Sunday, 4 March 2012

Using the Makkin Belt

A Gansey for Kelsey is coming along quite nicely, if not at super speed. I have changed my knitting method  and am trying the traditional Shetland knitting belt, instead of a circular needle. My stitches were getting caught all the time at the point where the flexible part meets the needle. It was really slowing me down, so I have borrowed a very well used knitting belt, or makkin belt in the Shetland dialect, from a kind colleague - the lovely Muriel. 

To use the knitting belt, you put it round your waist and position the padded part slightly to the right. You use four long double-pointeds, three to hold the knitting and one to knit with. You place the end of the needle into one of the holes in the belt, the one you have just knitted on to. The belt then supports a lot of the weight of the garment and leaves you free to use the end of the needles. I am still a snail compared to my Shetland knitting friends, but it has speeded me up a bit.

I am finding the design side of things an interesting process. What started off as a sweater has now become a sweater dress with cap sleeves. I  am not sure quite how I'll do the shaping at the neck and the sleeves.I have no experience of this, but that is one of the reasons for doing this project - to learn through doing. 
This is Kelsey's favourite sweater dress, so I will use it for the measurements and shaping.
Colour and pattern is another matter - I'll post about that next time.

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