Friday, March 26, 2010

Double Magic Loop Method

I like to knit using fat needles because they go so fast. You get such a feeling of accomplishment when you can finish a project in a short amount of time. It makes me feel like I am doing something more than my epic projects that seem to be cast on my needles for ages.

When you are making a hat and using size 4mm/US 6 needles it is just ridiculous. So much work for such a small thing! Using big needles makes it better, but for hats it poses two problems.

1. It is hard to find big needles in double pointed sets. They can be found, just not easily.

2. If you use the circulars how do you shape the hat at the top?

Solution the Double Magic Loop!

I just started doing it once, I can't imagine I am the first to try it. I planned to post a link to a video for it, since I use it all the time, but there are no youtube videos of it (strange, usually anything you can imagine is on youtube!)
So I thought I would write it out with pictures to explain what I am always talking about.

These pictures are with needles sized 12.75mm/US17

Cast on the amount of stitches needed

count out a third of the stitiches and slide it to the end of the needle like this.

Pull up on the cord at the place you figured as 1/3 of the stitches

Pull it further through and you have your 1st magic loop.
Next count out another third of the stitches and make your second magic loop beside the other needle

It should now look like this.
If you are worried about your tension or laddering don't be. I have never had any problems with it. Since you are using fat needles the stitches are big and give you a little room to play with.

Join together in the round and start knitting the first section.
Make sure when you join that the stitches are all the same way on the needles with no twisting. If there are twists, as with all circular knitting, it won't work.

Once you have finished knitting one section it will look like this

You slide the part that was in the middle up onto the empty needle, and then go to the other needle and make another magic loop splitting the stitiches in the middle

Keep on knitting and magic looping and knitting and magic looping and off you go!

One last tip, often I will switch up the places where I split the stitches to make my loops, that helps prevent laddering in the same spots. It doesn't have to be exact with every 1/3rd the same size, just so long as there are three sections allowing you to have the circular shape.

Let there be a stubbornness about you that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. Let your courage always rise at every attempt made to intimidate you from trying a new weird knitting method. 

Any guesses from which book that paraphrased quote is from? It's one of my favourite moments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Best Ever Ever!

I have just seen the best ever ever ever Jane Austen adaptation movie!

I don't want to hype it up so high that it can only be a disappointment to you so I will only say this bold statement, that I have thoroughly thought through.

It is the best Jane Austen adaptation ever!

That is to include the beloved and near perfect 4 hour Pride and Predjudice- Colin Firth movie.

Seriously people.

I'm serious.

The movie is a 4 hour adaptation of Emma.

The characters are cast perfectly.

The acting, especially of Emma, is some of the greatest I have beheld.

The story, scenery, all of it, amazing.

Emma is of course is always battling it out with P&P in my mind for top Jane Austen novel. They are so different and both so amazing. The character of Emma is ridiculous and hilarious, I love her in the book and this is the only emma adaptation that has captured her true character.

I really could go on and on but I don't want to ruin it for anyone. Maybe I will give it a month, If you haven't watched it by then, shame on you, you deserve to have it spoiled.

GO WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fabric Glue, a magical thing

"Besides, I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit."
Jane Austen's letter to Cassandra (1799-06-11), on decorating her hat.

I had plans to make my brother a sweet toque this past christmas when I picked his name in our family draw. He likes all things medieval and so I was going to make him a toque that was a battle helmet with a beard attached at the bottom, very awesome. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and ended up buying him a sword instead.

So for his birthday, which was this past week, I planned to make him the helmet toque, but instead came across a cool sponge bob squarepants pattern!  He loves spongebob, possibly more than weapons and medieval stuff.

The toque was so simple to make. I found the pattern on ravelry (best website ever!) and followed a few other peoples suggestions for the modifications.

Most people made it as a normal round toque, strange right! He is square! That is like his whole 'thing'! I wanted to make my toque actually look like him, so obviously I made it square. The pattern had pom poms instead of shoes, I wasn't in love with thath, so I copied one person who just added stitches at the bottom of the long i-cord to make little shoes, really easy. Last dilemma was the face. The toques that had the face parts knitted on, looked weird. I didn't like it. Some people used felt pieces and it looked better but I didn't like the look of the stitches going around the felt pieces to hold them in place. There was one toque that did not have those markings and so I emailed the girl to ask how she made the pieces stick on without the stitches showing. She wrote me back and what she said rocked my world.

ENTER: Fabric glue.

Fabric glue is something I had never heard of. It is a magical thing.

It's a glue.

It dries flexible.

It can be washed over and over and still holds strong.

MAGIC!!! It was so easy to use and made my toque look just how I wanted.

Fabric glue, buy it, try it.

It will rock your world,

and that's a promise.

this is not my brother, just my official toque model.