Friday, October 27, 2006


Sit down, make yourself a cup of tea, and please please help a knitter in search of suggestions.

1. I'm dying to make all manner of wristwarmers but I'm stumped about what yarns are the best. I told you about the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran I ordered to make the gorgeous wristwarmers Cindi and Elizabeth Boyle made but beyond that I'm clueless. Would Kureyon be too scratchy? I wanted to make a pair from the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Fisherman that I used for the cable socks but a harsh dose of reality made me think twice about using a light color, even if it is machine washable. I mean, these go on our hands and our hands touch things that aren't always sparkling clean. Would Silk Garden be too fragile? Is sock weight too ridiculous? (Even though I've seen patterns for wrist warmers done up in sockweight yarn.) HELP!

2. I did a stealth survey of my friends' shoe sizes and feel relatively well-armed with information to forge ahead on making socks for them but there's still something a little scary about taking the plunge. One woman's 8.5 may be another woman's 9 if you know what I mean. It's strange how we can all stuff our size 6 through 10s in the same stretchy commercial sock but balk at even the slightest tug in a handknit pair. That's why I've been obsessing over spirals. How do you get around this need for exact measurements? One thing I've learned in my sockmaking odyssey with Goldisox is that what he deems comfortable changes every single day.

3. I really thought handknit washcloths were the height of ridiculous until Dallas made me one that I used to death. Now I get it. (Although I still don't think I'll be knitting one to do dishes with. I mean, that's why God made the Dobie pad, right?) If you've made washcloths, what yarn did you use? Kitchen cotton? Euroflax? This is another holiday idea I'm toying with. (Watch what happens. I'll end up giving everyone gift certs to Netflix.)

4. If you have a beloved pet (with you now or only with you in spirit) who you would like to see featured as our Guest Pet on the blog, please send me a JPEG with a short anecdote and a link to your website or blog and we will be absolutely delighted to showcase your furry or feathered or scaled friend. The parade of pets will begin November 1st and last through the end of the year as part of our GET FELTED fun.


Blogger Wendy said...

For wristwarmers, the softest yarn you can possibly find! Soft, softer, softest. Maybe I'm just a delicate flower, but harsh yarn on winter-dry skin is one of the worst things I can imagine.

I don't think durability is of the utmost importance here. Softness!

(Did I mention . . . soft?)

1:57 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

What exactly does one use wristwarmers for? I understand gloves--I can't do without those in winter but I'm not getting the wristwarmer usage. Thanks for explaining to a Clueless Knitter.

P.S. I just got my felting supplies and I am SOOOOO excited.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Nancy,for me it's not the wrist that needs warming, it's the hand itself. I'd been known to cut the fingertips off a pair of cheap supermarket gloves and wear them in the house. The warmth keeps hand pain to a minimum.

Uh, THE Wendy, I'm not sure I follow . . . did you say soft? I've been eyeing Bliss's Cotton Cashmere but I'm not sure cotton has enough stretch. What do you think?

3:03 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

I think not enough stretch -- I've used cotton cashmere for a number of things, and like it, but it's not right for wristwarmers.

I find wristwarmers great in my chilly office. They keep the pulse points warm so make you feel warmer -- without a lot of bulk.

3:09 PM  
Blogger loribird said...

I have a pair of handwarmers in Kureyon, and they've gotten very soft and fuzzy with wear. The kids also each have a pair, and there have been no complaints of "Skritchyness!!!" (and believe me, they will complain of it if they feel it.) Sock yarn would make nice ones, though they'd be thin for winter use - perhaps as a layering method...
And speaking of socks - handknit socks will stretch, in fact you want them to be a little snug so they don't slide around baggily after being worn for a few hours... So (in my humble opinion) if you knit them to an "average" of the size you're aiming for, they should be perfect as they conform to their wearer's foot.
Best of luck with the knitting!

3:11 PM  
Blogger LaurieKnits said...

I thought dishtowels were a complete waste of time until I tried one. I used 100% cotton Sugar 'N Cream purchased at JoAnn Fabric (it's cheap!) and was surprised by how much I loved working with it. The cloth also absorbs well, cleans well and the nubbies dig out dirt much better than my sponges used to. I'm going to make myself a bunch of these.

They're also a nifty gift idea paired with some Bath & Body hand wash. If you wrap the towel around the soap with a ribbon it almost looks as if it's wearing a little bathrobe (I saw this done on another blog). I'm going to try to do a bunch of these for gifts.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Laurie, here's my question: we're in the Age of Kitchen Danger. I mean, we're told raw chicken is scarier than radioactive waste. (Which makes me wonder why on earth we're eating it.) I'm thinking of all those 20/20/Eyewitness News pieces where they show you all the creepy crawlies lurking in your sheets, your dishtowels, etc. Do you use them a few times then toss them or do you run them through a hot water wash? I'd love to find an alternative to our tossaway society.

3:43 PM  
Blogger LaurieKnits said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

For the wristwarmer. I agree soft is best. Silk Garden will work but rinse the wristwarmers out and block them. There may be a little debris that scratches.
For the socks..Your best bet is to use Cascade Fixation. It has an elastic thread running through the yarn and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-es onto any foot.
For the washcloths.. Kitchen cotton is perfect.

Have fun..and better get busy!!

4:55 PM  
Blogger Holly in CT said...

Go with Cashmerino for the wrist warmers. Noro would be too scratchy. Aplaca would also be nice, warm and soft. I love linen for dishcloths but use them as face cloths. Great for removing make-up and city grime.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I made fingerless gloves with Misti Alpaca chunky. The pattern was free with the yarn-purchase. Knit on size 10 dpns, they were only 27 stitches around, but really not that bulky. I can write, type or knit while wearing them. And Misti Alpaca is SOFT. Amazingly soft. So soft that I bought a second skein to make a diagonal rib scarf for my Father-in-law who is always cold and suffering greatly from both Parkinson's and a disc-degeneration disease. I'd like a whole room piled with it to lie on when I get a migraine. It's that soft.

6:02 PM  
Blogger LaurieKnits said...

I asked my dishcloth KAL list how they wash them and the general consensus was to throw them in the washer & dryer just like a regular towel. Just watch out for the darker colors because they sometimes bleed. One lady sometimes even adds bleach.

6:48 PM  
Blogger georg said...

I have dishclothes that I purchased. They get ran through the washing machine twice and the dryer once, every week when I do the rest of the laundry. I think a sponge that I can't treat this way would be more bacteria laiden. We do have a few plastic pot scrubbers- they can go through the wash too.

8:47 AM  

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