Monday, 28 July 2014

Tutorial: Spinning Gradient Yarns... Part 7

Today, in our spinning gradient yarns series I wanted to start a series of sub-posts that look at designing ideas around progressive and true gradients.

I thought it might be nice to start this by looking at the humble hat; a basic stockinette beanie with a rib brim. Why a hat? Well not only are they quick to knit, but you can use very simple ply techniques to utilise your gradient fibres.

Before we go into this, please ignore my child-like colouring in... yes I did have full design training... strapped for time, I rather stupidly didn't perform today, lol!

Ok... So let's have a look at these two beanie hats..
One uses a progressive gradient idea, where you have a very distinct line between colours. This could be accomplished by creating your own faux gradient, or buying a progressive dyed braid of fibre. Navajo ply would be a great way to keep those colours separate, especially on a faux spin. Go back to Part 2 to refresh yourself on how to do this.

Why would I use a progressive gradient for a hat? Tipping, is my answer... 'Tipping' refers to a band of colour usually at the edge of a garment that acts as a trim without having to change stitch detail. On a hat you could design your yarn to knit the ribbing in one colour before you switch to the next colour in the gradient. This would take a bit of working out if you wanted a specific rib height, but you could always play with finishing your rib a bit earlier if the tipping colour changes to the full body colour sooner than you thought.

The other hat uses a true gradient. With this method you would get a good stretch of one colour merging into another. Look at Parts 3 and 5 to refresh yourself on faux and hand dyed versions... I recommend a standard two ply as the easiest method of ply choice.

Why would I use a true gradient for a hat? This is more of a styling choice, in that a gradient basic beanie could be much more interesting to knit than a plain one... it gives a bit of depth to a stockinette knit.

Why don't you have a go and post your versions in the Ravelry thread... it would be great to see what you come up with.

Also just to mention that I have plenty of gradients and colour sets in stock for you to buy at www.sarastexturecrafts.com

Part 8 is all about shawls!

Have a wonderful day... Sara x

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Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sock Envy - Part 2

http://www.vogueknitting.com/free_patterns/alpaca_with_a_twist_smocked_socks.aspx
Smocked Socks, 
Vogue Knitting Fall 2011, page 60
Designed by Amy Polcyn

I love the depth of texture on these!

Have a wonderful day... Sara x

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

STITCHTIONARY #2: Sea Surf Stitch

Sea Surf Stitch by freeknitstitches.com
I think this would make a beautiful blanket...

Have a wonderful day... Sara x

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Customer Question: How much yarn will I need to Spin for a Basic Jumper?

Ann Budd's a-twisted-little-raglan
I'm not a huge sweater knitter, but I do know that to answer this question we need to take into account several factors;
  1. Weight of yarn - how fine you spin each single ply and how many plys you choose to have will affect the finished yarn's length.
  2. Size of Garment - the smaller the size you make your jumper, or the closer it hugs the body then it will require less yarn.
  3. Stitch type - if you choose something complicated like a cable, or lace pattern then you will use much more yarn. This is also true of ribs, where the patterning pulls in the final fit of the garment.
  4. Garment design/knit patterns - a design with complicated necklines, sleeves or body shaping may require more yarn than a basic shape.
Typically in my experience knit patterns may suggest anywhere from 550-700g for a very basic small to medium sized jumper in a DK weight (Also be aware that DK weights can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer). So I would expect not to have to use much more for a sweater like the Ann Budd design pictured (a twisted little raglan).

Here is an example of where the amount of yarn will rise for a similar size, but a stitch that uses more yarn.
Jumper handspun and knitted by Sue from the Gwent WSD Guild. Sue used 750g of 'River', Merino and Silk Tops and handspun a slightly thicker than DK weight 2ply yarn.
If Sue had chosen a more basic stitch pattern her yarn would have gone further and so she would have needed to spin less yarn, possible up to 100g less.

My advice, to those who ask this question is;
  • Find a basic pattern that you like and find out the weight and length of the yarn required. They will often estimate how many balls at 50g, or 100g you will need to buy.
  • If you are in a shop take a look at the yarn you were asked to use in the pattern. Is it a single ply, or two ply... if it is a DK, is it slightly thicker or thinner that the weight a standard DK yarn? Write this down, or even ask at the counter if they can give you the 'wraps per inch' (which depends on packaging as to whether they will do this or not). Then use this as your starting point to plan your yarn.
  • Knowing this you can ask your fibre supplier if the tops/roving/fibre/fleece you are buying is repeatable, or if there is stock to cover your requirements. Some suppliers, as I do at www.sarastexturecrafts.com will offer custom services on some/all of their lines, so if you need more than there is in stock they could order, or dye this for you.
  • Buy say 100g more than you think you need. This will cover you for any mistakes, shortfalls, or pattern adaptation during knitting.
  • Keep a note pad and a yarn gauge handy, so you can record how far each of your 100g worth of fibre goes and how close it is to the pattern's intended yarn. You can gauge before you start knitting if you will have enough yarn to finish your jumper.
Once your project is finished you will have a basis to plan future more complicated projects... and spinning for new projects becomes less daunting.

Wool fleece, fibre, tops and roving available from www.SarasTextureCrafts.com


Have a wonderful day... Sara x

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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Fibre Club 6 and Yarn Club 2 are OPEN 1st August 2014!

There is no official shop update today, as I will be showing at Fibre-East in a few days. Instead I thought it would be nice to talk you through the next Fibre Club and Yarn Club.


These are a 3 month delivery of hand dyed goodies in exclusive club colourways.

So how does it work and what do you get? There is one easy payment at the checkout and this pays for 3 deliveries. The colourways will be unique to the club and will not go up for sale on the website or at shows until January 2015. Colourways will be chosen by me and everyone will receive the same colour as the club shipments are made.

There are limited spots available. This is because I want to make sure I can fulfil club orders alongside my existing show and website schedule.
 

Fibre Club Options;
• 100% Wool Fibre Club, SINGLE DIP (100g of each colour) – Bases include; BFL, Polwarth and Falkland.
• 100% Wool Fibre Club, DOUBLE DIP (200g of each colour) – Bases include; BFL, Polwarth and Falkland.
• Luxury Fibre Club, SINGLE DIP (100g of each colour) – Bases include; BFL/Sparkle, Merino Superwash and BFL/Silk.
• Luxury Fibre Club, DOUBLE DIP (200g of each colour) – Bases include; BFL/Sparkle, Merino Superwash and BFL/Silk.

OR you can now choose a combination of the two!


Yarn Club Options;
  • SINGLE DIP Sock/4ply Base – SUPERWASH BASE, SPARKLE BASE, LUX BASE (tbc). Yardage is between 365 and 400m per skein.
  • DOUBLE DIP (2 skeins of same colour) Sock/4ply Base – SUPERWASH BASE, SPARKLE BASE, LUX BASE (tbc). Yardage is between 365 and 400m per skein.
 
I'm really looking forward to bringing you fabulous colour and inspiration!



Have a wonderful day... Sara x

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