Thursday, December 7

FO: more socks



Experimenting with knee high socks - think I could have done with a few more rows in the leg on these, but we shall see!

Tuesday, December 5

Not dead


Just busy, busy, busy! This is mark 2 of the kilt hose - 4cm longer in the leg (which is actually a lot more rows because it stretches a LOT when worn) and a few more rows to the foot. Hopefully this pair are closer (yes, they are a pair, the other one is not in the shot, obviously!). Of course, because I only had a few hours free on Sunday, the first one went wrong at almost every point it could have gone wrong. It was almost as if I'd forgotten how to use the CSM! I was quite tired, though. They look very long when off, the top bit is folded over.

Having been to my GP about lack of sleep, I've been told no exercise after 4pm - which is very funny, seeing as I finish work at 4pm - and sent for a blood test form for hyperthyroidism. Pah. I have no trouble sleeping in the summer after a gym workout, so I'm afraid I will have to take that with a very large pinch of salt. And having skipped the gym last night, I STILL did not sleep well. Feh. Still, at least it meant I got the kilt hose done!

Current mood: relieved

Thursday, November 16

Finished objects

Silver tuck scarf

Pink beret - not an easy colour in artificial light

Kilt hose mk I

Tuesday, November 14

Rainbow socks and a rant...


Some lovely stripey socks I made for myself at the weekend. Yarn is from Fab Funky Fibres, picked up at a show in Birmingham last year.

I made a single kilt hose for a friend's partner in Sweden, and am anxiously waiting to see if it fits him. Legs are not perfect cylinders, and measuring ribbing is akin to nailing jelly to a wall.

Alas, I am kind of between smartphones, and having taken a shot of the kilt hose on the floor (it looked ridiculously long), I immediately mislaid the photo. Too many devices - it might be on the Nikon, the tablet, or one of two mobile 'phones. Yes, after I went all stampy on my poor old LG Nexus 4 last month, I thought I was getting an upgrade by moving to a 2nd hand well-known make. For £150 (not including a new case and SD card) I got a slightly better screen and a 'phone that complains it's full already. The fact it insists on installing programs I do not want or need (FB, Office etc) which cannot be deleted/moved elsewhere is just one of its many flaws. When I do take a photo with it, the picture goes to Onedrive, where I cannot download them. So I cannot download my own photos - and yes, I tried three browsers. Download button, nothing happens. The old phone just worked. Ack! The only advantage of the new phone is I get to choose a half-decent case, my previous phone had various knitted cases as it was almost impossible to get a decent one for it.

Yeah, it's gotta go - I think I'll probably return it and change it for something else. To add insult to injury, my sleep patterns have been all over the place lately, it's gradually been getting worse since September. I drop off just fine, but am either awoken by the cat singing the song of his people, drenched in sweat (himself has decided it's time for the winter duvet), or with a dead limb. I get 6 hours sleep if I'm lucky, and I'm not even catching up at weekends anymore. The back/shoulders/neck problems seem to have returned, so that is not helping as I cannot find a comfortable position. I prefer not to drive when I am getting audio / visual hallucinations. Yup, the anxiety / SAD is back. Hurrah. Not. It's ironic - I'm going to work in the dark, and driving home in the dark, you'd think it was perfect conditions for sleep, but alas not! I'm trying to go for walks at lunchtime but it's not always feasible (and I don't always feel like it). I'm also trying to keep my exercise levels up though time is not always on my side in that department. I avoid caffeine after 3, and go to bed the same time every night - although just lately I've been dozing on the sofa which is technically verboten. I've got nothing major to worry about - it's lots of stupid little things that come up around this time of the year as the silly season approaches. I should take on less stuff in the winter months, I guess.

Anyway, enough of my ranting. I made a lovely silver scarf on the Passap at the weekend, and have made a handknit pink beret with some handspun I was gifted. I'm hand-knitting one of those frou-frou scarves with the pink mesh tape yarn, and I've got lots of ideas for little knits - ie, not complex ones! It's more than my brain can handle at the moment, alas! They will have to wait for a photo shoot!

Current mood: exhausted

Monday, October 30

Yet more socks, and the Big Textile Show

Second attempt at some cashmere socks, these are with three ends:

Drops Fabel blues:

Drops Delight autumn shades - these were toe up and went really well!

All now awaiting washing and blocking...

Picked up this really cool skirt from Muto at the Big Textile Show on Saturday:

We made lots of poppies for a centenary event next year:

The show was lovely and some of the exhibition stuff was amazing - I did miss the quilter's guild exhibition though. Got talking to a chap from the local knitting frame museum and that was interesting - showed them how to turn a heel on a Griswold, a machine I've not used before. Completely skint, hence only getting that skirt and some felted mistletoe. Well, got to get my kisses in somehow! It was a bit disorganized re informing exhibitors where they could get free tea/coffee though - luckily we knew where it was, as we were right by it last year, but this year it was quite a walk as we were in a different building and upstairs. A pity they don't have exhibitor's passes, it would make it easier.

