Monday, April 11, 2011

Amish Knitting

Okay, there's really nothing Amish about this post other than the fact that the things I'm going to talk about originated from Amish Land! Otherwise known as Lancaster, PA. I went there this weekend with my family and can you guess what I found?! That's right, a YARN SHOP! It was my first destination. I dragged the whole family there, straight from the three-hour car ride from New York. To be honest, this weekend in Amish Country involved a lot more shopping than Amish, but I am not complaining. I got a lot of cool stuff, and I got to ride in a buggy to boot!

So first allow me to present my lovely yarn store finds.....

Knit One, Crochet Too Crock-O-Dye. 416 yards, fingering weight, 65% superwash wool, 20% nylon, 15% silk.

This is a really pretty yarn. It's very soft, and it is painted in shades of gorgeous pink. I do love my pink. This wasn't a hard one to choose.

Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks. 436 yards, 80% superwash wool, 20% nylon. To be honest, what most appealed to me about this yarn was the fact that it was 436 yards of sock yarn in one ball, winding not needed!! I realize that's a stupid reason. But these will make cute socks. I have never actually made myself a pair of socks-- well, I have, Karira, but I've never worn them because they're too nice. So I've never made myself a pair of wearable socks. And there are a few cute patterns on Ravelry that I would like to try. So, could be a cute project! Took me a loong time to choose the colorway. In the past I've bought yarn that didn't immediately appeal to me color-wise because I thought to myself, "Hey, maybe I'll make something for (some other person) and they would not like to have bright pink socks like I personally would prefer. And I don't have any brown yarn. So I'll get this nice, sedate brown." But what ends up happening is a few months later I'm like, "Yuck, I hate this brown, why did I ever get it?", and so on. So I've decided to give up trying to shop for future projects for other people because I won't end up making them anyway, and from now on I will shop purely for myself.

Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, 550 yards. Ravelry claims it is worsted weight but it really doesn't seem like it. It seems much finer, like DK or sport. Definitely not worsted. But anyway, this one has a story. I originally just bought the two skeins pictured above, and walked out with a smile on my face. But I kept thinking about the above yarn because I used it once before and it was sooooooooooooooooooo gorgeous. I made this:

It's a little shrug that, to be honest, doesn't fit me so well. It's very small on me. But it's SO gorgeous-- the drape of this yarn is truly art. Doesn't wrinkle. Feels like water running through your fingers. I've worn it to some events. And I just love it. The color, the sparkles, everything. I bought that yarn after literally thirty minutes of deliberating because of the cost-- $44-- more than I had ever spent on a skein of yarn before in my life up to that point. But it was also the first truly premium yarn that I had used. I had bought pretty wool before, but it was also pretty scratchy. This was soft, such a pleasure to knit with, and beautiful.

So I went back and got it.

 Not a clue what I will use it for. But whatever it is, it will be beautiful.

I also got this cool contraption, at a crafty Amishy store where real Amish people buy stuff:
It's a snap-putter-on-er!


It squeezes real snaps onto fabric. I thought I could use it on my knitted iPod/blackberry cases to make them look more professional, since the sew-on snaps look kind of homemade and they never seem very secure. When we were still away I tested it on a shirt with the above results. The first try, however, ripped the fabric when I tried to unsnap the snap, because the fabric was too thin. It worked (above) when I did it on two layers of fabric.

 The doohickey can also make eyelets/grommets! See:

This was a way-cool feature. But the real question remained: would this work on knitted fabric? If not, then it could not do me much good.

 So today I attempted to put it on a wrap-around sweater that won't stay closed, with the following results:

You probably can't tell, but these are the destroyed prongs of at least a dozen snaps that I tried to snap on to the sweater. This was bad news. I would squeeze the gun thing on the knit fabric, but it simply wasn't creating a snap-- just bending all the prongs out of place and rendering them unusable. I was getting a little uneasy when I tried putting one of the little metal thingies in the OTHER way-- the opposite way advised on the packaging-- and it worked pretty much perfectly!

I tried it on a swatch from another project, just to make sure-- and it worked fine. Then I tried a grommet, but that didn't work as well:

Because putting in a grommet requires punching a hole in the fabric, it is not the best for knit stuff, which cannot really handle holes that well. I tried a few different things and I may have figured out a way I can do it-- if I insert the grommet through a natural gap in the fabric instead of punching a hole-- but it still rips the yarn a bit. If the metal grasps tightly enough to the yarn it's fine, but still risky.

However-- point is, I got it working and now it's a really cool tool to make my stuff look way professional!

I also worked on a hat I started a few days ago when I was away in Amishtown, and I finished it tonight:

I call it my "I'm Not Married Hat", because it really makes me look married, but it's very pretty and funky looking. Makes me seem all literary and cool (which of course I am, but this is not often obvious by my fashion choices). Still, if/when I wear it in Israel, it's as good as wearing a wedding ring and gaining thirty pounds. It screams MARRIED MARRIED MARRIED!!! I will have to be careful. Of course, it could also be useful in warding off the TONS of attention I get from religious guys hitting on me.... ha hahahahahahahhaha....haha. Hahaha. I guess it would be interesting to see if people treated me differently because of it. Maybe it can be my "Social Experiment Hat."

No comments:

Post a Comment