Tuesday, December 22

End of the year round up

Have had a few days off work as I had holiday to use up. I'd already got most of my xmas shopping done, and the last few things were wrapped today, plus a large food order from Sainsers came (and I promptly ran out of space to put everything).

Have had a frustrating few days on the knittng machines, making my usual daft mistakes and with the usual Aries idiocy.

Firstly, I've been asked to make two toddler cardigans for a friend. I don't usually knit for other people - people rarely want to pay for both my time AND the yarn - but she is a good friend. She supplied me with six balls of baby DK - yes, balls, so handknitting yarn. The first lesson I ever learnt in machine knitting (apart from, replace the spongebar) was that handknitting yarn is a pain to work with and is often slightly thicker than the machine knitter's coned alternative. Plus it is not treated with wax or oil to ease its passage through the carriage. So it was a simple raglan cardigan, but it caused the machine to choke and scream with static at the amount of fluff it produced. The first cardigan is made, but I'm not terribly happy with it. I made the back and fronts in one piece, to save time, but that left lines where pieces were held. I failed to knit some waste yarn over the held parts to protect them. There are also various lines in the knitting, caused by tension and static problems, and one point where I foolishly oiled the carriage (hoping it will wash out).

One thing I did try was to create a "cheat sheet" of decreases, as the V neck and raglan decreases are spaced differently - and it meant I could get on with the knitting without forgetting my place. I did it on a spreadsheet, but someone used to market a table that went up to about 500, that had been laminated - that would work, too! Definitely will do the cheat sheet again, I tend to drift off over large swatches of stocking stitch.

I made my skein of "trophy yarn" into an earflap hat, but had to make it larger to fit my big head - finally finished it, but it's actually a trifle too big now. Feh!

Yesterday, I decided to make myself a sparkly top out of some black courtelle which has a silver lurex thread through it. There was only 300g, so not enough for much. I finished it up today, but picked a dropped sleeve design. There's too much material around the sleeves, which sit strangely, so I suspect I might have to take the overlocker to it. The prpblem with having a generous bust is that dropped shoulder designs seem to assume you're the same diameter at the shoulders (ie an American footballer!) :) Next time I'll do a raglan - serves me right for trying to save time.

Back in January, I cam up with some challenges I wanted to tackle. Out of 9 things, I managed probably 5 things, and the only technique that became a garment was the two-coloured slip stitch jumper. I still want to make some garments incorporating double-bed jacquard, pile stitch, the garter carriage and intarsia. Maybe next year. In my defence, I wasn't actually home for a good few weeks this year, and when I was, I was at college, sewing!

So, a busy year, but not necessarily as much mk output as I'd've liked. Ah well, did a few swatches when I did the black lurex, so I have plenty to think on over the xmas break.

Best wishes to all my readers for the Christmas break, and I hope you have a peaceful and restful New Year. I'll post some photos soon, I promise!

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