Saturday I had plans to try out a tuck lace pattern on my 965i, the real lace not being very successful (and I don't have the ribber attached at the moment, Leslie, so it's not a problem caused by the tilt angle). The pattern I wanted to try was a variation on no3 from the Stitchworld book. Tried to make it with a rather thick 4ply and got nowhere, so swapped to some thin cotton. Got quite a good swatch going. As per usual, just when I thought it was going swimmingly, calamity ensued. The left edge was coming out kinda screwed up. Damaged a needle or two, and got a snarl up on the machine. Figured I'd swap out the damaged needles, and refill some from the ends of the bed at the same time. Horrors - I dug out 100 needles bought from BSK ages ago, and it turns out they are ribber needles, not main bed needles. Oops! I don't think I've ever had to replace a ribber needle. Well, maybe once. So my plans to make some cast-on rags were rather scuppered - I wanted to make a 200 stitch one - and also my plans to make a sideways knitted skirt and some xmas present scarves.
Decided to make a cast-on bonnet for the CSM. For the uninitiated, it's the equivalent of a cast-on rag for a knitting machine - a circular tube with a picot hem, which can quickly be hung on every other needle on the CSM, and is long enough to attach the buckle and weights. So it will save my having to find waste yarn and knit a 10" tube every time I want to make socks. That went rather well, using up a 50g ball of sock yarn that was bought so long ago I'd never find another in the right shade to actually make some socks with it.
Sunday I decided I'd finally do something with the blue Patons Parade I won on Ebay some time ago. Calculated a basic scoop-necked pattern and went merrily on my way - until I realized that the yarn was running out at an alarming rate, and I was going to have enough for a cropped top with no sleeves. Argh! So that kind of stalled. Can't decide whether to frog it now (I have a front, back and rolled neckline) and do something simpler, or to make it into a back for the stalled waistcoat I started a year ago which is in the pink colourway of the same yarn. To be honest, it's quite a thick yarn (T8 on the Bro 260) so I'm not entirely sure I could wear a jumper in it, it's too thick.
Had a bit of a de-stash - haven't yet tackled the big box of cones in the corner, but they are next - because there's a woman in Coventry collecting yarn for pensioners to knit blanket squares, and I promised her I'd have a sort out. It's a weird thing, but sometimes it's quite hard to let go of yarn, even when it's nasty, bright, squeaky, neon acrylic. The child in me screams "ooh, pretty, want!" :) It bears no relation to the fact that there's not enough to make anything out of it, nor the fact that the yarn in question might well be awful. It's all about the colours and textures with me. Apparently, I have no taste when faced with something colourful, or texturally interesting!
Whilst having a sort-out, I came upon some "trophy yarn" I picked up from Krafty Koala on Ravelry day in June. £20 of hand-spun merino, in beautiful variegated pastel colours. Seemed such a shame to let it sit there, forever trapped in a plastic bag, so I duly cast on a hat pattern with ear flaps (it's a free pattern on the ballband of Colinette's Iona). Despite getting very close to gauge, it became apparent that there was no way it'd fit my head - it's supposedly an adult size. Do the Welsh have smaller heads, then?! After much futzing with a calculator, I figured out how many stitches I really needed, and then tried to cast on again. Took 4-5 attempts (earflaps on inside-out, knit when I should have purled, joined in the round with a nice twist in it).