Podcast Episode 70 – My Cat Thought it Was Amazing


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Things we talk about in this episode:
I don’t have a video on the “improved ssk”. But here is a video comparing decreases.
Fringe Supply Co. Field Bag
Knitter’s Pride Yarn Bowls
It’s not illegal to pick bluebonnets!

16 comments on “Podcast Episode 70 – My Cat Thought it Was Amazing

  1. I put a question on Casey’s site but need to expand it. I’m Australian and recently moved to Ethiopia after almost 5 years in Bangladesh. I find myself teaching knitting and crochet constantly – to new friends, keen newbies and poor women looking for a way to earn an income. The yarn I use is usually Chinese 4ply and of poor quality – it’s all that’s available. How should I approach the teaching: what are the essential stitches and should I prepare samplers and ask them to work to that?

    • Hi Anne,
      We’ll talk about it on the podcast, but I can tell you I just start with knit stitch and something small like a bookmark until they get the hang of it. Then, add in purling.

      What an amazing experience you must be having in all those places!

      • When I teach beginners, I start with a hat. A small hat, perhaps, or something to fit the knitter — a finished item is something you want to show off! I usually do the roll-brim hat — no purling involved. It only covers knit and knit 2 together. I do the cast-on for them, and later show how to cast-on, using the long tail method (or Continental method) since I teach using the Continental method. It’s a lot more versatile, in my opinion, although I personally use English most of the time.

        Then we can graduate on to mittens (making a thumb, and ribbing involving purling). From there, they can expand to a sweater or gloves or socks — they have all the basics — so there is nothing new to learn! Advanced classes would then follow these.

        I wouldn’t show them flat knitting until much later. In the round, always! Use double points, or magic loop — it’s all the same.

  2. Have either of you tried sewing?
    My grandmother used to handsew quilts and i just inherited alot of her fabric and things she was working on but I have no clue as to what she was working on.

  3. Could it be the reason sometimes a yarn twists and sometimes not is the direction it comes off of the yarn swift? I really don’t pay much attention to this myself, but it might be another variable to try in your “experiment.”

    • Oh, yes, the direction the yarn comes off the ball is always the cause of twist changing in the yarn. It can be added or removed, depending on which direction you unwind the yarn (clockwise or counter-clockwise). Every stitch you knit changes the twist!! Spinners know this. Do you think there is a reason all knitting yarn is Z-twist — and all crochet yarn is S-twist?? Using the incorrect yarn for a project can cause you some problems, as you already know.

      The ball needs to rotate to release yarn. You do NOT unwind round and round — as you do not wind round and round when making a ball of yarn! Every time you do that, you change the twist. Be aware of what you are doing!!

  4. Enjoyed the podcast. I had no idea that one should only wind yarn into a cake or ball until it is ready to be used!!! I have a few I need to unwind onto the Swift, tie it and then wash it. The yarn is not that old — just a couple of months. Thanks for this tip!!!

  5. I believe my yarn twists more when pulled from the center. The cake is sitting stationary. You’re pulling yarn from the most tightly twisted part of the cake where it is basically lying in coils. When you pull straight up on that yarn, it is still coiled. As you knit, you tighten or loosen the coiling, depending on the direction in which it was wound in the first place.

    When you knit off the outside of the cake, unless you have stuck it on a post or something, it’s free to roll around. You pull, ball/cake rolls in whatever way has the least resistance, and you are pulling it exactly the opposite of the way it was wound in the first place without being conscious of it.

    Maybe a test with a garden hose is in order…..

    • Yes, please do a test!! That is the only way you will know.

      Yes, you add (or remove) 2 twists with every revolution you make when pulling from the centre or the outside of a ball. That is why using a very large ball is best — it might be 2 feet around some of my cones — while a small circumference changes over only an inch or two.

      Use a lazy kate or one of those new yarn holders (lazy susan) so the ball turns when you use more yarn. And watch which style of knitting you are using. Yes, that matters too!

  6. Think about Christmas ribbon. If you pull straight up, either from inside or outside, it twists, because it is coiled around a center. If you pull from the side, so that it is unwinding, it doesn’t twist. So for yarn, lay the cake on the side so that it turns as you pull the yarn, or put it on a spindle that lets it turn. If the cake is turning, the yarn isn’t…

    • Oh, yes, the ribbon will twist when pulled from the outside too. It will be in the opposite direction from the inside. Turn the roll of ribbon over, and the twist changes too! However, if the roll of ribbon rotates, there is no twist added. You have learned a very important lesson!!

  7. Staci, your idea of a sheep to sweater project is exactly what I would love to do!! I did start to look into it a number of years ago but didn’t really get very far due to other circumstances, but I would so love to do that. Most people when I tell them they think I’m mad so I’m glad that I’m not the only one who wants to do that.

    • Steph, the sooner you get started on this project, the sooner you will have your sweater! It doesn’t take that long, really. So a good project for winter. Wash the wool in the fall, and then card it and spin it during our long winters, and then knit in spring!

      Ever checked the Back-to-Back challenge? The world record from fleece to sweater is less than five hours!! That’s with a team of four people. You may take a little longer, 🙂

  8. I chose a wood yarn bowl because I had the breakage fear too! It’s from Furls and quite lightweight. I also stick it in my bag and take it with me. Like when we flew overseas. I’ve heard stories of peoples yarn rolling down the aisle on the airplane and I wanted to avoid that! But you mentioned grippy stuff on the bottom of the bowl and I have thought about putting something on the bottom of mine b/c it is easy to pull it off a table.

    I also have had the twisty yarn problem. Most recently the yarn literally came of the hank being twisty. It is so frustrating b/c I have 5 hanks of fingering weight yarn that is twisty. Thankfully its colorwork so I cut and change colors every few rows but still super annoying. What was said earlier about unwrapping from the outside makes so much sense. I usually work from the outside of the ball so it doesn’t collapse as I use it. And I have pokey toddlers that have been known to “assist” in its collapse and that makes a MESS!

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