Posts Tagged ‘instruction’

Having a Ball

One finished, two not

About Dryer Balls

I seem to have come a little bit late to the Dryer Ball party.  The idea is that you throw them in the dryer and they help your clothes get dry an fluffy faster.  Some people use tennis balls.  Some people buy plastic dryer balls from Amazon.  Heather Ordover knits them.

Dryer Balls from Roving

I felted these up using some perfectly good (if slightly odd colored) roving I got at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival three years ago.  I’d bought it to experiment with kool-aid dying and drop spinning, then, last year at the festival, I bought a bunch of fiber.

2 oz of undyed Jacob/Alpaca fiber

Every so often I would take out the drop spindle, but I wasn’t about to start with the new fiber until I’d used of the old, and that was going to take forever, and my dryer also seems to take forever.

Not much too it, really.  I wound a ‘core’ of roving, tied it on a sock and tossed it in the washer with some white towels, ran it through the dryer with them, took out a little, semi-hard roving ball, wound more roving around it, repeated…  Voila! home made dryer balls.  Not very exciting, but they do seem to work (who knew?)  One of the came out of the sock and I got a strip of felted roving.  I store it in the catnip jar and give it to the furry beasts every now and then because everything is a cat toy.

Speaking of the Sheep and Wool Festival

This years Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is scheduled for May 5 & 6.  I always get excited about it come March, because that’s when they open registration for classes.  Sort of.  They tend to sell out, so they actually have a ‘lottery system’ drawing for class space held on the 28th.  This year I’ve signed up for a class on japanese knit stitches, one on sweater detailing, and a mini-class on needle felting.  I’m hoping I’ll get into one of the three, but you never know…

I’ve given up on trying to drag the family along, except for my older sister, who has moved back to town and is as fiber obsessed as I am, or more.  Will also be joined by RRR, a knitting friend, who will not only tour the yarn barns with me, she’s also signing up for the Japanese stitchery class.  Here’s hoping.

Blog Contests and Yarn Giveaways

Following up on the Red Heart Yarn of the Month giveaway I mentioned last post, the drawing date on that one is April 6.  Knit and Seek is holding a drawing for a skein of Tosh Merino Light (March 10 deadline). I also entered the iMake drawing for the Toft Pattern Book (Closes the end of March)

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OK, I think i’ve got a handle on it this time.

The thing is, I’m trying to do a non-standard cast-on.   It’s a modified version of Elizabeth Zimmermans (EZs) “invisible cast on” for ribbing,  Zimmerman, for some reason, knit several rows with her waste yarn before switching to the working yarn.  Then she knit several rows of stockinette with the working yarn (how many depended on the weight of the yarn in question) and, while on a reverse side row, alternated between knitting the working stitches with the ‘live’ stitches revealed when she removed the waste yarn.  She alternated between knitting and purling and set up her rib pattern that way.

Use a contrasting waste yarn to make it as easy as humanly possible on yourselfRather than knitting several waste rounds, I started with a crochet cast on, and knit three ‘set up’ rows using the reverse of the knit/purl pattern I would normally use for a set up.

I worked more carefully than I usually do with crochet cast ons.  I made sure to pick up the stitches only through the back loop of the chain, and I marked the ‘end’ of the chain with a knot in the yarn.  Then I oriented my knitting so that it would unravel in the direction of the knitting.  The tail you see at the left of the picture is the end of the knitting round, so it’s the beginning of the chain (the side which wasn’t marked with the knot).  Note the neat and even chain?  That’s your check that you only caught the back loops of the stitches.  It makes the chain much easier to remove… Trust me on this one.

Insert needle in bottom loop just freed from the crochet chain.

Once you’ve got enougth knit, pull the crochet chain  out s-l-o-w-l-y from the knotted end.  As in, one stitch at a time.  Pick up the freed stitch with the right needle, and slip (as if to knit) it onto the left needle.  Then knit (or purl) it together with the stitch next to it.  Since you’re pulling the stitches around towards the front of the needle, the ‘right’ side of the stitches will be on the inside of the closed tube you’re making, which is why you worked the opposing stitch from the one you would need in the set-up row.  If you lifted the stitches to the back, there wouldn’t be any need to reverse stitches.   It sounds easeir, but I found it to be counter-intuitive.

In the end, you have a more or less neat edge, with the ribbing pattern part of the cast on.

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