Friday, 22 April 2011


 A couple of weeks ago I went to Wonderwool in Wales.  It was at the Royal Showground at Builth Wells.

I went with a friend and we had a great day out.  The photos are not very good I'm afraid.  I may have got a bit over-excited at all of the goodies.

I bought quite a bit of yarn.

I also added to my button stash.

There was lots of fibre.

But a limited amount of money!

We went on the Sunday and it wasn't very busy.  Lovely for us.  There was space to walk around and look at everything.  Twice.  The journey from Somerset wasn't too bad.  It was about a five hour round trip.  Fortunately we managed to talk all the way there and all the way back which definitely helped.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Swell Swap

Do you remember this yarn from this post?  I love the colour of this yarn but disliked the texture of it.  When I posted about it Vivianne of Kismet's Companion offered to give the yarn a good home.  I was so pleased that someone else could use it.

Look what came back in the post!  Some handmade soap.

I have a house full of boys here with an occasional visit from my daughter.  We tend to use just normal soap.  I am so excited about this handmade soap.  Thank you so much Vivianne.

The original post was written as part of the 2nd Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.  A big thank you to Eskimimi for organizing it and for all of her hard work.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Tense Times

I have been struggling with my tension or gauge.  I am a loose knitter.  There it is, out in the open.  My mother-in-law's partner even called me 'slack'.  I think he was referring to my knitting.

I am currently working on Jen by Kim Hargreaves.  It is knitted in Rowan Bamboo Soft.  I did a tension square on the right size needles and it was way out so I dropped three needle sizes and started knitting. (yes three!)

I finished the back only to find that it was 4 cm wider than it should be and 6 cm longer.

After much sobbing I decided to try to work on my tension.  I knew that the ribbing was probably a bit smaller than it should be so the problem had to be in the stocking stitch.

I am an English knitter or thrower.  I throw the yarn using my middle finger and wind the yarn around my little finger.  I have questioned everyone I know who knits as to how they do it.  All of them have had to pick up their needles to tell me!

I have tried holding it in my little finger and throwing with my index, winding it round my index finger and winding it round my little finger and throwing with my index.  It all felt very alien and didn't really work.  I cannot seem to get the flow of yarn through with more tension.

When I was much younger and first started knitting, my knitting was very tight.  It used to squeak along the needles and I have even been known to snap knitting needles.  As I got more used to knitting, it loosened up.

I thought that I should try to learn the continental method but it seems that it makes your knitting looser.

A Clanger with my knitting

Yesterday I came across an article in the latest Twist Collective.  It was all about getting gauge.  The article was an eye opener.  It showed the difference between a tension square knitted by the same knitter with the same yarn but one was with a metal needle and one with a wooden one.  The square knitted on wooden needles came out much bigger.  I had knitted my stocking stitch with a wooden needle and my ribbing with a metal one.  The article also said that everyone has a natural style of knitting whether tight or loose.  

For the last five days I have been a quivering mess about my knitting.  I couldn't make myself knit any tighter despite valiant efforts and it just made the whole thing unpleasant.  I went to knitting club last night and checked everyone out.  They all seem to knit tighter than me.  Oh woe, woe and thrice woe.  What can you do?

My main worry is that I use more yarn than the pattern requires.  Normally I would buy an extra ball to compensate (just in case) but I have a couple of Kim Hargreaves kits which have the required amount of yarn in.

I have decided to embrace my 'slackness'.  Where gauge is important I will use metal needles to try to improve it and also do a tension square.  I am also happy to go down two sizes of needles if that is what is called for.  Oh, and to try not to think of myself as a second class knitizen because I am loose.

If anyone has any other tips I would be pleased to hear them.  

Friday, 1 April 2011

And now for something completely different - Knitcroblo Week - Day Five

Here is something completely different.  This has been made mainly by my two sons with love and support from me.  The dramatic theme was by my OH.  A real family affair.  However, I did supply the props!