Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Chat Back for November 6

Responding to comments left since the last time I did Chat Back.

Kristieinbc asked . . .
I have a question about knitting with alpaca. I love its softness and warmth, but tend to stay away from using it because I have heard it does not hold its shape very well. Can you knit something like a basic hat with a ribbed edge and have the ribbing hold up, or will it eventually stretch out big enough to fit a giant?
Ribbing is useless when knitting with alpaca. Alpaca ribbing has no elasticity and flattens out to the same gauge it would have been if it were stockinette.

Alpaca stitch definition is subtle. Care must be taken when knitting a pattern with cables. A large washed swatch is necessary to avoid disappointment in sizing as the cables will also flatten out and make the garment wider than cabled wool.

The key to knitting with alpaca is to pick your patterns with "flatten out" in mind and plan accordingly.

I would not knit a 100% alpaca hat. An alpaca scarf worn next to the tender skin of the neck would be heavenly and warm.

Carrie asked . . .
I read that Shirley Jackson book (We Have Always Lived in the Castle) many years ago...worth reading again? I don't remember anything about it other than it was eerie.
Not unless you like reading books with no actual plot except to document two crazy women who kill people.

It is very well written. There is probably some artistic and/or literary value to this book that I am too left-brained to appreciate.

Jean asked . . .
What wondrous photos, that bird is so sweet looking, what are it's characteristics?

Junco are sparrow sized seed eaters who hang out under feeders and eat the scattered seed off the ground. They come down from Northern Michigan and Canada to spend the winter with us in SW Michigan, October through May. Nesting is done in their northern home.

I love what Katherine wrote about Juncos in her comment:
My son, now 25, first saw Juncos at the feeders when he was around 3 yrs. old. He forgot their exact name, and called them the garbage birds. When I told him again I remember he said that garbage worked too because they were always on the ground eating the seed that the other birds had tossed off.

Sherilan asked . . .
I have a repair question...My daughter wore her brand new socks one day and snagged them - broken stitch. I have yarn to match - what is the best way to fix this hole? Thanks.
I have no repair skills. I've never seen a repair done well enough to inspire me to learn.

If this were my problem and I wanted to fix the broken stitch, I would frog the sock back to the hole, join the yarn together and reknit.

Judy S. asked . . .
I had no idea you had salmon in MI! Where do they spawn?
The Great Lakes are full of various kinds of salmon and they spawn in the rivers and creeks.

Just in case that's not enough, and it isn't, we have state run fish hatcheries to keep the game fish plentiful. One is about a mile from where I live.

That about covers my fish knowledge. I can't tell one species from another. I just know that in the autumn there are big fish swimming upstream through our property. Some of them look totally beat up and occasionally one will throw itself up on the muddy bank to die. If I'm lucky I'll find it before a dog rolls in it.


kristieinbc said...

Thanks for answering my question about the alpaca. It is what I had feared. It just feels like it would make such a lovely, soft creation to go on one's head. If the yarn is a mix of alpaca and wool I am assuming it would be okay to knit into a hat.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! If you can catch the Salmon, it is known as the perfect food, "brain" food in fact. I had never eaten fresh Salmon before I went to Seattle about 30 years ago. I ate it every day for 30 days.(vbg) All we had at that time was canned salmon. Now I eat it as often as I can afford to buy it.(LOL)

Alwen said...

We had one up our tiny tiny creek a couple of years ago. I have no idea how it got that far - just past our driveway, our creek starts out as a couple of seeps or tiny springs.

The salmon don't look very edible by the time they get up here, they're so beat up.

Carrie said...

Thanks for answering my question about the Shirley Jackson book...think I'll pass!
I recently read a book I found inspiring: The Find by Kathy Page...not entirely 'upbeat,' by any means, but the heroine exudes bravery, grace and wisdom.

Jan said...

I made a black alpaca hat for my son several years ago. All moss stitch apart from the decreases at the top. It hasn't changed shape at all. Australian 8 ply alpaca from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

He loves it as it's very cosy and it's been worn a lot every winter..

Jan said...

Pictures of pink beret with ribbing and patterns in 8 ply alpaca arehere. I love this, and it's very easy to wear. I did sew some flat pieces of mother of pearl on later which look good. Not buttons but flat discs with one hole like a large sequin.

Black hat picture is here. Hat shows as grey but is black.

Rita said...

This is for Sherilan,

You can learn to repair any knitted item. the duplicate stitch is used for this. I am sure you can google for it, if you cannot find it, you can e-mail me Etoile700@gmail.com

NMjewel said...

Sock repair. I've repaired a few: The latest I wore and wore, even though there was a huge hole in both heels. Eventually I picked up stitches several rows from the hole, and knitted a flap/patch to cover. I somehow managed to pick up a stitch at the sides of the flap to secure it, and although it looks crazy, I have heels again. (They are my favorite, warmest, crazy socks...)