Sunday, November 18, 2007

A 'Little" Bit of Knitting

It's been an interesting weekend. A friend's sister was having a small birthday gathering Friday night so I got a chance to meet up with them and enjoy some good company. Birthday girl decided to play a few games, one was the shower game of throwing dice and if you get doubles - you win a prize. For some reason I kept throwing doubles. It was kind of embarrassing. But the second half of the game was "steal prizes from Jill" portion of the game. Every time someone got doubles they could steal a prize from anyone else. I did go home with a few prizes including a pen with a snowman snow globe on the top.

Saturday was to be our yearly work party but I sat down at 3pm and woke up at 8:30. OOPS! Missed the party. Guess I was tired. The rest of the weekend has been going through some boxes, cleaning, trying to get this house back in order from the basement work - you know - the usual.

I did get a bit of knitting done. I finished the Cable Gloves. They are from Vogue Knitting- Fall 2007 magazine.

I couldn't get a good shot because the sun didn't make an appearance today so bear with the slightly off color and lack of contrast. If the gloves are clear enough for you, Chief is here to distract you.

I discovered something while blocking these gloves. Acrylic dries I ton faster than wool! These were made out of Woolease (80% acrylic/ 20% wool). They dried before I set them down practically verses the 5 years it seems to take wool items to dry.

Let's look at what I found is the boxes I went through today. The first box had some old sweater samples from when I had the shop. They're machine knit but, still, I designed them and thought you might like to see a few oldy-moldys.

First up - my Henry VIII sweater. When I finished the sweater it looked unfinished so I added feathers, buttons, a necklace and Henry seems more regal. The yarn on his fur collar and his bread is a boucle so it's nice and textured. He's probably about 15 years old.

Next, a knit-weave vest. This was one of my biggies. I think I made about 6-10 of these with different knit weave patterning on each one. I sold this pattern from California to Texas; Minnesota to Florida and then it sold in England. The pattern was more an instructional thing. I gave a list of several vest patterns at the time that would work and wrote directions on how to knit weave and how to use that as fabric for a combination "regular" material & knit material vest. At the time, it was one of my most popular seminars.

For those of you who have never seen a knitting machine I'll try to explain the process a bit without using technical terms. Basic knitting on machine isn't - POOF - magic it's done. It's much quicker than hand knitting but you still have to do all the shaping, cables, etc. by hand. In knit weaving you have the lay in the second yarn by hand. The machine bed has a boat load of little hooky needle things that get grabbed by the iron looking thing (carriage) and pulled out. This opens the little hook and the yarn drops into the needle while the old loop is pushed to the back of the needle. When the needle gets pulled back, the new yarn stays in the hook and the old loop falls off making a stitch. That's basic knitting. There's other things that go on to do 2 color knitting, slip-stitch, etc. but we won't talk about that now.

To make knit weaving you use 2 yarns at the same time. One yarn is making a basic stitch (the pink in my vest picture) while the second yarn (the fancy yarn) is laid into needles in different patterns creating the floating design. If you were to look at the backside of this piece you wouldn't see the fancy yarn, it just floats on the top being caught in by the base knitting.

I have one last item. It's in the category of "what was I thinking". The mother of my friend I mentioned above used to make miniature things and sell them at shows. Friend's husband got in the act and made the wood items for the business and miniature photos/magazines. I decided I was going to give them a few knit/craft items and started knitting. I crocheted a doily out of thread and decided to knit something. I just found my box of the items I made and never gave to friend's mom.

Impressed? Let's take a closer look at the knitting shall we?

Well, here it is with my pointer finger for a reference. If you look close you can see the knitting needles are a couple of straight pins. What was I thinking?!?! I was smart enough to glue the loops to the "needles" after I finished so it didn't pulled out and unravel. I can't imagine the people that make full sweaters and socks this size and smaller.
Well, for the rest of the weekend - well - the rest of today - I need to get back to working on the basement. I may get done before the next decade but- don't hold your breath!


limedragon :-: Harriet said...

That teeny knitting is so cool! : )

Love the red gloves and these machine-knit projects too.

Rani said...

OMG! That tiny knitting is HILARIOUS! Wow!

The red gloves are GORGEOUS! I think I have that Fall Magazine and I'm going to copy you! I don't remember seeing them there. I have never made gloves before. They always seemed too tedious. I think I'm ready!!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Jill said...

Allright, I tried your little piece of yarn trick to keep track of decreases and plain rows...I LOVE it! Wow. Such a small thing, but it really made my life easier. Thanks for sharing! :)