Well it's not long now until I'm off to New Zealand, mainly to meet the pair on the right. Otis (nephew) and Aimee (niece and God daughter). However, I shall also be enjoying some really good scenery,travel and of course my beloved knitting. I have been trying to find New Zealand websites and blogs that will tell me what is going on down under.
It certainly doesn't seem as much of a public or networked community as we have here. However, I could be wrong. What if crafters there are luddites who are enjoying the simplicity of sticks and yarn without resorting to technology to advance themselves? What if I have got it totally wrong and find myself so absorbed with my blog, shop website that I eventually suck dry any creative enjoyment? Maybe we should abandon our keyboards, go outdoors and knit,knit,knit with nature all around?
"You're just knitting with 2 circulars!" they cried out in triumphant unison (they = Nikki and Ann). Here is what they explained to me regarding the two methods I had mixed up (thinking one was knitting with one circular and the other was the magic loop).
Magic Loop This is when you find a circular needle just doesn't shrink down with the circumference of your knitting in the round, your work is beginning to look a bit stretched. You pull a loop out to one side, keep that loop there and knit up to that point, then you need to pull the loop out from another place to make the next stitches slide right up against the ones just knitted so you can carry on. Your circular is too long and basically you are just taking up the slack at different places to compensate. Easy eh? Well, I tried this method when I had rubbishy circulars from years ago and if the 'wire' is brittle nylon, those stitches just want to pull apart and stretch in the wrong places and the loop isn't flexible enough.
Knitting with two circulars: I love dpns, even over straight needles and I own a huge collection with double sets in bamboo and birch. Aha, these are no good for discreet plane knitting though so I attempted to put into practice the idea of using two circulars which I thought (wrongly) involved one looping across the other with contact points but somehow used one to knit off the other. Ann sorted me out. Dvided stitches so half are on one ciruclar and half on the other. Knit half stitches on one circular with the opposite point of that circular until running out of stitches on that circular. Next knit ther half of the stitches on the other circular by bringing the opposite point of the same circular and knitting around. Then swap back to the first, repeat all of this knitting each sset of half the stitches but always usin the point of the same ciruclar so the stitches stay on the same circular throughout. Easy! Must do some photos you can download of this technique, when I get back from NZ of course.
I am not one to learn techniques for the sake of it. who would have guessed that I would need to abandon the dpns. so thank goodness for knitting communities you can see in the flesh!
Must also mention here that Ann has started spinning, Nikki has started dyeing and I am honestly impressed with their work. Ann has found she likes to spin quite fine gauge yarns which is wonderful to hear because the world has enough thick and thin candy coloured yarn around. Nikki's colours from some acid dyes are not at all 'candy' like. However they are parrot like, I've just bought some yarn which retains a wonderful sheen whilst being dip dyed to a variety of tropical hues which I loved when I saw. Look out for an adult earflap hat or beret, which I will try to make in New Zealand if I can. I will mkae the pattern available to Nikki for her Fluffenstuff clients.
You can see more of what is available at Fluffenstuff