Procrastination and German Short Rows

Hello my name is Áine and I am a crafting procrastinator.   How many of us can say say the same?  I spend an inordinate time lookjng for my next project (even though my Ravelry queue is bursting at the seams).  I get an idea into my head and run with it, but at a snail’s pace I may add! 

So what happened was I had an urge to make a fine lace shawl and I have some beautiful laceweights in my stash, two different colours of Manos Lace, Drops Garnstudio Lace, Anniken Allis’ YarnAddict BFL Dream Lace, custom dyed as part of her Lace Lovers Club (which I highly recommend) and a beautiful Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in a deep Cadbury purple, that was given to me as a gift last Christmas as part of a gift exchange.   I decided to use my Fyberspates and after much searching,  debating and gnashing of teeth I decided to knit Paulina Popiolek’s African Queen after reading through the instructions I saw that the shawl is shaped with short rows.  Now if you have ever used Fyberspates Scrumptious you will know that it is on the finer end of laceweight with a put up of 1000m/100g.  So I was concerned, given how fine the yarn was that any wraps made, would be highly visible, not a good look for a fine shawl, I may add.  l so I went on an internet search for the best short row techniques for shawls and quite surprisingly given the amount of information out there on short rows, there’s meagre pickings on using short rows on fine shawls.  After reading said pickings I came across the German short row technique and I have to say I’m very impressed!  This is the neatest, tidiest short row technique I’ve seen!  Even the Japanese short rows look sloppy compared with this!  Here is a link to the YouTube video and you can see for yourself. 

German Short Row Tutorial on YouTube

So what do you think?  Cool or what?  What short row technique do you use, in general and for fine lace?

I have been also working on the sweetest little piece of stitching for my Mum, which is the reason I’ve been MIA.  I promise I’ll post my FO very soon.  I can’t wait to see my Mum’s reaction!  She has no idea I’m doing it, it’s not for any occasion, just a little surprise 🙂

Happy crafting folks ♥


Free Sweaterbabe Pattern

So I’m quite a fan of Sweaterbabe, I really like her knits,  I think the detail that she puts in, sets it apart from just your ordinary knit.  I’ve had her Flutter Sleeved Blousy Cardigan in my very long, unrealistic queue for quite some time now,  all I need is to pluck up the courage to knit it as it’s rated advanced on the Sweaterbabe website, although on Ravelry it’s given a medium hardness rating by the people who have knit it previously,  which would make me more comfortable attempting it, as by no stretch of the imagination am I an advanced knitter!  Sweaterbabe has a monthly newsletter and every month there is a free pattern contained within (there is also a paid subscription,  so make sure if you’re signing up that you’re on the right list).  This month it is the sweetest little baby hat and considering I’ve just became a Great Aunt again and a few of my friends are pregnant, I thought this was very apt and maybe helpful if you are in the middle of a baby boom, like I seem to be!

Diamond Baby Hat

You better move quick though, the free download is only available until 30/01/2014 and then the pattern is chargeable.

Mini Tip for Blocking Gloves and Mitts

One thing I adore is the magic of blocking.   I love seeing the transformation of an ugly duckling knit into a beautiful swan!  Blocking reveals the beauty of lace, evens out stitches and you can even eek out a few cms if your sleeves are too short etc.  I am a massive fan and advocate of blocking and I block absolutely everything I knit or crochet no matter what it is, what fibre it contains, how awkward it is or how many thousand pins I use!

So that brings me to today’s post, blocking gloves and mitts.  I used to pin my gloves and mitts out flat but like blocking hats flat it done the job but could have looked so much better.   So of course, true to character,  I mulled this over until I came up with a workaround.  OK, now this isn’t the invention of the century or it won’t revolutionise the knitting world and I am sure someone else has already thought of this but it is a good tip nevertheless.  Like using a plate to block berets or a balloon to block beanies there is also an ordinary household item to help you block gloves or mitts; rubber gloves!  Here’s how:

●  Prepare your knit by either soaking or steaming, whatever is applicable for your fibre
●  Use a rubber glove that fits your hands perfectly with no tightness or looseness
●  Put the rubber gloves on and wash thoroughly, otherwise your knit will smell of rubber gloves!  You can do this by just washing your hands as normal but with the rubber gloves on.  It’s up to you, whether you want to use soap or washing up liquid
●  Dry the rubber gloves, make sure at this stage that no smell has remained, re-wash if necessary
●  Put your soaked/steamed gloves or mitts on over the rubber gloves
●  Take the gloves off and blow them up to the size of your hand.  Don’t blow them up to capacity otherwise you’ll end up with the palm part too big.  Just blow them up enough that it looks natural.  Either tie them off at the bottom, twist and tape them or use clips that you get with the type of freezer bag that holds liquids, any way that you find to stop the air escaping is good.
●  Put them somewhere safe and leave to dry.

You could use water instead of the air but I would be nervous the rubber gloves would leak!  If you knit a lot of gloves/mitts, you might find it easier to make a more permanent set of blocking rubber gloves as eventually no matter what the air will escape.   You could do this by filling them with rice or sand (though they would be heavy), toy filling, old tights etc.

Hope this helps you and let me know if you have found any novel ways of blocking

The Elemental World

News, extras, and more about the Elemental Mysteries and Elemental World series


contemporary fantasy and paranormal romance

The Walker Treasury Project

A pooling of efforts to illustrate, in color, all five of the Walker treasuries

Deidra Alexander's Blog

I have people to kill, lives to ruin, plagues to bring, and worlds to destroy. I am not the Angel of Death. I'm a fiction writer.

Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction...To Yarn

Bloomin' Workshop

... making things

Fall from Grace Crafts

A blog on my craft journey highs and lows...

The Creative Pixie

eat up from crafty goodness with this creative mama

Love Those "Hands at Home"

Celebrating the Human Touch

Remily Knits

Thoughtful Patterns for Avid Knitters

Sew4Home - Transform Your Space

The craft exploits of a wannabe craft queen

tales of ted and agnes

The craft exploits of a wannabe craft queen

blog – Cath Kidston

The craft exploits of a wannabe craft queen

the twisted yarn

Knitting, crochet, running, and silliness.