Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It was supposed to be...

...a knit item featured today. After so much crochet, I was looking forward to starting the Panel Jacket by Carol Lapin -- which is a free pattern located on the Unicorn Books site.

I thought I might knit it out of the Louisa Harding yarn Kimono Ribbon, since I had picked up a bunch at Elann recently. Too bad though, I got whomped upside the head by the Gauge Fairy. So, never being one to argue with the Gauge Fairy --

instead I'm starting another Soft Serve (by Doris Chan). Doesn't look like much yet, but you can see from the photo that there is a big difference in blocked/unblocked gauge. Since this is a nylon yarn, my blocking consists of actually ironing it. I'm not sure if this "kills" the nylon the way it would if it were an acrylic yarn, but it opens it up fairly well. I'm thinking that this crochet lace might be a better use of the yarn than the Panel Jacket anyway, so, thanks for the whomp Gauge Fairy.

Because this is such a slippery yarn, I'm joining in the new strands by a sewn join. You may see it called the Russian Join in various places (no idea why), but it seems to be working well for the ribbon. Simply thread the old strand through a needle (and make sure you leave enough of a tail so you have room to maneuver) and sew it back upon itself with a simple running stitch, like so (click for bigger):

Make sure that there is a little loop on the end opposite where you finish sewing, you'll need it for the next step. Now, take the new yarn, thread it through the needle, then thread it through that little loop you left on the old yarn, then go ahead a sew it back upon itself just like you did with the old yarn end. You'll end up with something like this --

For extra insurance I like to dab on a bit of anti-fray liquid to each cut end of the ribbon. You end up with a join that is secure, and relatively unobtrusive. Note, the yarn will be slightly thicker in the join area because it is double layered. I don't find this much of a problem, because I think it's still a neater join than running in the ends later, but your mileage may vary.

And, in a neat little bit of serendipity, when I opened up the latest issue of Interweave Crochet I noticed a review of The Complete Book of Crochet Border Designs by Linda Schapper. No mention if this is a re-issue of the book I wrote about in an earlier post, but same author/same title/same number of crochet border designs, so I'm guessing that it is. (ISBN 978-1-57990-914-7) I would recommend it to anyone who would like a nice selection of border designs to choose from. The price is just a wee bit "ouch" ($29.95), so let's hope that production values are better than the original (which was $12.95, wonder what that would be in 2008 dollars?)

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