Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Knitted Finger Ringers and Wrister

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(scroll down to go directly to the pattern and skip the background)
Over the years I have worn out my hands. 'Tis true. I could blame it on arthritis, or poor circulation, or candida or even bad genes. But the truth is more likely that I started life with delicate small hands, and over the years did "big guy" work with them.
Farming, wood working, gardening, tree climbing, furniture making, plumbing, milking, firewood splitting...that is on top of spinning, knitting, wool carding (you know, drum carding is harder on your hands than you might think) weaving, rock wall building, basketmaking (now there is another real joint stresser) and computer typing.
So, a few years back, I started taking them seriously, treating them a little kinder, being more conscious of their needs...Perhaps I am supremely naive, but I prefer to figure it is never too late for redemption.
My hands spent last winter in fingerless gloves, keeping them warm really helped.
This winter, fingerless gloves are just "too much" And wristers are not enough.
I have graduated to "Finger Ringers with Matching Wristers"
The first set was hand knit (as in, gee, this is fun, and look how quickly it moves along! One, two, three fingers, snap! your done)

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Then it happened. As soon as I could try on one set in delight, I was both happy and bored. The same syndrome as "second sock syndrome" has set in.
So, the second set, I plan to knit on the LK 150.

Here is the handknit version (with commentary) This is a very quick project, I had a ball of Better Buny Blend spun up that was perfectly soft and warm for this project.

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Hand Knit Finger Ringers with Matching Wrister Warmer
Finger Ringers are knit on two needles with the double knit (or tubular) method of knitting. There are of course, many ways to make glove fingers (circular, icord, etc) but tubular works quick for these little ringers.

  • Yarn: Soft "Sport Weight" Wool (illustrated in my handspun "Better Bunny Blend"® dyed with pokeberry years ago so that by now it has already faded)
  • Gauge: 5.5 st/inch US #3 short needles (or size to obtain gauge) I used 3 flexible US #3 needles from a 5 needle set that is coincidentally missing the other two needles)

The Set Up for Tubular Knitting

CO 12 stitches with long tail cast on.
Slip half (6) of these 12 stitches on to a second needle, fold this cast on row so that you can hold these two needles with their respective 6 stitches on each needle side by side.
Using the third needle, first slip one stitch from the front needle, then one stitch from the back needle. Continue alternating in this way, until all twelve stitches are back on a single needle.
Now you are ready to tubular knit.

  • Row 1 - Knit the first stitch, slip the second stitch as if to purl. Continue across row.
  • Row 2 -Turn and Repeat row 1

What you are doing by slipping every other stitch, is knitting only across the front side of the tube, when you turn, you will be knitting the back of the tube and slipping the front tube stitches.8

  • Knit until your ring is the width you want (my rings are 8 rows tall)

To bind off, you have to get the ring back onto two needles so it will be a tube shape. Just pull the needle out of the knitting and the stitches will fall to the front and to the back. Then pick them up onto two needles...or, if you don't feel brave, you could carefully use two needles to slip the first stitch onto the first needle, and the second stitch onto the second needle.

  • Bind off with a crochet bind off, or other stretchy bind off of your choice.

Wrister Warmer is knit circularly on dpn (you could also knit it tubular if you want, but it is big enough to knit comfortably with double pointed needles)

  • CO 32 st (for narrow wrists) with long tail cast-on.
  • Knit 9 rows
  • Knit 1 purl row
  • Knit 9 rows
  • Bind off with stetchy bind off of your choice (I used a loose crochet cast off)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

even long goodbyes end

Mom passed away on Christmas Eve.

Everyone thinks their mother is special, to me, mine seemed extra special. With no way to express that, I put a small memorial page up here.

I have been knitting a lot lately, while rearranging my world and my mind, will have knitting content up soon.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow white on brown cotton

Before I go out of town again tomorrow, wanted to say a coupla things. First, thankyee kindly to all of you that have sent thoughts and prayers to Mom. She is in so much pain, which is so unfair and so hard for those who love her, that every kind thought surely has to help some.


We had snow, which always helps my spirit some, being a snowball fightin, cross country skiing, caroling, hot chocolating, midnight ice skating kinda gal (yea, I grew up in Michigan, not Tennessee) and I thought that snow on my brown cotton that did not have time to mature (even though I started it early in the greenhouse) was kinda interesting..if not a little sad.

This is Einstein. He is not exactly a solemn anogora, he just looks like that. When you brush him, he is cooperative. That gains alota points. Brushed enough to spin a 40 gm skein (one ply of Einstein spun with lotta extra twist, one of merino...spun on the soprano, plied on the tenor) Immediatley knit this into a wrister.



This is a crummy photo, way blown up, but you can see how the merino fluffed and the angora sheened, opposite of what you would think.
The point of all this rambling, is I think I like knitting with the angora blended and carded together first, better. I mean, I liked spinning it naked by itself, thin as I could get, and the fun of adding the extra twist, and the way it plied, But when I went to knit it, it still felt fragile or funny, or something...
When I get back, wanna post the other thing I have been knitting on at the bedside.

Oh yea, Sandra asked in a comment...
"will the different bases be interchangeable with my alto or are they different? also if i have an alto that i love, which would you suggest as a second spindolyn? the soprano or the tenor?"


No Sandra, the new spindolyns are not long enough to fit in the old bases, but the old spindles will fit in the new bases, but this is not ideal (more FAQ about the new and old Spindolyns can be found here) It has to do with the ratio of height to weight, and the new ones have a ratio that makes them spin better and longer than ever. Now, as to what you want, it depends on what you like to spin. The tenor spins the widest range of yarns, and if you love your Alto, you probably would love the Tenor. The Soprano is lighter weight, and is designed more for fine yarns, such as cotton and lace weight. Hope this helps.

I also hope everyone is staying healthy and happy, and having time to knit or spin everyday!



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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Looking for me? so am I

If you are looking for me, I am in and out, there might be a few days delay in my email response or your order shipment, but it won't be too long.

Mom is receiving hospice care in her home now, and I am back and forth.
Thank you for your patience.