So the new issue of Knitty was published today! Woot! New patterns for me to ogle, but not ever actually knit. That sounds far more cynical than I intended. Truth is, I very rarely knit anything from Knitty, but I do love to look at the patterns. I particularly like Calorimetry, Corazon, Tiffany, Brown bag, Piggle, Norberta, and Sheldon. I would love to knit the Legwarmer socks, Eiffel, Twinkletoes, and Slingshot for myself. (anyone want to buy me the yarn? j/k)
Slingshot at the very least is something I could really, really use. I don't want to even think about how many times this semester I burned myself carrying my hot tea either from the Einstein Bros' Bagels at the Marshall Center food court or from the Starbucks in the Library to my Latin classroom. Don't even want to think about it, but it was far too often. Something like Slingshot would totally help with that! I really need to knit that up over the break.
Knitting Venezia would be a good way to learn how to knit with wire, something I've been wanting to try for quite a while.
All this, and the fact that I'm waiting with bated breath to hear from Prof. Manolaraki as to whether or not I have to take the final next week, has got me thinking that I should offer to teach some of the others in my Latin class next semester how to knit. They're always so interested in what I'm doing and ask questions and stuff. I think a few days before classes start up again, I'll go on the Latin blog and tell everyone to bring a ball of cheap cotton yarn and size 7 needles and show up early for class and I'll teach them how to make the grandmother's favorite dishcloth/washcloth. It's cheap to make, but teaches a lot of great knitting skills, and having a finsihed product that works up fast and can actually be used on a daily basis, I think, would help with building confidence in new knitters. It's what Maria started on and even though her first one looked horrible, now, just a few months later, she's knitting the Nagano Sakura and it looks great!
Other great things about this issue of Knitty:
The "Knit Like A Man" regular article.
I'm not sure how much I buy what Symeon says in this issue's Get Spun though... specifically what that one should "shock and whack" spun wool to set the twist - putting it in scalding hot water and then cold water and then whack the excess water out by slamming it against the side of the tub - as opposed to blocking with any weight, especially when using the handspun for knitting. I use my handspun for knitting all the time. I've had no problems with it "sproign"ing back from being blocked and screwing with the look of the finished product. Neither have I had problems with pilling. No, no problems with pilling at all... not with my handspun anyway. Some mill-spun cottons, yes, but not with my handspun wool. Perhaps, it's just with her thick and thin, single bulky yarn that she recommends this method with and not in general so that it would apply to 16 wpi 2-ply? I dunno...
I block and I block and I block for everything... I set the twist on singles (because it's sometimes months between spinning singles and plying and I don't have a lazy kate so I ply from balls of singles... hey, it works.) and I weigh the 2-ounces of singles yarn down with two little bottles of water or I leave them on my water-proof niddy-noddies while they dry. Then I roll them into balls, ply them and set the twist again. Then I put them in skeins and they stay that way 'til I knit them. Once knitted, I usually block the finished product lightly (at least, steam-block), just to give it a very finished looking shape. I've had no problems thusfar. ::knocks wood::