The news is overwhelming. I am not surprising any of you with that statement. Of course, I take solace in my hooking, my fabrics, my knitting. But I also find hope and inspiration in the newly popping seedlings lined by my windows preparing for garden season. I don’t usually attempt seedlings, preferring to defer that task to my wonderful neighbors at Morning Dew Farm. But there were a couple things I wanted for my garden this year that weren’t available, so I took the small task of starting a few thing on for myself. And immediately ran into problems. I’ve cataloged for you here a few of my little low to no budget garden tricks to keep this train on the rails.
I swore I’d never dye. I have so many stashes and work stations and the rest, I just didn’t feel like taking on one more endeavor. But a dearth of sunny yellows and primitive reds for some of my post popular designs, in addition to a pile of unsuitably colored specimens culled from my cashmere box lots, pushed me over the edge. The days are barely warm enough to venture outside for more than a bit at a time, so I hunker in the workshop and hobble together tools and supplies. I barely follow the directions, but am feeling successful with my first efforts nonetheless.
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.