This week, I’ll show you how to lengthen and repair a handknit and I’ll review Peace Fleece needles. I’ve only got time for a short post this week. We’re off to Alice Springs for the Beanie Festival tomorrow. We are travelling up by train in a sleeper. It takes 25 hours so I’ve packed socks to knit on the way. My poor husband, who is the only male in our immediate family who hasn’t got a pair of hand knitted socks, will finally be having a pair knitted for him.
Look out for the new issue of YARN magazine in your newsagent this week. My usual “Yarn on a Shoestring” column is there as well as a men’s jumper, a crocheted skirt and a scarf, all designed by your truly. To find out more click on the link in the sidebar.
REPAIR AND LENGTHEN A HANDKNIT
Several weeks ago I posted a photo of a jumper belonging to a friend of mine. The edges of this handknitted jumper had become tatty and torn and Hoi wanted a little extra length in the body and the arms. Since we are going to be seeing him in a few days, I thought I’d better get stuck into getting it finished.
Hand knitted items last a long time if they have been well made with good quality yarn. By learning to repair damaged edges you can add even more years to them. While you are reknitting edges is a good opportunity to add or subtract length. Choose a yarn of similar weight and fibre in either a contrasting or complementary colour. If you are really lucky you might have the same yarn as the original but that’s pretty unlikely.
Here’s what you need to do: unpick any seams at the area that needs replacing and a little higher as well. Cut a strand of yarn in the middle of a row above the ribbing and unravel that row, carefully pulling out the strand of yarn in each stitch. When you reach the end of the row the section of ribbing should fall off and you should have a row of live stitches on the main part of the garment. Pop these stitches on a needle, join your new yarn and start knitting in ribbing until you think it’s long enough. Cast off loosely in rib and sew up the seams. To add length, knit plain for as long as you need then work the ribbing. To reduce length, detach the bottom of the garment at a higher point in the knitting and then knit the ribbing.
Hints: it’s better if you don’t try to do fair isle patterns when you are knitting in the other direction because your pattern will be half a stitch out and it could look a little strange. Don’t try at all to match cables or stitch patterns for the same reason. Change to a smaller needle when working the ribbing.
Here is the jumper before I attacked it
In this photo you can see one sleeve being unravelled and one completed sleeve
SELBY’S NEEDLE PICKS
This week, instead of a yarn review, we’re having a needle review since I am also fond of needles.
Peace Fleece Joint Venture Needles are light, pretty, smooth and great to knit with. The pieces are made in Maine from local birch and then they’re sent to Russia to be assembled and hand painted. Since each little end is hand painted, no two are the same, which in my belief is what makes a hand made item beautiful. I have knitted many things with my Peace Fleece needles from dishcloths to a wool jacket for my nephew and I have not been disappointed. In fact, I look for excuses to use them and I’m glad I chose two sizes that I use often. The sizes do not seem to be very precise when measured in my needle gauge so I recommend thorough swatching before use in a project that needs correct gauge. I bought mine from the Wool Shack but that was a long time ago and they don’t have them any more. You can buy them from http://www.peacefleece.com for less that $10US for most pairs. Go an have a look at the site even if you don’t want needles; the Peace Fleece story is very interesting and they have plenty of other products that will help bring peace to the world.
That’s it for this week. Next week I’ll have a report on and photos of the Alice Springs Beanie Festival. Think warm thoughts everyone; we’ll be freezing there at night! Have a creative week. Sarah.
PS: thanks to my family and friends for giving me an excellent birthday last week.