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Misc The New Textile Thread (or What to Wear and How to make it when TSHTF)
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  1. #81
    I'm laughing at your "frantic housecleaning"... that's going to be the highlight of my day today, as my daughter announced last night that they'd be coming to celebrate oldest grandson's birthday tomorrow- AND bringing a couple of his friends! Not a problem, usually- his birthday was last week, and they have this week off school, so we had loosely planned a visit at some point.

    But we ended up spending the entire day at a glaucoma specialist's, trying to figure out how to save hubby's sight (local eye surgeon screwed up badly, and I'm also looking for a malpractice lawyer- if there's ANYthing I detest more than doctors at this point, it's lawyers and the legal system, but I'm so angry I can't see straight right now)

    So, we checked the bees this morning- the one surviving hive has plenty of honey to tide them over until the crocuses start, so that's one less concern. My list includes "bake cake, frost and decorate, clean house, sew fleece sheets (grandson's present.... he has anxiety issues and loves really soft things, so he's getting lightweight brushed fleece sheets with a flannel StarWars binding), wrap present... after I pick up 5 new prescriptions for hubby! Arrrggghhh!!

    I WISH I had time to knit or sew right now. Oh, and sometime before we leave to visit our son and his wife Friday afternoon, I have to finish the adorable dress and leggings outfit I'm making her. It's a cotton floral jersey knit combined with a couple coordinating solid colors, and should be really cute on her this summer. I'm hoping the size is right, though! Which is one reason I MUST get it done... once I see her in it, I'll have a much better idea of what size to be sewing. And I've wanted a granddaughter to sew adorable things for for years!!

    The boys were fun when they were small... they got checked flannel shirts and farmer overalls, flannel pajamas and hooded sweatshirts, and once I made them fleece (as in, lambskin, with the fleece on) slippers.. boy, were they cute! But these days, even the sheets will be looked at with a bit of disdain (he'll love sleeping on them, but they absolutely won't look like a fun gift!)... so I'm also including a small drone I picked up at Sam's Club after Christmas. I can only imagine what he'd say if I tried to give him clothes, though!

    Summerthyme

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Green County, Kentucky
    Posts
    9,591
    Summerthyme, I am sitting here between chores and don't have time to look, but I'm pretty sure I've seen reports that both the autoimmune protocol and intermittent fasting have been known to help with glaucoma. It would be worth checking on, anyway. I sure hope something works.

    Kathleen
    Behold, these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him.
    Job 26:14

    wickr ID freeholder45

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Green County, Kentucky
    Posts
    9,591
    Summer, here is a post from the Intermittent Fasting forum I'm on: I will wear glasses everyday for the rest of my life if I want to see. But I went to my optometrist yesterday for a check of eye pressure. At 61, I've had glaucoma 5 years. The pressure in my eyes, even with nightly drops is always elevated. Yesterday it was NORMAL! My optometrist was surprised.

    I've seen other posts from people with glaucoma whose eyes are getting better on IF, too. IIRC, your hubby doesn't need to lose weight, so if he did IF he'd have to be careful to eat enough during his eating window. But it is supposed to have a lot of good health effects.

    Kathleen
    Behold, these are the mere edges of His ways, and how small a whisper we hear of Him.
    Job 26:14

    wickr ID freeholder45

  4. #84
    Am most of the way down the leg section of the first sock for BF. These will be knee-high too, and ordered more Blacker mohair blend last night to accommodate the extra requested length. Was not sure I was going to like this yarn during the first few rows, but it knits up beautifully. Free Ravelry pattern is a subtle nubby rib that is very easy keep straight: K all sts, K3 P1, K all sts, K1 P1 - each on its own round, for a four round repeat.

    Really would like to get back to the loom, and make a band of snowflakes in some colorful threads. Next week, I'll have a lot more time, and all to myself.

    Summerthyme, prayers for the improvement of your husband's eyesight. I agree that intermittent fasting may be worth looking into. It does seem to fix many problems. The Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Erik Berg videos don't address glaucoma specifically that I know of, but the reasoning these men give for the benefits of IF makes a lot of sense to me. You might get some specific answers if you contact one of them directly.

  5. #85
    Faroe do you have a link for the sock pattern on Ravelry, I'm almost finished with current socks and will be starting another for husband probably tonight - I'll look for it too so no big if you don't have the link but it sounds like a nice pattern
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  6. #86
    https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/petty-harbour

    Hope this link works.
    In case not, they are Petty Harbour by Rayna Curtis for First Light Handcrafts. The socks show up as #18 on the Rav sock pattern list (at least on my screen), and the photo shows the socks in bright blue.

    Mine are not knitting with the same effect the first photo shows, but I like how it is turning out.

    Let me know if you choose them.
    Last edited by Faroe; 02-25-2018 at 11:47 AM.

