ConnieLene – KnitDesigner


Berets are fun, so far

by on Mar.06, 2010, under Blog, Felting, Intarsia

I am now on beret six – there is some minor madness when one keeps on playing with a piece. These have all been created using Vero yarn but in the different colours that I have here in the Netherlands.

I do miss my yarns that are still in New Zealand.

How can I miss yarn? I cannot even remember what was in my stash there – just that there were lots of yarns, in lots and lots of colours, from many different places in the world. But I do miss the variety in colour, yarn type, do not have sufficient variety here to create pieces as I was doing in New Zealand. I have purchased a lot of different yarns here in the Netherlands and some in Switzerland and in Denmark – I just do not have the quantity, colour range and yarn types here as I did have at home. It takes time to build up a new stash, doesn’t it?

What to do?

I don’t know.

So right now I am knitting berets.

Originally this was in response to a commission from a friend in Australia. But now I need to consider – do I continue with these? Do I complete the commission? Well yes that I must do, which means that beret 7 must be a funky, fuzzy, multicoloured piece. Then I must write up the pattern and then get back to that carbon footprint bag. Maybe I just put the two graphs out, one for the intarsia footprints and the other for carbon footprint using shadow knitting and leave you to decide – should it be on a bag, blanket, pram cover, cushion or on a sweater – should you happen to want a sweater with a foot print or two on it.

I guess that is what should be done.

The beret pattern – will include one in stocking stitch, and one felted from a stocking stitch knit. I won’t try to define the multicolour, multi fibre, intarsia one – that will be free form with little guidance.

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Felting Your Knitting – On Purpose

by on Aug.10, 2009, under Blog, Felting

I have planned to knit a very large jacket for the WoolOn Fashion Parade in New Zealand. Of course I am doing something I have never deliberately done before – creating a felted jacket.

I am planning on using Naturally Vero 100% wool yarns from New Zealand to be felted along with long sections of various faux fur fibres.

To do this and be certain that the resulting knitting will felt to a wearable size and the faux fur yarns were not to overwhelm the piece I had to knit sample pieces of a reasonable size and then felt them. The usual swatch size is not sufficient to test such a process for a large garment. Prior to the felting I measured each piece and then measured again to see the percentage of shrinkage with the felting process.

I did knit 3 sample pieces which I subsequently felted to test the process. Some sections were knitted in garter stitch, some in Stocking stitch and some areas were ribbed and shaped. Each piece was measured and then inserted in a zip up bag and felted in the washing machine. I didn’t add any washing soap or detergent to the water. I did keep checking the pieces and did not allow the machine to go into a rinse or spin cycle.

I set the machine for the lowest water level and the highest temperature and then watched/checked the process a lot. The machine I used heats the water – so one piece I added while the machine was filling. Not a good option I ended up adding very hot water using the electric jug to heat it as the felting process just didn’t start to happen and I am impatient. The other two pieces I added to the machine when the water was very hot.

The pieces were each contained in a zip up pillowcase hoping that would also contain any excess fibre that would be not good for the machine pump and it did work well.

This was an essential step when creating the jacket – as it is nigh impossible to safely remove a huge piece of felted knitting heavy with hot hot water out of a machine safely. The huge Duvet cover/bag we used was essential to get the piece out of the machine.

When my sample pieces were dry I rechecked the measurements and from that I extrapolated the size requirement for my jacket and then the stitches needed to meet the size and hoped the end result would be a wearable jacket.

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