Monday, October 8

Of gremlins and other things...

I run a very small get-together for machine knitters in Coventry, on an ad-hoc basis at a friend's house (the next meeting is Sunday 9th of December if you care to join us!), and because I've finally caved and put the ribber back onto my Brother machine (because it still wasn't making me use the Passap!), I decided to take along my pristine midgauge machine plus ribber, as one of the attendees wanted to see ribbing cast ons.

Imagine my surprise to discover the S clamps, the connector arm and the carriage were missing. I've hardly used it, and I'm usually pretty good at putting everything back where it should be. It flummoxed me all afternoon, but as it was, we were all somewhat distracted by C's hubby who has lovingly restored a machine foot, using a nice piece of wood, that goes with R's vintage Record machine, which is a mechanized version of a peg knitting loom - the machine feet control the tension so are quite vital and one got shattered in transit.

When I got home, I determined I'd get to the bottom of the missing ribber mystery. Nothing lying around in the knitting room. Then I happened to look at the ribber bed. Even from the back, it's clearly a fine gauge, not a midgauge. Good job I didn't attempt to connect them up! The fine gauge was bought in an estate sale, and for some unknown reason the owner threw away the ribber box with the polystyrene inserts. As it's a Knitmaster, the brackets on the back of the ribber do not come off, and I guess I felt I had to store it somewhere safely whilst it was out of use, which turned out to be the box that the midgauge lives in. The missing ribber parts were carefully stashed in the box that goes with my chunky ribber, which was secreted behind the Passap.

I was certain it was gremlins, though, and not I! :) Everything's been put back where it ought to be, so it won't happen again. Ironically, Gremlins 2 was on the television whilst we were having our tea (a spicy bean hot-pot courtesy of Delia and himself).

Sunday was the "MKM at Home" event at Metropolitan - billed as a "play day" to look at various devices and things one might not have. I half-wondered if it was inspired by my MKKI day in May, although of course my event was far less professional, more focused on vintage machines and there certainly wasn't any catering. If so I'll take it as a compliment I think! It was packed - luckily I managed to get a quick overview of DesignaKnit 8 first thing, before someone with a faulty cable somewhat derailed our little presentation. There was one of those wonderful embroidery machines there too - oh, if only I had the room! I think I want to save up for DAK, it looks very useful. There were people demonstrating lace, knitleaders and other devices in the front lecture room, although alas I didn't get in there fast enough to see them. I got Bill King to demonstrate his deflected ribs in the museum/classroom. After lunch, it turned out there was a talk from a chap representing the "Colour Me Beautiful" books (I think I'm a Spring/Summer!) - but as he'd talked at Dream Week in 2010 I wasn't inclined to attend, apart from the fact that there weren't quite enough chairs anyway. I'm glad I got DAK out of the way first thing, because obviously nothing else could take place in the afternoon in the large room, and pretty much everyone attended. So H and I hung around with Beryl Jarvis (I got to see a "figure of 8 cast off" which I'm hoping I'll remember - a stretchy cast off but not a pretty one) and then sat chatting in the tea room.

I left my misbehaving colour changer (KHC) there, for Mark to take a look at, and as he and Carol were discussing foot pedals for Passap E6000s I managed to buy one (and Carol nearly rang it up for 70p not £70, which would have been some bargain!). The electra4600 is a fine motor but quite scary, and I think I'd prefer a foot control to the "go-stop" button. So - I think the next project is to crack on with a simple jumper for himself, on the Passap, and I can put the new pedal to the test.

One thing that tickled me? There's another wonderful Bill King design in this month's MKM, which I only got in the post Saturday morning - and there were at least three people wearing theirs on the Sunday. What can I say? If I'd not been tied up with shopping and the MK group I would have made myself one also - I'm hoping I might find time tonight, but it's unlikely, as Mondays is housework and gym night.

All in all, a very interesting and useful day. I think I'd have preferred a little more structure to the DAK demo, because I'm pretty sure there's more to the Stitch Designer part of the program, but it gave me enough of a taster to make me think I need to start saving up for it. If I am to get the cables, the Passap'll be the last, as I could use Wincrea for it. It'll be a case of choosing between the SK840 and the Brother KH950i I suppose. When you knit interactively, it actually talks to you. I wonder whether it's programmed to scream "Stop, you daft woman, you were supposed to start decreasing 10 rows ago!" And if not, why not?! :D

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