Sunday, March 19

FO: Heel-less CSM sock

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Marytheknit taught her heelless sock class last weekend - although I couldn't attend (as I was teaching myself at the time) she showed me an example so I thought I'd give it a go. I thought she was teaching yoga socks, literally heel-less and toe-less - so I'm glad I asked what she meant! I think the Americans would call it a tube sock, in that there is no heel shaping at all - so one size fits all. The toe is hand-knitted and decreased over 8 points. It's not obvious from the picture, but the toe ended up quite pointy and nipple-like - especially since these are hot pink in colour! They were comfortable enough to wear all day at the NEC show but I think the next pair might have an amended toe shaping. This pair are 20 rnds 1x1 rib and 140 rnds 5x1 rib. The advantage of this sock is it's quicker to switch back to 1x1 rib from 5x1 rib for the second sock.

Did pick up some yarn at the NEC show (from that famous "Black Sheep Yarn" stand - I defy any knitter to resist a jumper's worth of yarn for £24!) and a necklace kit but otherwise managed to resist. Almost bought some batik fat quarters (because I need more fabric stash, not!). Last year I ended up buying a £249 coat, if you recall. Well, it was/is gorgeous!

Feeling somewhat apathetic at the moment as himself is off snowboarding again and the weather continues grey and grim, apart from the odd flash of spring sunshine (by flash I mean, about 60 seconds!). Took Mum for an early Mother's Day meal at Loch Fyne yesterday, followed by a quick walk around Abbey Fields - it really wasn't the weather for hanging about much though!

Current mood: apathetic

Thursday, March 16

Photo update

Finally, the argyle sock sample - great for a one-legged person. Edit: I uploaded my notes here, if anyone wants them.

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The oversize shirt - pinned, but awaiting finishing and donation to charity I think:
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"Festival" blanket I started from a kit purchased from the Wool Wagon on Saturday:
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Loving the Drops yarn it uses - I've used Drops Fabel and Drops Delight for sock knitting in the past, but never crocheted with it. Loving the colour changes!

Current mood: impressed

Wednesday, March 15

Going round in circles, Kegworth 2017

Well, had a lovely weekend at the CSM event in Kegworth - very busy, as teaching two classes myself (ribbing and argyle socks) - but managed to sit in on a "pattern and texture" class - making the CSM do tuck and slip, the latter involving dropping the needles into the centre with live stitches on, who knew that was possible? I also caught Jo's toe-up sock class and learnt why my first one was so tricky (too tight a cast on) - and also learnt how to cast off around the needles.

Whilst practising the Argyle sock, I discovered that the 7 prong adjustable transfer tool is also perfect to use as a pushing-down device when knitting over only a few needles - and because it's adjustable, it's even good when working over the ribber stop which otherwise gets in the way. You can pick up these tools very cheaply online so highly recommended. Dining fork also worked OK but mine are a little too big for my gauge.

Didn't win any competitions, nor sell any items, but I'm not too fussed. It was such fun to meet up with like-minded folks - one lady was finger-crocheting lengths of csm strips into seat pads. How cool is that?! :) The hotel was really nice and the food was great, I'd definitely stay there again (Kegworth Hotel and Conference Centre). Only minor downside is there was no projector for my presentation, but we stacked some chairs into an impromptu laptop stand and luckily it's not a large part of the demo anyway!

Sorry for the lateness of this post, but as soon as I got home on Sunday I was repacking for a one night stay in Holland, so have been catching up with sleep and repatriating laundry on and off ever since.

Lots of pictures here:

Circles Kegworth (Mar 2017)

And no, I STILL haven't managed to take a picture of the argyle sock.

Current mood: enthralled

Monday, March 6

Busy Lizzy

Had a very busy weekend - Saturday was the monthly Needles of Steel Machine Knitting club, so the morning was spent digging out equipment, and preparing for a slip stitch demo. Got some ideas for next month's meeting - technically that's in May, as we are meeting on the 9th April to go to the Nottingham show. Sample went ok and the two-colour one too once I got the row in sync. Did you know you can use a simple pattern with two-colour tuck or slip and get a mosaic or maze pattern? It's one of the cool things in machine knitting - a completely different pattern appears as if by magic! Works best with simple geometric patterns set to double row but it's worth just picking a card and trying it - you never know what you might get!

