Tuesday, November 18

FO: More CSM socks

Picture 023

Picture 019

These went up on the etsy shop at the weekend, technically they are "small" ie too small for me (I am a size 7). I think I might need to experiment with sizing and also maybe try taking needles out of the cylinder. A 72 cylinder makes a nice enough sock, but if you have very narrow feet or narrow ankles they might not be so good. Maybe I need to make a prototype pair for A at work, she is size 5 and has very narrow feet. Not that she's asked, I just know she is a narrow foot. Hmmm.

Of course, I could buy a new CSM with less needles, but I think the Cog might flip, we're already tripping over knitting machines as it is...

Still waiting on getting the shower fixed. Fingers crossed it'll be fixed today. Fed up of having to shower down the gym.

Current mood: grim

Thursday, November 13

Etsy shop update

I have moved my crash course leaflets to Etsy, which means you can now download them instantly instead of waiting for me to read my email and respond. There's also a better description of what is in each one before you buy.

Leaflets for sale

There are also two more pairs of socks (size small) to go up, they just haven't had their photoshoot yet, as they are drying.

Needlesofsteel etsy store

A week of Mondays...

I'm having a very bad week, and it's only Wednesday.

We've been without a working shower in the ensuite for about five weeks now - it's not quite as bad as it sounds, because luckily I got a mixer shower added to the bath in the "family bathroom" for guests a while back. This was before I filled the front bedroom with knitting machines and made guests staying over unlikely, haha. Well, the shower was duly installed on Monday. The plumbers didn't leave until 7pm, and alas it wasn't a great job. Turns out our internal wall (the one the shower is on) isn't square, so the cubicle looks like it's coming away from the wall. Ok, so that's not the plumber's fault - the house was only built in 2000 ish but hey ho, not surprised, new houses are blown together alas. However, we've since discovered that not only did he go through the plasterboard into the main bathroom, but the shower is only held on by its pipes as the top rail is not attached at all. So if one was to slip in the shower and grab the upright, the whole thing could come down. And the less said about the amount of rubbish he left - and put in the recycling bin too, which I will have to muck out come the weekend, when I have daylight again - this guy is local so you'd think he'd know what the colour coded bins are for. It's going to take us at least two-three trips to the local tip, plus we may need to hire a man with a van just to take the large shower pieces away. We can't even get into the garage at the moment for the amount of cardboard and debris. Not to mention needing to polyfilla the bathroom wall, seal around the top of the new cubicle where there's a gap between it and the ceiling, and try and fill in the gap down the left hand side due to the wonky wall. Ever get one job done, and it creates 6 more?

Currently trying to get hold of the plumber because frankly, having spent over £1k, I'm hopping mad!

Couple that with the fact that as they left so late on Monday (ever tried cooking/washing your hands with no water supply? Interesting!) we pretty much went straight to the gym after a mad rampant downstairs house cleaning session - yes, got folks coming over on Saturday - and came home to find the ensuite window open. I was cross with myself for having left it open, and shut it with a bit of force. Which knocked the plumber's empty coffee mug right onto my left foot - yes, I was naked, as I was about to take a bath. Ouch. (Yeah, that's not precisely the word I used when I realised there was quite a lot of blood on the just-cleaned floor. It began with F I think). So this week I am in the Ministry of Silly Walks, hoping to get a grant. Oh, the Cog thanked me for saving the mug, which was a pretty substantial one. I think I'd rather have a broken mug than a broken toenail, which can take up to 18 months to be completely healed again.

There's not been much knitting to report, I'm afraid. My nerves are shot from weeks of emergency mode sleep and work stress, and I just haven't been in the mood.

Edit 14-11-14: Managed to get shower fixed to wall. It has two temperatures - freezing or scalding. And once you get it to scalding, you can't get it back to freezing, let alone any kind of sensible temperature. I am NEVER trusting a plumber ever, ever again. Cowboys.

Current mood: stressed and exhausted

Tuesday, November 4

Finally FO: Versatile jacket


There was a catalogue of disasters with this jacket. I originally started this in 2011. I failed to make the last piece (the scarf bit). I sewed the sleeves in wrong, ending with a weird extra point on the front shoulders. Then I lost the pattern (turns out it was about 3 feet from our bed for three years, in amongst a pile of other books. I finally knitted the last piece - on the wrong machine, because the SK840 isn't up at the moment - sewed it up on Sunday and steamed it last night.

