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Clothing The New Textile Thread (or What to Wear and How to make it when TSHTF)
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  1. #121

  2. #122

    Two sides of the quilt binding are finished. Short sides for today and tomorrow.

    Got distracted with more English paper piecing experiments. Currently working with cut up 3X5 index cards - a much better weight to work with. Found the glue stick, and proper milliner's needles (long and very thin - I need another pkg; I tend to snap them). Really want to try some hexies, and would love to do a small free-form hexi project in Robert Kaufman's Japanese inspired blue and white prints. Love blue and white themes. Color generally scares me (I always pick mostly neutrals), but I can handle blue and white. Not the best time to spend a bunch of money, however, and these two weeks (BF is working long hours) were supposed to get some clothing made, and more pairs of socks. We'll see.

  3. #123
    Husband likes them as is, they are the perfect length and he says they feel nice and tight (maybe the cotton in the yarn?) anyway, I didn't let him wear them (well I suggested he not do so) at least not without slippers since they are designed for his dress shoes (he prefers knee highs, especially in Winter and men's socks just don't come that way - you can get heavy work socks or kilt socks in knee highs but those tend to be thicker yarns).

    I told him I can add elastic later if they do fall down (and since he likes the length as is, I'll probably just add really thin elastic threaded across the top rather than folding over the ribbing and adding the heavier elastic as the children's pattern was done.

    Thank you so much for pointing out the pattern! He loves how the ribbing fits on his legs, I still think the pattern gets a bit lost in the variegated yarn (in a decorative sense) so next time I might do something like the "vanilla socks" on Ravelry which I think are like a K6 P1 or something like that rib, I may also see if my old copy of Folk Socks is handy.

    For years, until I found the two circular needle method, I wasn't really able to make socks in these small needle sizes because it hurt my wrists damaged by too many years doing Data Entry; but this way, I seem to be able to go for hours as long as I take breaks.

    Not to mention the new/used knitting machine I want to try tackling this week (we have to change the needle) uses sock yarn sized yarn; I've got another one waiting for pick up that uses larger sized yarns (so I can use up a lot of my part acyrlic stash) but the Passup 80 uses the sock and lace yarn sizes.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  4. #124
    Melodi, WalMart does carry men's socks knee-high in the finer dress sock weights. I wear them daily with narrow lace-up boots.

    Don't know if they ship to the UK. We shop there a couple of times a year. If you are interested, I can PM you next time we go, and mail some to you.

    I started a new pair for myself based on the same pattern. 2 skeins left over, so there should be enough for a shorter pair.

    Paula of Knitting Pipeline videos, shows off many of her hand knit shawls. Envy... Right now, isn't the time, but maybe I'll start one in a couple of months. KnitPicks has a very good video series on avoiding the pitfalls of lace knitting.

  5. #125
    I may take you up on those socks, I haven't seen any over here; that doesn't mean they don't exist but they are not that popular in Ireland.

    I've got the cuff's partly done on the second pair, husband wanted them all in the one color with the same pattern so that's my main project for the next few days anyway.

    This yarn seems just slightly thinner than the other, so I will play the leg shaping by ear; housemate texted me that she got more "wild" sock yarn (for me) in Germany; in Germany almost every Supermarket sells good Wool/poly blend sock yarns for a fraction of the cost in either the US or Ireland. I can now get some at an affordable price once or twice a year from Lidl or Aldi; but the color choices are not always that great and the yarn not quite as nice - I am using Lidl yarn for both of these current pairs of socks.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  6. #126
    Yes, the pattern does show up much better on the solid colored socks; I'll post a photo later - they are getting going below the ribbing.

    I also found a similar free pattern on Ravelry but just slightly different and this one is shown with moderate variegated yarn and it shows up well; it only really changes the third line and the original pattern has a different heal.

    For the leg shopping like I do, just cast on 80; and decrease one on each side (two stitches) at the point you want the socks to start narrowing; I did this only on rows of knit 3, pearl 1 (so I would could keep track easier and to space the decreases out by four rows each time).

    I did 2 and 2 (over eight rows) and then further down the sock 2 and 2 to get a total of eight decreases back to 72.

    This sock stars with a smaller number but you can do the same basic thing; some patterns it is better to have a line of an extra couple of stitches down the back (or small cable) to decrease the stitches against (this also is a good idea if you don't have markers) but for socks in the tiny gage I didn't find the two decrease together to be noticeable (first is K2tog and then S1, K1, Slip over on the last stitch of the round.

    Here is the second most downloaded pattern of 2017 on Ralvery - Hermione's socks!

    or for those who just want suggestions basic pattern is:
    Texture Pattern
    (Repeat from * to *)
    Row 1: *k3, p1*
    Row 2: knit
    Row 3: *k1, p1, k2*
    Row 4: knit
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  7. #127
    Melodi, I'll pick up some extra pairs next time we go. No worries if your husband changes his mind; I'll wear eventually them anyway.

    Finished one sock for me, and started in on the other. Been experimenting off-and-on with holding the yarn a little differently to increase efficiency. Was watching some Steve West (of Craftsy) videos, and was impressed with his ease and speed. Started watching some videos specifically on good Continental technique, and ease of pearling. (I hold the working in my left hand already, but still sort of "throw" the yarn.)

    "Discovered" Arne & Carlos on YouTube. I had noticed a couple of their books on Amazon, but never took them seriously - figured they were just another version of Kaffee Fasset's eye candy, if you like the style, but nearly un-knitable hyper colour/hyper pattern objects (a little like Starmore's latest Glamourie - personally, not a fan.) ....Anyway, I've been interested in felting, but not with batts, and they have a knit in two strands technique for slippers that will be felted in the washing machine. I want to try this. They are very specific about how to do it correctly. There are three videos for this. (Would link, but is a hassle as a "guest" on this computer. They are easy to find.) I'll probably have to felt by hand, as we have a top loader, not a front loader. Sounds like there is more of a beating action in the front loader. Have suitable yarn, and will experiment as soon as this sock is done.

