Sunday, January 24, 2010

Mitten Progress and Other Things

The Elbistan mitten is coming along nicely; I'm really pleased with how it's knitting up. As of this morning, I've taken the stitches for the thumb off the needles and they're waiting on waste yarn.

It takes a little while to see the pattern emerging, but now that it's very visible, the knitting is a little easier to read.

Sandie commented that the new Knit Picks catalogue is all about colour. She's right! And, speaking personally, this catalogue is a keeper! Included in this catalogue is a full page spread showing all of the KP Palette colours, which can also be found here. I've downloaded the .jpg to my computer, but it's nice to have it in a hard copy as well, just for inspiration, and we know that it's all about the inspiration, right? I've already chosen a couple of combinations with patterns in mind; that's down the road, though. I have enough to work on right now.

Speaking of inspiration, I was online this morning and came across lucets, a tool for making braid. Following the Google trail, I watched a couple of You Tube videos on how to use lucets and realized that it is, in essence, identical to spool knitting except that you're only using two prongs, rather than the four or more used in spool knitting. I'd like to try it, but I haven't come across anything in the apartment that I could use to improvise a lucet. I may just walk over to the dollar store in a while to see if there's anything there I could use.

Once I explored lucets, I remembered that my book on Norwegian knits has instructions on how to make a kumihimo braid, so I decided to try that. Once again, I made use of Google and found a You Tube video on kumihimo braiding. With the book and the video, I've started a braid, just for the fun of it. It is SO simple! And it's sturdy! This would make an excellent drawstring. Depending on the yarn, string, or ribbon used, you could come up with some amazing cords for all kinds of purposes.

The picture above is the kumihimo loom, basically just a circular piece of cardboard, with a hole in the middle and slits cut into the edge, all the way around. I have eight strands of yarn, 4 of blue and 2 each of purple and green. Basically, all you're doing is moving the strands from one side to the other in a specific order. The result?

I know it's a little difficult to see in this picture, but if you click on the picture, you should get the full sized version. I'm really pleased with this little bit of cord; the process is very simple and rhythmic. Now, I'll be thinking of applications for cords! One website even mentioned that the cords could be used for shoelaces; I suppose if you used finer yarn or thread (crochet cotton perhaps?), you certainly could!

Learning something new is so much fun!


  1. Oh, I used to do a lot of the kumihimo cords, although I'm not sure I used that name for it. I made a loom out of a yogurt container lid, it's a bit sturdier than cardboard.

  2. You could try a fork as a substitute lucet, using just the outer 2 tines to wrap the yarn around. Although I have to say it's a bit fiddly and a lucet is much easier, it is good to see how you get on at first though.

    Enjoy lucet braiding, it's fun & very useful

    Love the blog