Monday, June 17, 2024

Another statue day

You know that saying, some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue? I spent a large chunk of yesterday afternoon putting the SK840 away, finding (most) of the bits that go with both ribber and main bed (and accidentally kneeling on a small plastic part that looks important, no idea what it is as yet!). The area got cleaned and dusted, I swapped out for a better machine table, and duly set up the KH260/KR260 combination, and sat down to knit. Which is about when I discovered the yarn I'd got plans for knits up much better on a mid gauge machine. Yes, I should have checked my Ravelry notes - for an engineer logic does sometimes fail me though. Ugh - a string vest in a wool/lurex mix is not the look I was hoping for. Oh well, I did a bunch of filing of magazines and patterns, so it wasn't a total dead loss, but after knitting something very holey and unsuitable, I stomped off downstairs to watch a bit of Bridgerton. A pity I was a football taxi last night, I only managed about 28 minutes! 

Today I discover that the KHC820 colour changer I took to the MK event has gone walkabout, in that it didn't come back home. Prices on Ebay range from £33 to £212, yikes! 2024 is turning into a very expensive year, let's not even talk about the impending dental work that's going on a credit card soon, or the partner who is between contracts. Bah! 

Oh well, I did finally manage to crochet a heart-shaped dishcloth last night, but only after I drew it up as a chart. So many failed attempts, it appears my ability with written crochet patterns is sorely lacking! Pictures when there are some... 

Current mood: annoyed

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Interlocking crochet and other adventures...

Well, there's nothing like a friend asking to borrow a book to make you open the dratted thing and actually read it. I don't remember when I picked up "Interlocking Crochet" by Tanis Galik, but it turns out to be a fascinating foray into crocheting two surfaces that interlock but don't join up with each other (until you add a border at the end, anyway). I had great fun with the technique last weekend, although it turns out some of my struggles were down to errata in the book, and so far I've only managed this one piece. I love anything reversible though!

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And yes, there are some minor mistakes in this. Not bad for a first attempt though!

In other news, I treated myself to a set of Clover Amour crochet hooks, this is most of them - I think the 5mm, a fetching royal blue, is downstairs somewhere. As himself is currently between contracts, it was lucky I had a £20 Amazon voucher towards these as it'll be the last treat I can afford for a while. I thought I'd give non-inline hooks another go, seeing as my anodised metal ones are great but make my hands ache after a while.

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Finally, what does one do with leftover bamboo/cotton yarn? Make it into dishcloths, of course (I've had to throw a few lately that became a bit holey)

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The more I think I know about crochet, the more I realise there is to learn. Check this out for a long list of techniques, some of which I've yet to try!

In the machine knitting arena, I'm trying to inspire myself to make something with cables on it for an event later this year, and completely failing to get magic cables working, even though I have a swatch from 2016 that proves it is possible (though it was done on a Brother machine, that might make it easier). Hmmph. I will keep trying.

Current mood: happy

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Machine Knitting "retreat", Alexandra Arts venue, 2nd - 3rd June

Well, it was a retreat of two halves!

On Sunday the weather was kind to us for once. Everyone arrived a little flustered, because a diversion appeared overnight (and the roadworks themselves were a good 100 yards further along, because I checked them on the Monday!). In the end I ignored the diversion to no ill effect, but of course I know my home town. I started the day by doing a little crash course in the ribber. After lunch (in the sunny rear garden!) I managed to get double-bed jacquard going (after a false start that came out stripy). The building was a hive of activity all day (and I completely lost track of time!). Some of us regrouped after people checked into their hotels for a curry in town (and some did a mini pub crawl beforehand). I fell into bed at home after one glass of white wine!

On Monday, things were a little more chilled out (including the weather, alas). I attempted to make magic cables appear (but the magic escaped me), and we were treated to a demo of Designaknit in the garden room. After lunch, I gave out small prizes for best wearable and best non-wearable item. There were some interesting machine knitting gadgets and literature to buy/donate towards, and we had an garment rail with machine knitted items to have a look at (mostly mine, and somehow I completely failed to photograph those). The ladies in the bar area finally got the Toyota to produce simulknit - the verdict was the manual could be better! The ladies in the LK150 corner seemed to be having fun. Before too long, it was time to pack up and bid farewell. By 6pm I was home with a very loaded-up car. Many thanks to C for all her help with organising the event at her lovely venue (the Alexandra Arts), and thanks to everyone who came along - I hope you had as much fun as I did!

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Convincing a Toyota 901 to do what you want

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The LK150 corner

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Genius stitch marking on the LK150

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A crash course in how to use the ribber

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Fun with the electronic Brothers

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Competition entries - the cushion and the blue jumper with the white motif got the most votes

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I love this CSM stand, a lot sturdier than mine!