  7. #87
    Incidentally, I've been recently knitting while listening to videos made by this guy, Robert McDonald (spell?), Bespoke kilt maker.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2duPoEY7w4

    The above is one on evaluating potential kilt fabric. Hope the link works. His run times are about 8 to 15 minutes. Other videos are on old and modern colour combinations, how to care for kilts, how to measure for them, how he repairs and refurbishes old ones, and how to press one.

    I find these very informative, will be using some of his suggestions and techniques in my next check wool skirt.

  8. #88
    Got it thanks!
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  9. #89
    Opened a new set of Chiagoo bamboo, 5", size 0, DPN's, and am now working on the leg of the second sock. BF is on travel until Friday, so I'll re-measure then with a fitting to see if the height is were he wants it, before starting the heel. I actually kept track of every row on paper, and it is interesting to know exactly how many rows will have been knitted. The finished (?) leg measures 15 1/2 inches (relaxed, not worn), and has 151 rows of pattern and 20 rows in the cuff. That used up almost the entire 50g 175m (190 yrds) skein (just a few meters left).

    A defined number of rows makes the long slog of the second leg easier to deal with, and I know how much yarn future pairs will require.

    Took a break from that yesterday afternoon because all the tartan weaving videos were making me want to learn to weave a twill, so used some cheap acrylic yarn to warp up a home-made wood frame loom. It isn't large, but big enough to make a sample. Put string heddles on rods, so I had two rods for tabby, and three threaded for the twill heddles. (I am always tempted to bolt the thing to a saw horse, and tie the rods up with pullies and pedals...at which point, I suppose I could claim to own a 5-shaft loom?). I fudged the selvages a bit since I didn't like floats at the ends. Will have to research that more - maybe they are just left in the finer weaves, but the floating edges look ugly in the chunky yarn. Unexpectedly, while the pattern looks like a twill with a contrasting weft, the weave looks more or less like tabby with the weft in the same color as the warp. I was expecting more diagonal ridges, but maybe the even weave tartans only seem to have ridges because of the all-over color contrasts. On the next attempt, I'll put a couple of stripes in the warp, and see if I can get more of the tartan effect.

    I find a good tartan to be very pleasing to look at, and would love to work up to that skill level.
    Last edited by Faroe; 02-27-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  10. #90
    A twill trick, use a figure 8 motion of going under and over (or over and under) just be consistent; with your shuttle at the end of each row- the other trick is to have several extra warp threads at the edges (at least two) and use those to go under and over - you do NOT put them in a heddle, they are just lying there for you to go under and over for the salvages.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  11. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Melodi View Post
    A twill trick, use a figure 8 motion of going under and over (or over and under) just be consistent; with your shuttle at the end of each row- the other trick is to have several extra warp threads at the edges (at least two) and use those to go under and over - you do NOT put them in a heddle, they are just lying there for you to go under and over for the salvages.
    Thanks!

  12. #92
    Second leg is knitted. Same size needles, same yarn, same cast-on, same number of rows. It is shorter and smaller. Usually, I knit a bit looser further into a project.

    Uggh. This is the LAST time I knit a piece for anyone, EVER. I am completely tired of this project.

    I will probably rip all of it out. I will only be knitting for myself in the future. WAY too much time soaked up in trying to be *nice.* F**k it.

  13. #93
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    897
    I make braided-in rugs from old T-shirts. Youtube has several videos
    showing how to do the 4 strip braid . No sewing needed
    to make this rug. You can use wool also.

  14. #94
    Oh Faroe I'm so sorry about your socks, my advice takes a break and weave or something (make a simple Afgan or hat YOU want to wear) then take a deep breath and watch some videos on "making two socks at the same time" - I use 2 circular needles as I find that easier, also I can knit in smaller gauges so I can make finer socks.

    But the big attraction is, when I'm done, I'm done and both socks match (even if sometimes the errors match too lol).

    I just started that pattern and was going to ask you if you decreased in the back but I'll just plan on doing it carefully anyway, I started with 80 stitches instead of 72 on size 1 needles, now at 1 1/2 (a European size perfect for me and sock yarn).

    But do take a break, and next time if you change your mind and knit for someone; start with simple things like hats. In general, I will make hats for friends but only rarely socks or other more difficult items; I will make "bed socks" with no heals and no real size but that is just knitting a very long tube, usually with larger yarn. They are great to wear in the Winter over regular socks.

    Lei your rugs sound lovely!
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  15. #95
    Quote Originally Posted by Lei View Post
    I make braided-in rugs from old T-shirts. Youtube has several videos
    showing how to do the 4 strip braid . No sewing needed
    to make this rug. You can use wool also.
    This sounds interesting. I have more t-shirt knit fabric than I can use in several lifetimes (an entire bolt of a nice quality 8 ounce red cotton for one... it was 50 cents a yard, and I couldn't resist!) And I also have a lot of "rug weight" wool (and wool-nylon blends, which wear like iron). I've made a couple of small braided rugs, but I *hate* sewing them together... it's such a pain trying to get them to lie flat.