Sunday was the day I made all the socks - I worked out it takes 2.5 - 3 hours for a pair, and that does not include the yarn preparation. Will be putting together a post about it at some point.

Current mood: busy

Tuesday, October 24

FO: Experimental cashmere bedsocks and ribbed socks

Made two pairs of socks this weekend, in a snatched 3-hour slot I had available Saturday afternoon. The red pair are a tube sock in Posh Sock Pamela yarn, colourway Secrets shiny and new, and the yellow pair are cashmere bedsocks for a friend. I think they are too thin, two ends together is not enough :(



We've established that we need a new water tank, and that is being replaced tomorrow, to the tune of just under £1200. Currently it's like having a large leaky baby in the house, whose nappy (a rolled-up bath towel) needs changing twice daily. The irony being that I'd rather use the cheap towels (because of the dust/dirt etc that is also coming out) but our "good" towels are more absorbent and last longer. Washing machine usage has, of course, gone through the roof this week - and the weather's no longer settled enough to dry things outside. Bah.

Oh, and the office air con has been playing up again. So it's very cold at work!

Current mood: cold

Free pattern: CSM Adult Tube Sock


This is only a very loose "pattern" as such - feel free to improvise! Short version is below.  These socks are ideal as they have no heel so one size fits all. This is based on MarytheKnit's heelless sock pattern - credit to her for developing this pattern (you will need to be in Ravelry to read that, there's a little history of the sock). Mary's version has a handknit, conical toe to minimise wear on the sock. My version is worked on a 72/36 combo and a short-row toe is also worked on the machine. I didn't think they'd be very comfortable (with all the extra material at the ankle) but they are surprisingly good to wear. If using a variegated yarn it's a good idea to designate which colour toe you prefer when first wearing them, because over time they will wear in one place. 

Long version:
  1. CO in waste yarn and get knitting established on your CSM.
  2. Still in WY, remove the cylinder spring and transfer to 1x1 rib and knit a few rounds, stopping at the 3 o'clock hash mark.
  3. Break WY, tie on main yarn and pull the yarn through the yarn carrier until about 15cm of MY has emerged.
  4. Engage heel spring, if using
  5. Holding the yarn loop towards the front of the machine in such a way as to ensure all needles knit off, crank slowly to the 12 o'clock position.
  6. Using a hook, pull the yarn loop down between the ribber and cylinder so that it is out of the way.
  7. Crank around to just before the 3 o'clock mark, and disengage the slip lever (so that the ribber does not knit).
  8. Knit two rounds* carefully (you may need to pull down on the knitting to stop it riding up).
  9. Re-engage the slip lever, and disengage the heel spring if it is in work. Set row counter to 0.
  10. Crank 30 rnds 1x1 rib, stopping at the 9 o'clock mark on the last round.
  11. Starting at 3 o'clock, and working in a counterclockwise direction, transfer the setup to 3x1 or 5x1 rib as desired.
  12. Crank to R145** in desired rib, stopping at the 9 o'clock mark on the last round.
  13. Starting at 3 o'clock, and working in a counterclockwise direction, transfer any remaining ribber stitches to the cylinder and remove the ribber. Replace the cylinder spring.
  14. Crank to R150 in stocking stitch (pre-toe) and work your desired toe** - I tend to do an automatic wrap short row toe.
  15. Knit at least 12 rounds in WY and go back to step 2 for the other sock. 

* Selvedge - you need at least one round here to lock the cast on edge - finer yarns you can go up to 4 rounds. 

** Add or subtract more rounds here as desired

*** You can also scrap off here, pulling a large amount of MY between the needles at 3'clock, and handknit the toe later. 

Short version:

30 rounds 1x1 rib
Crank to R145** in 3x1 or 5x1 rib
Crank to R150 in stocking stitch
Work desired toe***, scrap off on WY. 
Repeat for other sock. 

Monday, October 23

Event: GMK Heart of England Meetup

My local Guild of Machine Knitter Area Reps and I are trying to organise our first GMK Heart of England Meet Up. It will be Saturday November 18th, 10-12.30pm, at Houlton - this is a new suburb on the A428 between Hillmorton (Rugby) and Crick. The nearest postcode is CV23 0AB, The Tuning Fork Cafe - the venue is actually The Barn, a community centre, right next door. It is easily accessible from the M1 J18 and there is free parking. We are planning on bringing some hands-on workshops, some machines to play with and hoping Wendy Piper of Knits n Bits can attend.

I appreciate this is possibly too far for some of you, but I would love to know if you are interested and to get an idea of numbers to see if this is viable. If this date does not suit you (I appreciate it's short notice!) then would you be interested in a similar event in the New Year? Email me if you are interested. There will be a small charge for refreshments, slightly more for non-Guild members.