October 30th, 2006

Brain Slug

Felting With Tennis Balls

My friend recommended adding tennis balls to the wash for increased agitation when felting. Has anyone tried this? Does it work? Does it hurt the washer?

I know washing with jeans is the standard, however, being the bbw I am, I don't own any jeans (only khakis). And my Mom won't let me use any other family members jeans because they might shrink. (No point in arguing with her.)

Should I go buy jeans from the goodwill just for felting? Tennis balls? I've even heard rocks and shoes.

I've had some trouble with things not felting well. your advice is welcome.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious
color knitting

Color workshop - Swatches!

Today I did a fantastic colorwork workshop with Brandon Mably (who designs with Kaffe Fassett) at Hill Country Weavers in Austin, TX (he's on tour).  It was great!  While I don't tend to shy away from patterns with complex stitches, I've always been a bit intimidated by knitting with tons of different colors.  No longer!  Anyway, I had a blast and I learned a fair share too.  Not too much about the actual mechanics of knitting, since it was just stockinette.  But... some tips and tidbits on working with color and how different colors play off each other.  Also, some tips on weaving in ends as you go. I have taken some more formal color theory classes, but I liked this approach much better.  Basically... just do it and see if you like it.  If you don't like it and you've already knit it... leave it there and keep going anyway because it's a swatch and you may be able to work it in later and look good.  If you see colors coming up that don't match, break one out and stick in something else! I think I learned more about working with color by working with yarn in this class than in the myriad of color theory classes I'd done previously.

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blossom tree

pattern, anyone?

I just spent like, 45 minutes looking for this on google or anywhere and it apparently doesnt exist. does anyone have/know of a pattern to knit a quillow? the only ones i can find are the ones made of fabric...


online source for no finish, cotton pillowcases for felting

so everything I've read says I really want to use a zippered pillowcase when I felt. Fair 'nuff, makes sense.
but when you're doing little things like flowers or cat toys or, in my case, little purses for neices ;), you dont want to use a standard sized pillowcase, and you dont want to put more than one item in there, just in case (the reviews have been mixed about whether thats ok or not, I'd just as soon be safe as sorry, thanks!)

anyway, here's a source for inexpensive cotton zippered pillowcases. no finish, so the water should go through them very easily. they come in a variety of sizes for your various projects.


your local target or walmart or other such place may have them as well but for me, doing stuff online is easier (plus I really dont care to shop at the megastore chains. I like Dharma alot and use them for my silk painting stuff so know they're reliable :))

hope someone finds this helpful!

(ps...be warned...dharma is a dangerous dangerous place.... keep telling yourself "I'm only here for the pillowcases....only the pillowcases....")


Newbie Sock Knitter Confesses -- I love socks!! -- and a sock knitting question

SOOOCKS! I love knitting socks!! Oh, how I love knitting socks!!! :)

I just finished my very first sock and I am about half-way through on the second. It's a lot easier than I expected!! I used Yarn Harlot's basic sock recipe in "Knitting Rules" to make my sock and it helped me figure out what I was doing without following an exact pattern. And I love it. :) I loooooooooove knitting socks. I could knit socks for the rest of my life and be happy. YAY SOCKS!!!

I do, tho, have a problem with baggy ankles. Nothing too bad and the socks I am knitting are for me so I'll just live with it. :)

However, my mom asked me to make her a pair of socks for her birthday!! My mom obviously loves me. :) I want to make her a very nice sock without baggy ankles. Yarn Harlot suggests either doing some decreases around the ankle or ribbing if you don't want to deal with the math. Since I like doing things the easy way, ribbing it is!

So, here's my question -- just what kind of ribbing? I have Nancy Bush's "Knitting Vintage Socks" which has some lovely ribbed sock patterns that go all the way down over the top of the foot and don't end at the ankle. However, those patterns won't quite work for me as my mom's foot is a size 11 and they're for size 9.

Would ribbing down to ankle and doing the top of the foot without a pattern look OK? Should I try to modify the patterns so that they'd fit the bigger foot? Should I break down and figure out the decreases? Or should I just give my mom socks with baggy ankles because she will love them because her daughter made 'em for her? :)

Okay, that last one's not really an option. :)
  • Current Mood
    happy happy

stripes and cables and texture, oh my!

ello ladies and gents.
sorry for boring text only, but i have two questions:

number one: does anyone remember that 'stripe calculator' thing? where you could pick colours and number of stripes allowed and get a cool, random stripe pattern? does anyone have the link? i've just started university and want to make some pretty cushion covers to make my room more individual and cosy, you know? and stripes are a nice easy way to do that.

number two: i have three skeins of rowan big wool (i know, yum, right?) which i am planning to make a huge snuggly scarf with to stave off the coldness that is coastal living in winter (also a product of university life). because big wool is so smooth and even i figured it would be a good time to play with cables and other textural patterns. does anyone have any links to nice compendiums of textured stitches and/or cable patterns, google didn't yield a lot that appealed to me. or failing that, a really good book to invest in with lots of texture patterns and cable patterns and so on? i'm not averse to spending money on a really good book containing lots of ideas (particularly given i get student discount on stuff, woohoo!).

i'd appreciate any help you lovely knitting people could offer. thankyou :D
  • Current Music
    talking heads:lifetime piling up

FO, Best Gift for a Fellow Knitter.