  8. #128

    Did a search on "men's dress knee socks" at

    That's what came up.


  9. #129
    Quote Originally Posted by summerthyme View Post

    Did a search on "men's dress knee socks" at

    That's what came up.

    Well, all I know is what our local store carries - 25 pages of knee-socks would take up about as many aisles!
    I purchase a black cotton ribbed version that stays up on my legs, and wears well. Can't remember if they come in individual pairs, or packs of 2 or three pairs, but they aren't expensive - maybe about $2 a pair (something like that). I'm in WM about twice, maybe three times a year...we'll probably head over again in another month or two.

  10. #130
    Working the heel flap of second sock of the new pair for me. Told BF I'll make him a pair of those felted slippers, already have yarn that would be suitable for them.

    Tim Latimar is a hand quilter on YouTube. Think of some gorgeous old antique quilt with endless closely spaced quilting lines, echoing, stippling, pretty patterns, maybe some tasteful trapunto, all hand done...he makes quilts like that. Bumped everything up a notch for me - time consuming, but not really all that hard. He shows how he does things. He works primarily on a round hoop like I do (would like to acquire the rotating stand at some point).

    He also made a machine quilted tote out of old denim. Reminded me of tooled/carved leather. I don't own any such leather, and have never worked leather, but love the artistry. Found mention of a book, Western Floral Designs by Bob Park. There are also a few guys (can't remember names) who gave some of the thinking behind drafting these rather formalized, beautiful, flowing designs. I think there are some possibilities for applying that look to quilted cloth.

    I finished all but the corners of the binding on my quilt, and went ahead with trying to quilt some of the empty space. Just decided to forget the paralysis, and make some decisions, since the perfect design inspiration has eluded me in all the years this quilt has been in storage. The results so far are NOT striking me as "just right," but they are good, and carefully executed. I'm just going to have to live with that. Maybe someday, I'll accomplish The Artistic Masterpiece.

  11. #131
    I've done the leg shaping on husband's blue/same color pair, now I have to work down the rest of the leg and do heal/foot etc; going faster than the first one; part of that is the design is mujch easier to see and keep track of.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  12. #132
    Finished the last sock, and kitchnered all the toes, so they are completely done. Started a new pair based loosely on the last pattern, but they are K2P2 rib instead of the stitch pattern, I'm on 00 US needles, and they have 80 sts in the round, not 72. The fabric is dense, but highly elastic, and the fit is good around the ankle, so far. The sock archectiture book has the formula for figuring out where I need to be into the row when I start to turn the heel. Am currently on the flap. Turns out, I was crossing my slipped stitches. Didn't see it in the other hairy yarn. The only reason I even caught it with the new yarn was because of yesterday's kitchner socks mantra : "insert as if to knit, and slip off. Insert as if to pearl and pull the yarn through..."

    Using Welsh quilts as the inspiration for stitching my quilt, although mine won't be as densely stitched as those are. The Welsh quilts are beautiful, but a tad more country (rough and ready) than some of the ultra precise and elaborate ones I've seen. Pinterest pins can sometimes be discouraging.

    I was supposed to work more on the inkle snowflake tape this week, and start on a shift. Well, out of time, now. Those didn't happen. I'll try to fit them in next week.

    Carlos and Arnie (spell?) had a couple of videos on some old sweaters. One cardigan in particular was one of their grandfather's, it is dark grey with white, sort of a louse Sedestal type, but with all patterns, no louse. It has woven tape down the front, and pewter type clasps, not buttons. It should be in a museum. I want to knit the pattern. They didn't mention having made one for it, or any charts. If I can't reconstruct it from the video, I may try to contact them for some better detail.

  13. #133
    I am working on the feet of both socks; I spent a long time knitting yesterday and today (fibro attack is useful for something) I really like the way they look and should have the gusset done in a few minutes and then it is just the seven stitches to the sock

    I really like how the k2p2 ribbing looks on both socks since it flows right into the pattern (I mean both pairs of socks, I have a large Forest Cat across my arms trying to type lol - she is punishing Mommy for the knitting needles instead of HER in my lap today).

    Anyway, if you knit loosely like I do 00 should work at 80 stitches, I seem to be doing OK on 1's and 1 1/2 but I had considered going lower but didn't need to on this pair.

    Oh, and there are pattern's for heal flaps that alternate rows of slip stitch (you still pearl every WS row) this creates a checkerboard effect and looks especially nice on kilt socks or cable socks.

    I'll post a photo when I get these done, next I will probably make one more pair for a husband with some of the new yarn housemate brought from Germany; I also need more socks for me; have a UFO sweater to finish (Unfinished object) and the knitting machine to play with.

    But I am keeping it simple until this fibro "spell" passes..
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  14. #134
    Hope you feel better soon.

  15. #135
    Quote Originally Posted by Faroe View Post
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Thanks, it comes and goes; I am getting more hand knitting done but I'd like to try to sort the first machine - we still need to go pick up the second one now that housemate is back from Germany. Feet are about half-way did but I plan on going to bed soon and see how things are in the morning.

    I'd like to start some band weaving too, but there are enough products at the moment; your snowflake sounds lovely as does the quilt!
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  16. #136
    And we have "Insomnia Socks" finished at 2 am (actually I took a nap earlier so I just decided to stay up and finish these off) the blue is really a denim blue but I couldn't get the light to show up - but you can see how the pattern is more obvious than on the variegated yarn.

