machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Better to make it into a hotpad than eat it!

Stash put to a useful purpose! I have a lot of cotton yarn. Like cones and cones of it. So I made some hotpads with it--like the Christmas ones I did a few months ago. To make sure they would really protect hands from burning, I cut a same sized square of "Insulbrite" and tacked it down in the center before seaming. They turn out fairly thick and substantial. The many long floats actually help with insulation and you don't really have to do anything with them since they're hidden on the inside. After seaming I give them a shot of steam---cotton can take a lot of heat---and this way the floats are set.

I've made several now and the size that seems to work best is 71 stitches x 170 rows on the standard gauge machine. Couldn't tell you the number for the yarn weight but it's a couple of strands of thinnish yarn for each color. I start and end with waste yarn. Remove from machine. Rehang with right side facing me and push to the back of the bed. I bring up the other end and hang in the hooks of the needles. With a straight edge, I push the front stitches through the back and then bind off with the latch tool around the gate pegs. Like in sewing, this puts right sides together and the bottom seam is hidden on the inside. I did a couple of them doing a kitchener stitch closing on the ends, but it took too long. The side seams are mattress stitched after the lining is tacked down.

The internet has some clever kitchen sayings if you care to make some. Just Google "funny sayings" or something like that and you'll get a ton. DAK makes it easy to design and download them. To make them quick to knit, use all capital letters so you don't have to wrap the sides of the words. This one isn't that funny, but belies the Norwegian-American heritage. I have read that this tradition of eating lutefisk and lefse at Christmas came over to this country with the poor (monetarily poor) immigrants and that most people in Norway wouldn't touch lutefisk. In our family, it became a traditional Christmas Eve dinner and you had to have just one bite to make it through the coming year. The lefse is awesome, though. Strangely enough, or maybe to prevent starvation, we also had Swedish meatballs for the Christmas Eve dinner! That lutefisk is awful stuff---like fish jelly---but the butter made up for it a little.

PS For those NOT in the know..."lefse" rhymes with "betcha", both being two syllable words doncha know.