Sunday, February 17

Itchy fingers

Well, I had a few nice hours of pottering around in the knitting room yesterday. Himself had to go into work, and it seemed like the perfect time to do some machine knitting (it was lovely and sunny, same as today, I probably should take a walk today to make the most of it). Firstly I finished off the final parts for a simple baby v-neck cardigan from the Metbury baby books. It's an almost entirely knit on the Passap design. Very simple though - 1x1 ribbing and stocking stitch, and vertical ribbed buttonhole band. I say "almost entirely", because I did use the Brother to join the shoulder seams. So it's done, it just needs sewing up.

Then I flipped through the book and thought I might make some baby blankets. There was one that involved a simple pre-programmed tuck stitch and baby 4ply. I had a fit of the red mist a while back and bought three cones of baby 4ply from Uppinghams - pink, blue, lilac - and was then presumably so ashamed they didn't even get photographed for the Rav stash. Anyroad, there's a slight typo in the book and it made me over-think things - you're using the front bed needles and pushers, and you cast on 1x1, but then add in between needles. I figured it meant front bed needles - this resulted in a major tangle. I've made a note that I really should read instructions properly and bring the back bed needles in next time. Decided I didn't fancy knitting 450 rows so put the cover back on the machine.

Then I turned my attention to some yarns that have been hanging around for a while. I swatched some blue chenille that's been hanging around far too long. Then I looked elsewhere. I've 340g of Denys Brunton fantasia. It's a space-dyed acrylic - it feels like cotton/silk, it's not your usual acrylic. I figured it might look nice as an evening scarf, using pattern 3 and tuck lace on the KH950i. Pattern 3 is not quite the same as card 3:


You couldn't use this for ordinary tuck, because there are always at least two needles together. But there's a nice picture of tuck lace in the front of the stitchworld book. Looking at the pattern above, needles 1 and 5 must be out of work, so you need a pattern of 3 up, 2 down, along the bed, and 2 up at the ends.

Well, I got cast on, but do you think I could get it to knit right? Didn't matter where I put the pattern, it wouldn't tuck correctly. Then I realised my mistake - I was using KC1 and should have been using KC2 (or the KC that is at 2 o'clock).  There was even a DIAGRAM of the switch location in the manual, and I still missed it. Using the wrong KC means every end needle of a group is knitting, even if you're not at the edge of the knitting. It's ingenious, and clearly more than enough to fox me!

Once I got THAT figured out it was plain sailing. I did about 600 odd rows before I decided that, although it was pretty, it was still curling quite a bit, and I wasn't convinced that steaming/killing would add anything (it might even melt this yarn). So that all got re-wound - I swatched it in the normal manner, because it might make a lovely slinky top...

By this time the chenille swatch had had a reasonable time to rest, so I plugged the measurements into Knitware and came up with a simple round-neck jumper. I did a simple 2x2 cable twist up the front but didn't add a gutter - this yarn is pretty fragile and I didn't want to risk snapping it. It also sheds - found a lump of bits trapped inside the sinker plate at one point. Spent the rest of the afternoon making that jumper up, and knitted the sleeves downwards to save on sewing up. I just need to add garter stitch borders by hand, and then sew the whole lot up. Still got quite a bit more on the cone though. That yarn sure is mocking me!

The Cog was home by now and after making open sandwiches on home-made bread (he's trying to eliminate yeast at the moment so it's bread made with baking powder, surprisingly not bad!), I turned my thoughts to some peach cotton I was given a few weeks ago. I had originally planned on crocheting "Lilly", a beach cover up, which has a front of lacy motifs and the rest of the garment is made in mesh stitch. However, I don't get to spend a lot of time at the beach, being almost right in the middle of this landmass (more's the pity!) so went rootling around for other ideas. I wanted to make Doris Chan's Tokyo vest - it's a straight piece of tunisian crochet lace that wraps around and makes a top. Alas, I don't have a 5.5mm tunisian hook. Thwarted! Finally settled on a long-sleeved, vneck cotton top from the Sirdar white book - it's called Design F (Sirdar 279 apparently, but no pictures etc on Rav so nobody's finished it yet).

The Cog very kindly took me out for dinner (he's away next week snowboarding) so no sewing up to be done after two glasses of wine and two rather strong beers. I think I may have fallen asleep on the sofa at some point. Whoops!

I think I need a "house elf" that I can teach to do the sewing up. I just want to make the parts up, and then find them magically sewn together the next morning. I suspect that's not going to happen. I suppose I ought to get out of bed and start the day!!! :)

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