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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Knit together

Despite the predictions of the BBC we had a lovely sunny day for WWKIP day yesterday and so had a pic-knit in the University Parks much to the interest of passers-by and one particularly persistent moorhen who had apparently learnt to recognise the triangular profile of a sandwich from 10 paces.


Every time I picked mine up he was right in there.

We had a good turn out. From the Bluestockings we had Ellen, Katie, and Aliki plus newcomer Meg. Susanne and Lindsey came from the Jam Factory knitters and as-yet-non-affiliated knitter Stephen came along for his first experience of knitting with other knitters. I hope we didn't scare him too much.



We ate (pretty much everyone who came along sat down and immediately dived into their picnic, probably because it's a surprisingly long walk to the corner of the Parks where we were), we knit, we played "Guess the Mystery Fibre" (Ellen won a skein of Manos Classico with a perfect score of 10/10, Susanne and Katie were worthy runners up with 8/10). Ellen was a bit disappointed that we wouldn't be burning the yarn to help find out what it was but apart from the fact that we didn't have any matches I'd only knit really small swatches so after 2 or 3 people had had a go there really wouldn't have been anything left of them!

mini swatches

Ellen had a go at spinning her gorgeous spunky eclectic jealous. I'd have been really jealous if I hadn't had a bag of biffle to come home to. Katie was knitting on the Country Kiddle cardigan.Meg was wondering why she had managed to bring only alpaca over from the States. Aliki was struggling with sheep anatomy and Stephen was swatching for a reversible hoodie. There's a whole world of men's patterns out there that I'm totally unfamiliar with and vice versa. I had to keep remembering that there was no reason why a male knitter would automatically have heard of patterns for women's cardigans such as Tatami and the Minimalist cardigan.

One of the things that came up (among many non-knitting topics) was how to gauge the length of tail needed for a long-tail cast-on. One basic rule of thumb is to make the tail three times as long as the length/circumference of the knitted piece. My usual strategy is to make the tail as long as I think it will need to be, and then make it half as long again. However, I came across another tip here, which is handy for if you're out without a tape measure or don't really know how long your piece is going to be, just the number of stitches. I've adapted it slightly for when you want to cast on a lot of stitches.

1. Divide the number of stitches you want to cast on by 10. This number is A.
2. Wrap the yarn around the needle in a spiral 10 times.

step 2

3. Measure the length of yarn that was needed to do this. This number is B. (Note: it is difficult to take a photograph whilst measuring yarn. I did actually hold it out straighter than this.)

step 3

If you're out without your tape measure you can tie a knot in the yarn to mark it.

4. Multiply A by B and that is the length of yarn needed for your tail with a little bit to spare.

step 4

Hope this comes in useful.

1 comment:

the frog princess said...

Wow, thanks for the long-tail cast-on measurement thingie!

I looked up Spunky Eclectic and it is $11 for the dyed BFL. :D