Monday, November 16, 2009

The Christmas-card-selling went well, but left me prostrate with exhaustion. Something about interacting with the real world. Better this morning.

Today’s project – I might as well be up-front about this – is to go to K1 Yarns and look at kits for tie-dying sock yarn. I had an email from them on the subject, and I thought it might make a good Christmas present for a granddaughter, accompanied by a promise to knit her a hat or scarf or even socks, as requested, with the result.

I Googled for such things, after I heard from K1 Yarns, and found examples in the US but nothing in Britain.

You’ll just have to take my word for it, that this wouldn’t count as “buying yarn”. And I will have to resist the siren voices of the rest of the shop, of course. Perhaps I should go in blindfolded.

Isn’t it funny how pom-pom-making suddenly seems to be everywhere? The gadget the Fishwife’s daughter is using to churn them out must be the same thing I’ve just ordered, and Angel’s mother uses.


As you see, the Mysterious Christmas Project is within a few inches of completion. And the ASJ needs only one more increase row – I should manage that today with any luck at all, and produce a photograph for tomorrow.

We’re hoping to go to Strathardle this week, probably on Wednesday. It’s time to organise the annual digging-out of the ditch that runs along beside our driveway. It fills up with leaves and eventually overflows, flooding the driveway and making a mess of the adjacent field. One of the distinct perks of old age is that we’re too feeble to do it ourselves anymore.

I’ll take along an ear-flap hat to knit. I’ve done half a swatch, two strands of Araucania Ranco held together, and I like the resulting fabric. In fact, I’ve thought of someone else on the Christmas list who might also like such a hat.

What is an i-cord machine, as mentioned by Tamar and catdownunder? A real machine with moving parts? or a variation on the old wooden cotton reel with four nails knocked into one end? That was my first experience of knitting, remembered with delight. For the ear-flap hat(s), however, I think I’ll probably go with a plait after all.

(Catdownunder is well worth reading for the experience of drought -- easy to put out of one's mind in the northern hemisphere in November.)


  1. The common i-cord machine you can get here is called the Prym Knitting Mill, for about £12 or son. It's basically just a knitting nancy/cotton reel affair with moving parts and a handle to wind. It struggles with DK but works great with sock yarn weight or anything thin off a cone.

  2. There is a lovely earflap hat in the new Twist Collective on-line magazine. I thought of you when I saw it yesterday. Good luck.

  3. There are mechanical i-cord knitting machines out there for cranking out the stuff by the mile. I have one that I have to fuss with to get started but once I get it going does well. For a churro/earflap hat I'm thinking plaits would make it more interesting.

  4. I agree with you that buying a kit is not stash enhancement. Especially, when said kit is to be given as a present.
    And it will be so generous of you to donate time helping your granddaughter to make use of the kit :p :))

  5. Thank you for the catdownunder link. As you say--a different experience from November in the north of the planet. Buying a kit isn't stash enhancement because you know what you're going to do with the yarn. Right?

  6. Thankyou for the kind words on drought related topics! The i-cord machine I have seen is a plastic device whereby you thread the yarn around the loops at the top and then (theoretically) you turn the little handle around and around. My father asked what you did with the resulting yarn and we came to the conclusion that you can - knit it! Yes this one works best with sock yarn too. (Seems a waste of sock yarn to me.)