Saturday, 7 September 2013

Who is Cornelia Mee?

Dear Cornelia,

I know it is a bit weird writing to you, after all your book was published in MDCCCXLVI (1846 by my reckoning) but I just had to let you know how much I'm enjoying 'Exercises in Knitting'. I downloaded it onto my kindle from Project Gutenburg and when I'm feeling like a bit on inspiration, I just take a little look.

I am intrigued by who you're not on Wikipedia!, but you are on Ravelry. Despite some intriguing references, I can't find out any more. There are other books, it says so on the front plate. Titles like 'A Manual of Knitting' and 'Crochet Explained' are just a couple of the intriguing titles. Have they been completely lost? Who knows?

Actually, found a wonderful resource from the University of Southhampton The Richard Rutt Collection at Winchester School of Art. Lots more to look at.

I digress. What caught my eye this time is your description of Twisted knitting:

Cast on 12 stitches, knit and seam (purl) alternate rows for 8 rows; the 3 first and last stitches of each row are always knit.
Ninth row - Knit 3 stitches, take a third pin (needle) and knit 3 more, knit the remainder of the stitches with the first pin.
Tenth row - Knit 3 stitches, seam the 3 stitches on the third pin, seam the other 23, knit the 3 edge stitches. This completes 1 twist, and is repeated after every 8 rows.

Now it seems to be cable but with a little twist. Will it make any difference? Just had to know, so I made a little sample.

A regular cable is on the left and your 'twisted' knit is on the right. It does lie flatter and does suggest further variations.

Thankyou so much for the inspiration.

Cheers, Teresa

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

An ode to Petlyn wool combs

Dear Julie and Joe,

Just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know how much fun I'm having with your English wool combs that I bought from you at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show in Bendigo this year. I also purchased some of Coral Stewarts' dyed fleece. More of a sentimental purchase, as I don't need any more fleece, but I do love her work and have a jacket and a jumper made from her dyed yarn, which I love.

Now I know that this was not the perfect start, whilst the fleece is dyed it was still very greasy, but I thought that knowing this was not the best start would allow me to experiment to find the best way to process it. Fleece is always tricky as you tend to get a muddying effect as there are no distinct blocks of colour. Well, this fleece, anyway.

I found the best way was to load a rough colour block at a time, then take it off with the free comb, load more, take off more, and keep going till I had this:

You can sort of see the layers that were created and when I 'dizzed' it off I got

It spun up beautifully, as you would expect using wool combs, I navaho plied the resulting single to try and keep some colours. It did turn out muddy in places and I did really lose the blue, but I love the yarn so much I didn't take a photo before I knit it up into a shrug to sell in my Etsy shop.

I really love the combs and have started work on my next project, and, as convener of Experimental Spinners at the guild, we're going to have a session playing with wool combs. A couple of us have wool combs and so does the guild. We're going to try colour blending and see what happens.

Thanks again for your marvellous products and your generosity in sharing your knowledge.

Cheers, Teresa

PS Hints on blending colours on wool combs would be appreciated!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Letter to the unknown customer

To whom it may concern,

Just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know that I've finally listed all my current fingerless mittens on Etsy. I know this is a little old fashioned writing a letter, but it feels better to be actually writing to someone, albeit unknown, than just speaking into the ether and wondering who is listening.

So let me tell you about my mittens. There are three different types that I've listed:

These are the last of the handspun yarn crocheted into a simple shape. I need to make more of these, but there's alot of spinning to do. I do have some gorgeous coloured tops in my stash waiting for me.

Then there's my new range:

I've made them with the boys in mind, but they do look good on women too! Currently, they come in black, grey or natural colours. I like addiing something different on the band and down the back of the hand.

Then there's my standby fingerless mittens, the ones with the buttons. They started this whole fingerless mitten making run.

There's the black and cream ones I always have, though I do need a couple of grey gloves, I am from Melbourne!

Then there are the couple of colours I currently have.

And, finally,

the chunky ones! Two are handspun and the other is from a stash dive with amazing buttons.

I have made an aweful lot of these fingerless mittens with buttons, over 150 if my records are to be believed, and the spreadsheet never lies, though I can hardly believe it! What makes it even more unbelievable is that each one is different. Sometimes it's just the yarn and I knit the square in stocking stitch with the thumb and the borders in moss stitch. That's my standard pattern, but alot are diving into the stitch books and playing with different stitches.

Anyway, I hope you like them and if you want to become a known customer head over to the fingerless mitten section of my Etsy shop.

Hope to hear from you,

Cheers, Teresa