OK, so it's only temporary, but at the moment I have six, count 'em, SIX knitting machines in the house.
Saturday I picked this little baby up:
It's a never-used convertible Brother KX395 knitting machine. It can knit either 9mm or 4.5mm (so 3ply up to aran/chunky yarn), by changing some plastic combs. The 9mm combs stop every other needle from coming forward - the needles themselves are captive, so changing gauge is a snap. Manual patterning - it has slip and intarsia functions, and tuck can be performed by using the HOLD function - but dead easy to set up, really light. If this wasn't for a friend I'd keep it for myself, which is ridiculous, 'cause I have better machines than this! I love the dinky pink bow on the dial, too! Obviously somebody was trying to make it "female friendly" - the more complex machines are very business-like and in most cases beige not pink!
Because somebody felt a little sheepish regarding shrinking his knitwear, he took me to Uppinghams on the way back and bought £42.50 of lambswool. Should get a few jumpers out of that, haha! I didn't buy any for myself, there is probably enough in what the Cog bought for his n' her knits :)
On sunday, I went up to Ashbourne and picked this up:
It's a Cymbal 84/42 circular sock machine (CSM). A beautifully-restored antique.
We had an interesting (read: scarey!) drive through the Manifold Valley looking for Thor's Cave - we did find it, but it's some walk from the road and without a decent scale walking map we had to be content with just a drive by. The roads were incredibly narrow and I was glad the Cog was driving the Ka and that we don't have a 4 by 4. We did stop at a little stream somewhere in the valley, and had ice-cream and played pooh-sticks - alas, the brook was quite lazy and contrary and my "stick" decided to go in circles so I think I lost that one!
Yesterday I played around with the CSM for a bit - I can knit every needle or EON, but I had little joy with the ribber - the seller had it working Sunday so I expect it's just user-error - I managed to bend a ribber needle, but not too badly. It's very fiddly - going from st st to 1x1 rib involves removing needles - goodness only knows how the original female owners managed with gas lighting! The whole thing was a bit of a scam, really - you bought the machine and yarn from the company, and then submitted your socks. You built up more debt until they were happy with your output, and then presumably had to make lots of socks just to pay off your debt, before you got any profit at all for yourself.
Yes, I can knit tubes with it. They are coming out a bit big for my foot (although ideal for knee socks). I shall have to try and find some patterns!
I knitted and finished up the second Fleece Artist sock this morning. I can't help thinking I am just making more socks for the Cog to shrink, but never mind.
Current mood: tired