    Next pair I may do the "vanilla sock" pattern since husband likes the ribbing effect but I want to try something that goes a little faster so he can have at least three or four pairs of these; then I can get back to making some for me and finishing the UFO sweater (and learning the Passup 80 knitting machine).

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

  17. #137
    I hope he likes them!

    Nearly finished a pair of very thick socks for BF, but ran out of yarn. Claire at The Wooly Thistle said she will be ordering more of it soon.

    Am on the heel flap of a sock in the mohair blend for me. Size 00 US, 88 sts around, K1P1 with a narrow eyelet lace down the back - just because. I knitted the other mohair socks on bamboo, and this on stainless steel Hiya Hiyas, and the slick surface has taken some getting used to. I've lost a couple of stitches that un-zipped back down over a dozen rows before I caught them. I like this sock, but if I want to knit a longer stocking, the calf will need shaping, and more stitches to fit comfortably around, and I won't be knitting in this splitty slippery mohair blend despite how much I do like the resulting fabric.

    Purchased a used copy of Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls in order to get a good pattern for a Faroese shawl. She has one that doesn't look too difficult. I'm not an experienced lace knitter, and have never before knit a shawl. There used to be errata on line, but the link shown on Ravelry is broken. Hope I don't have to figure out anything that is too complicated - I won't really know what I'm doing.

  18. #138
    He dislikes the color for socks and since I love them; they are now mine and I've done the leg shaping to fit MY legs better, which means spreading the decreases more slowly down the back of the socks; rather than just two main blocks of four decreases each (over four rows).

    I love this color and ordered some more (it is a lovely blue with very dark heather-green) so I can make a matching hat and scarf for fall when I tend to wear skirts and Birkenstocks.

    I am working on the heal now and plan to see how they look with the top folded down and elastic inside (I made them a bit longer) like the 1950's children's pattern.

    I also have to say I LOVE this sock pattern (the Hermione pattern) because each pattern row is really the same, K3 P1, except on the second pattern round you just move it over one stitch (so you start with P1, then go to K3, P1).

    It goes much faster than the other varieties because it is mostly just knitting, and it looks really good on variegated yarn.

    If you got an older copy of Folk Shawls and haven't knitted much lace, you should be warned that some of the patterns have mistakes (I can't remember which ones, I got the book when it first came out and did several of them) - if something seems real "wrong" it may not be you, it may be the pattern.

    I think Interweave has corrections up on the site and Ravelry probably has a link; the second edition is probably fine; I checked my second edition of Folk Socks and they had modified the Islamic Sock to no longer have the name of Allah on the bottom (which the original knitter had put there as decoration because she probably couldn't read - the original pattern was an exact reproduction).

    I remember the folk shawl issues being really frustrating though because I just barely knew what I was doing; I went back and did basic shawls from Knitting in the Nordic Tradition (I still have the double-triangle with cat's paw lace) and then went back to Folk Shawls and it was much easier to deal with (also the corrections sheet had been released by that point).

    Usually this mistakes are the printer/editor, not the designer; I have a 1970's tablet weaving book where the publisher just decided to make all the card direction arrows face the same way; which means almost all the patterns are wrong, until you figure out what the author intended to have in the first place.

    Your socks sound lovely! Hope you can get some pictures; I'm on the heal of mine and then it is back to the husband sock project.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  19. #139
    2000 edition, so I'll get in touch with Interweave directly if I can't find the working link. Publishers have a responsibility to get the patterns right - or at least as right as the manuscript the author sent them!

    I stay away from ANYTHING Rowan, patterns and yarn after buying a Rowan sweater book that was so full of mistakes they included loose paperwork corrections WITH the book, but the whole thing still seemed like a hopeless mess (not sure how the "test" knitters managed to complete the photographed sweaters). Was on one author's blog recently, who was ranting about how editors/publishers screw up books. She actually bought back the rights to her book so she could re-publish it properly. River Ganseys or something like that was the title, and I remember that I had considered buying it a while ago, but was dissuaded by negative Amazon reviews. I'll give it some more consideration when she gets it out again.

    As for Knitting in the Nordic Tradition - I thought I had that one, but pulled my copy out, and it is Nordic Knitting, Thirty-one Patterns in the Scandinavian Tradition, Pagoldh. I'll check out the other title. Nordic Knitting has a Faroese shawl, but the instructions are brief and cryptic. I may have to do a small shawl in just garter stitch in order to understand the gore and shoulder shaping.

  20. #140
    This looks like the New Cover - and it has over 100 patterns so I suspect the other book is either totally different or an "out-take" from the original back before the reprint:

    You can get it on Amazon and a number of other places; it is translated to the book has a few quirks and a few of the patterns are from old Scandinavian school books and may assume a level of understanding a beginner (like I was when I got my original copy) doesn't have.

    The historical photos alone tend to make the book worth it; I LOVE the spiral sock pattern which is from an old school book (if I remember correctly) and is perfect for teaching a newbie how to knit socks; I sometimes make it and ADD a heal; which it doesn't have in the original but the healed version slips less; the original makes a good enough sock though for someone to feel they have really "done it" without that scary heal.

    The pattern is also similar to one of the few my Mom remembered how to make, as her family made them during the Great Depression and traded them to shops for various food items; and they do make perfect bed slippers.

    The shawls and hats are what I have made the most of, that and using some of the pattern graphs; I use it less now that there are other books out there (Dover has reprinted books on both Scottish and Scandinavian pattern graphs that were out of print, or expensive when I started out).

