Tuesday, May 26

FO: Rhapsody in purples

I took a bunch of photos of this before I washed it at 30 degs C, in case I felted it again. Luckily, 30 seems to be the charm, although the fringe ends up looking chewed. I wound off the warp to fix another threading error (I somehow managed to thread something through a heddle and under another heddle) but then it got so tangled up I couldn't wind it back on, so I gave up. It makes a very long scarf - I might make it into a scarf and matching clutch purse.




Made another false start at the bamboo tunic and decided hand manipulated lace is safer, which will seriously curtail what I'd planned to do. And I STILL managed to drop a stitch! Everyone's producing such lovely lacey stuff on Ravelry, it's most annoying!

We spent a pleasant long weekend in Cambridge and in Ely - only yarn shop I spotted was shut, so I was saved from temptation.


I think Eddie (short for Edward) is gradually settling in. He has breakfast then goes out, which meant that this morning what he hadn't eaten got hoovered up by next door's moggie Houdini (aka Mr Cheeky - I think she kicks him out at night, which I do NOT agree with). Luckily they didn't meet in the house, I dread to think what would have happened!

Wednesday, May 20

Objects of desire

I'd love one of these, if I ever win the lottery. Not that I even DO the lottery, of course!

Heath Robinson

I thought I might write a post about how fellow crafters (myself included) have found new purposes for everyday household objects.

Things I've seen online:

I don't know whether you can see it in the picture, but I'm using part of a plastic drinking straw instead of a quill for my weaving shuttle:


I will probably get some proper quills at some point, but not just yet, the bank account's a little empty this month! 

Can you think of any more innovative uses for everyday objects?

PS Heath Robinson was famous for funny cartoons of surreal inventions

Monday, May 18

Weaving workshop weekend, Ampthill

Despite my warping up being a prime example of how NOT to warp up, I managed to get a decent amount of weaving done. My threading was groups of 1,2; 3,4; 1,2,3,4; and 1,2,3,4,3,2,1 which meant that shafts had to be lifted in pairs. Lifting only 1 or 3 shuttles made big floats. Having said that, I quite like the fact that you are confined to a certain set of rules once threaded up - it's interesting to see how many different patterns you can still get from something. I will have to take some close up shots when it's off the loom.

Realised I should have taken some more pictures, there were some amazing textures and patterns going on. I particularly liked Dizzyspinner's, she popped in and out and had packed away before I got a chance.

My view of the room (note torture chair in foreground - back is no better). Also note amazing rainbow woven back in bottom left of picture. I would have stolen that if I thought I'd get away with it! So lovely!

Opposite angle

Erica's twill (she sat next to me)

I've forgotten this lady's name but I love the rosepath. One to try in the future methinks! Edit to add: It's Fiona's work

Trying out some vibrant sock yarn from Rosie's Moments.

Many thanks to Anna for the guidance and Jan for the yummy chocolate biscuits. Just been onto the Handweavers Studio website and bought another shuttle, a bobbin winder, another threading hook (mine will now miraculously reappear) and a fine reed. Cough, ahem. Weaving gadgets are a lot more pricey than MK gadgets, probably because there's still a market for them.

Edit to add: Some more photos of the event here

Current mood: inspired

Monday, May 11

More socks

Some more socks, a commission for Rosie's Moments.


Himself was out all weekend doing up a flat he's bought a part share in, ready for new tenants. So I had the place to myself. Eddie the naughty cat went out about 11am on Saturday and didn't turn up 'til 5am Sunday morning (and he's very lucky I even heard him). Wonder where he got to? I feel I should get him a GPS tracker...

Got the loom warped up for next weekend's workshop. It was an exercise in how NOT to warp up - managed to break 4 warps before I was done. Oh well, luckily it's just a demo!

Made 28 out of the 42 heart blanket squares, so 60% ish done. Planning the next project (blue tunic) already.

Friday, May 8


"It's hard being this cute all the time, ya know!" Eddie the cat. Destroyer of toy mice. Also known as Eddie poofoot stinkybum noneck stripeytail. Although, the farting seems to have calmed down quite a bit now he's not bolting his food anymore.

