Wednesday, June 14, 2006

new looms and projects

Yay, my Markman Farm 18" fine gauge adjustable double rake arrived a couple of days ago. The rake is a gorgeous oak with open-top pegs. I ordered the extra end pieces for it too. I also ordered Lynn's 4 oz. Cedar Eucalyptus|Lavender bee balm I used to wax the loom. Now it has an incredible fragrance. Lynn's having a free shipping sale until the end of this month. I love this rake, and I've started a dishcloth I wrote a pattern for converting from needle knitting to the loom. It's my first experience in pattern writing, so we'll see how it turns out. Even though Lynn lists this rake as a fine gauge, the pegs aren't spaced quite as tight as my 1/4" fine gauge looms. These pegs are spaced 3/8" so my guess is that this rake is closer to a small gauge. I also ordered the small gauge Wonderloom from Decor Accents Inc., and can't wait to receive it.

I started another dishcloth the other day on my fine gauge dishcloth rake. These dishcloths provide the practice I need as far as learning new stitches, following a pattern, and working on my tension. I was using the flat "U" stitch, but what ends up happening is my stitches turn out incredibly tight no matter how loose I think I'm wrapping. I have a difficult time lifting these tight loops over the pegs. I found a video that Isela did for the knit stitch which is a similar technique as doing the purl stitch, only in reverse. That makes sense since the purl stitch is just the other side of the knit stitch. Anyway, I ended up switching to using the method Isela demonstrates in the video, and I love it. The stitches turn out much more uniform and helps me with the tension. At first it was taking me a lot longer to do, but I have found a rhythm with it and it's going much faster.You can see where I made the switch to the knit stitch on this project. Hopefully it won't be so obvious after I shrink the dishcloth. No worries, it's just practice, and the dishcloth will still work even with the imperfections.

This is what can happen if your stitches are too tight. The yarn broke! I was using DA's wood knitting tool that is really sharp and made for fine gauge looming and SNAP, the yarn broke in two. I had to start over. Such are the adventures in loom knitting.


Isela said...

Another big difference that you will notice between the two methods of knitting the flat stitch, is that the "old" method of just laying the yarn above and then knitting over, creates a very "short" stitch. The new method creates a taller stitch--more like the needle knit stitch ;)

lindasofftheloom said...

Thanks, Isela. I really appreciate the videos. You are an incredible blessing to the looming community. I can't wait for your new book to be published. Wishing you all the best and much success with this project.

Jami said...

Linda I need to get together with you - I bought 4 skeins of dishcloth yarn and I haven't even tested out my rake loom yet. I have been so out it with all of the things going on with the house but we are down to small projects so I have time to loom again : )