    I think you will enjoy the book a great deal, another really good one is either edition of "Knitting the Old Way" - I have both and I use both - I used that one to knit an Icelandic sweater that got featured on an Icelandic knitting site a few years ago (husband wore it for things like feeding the horse, it is now unsalvagable which is why I don't make certain things for him anymore; patterned sweaters sure because I find them easy but not really difficult ones).

    OK, the last bit got eaten (no idea why) but I was going to recommend Cottage Creations patterns based somewhat on EZ's percentage systems (with her permission) I LOVE the Baby had Bear's sweater and have made more than I can count. They have a couple of wonderful sock booklets as well as the sweater I'm wearing right now "Wonderful Wallayby" (aka the Knitted Hoodie or Sweatshirt depending on your side of the water).

    I'm thinking of making another one because this one is so fantastic to wear; I pulled my hood up in the rain this morning and stuck my hands in the "pouch" to keep warm.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  21. #141
    I just ordered the 1984 version, although since fulfillment is through a third party, am not entirely sure that is the edition I'll be getting. I usually go for the least expensive "used, very good condition," and look for a well rated seller in the US.

    The search for the knittable Faroese shawl pattern is turning to the Whats-his-name's Search for the Wild Asparagus.

  22. #142
    That book isn't in yet - sometime next week. I started swatching and doing some practice lace knitting from one of the Faroese shawls in Oberle's Folk Shawl's. The chart looks fairly straight forward, but I still have a hard time keeping count, and those yarn overs can easily fall off the needles (and then some more stitches), and I can't always figure out how to fix that. I'll have to get some circulars for this project, and they will be wood or bamboo - metal is too slippery. Pattern calls for size 8. I'll need at least that to get gauge in a sport weight. I have a US 10 circular in aluminum (which isn't too slippery), but am looking for a *replacement* interchangeable that will accommodate threading a life line through the key hole. Knitpicks has complete sets for $50, they are well reviewed, and other sets go for over $100. Looks like I'll need about $100 worth of yarn for this project. Two (possibly three) more skeins are needed to knit mates for two different pairs of socks. Not a cheap hobby!

  23. #143
    Not cheap but do get some interchangeable needles, I found the metal ones work better than the plastic or bamboo - I gave my plastic set away to a friend of mine who knits lovely items but is in a wheelchair and has almost no income. Over the years I've gotten several different interchangeable sets and they pay for themselves pretty quickly.

    Hint: some of the older sets go down to the smaller gauges than the more recent ones (by older I mean 1999, not the ones that didn't work well from the 1950's). If you don't need those smaller needles don't worry but a lot of newer sets don't start until a size four but the older ones usually started with a 2, which you need if you do a lot of baby clothing.

    I'm on the toe of the "my" socks; I found some dark very thin elastic so I'm going to try them on and then decide if I want to fold the tops down with the thicker stuff or just run some of the black thin stuff around the top of the cuff.

    I went and found the "Hoard" of sock yarn my housemate brought me the last two years in Germany and was astonished at the size of the "sash" this made; not all of it will be socks and it is just the right size to use on the Passup 80 knitting machine so if I get the hang of using it pretty soon, I can go through a lot of it.

    Hopefully Monday we are going down to pick up the Brother "chunky" machine (aka does worsted yarn, DK and chunky) - I've used those before and they are easier to use; I've got a pile of acrylic/wool yarns that have been bought on sale over the years that I can't wear directly next to my skin (no leggings) but may try for some machine knit sweaters, afghans etc.

    At the very least, it gives me a lot of stuff to practice
    on before switching to more expensive pure wools.

    Most of the folk sock book is fine, again if something is "funny" go on Ravelry and see if there's a correct listed; if your experienced (or even have some experience) in lace knitting you should be fine; but for a project costing 100 dollars plus I'd try a swatch of the lace pattern first and make sure the basic patterns are OK; then you only have to worry about counting (which occsionally is wrong).

    I'll try and get a photo of the new socks; but I'll wait until there is sunlight so the colors show up better.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  24. #144
    The accidental "MY" Socks are finished and they are perfect!

    I am so glad I decided to try the thin elastic at the top as the fit is exactly right for this version if I don't fold down the tops; to fold down the top I would need to add probably another two inches but I like them this way (but good to know for the future).

    These are 13 inches long with a 4-inch cuff of 2/2 ribbing

    The rest of the leg and top of the foot is the Ravelry Hermonie pattern K3,P1/Knit one row/K1,P1 then K3 P1/Knit one row and repeat forever.

    Heal is my usual slip stitch heel and two is my usual toe only using Kitchener stitch because my foot is extra wide and husbands are extra narrow.

    I spread the leg shaping most of the way down the sock (from 80 to 72 stitches of the original pattern) which is better for me than the sudden "grips" on my husband's version.

    This pattern (to me) is much easier than the other one) because I find the K1 P1 hard on my fingers (I can do it, but this is easier and gives a similar effect for a nice change).

    I also reinforced the heals with the same yarn after finishing the socks (from the Nancy Bush Folk Sock book suggestions) because in Summer my sandal straps tend to kill heals really fast. Sometimes I use reinforcing threads while knitting but that gets complicated with the two needles.

    Already started the next pattern of husband socks (he requested five pairs) this will be three for him and one for me (I have others I already made that I can wear).

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

  25. #145
    They are beautiful! I may try that stitch pattern with the next pair.

    Been needle shopping - have both chiagoo and Hiya's in the cart. Not sure yet which to choose; leaning toward Hiya Hiya sharp stainless steel, size 8 (per pattern) and the separate 24" cable.
    Last edited by Faroe; 04-08-2018 at 09:49 PM.

