Monday, April 16, 2012

A new Twist Collective! Always a happy event.

Little to report. (Sundays tend to be unproductive.) I am a bit further on with the snood. It is very much like Occupational Therapy Day at the care home – me knitting a simple stitch slowly and patiently with my big wooden needles. But 45 stitches isn’t very many, and 16 rows per stripe isn’t very many either, and I’m edging forwards.

I think it will be safe to elongate it somewhat by increasing the width of the pivot-stripes (see yesterday). Four colours, and the thing is an oval, so two of the colours appear only once. A-B-C-D-C-B-(A). With the larger size, you must order extra yarn for the two colours which reappear.

That should mean that I have plenty of yarn to widen the stripes where three strands of A, and later on three of D, are being used together. I have already knit the opening stripe of A, but I can do an extra inch at the end, before grafting end to beginning.

I needed a refresher for the provisional cast-on. My books weren’t as much use as I would have expected, but the internet is all one needs these days, and Google works fine when money isn’t at stake. I wound up with Lucy Neatby on YouTube, crocheting temporary stitches onto the needle – the simplest and safest way. What a nice voice she has!

The retreat to seed stitch leaves nothing very much for the judges to award me a prize for, even if they wanted to. They’re not going to be impressed by fancy-schmancy yarn, and dyers are so clever these days that the merging of colours may look automatic. Still, winning isn’t the point. There are never very many entries in the knitting classes – five or six would be a big field. I’m there to swell the number.

I have resumed the Gibson-Roberts heel – I should never have abandoned it, because now I can’t identify YO’s (or are some of them missing?). I expect some waiting-room time this afternoon. I’ll have to take the book along and go on struggling.

Catdownunder, I don’t think PGR deliberately over-complicated things. Explaining is difficult. A brief overview is often the best way to get one’s mind around a problem, and that’s not easy to do in this case. When you sit down with the book and a sock and start in on it, stitch by stitch, it’s fairly straightforward. Fairly.

Sarah JS, thank you for the hard work, comparing this heel to the Sweet Tomato. The result is interesting – that ST has substantially more rows. Maybe it’s what my husband needs for easy access.


  1. You are right of course. Instructions are difficult to write - although I do think hers could be clearer. I'll try again.

  2. Jean, did you see this?

    I thought of you immediately. What an incredible amount of work! And how cheerful it looks in place.

  3. Jean,
    Lucy Neatby doesn't just have a nice voice - she IS nice.

    Let me tell you my Lucy story. When I was getting back into knitting after a 20 year hiatus, I decided to take a workshop at the Crafts Council on a felted bag. I showed up to find that the instructor was a nice English lady with magenta hair. Her calmness and humour really helped as I was in way over my head for the level of the class. She had me doing 2 colour, double sided knitting in no time AND with a provisional cast-on.

    Her gentle hints on how to hold the needles and the yarns made sense to me immediately, and she never once mentioned that I was a beginner in an intermediate class. While I was slower than than the other participants, Lucy’s tutelage allowed me to achieve the same results as the more experience knitters.

    Afterward, I casually mentioned to a knitter friend that I was talking a 3 part workshop from an English lady with pink hair. My friend, who knew my level of proficiency, pointed out to me how famous Lucy was.

    I’m glad I was such a clueless newbie. I would never have taken the class if I knew who she was, and would have missed out on one of the best knitting experiences of my life. If Lucy ever comes your way, grab the chance to meet her. She’s marvelous.

  4. I resort to the same Lucy Neatby video every time I need to do a provisional cast-on. I just can't seem to remember how to do it from one time to the next, probably because I don't use it very often. I have some of her DVDs - they were well worth the money I paid for them.

  5. Gerri3:46 PM

    Your comment on Sunday was a good reminder to me--the point used to be that it was an unproductive day, intentionally. (well, except for the woman/women who were involved in getting a big dinner together for unproductive family and visitors!)

  6. Anonymous5:21 PM

    I second everything the others have said in the comments above about Lucy Neatby. Her classes are a wonderful experience, no matter what is the student's knitting skill level. She's patient, welcomes questions at any time, and is very thorough in her explanations. In addition, her DVDs are excellent.

    Mary G. in Texas

  7. I've been meaning to look in my interweave knits to find the relevant issue but alas have not. A few years back there was an abbreviated explanation of PGR heels I found clearer.