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

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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...

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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

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Tubular scarf (KH260, T6)

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

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

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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

Witterings

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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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