Sunday, June 27, 2010

27 June 2010

I'd like to talk about moths and dispel any myths of what will act as a repellent. I'm probably going to make some people mad and worry some others of you but the facts are facts. I talked with a conservator and got the following information.

The best repellent is clean. Never put wool away dirty. So that means that your winter sweaters are washed (not dry cleaned) before they are stored for the summer. No need to worry about the yarn you bought. It is clean.

All of the nice smelling repellents are just that - nice smelling and nothing more. They do not repel. Sorry! Neither do cedar-lined closets. The reason that the hope chest works so well is that it seals tightly - not the cedar.

Let's think about what clothing moths' larvae want outside of some dirty hair to eat. They like warm, dark and undisturbed places - think closet. If you have a window in your closet (like we do and my grandmothers had) you will probably never be bothered. Most modern homes don't have windows in the closet so now you have the warm and dark. If you put your winter sweaters out of the way in the closet, you now have the last piece - undisturbed.

Many yarns have a repellent built into the dye. The compound called Mitin FF is put into the bath of dye at the same time the yarn is being dyed. It binds to the wool just like the dye does and does not rub off. Follow the link if you want more information.

Products using Mitin FF are marked as such or state that they are "Mothproofed". This is not new. Mitin FF has been used for many years.

My next blog will have some solutions for the moth problem.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

16 June 2010

I know, I know. It has been awhile since my last blog.

I had a great time entertaining Phillipa Turnbull before and after her crewel workshop. Phillipa gave a great powerpoint presentation on the history of crewel. Boy, was I surprised. I now know much more about the progression of crewel through English history and why the designs are like they are. Fascinating!

I will post pictures of the workshop as soon as Lyn has a moment to transfer the photos to me. I forgot (and now can't find) my small camera.

Both Lyn and I are working on the Victorian Peony piece that Phillipa used as her teaching model. Stop by when you have a moment and see what we are doing. We both know, now, how to make perfect french knots!

Friday, June 4, 2010

4 June 2010

If you knit with a single-ply (also known as "singles") yarn, your work can easily become biased. By that I mean your knitted piece will either lean to the left \ or the right / depending on the twist or, which side you're looking at. It will might not be square.

This isn't usually a problem unless your yarn is tightly spun. Tightly spun singles tend to bias more than ones that are loosely spun. The problem with loosely spun yarns is that they tend to be more prone to pilling and loose shape easily. But, the singles yarns feel lusciously soft. Some of the nicest yarns being milled these days are single ply.

All of these problems can be easily overcome with your stitches. Using a stitch pattern that uses both knits a purls will usually solve the biasing problem. As far as the pilling and loosing shape, just drop down a needle size. Knitting the fabric just a touch tighter will give the yarn less room to move around and yield nicer shaping and reduce the pilling to almost nothing.

Simple solutions to vexing problems.