    I'll have to see if I can find those videos... probably won't get around to even trying anything until fall, as I absolutely *have to* get a king sized quilt top pieced... I found an Amish wonan who will hand quilt it for me, and I want to have it ready for a housewarming gift for my daughter... they are building a house this summer.

    But I'd love to have some bedside throw rugs that can stand up to being used by three dogs every day!

    Summerthyme

  16. #96
    Quote Originally Posted by Melodi View Post
    Oh Faroe I'm so sorry about your socks, my advice takes a break and weave or something (make a simple Afgan or hat YOU want to wear) then take a deep breath and watch some videos on "making two socks at the same time" - I use 2 circular needles as I find that easier, also I can knit in smaller gauges so I can make finer socks.

    But the big attraction is, when I'm done, I'm done and both socks match (even if sometimes the errors match too lol).

    I just started that pattern and was going to ask you if you decreased in the back but I'll just plan on doing it carefully anyway, I started with 80 stitches instead of 72 on size 1 needles, now at 1 1/2 (a European size perfect for me and sock yarn).

    But do take a break, and next time if you change your mind and knit for someone; start with simple things like hats. In general, I will make hats for friends but only rarely socks or other more difficult items; I will make "bed socks" with no heals and no real size but that is just knitting a very long tube, usually with larger yarn. They are great to wear in the Winter over regular socks.

    Lei your rugs sound lovely!
    It was a low point. BF can try them on and see what he thinks. He will be working non-stop for the next several weeks anyway, so there is really no hurry - although I do usually finish one project before beginning another. I've got some linen coming in anyway. Need a few new shifts. I wear them all the time, but only have three made-up. Sewing projects have a much higher success rate than my knitting.

    I did find an old paper copy of a sock pattern I purchased individually several years ago, but never made. Woooly West, Many Diamonds Socks. Pretty patterning, and some shaping. It will work well in the Blacker sock yarn. so I may cast on for those later. Also, now that I understand how the fancy tapes are made in Scandinavian Pick-up, I can add those to steeked sweaters. I do NOT knit flat (hate, hate, hate rows of purl). I could (in theory - moths?) dig out an old Setesdal sweater I fully knitted about fifteen years ago, but never steeked, nor assembled. The reason, was that the gorgeous sweater in the pattern photo had significant amounts of embroidery on black felt added on, but the instructions were basically non-existent for that step. Turns out, the fancy tapes were what was originally used on those sweaters. I recently ran across a lovely Fana style with the same finishing trim as well.

    Summerthyme, there are at least two ways to do a four strand braid (hair videos may help, if you can't find a good rug one). I can visualize how the type of braid with a fourth side-to-side traveling strand could be woven in and out to braid into the existing part of the rug. Agree about the sewing. Braided rugs are beautiful, but I would never want to sew one.

  17. #97
    When my children were small I made a nice little braided rug from discarded corduroy baby and toddler overalls. It turned out really nice, but unfortunately, I sewed the braid into place with nylon upholstery blind-sewing thread. I gave the little rug to my mom and when she dried it in the dryer, the heat made all the knots in the nylon thread come untied. She had a pile of badly tangled braid in the dryer and threw the whole thing out.

    I would have gladly fixed it, I've always been patient and good at unsnarling anything. I hated to hear that all my hard work was tossed out and it wasn't like my mom to do that. She must have been really frustrated about it.

  18. #98
    Nowadays, I save all my soiled rag rugs and blast them clean with the garden hose once it's warm enough out to use the outdoor faucets again. Then I hang them on cattle panels fences to dry, using a jillion clothespins so they don't sag.

    I don't want grit going through my washing machine and the rugs don't generally need soap, so the garden hose is good enough. It's not like I'm gonna use them for placemats or bathmats.

  19. #99
    I knit almost everything in the round too; unless it is lots of ribbing or something that doesn't matter; and yes, woven bands were originally used on those sweaters, I add both pick up and card weaving sometimes to my knitted work just to make it interesting.

    You can knit two socks (in the round) on one very long needle (Magic Loop Method) or two circulars (easier if they are the same size, different colors); I just find using two needles easier but I've been getting a lot more sock pairs finished since I started doing this.

    I still knit heavier socks for demonstrations on four pointed needles and/or fancy color patterns one at a time - (three colors on socks is one thing, six colors trying not to tangle is another).

    I've never tried braiding rugs, though I did weave on in Sweden during weaving class; they had piles of rags already cut up - a lot were part polyester but for a rug that just makes it last longer; although you want all wool if you are putting it next to the fire.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  20. #100
    I always consider the second sock/glove/mitten to be an opportunity to fix whatever went wrong on the first attempt. I've wanted to knit a pair of the Sanquhar gloves for several years now. Maybe later this spring - lots of opportunity for the pattern to go wrong there. Beautiful effect if it can be pulled-off, however. I find colour work to be easier to get right than texture work - K/P patterns and traveling zig zags confuse my head and mess with my eyes.

