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Using Homespun question



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 6th 04, 07:42 AM
Denise
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Default Using Homespun question

Hi everyone!

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions about using
Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting too tight?
Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn toward the ball as you work?
Do I need to try to keep it from happening altogether, since I don't know
how this is going to affect the stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing
it, the yarn starts to wind on itself... and sometimes I just knit the
bunched yarn once in awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a large hole
later.

Thanks,
Denise




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  #2  
Old January 6th 04, 09:21 AM
Katherine
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Default

Denise wrote:
Hi everyone!

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions about using
Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting too
tight? Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn toward the
ball as you work? Do I need to try to keep it from happening
altogether, since I don't know how this is going to affect the
stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing it, the yarn starts to wind
on itself... and sometimes I just knit the bunched yarn once in
awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a large hole later.


Not sure what you mean by "bunches", Denise. ARe you, perhaps, missing one
of the plies in a strand of yarn? If so, you will have to fix that, as it
will change your gauge.
HTH
Katherine


  #3  
Old January 6th 04, 09:43 AM
CMM PDX2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Denise wrote:

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions
about using Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting
too tight? Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn
toward the ball as you work? Do I need to try to keep it from
happening altogether, since I don't know how this is going to
affect the stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing it, the yarn
starts to wind on itself... and sometimes I just knit the
bunched yarn once in awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a
large hole later.


Denise - Dunno if you can manage this, but here's my experience with Homespun.
(which I love, btw. finicky, but gorgeous.)

The main problem is that it's very similar to an unspun roving corkscrewed
loosely around a super-fine base thread...and both strands are slippery fiber.
So they slide against each other. The thick strand doesn't have anything to
lock it into place along that core thread - like a third ply, which would help
a lot. But Homespun doesn't have that 3rd ply that would be so helpful. Or a
fuzzy core thread to hang on to. So the thick strand has the ability to move;
and boy, does it move.

I've found this means if you keep much tension on the yarn as you knit, you run
into the problems you're having. What happens is that the 'unspun' part
sliiiides along that core thread; thus the bunching problem. Personally, I've
found with yarns that do this, if you keep trying to pull the 'bunch' towards
the ball, before you finish that ball you'll end up with a huge, knotted mess.
Especially with the yardage in Homespun! Then you'll have to cut it, pull out
the bunched length, cut off the excess where it goes beyond the core strand,
and re-attach the end from the ball. A real pain! Not to mention a waste of
yarn. But there are ways to avoid this.

I knit loosely - both with my stitches, and in the way I tension yarn - so I
don't have quite so much of a problem with Homespun. But even so, I run into
the a mild version of the same problems. Here's what I do:

--When pulling out more yarn from the skein, *don't* slide it through your hand
in any way. You'll just be bunching it up. Pinch the yarn strand so the two
plies *don't move* in relation to each other, and then pull out your next
length to knit with. If you pull out several yards at once into a pile, and
rearrange the yarn so it doesn't get tangled, be careful how you handle it.
That's where I usually 'bunch' it. When I knit, I habitually pull out about 5
yards of yarn at a time so I don't have to do it so often. g I'm usually
pulling with one hand, and have the other closed lightly around the yarn so it
doesn't tangle as I pull - what I call 'stripping'. This, pretty obviously, can
cause major bunching in 'slidey' yarns. So with Homespun, I just let it rest in
the hand I'm not pulling with; no pressure on the yarn! And naturally, when
doing this the loose yarn gets piled up on top of the working end; if you don't
reverse that pile, it's gonna tangle like crazy. So then I 'strip' in the
opposite direction, to re-pile it so the working end is on top of the loose
stuff - carefully. Although *light* pressure when doing the second stripping
can help even out any bunching, by sliding the excess back towards your
knitting. That's the one instance where you might want to actually hold onto it
a bit as it runs through your hand/fingers. You'll have to judge for yourself,
if you do pull out yarn like that. (rather confused explanation there, I hope
you get the idea... I'm presuming I'm not the only person around who likes to
get more than a few measly inches loose from a pull-skein so I can keep
knitting. maybe someone else can give a better description. g)

--Don't try to tension the yarn too much while knitting. Hold it as loosely as
possible while still keeping it under control. It should flow through your
fingers very easily, under hardly any pressure - if it doesn't, it's gonna
bunch. If you're a knitter who winds yarn through your fingers to tension it,
or you wrap it around a finger, try to stop that while using Homespun. Find
some other way of holding it. Sorry, no suggestions, I only use the thumb and
first 2 fingers of my hand to hold yarn when I knit, and I'm a thrower. Never
have gotten the hang of that 'over the index' finger thing so popular in
knitting books; I find it impossible to knit that way! g

--Don't pull the bunched up yarn *towards* the ball - pull it *away* from the
ball, to even it out. Pulling towards the ball just increases the problem.
Again, pinch the yarn beyond where it's bunched up, and gently pull the thick
strand towards your knitting between a couple of fingers of your other hand, to
'un-bunch' it. Keep an eye on your yarn and do this whenever it starts bunching
up. This way you'll still have some bunching, but you'll smooth most of it out;
and it won't be really noticeable in the body of your work. Yes, you'll be
doing it frequently - but it's better than masses of snarls every 10 yards or
so.

