Sunday, April 24

FO: more hats

When you finish knitting garments, you always have yarn leftover. I make it into hats usually.

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The two sides of the reversible hats - sorry for the rough pictures, it's a PITA to keep switching flash on and off on the Nikon, the buttons keep losing their function. The left one came out on the larger size, because it's actually donated DK yarn.

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This is leftover sparkly yarns. Very pretty, came out a bit long - it's a modification of the single thickness version of this pattern, but I reduced the stitch count, and I'm glad I did because it came out on the large side.

I also knitted a T-time top but I might redo it - as I was using DK not aran it came out somewhat smaller than I thought it would, and I need to use up as much of the yarn as I can (the second size came out kind of teen sized). I also knitted some swatches, which need to go into the wash.

My current go-to project, seeing as handknitting, crochet and sewing are denied:

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I also did a little more weaving, but there's not much to show for that at the moment.

Current mood: okay

Brother carriage settings from the underside

Lots of people get machines second-hand, which need some TLC, and they don't know what things are supposed to look like on the underside. I thought I'd post pictures of some of my carriages in the hopes it might help diagnose faults. These pictures are of the KH260, which has the split-button / punch lace feature. Note that these are just pictures of the cam buttons being pressed - in order to make the patterning read from the punchcard, KC or SM would also need to be pressed (see later pics). As always, click on the picture for a clearer view.

Key:
Needles in A (Non-Working Position)
Needles in B (Working Position)
Needles in D (Upper Working Position)
Needles in E (Holding Position)


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This is the underside of the carriage set for N or stocking stitch. Note that any needle in HOLD (the blue line) will knit back.

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This is the carriage set to tuck - note that needles in B don't move out as far (ie they tuck). Needles in D and E position knit.

bro_f

This is the carriage set for fair-isle. Needles in B position take a slightly shorter route and knit the yarn in feeder A. Needles in D or E position knit the yarn in feeder B.

bro_pl

This is the carriage set for punch lace - this is a very similar set-up to the fairisle one. Only later machines have this function. Both yarns knit together in certain areas, and the second yarn only knits in other areas.

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This is the carriage set to slip - needles in B position hardly move and therefore do not knit.

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This is the carriage set to hold - any needle in E position will remain in E position.

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This is the carriage in N position. Note also the pink plastic part - this is the end needle selection cam. It's not always pink though, sometimes it is yellow.

bro_kc

This is the carriage in KC (Knitting Card) position

bro_sm

This is the carriage in SM (Single Motif) position - not available on all machines.

Wednesday, April 20

FO: Another hat

I tried knitting this on the midgauge originally but it was just too firm a fabric. It used 74g of the yarn, Stylecraft Carnival.

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Spent two hours working on some cross-stitch tonight, only to discover I'd used three threads not two so had to pull it all back out again. I thought it didn't look right. Whoops! Serves me right for not reading the directions...

Current mood: tired and somewhat peeved...

Sunday, April 17

FO: red cardigan and Lucy coatighan

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Finished this on Thursday night, would've worn it earlier but it wasn't dry. The yarn (Patons wool blend aran) was rather rough when knitted, but softened up a treat. My new favourite cardigan. Literally had just enough to finish the fringe, and luckily I accidentally bought an extra ball of the wine coloured yarn because I needed it.

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Finished this on Saturday - the crepe yarn reflected the flash, it's actually a lovely deep red.

And when I wasn't doing that, I was threading up this, most of the weekend (it's going to be a table runner):
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I'm going to stop using the, count the wraps and divide by 2 method for working out epi and use the various reference tables I've since found online. I warped it as 8 epi and then realised that was too loose so resleyed it as 10 epi, which is still on the loose side. I really don't like warping back to front, it's such a PITA. Would much rather use the reed as the raddle. Got some weaving books on order so that should help.

Himself is on his way back from the third snowboarding trip this year - house has been very quiet without him but I kept myself busy.

Current mood: okay

Monday, April 11

FO: Charity jumper

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Made serious inroads to the Lucy cardigan tonight. Sewing up to commence on Wednesday night...

Sunday, April 10

Undefeated

The title is from a Def Leppard song - actually I think it's about boxing - but hey I like it and it's a catchy tune. Well, I am an Aries ram, so will continue to craft as long as I have breath in my body (or unless told otherwise). Call it stubbornness, call it bloody-mindedness.. call it what you will.

