Tuesday, September 18

Swatch calculations

Fun and games last night when I made a start on a commission, an adult sweater, and ended up with a back that would have worked for a short sleeve. Forgot to convert my swatch measurements to 10cm.

The formula is as follows: 10 * (Swatch measurement in cm / Swatch dimension). So if the swatch measured 14.3 cm wide, and it was a 40 st swatch, then 10cm would be 10 * (14.3 / 40), which is 27.97 sts.

It also works for rows. Don't forget that swatches are std : mid : bulky, 40 : 30 : 20 sts wide, and 60 : 40 : 30 rows high respectively.

Also make sure to include any part cms (after the decimal place). Might not make a whole heap of difference for a child's garment, but multiplied up for an adult sweater and it can make a big difference to the outcome. Now, if I could figure out how to write a javascript page to do this (perhaps with radio buttons?) I would do! :)

Monday, September 17

FO: Blanket from leftovers and Purbeck


Finished this late Thursday, leftovers knitted up on the KH260 at T3 using the SAYG method, then a crochet edging (#93 from Edie Eckman's Around the Corner book).

Purbeck was lovely - had excellent weather all weekend. Heck of a drive down though (satnav tried to take me on the ferry twice, which would have been fine except it wasn't running). Did a steep climb from Tyneham lost village to Flowers Barrow on Saturday, and an afternoon playing with bungypump poles. Sunday was tai-chi in front of Corfe castle, and then a walk to the blue pool (which was more green to be fair). Some interesting blisters and sore calves and a looong drive back. Think I'll stay until Monday morning next year, it would be less hassle!

I nipped to Lulworth Cove (great when the tide's not in, otherwise beach is 3m wide) and Durdle door, and an emergency dash to Swanage (not pictured, I was driving) when I ran out of dosh. Oh and I pimped my poles, will have to post a picture...




More Purbeck pictures here

Current mood: sore

Wednesday, September 12

Finished Obj Wednesday

Don't expect this to be weekly though, it's just a backlog of photos I finally got around to taking... :D

Tubular scarf (KH260, T6)

Grey marl jumper - not bad for free yarn! (SK840, T5)

Black chenille jumper - more free yarn. Underwhelmed with the neck though! (SK840, T5)

Pastel multi-coloured jumper - card 1 and a LOT of messing about! (KH260, T3)

There's probably enough of the black chenille and grey marl yarns to knit two more jumpers. I've got a commission for a black jumper in DK so the chunky was put away and the SK860 midgauge put up last night. Swatching has commenced - also swatched some King Cole Galaxy, which has sequins in it. Machine will need a de-sparkling after each piece methinks!

How come the first email I've had via the etsy shop in months is a rather veiled complaint from someone with a bent knitting machine part? What, do they not have Google in the US now?

And OMG Brexit is imminent (not a fan, think it's the stupidest idea ever but ho hum!) - so therefore it must be time for a leadership contest?! MPs? We should fire the lot of them. (dismounts soapbox)

Current mood: amused AND annoyed...

Monday, September 10


Fear not, fair reader. I have not, in fact, passed on. I've just been offline with holidays and (gasp!) machine knitting. We had a short break in Brighton and were blessed with pretty good weather (must unload the camera) and then I had a further week pottering about at home. I got three jumpers finished and made a start on two blankets - one is the ten-stitch blanket and one is just strips of sew-as-you-go. I need to take some pictures tonight and get the old Rav database up to date. I've also been plugging away on a hand-knit sideways shawl I started back in 2015 - yikes! Well, it's a LOT of rows, and then there's a knitted-on lace edging to work.

Back at work after a blissful fortnight catching up with sleep, and it's gone to pot again. Pah. Clearly, I am allergic to work!

Current mood: tired

Wednesday, August 15

Magic fairisle

I was looking through some 80s MK magazines - I inherited someone's lifetime collection, most of which is currently gathering dust in my attic - and came across the "magic fairisle" technique beloved of anyone with a simple plastic or non-patterning machine. So I thought I'd have a quick go at it on the SK840.

The premise is, you have a length of the contrast yarn. When you get to where you want to knit that yarn, you knit it manually back to A or non-working position, then knit a row with the main yarn. Pull the stitch back to size, knit the next stitch (or stitches) back to A with contrast, knit across, repeat until you are done. For some reason not explained in the original article, they knit two rows, so the contrast stitch is two rows high - I don't know why that is necessary! This produces a lovely effect and would be great for small areas of lines. Wouldn't work so well for blocks of colour though as it's hard to match the tension.

It's quite a nice embossed effect on the purl side, too! Because the contrast yarn is added manually you only get small floats with the main yarn.



Current mood: thoughtful

Monday, August 6

Free pattern: Easy MK tubular scarf

I came up with a simple method of making a scarf that doesn't require much finishing - I see more of these in my future! Ideal for charity drives.


Yarn: Oddments of 4ply [DK : aran]
Machine: 4.5mm [6.5mm : 9mm]
Tension: MT6 or tension to match yarn.

Cast on 60 [45 : 30] stitches on BOTH beds using waste yarn, total stitches in work 120 [90 : 60]. Knit the zigzag row and hang the ribber comb, set machine for circular and knit a few passes in waste yarn.
Knit two passes with ravel cord. RC000
E-wrap both beds with main yarn - e-wrap the main bed needles anti-clockwise and the ribber needles clockwise.
Knit 1000 [750 : 500] passes or adjust length to suit. Knit the last two passes at maximum tension.
Latch tool cast off in the direction you were knitting. Weave in ends.

In other news, I learnt a good friend passed away after a short battle with the big C last week - I'd meant to write to her to tell her that her cheese scones and lovely cakes had been much missed at the Manor House end-of-year party, and of course I hadn't gotten around to it. Such is my luck; the funeral falls on a day when we're doing a team-building exercise at work and I don't think I can get out of it. :(

Current mood: sad

Thursday, August 2

Finished or not? Bits and bobs

This is the "finished" Rowan Sigh, which is exactly what it makes me do. Not happy with the neck (and that was the second attempt!). The pattern as written is a cowl neck, that was dreadful too. Still not sure what I shall do with this, maybe a simple rolled edge neck. The yarn is cursed - everything I've knit with it has gone wrong. The rest is currently being made into charity scarves.

Halfway done with the Longitudinal sock from Knitty. I had originally intended to knit the A-Step socks from "Think outside the sox" but could not make head nor tail of the very first line of the pattern. I feel as if a whole paragraph of instructions was omitted. The sock looks small but fits surprisingly well!

Now the heatwave has passed I felt more able to sew this up last night - the Taos diagonal jacket, though the yarn is Noro Shinroku. It just needs three buttons and a bit of steaming (possibly a stitch or two to keep the collar in place) and it's done.

Current mood: tired and grumpy