Since this is the gift giving season, my first bit of blogging today is to give you a gift giving tip: Hand knitted items make wonderful gifts! And I happen to have several finished knitted items for sale at The Spinning Room yarn shop, if you are local and need a hand-knitted gift! Here are some of them:
Mostly smaller items, such as scarves, hats, cowls, felted mittens and socks. The shop girls and other teachers have some items for sale too.
On to the other blogging stuff….
I’ve been trying to use up some of my yarn stash recently. My non-knitting readers may not know that this can be very difficult. I have a lot of yarn. Like, a real lot. But when in a yarn shop or at a yarn festival, there just is no stopping me from buying more. It’s just like books – I have to have it then and there because it’s the best yarn ever and I’m sure I will knit the best thing ever from it. Sometimes I come right home and start knitting with my new yarn. Sometimes I’ve bought enough that I can’t knit with all of it right away – which would be great, as long as I had 80 arms – so it goes into the stash.
However, when I see yarn that I like and don’t yet know what I pattern I will use it for, I just guess at how much to buy. In my head it goes something like this, “Hmmmm. This looks like it could be a hat or a cowl or mitts. Two would probably be enough.” It’s usually the same conversation every time so I have two of a lot of things. Then, when I’m browsing through patterns on Ravelry and find the best pattern ever, I go to my stash just knowing I’ll find the best yarn ever to knit it with. But, I never seem to be able to find the right amount of the right kind of yarn.
So I go buy more. It’s a vicious circle. And one would think sock yarn is pretty easy, since one skein will usually always make a pair of socks and I have tons of sock patterns. Except when I find that best-ever shawl or sweater pattern that takes more than one skein of sock yarn. Then I have to buy more. See? A vicious circle.
On to my trying to use up some of my stash…. The other day, I tried to tackle things from a different direction. I went to my stash, found some pretty, purple bulky yarn of which I had four balls. Then I went to Ravelry and looked for patterns that would take that much bulky yarn. (You’ve probably already thought of that as a reasonable way to decrease my stash, but I tell you, in the presence of a shop full of yarn, there just is no reasoning.) I found the Gap-tastic cowl which was perfect and whipped it up in a couple of days, using all of the four balls:
Since it used four balls of yarn, I needed to join a new ball of yarn three times. This particular yarn was superwash wool, so I could not do my usual wet splice method of joining yarn – which helps cut down on the number of ends to weave in when I’m done. So I used the double knot method which I had heard about on the Knitting Pipeline podcast.
In a nutshell, you make two knots (can you see why it called the “double knot”?): One is the working yarn tied to the new yarn, the other is the new yarn tied to the working yarn:
Then you pull/slide those knots together:
And trim the ends really, really, really close to the knots:
It’s amazing that they do not come un-done even when you pull really hard! (as long as you do it exactly the right way)
While you can still feel the knot, a pattern such as this one, which is in seed stitch, does not show it at all. This kind of join is not great for smooth fabric such as stockinette, but perfect for seed stitch or garter stitch or other patterned fabric.
Here is the YouTube video that shows you how to do it, specifically the exact way to tie the yarns to each other: How to Tie a Double Knot
Try it the next time you have to join yarn!