--If you knit tightly, next time go up a needle size or two. Or three. Yarns
like Homespun aren't really made for tight knitting - they can't handle the
tension, even if you *hold* them loosely. Knitting them tight will mean the
yarn still gets a lot of tension on it as you do an actual stitch. That
contributes to that thick strand sliding along and bunching. I know this
doesn't help *now* - you're in the middle of the lapghan, for heaven's sake!
g So what you'll have to do is try to knit as loosely as you can without
changing gauge too much. Yeah, I know. Gack.

Aside from those specifics, the basic idea is to handle it lightly. I know it
looks like this hefty, sturdy yarn, but the actual construction, the way it's
engineered, is delicate. Not that it's going to break - but it'll slide.
Corkscrew yarns are gorgeous. But unless the core strand is hairy so the
wrapped strand has something to grab onto, they're not the most stable of
yarns. Homespun's made of 'silky'-textured yarns, both plies; there's nothing
to grab. Thus you have to treat it carefully. Neat yarn design in looks, but a
tad iffy on the engineering aspects, from a spinner's point of view. If it
was wool, you wouldn't have nearly as much bunching, because wool grabs.
Acrylic and polyester, though... If they'd made that fine strand a little
fluffy or something, the thick strand wouldn't slide so much because it'd catch
more. That fine strand is the foundation of the yarn, and it's just not
designed quite right to be as useful as it should be.

That being said, I repeat - I love Homespun. Once I figured out what the
problem was, I was able to adapt, and rarely have problems with it. But it does
take a little practice!

Good luck,
Monica
CMMPDX2 at aol
remove 'eat.spam' to email me
---------
"No, that isn't me you saw - I'm not here, I'm incognito!" (Me, Myself & I)
Support our Troops!!
http://www.wtv-zone.com/kjsb/bataan.html
  #4  
Old January 6th 04, 01:50 PM
Noreen's Knit*che
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Posts: n/a
Default

On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 01:42:29 -0600, Denise wrote:

Hi everyone!

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions about using
Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting too tight?
Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn toward the ball as you work?
Do I need to try to keep it from happening altogether, since I don't know
how this is going to affect the stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing
it, the yarn starts to wind on itself... and sometimes I just knit the
bunched yarn once in awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a large hole
later.

Thanks,
Denise

Hi Denise,
Lion's Homespun requires a light touch, as it is *like* a roving with yarn
corkscrewed around it... I'd say you are knitting too too tightly.
See Monica's answer, she words it much more eloquently than I.
Noreen

--
Noreen's Knit*che
(Knitting, Crocheting, Tatting, Bobbin-Lace and Spinning are my NICHE in
life..)
NATA #447 Member TKGA Member TCGA
... soon joining MTFG and IOLI...
  #5  
Old January 6th 04, 09:11 PM
NoraBalcer
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Posts: n/a
Default

Hi Denise,

I know what you are going through and I really loved Monica's answer. Wish I
had that before I started knitting the scarf I did for a gift. Once you get
used to it and loosen the tension you'll be fine.

Hugs,

Nora
  #6  
Old January 6th 04, 09:32 PM
Els van Dam
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , "Denise"
wrote:

Hi everyone!

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions about using
Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting too tight?
Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn toward the ball as you work?
Do I need to try to keep it from happening altogether, since I don't know
how this is going to affect the stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing
it, the yarn starts to wind on itself... and sometimes I just knit the
bunched yarn once in awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a large hole
later.

Thanks,
Denise



Hello Denise

I am not sure about what you mean by "bunched up yarn", but my guess is
that you "over spun" or "over plied" you yarn or both. The knitted
stitches tend to slant to one side when you did that.

Work towards a balanced spun yarn. In order to do that you have to know
first how many times your bobbin will turn around to one turn of your fly
wheel (the big wheel that drives your bobbin and flyer ensemble). Now
when you draft....lets say two inches at the time, you will know that when
you turn your fly wheel onetime around, you get X numbers of twist in
those two inches.

