Tuesday, February 23, 2016

So far

So far this month I've finished another hat, two pairs of socks and a gigantic cowl. It sounds better than it is; I've used a machine for most of those, and the only completely handknit thing was started at the beginning of the year. Hehe.


I set up Bach again when the kids finally went back to school, and knit these four legs. The tops are a bit fiddly. I'm not in the mood to try and figure out the 'ribber' attachment when I can't even do a heel, so these are my current sock tops. I like them. You start with waste yarn, change to the sock yarn, crank 15 rounds, transfer every second stitch to it's neighbor (to make a neat round of eyelets), crank another 15 rounds, pick up the beginning of the sock yarn and lift it up the middle and hook it (untwisted) onto the hooks. The yarn folds neatly at the eyelets, creating a picot-edge on a hemmed cuff.

I have a lot of trouble with doing short row heels on the machine. Stitches drop, things get jammed, I go the wrong way… and I have to cut the sock in the middle. I’ve got lots of skein pieces now. So, since I planned 2-color socks anyway, I thought I’d do the hem, crank enough rounds for the leg and foot (130), change to a new color, and try a toe.

A toe, on the CSM, is the same as a heel. You do a short row heel on half the stitches (leaving the other half “live”) and then Kitchener your heel to the half you left “live”. I figured, if I stuffed it up as usual, that at least it wouldn’t make me cut a skein in bits; I could just handknit a toe on, and then do an afterthought heel. I only actually got down to the heel twice, and both times I stuffed them up somehow…

I nearly finished one. It only had a few holes along the sides, which I could have fixed (hidden). Only a few rows from being done it dropped off some stitches and I couldn’t pick them back up. Sigh.

Two more pairs, anyway. And I am finding that, even though the gauge is a bit loose, it tightens up to normal after a couple of trips through the dryer.

On the old AKE I knit a long tube, made from 400g of Bendigo Woolen Mills yarn, and kitchener stitched the ends together to make a loop.

I can loop it three times around my neck, and it's the Warmest Cowl Ever!

So warm! I'm going to have to get some more of that Stellar 12ply (the grey), because the wool/bamboo mix is soft and it runs through the AKE very well. The black is Luxury 10ply, which works just as well, but isn't quite as soft as bamboo. Stellar in Emerald or Greenstone, perhaps.

As for the hat, it's my second project (of 4) for my History of Magic OWL, so I'm half-way done. Doesn't it look funny blocking on a balloon and a glass? It's a fingering weight, long, slouchy hat called "SockHead Hat". Lots of time, and only about 60g.

You can see that Zac has become my happy little knitting model lately :)

As for partial things, I have a skein of yarn from the January Club (it went straight to the wheel, it was so nice and soft). It's a finished skein, but not, sort of. I pulled out all the dark purple bits, and plan to spin them separately, and that part isn't done yet. Not sure I'll have time this month. I have most of my grey "Rosa" done. It's just a singlet with a flare, basically, but I'm a slow knitter, even with chunky yarn and 8mm needles! And I have half the Eider spun up, so I should be able to finish that soonish.

We are having a friendly points competition among some of the Slytherins in my small group. I'm coming about last, I think. Hehe.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Zachary 6

Look at how much this teeny chub

has stretched out :)

Can't believe he's already six, and simultaneously, can't believe he's only been around for such a short time; it seems like he's always been here. :) This year he got a green Milo of handspun merino, as usual, too hot to wear much in the middle of Summer. He's a most gratifying kid to knit for; no sooner have you finished one thing than he's asking for another thing. He does wear them, too, unlike his big brother...

Happy Birthday, Zachary!

I've made a few things from handspun so far. I wove a nice wide scarf from the "Moss" and "Autumn" yarn from a few months back. Polwarth is a fairly soft wool, and bamboo is soft and shiny like silk.

And I added this handspun hat to the charity box, and a few thick ones, too, made from Madelinetosh Chunky. I cranked up tubes with the AKE and then frogged a bit and knit hat tops on both ends. I can't tighten the tension on this machine, and the hats wouldn't be very warm, but two layers makes a difference. I also knit a proper ribbed brim onto some of them.

Having used up a bit of handspun, I thought I should spin some more. This one's the "Esmerelda" I mentioned last time, Navajo-4plied.

Probably another hat, that one. And then I spun a bit of blue "Ink" to match an upcoming colorful one

The destashing resolution is going well so far. I sent away about 200g to some Ravellers who asked, and spun, knit or wove another 1300g or so. I didn't buy any, nor did I get any fibre from Southern Cross Fibres this month, as the dyer, David, has been on a  holiday. There's still a fair way to go... lol... but at least my boxes aren't quite as overflowing as they were.

I didn't get any socks knit in January, since the kids were on school holidays until the 1st of Feb, but now that it's Feb I'm making up for it by having two pairs on the needles (so to speak). I'm still failing to make heels or toes with Bach, and the socks are a bit loose in gauge, but I'm planning to finish my second pair in 7 days tomorrow, which is something.

Next spin is going to be a big fat skein of Eider from my first SCF club month. I'm going to 3ply these together. It's not the babysoft sort of yarn, but it should be good for outer things, hats and gloves, perhaps.

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