    Turns out, both socks fit fine, so I'm not worrying about the size difference - just added some rows to the narrower one to accommodate the extra stretch. They may be a bit too long at this point, the heel flap's 36 rows in the fisherman's knit (partridge eye?? S1, K1 to end, and S1, pearl the rest in alternate rows) knitted up longer than expected. I really like the heel on this sock. The turned heels on previous patterns have always been square, with an ugly awkward fit. This one had odd directions, but I somehow made it through line by line - the result is less bulky, and makes corner rather than a corridor for the heel. Totally mysterious, but whatever. I'm not the smartest person who ever picked up a set of needles.

    Not terribly clear on the directions going forward for reducing on the gusset. They are suddenly a little vague. My stitches are picked up, but I may have to consult another pattern. Again, I've done it multiple times, and it's still hard to grasp. One goal is to eventually knit socks from memory. Maybe after a few more pairs...

    Looking for ward to finally FINSIHIG these, and sewing.

  21. #101
    I am about half-way through that pattern, it looks nice but is sort of wasted on variegated yarn (live and learn) but husband really likes the effect and in this case, his opinion is the one that matters.

    I am doing two at once since I'm not doing any serious color work on them; I've got markers in the middle of the first needle; which is a bit confusing but makes leg shaping easier on a pattern that doesn't have any.

    I am going to decrease from 80 down to the 72 for the pattern, it may still be a bit big but some of my socks are almost too small and I know "himself" isn't going to push his socks on the way I do; someday I'll have someone make sock stretchers but that isn't likely in the near future.

    I planned on just doing my usual heal and gusset (fisherman's rib for 2 to 2 1/4 inches, rows don't count; then turn the heal; pick up about 18 to 20 stitches on each side (fine yarn, 11 to 15 on heavier yarns) and keep going.

    Sometimes I reinforce with sewing yarns on the heals, other times I don't bother - a lot of modern sock yarns have 20 to 25 percent polyester/synthetics in them anyway and are stronger. Pure wool, especially handspun socks get the sewing thread.

    I also am using size 1 needles for ribbings, heals and toes; size 1 1/2 (European Size) for the sock itself; that also tends to make the heals and toes longer lasting and the ribbing tighter.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  22. #102
    Quote Originally Posted by Melodi View Post
    I am about half-way through that pattern, it looks nice but is sort of wasted on variegated yarn (live and learn) but husband really likes the effect and in this case, his opinion is the one that matters.

    I am doing two at once since I'm not doing any serious color work on them; I've got markers in the middle of the first needle; which is a bit confusing but makes leg shaping easier on a pattern that doesn't have any.

    I am going to decrease from 80 down to the 72 for the pattern, it may still be a bit big but some of my socks are almost too small and I know "himself" isn't going to push his socks on the way I do; someday I'll have someone make sock stretchers but that isn't likely in the near future.

    I planned on just doing my usual heal and gusset (fisherman's rib for 2 to 2 1/4 inches, rows don't count; then turn the heal; pick up about 18 to 20 stitches on each side (fine yarn, 11 to 15 on heavier yarns) and keep going.

    Sometimes I reinforce with sewing yarns on the heals, other times I don't bother - a lot of modern sock yarns have 20 to 25 percent polyester/synthetics in them anyway and are stronger. Pure wool, especially handspun socks get the sewing thread.

    I also am using size 1 needles for ribbings, heals and toes; size 1 1/2 (European Size) for the sock itself; that also tends to make the heals and toes longer lasting and the ribbing tighter.
    I love it when you get to the skill level where the pattern is merely a suggestion, and the craft is your own.

    I never thought of not counting the heel flap rows. With the exception of the top 2" ribbing, ALL of the rows in this sock are meticulously counted; each numbered and checked after completion. These socks each have three pages of paperwork. It makes some sense for me because I tend to be absent minded - I can forget what row I'm in, in the middle of that row. Was that K3P1, or K1P1? Even with the new scrip eyeglasses (huge improvement), I can see the stitches, but I like the back-up of notes. I charted out the heel turn on graph paper so I'd have a better grasp of what was going on, and so it can be used for another pattern that might have a heel I don't care for. (ETA: This heel is explained clearly in Lara Neal's Sock Architecture, p.22-3.) I think I'll use smaller needles for the heel and toe myself, for the next pair. I have metal Hiaya's for 00 (1.75mm?). Need more sets of those. As much as I like the grip of bamboo, the Chia-goo points are inconsistent, and Clover's Takumi points are consistently too dull and round. It may be there there is no perfect knitting needle, but circulars drive me nuts.

    This Blacker mohair blend is supposed to be a hard wearing all natural sock yarn. I like it, but it breaks easily, so that remains to be seen. Thought of knitting my own sheds of waist length hair into the heel for extra strength. Again, maybe on the next pair.

    Good luck on your pair, Melodi!
    Last edited by Faroe; 03-07-2018 at 10:28 AM.

