Monday, May 28

The nightmare "dream week" project

Well, thought I'd have a go at my MK Dream Week project, seeing as today's a day off in the UK and the weather's miserable...

Remember this?

Plan was to turn it into this teacosy:

The pattern starts with 48 sts and is gradually increased to the full width, to make the "circular" top of the cosy. Two attempts at this fell off the machine. The yarn's like miniature tinsel - you can't even see the stitches, let alone rehang them if they fall off. Third attempt I decided to do it as cut and sew.

Well, for a start there's not nearly enough yarn. No problem, I thought - it's a tea cosy, I'll line it with some black acrylic instead of the nylon stuff. Then it occurred to me that there wasn't even enough for both a front and a back, let alone the tail and ears.

Debated asking for a second cone (you can do this), but being a headstrong Aries I wanted to make it all in a day, and having it stuck on my machine for at least a week was not really an option. Took it off the machine, removed the marker yarns I'd been using, and decided it might make quite a nice evening bag instead.

I did unpick a few rows, but it's snaggy and I risk breaking it. Plus it's getting a bit, well, bald in a few places.

Got the overlocker out. Realised I couldn't get two thicknesses through the overlocker - overlocked the top edge, so at least it wouldn't unravel. Looking at the piece it appears to bias quite badly. Not a problem, think I, if I cut and sew it. Alas, the overlocker's not too keen on it, even at only one thickness, and it takes two attempts to do a complete row without the cotton snapping.

At this point I decide to ditch the overlocker - the sewing machine will cope with two thicknesses far better, and I can always trim it by hand afterwards. Make the mistake of blowing into the overlocker to clean it before I put it away. Yes, you've guessed it, I am now covered in little tiny bits of black plastic.

Chuck work into a corner, in a huff. Go downstairs to whine at better half, who is in the kitchen making bread. He's trying really hard not to laugh at this red-faced woman covered in black bits, that look rather like black-fly!

Never fear, it will be finished. Just, not today. *grump*

Done some more swatching of the Peaches N Creme cotton - double worsted cotton is way thicker than I imagined! It's a struggle to knit it at T10 on the chunky machine - but it knits OK at T7 on every other needle (EON), so all is not lost. The reason the swatch is "flared" where I cast on is because I knit a row with T7, then 8, 9, 10, then realised that EON was the only way to go. Looks awful on the machine, but springs into shape with a sharp tug when cast off.

Also had a go at punch lace on the same machine - came out quite well. This design is supposed to be triangles. The "holes" are made by using an incredibly fine invisible yarn. Believe you me, it is not misnamed. Lost sight of the end a few times before I got this far! :)

The spare carriage (an 881) I got from Andeeknits only has one visible advantage over my 836 - it's got end needle selection. However, the row counter/knitleader tripper are too short, so that kind of takes away the advantage. It doesn't do punchlace - turns out that's something only the Brother 900 series do (the electronics). I did browse Ebay for machines and there were a few, but to be fair the Silver Reed does punch lace so I'd be daft to buy it just for that reason. It'd be tempting to try and get a 900 series carriage, but then there would be no patterning, so a bit pointless.

Also discovered that my chunky machine does plating whilst reading up on punch lace - I never spotted the extra hole in the yarn feeder before. It would be an interesting effect on the single bed. Something I shall have to try, if I can locate some yarns of the correct thickness.

Current mood: annoyed but determined

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