Thursday, 15 January 2015

Splice The Mainbrace!

Did you know that we spend most of or time in the house by the sea being pirates? It's just a fact of my life. I grew up in a sailing family, so I was well prepared. Sausages has his own Mirror dinghy, handed down from me and in a shocking state of repair. I'm hoping it will be seaworthy in time for him to start taking it out himself.

This week I did a little spit-splice, and it made Sausages' day, so I thought I might share it with you. This is the process of joining together two ends of yarn to make one continuous piece. This is particularly useful if you suddenly come to the end of a ball of yarn half way through a row (ahem), or hate sewing in ends, and it only works on animal fibres, because it is essentially felting.

First undo the plies for the end 3" or so of both pieces of yarn, and cut out half from each piece, to make the ends half thickness.

Lay the two pieces together so that the ends overlap, and the thinner bits overlap the thicker bits

Next apply friction and moisture (this is why it is called "spit splicing," although obviously you could just use water. If you have a four year old handy they will definitely volunteer to help with this bit). Wet the yarn and roll vigorously between your palms until you can no longer see the join. Give it a little tug, go on! It's all the one now.

Here is my slightly clumsy splice before and after knitting in to the work. I promise that it usually looks better than this! What mostly shows in my work is that my stockinette in the round is ruined by my purl stitches in the short rows, oops!

This week's knitting is the second of my Lego Mitts, another Work In Progress making a desperate bid for Finished Object status. I hope to have it finished before the 19th of January because I have signed up for Ysolda Teague's Follow Your Arrow 2. A bit ambitious, since I haven't finished Follow Your Arrow 1 yet, but I will have finished two items from the long-term WIP pile before I finish it, so I'm treating myself, and I'm completely in love with the format. Here are the many reasons:

1. It's a Knit-A-Long, so lots of other people are knitting it at the same time as me, which is nice and companionable. The first one was very popular and I felt very cool joining in!

2. It's a Mystery KAL, with clues being released once a week. I have no idea what the finished object will look like, other than that it is a shawl, knit in 4-ply somewhere around the specified gauge.

3. Ysolda provides two options to choose from in each clue, so there are 32 possible clue combinations, not allowing for colour combinations. This excites me no end!

I'm still reading Unconditional Parenting. It turns out that using my time after the boys have gone to sleep to read has been the hardest intention to follow. I have only managed it once or twice. I feel so tired that I can't bring myself to go and get my book. We've been ill in the last week, and I feel like I'm walking through treacle all the time. I must make more of an effort with this, for my sanity. I'm really enjoying listening to Margery Allingham's The Black Dudley Murder in the car. It's just about not unsuitable for the boys.

We had a special 1st birthday this week, and since I know you love my halfhearted cake decoration, here is his cake. Sausages and I discussed at length what Bob's favourite things are,and settled on a staircase. There was a purple step, but I burnt it. Ahem.

Linking up with Ginny's Yarn Along and Nicole's Keep Calm Craft On, so do head over to see what everyone else is making. And if you feel like sharing pics of your slapdash cake decorating to boost morale, that would be lovely too!

Take care,



  1. Thank you for such a great idea. I will be sure to use this technique in my knitting!

  2. my grands love the spitting part, too!!!! (I must admit, I've gone more to the Russian join lately, but both are good!!!!!) Cute cake....and I had missed the new follow the arrow knitalong.....I did the last one, and hugely enjoyed it. HMMMMMMM. Maybe?!?

    1. Ooh I've never done a russian join, I'll give it a try. I'd love to be knitting the same pattern as you Steph!

  3. You're a braver woman than me, I like to know what I'm knitting.

  4. That book looks really interesting! I will have to pick it up...of course I have quite a few already in my "to read" pile...I also have no ability to do those mystery KALs...I need to know what I am making, so that when I finish it 3 years later I know what I am working towards :-) OK, so clearly I can't do any KAL because it takes me so long to knit one thing!