Monday, September 19, 2016

Niddy Noddy? What is it do you need one?

One of my mistakes when I was searching for this was spelling it right, for the longest time I thought it was "Knitty Noddy" but it turned out that the correct spelling is "Niddy Noddy". Thank you Google, what did I ever do without Google?

The question is does a knitter need a Niddy Noddy?

Spinners have a great use for this because they can skein their yarn to be able to wash it or set it or the next step in the process. But does a knitter need one? I think it can be handy if you take a project apart and your yarn is curly, this is the way to straighten it out. 

You would wrap your yarn and wet it and let it dry while it's still on the Niddy Noddy. This is another advantage of having plastic pac pipe so it can get wet. If you have a wood one the wood may warp. 

It is a brilliant invention and the simple pvc pipe version is simply genius. Easily can be constructed as a DIY project but can be purchased online for about $10.00. I'm looking at one on Etsy. Here is one I found for $15, this one is adjustable and it has a drawstring storage bag. It will depend on the size of the skein you want to make, 1 yard up to 2 yards.

For me it’s worth the money, I’m lazy and don’t want to go looking for the store to get the pvc pipes and either have them cut or cut and assemble and sew a bag. It’s worth $15 but as I say easily made at home.

If you already have one and it's not adjustable like the one I have here is the way to figure it all out. One wrap around this Niddy Noddy is approximately 56". To figure yardage for your skein, count the number of wraps around and multiply by 56". Take that number and divide by 36" and you will have your approximate yardage.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

How to Wash Hand Knitted garments

Wishy Washy

How do you wash your hand knitted garment?

I spend many hours of knitting on a project and want to preserve it's shape and drape. After carefully picking out the fiber, colors, the pattern I want to keep it as new looking as possible for the longest time. Many trial and error hours spent, I have found this guideline to work the best for me.

It may work for you:
  • Hand Wash Do NOT throw in the washing machine!
  • Some fibers are more sensitive than others. Use common sense. 
  • Cool water, not too cold and not scalding hot. It needs to be gently warm. Not shocking the fiber or your hands. 
  • Fill the wash tub with water first, Do NOT run the water on top of the garment.
  • Add mild Soap ie. shampoo, mild dish detergent like Dawn. If it works well for your skin it will work well for your fiber. Wool and hair are related! Swish around so the soap is dissolved in the water. 
  • Add the garment and gently make sure it is covered with water. Squeeze and get it all wet evenly.
  • Let it soak for a little while, I sometimes leave it for an hour or better. 
  • Do not agitate, gently squeeze. Give it a massage and gentle massage. 
  • Rinse well, soap residue is attracts both bugs and dirt.
  • If you have scratchy wool use hair conditioner to soften the fibers. This sometimes works on synthetics also. 
  • Do NOT wring use clean dry towels to get moisture out. Hand squeeze gently and place in towel and roll gently. You may need to use more than one towel. 

I use Pantene on my hair so it's handy smells nice and it works.

When storing hand knit delicate fibers we do not want bugs or critters anywhere near. Air them out once in a while and before storing make sure the garment is clean. Keep it dry and airy place, plastic bags are not recommended. 

What to do if you accidentally "felted" or "shrunk" your garment? One solution is to make something else out of it. But first try one of these methods which may work. What do you have to loose? Warning you will never be able to get it back to the shape it was originally. At least I never have but give it a try.

  • Soak the garment in a solution of cold water and hair conditioner. Let it soak overnight. Check once in a while and try and gently pull and "stretch" the fabric.
If that does not do the trick. 
  • Soak the garment in a solution of cold water and a half a cup of vinegar.
It that does not work here is the most extreme method. I've never tried this but have heard that this may work.
  • Make a solution of one part vinegar and two parts water. Put the garment in a large pot and gently boil for 10-20 minutes and check how it's progressing 
Good Luck. 

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

I named it "Big Bear Hug"

Have you ever had a big bear hug? That is exactly the way this shawl feels. Everybody needs a big hug once in a while. This shawl is big and soft and it just feels like a protective arm around you. The mohair and silk is light weight yet, very warm and the sock yarn is strong and stable. This combination of fibers feels soft as a cloud yet is strong and wears well.

I like to travel and this shawl is my perfect companion for those long flights. It is easy to pack. It can be worn as a casual wrap or if you add a beautiful shawl pin or brooch, you are dressed up! Designed with all quick and easy knit stitches, no purling! Great for those times when you just want to knit without much attention. I knit with friends often and the lively conversations at the tables sometimes takes my attention away from intricate knitting patterns. This project is perfect for those occasions.

If you want the pattern send me an eMail:

Monday, September 05, 2016

My favorite stitch.

A long time ago my aunt showed me her favorite stitch and how she did it. When I was visiting her daughter many many years later she looked at one of my projects and recognized the stitch. She told me that was a family stitch. A family stitch? Yes we all learned it from our grandmother. Wow I did not even know this. Then she ran in the other room and searched for knitted projects and there it was the family stitch. I'm sure it has a name and I'm sure my grandmother did not invent it but we all learned it and added it to our knitting dictionary. Now I love the stitch more than ever.

Here is a picture of my aunt and my father and when I looked closely I see she has a sweater on that she knit with the "family stitch".  We all knit because that was just what you had to do if you wanted to stay warm in the cold winter months. 

I made a YouTube video on how I do it.