Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Tying one On

It's another dark dreary day, so once again I've no decent pics of what I've been spinning. Instead I thought I'd share something I learned last February from my fellow Folk School classmate Joan. It's a nifty way to tie a leader on a bobbin.

First off decide what material you want to use for a leader and cut a long length of it. I prefer pearl cotton and quite a long leader so I use a piece that's several yards long. Using a long leader is helpful when adjusting the tension before attaching your fiber and the pearl cotton doesn't stretch and holds up well.

Fold the piece in half and knot the two ends together.

Then, hold the knotted end on top of the bobbin core and wind the rest of the leader completely around it, passing it to the top of the knot.

Wind the leader around the bobbin core a second time and pass it to the bottom of the knot this time.
Wind the leader around the bobbin once more but this time place the folded end through the two strands of the knotted end.
Snug it up tight to the bobbin core and you have a leader that is secure and won't spin around the bobbin needing a piece of scotch tape to keep it put. Plus, the folded end provides a nice loop to use when starting to spin. Simple and elegant--love it! Thanks for teaching me this Joan and giving me permission to pass it on!

Edit: Joan has told me that she learned this bobbin leader tying idea from

Sunday, April 01, 2007

No Fooling

223 sts on a dpn! It's no April Fool's joke.

This is the start of the Mediterranean Lace shawl from Gathering of Lace. The color of the silk/yak yarn (from Skaska but Treenway also carries it) blended much too much into my favorite bamboo needles for these tired old eyes, so I decided to go with the good contrast and nice tapered points of ebony needles. According to Galina, the Russian Orenburg shawl knitters always use dpn's when knitting their shawls and now I can definitely understand why they do. The sts are so easy to control as they're always right underneath your hands. There's no needing to stop and move sts into position and no worries about the skinny 32/2 size yarn catching on the join of a circular needle. And even with a couple of hundred sts on the needle, I haven't had to worry about sts falling off the ends and I'm not even close to filling up it up yet.

I've wanted to knit this shawl since the book first came out. So look for updates in future posts as it will definitely be a long term project.