19 June 2016

Pitch Matters

I'm working on several projects right now. I've finished my Christmas in July project for The Whole Nine Yarns (more about that next month). I need to come up with a pattern for Georgia FiberFest. Several nights ago I woke up about 3 AM and could not get back to sleep for nearly two hours! I had an idea.

After I got up late that morning, I cast on a möbius. I was knitting along fairly well. Then I decided to swatch from the other end in 1×1 ribbing.

When you are working with a long-print yarn, the number of stitches in a row or round matters.

Behold!

On a round of 450 stitches, the long print in Cascade Tangier is not long enough. It produces one-row stripes.



However, on a much shorter pitch of 40 stitches back and forth, the result is a nice gradient. In fact, for a gradient back and forth, I wouldn't want to work on much more than 40 stitches. Now that I think of it, wouldn't it be wonderful if yarn manufacturers included this information on long-print yarns?

What is impressive is how very different this yarn looks depending on the pitch (number of stitches in a row or round). In knitting we sometimes talk about matching a yarn to a project. This is a great example of how the same yarn can look very different. Choose wisely.

15 June 2016

Tools in Revolt

I'm having a couple of days where my tools and I are just not getting along.

I've been working on a fine-gauge reversible lace scarf. It is a lovely thing, indeed; all 75,000 stitches, 60 hours, and 97 repeats of 5 multiples of pattern. I finished it and blocked it, using the beautiful bronze Lacis blocking wires I wrote about previously. I used my typical method for blocking: thread blocking wires through the edges, pin onto mat, spray with water, ignore overnight. In less than 24 hours, the bronze oxidized and left blue-green stains on the edges of the ivory-colored scarf.


Sigh.

Fortunately, I was able to dig up some stain-removal information (thank you, Internet). The key was lemon juice and salt. I purchased half a dozen lemons at the grocery store. Once I squeezed them, I was armed with a cup of fresh juice. I laid the scarf in a glass baking dish, spooned lemon juice along the stained edge, and then salted. It worked! It took multiple iterations, as the whole scarf did not fit in a baking dish, but at least it worked. I then soaked and reblocked the scarf by simply spreading it on the mat (without pins or wires) and ignoring it for two days.

I'm not sure what to do about the bronze blocking rods. I did take some brass cleaner to them, and they are all shiny and lovely again. I am wondering if I should spray them with clear coat? Or should I just clean them after every use? Or maybe it is time to retire them and look yet again for better blocking wires?

Today I tried to register for the TKGA show next month in Charleston, SC. But I'm having trouble doing that. I wonder if the universe is telling me to skip that show?

So I decide to go cast-on my next project. And this happened.


Yes, the cable pulled out of my Kollage square needle. I've had this happen before with Knit Picks needles. In fact, at this point I sort of expect my Knit Picks cables to pull out unless I've re-glued them. But I did not expect my Kollage needles to do this. (It is worth noting these are the older version that was manufactured in China, not the current version made in the United States in Alabama.) Calling all adhesive chemists! Will someone please make a better long-term adhesive for circular needles?

First world problems.

I think I'll go eat some chocolate.