Monday, October 25

FO: many hats


This Saturday I went to a machine knitting day at Fladbury, organised by my good friend R, and spent the day doing a bit of a hat-a-thon on the KH881, using just the cards that came with the machine. A bit of a Downton Abbey binge yesterday and I had them all sewn up. Pattern link here. These are going to "Hats 4 the Homeless" this year. If I knit this many again I will wear fingerless gloves, I was in danger of getting blisters I think!

Yesterday we had a small ramble from Newbold quarry and then a quiet afternoon in. At least the rain held off this time whilst we were outdoors!

Current mood: working

Monday, October 4

Autumn is coming


In progress: Granny square pattern blanket


A simple cardigan with yoke - it's been finished since this shot was taken.

Not shown, a completed sideways crochet scarf and another in a weave pattern, about a quarter completed, and some simple cotton trousers I made with rainbow fabric (they're more stylish than they sound!).

Sorry guys, I have been remiss in keeping the blog up to date lately. Never fear, all is well here. I am getting used to the medication (I don't seem to remember my dreams every night, which is a relief). Autumn is definitely in the air - there's a cold sharpness to the breeze now, and I often play the "crunchy leaf" game on walks, though it's a bit early for that. I made another version of the Norfolk blanket, but scaled it up to use all 199 needles. It didn't go that well - the rear pushers kept flatlining - so there are some mistakes. It's a good way of using up yarn though. Perhaps I will just pick a simple tuck pattern from the book next time.

My office organised a late summer party last week, originally postponed from 2020. It was in a marquee alongside a lake. Oh, so much food, I skipped tea completely! It was the first time we'd all been together since March 2020 so it was nice to catch up with people I wouldn't otherwise see. Alas, the glam outfit I had intended to wear no longer fits. It's surprising how much more incidental exercise I got when working in an office - they are now shut for refurbishment.

We managed to get petrol last week which will hopefully last until the fuel crisis passes - we had a short break in Worcester / Malverns and every petrol station we passed on the way home was dry. I hope you are safe and well, and keeping warm. Eddie the cat is delighted that the heating is on again. The Cog is moaning that summer is done but I'm secretly looking forward to getting through some box sets.

Current mood: busy

Thursday, September 16

Reversible hat pattern (Natalie Langkilde)

I've knitted many of these hats over the years. Reposting it in a shortened format. Original pattern is here - pattern is for charity or personal use only. Dedicated to Natalie who wrote many patterns for the machine knitting community before her untimely death. The original pattern also includes directions for calculating your own hat. 

Reversible hat

Machine: std gauge machine
Size: baby (toddler : adult)

Cast on 120 (135 : 160) sts EON - I use the slip stitch cast on which can be gathered up later
Knit 10 rows at T3
Bring the remaining needles into work and knit to row 62 (72: 88) in fairisle pattern of your choice (T6)
Knit to row 93 (103 : 119) in a single colour to produce the brim
Knit 1 row T10 (turn row)
Knit to row 125 (135 : 151) in a single colour (T6)
Knit to row 177 (197 : 229) in fairisle
Transfer to EON and knit to row 187 ( 207 : 239) at T3
Break yarn, leaving a long length, and thread through live stitches, or start a new hat with a seperating row of ravel cord. 

Gather up both ends, sew side seam, sew the crowns together. 

Wednesday, September 15

FO: some Passap jumpers


"Totally texture" jumper. Not entirely happy with the neck, but never mind...


Fisherman's rib sweater. These are both cut and sew necks

The downside of not speaking to someone when working remotely is that they have no idea unless they attempt to call you... sigh...

Monday, September 13

Photos from camp

As promised, some pictures.


Tropical weather and I'm knitting a hat...


Home-made pizza!


Weather being very British!


Just about to pack up the tents.

Some sewing up happened tonight, woohoo! I may have some jumpers to show soon...

Perking up

Last week I had a lovely short break camping locally with a few friends, all of whom were spinners. It was a camp of two halves, the Wednesday was roasting hot and we all sought shade. Thursday it rained on and off all day, whilst remaining humid. I did a bit of machine knitting but mostly sat around eating cake - so nice to just be away from the house for a few days. Made a somewhat successful hat and a very nice cowl. Many thanks to C and everyone for organising it. I have eaten way too much cake! 

