I’ve been having a hankering for some color work knitting lately. Just to mix things up, I think. And me being me, I was suddenly possessed by the need to try my hand at dyeing with natural plant materials. The web is great for instant gratification, and I quickly dug up everything I needed to know to dive in completely unprepared. Whims are like that. Among the list of typical dye suspects of onion skins and beets, there was avocado. I’m not kidding. Again, me being me (and it being a darn cold winter), I descended on the compost pile and started chiseling out all the frozen pits and skins I could find. I didn’t count, but I apparently found enough, because the wool ended up the most lovely shade of muted dusty rose.
It is that time of year when we are busy preserving our and our local farm’s abundance. There are pestos and sauces and most especially this year apples. And apples and apples and apples. Then there are more apples. We are making chutneys, and crisps, and pies, and applesauce, and drying them in droves. Never one to let me down, Dave has risen to the occasion and has engineered an ingenious apple corer. Click below to see it in action!
A few years back my husband found these amazing vintage wallpaper rulers. Of course, he snapped them up even though we had absolutely no idea what we would do with them. They languished a bit. We’d dust them off from time to time. They’d go back in the corner. And then I was decorating my new office. I knew they would look perfect. And as it turns out they are, in more ways than one. That nifty little metal cutting edge turns these beautiful salvaged pieces into an utterly fabulous and tremendously useful magnet board.
Go forth. Salvage and Prosper.
Interchangeable needles are a wonderful thing. Easy to come by, a great financial value, available in as many styles as there are knitters, and they can help you knit faster.
Once you’ve gotten all your casting on and set up rows out of the way, switch that left hand needle to one two or three sizes smaller than the one on the right. Your right handle needle is your gauge needle. The left one, you are just knitting the stitches off of. If the needle is smaller, the stitches slide more easily, and you’ll forego all that bunching. You’ll be knitting along at a good clip in no time.
Please note: If you are a left handed knitter, reverse the above directions. The smaller needle should be on your right side, instead.
One of the most irksome parts of knitting is attaching a new skein of yarn after finishing the first. This is especially true for me since I do so much knitting in the round. I rarely have a seam I can hide a tail in. Then the clouds parted, the gloom lifted, and yarn join nirvana descended from the heavens. I was in love.
I can only guess that the Russian Join originated if not in Russia, then at least someplace in Eastern Europe (a quick Google search failed to elucidate me). That could explain why this Polish girl gravitates towards it. In truth though, everyone should add this simple technique to their repertoire as it offers a near invisible yarn join for so many different types of yarn. In the example below, I’ve used two different colors of cotton yarn for visual clarity. Other than that, the only tools you need are a yarn darning needle and a pair of scissors.