Monday, March 11, 2024

Going round in circles (Kegworth) 2024

It's always a highlight over December / January to get the invite for the annual CSM event in Kegworth - even more so this year, with our somewhat challenging Christmas. After not teaching last year, I realised that for me, I knit socks better alone, without the delicious distractions of pretty yarn, lovely people, interesting gadgets and plentiful workshops taking my attention elsewhere. But there's a place for just knitting socks if that's what you want to do, and plenty of people do just that! 

Anyway, because the Cog had managed to "book" our car before me to go on a snowboarding trip that weekend, I had arranged a hire car. After discussion with P who was travelling with me, we decided to take her car and cancel the hire because I was still able to get a refund. Unfortunately, her car developed a minor fault the following day - one of those faults that go away if you wait ten minutes - but she thought we would be ok. So we duly set off from mine at 2pm, pleased at how we'd managed to fit everything in. Alas, her car went into "limp" mode before we'd even got to the M1, so she sensibly pulled over into a layby. We tried waiting and starting, locking ourselves in and starting, and even an on-off ignition thing that was supposed to reset the computer - then THREE lights were on, not just the engine light, and it wouldn't start at all. Hubby and relations were called; the cavalry duly arrived and of course the car started perfectly (though the engine light was still on). Hubby drove us back to theirs and a hire vehicle was booked. They couldn't get to us before 6pm, so P kindly rustled up a tea of pizza, salad and very nice ice-cream (salted caramel, ooh!). The "van" turned out to be a Ford Fiesta van, so basically my old diesel Fiesta with no back seats, slightly longer doors and whited-out windows. Tiny, but we managed to fit everything bar the trolley. It was dark by now, and as it's a car I'm very familiar with, I took the wheel and we were at our destination without further incident. I think P has been asking hubby to replace the car for some time, but as he's a classic car restorer I think he's rather reluctant! The delay meant we just had time for a drink and catch up with friends, and we missed both the rush hour and the noisy cabin-crew-in-training that use this hotel for aircraft dry runs, so win-win! My other friend C wasn't so lucky; they didn't leave until half 8, and a lorry tipped over on the M1, so they didn't get to the hotel until 11pm (we went to bed at half 10). It's only a 45 minute drive when things are good!

On Saturday I attended the "how to dismantle your machine" talk by Hilary first thing, which was fascinating - my machine is overdue a good clean. At 11am I demonstrated the circular/slip ribber cast on  - lesson learned, use my smartphone in future for taking down email addresses, because I email my hand-outs as PDFs to save on printing, and there's always at least one person whose handwriting I can't read, so I got a few bounces later. After lunch, there was a short talk on the history of machine knitting by Matthew, and how to knit flip-top mittens with a gored thumb from Jo. Someone offered to buy the Dean and Bean, part way through that - I asked if she could give me a shout at the end of the talk before she left (only thirty minutes), but when I went to look for her, she was nowhere to be found! I thought it was a bit rude (especially as she'd knocked £150 off my asking price which was already £50 off from the $ price bought new, not to mention import duties), but clearly it wasn't meant to be!

On Sunday, I helped out in the "newbies" room for a bit, before reprising the circular/slip ribber cast on again. After lunch, Jo demonstrated simple fingerless mittens (with vertical or horizontal slits), and a lovely Swedish lady Lina demonstrated how she does colourwork. I managed to sell the D&B machine to a lovely lady who offered me more than the disappearing woman, so all's well that ends well. 

The hotel isn't great - the beds are hard, the pillows flat, the walls so thin that at one point I could hear the ladies on one side talking whilst also listening to someone's tv on the other side. My kettle had a hairline crack, so I ended up with some damp tea bags in a bit of a puddle on Saturday night! But I don't go for the accomodation, I go for the event; the staff are lovely and I remember quite a few of them from previous years - one even patched me up when I caught my finger on something sharp. Yes, a bit of sock yarn was purchased, plus a few random gadgets. All in all, a great weekend and I learnt quite a lot, including that the heel I work is called the "suicide heel" by some! I guess I've just been lucky with it, in that case!


Very pretty 3d printed CSM


Bill King popped up and brought a fascinating Harrison V bed


It could only be a Bill King sock - knitted for a pantomime dame, no less!


A very shiny Erlbacher!


I didn't get the make of this 3d printed machine but it looks really cool!

Current mood: exhausted but inspired


Julie C said...

Thanks for your blog. I love knitting machines but the csm has been an absolute pain to get to grips with, despite going to kegworth for 3 years now. I just thought I’d post as nobody else did.

steel breeze said...

Thanks for commenting, and sorry to hear your CSM isn't playing nice. I can only suggest keep posting questions on your preferred social media websites (Facebook, Ravelry) - machine knitting certainly builds persistance, if nothing else!