Thursday, June 17, 2010

"It 's Just Too Darn Hot to Knit/Crochet! " No It Is NOT!

Many people think of knitting and crocheting as a winter or cold weather only activity because of the weight and warmth of the yarn. It doesn't have to be that way.

There are so many wonderful lightweight yarns of luscious beautiful colors and textures out there. Cotton yarns and cotton yarn blends,  are some of my favorites, especially for knitting baby items like this hat I made for my granddaughter this spring. And the best part about it is crocheting and knitting are a take along hobby that is easy to carry with you. You can work on it just about anywhere!


Medium weight cotton yarn, or “worsted,” makes an excellent knitting yarn for washcloths and dishtowels. There are a variety of patterns available, both free and for purchase, that allow the user to customize a project. Using a cotton yarn blend allows for strength and durability when making washcloths that will be used in the kitchen, and using pure, soft cotton allows for a lovely face cloth. 

Finer or thinner weight projects that utilize all-cotton yarn or cotton blends range from socks and shawls to gloves and short-sleeved or sleeveless tops. Cotton sock yarn is generally blended with nylon to give it more stretch and durability, two qualities that pure cotton yarn does not have. Lace weight cotton yarn can make a gossamer shawl look as though it were made of spider silk. For this variety of knitting project, a type of yarn called “mercerized cotton” is used. This type has been exposed to chemical and heat processes to improve the shine and luster of the fibers, as well as increase their absorbency. Tank tops are generally made from mercerized cotton or cotton yarn blended with a more exotic fiber, such as silk or bamboo, to make the finished project feel softer. 

There are also different types of yarn blends that can be used. Cotton blended with silk is common, although cotton can be blended in the manufacturing process with just about any other fiber. There has been an increase in cotton blends, leading those who are sensitive or allergic to wool to take up crafting again with new gusto. Hand-dyed yarns also provide a creative and colorful outlet for knitters. Cotton yarn can be purchased that is already specially hand-dyed from smaller, independent companies, or bought in its natural hue for dying at home.

So don't give up a relaxing, rewarding hobby just because the weather has turned warmer. Get to your local yarn shop or large craft stores in your area such as Michael's  or AC Moore just to name a few.

IF IT IS TOO HOT OUTSIDE FOR YOU TO VENTURE OUT....SHOP ONLINE AND ENJOY YOUR SUMMER WEATHER.

Source:
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-best-uses-for-cotton-yarn.htm

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ever think of substituting a different kind of yarn than the one the pattern calls for?

I know there are plenty of times I will look at a new pattern, or an existing one, and think; I have yarn in my stash that I could use for that particular pattern that would look great. Only to find ,when you start to knit that it does not hold true to the size. Ahh darn, (many sighs and groans as I rip it out), live and learn. But a solution.

I subscribe to a Knitting Newsletter by Email that has lots of tips and tricks and this particular subject came up the other week. Let me share it with you. Perhaps if you enjoy this article you might want to get a free subcription to her Knitting Daily Newsletter yourself. I HIGHLY recommend subscribing to Kathleen Cubley's very informative newsletter. It is free and so informative!! To Subscribe CLICK HERE
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Gauge and Yarn Substitution. by Kathleen Cubley. 11 June 2011. Knitting Daily.com

This shows what happens when you knit thinner and thicker yarns on the same size needles. Both yarns produce the same number of stitches per inch, or nearly so. The thin yarn makes slightly more rows per inch. In this swatch, knitted on size 7 needles, the orange (top) yarn, a handspun 3-ply, measures about 16 wraps per inch (which is lace weight). The teal (bottom) yarn is a 2-ply that measures about 8 wraps per inch (Aran weight). Both yarns knit up at a gauge of 4 1/2 stitches per inch. The section knitted from the thicker teal yarn has 6 rows per inch, while the orange section has 7 rows per inch.
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Gauge and Yarn Substitution. by Kathleen Cubley. 11 June 2011. Knitting Daily.com


I've been reading a lot about gauge lately because I want to knit something on my knitting machine, and gauge is different on the machine than it is on the needles. I came upon this great information in an unexpected resource: one of our new spinning eBooks. Rita Buchanan is a master spinner and teacher, so it's no surprise she has some good hints about gauge.

Here's part of her gauge article. To see the entire piece, check out A Closer Look, the new eBook by Rita Buchanan.
Handling a Knitted Fabric and Responding to How it Feels by Rita Buchanan

We're continually reminded of the importance of gauge. Virtually every published pattern specifies a required number of stitches per inch (some patterns also note rows per inch) and the directions always emphasize that you must match the specified gauge or your project will turn out too big or too small.


Although gauge certainly matters a lot, it's not the whole story. Here is a fundamental issue in knitting that is rarely acknowledged or discussed: Two knitted fabrics can have the same or similar gauge yet feel very different.
Pattern writers rarely talk about how a fabric should feel, because they don't have to. Instead, they tell you what yarn to use. If you knit with the particular yarn that they recommend and match the specified gauge, the fabric will feel right for the project.

However, when you vary from the directions by substituting another yarn, the matter of feel becomes important. You must apply some judgment—and some swatching—to make sure the substitute yarn yields appropriate results.


With a substitute yarn, it's not enough to match the specified gauge. You must also produce a fabric that feels right for the kind of project you're making. A dressy sweater, for instance, must feel different from work socks, even though both can be worked at a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. Fabric that feels substantial enough for work socks is too bulky and unyielding for a sweater, while a supple, drapey fabric you'd love in a dressy sweater won't hold up for work socks.
READ THE REST OF THIS INFORMATIVE ARTICLE CLICK HERE