  26. #146
    I have severe arthritis in my basal joints plus mild carpel tunnel so knitting, hand sewing, embroidery etc. are no longer possible for me. For my preps I stock up on items I cannot make myself so bags of socks, extra gloves, etc. I used to make rag rugs using a toothbrush handle (cut off brush and smooth end to a point and a hole in the other end to thread rags through), but can no longer do those either.

    I do sew and quilt so keep a good supply (hoard?) of fabric, patterns, thread, elastic, buttons, bias tape, cording, zippers and other findings on hand at all times. I also have numerous how-to sewing books. I'm still wishing for a Janome treadle head for my treadle base. Patterns come in multiple sizes these days so you don't have to buy the pattern six times to get six sizes. I only buy patterns when Hobby Lobby has Simplicity for 99 or McCalls for $1.99.

    Currently I have a good supply of clothing from thrift shops so don't need anything, but continue sewing as a "hobby" to keep my skills honed. BTW bag sales at thrift shops are a good way to acquire fabric for sewing or quilting projects. I had a friend who sewed clothing for American Girl dolls and a lot of her fabric was from thrift shops. You can make a lot of bride dresses or skating costumes for dolls from one wedding or prom gown. Buy used clothing in the large sizes for the most fabric and recut it to make new items.

    When you discard a garment, first remove the buttons and string them together for your button hoard, remove any good zippers and trims and save them. Cotton fabric can be cut into squares for your rag bag or into strips for rag rugs.

  27. #147
    I do that with good zippers and buttons too. Usually, I just cut the placket off the shirt, and leave them on the strip. If the shirt has buttoned breast pockets, I'll cut the pocket off in one piece, and stuff the placket in the pocket. Older hoodies have very nice long metal zippers. As much as I like sewing historically inspired clothing, I like a zipper in my skirts - makes dressing much faster.

    I have an old Vogue sewing book from the 80's, back before everything made was knits on a serger. It goes into depth on how to make properly fitted clothing.

  28. #148
    I would also suggest (for those with the storage space) that if one has woven cloth clothing that fits well, don't toss or cut up, even if it is worn out. Old clothing can serve as patterns.

    Purchased the metal Hiyas sharp in size 8, 4", and the 24" cord. Also got another set of sharp Hiya US00 6" DPN's and a set of 4" same for fingers. I'll probably try the Chiagoo interchangibles soon too. Glad they offer individual pieces, not whole sets, as I tend to prefer multiples of the few sizes I actually use.
    Last edited by Faroe; 04-10-2018 at 04:47 PM.

  29. #149
    I've been trying to think of things I can use as knitting needles. I don't use plastic of any kind, only cash, so I'm more or less limited to what I can find in my own small town.

    A couple of days ago I was in Walmart buying some food storage containers and in the utensils across the aisle, I saw hanging some bags of long skinny bamboo skewers. They looked relatively smooth and straight and uniform, so I got a couple of packs. I think they were 97 cents for a pack of 100.

    I measured them and they fit loosely in the US size 3 hole on my needle gauge. I've just knitted a few short rows with them and I think if I can find some silky smooth emery paper to use on the tips, they will work really well. They are 12" long and I love the super sharp tips. The other ends of the skewers are cut straight across and I'll have to sand them down at least very rounded to make it easier for when I might have to move a loop back onto the left-hand needle.

    If the bamboo is strong enough, these will be nice for knitting in the round and with socks, maybe even two to a needle as Melodi showed doing her socks with the curved needles. I'd need three needles for this, but with a package of 100 skewers, that's certainly not a problem.

    I'm going to call a bicycle shop about spokes and I may check a welding shop to see if they can get me stainless steel welding rod in a tiny size without it costing me a fortune.

    I've bought a couple sets of long #3 aluminum needles in case the bamboo breaks easily. I'll just pull the end button off and crimp the end for knitting in the round on them, But the bamboo is more "fun".

  30. #150
    Somewhere around here I have a few sets of bone needles carved from cow's bone by folks who sell to reactors, they work pretty well and I've knit socks on them; you might want to see if any of the shops in your town can order some long metal or wooden needles FOR you and/or sets of sock needles.

    I don't recommend trying to do two socks at a time on double pointed needles; they work great on the round needles (with plastic in between the needles) I haven't tried the "Magic Loop" method where you just use one really long needle; as I find it easier to use two round needles; but I also knit "fancy socks" on double pointed ones, sets of five are perfect.

    It is just I tend to have "single sock syndrome" when I finish just one sock, but if I want to do complex ski socks with different colors or something; I'm only likely to do one at a time.

    Unless you have a serious allergy, I can't say enough good things about the slightly more expensive (but long lasting and comfortable) "fake" whalebone plastic needles, they are a much higher quality, feel like bone and don't feel like plastic at all to me.

    I think the same (or a similar company) is making needles aimed at people with arthritis that puts less stress on the hands.

    If I could only afford a few things, I would look for the "giant" double pointed needles they still use in Scotland to knit Fair Isle Sweaters in the round on (they used to do it in Norway too) this are just like sock needles only much longer, so you can knit a sweater on four or five of them.

    If TSHTF, round needles will eventually be history because they are nearly impossible to make without modern plastics; ditto the older forms of interchangeable needles (from the 1930's to the 1950's) tended to have pesky "locks" that could snag the knitting and so they were not very popular, without modern industry that is probably the best even a skilled toolmaker could come up with.

    Sock update - I now have a wonderfully EASY pattern, for when you are not in the mood to think much and want to knit faster - I used the same basic numbers of stitches but just did a pattern of:

    Knit one row
    K3, P1

    repeat forever (along with your decrease rows if making knee socks (for me 80 stitches down to 72)

    So far the new pair looks great (especially for a man's sock) it may be a bit boring but it is fast and is mostly all knitting, but it has the nice ribbing that just plain knitting doesn't have.