Came back to a lovely letter from a new penpal. Saturday I gave a short talk on "Machine knitting (not just stocking stitch)" for the KCG Un-vention, which was well received, despite the sunshine doing its best to make the samples impossible to show on Zoom. Had some lovely emails thanking me for it, and someone reminded me that though the pandemic has caused heartache it's also improved technology use for many. I am well aware that I've had a fairly easy ride compared to some, so I will endeavour to focus on the positives when I can! Online conversations have a tendency to become fractious, perhaps we are all going a little covid-crazy! Managed to dry the tents out yesterday. We walked around Draycote reservoir (some four miles) and treated ourselves to a snack at the cafe at the end. It seems a lot further on foot than it does when cycling! Got some great shots with the new camera, though alas I left the ISO set a bit too high. Oops! It's one of the settings that doesn't show on the onscreen display... 

Bizarre dream of a failed romance film - Simon Pegg and Keeley Hawes in a mismatched couple situation. Maybe I should write some of these down?! Watched "Knives Out" last night, very good! Back to work today, a nice distraction. 

Current mood: awake

Monday, September 6

Results but no pics yet

Two cut and sew necks completed successfully this weekend - now the sewing up may commence. I do not recommend a double-bed tuck pattern for a jumper, very time consuming for hand sewing. I may end up mounting it on the machine. I will stick to using that sort of pattern for blankets in future!

There's been a somewhat heated exchange on one of the Rav groups, over mask-wearing. Alas, if the majority now think it's "over" (it isn't) and cease wearing them, then mask wearing for the majority becomes a waste of time. If take up is high then transmission is lower. I guess my faith in the common sense of humanity took a bit of a pasting lately, after the reports of horse de-wormer selling out in the US. There's a great deal of difference between a virus and a parasite - even I know that! Sigh.

I am at a loose end today as I am off for a short camping break this week but it's too early to start packing. 

Current mood: cynical

Monday, August 30

Mojo sucking

Yes, it doesn't take much to lose one's mojo for hobbies at the moment. A combination of grey weather - where is all the lovely late summer weather? Not here, that's for sure! My lovely partner took me on an impromptu day trip to Bournemouth, tired of my carping about the complete amnesia of our beach holiday in July. Turns out we last visited in 2012, right before I had my cataracts done, but as we only visited one end of the beach (the pier divides it), it was a few hours before we recognised the place. Plus, visiting in October is never going to be the best time to see a seaside town. We did get a bit of sun, in between the clouds, but the sun's not shown its face in the Midlands for some time now.

I made a disastrous attempt at a cut and sew neck last weekend, which will have to be frogged - I need to grow a pair and take the overlocker to it I think, just zigzagging and snipping is too untidy to hide. I started a very simple sideways crochet scarf, for no reason in particular other than to have something to do, but have come to a shuddering halt because there's a splodge of machine oil on the yarn (which is white, naturally). I've never had to wash new yarn before I've used it before - I don't really want to break the yarn and have a knot because it'll be tricky to hide. 

In the interim I've been reading up a lot about photography, and have even managed to snap a few half-decent shots of a magnificent orb spider I spotted in the garden. Alas, she became quite camera shy - you have to get pretty close with a 35mm lens. Turns out I should have added some light - that lens actually has a built=in LED. I'd like to get better at photography - in an ideal world it'd be my job, ha! There's always a lens you don't have, though - it's an expensive hobby!

My s-i-l has given me a knitting machine and tons of accessories to pass on, proceeds to a donkey sanctuary.  It's a KH836, KR850 ribber, knitleader, single bed colour changer, transfer and intarsia carriages and a bunch of books. Hoping for offers in the region of £250, and it'd have to be collection, way too much to post! 

As the pandemic grinds into the eighteenth month, the cavalier have thrown caution to the wind and are now maskless. The Cog and I are the exception to the rule - and if we're the only ones, what's the point? It's only a matter of time before one or both of us gets it. Did I miss a news item? Is it all over? I don't think so... 

I am missing the social aspect of the office. We are quite isolated here, being DINKs. Oh well, it could be worse... 

Current mood: depressed