July 26, 2015

Welcome to the Knitting Side of Yarns of the Heart

My blog started out as half knitting, half homeschooling, but homeschooling has taken over, so I opened this blog to collect all my knitting stuff. They both have the same name, so you'll feel like you're still on my blog, no matter which side you visit. I hope it's not confusing. If you want to check out my homeschooling side, look here.

From June 5, 2008 back there are no comments because when I copied and pasted the articles from the other blog, the comments didn't follow. So leave me some comments and thanks for visiting!

February 15, 2009

Felting a Log Cabin Square

I knit a log cabin quilt square using this pattern, then felted it in my grandma's butter churn! It only takes about 10 minutes of cranking and it's done. I love how it turned out. I used information from this quilting site to choose my colors and their placement.

I used Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks, and their long circular needles, size 6. In the end, I added an applied i-chord in brown, but then it made the brown section seem wider, so maybe next time I'll choose a contrasting color. The beauty of felting is that all the wibbly wobbly knitting gets smashed down into one tight fabric. When it's wet you can pull on it and let it dry in a perfect square. Notice how much felting shrunk the piece.

January 10, 2009

Knitting a Log Cabin

Knitting Daily highlighted a free pattern and I had to try it. With my small stash, I'm thinking of felting a square and folding it into a pouch. Then I started thinking about all the Lincoln hoopla around here (2009 is the bicentennial of his birth), and wondered if I could knit a more accurate log cabin quilt square. I found a pattern here for a dishcloth. Looks good. I'm going to try to knit one with the traditional red center square with wool yarn, then felt it and see how big it turns out. These could be hot pads, placemats, bags, pouches...we'll see.

In my searching, I also found this website that teaches how to weave in ends as you go. That will be great with all the color changes going on.

photo from Runs With Needles
traditional color layouts

September 25, 2008

Sequoia Cable Scarf

This is my first knitting project of the season. My son was heading off to college in Chicago and I just had to knit him something in his school colors. With two skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick, color Claret, I knit the Sequoia Cable Scarf on size 17 needles. For a cable needle, I used whatever was handy (like a pen) or nothing at all. Those chunky stitches pretty much stayed put.

I love the braided look. It's soft and warm and so interesting! I just hope Peter gets some good out of it. At least it's a conversation starter!

June 5, 2008

Wool and Moths and Summer

I recently hand washed and air dried all my hand knits. Here are some hats and gloves laying out on the radiator we never use because the pilot light uses more gas than the ventless gas log we installed. Because we live in a converted church building, the heating system is very old and designed to heat large areas. But the radiator makes a great bench!

I've become very interested in storing my wool properly because I've seen several moths flying around the house. Maybe interested isn't the right word. I think paranoid is more like it.

Based on my research, here's what you should do to store your woolies away for the summer:

1. Wash and dry them by hand if you don't want them to felt.
2. Store them in well-sealed, dry containers.
3. Allow for air circulation.
4. Use mothballs.
5. Use cedar, or bars of soap, or herbs to mask the scent of the wool.
6. Use chalk in sachets to absorb moisture.
7. Wrap your items in tissue paper.
8. Don't store wool in plastic bags because they can't "breathe" and may mildew.
9. Don't use mothballs.
10. Cedar is useless.

My conclusion?

I'm going for the plastic. I think storing wool is half science, half emotion. Even the experts contradict each other. I just feel better knowing my sweaters are in zippered bags inside a snap tub. And one source said it's ok to put them in plastic if they are completely dry when they go in and they are coming out again in six months or less.

Someone on Ravelry mentioned using pet bedding for cedar. Ah ha! I can do that. But now the thought of spreading rodent bedding among my encased wool makes me think of mice...

Here are some links to help you come to your own conclusions:

Martha Stewart
Readers Digest
Real Simple
University of California
How to identify a clothing moth

Good News! Those moths I spotted flying around the house--they are pantry moths. I found a picture here and that put my mind to rest. Now I'll go clean out the pantry.

May 29, 2008

Dyeing Yarn at Lincoln Log Cabin

natural dye for woolThis past weekend my daughter Meg and I went to Lincoln Log Cabin to see their "Sheep to Clothing" event. We live only 5 miles from this place, and we've volunteered, but we've never come to the wool event. It was sparsely attended, but I thought it was great. My favorite part was seeing all this wool hanging in these glorious colors. I liked it so much, I turned it into my blog banner.

natural dye for woolThis man raises sheep, spins the wool and dyes it using pioneer methods.

natural dye for wool

With onion skins clinging to the yarn, here is a pot of simmering yellow. The other pot has yarn turning red because he added a particular insect. He recommended The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing by J.N. Lisles as the best book on this topic.
natural dye for wool

natural dye for wool
Before he can dye the yarn, he has to have clean wool to work with. I don't think she's enjoying her job very much.

This lady was knitting and demonstrating spinning with a drop spindle. I definitely want to give this a try.

Inside the Lincoln cabin, an interpreter was knitting. This is where Abraham Lincoln's father and step mother lived after he left home (it's actually a recreation; the original cabin was lost when it was torn down and sent to the World's Fair). But he came to this area often on his circuit as a lawyer. And before heading to Washington for the presidency, he stopped in to say good bye.

She reminds me of me, knitting by the fire with a cap on. It was cold this winter! Now I just need to learn how to spin.

May 12, 2008

Comparing Eastern, Western, and Combination Knitting

comparing western and eastern knitting
Comparing Western and Eastern Knitting

Above: Eastern knitting uses an Eastern mount (left leg out) and wraps yarn clockwise.

Comparing Western and Eastern Knitting
Above: Western Knitting (Continental and English) uses a western mount (right leg out) and wraps the yarn counter-clockwise. Portuguese knitting and the Norwegian purl fall into this category.

If we pair our mounts and wraps consistently, there are no twisted stitches. It's interesting to see that the Norwegian purl is simply a counter-clockwise wrap entering a Western mount in a Continental/English needle direction. That's why it can be paired with a Continental or English knit stitch without twisting. It's really a Continental/English purl with some extra maneuvers before it grabs the yarn.

Portuguese knitting, as demonstrated on the video above, shows the yarn coming from around the neck and toward the needles. But the stitch mounts are Western, the needle directions are Continental/English, and the wraps are counterclockwise, so it's basically Continental/English knitting without having to hold the yarn--you simply move it into place with your thumb or index finger.

Combination Knitting
This is a common knitting style that combines Eastern and Western knitting. See the Knitting Help page to learn more about this. Scroll down to “combined purling.” It’s purling Continental/English style, but wrapping clockwise, then knitting farside (into the back loop) as you would to correct a twisted stitch. Many people around the world knit this way.

All three techniques, Eastern, Western, and Combination produce beautiful, untwisted knitted fabric.