Some examples:
Slipstitch hearts
Aztec design
Various slip stitch & tuck stitch samples using a colour changer
"Sideways cables" made with slip stitch

Sunday was spent finalising my notes for an Argyle CSM workshop I'm giving at a CSM event in Kegworth this coming weekend. I knitted the world's ugliest Argyle sock (singular).  I'm also teaching the ribbing workshop from Bristol 2015 (with some minor updates). In the evening, the Cog and I cooked fantastic chinese pork and noodles (an old WW recipe) which was totally delicious. Then I sewed the rest of the buttons onto a bottle green shirt I'm sewing for him. Alas the pattern is late 90s, early 2000 and is a very loose casual shirt - and it drowns him, despite being the medium which is supposedly 34-36" chest (he is a 34). Have pinned it in various places with the idea of taking darts and side seams in, the bigger problem is that the sleeves are also too loose and too long - I may have to take them out and shorten them at the shoulder as I don't really want to redo the cuffs. So frustrating - I know I've been saying it was a test sew, but I was hoping it might not have come out QUITE so enormous.

No pictures of any of this I'm afraid, because I haven't taken any, ha! Taking the camera to Kegworth so hopefully there'll be some good shots of circular knitting machines and general socky, knitty fun next time.

Current mood: devious

Thursday, March 2

..and another thing

Two posts in one week, you lucky, lucky people (like anyone's even reading this, ha!).

A lovely online Rav friend, Megsystylish, offered to pimp up my MKTC website - aka the Machine Knitter's Treasure Chest. All the info is still there but arranged in a more snappy way and hopefully more accessible for other devices. If you haven't already checked it out, what are you waiting for?

The Machine Knitter's Treasure Chest

Wednesday, March 1

FO: Rainbow socks (Knitpicks Felici Rainbow) and bullet journalling

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Finally made myself a pair of these rainbow socks, after buying some of this limited edition yarn in June. Everything that could have gone wrong, did, with a major tinking session on the heel of the first one when I realised I'd threaded up the CSM mast (a closed system) incorrectly. A small knot on the heel and I was away - and then managed to miss a stitch when grafting. Despite my best efforts, not exactly identical - that might be down to the mis-threading causing tension issues on the first sock.

Pretty yarn but a bit splitty on a CSM. Which doesn't mean to say I wouldn't get more if it comes up again, I do love the colourways! Incidentally, there are two pairs in different colourways of this yarn on my Etsy site - just sayin'! And once they expire, I'm gifting them! :D

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More bullet journalling: This is my current method for a monthly spread, I do each week to two pages up front like this, so I can "pre-book" things I need to do.

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Something I saw online and thought I'd try for February. Yeah, Feb 20th was a struggle! ha! The bookmark on the left is a moving, growing list of to dos that I ignore most days (yeah, might need to revisit that!) and the right is a list of icons from Microsoft's OneNote software. Thought I might use them but so far, not so much...

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Finally - pen porn! My carry-about collection of ink pens (I have way more at home). The pen on the far left (blue with pink cartridge) is probably the oldest one, I may have used it for college/uni even. The iridescent pink one is my current fave, having turquoise ink. The biro in the middle is a 3 colour one from Silver Reed, the neon one has green ink. I also really like the Pilot disposable cartridge pens. Plus there's a multi-coloured pencil (with teddies on), a gift from a work colleague, and the BSI pen is there because it's got a secret highlighter hidden in the top. And the mechanical pencil because, hey, I'm an engineer, I feel naked without a pencil. Ha, I just realised there's no eraser here! I need to get onto that pronto!

Current mood: indescribable

Tuesday, February 21

More CSM argyle experiments...

It helps if you don't use yarn of questionable vintage, of course - there are some snapped threads in this.

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Have finished the parts for the chunky cardigan, but suspect it is WAAY too long, will have to solicit opinions tonight...

Current mood: determined