Sunday, 4 January 2009

More tunisian swatching

I guess I should start by wishing any who read this a Happy New Year - I hope that so far, 2009 is working out for you.

For us, the new year started with Coventry plunging into the deep freeze. As anyone who knows me could tell you, I do not cope well with cold at all, so when temperatures drop to an alleged -7C I shut down. I can have the heating on at full pelt, wrap in many layers, wear copious amounts of wool on my hands and feet, but I'm still going to be freezing. Take those mitts or socks off and you'll find my hands or feet are like ice! I dread to think how I'd cope if I lived in a truly cold country...

When not paralyzed by the cold, I've been pottering around the house doing the housework and becoming reacquainted with my spindle. But when the cold hits I've resorted to sitting bundled up on the sofa, hugging a hotwater bottle and crocheting or knitting.

On the spindle at the moment, I've got the pastel merino I bought last year from Violet Green. Progress so far is slow, as my hands seem to have forgotten how to spin and the merino handles very differently to either Blue Faced Leicester or Grey Swaledale. It's draw length is notably shorter for a start, which meant that the first time I started working it, the spindle kept crashing to the floor.

Now, after a bit of practice and relearning how to use the spindle, things are slowly coming together. I did consider taking a photograph, but to be honest the pastel colours are very muted once tightly spun into a single and I'm not sure I could do it justice. In the end, I decided to work it a little more before I try to take a picture and see if I can play with the contrast levels a bit.

When unable to get quite so active, I've been making more Tunisian Crochet swatches as I continue trying out the various standard foundation stitches.

Here we have the Tunisian Simple Stitch (Tss) which is also known as Afghan Stitch, Tricot Crochet or Knit Stitch. This is usually the stitch meant whenever a book or pattern refers to Tunisian Crochet, or gives a simple overview of the technique. It really is quite simple to do and works up speedily, giving a grid like effect (which apparently Victorian ladies used as a base for their cross stitch).

Next up, the Tunisian Full Stitch (Tfs) which produces a dense, lofty fabric which is very, very prone to curl. On all of these swatches I've used a 5.5mm hook with a basic DK yarn, so that's three hook sizes up from the recommended hook and as you probably see from the photo, this swatch wants to curl up really badly.

Finally, the Tunisian Purl Stitch (Tps) which is the flatest of the basic foundations - note it's just sitting on the table without me needing to spread it out so I can see the stitch pattern. The fabric itself is dense, but not as lofty as the other stitches. It does have actual drape and while I find the hook gymnastics needed to form the stitch really awkward, I like the effect.

Back to work tomorrow and therefore back to real life, computers 9 til 6 and no where near so much time for playing with yarn.


  1. Just realised the red socks on my blog were knitted with Patons Diploma Gold which has 45% wool in, not Sirdar country style (got the labels mixed up ) But countrystyle is lovely to work with too. See you tomorrow night?

  2. FibreclaireUK - thanks for the correction on the yarn. Patons Diploma Gold is now on my mental list of good 4 ply's and regardless of the yarn used, they're a fine pair of socks! :)

    And yep, I certainly intend to be there tomorrow night and hope you're well enough to make it.