Sunday, July 31, 2005

Knitting Boobs

I have managed to fix two boobs I made with two diffrent sweaters. The problem was the same with both-the sleeves were too long. I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that I simply must write down what I am doing, from number of rows needed to tension etc because until now I have kept it all in my head. I have also noticed other silly mistakes I make which can be put down to forgetting or getting mixed up. I don't know if this is my age or my illness! John tells me that it is age and that he now needs to write notes before he gives a lecture whereas he used to just do it. Oh dear!
Anyway, as these sweaters were just not wearable unless I found a knuckle dragger, I decided to shrink them by tumble drying. From previous deliberate shrinkings, I guessed that these two items would shrink the amount I wanted them too. They did! The sleeves are perfect length now and of course the sweaters themselves feel better.
When I knit with Cashmere, I always tumble dry. Yes, don't freak, I did write that i tumble dry Cashmere! Why you may well ask. Quite simply it brings up the loft really well. The difference in feel between the tumble dried garment and the not is very very obvious. One cannot compare the two. The tumbled one feels ever so soft and the other doesn't. Now one must take into account this when knitting your tension piece. Either knit it and then wash and tumble it BEFORE you measure the gauge OR knit it, wash and leave to dry, then measure your gauge. However, when you come to knit the garment, knit it one whole tension higher. i.e. if you knit the tension piece at ten. 4, knit the garment at ten. 5. (I knit Cashmere on the SK830(250 needles 3.6mm pitch) using 2x 2/28 weight)
Cotton can be treated the same way. Dare I say it ought to be. Cotton shrinks but only shrinks once. So you either tumble dry the swatch and the garment or you hot wash(90deg C) the swatch and the garment. After this treatment, your cotton sweater will always be machine washable and can be tumble dried every time without further shrinking.
Back to the Cashmere-once you have tumbled it, from then on it must be handwashed or washed on a 30c gentle cycle. It must NOT be tumbled or hotter washed as it will continue to shrink.
Lambswool(woollen spun) cannot be treated like the above. It will felt. So unless you want a felted piece, only wash lambswool gently in cool water.
I will write more tips when i feel like it. Perhaps on finishing knitted items as the finishing of a piece makes or breaks it. So many fine pieces of knitting are ruined by poor finishing techniques.

Pups /Knitting Room

These are the pups at 5 weeks and 2 days. They all had their first bath today. I am pleased to say they did not 'fluff' up when dry, none of them. They also took longer to dry. This, in my experience, tells me the coats are the correct hard texture.
Yesterday they went into the garden for the first time. They had a wander and all of them went over the side of the patio, under the bushes and couldn't get back up, so they whined loudly till I got down on my hands and knees and fished them out. Two
minutes later they all went back under and whined again to be rescued! This morning, first thing, they all whined to go out!

The boy pup I was drawn to at 3 days still stands out, on the move and when I bathed him. One boy reminds me of another I bred whose balance was similar. He did not turn out to be a well balanced adult and he grew too boig. this boy, like the other, has longer legs. The 3rd boy, looks promising too. One boy is a definate pet, wrong head type, goofy. The girl is hard to tell anything about. A bit of a pudding. However, my firends bitch who went on to become a fatastic example and a top winner was also an ugly duckling and she is of very similar lines. We'll wait and see.
Shoulder placement on the two boys I like seems very good. Rears also look very good.

This is my 3rd 'foreign' litter, all parents being of different lines to those here in the UK. I find it most odd that out of all those people who 'love' this breed, none have shown the slightest interest in these litters, despite an open invitation to do so. My good friends, Ken and Thelma of Piplaurie, have . They have seen all of them and show the level of interest one would expect from those whose passion has lasted a lifetime.

Yesterday was clear out day. I couldn't stand the 'stuff' all over the place anymore. My knitting room is now reasonably clear. I have thrown some stuff out and more is to go. Really dififuclt for me to clear stuff out. I tend to hoard! The main differenc eis the floor is clear, with my tools in boxes and waste in the bin!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Handknit /Abuse

Oh my, I am glad this is finished. I got very bored with it. The yarn is Marks and Katten Bomwull (50% Cotton 50% wool)which i bought in Stockholm. It has a very good drape and handle. I chose the stitch pattern for it's simplicity and effect. It is 2 rows of garter st and 2 rows 1x1 rib. This was easy to knit, except for the neck. I like to short row necks and this was not easy in this pattern. The sewing up was a PITA too as it was not so easy keeping the stripes aligned. I use mattress stitch as always(except on DJ).

