Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Echo from the Past - a 65 year old Knitting Pattern Still Lives

I had a lovely message by email this week from someone who had been browsing Pinterest which featured a pattern from my new Etsy shop "BygoneYarnyStuff".
"I found your website from Pinterest, as I found a lace pattern sweater pinned by, I think you. It is from the August 9, 1952 Women's Weekly, short-sleeved."
The writer went on to mention that a partially knitted sweater, from that pattern, has sat for over 20 years in a trunk in a barn on the side of a a mountain in Africa. Before that, aparently. it had probably sat for 3 decades in her mother's knitting drawer. The writer started to finish it when her family came to Ireland, but her tension was different from her mother's and it was very obvious after a single pattern repeat.
Unfortunately, the torn out pages from the Womens Weekly with the pattern that were with the partial sweater, are in tatters.
My correspondent when on to say, "If I could buy a copy of the either the pattern, or the magazine, I'd redo the sweater from the beginning."
Poor old sweater - all those years in a trunk! The pattern is beautiful and well worth knitting today. I wonder if she continued with the old yarn or bought new!

Monday, 18 September 2017

Splitting 4-ply into 2-plies - is it worth the effort?

I had a query from an Etsy-customer this week. She asked me.
"I was thinking about splitting my 4 ply wool to make 2 ply have you done this before unsure of easiest way"


I responded: "Yes I have, several times. 
 
"The two-tone trousers for Mad Hatter were a 4-ply tweed split. Unravel a couple of metres and hold the remainder from undoing by spearing ball with a needle. Pick two and two strands and hold up high to allow ball to spin and unravel the 4-plies. 
 
"It appears to me that spinners first join two ends and then join the pairs to make 4ply. If you are lucky you pick the right pairs to un-spin, so if they tangle and hesitate you should select the alternate pairs and try again. It's not easy; you have to unspin a couple of yards and then wind up each pair again. I roll them up over each hand in tandem as I go. You can lean out of an upstairs window or over the bannisters to get a longer length. Then you have to re-spin the 2-plies. I have a spinning wheel which helps no end. 
 
"Alternatively, use a couple (or three) of strands of embroidery threads held together - they are around 9m long - pull them out from the centre not the end or they too tangle. 
 
"Hope that helps!"