Stop! Gerty Time!

February 9, 2010 at 9:24 am | Posted in Gertrude goings on | 1 Comment
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This week I turn my cotton wool sharp mind to some questions posed on via confused knitters on my blog.

Dear Gertrude

Could you please help as I am trying to knit a hooded scarf for the first time and there is a piece which I am not sure what it means.

K9, P4, wrap 4, P2, [K1, P1] (4), K1, P2, wrap 4, P4, K9

I know the basics of knitting but do not understand wrap 4, could you please help me.

Many thanks

You wouldn't like her when she's angry

My dear Kim, wrapping is a skill which eludes many knitters, even the more advanced. And I can indeed give guidance.

You want to learn how to wrap? Well, you hip-hop, and you don’t stop. However, I’m not entirely sure how that fits into your hooded scarf. Is it a hoodie scarf?  Are you going to wrap in your hoodie?  Are you mocking old auntie Gerty with your modern music and new-fangled clothing? I am outraged, I tell you! Different sort of wrap?! Don’t believe you!

My advice to you my dear is to simply abandon this foolish musical neckwear endeavour and make a proper hat. You’ll never get into Bluewater with your hoodie.


Dear Gertrude

I have been searching the Internet for a solution to my problem and after many days I came across your web page. Can you help me, please? I have been struggling with this question for weeks and I am just about ready to abandon the sweater I am making.

I have been stumped about how to shape the neck on a ribbed raglan sweater.  I am so confused I am not even sure how to ask the question so I hope you can help me.

As I reached the instructions for shaping the neck I had 54 stitches on the needle.  Here are the instructions to shape the neck:

1. K2, ssk, pat across 10 stitches (neck edge). Turn.

Work back as follows: Dec 1 stitch @ neck edge on next 4 rows.

AT SAME TIME: Dec 1 stitch @ raglan edge as B4 on following alternating rows. 5 stitches remain.

Can you tell me row-by-row how to decrease in the pattern and which decrease stitches to use for the correct slant? I am enclosing a copy of the pattern so that you will know the pattern I have worked in.


Heeeeeeere's Gerty!

Ah, Judy, I see they have sent me a second knitting query this week. Do those Stitchettes not understand that my role is to provide their moral compass and lessons in life for you all.

I can’t knit! I don’t even have hands! How do they think I can work out these difficult technical questions?! I HAVE NO FINGERS TO COUNT YOUR DECREASES ON!

Do they expect me to do everything for them? I don’t have any blood, sweat or tears to give, I’d like to point out. Just my warm, acrylic heart.

They keep my in a cupboard, you know! In a plastic bag. And the Battenberg is stale and it’s all Tesco Value gin.


Stitchette edit: Oh dear, Gerty seems to be having a bit of a turn…

We’ll put her back in her bag, we mean cage, no room, definitely a room, with a nice bottle of Gordon’s and some fresh Battenburg. She’ll be back on top form to help again next week.

In the meantime, Kim – you may find some useful information on wrapping stitches in the sites listed in our guide to Knitting Help on the Net .

Judy, you may also find something useful there, but our quick tip to you right now is that a pad of squared paper is very useful for drawing out complicated decreases and yes, the maths does work for your pattern.


Are You a Man or a Yarn Swift?

November 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Posted in Gertrude goings on, Love and knitting | Leave a comment
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Gerty goes all Sergeant Major

Domestic strife over turning unruly skeins into something more managable? I give the knitting world a few tips on turning your other half into the yarn swift of your dreams.

Dear Gerty

Is there an easy way to wind a hank/skein of laceweight yarn into a useable ball without a yarn swift? All I have to help me wind it is a man. I don’t have a useful ballwinder.

Help please. I need to know how to alleviate his boredom from holding the skein and how to stop the pain in my hands after winding for so long,
Your devoted fan
Confused Claire

Dear Confused Claire. What a predicament. With no swift to tame your skeins what you need to do is tame your man. So here are a few suggestions on how to ensure more winding and less whining.

Option one: Tell him it’s a Wii fit game. Simply attach a wire to part of the skein and watch the concentration on his face as he tries to get bonus points for avoiding tangles.

Option two: Got a spinning desk chair?  Use the skein to tie him to the chair and spin him round as you wind the ball. You get a useful body to hold the skein tight on the chair. He gets a nice fairground ride.

Option three: Tell him it’s some kind of cage fighting endurance training and scream “WHAT KIND OF A MUMMY’S BOY ARE YA??!?!?” and “YOU’LL NEVER GET TO THE END OF THIS SKEIN, YOU ‘ORRIBLE SPECIMEN OF A MAN!!!” in his face while he is holding it so he doesn’t flag.

Option four: Tell him your last boyfriend/his dad/that bloke from accounts at work who you smiled at when he met you from work once could hold it up for hours.

If all else fails, Confused, perhaps you could leave his laptop browser open on a couple of nice swifts on eBay. Christmas is acomin’ after all.

Introducing Ms Gertrude Woolsworthy

September 25, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Posted in Gertrude goings on | Leave a comment
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She’s more than a big ball of yarn!

Gertude and Lauren

Gertude and Lauren

You may have seen her hanging about in the shadows of Stitch and Bitch London meetings, calmly meting out advice on the dos and don’ts of knitting etiquette, patiently talking you through that pesky slip slip knit, or stealing bits of your battenburg when you’re not looking.  Well, now you can be officially introduced.

Knitting world meet S&B London’s newest Stitchette: Gertrude Woolsworthy. She’s more than a big ball of yarn!

We first met her back in May 2009, when she came to us as part of a huge donation of yarn. We were awe-struck by her…her…well, just her! She was huge! She was pink! She was a ball of yarn!

Gertrude and Emmy

Gertrude and Emmy

Since then, we’ve discovered she’s more than that. She’s a problem solver extraordinaire. She’s honest and to the point. She tells it like it is and doesn’t pull her punches. She can fix the most hideous tangle, slap you silly if you’re feeling stitching unsureness, and drink most of us under the table without a thread out of place. We couldn’t miss this opportunity to make her the newest Stitchette.

Gertrude and Marion

Gertrude and Marion

Every fortnight, in the Stitch and Bitch London newsletter, Gertrude will be answering your yarn-related questions as only she knows how in Ask Gertrude.

If you have any problems you need a solution to, drop her a line and Gertrude will do her best to answer them.

Ask Gertude. Go on.

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