Monday, September 29

Swatching about

I often demonstrate my knitting machine in places where folks won't be familiar with its capabilities, and I realised a book of swatches would be good. I don't often keep the garments I make, as they go to charity, so I don't always have samples of particular techniques. The lace workshop last week got me started - I mounted all of the samples on paper, with labels. I dug out a few more samples of other things I've had pinned up for ages in the knitting room. So saturday I decided to fill in the gaps, which meant carefully removing the current lace project from the machine. I had great fun trying out some patterns from Stitchworld. I've never tried thread lace before (a kind of fairisle where a fine yarn is knitted in some places, and both the fine and main yarn is knitted elsewhere). I've never done intarsia using that machine, nor plating, nor plated tuck. I also ironed out some bugs with my colour changers. Turns out you are supposed to make an adjustment to the KRC if you are going to use it on the machine when the ribber is engaged - and yes, it's in the manual, I just never spotted it before. Also, my KHC does not like the tuck brushes. You are supposed to add tuck brushes - but doing this just picks up massive loops of yarn which get snarled around the brushes and leave you with the carriage jammed in the middle of the bed. So I tried leaving them off - and it works just fine. So sometimes you can't just slavishly follow the manual!

Also sometimes you need to start a pattern from the opposite end of the bed to where you'd think - it doesn't help that sometimes this is at the back of the manual, and I have both punchcard and electronic brothers where it's not always the same. I'm going to work up some simple "cheat sheets" for both machines, and if they are any good I'll share them here. A lot easier than wading through the manual.

No pictures of the swatches yet, because I haven't taken any. I will try and take some tonight and modify the post.

Yesterday I went to the Big Textile show, and within moments was making a Morsbag - what a great idea! I had never even heard of them. It really made me want to dig my sewing machine out again, too. Lots of lovely arty stuff to look at, and excellent cake in the cafe. Thanks to C for taking me along, it was a fun day!

Oh, and turns out my blog only made a noise to me, some kind of malware on this computer. After a quick clean up of Chrome, it seems to be fixed now.

Friday, September 26

Lace workshop with Beryl Jarvis


Spent a lovely day messing about with lace in Crick, under the expert tuition of Beryl Jarvis.


My machine (serviced last year) performed beautifully, nary a dropped stitch in sight...


If you've ever wondered what those orange/pink things are for, they are lace cams for erasing parts of the punchcard, and this is where they go.


Lace created with two needles out of work - you wouldn't think it would work, but it does!

Thursday, September 25

Getting ready...

It took a few evenings to get this far, but fingers crossed I did it correctly.


Had a lovely lace workshop with Beryl Jarvis on Tuesday, it was great fun! Who knew you could knit lace with two needles out of work, and it would still make a pattern? Haven't had chance to upload the pictures yet.

Incidentally, my blog appears to make noises when you first visit it. I have no idea what is causing it - I'd turn it off if I knew how! If anyone knows how to stop it, please message me in the comments!

Thursday, September 18

Yarn Cafe Open Day

I don't usually put advertising on my blog, but I'm going to be demonstrating here. Please come along and say hi! 

Wednesday, September 17

FO: More gloves, and matters in progress

Firstly, some gloves - I think there STILL might be more Socka hanging around, but not enough to make a whole item with. Talk about value for money - mind you, I never had 12 100g balls of sock yarn in one go before...


These were interrupted by a trip to head office in Holland for training, otherwise they would have been finished a lot faster. The insomnia kicked in again big-style, so last week I was only really good for handknitting and sitting doe-eyed in front of the television. That, and trying to catch up on four weeks of housework!

I finally got around to starting on this:


Which now looks like this:


and I'm now onto the "icicles" at the top, complete with lifeline:


This is Foldi's Panna Frost Flowers - all hand-manipulated. Foldi did it on a Passap - he/she must have the patience of a saint, because it's very hard to see what you've done on a Passap. It's fashion lace with some purl stitches too, hence the ribber weight. I'm doing it in two ends of acrylic, so there are some pulls where it gateposted. Not for the faint of heart, and not a project to tackle when you don't have time to concentrate!

Saturday, himself had his first ever gig, so was pretty nervous. So nervous, in fact, that I was getting nervous too, so I made a start on this:


Last night, I got it onto the back beam:


...and I actually got as far as getting it onto the front beam at 10pm last night, but I'm not happy with one of the warps so I'm going to have another go when I've more time. This is possibly going to be placemats, but it's just a mess around warp really. I'm demonstrating weaving in October and I want the loom to be warped and ready in time. I've never warped front-to-back before so hoping I get it right!

Oh, and I won this yarn, on one of the CSM groups on Ravelry (apologies for the rotten pic):


Everyone posts pictures of the CSM socks they've made each month and there's a prize draw. Last month I only managed one pair so it was a very nice surprise! Many thanks to lotsofyarn for her kind donation. 

Sunday, August 31

FO: hat and gloves

I certainly can't complain about the Schoeller and Stahl Fortissima Socka Mexico yarn - still making projects with the leftovers - on project 8 now!


There's a stripey pair in the works now, already 50% done!


This hat was finished a while ago, I just kept forgetting to photograph it. I think I might make a pompom for it with the leftovers. It's a sized-up version of a boy's hat.

Not going to get much done this week as off to Holland tomorrow for three half days training. 

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...