Tuesday, January 4

Vague resolutions and works in progress

Well, I don't really hold with new year resolutions, because I tend to forget them almost instantly, but I'm going to make some craft-related ones alongside that old perennial, lose weight/get in shape. These are in no particular order!

Machine knitting:
1. Knit up the hot pink mohair jacket (Nina Miklin pattern)
2. Get to grips with the CSM and design a decent sock that will fit
3. Get more au fait with the Passap E6000 and have a go at some more model book patterns

Sewing:
1. Plaid skirt
2. Pencil skirt with the leftover grey material
3. DKNY knock-off wrap top in white jersey/lycra

General:
1. Try to use up some of the stash that has accumulated
2. Try to organize and thin out contents of knitting room prior to redecorating
3. Design shelving systems and get the Cog to fire up his woodworking tools
4. Warp up the four shaft loom and make something with it
5. Have a destash and get rid of extraneous books/patterns/yarns

I've discovered a major failing with my fine gauge knitting machine. It produces perfect stocking stitch, that is not the problem. The problem is, I find I do not want to hand-sew some 500 rows for a sweater dress. I've hand-sewn the raglan seams but find I want to use the Hague linker for the rest of them. It doesn't do such a good job but I think I'm subconsciously hoping that the slight felting in the first wash will hide the sewing up. Bleh. I guess I should have started with a simple jumper, yes? This is the first time in a while that a project has sat dumped in an armchair awaiting sewing up - I'm usually loathe to fall into the 95% finished UFO trap. Another thing I realized last night (when trying and failing to sew up one of the side seams on the linker) is that for very long garments such as dresses it might be a good idea in future to mark both ends of every 50 rows for ease of matching the seams accurately.

Yesterday I machine-knitted four fronts and two sleeves for "a versatile jacket" (Ann Brown, book 99). I've had to email her because there is reference to "using crepe knit xxx rows" in such a way as if it's optional. I ignored all mentions of crepe and the parts look quite small - and the sleeve raglans do not match the front raglans, so I am now at a loss as to how to sew it up. Dropped her an email, I'm hoping it's just me making some silly mistake. Otherwise my neckline is going to have 9 edges to it! There were also some minor errors regarding stitch count on the fronts - I was always one stitch out in a few places. Luckily one stitch is easy to lose somewhere.

Handknitting-wise I cast on "London calling" from SnB Nation. It's supposed to be a flarey top with a Union Jack intarsia on the front - whilst that is kinda cool, I have ten balls of grey mohair with rainbow bits in my stash from the Fancy Yarn company, so I'm just making it plain (and I knitted a garter stitch band at the bottom, I hope I don't regret doing that!). I briefly toyed with using the Knitpro Harmony circulars for it, my usual needle of choice, but I've switched back to some grey plastic straights because the colour contrasts better with the yarn. I could have swatched this and made it on the LK150 I know, but I needed something to work on in front of the tv/at knitting group, not least because the drooping leaf lace scarf is in time-out for never having the right stitch count, having to be frogged back to lifelines endlessly and generally making me think joining the foreign legion would be more fun. Conclusion? I don't think I have the concentration for complex handknitted lace!

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