    It would work for flat knitting as long as the knitted rows were pearled instead.

    I got the idea from seeing a commercial sock that looked the same and the Vanilla Socks on Ravelry that are similar but with a K6,P2 for the pattern round.

    Sometimes boring and not thinking is useful and they still look good, I'd have ripped them out if they didn't.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  31. #151
    Melodi, all I have in my small town is Walmart and Hobby Lobby. They don't do special orders. When we had a little knitting shop, I ordered a complete set of the longer stocking needles and they were only available in bamboo. I also got at that time, a couple of sets of the longer size 0, 1, 2, and 3 regular needles that I can't find in town. The little knit shop didn't last long. I couldn't give them any more business because the air conditioning was too icy in the summer and I self-quarantine through flu season. I would have loved to take a beginner's knitting class.

    I've learned a lot from your posts about the stockings, and the photographs really help since I can't read knitting instructions beyond K and P.

    Guess I can keep plenty busy knitting basic things, so I may not ever be able to learn any of the more interesting and attractive stitches. But I have tons of yarn and I can make plenty of things that will help keep people warm if this weather keeps getting colder. Next fall I may be making a sister a couple pairs of knitted long john bottoms. Will do the same for a special sister-in-law, too, if they,by some tiny chance, decide to move here to Arkansas to be warmer than where they live in Iowa.

    Thanks for all the important things I've learned from you. I think I can even knit a heart pattern now, just from seeing that picture you posted of the sweater you are (sort of) working on. I bet a lot of patterns would be easy to do, if maybe set out first on graph paper...even patterns with multiple colors.

  32. #152
    Quote Originally Posted by Martinhouse View Post
    Melodi, all I have in my small town is Walmart and Hobby Lobby. They don't do special orders. When we had a little knitting shop, I ordered a complete set of the longer stocking needles and they were only available in bamboo. I also got at that time, a couple of sets of the longer size 0, 1, 2, and 3 regular needles that I can't find in town. The little knit shop didn't last long. I couldn't give them any more business because the air conditioning was too icy in the summer and I self-quarantine through flu season. I would have loved to take a beginner's knitting class.

    I've learned a lot from your posts about the stockings, and the photographs really help since I can't read knitting instructions beyond K and P.

    Guess I can keep plenty busy knitting basic things, so I may not ever be able to learn any of the more interesting and attractive stitches. But I have tons of yarn and I can make plenty of things that will help keep people warm if this weather keeps getting colder. Next fall I may be making a sister a couple pairs of knitted long john bottoms. Will do the same for a special sister-in-law, too, if they,by some tiny chance, decide to move here to Arkansas to be warmer than where they live in Iowa.

    Thanks for all the important things I've learned from you. I think I can even knit a heart pattern now, just from seeing that picture you posted of the sweater you are (sort of) working on. I bet a lot of patterns would be easy to do, if maybe set out first on graph paper...even patterns with multiple colors.
    OK graphs are EASY, you can even sometimes get free (or nearly free) "knitting graph paper" off the internet and print it - that's a good idea because knitting distorts the pattern some, but for small patterns it really isn't required - charted knitting is DEAD EASY in the round, especially if you don't go over 5 to 7 "skips" in the pattern colors or if you do (like I do on the main parts of the art sweaters) you just twist your yarns around each other in the back and/or "catch" the yarn every five stiches or so in the BACK of the design.

    Lots on Youtube - much easier to do than describe.

    OK, again unless you have a serious allergy; I would perhaps get a few circular needles and sock needles at Wallmart (over time) even if you don't care for them much as they will a really good investment, here I pick up the cheap ones at Lidle's and Aldi almost every time they have them in; I give them away as well as store them - they are not the best but they do the job and I don't worry if they break.

    On "fancy" knitting, I am a huge fan of "looks complicated/is really easy," artists (textile and otherwise and we ARE ARTISTS - that is everyone here) tend to come in two types: people who LOVE complicated and get bored easily if they are not challenged, and those who like good results but do boring really well and prefer easy to complicated.

    I come into that second group, even most of my really impressive projects (the art sweaters etc) both in weaving or knitting are basically pretty easy, some of them like the large Yoke designs on the art sweaters involve a lot of knitting markers and twisting in the back of the yarns; but otherwise it is just a matter of doing one color for a few stiches and another color for a few stitches rinse repeat (and almost never do more than two colors in a row with occasional excpetions like the V's on the heart sweater).

    Also - 99 percent of all knitting patterns (including lace) are combinations of KNIT and PEARL; if you've got those down, you can do almost anything; now somethings are just too complicated for me to enjoy - I avoid complicated lace patterns (but simple ones can look really nice) and I avoid Intersasia (I can do it, I have a vest with the Altimera Shaman Cave painting on it, but I did that about 20 years ago and never did another one lol).

    But your all set (it sounds like to me) to do some wonderful simple graph work with your own or designs you can find for free on Ralvelry; I made my husband the "Deathflake" hat last year, he's lost it down but he loved in and that pattern is free! It is also fun because even he didn't notice under the tree that it wasn't just a snowflake hat until I told him to take a second look, then the skull jumped out at him - I had to buy the black yarn to make it but it was worth it!

    Wallmart has (or at least had last time I was there a couple of years ago) wonderful selections of acrylic yarn at good prices, I used to bring suitcases back for baby clothing and to give to friends; or make items that I wasn't wearing next to my skin. If you don't have a problem with polyester, they might be your best bet for making items like leggings and over-sweaters if you are on a tight budget - not as warm or long-lasting as wool but they also make great hot water bottle covers and covers for tea pots (which keep the tea warm in a cold climate, I always though they were silly as heck until I moved here).

