Thursday, 8 August 2013

Quaker Yarn Stretcher

My latest pattern is the result of an experiment to see if I could make something scarf-sized with about 220m (245yds) of handspun yarn and use as much of the yarn as possible.  I'm happy to report that it worked.

This was the first one - made with a Gift of Grace handspun in colourway Boomerang, which is what got me trying this in the first place.

You can find the pattern on ravelry:

Then I wanted to try it again - and again....

I have made four so far and they all ended up about 150cm (5') long - which isn't huge, but is long enough to wear as a scarf.

You can drape lots of different ways.

I like the thicker end down the front and the skinny end at the back - like this - see the dark shape on the right side, that’s to show that there is as much length down the back as at the front (no cheating to make it look bigger ☺):
Silk Quaker ( #4 )
This shows the other side - more ridges, less stockinette - with some yarns this side may be more interesting. The way the edges are worked will make it reversible:
Silk Quaker ( #4 )
This one shows the skinny end in front - you get a lot more coverage in the front if you wear it this way (good for windy winter days):
Silk Quaker ( #4 )
It’s actually long enough to wrap around and leave the ends down in front (or you could tie them if you wanted):
Silk Quaker ( #4 )
An overall shot:
Silk Quaker ( #4 )
And one more to show off the colours and sheen - the yarn is fabulous !! It's Lady Godiva by Handmaiden.
Silk Quaker ( #4 )

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A plan starts to take shape

I've been planning to make something with this stitch for a while.

I decided I wanted it in the shades of fall in Ontario, so I ordered some orange yarns.

When they arrived I thought I'd try this one and I'm pleased to report it's exactly what I had in mind.

I love when the idea's no longer just a floating in your head, but has actually been knitted up - next step, the pattern. ☺

Monday, 13 May 2013

A rare event

Not the wisteria flowering - you get that every year.

A rectangular scarf knitted by me only appears about every 2-3 years.

But that may be about to change.....

A lot of the people I'd like to knit for would like rectangles, but I don't like making classic rectangles because of the way the weight of the scarf pulls down on the needle; I tried knitting lengthwise, but I didn't like the big long cast-on, but now I may have the answer.

Knitting them on bias.....

More comfortable to hold, less turning, but no long cast-on.

So,  who knows, there may even be another rectangle scarf before we see the wisteria again...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Edging options

Two finishes for a neat edge which helps to counteract rolling:

Crocheted bind-off - no crocheting skills required, but you will need a hook:

Transfer the first stitch to your crochet hook (1 st. on the hook)

1. use the hook to pull up a loop through the 2nd stitch (2 sts. on the hook)

2. use the hook to pull another loop through the 2 stitches (1 st. on the hook)

Repeat steps 1 + 2 until you have no stitches left.

Cut the yarn leaving a tail.
Put the end through the last loop to secure.

Edging - you can use the same technique to work a border along a side edge or a cast-off edge.

In Step #1 insert the needle through the stitches at the edge and pull up a loop.  The rest is exactly the same.

I-cord bind-off

Most instructions for i-cord bind-off tell you to transfer the stitches back to the left needle.

I find it's much better to use 2 double pointed needles (dpn's) and slide the stitches along.

This reduces the risk of:

  • dropping a stitch
  • stretching the stitches
  • splitting the stitches

Start by casting on 3 or 4 stitches on one of the dpn's.

1st row:

a) k2 (or 3)

b) slip the next stitch purlwise

c) slip the first stitch to be cast off knitwise (kw)

Transfer the last 2 stitches back to the left hand needle.
d) k2tog tbl (knit 2 together through the back loop)

e) slip the next stitch knitwise (as you did in step c)

f) slide the stitches along the dpn so that you start the next row at the opposite end (the one furthest away from the stitches you are binding off). Use the other dpn for the next row.

All other rows:

  1. k2 ( or 3) (as in step a)
  2. k2tog tbl (step d)
  3. slip 1 knitwise (step c)
  4. slide the stitches along the dpn and start the next row with the other dpn (step f)
Repeat until you have no stitches left, then bind off.

Edging (attached i-cord) - basically the same, but instead of using live stitches in Step #3, you pick up new stiches by inserting the needle along the edge and pulling up a loop to create a new stitch. Then continue with Step #4.