Now when you ply you keep that in mind and give it a bit more twist, now
you check if your two ply yarn will hang relaxed or balanced. When it
hangs nice and loose in a bow, and it does not twist back on itself, you
have a balanced yarn. That is one part of getting a good knitting yarn.
The other part is working towards the project you are working on. Thick
yarn, thin yarn, knitting yarn or weaving yarn, a soft lofty yarn for a
baby jacket or a firm twist for a woven rug. What fibers to use for what
project. How to tread those fibers. alpaca for instance demands a bit
more twist than wool from a sheep, and again there are so many different
breeds each will ask for their own spinning method. All this takes
practise and sampling, and spinning and knitting swatches to get where you
are going.

Happy spinning

Els

--
I have added a trap for spammers......niet.....
  #7  
Old January 6th 04, 09:34 PM
Els van Dam
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Noreen's Knit*che
wrote:

On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 01:42:29 -0600, Denise wrote:


Sorry Denise, I took it that you were talking about homespun as in you did
the spinning, however I see that it is a type of knitting yarn, disregard
all I said in my first post it does not apply

Els

Hi everyone!

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions about using
Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting too tight?
Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn toward the ball as you work?
Do I need to try to keep it from happening altogether, since I don't know
how this is going to affect the stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing
it, the yarn starts to wind on itself... and sometimes I just knit the
bunched yarn once in awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a large hole
later.

Thanks,
Denise

Hi Denise,
Lion's Homespun requires a light touch, as it is *like* a roving with yarn
corkscrewed around it... I'd say you are knitting too too tightly.
See Monica's answer, she words it much more eloquently than I.
Noreen


--
I have added a trap for spammers......niet.....
  #8  
Old January 7th 04, 10:06 PM
Denise
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Thanks Monica! You knew exactly the frustration I was having. I knew it
was because of that core thread, but was afraid that since it was my first
time trying to use Homespun that it would leave huge holes in my knitting.
It's going much better now. I really don't like blankets that feel this
airy and fluffy though... but I hope it will still be warm. It's a lapghan
for my dad.

Thanks everyone for your help!
Denise

CMM PDX2 wrote in message
...
Denise wrote:

I'm still working on this lapghan and had some questions
about using Homespun.

If the unused thread bunches down, does that mean I'm knitting
too tight? Do you usually keep pulling the bunched up yarn
toward the ball as you work? Do I need to try to keep it from
happening altogether, since I don't know how this is going to
affect the stitches as I knit them? If I keep doing it, the yarn
starts to wind on itself... and sometimes I just knit the
bunched yarn once in awhile, hoping that it doesn't leave a
large hole later.


Denise - Dunno if you can manage this, but here's my experience with

Homespun.
(which I love, btw. finicky, but gorgeous.)

The main problem is that it's very similar to an unspun roving corkscrewed
loosely around a super-fine base thread...and both strands are slippery

fiber.
So they slide against each other. The thick strand doesn't have anything

to
lock it into place along that core thread - like a third ply, which would

help
a lot. But Homespun doesn't have that 3rd ply that would be so helpful. Or

a
fuzzy core thread to hang on to. So the thick strand has the ability to

move;
and boy, does it move.

I've found this means if you keep much tension on the yarn as you knit,

you run
into the problems you're having. What happens is that the 'unspun' part
sliiiides along that core thread; thus the bunching problem. Personally,

I've
found with yarns that do this, if you keep trying to pull the 'bunch'

towards
the ball, before you finish that ball you'll end up with a huge, knotted

mess.
Especially with the yardage in Homespun! Then you'll have to cut it, pull

out
the bunched length, cut off the excess where it goes beyond the core

strand,
and re-attach the end from the ball. A real pain! Not to mention a waste

of
yarn. But there are ways to avoid this.

I knit loosely - both with my stitches, and in the way I tension yarn - so

I
don't have quite so much of a problem with Homespun. But even so, I run

into
the a mild version of the same problems. Here's what I do:

--When pulling out more yarn from the skein, *don't* slide it through your

hand
in any way. You'll just be bunching it up. Pinch the yarn strand so the

two
plies *don't move* in relation to each other, and then pull out your next
length to knit with. If you pull out several yards at once into a pile,

and
rearrange the yarn so it doesn't get tangled, be careful how you handle

it.
That's where I usually 'bunch' it. When I knit, I habitually pull out

about 5
yards of yarn at a time so I don't have to do it so often. g I'm usually
pulling with one hand, and have the other closed lightly around the yarn

so it
doesn't tangle as I pull - what I call 'stripping'. This, pretty

obviously, can
cause major bunching in 'slidey' yarns. So with Homespun, I just let it

rest in
the hand I'm not pulling with; no pressure on the yarn! And naturally,

when
doing this the loose yarn gets piled up on top of the working end; if you

don't
reverse that pile, it's gonna tangle like crazy. So then I 'strip' in the
opposite direction, to re-pile it so the working end is on top of the

loose
stuff - carefully. Although *light* pressure when doing the second

stripping
can help even out any bunching, by sliding the excess back towards your
knitting. That's the one instance where you might want to actually hold

onto it
a bit as it runs through your hand/fingers. You'll have to judge for

yourself,
if you do pull out yarn like that. (rather confused explanation there, I

hope
you get the idea... I'm presuming I'm not the only person around who likes

to
get more than a few measly inches loose from a pull-skein so I can keep
knitting. maybe someone else can give a better description. g)