This weekend I swapped the SK860 out for the KH260 (midgauge for chunky) - it was like saying hello to an old friend really. I cast on for "Lucy", a large cardigan/coatigan pattern from Karabee Designs in bold stripes of plum, grey and cream. So far I've done the back and one front. Can't wait to knit the rest (maybe Monday night?). No, I didn't both to swatch, naughty me - it's a one size pattern anyway and I presume it'll be an oversize hug of a cardigan. I hope so! Alas, Karabee doesn't seem to have a website, nor even an email address. I wonder if they've heard of Etsy?

I'm also working on my second commissioned machine-knit for my friend Y - another cardigan, but this time not such a long one. I've only enough yarn to knit the second sleeve so need to pick up more on Wednesday. I've been pleasantly surprised how well DK (in this case, Mercia Wools DK Merino Crepe) knits up on the standard gauge knitting machine at T7. I didn't swatch it on the midgauge, I think it would have been too loose even at T1.

I've not really resolved the RSI issue; other than just sewing up in small bursts and avoiding any hand-knitting or crochet completely, I don't see there's much more I can do. Did find some useful exercises on Youtube though - I need to find them again and practice. I'm wearing a splint on my left wrist at night, so at least being woken by a dead left hand has stopped.

I am debating turning my attention towards weaving/kumihimo/sewing/cross-stitch for a while. The first sewing project would be making myself some simple fingerless wrist tubes, to wear under the splints (I admit, I bought both wrist splints, but have only worn the right hand one once). The splints work just fine, but I find the velcro bites into the base of my thumb somewhat, so have been wrapping my wrist with a handkerchief first.

I've also still got a plan to weave a table runner - and this time I've got some lovely slinky mercerised cotton in mind for it.

Current mood: energetic

Friday, April 8

The hills are alive, with the sound of knitting...

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Sharing this picture because it's always cracked me up slightly. It's from an old Jones (later Brother) pattern book with the striped cover (I reviewed my copy here), which came out with the 8 stitch push-button machines. A lot of it could easily be converted for 24st punch-card or electronic machines. A lot of it is hand-manipulated anyway - so you could use your punch-card to preselect the needles, and do the hand-manipulation, well, by hand of course. There's also a section on what it calls "embroidery knitting", aka vertical knit-weave, except this method uses a piece of card to keep the weaving yarns in check, and I'd only ever thought of doing it with the garter bar.

Altogether a fascinating resource, and not one I've seen for sale online much. Why am I telling you this? Well, a scan has just appeared on the wonderful machineknittingetc site.

Mood is currently frustrated - now I'm getting pins and needles in my left hand just sewing up, which I was doing Weds and Thurs night. Which leaves me in a pickle - I can machine knit pieces, but who is going to sew them up nicely for me? I don't really rate the Hague linker I'm afraid (yes I do have one!), it's almost impossible to get a completely straight seam and I much prefer the neatness of mattress stitch. Managed to book an advanced doctor's appointment - and it's almost a month away. Feh. "A woman could die from hands like this!" (to misquote "Fiddler on the Roof"). Oh, ok, I'm being melodramatic - I had innocently thought advanced would only mean a week or two, though. Clearly not! It's also a morning appointment - I distinctly asked for an evening one, because we don't have enough parking at work so if you arrive late it's a bit of a lottery. Oh well - it's better than nowt I suppose.

Last night I finally sewed up the last charity jumper (ie it's from the last full cone of donated yarn I set aside for charity). It's brown with a fairisle pattern. Picture to follow (it's not very exciting). Now I'm down to cone ends, assuming my RSI/carpal tunnel or whatever it is clears up anytime soon. I can see me machine-knitting scads of things and just collecting the bits, pending being able to make them up. Not fun. Meanwhile, my alter-ego steelbreeze taunts me by buying a job lot of 80s Sandra magazines on Ebay. Rats... and ooh, pretty! :)

Current mood: frustrated

Tuesday, April 5

Parked

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Rainbow sock with cable - parked!

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Rainbow shawl with hearts design - parked! Might frog this yet, it's not working out - the yarn is way too loud for the design. I had wondered where all my stitch markers were...

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Finally got DAK to download a pattern into my KH950i - not sure I got it quite right, I told it I was knitting a sleeve but then didn't. Not a great picture, but I'm really chuffed.

Current mood: cynical