What do you think? I think it was worth the wait! It's light and drapey and lovely - the yarn is some sort of linen mix, it didn't have a label. The pattern is Ann Brown's versatile jacket (Posh Frocks).

This has to be some sort of record for length of time to complete a project... almost four years, because I started it in Jan 2011!

Current mood: pleased

Monday, November 3

More socks and house hassles



Two more pairs of socks for the Etsy shop - I do love this Drops Fabel yarn, lovely to knit with!

I finally managed to finish an Ann Brown jacket I started in 2011 - I'd sewn the sleeves in wrong and then lost the pattern and hadn't knitted a final piece. It just needs steaming and a photoshoot. Feels good to get the UFO list down!

The sciatica has been playing up this weekend, so it makes it hard to sit still for very long. Saturday we finally chose and ordered a new shower - our tray developed a fault, and because the 750 square size is no longer made, we have to rip the whole thing out. The next standard size is 760mm, so for the sake of 1 cm.... so NICE to be forced into doing something right before xmas. Still, it will be nice not to have to shower in the bath anymore - where we can't leave the shower head attached to the wall, because the wall is not tiled all the way up.

Current mood: relieved

Monday, October 27

Tweaks and tribulations

Spent all day saturday teaching a new student on her SK840. The PC10 played me up again - well, it didn't, it's just not very intuitive to use when I've mostly been playing with the Brother lately. Must pull my finger out and get those cheat sheets written up, because I couldn't get it to produce 2 colour slip DESPITE following the instructions in the manual. Suspect I started at the wrong end, that's usually what does it.

Finally finished sewing this up last night:


The skulls on the back look meaner because I stopped the pattern a row too early, and the sleeves are 2 and 3 because the first one I managed to start on row 2 so they were jawless. The shoulders could have been better, too. Took me about 3 hours to sew up. Who said machine knitting was easy again? And yes, it really IS that red!

Sunday I spent quite a bit of time uploading more photos to the etsy store and tweaking it, because posting in US$ is a complete PITA. As yet, no sales - I do need to add some small and large socks, which will happen in the next few weeks. Added a lovely pair of merino mittens this morning. I guess it's early days yet!

Current mood: disappointed

Thursday, October 23

New venture

I've realised I love making socks (and other items) but have no more wardrobe space for them- in fact, everytime I open my sock drawer, they try to make a bid for freedom. So I'm going to start selling some things on Etsy. Please take a look at my shop - there's not a lot of stock up there yet, because I haven't had chance to load it all up, but watch this space!

Current mood: excited

Friday, October 17


For those of you who don't know, I try and attend Manor House Machine Knitters when I can. They meet near Leicester town centre, and it's a 45 minute jaunt up the M1 for me, but it's one of the only clubs in my area that I can attend, working full time. At the end of the year (it only runs term time) we have a party and we make suggestions for talks we'd like to see next year. I offered to do a talk on weaving, so they took me up on the offer. So I've been getting the looms ready for the last six weeks - no time like the present when you work - and the talk went pretty well. Still got the stonking head cold, although now I'm mostly at the tickly, annoying coughing fit stage. Luckily, the coughing held off!

The thing is, I struggle with this. I love sharing information with people. I love passing on my knowledge, and seeing that "lightbulb" moment in someone else's eyes. But I really, really hate giving presentations. Always have done, always will. I guess that's normal. A good friend recently asked me why I volunteer for such things. "You can say no!" she said. Yes, I know that. But if nobody stands up and does these things, who will? If you risk nothing, you win nothing and you learn nothing. Someone has to pass on information. One of the ladies said she never does demos because of stage-fright - and she has a wealth of information she could pass on. It's always the same people doing committee jobs in these sorts of organisations, too, and it's a shame. We all have the potential to stretch ourselves, if we would only just try.

What did I learn last night? That there was nothing to be scared of, really. Next time I need to make notes about the activities I've planned for afterwards, because I didn't really demonstrate the 8 shaft loom, it being between me and the audience, and I forgot to mention I'd brought loads of books for them to look at. We had plenty of time waiting for the judging to take place. Last night was the annual MK/HK competition - I came 3rd in the miscellaneous category. Yay!

So - challenge yourself today. If you don't, who will?

Current mood: relieved