I was at a meeting the other day. I got really pissed off with some person who thinks that people who abuse children should not be blamed as they did the best they could with the knowledge thay had at the time. I am sick of hearing this excuse for child abuse. We are not talking not letting a child stay out half an hour later, or saying no to some cherished want. No we are talking about people who beat their children, who have sex with them, who kill them even. There is NO WAY this can be excused or explained as them doing their best with their level of knowledge!!!
Whislt I am not of the opinion that such people ought to be hung, I also feel it is a disservice to those abused and to the abuser to make light of it, to excuse it. There is no excuse. Ignorance is certainly not a mitigating factor. Do we really need to be taught that putting cigarrettes out on a child's skin is wrong? Do we really need to be taught that yelling at a child that they are stupid, useless and evil, is wrong? Do we we really need to to taught that knocking a child out, or bruising them, or scaring them stupid is wrong? We are faced with so many problems in our world and the one cause, the fundamental cause, is ignored by most. get the rearing and loving of children right and you will solve most the ills we all suffer from. Burying one's head in the sand, making excuses, blaming the victim helps no one. Not even those who do this in order to hide form their own truth. It will never do anything to stop the suffering.
The pups are 5 weeks old today. More noisy and smelly! Mum is fed up with them, quite suddenly. She has been an excellent, very protective and until yesterday was still feeding them and I was concerned to get them weaned. Well yesterday, she just decided to stop letting them suckle which makes weaning easier. The cry for her and does see them and wash them but the second they try and suck she gets away from them. A few days ago, two of them wagged their tails at me. Very cute. They are developing nicely. Rears look good as do fronts, but as we know, such things can change for the worse as well as the better. Coats are hard and plenty of it. Pigment excellent. Eyes look to be correct shape and colour. These pups bring new lines to the UK and these include the German Tibetan Line(TL) although of course these pups are not officailly TL as they have other lines in them too. Which was the diea as far as I am concerned. Desperately needed gentetic diversity is what I was after as well as a return to real Tibetan type.
I will probably be keeping several for a long time so I can learn from them, watch how they develop. Possibly will end by keeping a boy and girl to prduce the next generation.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Cashmere/DJ/HK and Pups

100% Mongolian Cashmere. 2 x 2/28's. Tumble dried to bring up the loft. beautifully soft. Set in sleeves.
I did this on the E6000, LX/FX tech 198. It is a mix of botany, geelong, angora, and kid mohair.
This is another HK, the yarn is by Rowan but I can't recall what it is called. A wool, alpaca, acrylic mix. Very soft. Chunky weight.
This is a HK. Very simple. CB4 and then 4 sts of garter st. The yarns I bought in Oslo, Norway. PT3 and Kitten. PT3 is a pure wool and Kitten is a fine mohair. This is a chunky weight sweater. Lovely and warm for winter.
Forsell's 1 ply Botany, two fold. Done on Passap, OX/N, my own design.

Had to go to Peterborugh today to get my camera back. I was in my wheel chair. In the mall, I asked somone to excuse me, and he turned around, apologised and patted me on the head!!!! Patronizing git! There was no need ot apologise as he hadn't done anything wrong-until he patted me on the head!
My mum is constantly on my mind. I really didn't expect to feel bereft. I also only see her as she looked the last time I saw her. I haven't seen her old. It isn't her being dead that bothers me but that she had made no attempt to contact me in all those years, none at all. Parents are supposed to love their children. How sad must her life have been?
If you insist on pointing that thing at me, I'll just look away.....
i can hide just like this....
is that food?
are you mad?
Don't point at me!
I don't care what I look like.....
dead to the world....

Intarsia / Garter Stitch

This is the first handknit I started 18mths ago when I took up hk'ing seriously. I love the colours. The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed. The handle is not good, the yarn is rough and it doesn't make sts that well. I think Rowan is much too expensive and the quality is not that good. There are all sorts of things about this garment I am not happy with. The cast on(cable cast on) and the neckline. I do not ever use cable cast on now and always use long tail. I do my necks by short rowing and I knit the collar separately and join using 3 needle method. I sew together as always with mattress stitch. Had I not faffed about and discovered how to use the finishing techniques I use with my machine knitwear, I would not have continued to HK. Oh and I knitted this with 3.25 needles. I don't know how they recommend 4mm!
This is a set in sleeve. The yarn is a wool I bought on offer-I have loads of it. Very nice feel, machine washable. I did wonder if it was wool. It shrinks if tumbled! Feels wonderful, soft next to skin. The stitch design is the same one I used on my first sweater design published in Machine Knitting Monthly.
This has a modified drop shoulder. I didn't use my own pattern but patt 477 in the machine(Bro 940). The yarn is the same wool as the pale blue sweater.

I had a good day yesterday, almost finished another HK. Today, I am armed with my electric box on my spine and am about to take the dogs out. I feel bereft today, fragile. My mum and the whole family situation is on my mind. However, I know this will pass and I still feel at peace. My emotions are just that, they will settle and my life will go on all the richer for this learning curve.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Double Jaquard/Bavarian HK/Pups

I drew this design in DAK. I knitted it on the E6000. I used 3 colours. The ecrus is 50% merino50%acrylic and the other two yarns are 100% wool. Machine washable. The yarn count is approximately 2/28's. This was originally the wrong side but I decided I preferred this side on the day I made it! The tech was 198 but I set the locks to UX for front and N for back.