  23. #103
    Ok not the best photo, I'll try for more later; but you can see the decreases and how the two needles work; after 23 years of knitting socks (I started when we married) most patterns I use are "suggestions" but then I'm not a fan of complex patterns; textile artists tend to come on two types: those who live for increasingly complex and exciting new patterns, and those who enjoy boring; and I do boring really well.

    However, I am a big fan of looks complicated, but is really pretty easy; this pattern with its change every other row is about the most I'm up for, for nearly mindless knitting; especially in the varigated yarn as you mentioned it is very hard to tell which row you are on; that and it is close to but not the same as my other favorite not quite just ribbing socks which are 1 row knit, one row k2 p2

    row 1 knit
    row 2 knit 2, Pearl 2

    Repeat endlessly except when decreasing for leg shaping, the be careful (as with this pattern) to not accidentally move your ribbing over, but to start on a knit or pearl as the pattern is going.

    I forgot to mention my version of these socks is ribbing in K2 P2; partly because I was feeling pretty bad when I started them and wasn't sure I wanted a pattern at all, other than ribbing (you can do a whole sock in ribbing).

    On the heals, I do count rows in the sense I want them to match (and I almost always do a simple fisherman's rib unless I want to follow a complex pattern for some reason) but the rule of thumb is (and I think I got this from colonial knitting but I'm not sure):

    Most people have ankles about 2 inches long more or less; so if you make the heal part of the sock about 2 inches (can be as few as seven stitches on heavy over-socks on size 10 needles to 20 rows on very fine yarn - I've noticed 13 is about average) and/or

    Can you fold the top part of the heal downward to create a square by matching the ends together? (top left down to the bottom right)

    If you get a square or almost square it works; so does the 2 inches if your wool is taking too long to make the square.

    Now you turn the heal; honestly, mine turns are often slightly off but unless I'm entering them in a competition I only redo them if the "point" of the heal is widely off; a stitch or two doesn't matter a hoot on someone's foot; comfort, durability and warmth rule the socks in our household; although my personal ones tend to be a riot of color (and sometimes I do complx fairisles or Scandinavian ones for fun and because husband likes all things Nordic.

    But since he also tends to wear socks in the mud, throw them in corners and forgets about them; and these days he needs thin socks under suits (that are warm) I'm going for simple over artwork; and saving the artwork for his sweaters.

    I personally find knee socks fit much better with at least some limited leg shaping; I didn't do much on these but it allows for a better fit at the top of the sock; sometimes I add elastic to the tops as well and I may on these; husband's legs are more up and down than mine otherwise we can wear the same size socks for the most part.

    His feet are one inch longer, but in knitting that doesn't matter much.

    Anyway, here is a photo in progress; I found some solid blue yarn I will use on the next pair for him; I've had a bad week with fibro so I haven't been doing much but knit and a few chores; so the rapid pace is a combination of practice and just having been lucky enough to have the time to knit on them.



    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  24. #104
    A quick sock pattern by the way, especially for new sock knittings is to simply knit;

    K2 P2 ribbing (usually on a 1 size smaller needle)

    Then:
    K3 P1 for three rows

    then:
    P1, K3 P1 (last sitch will be a knit)

    Keep going, moving 1 stitch over ever three rows so the next one is

    K1, P1 - then K3 P1

    then

    K2, P1 - then K3 P1

    and your back to

    K3 P1

    do this endlessly for as long as you like, then make a toe - you get a spiral sock that works without a heal.

    An alternative version is K3 Pearl 3 but done exactly the same way only on a multiple of six, rather than a multiple of 4 stitches.

    You can add heals (and I often do these days) but the original socks didn't have them; they Stretch a LOT, the easy way to do do leg shaping is to start with a larger needle and go down to smaller ones.

    I like these socks in heavier Aran or Worsted weight yarn as oversocks

    There are patterns and pictures in the Interweave Sock book and Knitting in the Nordic Tradition.

    This is also a great hat pattern, especially for kids.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  25. #105
    Melodi, thanks for the pictures. I think I could do that and I'm going to try when I have time.

    Are you using two of the circular needles to make the two socks at one time? I can't tell from the pictures, but I can visualize how I might do it with two of them.

    I will have to get myself a bunch of those circular needles...probably just up to size 8. Doubt I'd even need them any bigger than a #8. I'd definitely want 2 of each, though. I can't imagine knitting things one at a time if there are no patterns or stripes to help keep count.

  26. #106
    There are two socks being done at the same time - one needle is the back of both pair of socks and the other needle is the front of both socks.

    There are You Tube videos just google "knitting two socks at once" and you will find lots of examples; I am still having issues casting on but I'm getting there (sometimes I just cast on double needles then put them on the round needles afterward.

    Some people us what they call the "Magic Loop" method where you use a giant circular needle folded and don't bother with a second needle (easier to watch than explain - again see YouTube); but while I can see trying that for a hat; I think in socks it would drive me crazy.

