Thursday, January 7, 2010

A neat trick

I'm no magician, but I wanted to share this neat trick that you can do it when working with natural, feltable yarn. It's called Spit-Splicing and can be used mid-garment when you have to add another skein of yarn. It replaces the knot and subsequent ends to weave it. You can also use it if you come across a knot made by the manufacturer.

Step one: Fan out the ends of the yarn you want to attach together.
This is a single ply but you can of course use it with muli-ply as well.

Step two: spit into your hand and put one of the ends right in the pool of spit. You heard me right. About 1/8 to 1/4 a teaspoon of spit should do. Don't do too much or it will be just wet and floppy and won't really work. If you mess up, you can just cut off that one or two inches and try again.

Step three: Lay the other end on top and sort of intermingle the strands. Then rub the bunch between your palms really fast. Some heat will be generated. This is essentially felting the two strands together.
Step four: Tug lightly on the two ends to make sure they are secure. Tada! Encorporating your new non-knot into your knitted fabric will secure it even more.

I used the method when making this cowl today. It is with my favorite yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky. It is so very thick and squishy.
And no, this wasn't on my list. But it knit up so fast! I discovered another trick today while knitting this: when changing colors in seed stitch, knit the first row of the new color plain instead of in seed stitch and continue with the pattern on the next row. This will make the color change cleaner.

On a different note, since last May , I have been looking for a good starter book on drop spindling. Needless to say, I became interested in spinning while attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and therefore have the two basic supplies, but the difficulty of the craft has led to the spindles and roving gathering dust amongst my knitting stuff. I still am interested in picking up the skill and have had my eye out for a good book to get me started (I can't take a class at my LYS mentioned below because it happens to interfere with an obligation).

While at a Sit n Stitch at A Tangled Skein last night, I found the hand spinning book of my dreams: Respect the Spindle. I love that it not only tells you about how to spin on a drop spindle, but goes over the history, science, best practices, and more. I learned while reading it in my bath this morning that the author first learned to spin at 5 while growing up in rural Peru, where it was as expected to be a skill as being able tie one's shoes. I noticed that the book is by my favorite crafting publisher, Interweave. They really do come up with great stuff.

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