    Finally, there are two or three books you can look for at the library, they MIGHT occasionally have at Hobby Lobby and/or you might get a friend to order for you, they are:

    Knitting Without Tears (if you have only one book this is it) by Elizabeth Zimmerman (and anything else by her but this is the basic one).

    A Knitter;s Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd - (she has several but again this is the BASIC one)

    In my opinion, every household that Preps should have at least these two books along with some basic sizes of knitting needles and some yarn, even if no one is really "into" knitting yet; the first book has all the basics with EASY to follow instructions and pictures - everything from sweaters (in the round in any size) hats, socks, scarves etc is covered.

    The Handy book of patterns book has instructions for nearly EVERY size and every gage (from 7 stitches to the Inch to 3 stitches to the inch) for all the basics: hats, tams, mittens, gloves, vests, socks and sweaters.

    The only downside is the sweaters are flat but that might be easier if you have to use homemade needles and most are easy to convert to knitting in the round if you already know how to do that (and those instructions are in the other book).

    If you can only have two knitting books those are the two I would have; along with anything else by both authors you can find new, used or in the library (and copy the patterns out of).

    Hope that helps and it sounds like you are already to keep your loved ones warm even if things go "South" for a while.

    Oh and I almost forgot, I know both Wallmart and Hobby Lobby usually have several versions of the various "knitting stitches encyclopedias" usually they are not that expensive (paperbacks) and they have lots of knit and pearl designs (along with some graphs in some cases) that will keep you happily able to vary the knitting on your "basic things" and feel like you are the best fancy knitting on your block (and you probably will be).

    Besides, there are people like me that like basic; I can't stand a lot of the "edgy" knitting designs in a lot of current magazines and online; I am delighted that young women are knitting and I'm happy for them to make such items for themselves; but give me a good basic sweater, mitten or sock pattern any day and I'll put cats or Star Treck spaceships on them if I want to be different.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  33. #153
    I like knitting because it is rather hypnotic, and would prefer to refine small details on an old and well-known pattern, than work from new and unfamiliar directions. I'd also rather have something rather simple that is well constructed (and was relaxing to make) than something elaborate that is riddled with mistakes. So, the K one row, K3 P1 alternate rows stitch is probably around the corner, and I may add a narrow eyelet lace *seam* up the back, if a swatch indicates the two look good together.

    Ha! "Dead Easy?" I actually copy the chart out in English, and knit from that - even color stranded. The book with the Black and White Sedestal sweater has a bunch of extra note pages and post-its covered in scrawl with: B B B W B B (5W) B B... You get the idea. All those damn squares just swim around in space for me (even when isolating just one line), esp. when the pattern is texture or lace, and requires lots of left/right decreases. I find those challenging to keep straight even on a sock's basic structure. I can deal with K2tog, or ssk much more easily than /, or \. Those mess with my head. But yeah, I still only knit with a chart avail to work from - I want to see the whole pattern, so I know what I'm getting into. I wouldn't trust the publisher to get paragraphs of English instruction entirely correct, anyway. Incorrect symbols on the chart are easier to spot. I'll take the hit for my own mistakes.

    I'm finding that like spinning, I prefer fine gauge knitting. Remains to be seen how the shawl on specified size 8 needles will go, but for most things, I admire tiny needles and tiny stitches for both fit and looks. There is a new book out called some thing like Knit Like a Latvian, and it has good reviews, so far. One of the reviews enthused that the author had reworked the traditional patterns so that most of the mittens were 72 sts around, as if that was a good thing. The traditional ones would have had nearly that, or more, per side. The antique mittens are beautiful for the detail - and that is only possible with a lot of stitches, so, I think the book is misleading (should be titled: Knit Like an Impatient 21st Century Consumer). NOT a book I'm tempted to purchase. Sad - I love the old stuff. May have to chart out my own, at some point. Am nearly finished with my current socks, 88 sts in the round on US 00, and they fit nicely. Hard to count stockinette at that size, my guess is around 10 per inch? Anyway, am happy with them, and would be finishing the second one of the pair today, but am nearly out of yarn...again. I NEVER get that right!
    Last edited by Faroe; 04-12-2018 at 02:37 PM.

  34. #154
    I just bought a Kindle copy of "knit LIke and Impatient 21st Century Consumer" thanks for mentioning it; I got it for the charts and because 72 stitches to 88 stitches is about all I can handle; I mean using the two circular needles has allowed me to knit in small gages again (I had to stop doing so for years) but there is a limit on how small and crowded I can do.

    The two circulars let me knit without the bunched up fingers that led to me having to limit socks to size 3 needles (size 5 for most people, I knit lose) but I still haven't used the 00's yet, just the 0's.

    If I really like the book, I''l order a hard copy from UK Amazon (I use US Amazon kindle) but I want to see it first and see if it is worth it or if I can just print out a design I want or even use it with the computer on.

    I do love the Latvian designs (I have the older book around here somewhere) because a lot of the designs go way back into antiquity and some are the same (or similar) to those from Bronze Age and Iron Age Scandinavia; but again I can use the patterns for "suggestions" after all these years.

    Or as an old 1860's Primer school book I once read said: "If you can knit a sock, you can figure out a mitten."

    Talk about not wasting printer's ink with instructions! But the frontier school marm would have been expected to know how to knit both socks and mittens and show the kids the "thumb trick" which means knitting the thumb stitches onto a piece of waste yarn and then picking them out later to knit the thumb; heals can be done the same you (then you knit a reverse toe - also works to repair heals that have too many holes in them to darn).

