Author: horsenettle

Why “Knifting” is not really “Knitting”

4 Comments

Just my two cents, but the reason why I started with the KK looms is that I didn't really want to crochet and I didn't really want to knit, yet I wanted to work with yarn. I studied those butterfly-type looms and they didn't appeal to me, and then I noticed the Knifty Knitters. Even though they're plastic and bulky, I could immediately see the possibilities of using them. I've read other blogs where folks get a little bit rude when it comes to knitting looms saying it's not TRUE knitting and it's cheating. (Don't believe people care enough to write such things? Just read the comments on this blog or some of these Google results.)

From what I've garnered from my surfing, knitting looms have been around for several hundred years. I like working with the looms. I like the circles, the heft of the loom, and the pegs. I like the hook. And my yarn-loving cat likes that I like all this stuff. I dream about buying different types of looms someday (especially some of the ones here).

There are large gauge looms (like the KKs) that give you the bigger stitches, and then regular, and then fine. As with most things in life, you can be as simple or as complex as you desire.

With a loom you can knit pretty much anything as long as you have the right tools and creativity (or a real good pattern). This morning, I asked B if he wanted me to knit him anything, and he looked at our broken washing machine and asked for a new one. Well, there are limits, you know!

Slippers Done

No Comments

I finished the meant-for-my-dad-but-now-are-my-husband's slippers this morning. I like this method of making the toe. I started the toe and, just like the heel, turned it but used the flat stitch this time. I then gathered the loops with a darning needle off the loom using a flat removal method (you zig zag across the loom). It's fun to pull the toe closed and see it all come together.

These were DEFINITELY about 1.5" too long for my dad, so it's back to the blue loom to make another pair. I had used 28 rows for the foot for these ones, and I think I'll make do with 20 this time. I've estimated that (with this yarn) there are four rows per inch. Wish me luck!

Here are the slippers, finished. One looks a little bit bigger. It really is the mysterious expanding slipper. I counted the rows about a million times, so I know they're the same size, and yet… and yet… One is HUGE! Now here's the really odd part–they fit B! I mean both of them, and last time I checked he didn't have different sized feet. Something strange is definitely going on.

So (deeeep breath), tomorrow morning I'm going to start yet another pair of brown slippers, hopefully size 10.5. Ho hum…

Look what I bought!

3 Comments

Aren't they pretty? Three skeins of beautiful Italian wool. I have no idea what possessed me, other than the ambiance of the store I visited yesterday with B. Called Kindred Threads (note: website is a bit neglected, I think), the store has the kind of yarn I knew existed but couldn't find at the -mart stores. Organic cotton, home-spun alpaca, you name it. You walk in and enter a true knitter's wonderland. It has more than yarns–there are looms (the huge kind you make blankets and rugs on), crafts, and lots of beautiful felted items for sale. I bought these skeins imagining I may buy myself a sock loom someday and make a pair. Or maybe a hat. Or a scarf. I've even imagined making a slipper on the blue loom and felting it down, but the thought of wrecking this yarn upsets me. We'll see. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the bright, spring colors amongst my rather earth-toned yarn selection. (I bought a skein of pink a few weeks ago and it stands out like a sore thumb. Now, it isn't so lonely anymore.)

So here's what was strange. I told the owner I was a beginner, but left off the word "loom." I was a bit hesitant, amidst all the beauty, to admit I'm using those big, plastic looms. You know, the ones you buy at Wal-mart?

She told me of one other yarn shop closer to my hometown, but when we drove past it later, it was closed for the day.

I think I've found every single yarn shop in the area and I always find something to buy. There are yarn cutters that make me think of a weapon, and there are special darning needles and carved cases. I've been tempted by beautiful sterling scissors shaped like cranes, and lots of other things.

Bag

Although I didn't follow it today when I bought the blue and green yarn, I have a rule that I shouldn't buy yarn I don't need but just purchase it as I go. In other words–no stockpiling.

So, how come after only three weeks using the KK my knitting bag is stuffed, I have a wicker basket piled high with yarn, and I even have a mostly-filled plastic bag on the floor? This is a very addicting hobby.

The Mysterious Expanding Slipper

No Comments

You learn things every day. What I learned today: Yarn stretches. Yes, I know. I should know this, but it must have escaped my mind somehow.

My dad had requested slippers, so I traced his current slipper on a piece of paper to be able to size them correctly. I was really excited about making these, because I came across Isela's pattern for ribbed socks (PDF) using the blue loom, and it would be my first try at a toe that didn't get drawn up with one thread like the top of a hat. (Note: I didn't make this pattern exactly, but it helped me understand increasing and decreasing on the loom–her pattern keeps those pesky holes from appearing in the heel.)

So, my dad has size 10.5 feet. Keep this in mind. I started with Lion Brand Thick and Quick in "wood" (yes, I must expand my yarn horizons) by knitting ten rounds, drawing up the bottom row, and knitting off to make a cuff. I then jumped right into the heel, and was pleased to find it went smoothly. When I started the actual foot, I carefully compared the growing sock with the tracing of my Dad's slipper. 10.5. Remember.

I knitted 28 rows and then knitted the toe using the flat stitch. I took off the whole thing using a flat panel removal method, like Isela recommends. And here's the result!

That's ONE HUGE SLIPPER!

B came home, took one look, and burst out laughing. What happened? It matched the paper tracing exactly, right up until the point where I took it off of the loom. So… the moral of the story is: yarn stretches, sometimes mysteriously so.

This story has a happy ending. Yes, I could have "frogged" it (I've learned that means Rip-it, Rip-it!) but it just so happens my husband's foot is size 12 so guess who's getting a pair of slippers? Sorry, Dad!