First off I’m sorry I haven’t posted for a bit, but look at this time pit.
We have been building a shed. We have been working on it for THREE weekend days. In January. Don’t ask me why I think it’s because we’re stupid, and it’s still not finished but we’re nearly there, and it’s stood up to some grim weather so that’s good. Only now am I getting time to knit and blog again. Here are some thoughts I prepared a few weeks back but I have only just managed to get on the computer.
‘Read the instruction book carefully without skipping any bits that you don’t think look important. They are probably the most important bits.’
Janet Nabney “An Illustrated Handbook of Machine Knitting.”
I am finding it very tempting to rush my training on the knitting machine. When I daydreamed about getting the machine I mentally produced beautiful Fair Isle knits. For me it was all about the colour work, I do not dream in lace or cable but I do in colour. So it was probably unfortunate for me that the first thing I learned, after casting on, increasing, and decreasing was knitting with the punch card.
I have had to push myself to work through the rest of the operation manual that came with the machine, I want to know how to use the machine to its full extent but then maybe forget about most of it until I see a pattern which might call for it.
In this spirit I have learnt slip and tuck. I thought I was doing these wrong until I watched YouTube clip with the Diane Sullivan (blessings of yarn be upon her), and I saw that it was a subtle effect on the right side and it looked better on the wrong side (purl side). I can’t quite get my head around this effect. I liked the look of the tuck more than the slip but I think I will hold these both in reserve until I find a need for them.
‘Never work at the machine when you are overtired.’
Janet Nabney, Ibid.
So I have been working on my next project, a pram blanket for a new baby in the family. Pick a yarn, choose a pattern card and your away.
However I was tired when I started but with a little baby you have to steal knitting time from your sleep or resign yourself to not knitting at all. I had a cast on ten times or more, then I got my loops at the side of the knitting which then caught in the gate pegs and formed unlooked for rouches , I cast off all wrong, neglecting to turn of the fair isle function, and causing a long thin birds nest looking thing to appear at the top of the knitting. Finally when I got the material off the needles, with much swearing I found I had dropped four stiches without even noticing.
These are all beginner’s mistakes and I expecting them but I still turned the air blue.
‘Go slowly, the machine knits fast enough – you don’t have to move the carriage quickly too – so take your time.’
Janet Nabney, Ibid.
So now I have a little system which I let slide every now and then, but I stick to it most of the time. I stop every 10 rows, check the weights, that the yarn is feeding correctly, and that I haven’t dropped any stitches (I still haven’t had to recover a dropped stitch, I have Youtube on the equivilent of speed dial for when that happens).
I have managed to finish the blanket and I am so pleased with it. I am in the process of making a smaller one for my own baby, that’s her hand, the baby it’s intended for is due very soon, we’re very excited. I get the feeling I should knit more for my own little trouble as she LOVES knitted fabric already – I’ve brought here up well!