    I'll give some feedback after I skim through the book - Faore you might want to get some of the reprints that Interweave has of the 19th-century knitting books, I have a few hard copies of some of them from years ago and several of the online ones - I can't remember the names right now but they tend to be "the such and such book of needlecraft" or something like that.

    I remember one pattern that the intro was something like "you can have a lovely fall coat for your little girl, just cast on these 455 stitches and it will be done quickly" er...a no, not unless I'm am upper class Victorian lady whose afternoons are mostly spent knitting when "Receiving" or "Visiting" other such ladies lol

    The pattern itself was lovely, but it would take me at least a month even if mostly what I did was knit!
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  35. #155
    Skimmed it over, nice enough and some useful instructions for basic shapes, alternative cast ons; a few patterns a really like but a lot of them use (or are shown with) three colors to a row which means either carrying three colors and or doing duplicate stitch afterward.

    Overall I like the older book much better, this one is OK but I'm glad I didn't pay for it in sterling or the shipping from the USA; it isn't even that cheap for a Kindle book but probably worth the 11 dollars I paid for it if I use some of it and I probably will (if nothing else the basic stitch counts and patterns).
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

  36. #156
    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement, you guys!!!!!

    Just reading what you exchange with each other teaches me things, as well as what is directed right to me.

    I have a question.....If I'm knitting, just for example, a tube of say, 40 stitches, is there any reason I shouldn't knit 14 stitches on each of the three needles that are holding the work? Or 11 stitches if it's a set of five rather than four needles? I do this sometimes because I'm afraid if I switch needles at the same place every time, the stitches might be looser and it would show when I'm finished. When I've done this, I do mark center points or other important places, with safety pins or some sort of clip.

    Something else I figured out is when I'm not knitting stripes, I can keep count of how many rows I've done with big safety pins every ten or twenty rows, and since they close, they don't ever fall out.

    If it wasn't about time to get my gardens ready to plant, I'd probably be trying out some new knitting ideas these days, but it will have to wait a while.

    Again, thanks, and please don't ever stop discussing ands sharing the things you are working on.

  37. #157
    Arrange the stitches in what ever way is convenient for you. If the tube is the start of a ribbed cuff, I'll make sure the first stitch on each needle is a knit, just out of habit. I like four holding needles, and a fifth working, but if I'm on the gussets of a sock after turning the heel, I'll use five for holders, and a sixth for working. I'll use a sixth, even if I have to go up or down one size. One needle, off one size doesn't make a noticeable difference. Keeps everything symmetrical, and eliminates the need for stitch markers, since the needles mark the sections. I find slipping those little round stitch markers to be a bit of a distracting pain. Mostly I'll use a safety pin stuck in the lower knitting as a general reminder of where the new round starts, or where I need to place decreases/increases. Most projects will work out best in stitch counts with multiples of four.

    I make a point of firming up the first stitches on the next needle. If they are snug, you shouldn't get "ladders." Practice makes perfect on that. I'll re-arrange a few stitches on the needles, if I see loose knitting despite my best efforts, but re-arranging is not always a good idea if your needles are your markers. My sock gusset stitches are always isolated on their own needles until the gussets are done, so I can keep count. One thing about socks, they aren't really on display when worn, so I don't sweat small mistakes or miscounts. One gusset that ends up a few rows longer than the other to get to the end stitch count, despite one's diligent care in alternate row decreases, just isn't going to matter. I'd be much more fussy about mistakes in the textured repeats on the front of a gansey sweater - basically the reason why I've never finished one.

    When I first learned, my knitting was UGLY. Looking back, I expect it made the store owner who sold me the yarn for my first sweater cringe(yes, my first real knitting project was a full size sweater - I jumped right in) but she also helped me work out many of the problems. Beginning projects are almost a bit wonky. Just do your best, and they will start looking nicer soon enough.

  38. #158
    Faroe, I've bought several sets of the four and lately five, of the stocking needles, so I likely wouldn't ever need to use one needle a size different.

    One thing I made, I think it might have been a very wide headband, I used six needles for the tube and a seventh as the working needle. Different colors, but all the same size.

    When my mom died, I got all of her knitting needles and bought enough more to finish hers into complete sets. I learned from her to make the holders for them that are like those things with little separate compartments that one uses for wrenches and can be rolled up and tied. I made a separate case for each type of standard or double point needle as well as for the different lengths of them. And also for complete sets of crochet hooks. I have tons of duplicates for nearly all types and sizes of needles and hooks, a lot of them from thrift stores and sometimes not even a pair of needles at the same time.

  39. #159
    Kindle is a good way to go for things like that. Enjoy!

    I might get a kindle myself - used to take out library books by the armload from the craft and art sections. Here, our local library doesn't have much in the way of any books, so that fun (and free) past time is a thing of the past.

    I'll keep an eye out for some of those re-prints.

  40. #160
    Just get Kindle for PC or Mac; I use my laptop for the knitting books anyway - on the other hand, a Kindle reader is the size of a book and there are hundreds of free or nearly free books out there; I'm belong to Kindle Unlimited and some of the Interweave books can even be borrowed there for free (this one wasn't on the list that I noticed) which lets me try before I buy.

    It costs 10 dollars a month though and is mostly worth it because of shipping costs from the US and because the husband is a speed reader.

    Dead Easy Socks (or perhaps Really Simple Ribbed Socks) are going well, I'll try to remember to take a photo in progress so people can see what the two needle trick looks like.

    Oh and in the past, I used to buy two sets of the same needles and knit a row on each sock (or sometimes patterned sections of socks) to avoid the "one sock" problem, that works too.
    expatriate Californian living in rural Ireland with husband, dogs, horses. garden and many, many cats

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