    Also, the two circular needles are relaxing enough to my hands I can knit in small gage for hours instead of not being able to knit socks in Winter much at all; I have started using two needles for hats etc too; for those projects it just ends the need to switch to double pointed needles towards the end; your only making one hat at a time, I have done one set of sleeves together (like the socks) and they worked out well).

    This system breaks down if you are using a lot of colors (too many balls of yarn) but otherwise to me it is a great improvement; though learning four to five needle knitting is a good prep; if the world went boom making double points is pretty easy; circular needles become nearly impossible without snags.

    That is why the first "interchangeable" knitting sets in the 1930's didn't work very well, and there were issues with some as late as the 1960's; modern technology makes them easy to snap in and snap out (the replaceable needle sets) but without plastic for the chords and without the precise snapping mechanisms it would be easier to use the very-very long double pointed needles used to knit Fair Isle in Scotland in the round.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  27. #107
    Melodi, thanks for answering. I can see making socks like this even with long straight needles. I'd need three of them. I have some old ones that the buttons have come off of and they might work. They are solid so I could file a point on the broken end.

    I have at least two sets of each size of straight needles, but I like the idea of two socks or sleeves on one needle. I wonder if I could make extra long straight needles from various sizes of stainless steel rod? Or if maybe I could find dowel rods of good grain and strength? Expensive but my small town simply does not have these sort of knitting things, and I don't use plastic, so I don't order things online.

  28. #108
    My town does have a Hobby Lobby, though, and I will check there before I buy any expensive metal rods or oak dowel rods.

  29. #109
    Those socks will be lovely. The pattern looks good in a variegated yarn. I have goth feet mostly done, and might finish the socks this weekend.

    Hope so - want to get back to the inkle and warp for a pretty Scandanavian snow flake pattern.

    I tend to listen to videos and podcasts while knitting. Good for keeping up on the current events and current conspiracies, but also ended up on some knitting podcases, and then found the Knittingpipeline on YouTube, and she also quilts. Quilting is one of those hobbies I actually try to stay AWAY from. I don't need another hobby. Paula had some videos on the quilt-as-you-go method, and it does make things simpler. I hate maneuvering a big heavy quilt for hand stitching. I have one about 95% completed (a very pretty irish double chain), but just got sick of dealing with the volume of it. So, plenty of scraps, and cotton batting in the stash....I might make a small dog size quilt, and see how it goes.

  30. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Melodi, thanks for answering. I can see making socks like this even with long straight needles. I'd need three of them. I have some old ones that the buttons have come off of and they might work. They are solid so I could file a point on the broken end.

    I have at least two sets of each size of straight needles, but I like the idea of two socks or sleeves on one needle. I wonder if I could make extra long straight needles from various sizes of stainless steel rod? Or if maybe I could find dowel rods of good grain and strength? Expensive but my small town simply does not have these sort of knitting things, and I don't use plastic, so I don't order things online.
    I have heard of bicycle spokes in tough circumstances. Not sure how much work they need, or if they are even worth the trouble. Steel rods are supposed to come in various gauges, and I recall someone suggesting "piano wire." You would be looking for something that is 2+ mm around. A US size zero needle at 2.0mm is good for fingering weight socks, and knits up at about 16 sts over two inches stockinette (assuming you "knit to gauge"). 2.25mm is a US size one, and 2.50mm is a size two. (Check for accuracy, but I'm pretty sure my memory on these measurements is correct.) You are unlikely to need need anything over a size 3 for socks. I've never been shopping for this wire, but apparently it can be found in larger hardware stores like Lowe's.

    IIRC, you want carbon steel, not stainless. The needles are kept oiled, and some of the finest steel wool for any surface corrosion would be handy. I'm assuming that the carbon is easier to work into a good point, but maybe stainless is also suitable, just not traditional. I've worked with jewelry wire, and have plenty but that is bendy, and I've never progressed to tempering. It should be as simple as a butane flame, but I can't advise from experience. This wire is sold in different measurements, you would want something close to a 14 or 16 gauge, but it would need to be checked with a needle gague card. The gagues get thicker as the number gets LOWER. A set of sterling silver needles would be absolutely lovely, but would the material be suitable? I don't know. Maybe I should try making some.

    Research on sites for traditional Gansey knitting might be helpful. The original knitters used extra long needles, and pushed the far end of on needle in a padded belt, or sometimes a knitting sitck jammed in a belt. Knitters achieved VERY fast speeds with this arrangement. Gansey Nation is a big site, and might have spec. needle info., also the blog by the ill tempered but very informative, A Fisherman Knits has posts on wire needles. This guy used to make and sell traditionally styled gansey needles on Etsy, but his store has been empty the last few times I've looked. I know of two sites that sell the needles (don't know about quality, and haven't bought from either, but as historically oriented businesses, they do seem like the "real deal." Maybe you could order through a friend? Both are in the UK, so I doubt a postal money order would be accepted. PayPal at this point, is nearly universal, and they have some different programs, maybe they would take money orders, or you could get a prepay WM card (never done it, but they sound as easy as buying phone minutes).
    Last edited by Faroe; 03-09-2018 at 02:22 PM.

