Monday, August 25

Marking your needlebed

There has been some discussion on the Ravelry MK group lately about marking the needlebed for repeating patterns. I just wanted to share what's currently on my midgauge:

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This is for a Lizard Ridge jumper, currently partly knitted. Made the strips with Openoffice, the bands are 5mm high. You can still use the machine for other things as the numbers aren't obscured. You can specify an exact column width in OpenOffice. No idea what Excel uses, it always takes me several prints and some maths to make something useful with it.

How does this work? Well, I work a mini sock heel in the red area, moving along the bed from right to left. After knitting 3 plain rows, I work mini sock heels in the blue areas. Simples!

Mini midgauge challenge

We had some yarn donated to the Coventry Knit Wits last week, so I set myself a mini-challenge to get it all knitted up by the weekend:

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Which became:

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Hats from my own midgauge pattern and a conversion of Gina B Ahren's "Mile a minute" hats - basically, cast on 84 sts and knit for 56 rows.
Gloves from Gerda Stitt's mitten pattern, again converted to midgauge by multiplying everything by 0.7 .

Discovered the PC10 uses different program numbers to those illustrated in the literature - so it's pattern lucky-dip. Will have to mark up my sheet and maybe list it online, but not tonight, got to pack for a two day training in sunny Slough. That's a job when I have a spare two hours or so...

Monday, August 18

Holiday time

Haven't posted here in a bit, but for a very good reason - we've had two weeks on holiday, one in Newquay and one in Sorrento, with a quick dive back for clean clothes in the middle. 

Newquay was great, we had pretty good weather all week and ate very well. Only downside was the world's smallest room. That and the 7 hour drive to get there (Google reckons it's 4, but Google doesn't have to actually DO it). 

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View of beach at Padstow. There would have been more pictures in Newquay, but the camera lens got jammed open and it wasn't until a few hard slaps that I got it working again. 

We had two parties to go to in the middle, a 50th birthday for sunday lunch and a wedding party in the evening.

The following week we were in sunny Italy, which hit 35 degrees C on one of the days. Sorrento had a lovely bit of old town to wander about, crammed full of good restaurants and shops. Had an interesting wander around Pompeii and made a trip to a thermal spa in Ischia, plus did a trip to Capri - despite the flowery brochure-speak, full of designer shops mostly - can't figure WHO would want a fur coat in the summer, nor a 9000 euro handbag. Only major downside of Sorrento - hardly any ATMs (and the ones I found, rarely functional) in a place where they seem to favour cash. You also take your life in your hands crossing the roads, because mopeds stop for nobody, zebra crossings not withstanding...

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View over Marina Grande, Sorrento

Despite all that, I did get time to do a few things: 

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CSM socks in Colinette Jitterbug - these were a quick knit for a relative's birthday. She was very pleased with them.

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Mille Fiori bracelet. These beads were in amongst our toys for years, I've no idea where they came from but they are a very specific design from Venice (1920s-30s?) They've been loose for ages, so I finally decided I'd make them into something useful. Each bead is different. Apparently the original bracelet had small red seed beads between the larger ones.

Thomas the cat was like a cat with two tails last night when we picked him up on the way back from the airport. We've never boarded him for 15 days before. Shocking queues to get through security at Birmingham airport; one wonders who schedules 4-5 holiday flights to arrive within 30 minutes of each other?!. Thomas came home without collar or meow, but seems to be getting the hang of the vocal chords again. 

Currently I'm trying to make inroads into the stash with a few hats and baby blankets. The summer heatwave seems to have finally broken - indeed, I got drenched trying to load the car up yesterday - so perhaps production will step back up a bit now. 

Monday, July 28

Crafty weekend

Had a lovely crafty weekend, although spent 6 hours in the car across the two days. Saturday was a hen weekend jewellery workshop at the Makery in Bath - couldn't stay for the rest of the hen activities, alas. Made a lovely bracelet and earrings:

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Finished up a few things last week and finally got pics:

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Skew socks - they look a lot better on.