--Don't try to tension the yarn too much while knitting. Hold it as

loosely as
possible while still keeping it under control. It should flow through your
fingers very easily, under hardly any pressure - if it doesn't, it's gonna
bunch. If you're a knitter who winds yarn through your fingers to tension

it,
or you wrap it around a finger, try to stop that while using Homespun.

Find
some other way of holding it. Sorry, no suggestions, I only use the thumb

and
first 2 fingers of my hand to hold yarn when I knit, and I'm a thrower.

Never
have gotten the hang of that 'over the index' finger thing so popular in
knitting books; I find it impossible to knit that way! g

--Don't pull the bunched up yarn *towards* the ball - pull it *away* from

the
ball, to even it out. Pulling towards the ball just increases the problem.
Again, pinch the yarn beyond where it's bunched up, and gently pull the

thick
strand towards your knitting between a couple of fingers of your other

hand, to
'un-bunch' it. Keep an eye on your yarn and do this whenever it starts

bunching
up. This way you'll still have some bunching, but you'll smooth most of it

out;
and it won't be really noticeable in the body of your work. Yes, you'll be
doing it frequently - but it's better than masses of snarls every 10 yards

or
so.

--If you knit tightly, next time go up a needle size or two. Or three.

Yarns
like Homespun aren't really made for tight knitting - they can't handle

the
tension, even if you *hold* them loosely. Knitting them tight will mean

the
yarn still gets a lot of tension on it as you do an actual stitch. That
contributes to that thick strand sliding along and bunching. I know this
doesn't help *now* - you're in the middle of the lapghan, for heaven's

sake!
g So what you'll have to do is try to knit as loosely as you can without
changing gauge too much. Yeah, I know. Gack.

Aside from those specifics, the basic idea is to handle it lightly. I know

it
looks like this hefty, sturdy yarn, but the actual construction, the way

it's
engineered, is delicate. Not that it's going to break - but it'll slide.
Corkscrew yarns are gorgeous. But unless the core strand is hairy so the
wrapped strand has something to grab onto, they're not the most stable of
yarns. Homespun's made of 'silky'-textured yarns, both plies; there's

nothing
to grab. Thus you have to treat it carefully. Neat yarn design in looks,

but a
tad iffy on the engineering aspects, from a spinner's point of view. If

it
was wool, you wouldn't have nearly as much bunching, because wool grabs.
Acrylic and polyester, though... If they'd made that fine strand a little
fluffy or something, the thick strand wouldn't slide so much because it'd

catch
more. That fine strand is the foundation of the yarn, and it's just not
designed quite right to be as useful as it should be.

That being said, I repeat - I love Homespun. Once I figured out what the
problem was, I was able to adapt, and rarely have problems with it. But it

does
take a little practice!

Good luck,
Monica
CMMPDX2 at aol
remove 'eat.spam' to email me
---------
"No, that isn't me you saw - I'm not here, I'm incognito!" (Me, Myself &

I)
Support our Troops!!
http://www.wtv-zone.com/kjsb/bataan.html





-----= Posted via Newsfeeds.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
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-----== Over 100,000 Newsgroups - 19 Different Servers! =-----
  #9  
Old January 8th 04, 03:09 PM
CMM PDX2
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Denise wrote:

Thanks Monica! You knew exactly the frustration I was having.
I knew it was because of that core thread, but was afraid that
since it was my first time trying to use Homespun that it would
leave huge holes in my knitting. It's going much better now. I
really don't like blankets that feel this airy and fluffy though... but
I hope it will still be warm. It's a lapghan for my dad.


You're welcome, Denise! Glad to hear it's going better, good luck with it.

I know what you mean about airy blankets. I like to feel some weight, myself.
As to warmth - well, if you've happened to read any of my OT posts about Oregon
rain and our current weather up here... the one time I went out in our current
nasty weather, I wore a hat and scarf made from Homespun, knitted on US #10
needles; and yep, they were nice and warm!

Let us know how the lapghan turns out, ok?

Monica


CMMPDX2 at aol
remove 'eat.spam' to email me
---------
"No, that isn't me you saw - I'm not here, I'm incognito!" (Me, Myself & I)
Support our Troops!!
http://www.wtv-zone.com/kjsb/bataan.html
 




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