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Learning to knit recommendations
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Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 1:27 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Traditional British knitting is one of my hobby horses - more on the Ganseys. Worsted yarn is spun from a wool with a long staple - makes it stronger. Wool for Ganseys is quite often oiled as well in order to help the waterproofing; the sleeves are longer than usual to keep wrists dry. The patterns are distinctive to each area - patterns knitted in the north east will differ from those in the south, and quite often vary/varied from port to port. Thus, when a fisherman drowns, it is easier to discover where the poor soul came from due to the patterns on his Gansey. Initials are quite often worked in as well. The patterns are based on everyday items in the fishermens' lives - ropes/cables, nets, wave patterns etc. They have knitted gussets under the arms to facilitate easy movement on the boats. Knitted from good quality wool, they will last for years.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43966
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sarah D wrote:
Worsted yarn is spun from a wool with a long staple


Ta, I've always wondered

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41740
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

And a long staple is.....?

hardworkinghippy



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 1110
Location: Bourrou South West France
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I love darning too Sarah, but not too much! I loved your explanation about the jumpers, I don't think a lot of people realize the history and significance behind them.

Tahir, I note a certain in your voice. A long "staple" is a long straight length which means the spun yarn is stronger because the staples are wound around themselves to make the yarn. So you can pull at the wool and it doesn't break easily.

A short staple gives a fluffy but weak yarn (like angora rabbit) and the longer the staple the stronger the yarn (some acrylics would cut your finger off before they broke!)

Angora has a long staple, but is crimped (there's another thread somewhere... ) which makes it strong and comfortable to wear at the same time.

It also is a dream to dye.

Here's a link to show what I mean:

http://www.totalfrance.com/france/gallery/irene

HWH

PS Can you tell Sarah & I went to the same textile college folks?

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43966
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

hardworkinghippy wrote:
Tahir, I note a certain in your voice.


Not me, worked in textiles since I was 10, just never got round to finding out what a worsted yarn is. I can tell you combed from carded at 10 paces

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    


tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43966
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Need a bit of advice the missus is knitting a chunky scarf in a jersey knit, how can she stop it curling in? Or is that just the nature of the stitch?

hardworkinghippy



Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 1110
Location: Bourrou South West France
PostPosted: Thu Jan 06, 05 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

That's just the stitch.

But she can knit plain for the last six stitches every row and that will stop the scarf curling so much.

HWH

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43966
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 05 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I thought so, she's started on MkII with plain either end, MkII was very wide so I thought it wirked quite well as a tubular scarf.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 43966
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 05 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Lots of new links in the knitting section:

http://www.downsizer.net/option,com_bookmarks/Itemid,54/catid,44/

judyofthewoods



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 804
Location: Pembrokeshire
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 05 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

If anyone is starting to learn to knit from absolute scratch, I would hightly recomend the German way where you hold the yarn in the left hand like you do when you crochet. It is much faster than the British way. Once you are used to knitting the British way, I imagine it would be difficult to get out of the habit.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 05 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Have seen a lot of american patterns for "worsted weight" yarn. Does this equate to DK? They use similar size needles that you would use with DK.

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 05 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

http://www.upcountry.co.uk/choosebuy/techno.htm

You need to scroll down to the bottom of this page for the conversion chart - gives needle sizes as well; quite useful.

Hope this helps.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 05 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thanks Sarah.

wellington womble



Joined: 08 Nov 2004
Posts: 14835
Location: East Midlands
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 05 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

highly reccommend John Lewis for knitting wool - They have some lovely natural fibres, like merino, silk and merino mixes, cashmere (and silk mixes) I could only find synthetics every else - no chenille though. Damn!

My only learning to knit tip is to knit with natural fibres - they have a bit of give in them, which is lovely as I got in an awful pickle with the synthetics.

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