Episode 63: Alex's Cameo
Filmed on Thursday, November 22nd, 2018
Happy American Thanksgiving to our US friends!
Welcome to all our returning viewers, and to those who are joining us for the first time!
Our show notes can be found in the drop down section on YouTube, and on Ravelry. Comments and questions can be left in either place.
FOs (Finished Objects)
(She forgot to bring her scarf, and will show it next time)
WIPS (Works in Progress)
Cowichan-Style Sweaters for myself and Mike. Mike wants me to keep his a secret until it’s done, so I only brought mine. I designed my own pattern, and knit it with Custom Woolen Mills Soft spun Lopi.
Sock tube socks for an Xmas gift. The yarn is Bergere de France Goomy 50, just one 50g skein. The heels, toes, and cuffs will be last year’s Christmas red colourway from West Yorkshire spinners.
Socks for Mike, made with 88 Stitches’ custom colourway in Turtlepurl Striped Turtle Toes. The yarn is super thin, so I’m making them with 72 sts. I started a pair with 64 sts a while back, and they wouldn’t go over Mike’s foot. I made myself a pair with a different colourway, and had to use 68 sts for me.
Cowichan Along - I’ve got my design plotted and my swatches done! I’ve finally started
Ease by Josee Paquin of UandIKnit - this is a test knit of a cardigan design. It’s knit the Hemp for Knitting Hempwol in the colourway “Florence”
Afterthought heel, toe and cuff socks in Cascade Yarns Heritage Wave in “Holidaze”. I’m using 2.5mm needles to match my gauge for the sock machine tube!
Troubadour inspired mittens - Knit in the Gotland/BFL we have in store held double with the Sugarbush Drizzle Mohair in colourway Dew Drop. I love the style of the troubadour mittens but they looked simple enough that I didn’t want to spend 7 dollars on the pattern, so I’m doing my own hacked version based on what I could see on the picture of them. I’m using a 3.75mm DPNs on these.
Chicken Sweater by Nanny North. Knit in leftover Cascade Eco in Summer Sky Heather and Aporto. It’s a much heavier yarn than they recommend but I wanted to use up scraps of stuff I had so I am knitting it at a very dense gauge. Plus it will keep the chickens warmer!
Illimani Llama II Cowl, just an 8mm needle, cast on 35 sts in the Emperor Purple, and knitting until I run out!
Q & A.
Only one question this week (actually got another one yesterday, but it’s another long one, so we’ll save it for next time.) Keep asking, and we will make this a regular feature!
toranatasha from Ravelry asked:
Can you share some garment care tips, please?! I just finished this beautiful sweater, but I am terrified to wear it because I don’t want it to get worn out. How do you keep your knitted garment looking fresh? What do you do about pilling? What do you do when garments stretch out? Any advice would be appreciated!
I wash all my sweaters by hand, in warmish water and with Eucalan. This is a wool wash that dissolves after 30 minutes, so you don’t have to rinse it out. If something is very dirty (like when I’m blocking rustic wools) I might soak it in 2 or 3 rounds of water. Squeeze out the excess water, then wrap it in a towel and stand on it to get rid of the extra water. Lay flat to dry on a blocking mat, or a flat mesh sweater dryer.
For pilling, I just pluck them off by hand - I have used a sweater razor, but you can put holes in your fabric if you’re not careful. I also don’t think that it is a good idea to cut off the fuzzy bits - in my experience, the sweater just pills more afterwards. Probably depends on the yarn though.
I would argue that pure wool garments will not stretch very much - the elasticity of pure wool will prevent this. Superwash yarns can stretch like a demon, depending on the blend and yarn type; I’ve had reps tell me to just put them in the dryer to shrink it back, but that kind of scares me. Try to prevent the stretching before it happens by knitting superwash wools very tightly, and being careful with how you handle the garment when it is wet. This is also where swatching is important - knit as big a swatch as you can, and then hang it vertically to dry to see how much it might stretch.
I wash all my woolens by hand except for socks - those get cold washing machine treatment and are hung up to dry! I typically do them on “clean the bathtub” day so I know my tub is squeaky clean when I put them in. I shoot for a slightly warmish water and also use Eucalan. I usually let them soak for a good 30-45 minutes with a tiny bit of squishing around if I have a particularly dirty batch of knits. I’m lucky that I have a spin cycle that does not add water or change directions on my washing machine so I often transfer my soggy sweaters to that for a spin (except my exceptionally delicate knits) then let them air dry on a sweater rack the rest of the way!
I usually just pull pills off by hand, like Glenda. I have one sweater that pills when you look at it though, and for that I have a little battery operated razor/vacuum thing I got from Knit Picks that works well. It doesn’t cut the pill so close to the fabric that, I feel at least, it doesn’t damage the structural integrity of the garment.
Glenda nails it on the stretch factor in yarns. I am terrified at the idea of putting a wool in the dryer. Maybe I need to do an extra big swatch out of some leftovers and try it out for my superwash ?
Cowichan-A-Long started October 15th!
October 15th to December 31st, 2018.
Should we extend the finish date to January 15th? Answer in the poll below!
Yarn Suggestions: CWM Sea Fusion or Softspun Lopi 3-Ply, Briggs & Little Country Roving, or similar.
Patterns: White buffalo-esque vintage patterns; Jane Richmond’s West Coast Cardigan; Andrea Rangel’s Dude Collection; anything from Sylvia Olsen’s book. If you want to go traditional, look for Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ books Salish Sweaters (out of print) or the chapter on Cowichan-Style sweaters from Knitting in the Old Way, which was reprinted in 2005 (I have the kindle edition).
Style note: traditional Cowichan sweaters were usually drop shoulder sweaters, three-needle bind-offs at the shoulder, sleeves picked up and knit down, or they were knit from cuff upwards, and grafted on in one way or another. The colourwork is not stranded - you weave the yarn on every stitch, creating a stretchy fabric. They didn’t care if you saw the colours peeking through from the back of the fabric. You don’t have to do these things for your project, but they are things to consider.
Projects need to be less than 50% finished by Oct. 15th.
Entries are based on weight of the project:
Cut off is December 31st at midnight (for now!)
We are having a Small Business Saturday Sale on Saturday, November 24th. Select yarns and accessories will be marked down as much as 40% off! One day only, both in store, and online.
If you are not local, we are offering Free Sheeping on Cyber Monday! All parcels shipping to North American address will receive free regular post shipping! (please note there might be a slight delay due to an ongoing strike with Canada Post - parcels are still being delivered, they are just taking an extra day or two.)