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

Monday, August 16

Cameras I've loved and lost

I recently treated myself to a "new" second hand compact camera (Panasonic Lumix TZ70) but it got me thinking about all the old cameras I've had in the past, and how things have changed!

I think my first camera was this Kodak instamatic 100 - because Mum and Dad upgraded to an electronic Halina which they used for many years. I was about 11 at the time. It took square cube flashes, which weren't all that reliable. 

This was an early camera - mine was red and was branded with something, I think Mum saved up vouchers to buy it but I cannot remember what the food item was. I think it was either crisps or chocolate. It took a strip of flashes that were good for ten flashes, but didn't always fire reliably. When Sylvania was a brand, not a collection of cute animals. 

I had this camera until some swine broke into our hotel room in Eindhoven in 2003, and stole my (very stylish BHS) handbag. I hope when he saw the christening photos on it, he felt guilty. The camera itself wasn't worth much, but the pictures were priceless. Luckily my uncle took some too, and kindly sent me copies.  This was an APS camera with film you had to thread up, I struggled with that. Much preferred the drop-in 110 cartridge film. 

I may have replaced it with the HP 435 photosmart - a very basic camera but it did the job. I just saw this for sale for £180, I really hope nobody pays that for it! *

I finally coughed up for a new Nikon Coolpix in red - which I still have. Alas, the OK button is now very flaky and although it works, it's best if you leave it in one mode. It doesn't have a lot of options but it does take a decent picture. The lens shutter got jammed open in Newquay (sand I expect), though ten minutes of slapping sorted it out, so perhaps the same thing happened to the OK button. Such a shame, I'd freegle it otherwise. It was the first rechargeable camera I had I think, the HP took AA batteries if memory serves. 

I'm very impressed with my new "toy" - it's somewhat heavier than the Nikon and does need a case and a strap. How ironic, buying a camera in the middle of a pandemic when I'm not able to drive. Ha. 

Well, I've quite enjoyed the virtual stroll down memory lane, trying to find pictures of old cameras. What was your first camera? 

*Edit to add: I realised I left out the Kodak 360 zoom, which worked great until a tiny bit of plastic within the "zoom/taking a snap" button broke. In the DSLR range, I have also owned a Sony A230 (good but old) and a Canon 4000D (ok but not happy with the hotshoe), but have traded up to the Canon EOS 800D DSLR which is a really good camera for someone at my level! 

Current mood: enthralled

Wednesday, August 11

Really locked down...

Gosh, didn't realise it was almost a month since my last post. I am still being investigated for "focal seizures", if that is what they are. They only occur when I'm stressed, so it's very sporadic. I might not have any for months. Seems overkill to take medication for the rest of my life if so. We shall see what the test results say - I am hoping I come up clear. Still got a bump on the back of my head, and very little recollection of the holiday. Apparently, I even said "but we've only just got here" when the Cog informed me we were preparing to go home. I guess I will have to accept those memories are gone for good. I guess I couldn't have lost my driving licence at a better time, as WFH is still the normal for my office. Apparently it is a complete PITA to get it back - my cousin had a seizure after being knocked off his bike and it took many months to get his status restored. Oh, joy. The Cog has been good at taking me to places, but I suspect that will wear thin soon and especially in wintertime. 

Sad to say there's little machine knitting to report, but I have been working away on a handknit cardigan. It's an all-in-one raglan, with cables up the sleeves, in Noro Kureyon. I know there are a few mistakes in it, but as it took three attempts to get the sleeves on correctly they will have to stand. No pictures at the moment. 

The cavalier are now maskless, and the shelves at the local supermarket quite empty because of the "pingdemic". Oh for a return to normality! Though I suspect, things will never quite be the same again. 

I have been gifted two large sacks of coned yarn, I suppose I should pull my finger out and get making blankets out of them. It makes one despair of having a sort out, when more arrives. I have also been hunting for photographs pre 2003, as I hope to document our holidays. I suspect they might be pre-digital - I have had little luck so far! I also had a sneaky plan to challenge myself in the photography field, but lack of access to transport will make it tricky. For instance, there are lots of lovely examples of "thatch art" here, but such things are hard to visit without a car. 

We have a few more mini breaks and trips planned. I must try and stay positive. There are much worse positions to be in, and it's not forever, even if July 2022 seems a long way away. 

Current mood: annoyed