Tag Archives: knitting accessories

I’m here to tell you: there is life after knitting

27 Nov

Spoiler: It’s mostly knitting.

My blog posts have always been sporadic so that for a few months I post regularly, and then nothing at all for a while. This time, though, it wasn’t only that life happened and I didn’t have time to write, I also didn’t have time to knit. Last spring I wrote my Master’s Thesis, and in the summer I graduated. All is relative of course, and I did knit a Girl Friday cardigan over the spring, but it took me two months, and that was all I completed in that whole time. It wasn’t very enjoyable, I merely went through the motions out of a strange sense of duty. I went weeks without knitting, and am only just now emerging from a 10 month knitting funk.

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Girl Friday

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Paulie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The summer is a blur. As it began I remember thinking I’m going to knit so much and take back lost time over the summer, but that lasted all of one day. In fact, it seems the summer lasted about a week. I did knit a Paulie cardigan so I suppose I had more time than it seems. Also, I have photographic evidence, so clearly I have been outside at some point, doing something. Gazing out into the woods.

So I could go back and do a recap of the things I’ve knitted while I wasn’t knitting practically speaking at all, but that’s really no fun at all.

Instead, I submit to your consideration: am I unwise for buying acrylics today to knit a Faberge shawl? It was 90 cents per ball, fingering weight acrylic yarn, and it was as soft as a really soft thing. I was impressed.

Oddly enough, I had the most intense case of buyers remorse I have ever had about yarn. I figure my reasoning went like this: 90 cents per ball is  practically speaking free yarn. But I got four balls to be sure to have enough yardage, so suddenly I was paying 3,60€ for yarn that was supposed to be free! (Practically speaking.) I made myself feel swindled. Well done!

It still is really soft, though. I have also had very good luck with acrylic yarns staying neat, and I don’t mind it if it’s hot. I could do with a new, really warm shawl. They do say you should always buy the best you can afford to knit with, but I think, on occasion, it’s okay to splurge on something really cheap.

I have been very interested in icord knitting machines lately, especially after seeing one used together with a power drill. I’m not in that much of a hurry to get icord, but just the fact that the machine can be used like that makes it seem more likely to be durable and useful in the intended way.

There are mixed reviews of the Knit Embellish machine used in the above video, though, so I’ve been hesitant about ordering one online. I would probably just be so lazy I wouldn’t return a defective one if I was so unlucky as to receive one of those. I was therefore very pleased to see Prym’s Knitting Mill, their take on the same machine, at my local yarn shop. The machine was very hefty so I suppose it’s metallic, and less likely to break in my questionable care. This may very well be my Christmas gift for myself.

Maybe. I could really do with another spindle as well… But that’s a story for another day.

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Needle Cases: Lessons Learned

19 Nov

This post might be somewhat negative in tone.

Yesterday I got it in my head that I must have needle cases right now. What better way to spend an afternoon (and an evening and the next morning) than sewing?

I thought I learned my lesson about thinking ahead, paying attention to details and going slowly the last time I sewed something. The lesson being that these are important things if you want to succeed well enough to actually want to use the finished object you end up with. Apparently I didn’t.

Yes, this time I skipped the thinking and went straight for the sewing. This lead to some major flaws in my new dpn case.

I didn’t notice three of the worst problems until I was finished.

First: the straps. I didn’t sew in a separate flap to the top of the case to keep the needles from falling out when the case is held upside down. Instead, I just made the case itself longer, so it can be folded over the needles. So far so good. The thing is, I forgot I had done this when I sewed in the straps, and placed them in the centre of the whole case – including the flap. Which is folded inside. Hence the odd placement of the straps on the rolled up case. I could claim this is a feature rather than a bug, if it weren’t for the fact that the placement makes the whole tying of the case a little bit awkward. Oops.

I also realized the straps themselves are too short only when I’d filled the thing up and actually tried to close it. Yeah. No. It would’ve also been a good idea to go to the trouble of changing the thread on my sewing machine to something that would’ve matched the straps better. The stitching is very visible at the seams. I knew when I sewed them that I wouldn’t like the result and I did it anyway. Gotta wonder about the attitude.

And then the needle slots. Nothing much wrong with them, you might say. But you’d be wrong. I forgot to sew the pockets onto the interior fabric before sewing that onto the outer fabric, which means the pockets aren’t attached into the case except at the side and bottom seams. And that would be ok (hey, that just means one big extra pocket behind the smaller pockets), but I had counted on the interior fabric to form the back pockets with the white fabric. Le sigh.

I still think the case is good enough, and I’m even more pleased with the circular needle case I sewed today.

After hours spent creating and fixing mistakes yesterday, I was able to skip the same mistakes today. It’s still not beautiful, but at least it has basic functionality (never mind the upper most row of pockets, that are too high up to accomodate circs). I measured twice and cut once (unlike yesterday) and was more obsessed with ironing the fabrics this time around, as well, so the result is a little neater.

I haven’t made the buttonhole on the strap yet because I have to buy a button first. I like the automatic button-hole foot on my sewing machine… actually it’s one of the last things in that machine I like. It’s getting to be old and cranky.

I meant for the case to fold two times, but somehow it just didn’t happen that way. I honestly can’t explain why. It’s ok this way too, but I would feel more secure about the needles staying in place if the case wasn’t just folded in two. I can live with it though because I hardly ever use those circular needles anyway.

Now I’m designing a case for my KnitPicks Harmony set beforehand, and trying to be thorough about it. I hope I get around to sewing it this weekend.

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