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Look ma – I’m Knitting!

June 3, 2008 @ 11:36 am
posted by kris

Wollmeise Fiddleheads

Wollmeise Fiddleheads

Twisted Fiber art in Warlock

FatCatKnits merino/tencel in Patina

Look – I’m knitting!!! My left thumb is getting some kind of spinning injury (is that possible?) so I’m giving it a rest and I haven’t spun in 2 days. So what do I do? I buy a pattern and take stock of my wollmeise!

Man, do I suck at color work. I cannot do fair-isle for the life of me. Oh it looks good from afar, but it’s puckery, loosey goosey, and hole-y. :( I can’t knit English style so I basically pick up and drop the yarn. Very time consuming. One of these days I will have to learn to throw. Will someone give me some tips (ms. onandofftheneedles, I’m talking to you!)? I looked at the video on Knitting Help and she makes it look easy but it’s so freakishly hard!

The spice market (middle strip) doesn’t have a whole lot of contrast, and I thought about ripping it out, but ugh, to go all the way back there would bring me to tears. So can you just lie and say that it looks super awesome??? ;)

And also wanted to post pics of my latest skeins of spinning. I love them both!

Comments (19)


Comment by Stacey

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

First, I like your new header with your handspun, very nice. We are our own worst critic, on my screen your mittens are looking beautiful – I am sure they will keep looking better and better to you too as you keep at it. I’ve barely tried colorwork, so I don’t have any tips for you:)

Comment by Tanja

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

Das sieht doch toll aus, Kris!!

Ich habe beide Fäden auf der linken Hand, einen auf dem Zeige- einen auf dem Mittelfinger, das klappt super.

Viele liebe Grüße

Comment by KnitEurope

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

I have the same problem with colorwork, except that mine is I can’t knit continental!! I know I’ve seen neat little things that slip over your finger that have spots for like 4 different strands of yarn. I assumed this was for those continental knitters who did colorwork. I saw them at Galleria Kaufhof and the like when I was in Germany (man, has it been almost a year already?!). Also, I’ve heard that a good blocking does wonders for loosey-goosey and puckery colorwork. They look good in the picture though!

Comment by Sarah

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

Have you blocked your mittens yet? In my experience, blocking does a lot to even out wonky colorwork. Keep practicing — it gets better the more you do it!

Love the handspun, as always. I think you are the queen of the two ply!

Comment by stacey

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 1:44 pm

oooh- pretty! your spinning is amazing. I find with the stranded knitting it takes a while to find your “groove” as far as the puckering goes…spice market is one of my favorite Wollmeise flavors! :)

Comment by Maijamirjami

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 1:46 pm

First, I think your colourwork is excellent. I do think that the secret behind all the nice fair isle knits is either blocking or steaming; I don’t believe that anyone is able to knit really evenly in several colours. (See, it’s a fact, isn’t it? Talking about fooling myself… :) I knit colourwork by holding both yarns at the same time side by side on my index finger. It goes much faster and believe it or not, they do not get tangled.

Secondly; I do like your colours. With such vivid colours as Wollmeise it is hard to get similar contrasts to all combinations and I do think you have succeeded well.

Thirdly: I love your spinnings. To the extent that I have ordered myself some fibre and am in the middle of the process of fixing my husband’s grandmother’s wheel hoping to get it work. I have even agreed on some spinning lessons from my more experienced friend. And none of this actually happened before I saw your beautiful yarns. What an enabler you are!

Sorry for a gigantic comment.

Comment by WiscJennyAnn

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 1:51 pm

Looks super awesome, NO LIE! What a great use for Wollmeise! I totally feel you about having trouble with fair isle; I too get the puckers, no matter what I try. But again, these look super awesome, so clearly you are well on your way to puckerless colorwork!

Comment by sandy

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

I love the mittens. Blocking will help the colorwork. I must knit those mittens!

