Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

09 November 2007

Crazy Stuff

Here's my recipe for knitting 20 stitches per inch: size 70 Oren Bayan tatting cotton, one pair of Havel's #6-0 tatting needles (0.85 mm), near-sighted eyes or a good magnifier. (This is one of the times when I am extremely grateful to be so near-sighted. It's like wearing Mag-Eyes all the time.)

My mind boggles at the thought of the 2600+ stitches at this gauge in the Dutch petticoat!

I bought two of the sets of six tatting needles in order to get pairs to knit with, and the larger sizes match pretty well: #3-0, 1.6 mm. #4-0, 1.3 mm. #5-0, 1.08 mm. #6-0, 0.85 mm.

But the smaller sizes (#7 and #8) were all over the map: 0.60 mm, 0.53 mm, 0.46 mm and 0.45 mm.

I also bought a pair of their 7" doll needles (two for $1.75), and those are 1.21 mm, so just a bit thinner than a 4-0 knitting needle. (I didn't buy the 9" because those are much thicker.)

If I start trying to knit with the #8 tatting needles, somebody please thump me!

If you are trying to gauge needles like this, which don't fit in any needle gauge in the world, and you don't have a micrometer, you can use the quick-and-dirty newspaper needle gauge. It won't tell you what size the needles are, but it lets you sort them by relative size, from smaller to bigger.

That is, take a piece of fairly soft paper, and jab one needle through it to make a hole. (Hint: put the piece of paper on a styrofoam cup or foam meat tray, NOT your thigh. Owie.)

Now take the next needle and see how it fits through that hole: if it is loose, it is bigger than needle #1. If it fits exactly, they are the same. If it forces the hole bigger, it is larger. That's how I sorted these out by size before I had anything to measure them.

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Blogger amy said...

Have you found the historic knitting group on Ravelry yet? Sounds like you might enjoy it...

10:32 AM  
Blogger DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

Are you going to claim insanity when the guys in the white coats come to get you?? How can you see those stitches?? BTW love the colors LOL... This is a sickness...

11:59 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I said it once, and I'll say it again. You're insane. That's not a bad thing, but it bears repeating.

Thanks for the info, though. I'll relay it to the metallurgist along with everything else. It convinces me, even more, that steel knitting needles HAD to be used. I'm even speculating, now, about whether larger gauges were developed simply because people couldn't afford the small steel needles. (Those English 'acorn' hats from the 1500s could have been knit on wood.)

This is where I say oooh, now my brain's off on a million new ideas. Darn you for making me think!

2:36 PM  
Blogger Bells said...

ok, so how did you avoid getting puncture wounds? I get them with 2mm DPNs. It'd be a certainty with anything smaller than that!

Oh and yeah, you're insane, but in such an admirable way.

1:38 AM  

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