Was helping out on the Guild stand at Fibre East yesterday, and I may have just picked up some yarn:

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I defy anyone to resist a yarn in the colourway "Whiff of unicorn"...

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Fibre East was lovely though didn't spot many folks I recognised this year. Minor quibble - the postcode doesn't appear on the site, had to dig it out of my 'phone from last year. 

Incidentally, that's the same duvet cover background in every picture. Shows you how much flash can make a difference...

Also bought some replacement 4mm Knitpro tips, which means that the pair that have eluded me will now turn up somewhere.

Discovered the "new" sofa eats things - found quite a stash of craft articles underneath it last night.


Tuesday, July 22

Addicted to the knitting...

We're having a bit of a heatwave in the UK this year - a half decent summer, for once - so I've taken it upon myself to make a pair of gloves. Yes, I am quite possibly mad, and of course other things are still on hold or in progress.

They're from Marriner pattern 1758 - we had a copy from my Aunty Margaret years ago that was so well used the ink started to wear off. I typed it up on our old typewriter, and then many years later managed to source a proper copy from Woolly Thoughts - they don't have the exact pattern any more, but have plenty of other suitable options. I've lost count of how many pairs of fingerless and fingered gloves I've made with this pattern, starting sometime around age 13. It's also pretty easy to modify it for a plain mitten too. I bought two 50g balls of Wendy Peter Pan in white with a pearlised thread; I suspect I'll have enough for a matching hat as well. I will probably retire some holey gloves I've been hanging on to for too long. 

I did finish the skew socks - I just need to sew in some ends. Saving that job for knitting club tomorrow night. 

You may or may not remember I started a "versatile jacket" (Anne Brown Posh Frocks) on Jan 3rd 2011 (I can be day-accurate thanks to Ravelry, and luckily I even noted what machine and tension I used!) Well, I need to knit one more piece, a simple 100 st wide scarf. And I mislaid the pattern. Couldn't figure out what I'd done with it. Looked in all the usual places, to no avail. The garment is all sewn up apart from the scarf bit, but is unwearable without. Anyway, the pattern suddenly turned up - in amongst a load of books and stuff I keep by my bed. I've been sleeping 3 ft away from it for years! Go figure! So I'm going to try and knit the missing piece when I get chance in the next week or so - it'll have to be on the Brother though because I'm damned if I'm setting up the SK840 for half an hour. Although I suppose it wouldn't be the end of the world. Hmmm. 

I should stay away from the "classified ads" on Ravelry - picked up some lovely yarn for a secret project. Might start it tomorrow night. Yep, startitis is alive and well as usual... :) 

Wednesday, July 16

FO: Sideways knit boucle top

Sorry for the rotten pics, but my resident cameraman was out last night.

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Sideways knit on the KX395 in one piece, sleeves and neck insert added by hand.

Thursday, July 10

FO: Crowfoot shawl, modified

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Finally photographed, the Crowfoot shawl that I knitted sans the double central increase. I am a doofus. I do have some more yarn in a dark purple I might try again with. So much for relying on the charts!

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Some of us had a go at entrelac last night - this was my attempt.

I am having a grumpy day today, having spent an hour stuck on the M6 outside Corley services.

Wednesday, July 9

Free pattern: Ribbed midgauge hat for adult

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Machine: Midgauge
Tension: 5
Yarn: DK

CO 104 stitchs in 2x2 rib, and knit 70 rows. Add more rows here if you prefer a taller hat, this is enough to fit the head quite closely.
*Reduce tension by 1 dot, knit 2 rows. Repeat from * to R82
Transfer every stitch to its neighbour, and knit 1 row.
Break yarn leaving a long length and run through the live stitches. Draw up and sew the side seam, working from the opposite side for the last 3" (for the turn-up).

These two hats are slightly shorter, being about 70 rows, as I was determined to get two hats out of the yarn I had available. It was a 100g ball of King Cole Flash. I had thought the Cog and I could sport matching hats, but he does not have the head for short hats, he looks ridiculous in them.