The heart blanket is 55% done, or about 24 squares out of 42. Somewhat hampered if this guy is anywhere in the vicinity, as the moving knitting needles invite play.

Tuesday, May 5

FO: CSM ribbed socks

Second ever pair of 3x1 ribbed socks. Slight error on the first one (bottom) when I put the ribber into slip before starting on the foot; turns out that's a no-no. Second one went better. Also, love the new blanket - Eddie the cat has already pulled a thread in it though (see the yellow loop). He seems to appreciate wool, starts paddling on it.

Second half of the yarn required for the hearts blanket. Need to count up the first squares, think I'm a few short. Just being lazy as they're upstairs.

Took several attempts to get a picture not over-exposed, this is King Cole Bamboo in denim, very nice handle to it. For once I have a project in mind for this, a long tunic with lace. Already swatched on the KH950i.

Current mood: sore - chiropractor tried a different angle on the stretching machine last week. Felt great on Friday morning but has hurt ever since =(

Monday, May 4

Free pattern: Ribbed CSM sock for a 72 cylinder

  1. Thread your machine up and get some plain knitting established using waste yarn, enough to ensure it's knitting off correctly and so you can hang weights. I made cast on socks with leftover waste yarn.*
  2. Transfer every other needle to the ribber (1x1 rib) - make sure this is also knitting properly. When ready, stop at the 3 o'clock position.
  3. Tie on the new yarn, pulling the knot and about 4" of the new yarn through the yarn carrier.
  4. Put the heel spring on, and carefully crank one round.
  5. Set the ribber to slip, and crank two more rounds
  6. Remove the heel spring, put the ribber back into work and set the counter.
  7. Knit 30 rounds 1x1 rib
  8. Working from the 3 o'clock position, transfer every other ribber needle to the cylinder (3x1 rib)
  9. Knit to RC060.
  10. Transfer all the ribber needles in the front section of the cylinder (ie from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock anti-clockwise ) to the cylinder
  11. Crank 5 rounds for the pre-heel. As you commence the last round, remove the ribber driving pin and pull all the needles from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock, plus one extra on each side (clockwise - ie all the needles at the back) into hold position.
  12. Put the heel spring on, and pull two needles nearest the yarn carrier into hold, knit 1 round
  13. Pull two needles nearest the yarn carrier into hold, knit 1 round
  14. Pull 1 needle nearest the yarn carrier into hold, knit 1 round.
  15. Repeat step 14 until only 12 needles are left in work - you will need to pull down on the heel to ensure it knits off correctly.
  16. Add heel weight. 
  17. Put 1 needle nearest the yarn carrier back into work, and hold the latch open as you crank round to it. Knit 1 round.
  18. Repeat step 17 until all heel needles are back in work. As you knit the last pass, replace the ribber driving pin and put all of the needles back into work, ensuring all latches on the cylinder are open.
  19. Set the row counter to zero and crank for the foot (I use 48 rounds for a UK woman's size 7). For a ribbed sock, I worked 45 rounds 3x1 rib (foot is plain) then transferred the remaining ribber needles to plain and worked a further 3 rounds all plain - makes the grafting of the toe a bit easier.
  20. On the last pass, stop at 9 o'clock and put all of the rear needles into hold.
  21. Repeat steps 14 - 18, stopping at 9 o'clock on the last pass so that you can return all the held needles into work, ensuring the latches are open (ignore the part about the ribber). 
  22. Stop the knitting at 3 o'clock. Leaving a length of yarn for grafting, tie on some waste yarn and pull it through the feeder. Knit at least 10 rounds
  23. Repeat steps 2-22 for the second sock.

I have my cylinder set to knit as tightly as possible with sock yarn - about 6 on the Imperia. Experiment and find out what works for you. 

If you have small feet width-wise, a plain sock will fit better. 

Cast on sock *

Get some knitting established with waste yarn. Change to leftover sock yarn. Knit 8 rounds, then transfer every other stitch to its neighbour. Knit a further 8 rounds. Pick up the cast on round and hang it on the respective needle. Knit until the sock yarn runs out, or about 20cm of plain knitting. Take off on waste yarn. Unravel the waste yarn and you're done. I didn't bother to cast off; it just curls naturally and has yet to come undone.