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Summer Knitting

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It’s sweltering on the Aegean today! If you’re travelling to the sun this summer (perhaps escaping the gloomy torrents of British rain?), you’ll want to do a little thinking and preparation before you get there, to ensure you get the most out of your knitting time. Even if you live somewhere where it regularly gets hot in summer, you might find some of these tips helpful in keeping you cool and keeping you knitting.

What to Knit

  • Naturally, something light and lacy is better than a big, thick piece of knitting.
  • Loosen up. Thin yarn with large needles is perfect. Knitting too tightly can be hard work at the best of times, let alone when it’s too hot to move.
  • Knit something circular, so you don’t have to keep turning rows. Basic socks, hats, and other accessories are just the thing.
  • Knit something that you can wear even in the heat. Summer hats, sleeveless tops, and lacy beach wraps are about all you’ll want to wear if it’s really hot.
  • Avoid knitting anything complicated. I know we all get tricked into thinking that the summer holidays are the perfect time to catch up on knitting, but if the weather’s hot, chances are you won’t feel like working on much at all. There are several reasons for this:
    1. The heat can add to your frustration if you’re knitting something too fiddly, especially if you make a mistake! Even if you’re not a tight knitter, 20 K3togs in a row are enough to make anyone’s brain boil.
    2. If you’re knitting outside, in bright sunlight, it will be very tiring for your eyes to be scrutinising your knitting & the pattern all the time.
    3. You’re meant to be relaxing!
    4. It’s more fun if you don’t have to keep referring to instructions, and you don’t have to carry them around and make sure they don’t blow away.
    5. If it’s hot, it’s too hot to think. Take it easy.

(read more…)

17th July, 2009  // Travel, Yarn // tags: , , , , .

5 Quick Tips for Beginning Spinning on a Spindle

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As you know I only started spinning a week ago, but I thought some tips from a beginner’s point of view, may help other struggling beginners.

A little bit goes a long way.

You need a very thin strip of fiber to spin yarn, and to this end you need to prepare your roving before you begin. The process of easing the fiber out to spin is called ‘drafting’, and it determines the thickness of your unplied yarn. Predrafting is an easy, calming exercise, and you can do it while watching TV, chatting to a friend, or even waiting for a program to load (especially if you’re on Windows!). Thanks to Yarnhog for her help, check out her pre-drafting tutorial.

Watch the drafting triangle.

Hold the fiber splayed out with your thumb and forefinger to form a triangle. If the fibers are nicely spread, the roving is easier to draft. Make sure there is no twist in the drafting triangle.

Wind tight.

When winding yarn onto your spindle, keep it quite tight, and try to fill your spindle in a cone shape, wider at the top than the bottom. This will help your spindle spin longer, even when it’s getting full. Also try to keep about 1” of the bottom of the spindle free from yarn, to make it easier to spin it.

Your spindle is full when you decide it’s full.

You’ll notice your spindle get slower and more cumbersome as it fills, but as long as the experience isn’t becoming too annoying, you can keep going. If your spindle has no notch, and you’re having trouble with your yarn slipping as your spindle fills, have a look at this helpful Knitty article.

Keep your pre-drafted roving out of the way.

Wind your roving around your wrist like a bracelet to keep it from drifting against the yarn you’re spinning, or things can get messy!

Do you have any tips that helped you as a beginner? Leave them in the comments. Have a lovely weekend!

8th May, 2009  // Spinning, Technique // tags: , , , .

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