Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Slimy Little Secrets

I haven't been knitting long, but since I learned how to perl and opened the door to the wonderful world of two needles and yarn, I've been surfing the web gathering bits and pieces of information.

Noro Yarn, knitting socks and felting your knitting are very in. Some patterns are written in cryptic text abreviations and some are drawn in even more cryptic symbols on graphs. Frog means to unravel knitting, as inspired by, "Rip it, rip it," and to tink is not to tinker, it's to unknit or knit backwards. Boy, have I been doing a whole lot of both of those.

Knitting is a way cool site. They have videos of how to do things -- in both English/American and Continental. It was good to find out I'm not the only person who holds the yarn in her left hand and to see how others do it.

One of the coolest/weirdest things I've learned about is "spit splicing."

If you're using the right yarn, it's got to be wool or other animal fiber and it cannot be treated to make it washable, you can work magic with a little spit and elbow grease.

First you untwist a couple inches of the yarn plies and take half of them away. My terribly sophisticated technique is to rub one blade of my scissors back and forth over the place I want to cut until it breaks away all raggedy -- you want and need that fuzzy stuff.

Then you wrap the two unraveled ends over each other and spit on 'em good.
Put the soggy yarn in the palm of one hand and rub the other hand back and forth over it like you were trying to give it (what the kids in my neighborhood called) an Indian Burn. It gets real hot.

Bingo! One strand of yarn where once there were two! And it's tough, it doesn't easily pull apart. The texture is not as soft as the un-spat-upon yarn, but when it's knit, who can tell... Here it is knit into the red scarf. It's not easy to find. It's way neater than weaving in the ends.

You can do it with just plain water too, but that just doesn't tickle my perversity. I get an evil little jolly out of knowing somebody's wearing my spit.

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