Monday, June 18

FO: Bill King coat of many colours and some socks






The Drops Delight pair were started at the AGM, but some dropped stitches meant I had to frog the second sock. It dropped again but I think I managed to fudge it. Pesky socks! Ha...

Loving the Bill King cardigan - I modified the pattern by tapering at the start and end for a better-fitting sleeve. Now, if I could just figure out a way to knit it on the machine so that there's less sewing up it'd be even better!

Thursday, June 14

FO: gingham and lace dress


Better late than never, finally a photo - the headless sewist strikes again. Added an inch to the front and back, should have added it to the shoulders as it's made the neck a little wide. Fits quite well though! If I could stay away from the sweets it'd fit even better, haha! New Look 6390.

Last night I pretty much finished Simplicity 1653, an "amazing fit" dress in grey and hot pink jersey. It's a little low cut up top so needs a press-stud, otherwise it's complete. Pictures next week!

Current mood: amused

Tuesday, June 12

Some finished objects


It's too long to fit in the viewfinder, haha! Leftover yarn became the fringe. A belated photo of a lovely soft crochet scarf.



More CSM socks. According to Ravelry these were started in April, but they've been hanging off the CSM for quite a while. Taken off before transporting the machine to Portsmouth for the Guild AGM (1.5 pairs made that day, they need making up and in one case rehanging and re-toeing!)

The AGM went off ok but there wasn't a great atmosphere - two secret ballots later, and two of the three newly-elected directors immediately resigned. What was that all about? Shockingly immature behaviour IMHO but there you go. We had a nice jaunt to Hayling Island (not much there) and Bognor Regis on the Sunday - and the sun came out! Got beaten at crazy golf (of course) and had fish and chips on the seafront. Yay!

Wednesday, May 30

All quiet on the western front...

Yes, I am still knitting - mostly handknitting at the moment though. Doesn't stop my brain planning MK projects though - another one-piece Bill King cardigan to replace the white one that unfortunately got involved with some purple nail varnish and had to be thrown out. But this version will be modified to have proper sleeves, with some shaping. Need to swatch that bit!

Managed to pop into Coventry Knit Wits last night at the same time as a parade for the local footie team, so only one other person showed up.

Currently dragging myself through "Sophie's World" - so glad I got the book for free. I can't understand why people really rate it on Amazon, the story is a two dimensional plot of a guy giving a teenage girl a short course in philosophy. Reading it because I've nothing else to hand and I'm bloody-minded, but not rating it!

Currently watching "Humans" and "The Handmaid's Tale" on Channel 4 - both excellent!

After refurbishing the carriage and an entire bed of needles for someone, I've had a heck of a time getting hold of her. The first number I had for her was completely wrong (other than the STD code), and then the second number I managed to switch the first digit. I swear the alzheimer's has started early. Luckily she read my mind and called me this morning. Off to put the machine back together on Saturday. Hurrah!

Current mood: happy

Monday, May 21

Knitmaster carriage from the underside

I'll state here that this is a bit of a guess - Knitmasters select and knit (or whatever) within the carriage, there is no needle preselection - so they are less obvious than Brothers. Hopefully these pictures will help anyone having problems with their carriage. Click on one to embiggen. This is a punchcard carriage with side levers.

Needles in A (non-working) position
Needles in B (working) position
Needles in C position
Needles in D (Hold) position

Plain (0) position

Lace (punchlace?)




Disassembly of a Knitmaster carriage

I recently went to help out a returning machine knitter, only to discover the drums on her 326 were stuck solid. With the help of some very useful videos on Youtube, I cleaned the carriage up, and now it appears to be working well (I don't have her machine here). Apart from a rather fiddly bit, when I accidentally disassembled one of the drums, it went well, and I thought I'd document it for future reference.


Remove the handle by removing the grub screws in the handle indicated by the red arrows. Remove the two screws indicated by the blue arrows. To remove the casing, I turned the tension dial past zero (some machines it's past 10) until it came free. Underneath the tension knob is the cam knob. This has a leaf spring which is what makes it "click" into the different cam positions. You can use a flat-bladed screwdriver to push the spring out of the way, and then the cam lever and plastic casing will come off together.


Next step is to remove the screws indicated by the red arrows. Squeeze the casing at the blue arrows and the whole lot should pop off.


Remove the screw and washer at A and disconnnect the wire connector. Remove the two screws and washers and the C shaped plate indicated by B. Remove the two screws to the left of C and rotate the plate (it had the wire spring in it) and there's another screw without a washer here that needs to be removed. Jiggle it a bit to remove the plate. Finally, remove the circlip and washer at D. The two pattern drums should come up together now. If they do not, put an elastic band around the groove of the drum D to hold the feelers in place before loosening the hex nut - otherwise, the drum comes apart - not fatal, just annoying! I would recommend you only disassemble one half at a time so you can see what goes where!

In my case, three of the drums were frozen solid on the shaft. I prized it off carefully, and gave it a good clean with surgical spirit.

Assembly is done in the reverse order. Don't forget to pop the spring back onto the two wires (top of picture, above A). The drums should spin with a flick of the finger.

Many thanks to Roberta Rose Kelly and "Ask Jack" for their very helpful videos, linked below.

Ask Jack - servicing the drums
Roberta Rose Kelley - removing the cover

Tuesday, May 1

Weaving and a replacement for the ribber comb

Had a lovely day's Saori weaving at the Beautiful Cloth studio in Napton - great fun!

The crochet corner-to-corner scarf continues. Can't seem to find my mojo for much machine knitting at the moment. The weather isn't helping (it's chucking it down again today).

I've recently been teaching a student that has had a stroke, she has no use of her right arm. So I came up with a ribber "rag" that will replace her ribber comb. Alas, I did not think to get a photo of it, I will take one when I next see her.


Cast on e-wrap every other needle across the whole of the bed. Knit 20 rows main tension, 1 row T10, 20 rows main tension.
Hang hem.
Knit 6 rows. Make a lace hole on needle 1L, then at L15 and R15, L30 and R30, L45 and R45, L60 and R60, L75 and R75, L90 and R90.

Knit a further 10 rows. Knit two rows at T10, then cast off behind the gatepegs. Remove sample from machine and steam flat. Mark the middle hole with a permanent marker.

To use:

Hang on main bed needles, every other needle, as required. Bring ribber into work and put empty needles on ribber up into "hold" (but do not set ribber to hold). Hang weights evenly using lace holes.
At ribber tension, knit 1 row with ravel cord.
Change to main yarn, T0/0 and knit 1 row on all needles
Knit 1-5 circular rows at T1/1
Rearrange stitches at this point, if 1x1 ribbing is not the aim.
Set RC000 and knit ribbing as required.

Current mood: lethargic

Thursday, April 26