  31. #111
    Faroe, thanks for the several ideas and suggestions. For starters I will probably just take my knitting gauge to the hardware stores and to Lowe's and see what I can find.

    I thought stainless would be good because it wouldn't corrode from salty, sweaty hands. If I used dowels, I could grind my own points and then when they are sanded smooth all over, I could varnish them or maybe better, keep them "scrubbed" real well with waxed paper. Or maybe just use a good sealer on them so they wouldn't puff up from hand moisture.

    I have a nice 6" grinder but it's buried beneath so much crap that I'd have to get someone to put the points on metal needles for me. I really do like the idea of making super long needles rather than using the round ones.

    It'll all have to wait until my garden is planted. It's spring here now, and I'll soon be too busy to knit for a while.

  32. #112
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Faroe, thanks for the several ideas and suggestions. For starters I will probably just take my knitting gauge to the hardware stores and to Lowe's and see what I can find.

    I thought stainless would be good because it wouldn't corrode from salty, sweaty hands. If I used dowels, I could grind my own points and then when they are sanded smooth all over, I could varnish them or maybe better, keep them "scrubbed" real well with waxed paper. Or maybe just use a good sealer on them so they wouldn't puff up from hand moisture.

    I have a nice 6" grinder but it's buried beneath so much crap that I'd have to get someone to put the points on metal needles for me. I really do like the idea of making super long needles rather than using the round ones.

    It'll all have to wait until my garden is planted. It's spring here now, and I'll soon be too busy to knit for a while.
    They may be too short for you - they are about a foot long, but Imusa brand sells (or did sell) bamboo skewers in the kitchen (Mexican cooking) aisle at WM. They come pkgs of maybe 50-100 for about $2. I use them for general craft, and for various attempts at back-strap looms. The skewers are a bit wide for your purposes, but maybe correspond to about a size 3 US. I haven't tried them as knitting needles, but they might work with some fine sand paper, maybe 400 grit. I always use regular nail polish and instant dry top coat if I want a smooth and slick point on wood. (Hairsticks and knitting needles have a few things in common.) Paper beads would be a good way to put light weight knobs on the back ends.

  33. #113
    More good ideas! Thanks! A size 3 needle might be good for sports weight or baby yarn if I wanted something smooth without being too tight and stiff. I'd want to use finer yarn and small needles to make undershirts.

    When I was a little kid, someone gave me a Christmas gift that I never forgot. It was a plastic spool with four pegs at one end and there was a crochet hook and instructions for things to make out of a long, long piece of cord produced with the spool.

    It disappeared, went the way most toy type things do when one is the oldest child in a large family, but when my own children were small, I pounded four tiny brads around the hole in one of their wooden Playskool spools and it worked perfectly. It is an orange spool and I still have it. Something similar but smaller would make some good cord for many uses, like lacing up clothing or shoes. I've thought of making cording from all the strings I have saved when zipping open feed sacks.

    For making big sizes of knitting needles, I could use those pointy pencil erasers for end knobs on homemade needles. Or stud earrings, if one could drill a small enough hole for the stud.

  34. #114
    You can buy the long double-pointed needles, they still use them a lot in Scotland where knitting in the round has been a tradition for generations and the circular needles are relatively recent; especially the new ones that work so well.

    You can also make knitting needles out of bone (I used to have a set of sock needles made from cow bone; I didn't make them but I bought them from the person that did make them; there are YouTube videos on this I'm sure (I haven't looked but there are on just about everything else).

    Knitting spools are great and we saw some Dark Ages versions made of deer bones (with natural "points") and samples of braid "knitted" on them; these days you can get giant round versions pretty cheaply that make tube socks, hats or even sweaters.

    I gather the advantage of the "knitting spools" or "knitting looms" is that many elderly and disabled people can use them to "knit" with; because they only need to be able to hold the one crochet hook and flip the yarn over; which is easier than needing two good hands to knit.

    There was a human interest story a few months back about a man in his 90's whose day is spent making hats for the homeless; he used to knit them the usual way but in his late 90's he had to switch to a hat size, plastic "knitting loom/spool;" but the results were lovely.

    I may pick up a few eventually just to keep around for those "just in case" situations, also I gather they are a great way to get kids started with textile crafts.

    You can make the brain version with a wooden spool (if you can find one) and nails, which is what I had as a child.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  35. #115
    Melodi, have you finished your socks? I got sidetracked, but am back at them this morning.

