucky Grandma, and you are lucky to have a resource to help you get started. Eliam's scarf looks nice, it should be very warm and cozy for him.
    I really, really like TB Bags!

  13. #43
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaggieScratch View Post
    Katy, I'm not a knitter but that looks awfully nice for a beginner!
    Oh believe me, it took quite a few tries to get that far. I kept messing up so we had to restart it.
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  14. #44
    Registered User Moose's Avatar
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    Katy,
    Your scarf is lovely. I REALLY like the color. Is the yarn varigated? The scarf looks like it might be but the ball looks to be a solid color.
    Moose
    List exceeds allowed characters. So I'll just say I'm plum and kiwi loving FOT!

  15. #45
    I work at TOM BIHN Katy's Avatar
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    I don't think so. It's the Plymouth Yarn Company Baby Alpaca Worsted:http://www.plymouthyarn.com/index.ph...lection=000012

    I think it's color 402 though I don't really remember. I just thought it was a nice dark grey color
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