Comment by Kelly-ann

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 2:33 pm

I think your fair isle looks awesome! I knit continental and do the same thing – drop the yarn and pick up another strand. Ugh :( I tried throwing, but it felt so completely odd. The other day I picked up one of those plastic knitting thimbles to hold multiple strands of yarn. It hasn’t been used yet, but I am hoping it will make fair isle a little faster.

Comment by Sonia

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 3:53 pm

Oh my goodness I haven’t read your blog in a while(kids,work..)so I figure I would do catch up reading.Wow!Love all your new fiber. It so makes me want to learn how to spin.So pretty.Your fair isle looks awesome by the way.

Comment by Teyani

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 4:26 pm

Beautiful spinning – and your knitting looks just fine from here (and I suspect will improve with some wash and wearing of the mitts). My stranded knitting is slowly improving.
I took a class from Sally Melville that was awesome, and she showed three or four techniques to do two color knitting. I am pretty sure they are written up in one of her books. She is a fabulous teacher/author.
ALSO: yes, you can completely injure your hands from too much knitting or spinning. It is very important to take small breaks every 20-30 minutes or so, and do hand exercises to relax the muscles, otherwise you will end up with carpal tunnel – and that’s no fun..
Hope your hand is better soon!

Comment by Jessica

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

Man, I love me some fiddlehead mittens and yours look stunning in Wollmeise! Don’t worry, blocking will help a lot to even out the knitting. Make sure you give ’em a good tug while they’re wet, and the stitches will even out.

Comment by aija

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

Man, your spinning is beautiful! :) You can definitely hurt yourself (after short drawing for a while, the lower joint in my left thumb hurts too… I go for a Paula Simmons draw now).

I like your mittens :) A good secret about colorwork (for next time! don’t rip those out ;)) is to go a half to one needle size down if you can fudge the gauge. Tighter sts in general will hide the stranding and esp. helpful for items that will see “wear” (bending joints etc) like socks, mitts.

Also, be sure to stretch out your sts on your R hand needle, doing this will help the length your stranded yarn be perfect, not puckery. And don’t forget the magic of blocking– yarn will bloom and fuzz and relax, hiding imperfections.

Happy stranding!

Comment by alala

Made on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 @ 9:39 pm

Yep, what the others said: blocking will fix the loosey and the puckery, and they will look even fabulous-er than they do now, which they totally do. Look fabulous, I mean. And I can teach you how to knit English, it’s my default setting.

And all of your handspun looks smashing, but I am trying to be stingy with my praise so that when I say I love something, you know I really really mean it. The Warlock is AMAZING. Swooooon!

Comment by Susanne

Made on Wednesday, June 4th, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

I just wanted to break my commenting silence to assure you that a) it really will all block out, and b) you need one of these “Strickfingerhüte”. I couldn’t do fair isle without one.

Comment by Auntlyh H

Made on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

Try here: and scroll down to “Clover Yarn Guide” I used one for double knitting, but I would guess it could help with Fair Isle if you don’t both throw and pick.

Comment by Jess

Made on Thursday, June 5th, 2008 @ 7:33 pm

I love the Fiddlehead mittens. I’ve been stalking her site, waiting for more yarn to be dyed! I am having the same trouble with Fair Isle. I am managing to teach myself to knit with both hands, but it’s thrown my gauge all out of wack. :(

Comment by knittingbandit

Made on Monday, June 9th, 2008 @ 8:21 pm

They look good to me… I think they are the prettiest pair I’ve seen. I love your color sense, even the Spice Market (I WOULD NOT rip!) I have to say I am now even more scared to do color after reading your post because I only kit English. I’ll have to take a class.

Comment by Mokihana

Made on Wednesday, June 11th, 2008 @ 11:53 pm

Beautiful spinning! The yarn is even and looks very well balances. Good for you!

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What does bockstark mean (pronounced bok-shtark)? My crazy German friend, Matthias, made that word up to mean "really cool" and says that it is catching on in Garmisch. So I am helping him popularize the word! I thought if I ever opened a yarn store, I would call it "Bockstark Yarns". This blog is all about my projects, yarns and crazy ideas related to knitting and other crafts. Contact me at bockstark.knits(at)gmail(dot)com.

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