Current mood: exhausted but happy

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Fun flowers and more finished objects

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First, some fun swap items I received today. I love the FLOL group on Ravelry, this was the May flowers swap. I sent some floral-themed items to someone too!

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Next up, an almost-finished (blue) beige helix. Turns out it involves the self-timer trying to take pictures of the reverse, apologies for catching my partner's "floordrobe" in shot. This was finished late last night, I just need to weave in all the ends, which will be interesting as this is a bamboo-cotton mix yarn made of many thin strands. The collar's so big (it's a big circle) that it almost doubles as a Jedi-style hood!

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Finally, I present one argyle sock worked manually on the CSM (overchecks worked by hand, it involves a dental pick on my CSM and is not for the faint-hearted). Very pleased with it, even though I made it much harder for myself in terms of ends by reversing my colours for the overchecks. Matthew Hamilton's original video on youtube uses a third colour for the overchecks, which means a lot less ends to sew in later. The second sock will happen sometime mid June.

In other news, I've managed to catalogue all of the craft books I have stored in the craft room, whilst having a bit of a cull. Now just two big cases of non-craft books and a bunch of self-published ones (Mary Weaver, Kathleen Kinder) to add. The self-published ones take time because they don't have ISBN numbers of course. More car shenanigans - I got reversed into by a lorry whilst I was legally parked waiting to get into a training venue (turned out they'd moved the training, and the lorry driver didn't normally go to that depot). Minutes after I'd moved my car, someone else was parked in that spot. You just couldn't make it up. Anyway, fingers crossed I get the car back ASAP, the courtesy vehicle is a very budget affair. I dread to think what next year's car insurance looks like.

We've also been making some effort with the garden with the addition of a bug hotel, and some weeding (and extra mowing, in between the rain). The roses are blooming, despite the current weird "summer" of sunny yet chilly with sudden downpours. Today it's 16 degrees, grey and wet so the tumble dryer is the only way to get the laundry done. I think I've managed to sit outside in the garden maybe twice, and with warm clothing both times! Oh well, same old same old!

Current mood: happy

Friday, May 24, 2024

FO: Passap "Bitty" scarf

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Still more of this yarn to go, it's a simple double-bed tuck stitch pattern on the E6000, from the Metbury "Bitty" book. It's pattern 1004 and tech 140 if anyone's interested. Apologies for the not-great pictures, there's a bottle of white spirits just out of shot that was on its way to the shed! No, don't ask, suffice to say I've been unsticking knitting machine buttons and so far haven't had to resort to using it; surgical spirit, careful brute force, persistance and sewing machine oil seem to work. Having said that, there's a new sponge bar on order for the KH260 and I will double-check the split buttons are still behaving!

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

FO: Lace yoked sweater (Clearwater Knits / Irene Woods)

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Finally got around to posting a half-decent picture. We had a few warm weekends so I've not felt like wearing wool yet! You don't want to see the shot with my head in it, I look like I have a pin head...

A sad day today, attended the funeral of an old college friend (we were both trainee engineers) who survived breast cancer and then found brain tumours. Life just isn't fair sometimes. The big C sucks, my cousin has just started on this journey too. :(

Current mood: guilty I'm still here

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Startitis again...

This "use what you have" thing really seems to have sparked my mojo. I finished the tunisian cable scarf (pictures to follow), made a tuck scarf on the Passap from the Metbury Bitty book (still needs blocking) in that troublesome terracotta yarn (and STILL more yarn to go! Pah!). Poor Miss Swiss complained with error 200 a few times; I confess I defluffed both locks but completely ignored the beds, so that is my next job I think (it involves the hoover and some playing around with needle retainer bars, surgical spirit and oil). I've also cast on the Drops Blue Helix cardigan, a crocheted cardigan with a large star shape set into the back, except mine's stone, not blue, as it's leftover bamboo yarn from another project. Hoping it'll work up into a nice beach / summer cover up.

Meanwhile my s-i-l B taught me how to crochet two rows of UK trebles at once, yesterday, not a technique I'd heard of - though if she's using them in a garment, she prefers the look of them worked in vertical, not horizontal, stripes, as the WS and RS are more noticeably different. I had a bit of a destash and put some crochet hooks and my Denise needles up for sale on Ravelry, only because I'm no longer using them. I prefer inline hooks unless they're 3mm and under, and the Denise set is US sizes - since I upgraded to the KnitPro symfonie set (metric) I've not really needed them. 

The lace yoked sweater is drying in the bathroom and needs a light blocking. Pictures of the various things when the finished items are ready. Startitis, gotta love it! 

Current mood: energetic