This was my original right side.

I ordered 3 books of Bavarian knitting stitches from on Tuesday. They arrived today. They are by Lisl Fanderl. Just over £17 for all three and these are thick hardbacks! I am very pleased. It was a bit of a gamblebecausee I wasn't sure I would understand them, being in German. However, the charts are easy to figure out, even though the symbols are different to those one is used to. The only way to see if I was undertstanding was to knit and see. I really like these stitches-mostly traveling, twisted sts(you knit thru back of loop of both k and p rows). I will use these along with cables to make my own textured Aran type sweaters.

The pups are 4 weeks old today and are getting interested if solid food tho Mum is still of more interest to them. I feed all my dogs raw, natural food and I find since I have been doing this(4 years) the pups don't wean till they are 5-6 weeks old. All of my dogs are so much healtheir and their teeth clean. I'd never go back to crap in a bag for them.

It is too soon to tell if I have what i am hoping for in these pups but they all look like real Apso, have really good coats, you can feel the hard texture already. Their heads and eyes are looking good. A few more weeks and I will have a much better idea. I do have my eye on two of them....

I have slept well and have started to assimilate the news I received. A new lightness has come to me, I feel much more free than ever before.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Shetland Fair Isle / Death

I finished this yesterday. It is Shetland wool, a yarn I love. It is not the softest of yarns but I really like the texture for it's visuals. I am lucky in that wool of any sort doesn't itch me. The yarn is 4ply, oiled, and I knit it at the highest tension available, 10**, on my 940. I did the design in DAK. This was one of those sweaters that was a problem from the beginning. Everything that could go wrong, did! Now once finished and sewn together and washed, I noticed an error in the pattern! I wonder if I can live with it or will go to the charity shop?
This is the sleeve detail. I did dropped shoulder but with a 5cm cut in on body both sides. I have found fairisle does not lend itself well to shaped sleeves-set in or raglan. The cut in does make a difference to the underarm bulk.

I had a weird experience last night. I had been on the net searching for something and came across a name I recognized. I followed the links and found my brother had become some sort of guru!!!! I told my partner who then told me that my brother had been trying to get in touch via my partner's work. He had not told me. It's a long story. Anyway, I thought I'd email to see what was wanted of me, as I knew that would be the only reason my brother would want contact-it would be about him. It was. He also told me that my Mum had died a year ago and that I now had a step mother as Dad had remarried. I went to bed and I had a recurrence of a dream that has plagued me for many years, over 20. Only this time the nightmare did not follow it's usual course-me waking afraid and not wanting to go back to sleep. This time I awoke happy. Whatever the dream was about, it was resolved last night. I have been free of my family for many years now, I have been blessed. Yet there was always this doubt. Now that has gone completely. Whilst I have never known how to contact them, they have always known how to contact me. They didn't let me know my Mum had died and they could have. It has taken much work and much suffering to heal myself of the past and this episode shows me in no uncertain terms that I have come a long way and that the path my healing took was the right one. Some people will remain in denial all their lives and will always prefer to have a scape goat rather than do any honest healing work. I find it sad, and amusing, that my brother is a 'family healing' guru!!! His 13 emails to me since last night show me clearly that he hasn't healed anything, that he still has no conception of what took place in our young lives, his part in it(by keeping his mouth shut and not speaking up for me which had dire consequences for me), that he is still thinking he will get the love he craves from our parents, that he still values material goods above all else. I found it odd that a 'spiritual guru' should boast to me about his home, his Mercedes(he has named the damn thing!). Sadly, he still wants that loving family we didn't have. He won't get it. He also won't get closure until he faces the truth and it looks, to date, that he won't do that. He used to be religious fundamentalist and now he 'channels' and charges a great deal of dosh for people to hear him . I tell you, if one wrote a film script about our lives, it would be turned down as unbelievable.
It is good to realise that my own healing work is as solid as I hoped. Growth is ongoing for all of us and we avoid it at our peril.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Gansey / Pups

Completed today. My take on a Fisherman's Gansey. Done with the garter carriage in a fine 4ply wool.
Sleeve detail.

All five at the milk bar.....

This is one of the boys at 25 days. He already enjoys barking....
This litter has a German father and French/Danish mother.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Hanknit Aran/dogs

This is my first Aran. I designed it myself. The yarn is 70% wool 30% nylon. I bought it from a shop run by a delightful lady named Mabel in Goteberg, Sweden. It has set in sleeves.
This is the Aran I working on now. The edges of the diamond are in a twisted stitch. The yarn is wool-Alaska, made by Garn Studio, which i bought in Stockholm last year.
This is a 3rd Aran I have planned. The yarn is Jaeger Shetland Aran, 80%wool 20% alpaca.

This is Tilly, one of my Miniature Longhaired Dachshunds. She went to visit a boy last week......
This is Finty at 6mths, one of my Lhasa Apso. She has a Finnish father and a Danish mother.