    YouTube has several videos by Sue Daley, "Shape UP" on English Paper Piecing. Her work is beautiful, and she is a good teacher for this quilting technique. I like it because it is low-tech. It is easier to cut paper precisely (esp. graph paper) than it is to mark, cut and fold fabric precisely. I have my mother's rotary cutters, but the blades are all rusty, and I own only a couple of acrylic quilter's rulers. Mostly, I cut with shears. Also, hand piecing means that one can't just align the fabric on the 1/4" seam allowance line of the sewing machine. I ended up basting the fabric onto the paper templates. Elmer's glue doesn't work for this, couldn't find the glue stick, and I don't have one of those fabric glue pens. Flimsy graph paper worked fine. If I were doing more complicated shapes, I would want cardstock, and would prefer to pay for the packs of shapes that are professionally cut. Also, this method makes it easy to form precise shapes, even very small patches with no preliminary ironing. Saves burnt fingers, and ironing here is a hassle. I have to set the board up on the porch so the caged birds aren't poisoned by Teflon fumes. So, just sitting at my desk, was able to cut and piece a 14 square patch block that in 1" squares that fitted together accurately in a couple of hours. Since it was just an experiment, didn't iron at all, was using dull sewing needles, and crappy sewing thread (what was closest at hand)...but it works well.

    As I mentioned earlier, I never quite finished the first pieced quilt I ever made. I did EVERYTHING wrong, and EVERYTHING was a headache to get right. The project absorbed hundreds of hours - not kidding, it was worked over many months of free time, and wasn't even particularly complicated. At this point, I think I could make another, better one in much less time.

  36. #116
    Not yet, I'm making them extra long (an idea from an old kid's knee sock pattern) so I did the double length (four inches) of ribbing to be folded down with elastic placed inside it; then I'm almost to the place where I want to start the foot (about 13 to 14 inches).

    I've got enough yarn to do this on this pair, and at least one other pair and see how it works; the yarn is a wool-cotton-poly mix without a lot of stretch and husband has rather straight up and down legs (they need some shaping to fit but not a lot) so I'm thinking they may stay up better with the stronger elastic.

    We shall see and also see how they fit; he likes his socks LONG but it willing to go for shorter ones for dress socks since I explained that when I have just one hundred grams of sock yarn, they can't be that long.

    For this pair, if have 200 grams and I won't need all of it, probably about 150 and then use the leftovers for cuffs and heals to make his black socks longer.

    I also dug out my "heart" sweater to finish from the Ravelery pattern; I realized that what was keeping me from finishing is I didn't want to make a yoke-like all the other yokes and since I missed the contest deadline it didn't matter.

    I found a lovely two cats with their tails making a heart that is more "me" than the original pattern (which has hearts on it, the book was to raise money for mosquito nets in the third world) now I've discovered I've misplaced most of my knitting markers which I really need for a large (25 stitches) repeated pattern on the yoke; if they don't show up by next week I may order a few more.

    I know I have tons of them but just not sure where; I am starting to suspect another UFO (Unfinished object) like the heart sweater that I forgot about.

    Picture of "Heart on my Sleeve" sweater in progress

    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  37. #117
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    The Last Frontier
    Posts
    1,878
    I've enjoyed this thread so much. I love knitting and have made socks, scarves, hats, mittens...but it's been several years since any of that - and I have yet to complete a sweater though I do have a pretty one I started that I want to complete. Now that I have a couple of grandgirls I want to get back to sewing clothing, which I did growing up and when my boys were younger.

    This is my recent quilt I pieced for my oldest son and his wife...it's a huge king (modeled by youngest grandgirl). I need to get it quilted so I can do the binding and send it off to them. Working on one for youngest son that uses the Young Man's Fancy blocks. Also starting to cut the girls' quilts - I am one of those people that has to know there is another one coming along so I have something new to do when I finish a current project. Would love to make myself some cotehardie style dresses to go along with my cloak that's underway as well. Thanks for the instruction and inspiration here! So many projects, so little time!

    All that is gold does not glitter....

  38. #118
    Gorgeous!
    Cute model, too.

    I decided there was no reason to have an almost finished quilt hanging over my head for another several years, and pulled it out yesterday. Bindings on the two long sides are now basted on. Still can't decide what I want for quilting on some of the larger plain areas - might do a celtic braid along the wide border, but there are many large plain squares too. A big challenge is just getting a design properly drafted onto the fabric, and having the marking last long enough to see it while stitching. The off-white areas shouldn't be hard, but this project was a tedious slog every step of the way.

    I'm hoping it can just "come together" at this time.

    Knitting is finished on both socks.
    They just need Kitchener stitch at the toes, and ends woven in.

  39. #119
    The quilt is wonderful!

    Not a skill I have but my first cousin is a master of the art and she judges shows now at the Washington State Fair most years.

    Socks are most of the way down the foot; I may finish them tomorrow; then I will decide if I want to do the solid blue ones next or something else - husband really needs socks but I may work on my UFO sweater for a change and get that sorted while it is still cold enough to wear it.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  40. #120
    The finished socks, the husband hasn't decided if he wants elastic in the ribbing yet.

    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

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