Who all's been working on their Christmas list?! I have!

I made the drop stitch scarf from this post, but in the blue and tan colorway of Patons SWS. It took me half a day of knitting and half an hour of picking back the dropped stitches (did anyone else's yarn stick to itself on every single stitch all the way down?) Got it wet and pinned it out to dry because it was A Tube Of Stockinette and now it looks fantastic! I got four more balls of the brown & blue SWS for my birthday, which I think I'll felt into a bag for my travel watercolor set. I love love LOVE the color transistions in this yarn! (I also love exclamation points today!!!)
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Thought I might pass along this joyous nugget of...um...joy...that I found browsing today (I think it's on topic enough for here, if not, I'll remove it):

You know that knitter you love to hang out with? The one with every size of needle...in baleen, bamboo, plastic and metal? The one with the stash that threatens to swallow her whole, the basement full of knitting machines, the rows and rows of pattern books, the glass jars full of stitch holders/markers/counters, the project bags of every size and shape and color?

The one that is IMPOSSIBLE to shop for because she has everything, in every colorway, plus three of the color that got discontinued four years ago? And you can't make anything for her because as soon as you finish weaving in the ends you look at it and know it's not good enough for her? But she's the one who taught you to knit so you can't just give her the same reindeer-printed coffee mugs everyone else is getting?  Yeah, that one. You know who I mean.

Ta-daaaaaaaa! You can donate sheep in their name to needy families, who can sell the wool or maybe even knit something out of it. Who knows? It sure beats a reindeer mug. :)
Heifer International "Knitting Basket"

Ha Ha! Gift List FINISHED. Now just need to actually finish the gifts...back to the raffia...*shudder*...
  • Current Mood
    chipper fantastic

Substitution yarn

I'm at college and therefore very cheap. Also, the only place to buy yarn near me is a JoAnnes thats really far away and has a pretty limited selection. I really want to make this tote bag, but the yarn they use is completely too expensive. They dont have any near me, so i checked it out when i was at home last weekend ($10 a ball!!, not too shocking. It is suede).  Since i really have my heart set on this piece I figured I would make it out of something else. Can anyone recomend a type of yarn that would work with this? The berroco suede is strong and flat, what would be a cheaper substitute of that consistency? An online store selling it would be helpful as well. Thanks for any help!

I've only just learned to knit a month and a half ago, but im getting the hang of it quick. And its so inspiring to look at everyone's FO's. I cant wait till im skilled like you guys!
Gold Cup

More Bobble Help, Please??

Instructions for Round 3 in the bobble border reads:
[K2, (k1,p1,k1,p1) in next stitch] around.

Am I supposed to K2, then take the next stitch and do some kind of k1,p1,k1,p1 into that one stitch, then K2 again? how would that one stitch work? what is it supposed to look like?

Thanks - you guys are the best!!

sweater reparations?

my friend asked me for some help regarding her sweater, but i don't know anything about sweaters so in turn i ask you for your help!

I have a knitted sweater that ripped along the "seam" from the part where the sleeve meets the side. The tear starts right in the armpit, to halfway down my side :( Normally I would sew it back together, but I don't know what to do w/a knitted fabric! It's a nice sweater, not sure what to do...

TIA for any suggestions!
[Brit&Justin] let you down

about to embark on my VERY FIRST SWEATER!! (sense the excitement!)

okay. so i have been DROOLING over the hourglass sweater in last-minute knitted gifts (by joelle hoverson) forEVER. practically since i first started knitting a year ago. the yarn called for (noro cash iroha), always seemed so far out of my price range. $100 for my first sweater? naaaah. HOWEVER, littleknits.com is having a sale on the cash iroha; 50% off a full bag (10 skeins), and since i'm making the smallest size, it'll cost me about $55 to make my very first sweater! i'm so excited.

but i'd like to know if there are things i should look out for when knitting this sweater. i've found a way to avoid sewing down the hems at the end, and i've found a few other sites, but i'm a little concerned about the collar. it's a boatneck, but i'd like to make it a little more... i dunno how to explain it. i'm afraid it'll droop off my shoulders, so i just want it to go over my shoulders a teeny bit more. has anyone made one with a modified collar? do you have pictures? any other tips would be much appreciated. thanks!!

Brain Slugs!

Hello All!

I have completed my husband's hallowe'en costume BEFORE midnight the night before. Thanks in part to my laziness in buying plastic headbands and sewing the slugs to them instead of knitting i-cord headbands.

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