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Getting Frustrated Sourcing Materials From Stitch n Bitch

(18 Posts)
RubberDuck Sun 30-Sep-07 22:14:56

Is anyone else going through the patterns in this book and finding it REALLY hard to find the yarns and accessories they specify, and even harder to work out equivalents?

Having finally finished the alien scarf, I really wanted to have a go at the pippi knee stockings. Finally found the yarn online in the US and have ordered that, but had to order completely different colours because of out of stocks (and nowhere else seemed to stock the damn stuff).

Now I've realised I haven't got any elastic thread. K1C2 Rainbow Elastic seems non-existant in the UK.... AND the US as all I can find is the manufacturer's site and no actual suppliers. So I've tried to find alternatives (I think 1mm thread... and I need 100 yards of the damn stuff?!!) but colour matching to my new chosen colours is impossible, so I thought I'd find clear elastic instead... but can't seem to find any of that either!

I did find a site that sold gutterman elastic which I suppose I could try matching up the colour, but they come in 10m reels... so I'm going to need at least 10 of them, maybe not in the right colour and it'll cost around £10 + postage!! All of a sudden, these aren't going to be very cheap socks.

SURELY there's some cheap clear elastic suitable for the job somewhere out there isn't there? Where do I find it (preferably online as our local stores are useless).

LieselVentouse Mon 01-Oct-07 09:35:17

pmsl @ stitch and bitch

rantinghousewife Mon 01-Oct-07 20:05:10

Try giving fabricland here a ring, they keep all sorts of stuff in stock. It sounds similiar to shirring elastic.

Tamum Mon 01-Oct-07 20:09:17

Can you just knit shirring elastic in with the yarn? I'll have a look at the pattern later and see. Generally I never use the right yarn anyway, even when I am knitting UK based stuff, so I don't really mind about US books.

florenceuk Mon 01-Oct-07 20:20:55

what about knitting the socks and then running the elastic through the back of the knitting when you're finished? that way you can make sure it is fairly inconspicuous.

rantinghousewife Mon 01-Oct-07 20:22:38

I would think you could knit with shirring elastic, it's just sewing thread that you use to create ruching, like on 70s style dresses that have those smocking tops on.

RubberDuck Mon 01-Oct-07 20:28:19

Thanks guys I did finally find some transparent elastic which seems similar (I'd been searching under clear and invisible elastic to no avail) and was reasonably priced. I'm just finding myself getting more lost with the descriptions of what you need for any given project... I obviously need to move to a UK book/set of patterns now I'm more confident!

Tamum: that's what I need to do ... get more comfortable of what equivalent yarns would be, I think. But then again, knowing me I'd end up with really chunky wool when I wanted to make dainty socks... <sigh>...

NappiesLaGore Mon 01-Oct-07 20:34:23

other than the sourcing problems, rubberduck, do you like the book? is it your first? im thinking of getting abookto teach me...

RubberDuck Mon 01-Oct-07 20:42:06

As a book to teach, it's pretty good and the patterns appeal (well, most of them wink... I'll give the bikini a miss) whereas some of the other books I looked at were frankly boring. It's a nice chatty style and easy to read.

You do have to be a bit careful and check the author's site for the errata as a couple of the patterns in the earlier editions have mistakes.

Getting the materials though is hard as it's a US book and even then some of the manufacturers seem to have disappeared. Not a problem if you're an improvising sort of person, but I'm a "by the book" type person... hence buying a book in the first place!!

RubberDuck Mon 01-Oct-07 20:42:41

Oh, and yes, it is my first and only book I've bought - I did learn vaguely as a child, but had forgotten most of it.

Tamum Mon 01-Oct-07 20:54:31

Rubberduck, I'll gladly help suggest some alternatives if you tell me what you are planning next

RubberDuck Mon 01-Oct-07 21:03:58

Thank you I think I'm covered now I have the elastic <looks sheepish after her late night venting> - but once I'm done with the socks I'm sooooo coming on here and asking equivalents for the next project!!

Tamum Mon 01-Oct-07 21:06:16

You're on

rantinghousewife Tue 02-Oct-07 21:01:33

Just a thought RD on the appropriate alternate yarns thing. I really do think that experimenting is the way to go. Go to a wool shop, (JLewis will do), feel the yarns (you don't have to buy them from there, you might be able to get the yarn cheaper elsewhere). Look at patterns, looks at the shape of the 'piece', how it hangs, how thick or thin the finished article looks.
This should give you an idea of the type of yarns you need to use.
When I started out knitting and crocheting, I bought yarns I 'liked' the look of, then set about making bags with them, using different sized needles to get different effects. Then when I got more confident and wanted to adapt patterns with different yarns, I swatched with the yarns I wanted to use and adjusted the patterns accordingly, you may think that you're a long way from that point but, I promise once you get the courage up to experiment, it won't be long.

RubberDuck Tue 02-Oct-07 21:29:16

I wish we had a JLewis nearby We seem to have one yarn shop (dark dingy shop in a backstreet with very little stock - I'm amazed it's still open) and a department store with one small wall of yarn with a choice of about three colours per "type". I do need to investigate the market more, but again, I guess if you're looking for something very specific it's harder.

I've long since given up and do all my yarn shopping online now, although I do try and support both real life shops by buying common accessories like needles etc when I get a chance to go into town.

It is hugely limiting not being able to feel what a yarn is like before buying, which certainly contributes to the desire to buy the exact one that's in the book for lack of any other knowledge.

I wish I was the type of person who could stumble upon a nice yarn and think "ooo, I'll make that with it" rather than the other way around - I'm guessing that if I was to rely on local sources, then that's what I'd have to do

rantinghousewife Tue 02-Oct-07 21:48:51

Ok, yes that is limiting if you don't have a yarn shop nearby, totally understand. I do still think that the only way you'll get to understand what type of yarns you need is by experimenting. As a starting point when you shop by internet, look for the info that tells you what the tension of the yarn is. On this [[ site]] it tells you in the box next to the needle size, if the needle size and the tension are the same then you (roughly) have wool that knits up the same as the yarn you are looking to replace.
Of course, it can be a little more complex than that, in that some yarns of the same 'weight' can drape differently but without looking at the yarn in rl you're not going to be able to tell.
Fwiw, this is how I've progressed and I've never had an irreversible disaster.

rantinghousewife Tue 02-Oct-07 21:49:35

This site here. Sorry

RubberDuck Tue 02-Oct-07 21:54:14

Thank you, I've bookmarked that site

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