Dinosaurs

Knitting tools are as simple as two sticks and some twine. Some knitting machines are barely more than that. There are those with shiny buttons and knobs that hook to your computer. Machine knitters hope that the new generation will show an interest in the old ways, reviving machines that seem to be going the way of the dinosaur. Some of them really ARE dinosaurs compared to the few, sleek new ones. For the most part tho, they still work.

I saw a knitting machine from 1898, in full operating condition. Antique? Hell yeah, but man, it was cool. Kind of like a teenager who plays chess with the really old guy down the block. The amazing thing is that apart from metal to plastic, the basic designs haven’t changed much in the last 70 years. Sure, the caddies of knitting machines can run themselves, but for the most part, they are still manually manipulated to some extent.

Knitting machines have always been a bit pricey. The Ultimate Sweater Machine runs a cool $240 in stores, despite the plastic parts and cheap tools. The antique metal bed machines usually go from the $50’s to $1k plus, fully loaded. Some still work great, as cherished items from the unsung knitters. Others need a heck of a lot of TLC as they were bought by someone who wanted to learn, but didn’t have the time or maybe the help they needed to learn the machine. A crafter looking for the next big thing.

Those of us who can’t afford a Passap or Brother 940i scrounge for parts. We’re at the mercy of those who can name their price. If I thought I’d get lucky, I’d go dumpster diving!

Why the rant? I’ve met so many people that say they can’t knit. They’ve never heard of a knitting machine. If you want to create something find a dinosaur, ask around, get tangled up a few times, and you might find it enjoyable. Create something! Find a passion for a life spent on computers and cell phones. Look to the old to make something new.

Oh, and if Armageddon comes, learn to knit. Shopping malls won’t be restocking!

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Where’s the Bacon

Hubby and I have an issue going on. I want the moving boxes out of the garage, and he’s been a bit slow in taking care of it.

This weekend, while lounging on the patio in his robe, he overheard some guys getting boxes from my new neighbors. I walked out to see him climbing the fence to offer them more boxes, should they need them. Robe flapping, shiny bald head and all. I know its a guy thing and all, least amount of effort. But Really? (okay, hubby wanted me to clarify, shiny bald head is a direct comment on the lack of hair on his head, not his privates being on display. My husband is 5’8″, weighs a measely 125, and is the kind of guy who can disappear in a crowd quickly. Being plastered to my 6 ft fence, baggy robe and scrawny legs sticking out, a million words couldn’t get the description right. Of course, he could post on here to correct me.

I’m having a lie down, thinking moment, when the door bell rang. Hubby was cooking dinner, and I heard him open the door. There was some mumbling about boxes, and he rushed to open the garage door to our mound of boxes. These boxes were taking up space from MY studio. Maybe less effort got part of the job done and mollified my sense of propriety.

That is until I came out to check on how dinner was getting on. During his absence to get the boxes removed, somehow, a full tray of bacon magically lifted itself off the counter. It wound up in the tummy of our puggle, Ghenghis Khan. A full pound of bacon (my boys’ favorite food next to ice cream), is a lot of missed calories.

So should I be relieved that the boxes are gone, or ticked that the bacon was gone? I give up! We’ll be serving ice cream later.

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Who’s Cheerios Did I Pee In This Morning?

In today’s society, the word ‘Seriously’ has become the fist shaking equivalent of ‘God (or gods) where art Thou’. The meaning behind all that is ‘Why, of all people, ME?’.

So, seriously, who’s favorite brand of cereal did I pee in this morning?

Was it the goddess of yarn? She’s not as tempermental as some. The god of all things mechanical? He’s usually pretty malleable, as long as you treat his objects of power with care. The goddess of tension? She’s either tight or loose, it is hard to get her right. Or just the god of Cast-ons and Cast-offs. He’s usually a steady fellow that keeps it all together. The culprit may be the god of weights. You never have enough when you need them, and he’s a heavy fellow to piss off.

Let’s review the day’s events. I cast on my waste yarn and did a few rows. Changed out to cord, and did a few more rows. I did a crochet cast-on. Tension was good, everything looked good. So why does my carriage not want to go? I pulled out my needles. After a mild argument, I pulled out two rows and hand knit them.

I’m going to give it another try, but until I know who the culprit, I’ll just have to appease them all. Seriously?

Single prongs in a double pronged pattern

There are times when you are forced to evaluate your technique. Dropping specific stitches repeatedly by accident. Insert definition of Insanity here, please.

The pattern I am working is an easy two pronger. That means I’m transferring two stitches every time. Except at the apex, vertices, cornices, whatever you want to call it. The top (or bottom) of the diamond. There is just one spot that it really doesn’t work. The 4 and 8 transfer. Now, I was using my two pronger for the assault on the intended stitches. Was I going too fast? Was I trying to get three moves in one? I’m not sure. After dropping stitch 5 and 7 multiple times, it doesn’t matter. Out comes the single prong to simplify. Using the single prong doesn’t really simplify the moves. Instead, it creates a little dance. 5 to 6, stitch, 4 to 5, pull out needles 4 and 5. 7 to 6, 8 to 7, pull out 6,7 and 8.

I’m trying to avoid having 3 stitches on the 6. It is harder for the carriage to move across the bed. It also creates a more defined look for the stitches next to the lace holes. I decided on this design by accident, but not only do you have lace, you have a textured pattern of raised stitches.

Imagine when you were a kid, sitting next to your mom in some long drawn out affair. You’d find anything to distract you. Taking your finger, you follow the patterns next to the holes in her wrap. You try to see how many diamonds you can make without raising your finger to jump a hole. She’s glad that you are occupied and quiet, and you have a maze of your own.

That’s the idea of the texture, for me anyways. I was the squirmy kid in church who played with Mom’s diamond ring, watching the rainbows.

Back to the point, faster isn’t always better. Slow down, enjoy the pattern. We can’t all be two prongers.

Coffee!

Saturday morning and I’m rarin’ to go. Once I get my latte, that is. Of course, that’s a bit difficult when the twins are sleeping on the LovesacLovesac in the living room. The expresso machine is just a wee bit loud.

Instead of knitting, I had to cuddle up with Victoria and a husband, who if you nudge or unsettle him, groans. The fact that none of my boys are early risers usually means I get time to myself.

Once I get my coffee, tho, I’m ready to work that lace!

Survived

Woohoo! First week of school done. Everyone, including the teachers, survived. I consider that a success.

Meanwhile, I’ve added more rows to the wrap and considering what kind of border contrast to do. I managed to not drop the whole piece off the machine, but did have to undo two rows.

Today’s drama- the Monster stroller lost a wheel. It was acting hinky on the way to school and proceeded to throw a wheel on the way back. Otto says it is fixed, but that’s what he said last time.

We finished up the day at the Duck pond. The twins started a lightning lap around that dwindled to a meander. But a good hour of walking and playing should’ve tuckered them out. The bowls of ice cream and cookies, well, that was just replacing calories.

Tomorrow, i want to start Sebastian on his scarf. He wants to learn to knit on the machine! Yay.

I just found a transfer tool in my hair. Better go stick it by the 322 before I lose it.

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Getting the show on the road…

Garage Knit Studio is…

A Knitting Studio in my garage. Why the garage when you have an absolutely fabulous house? The AbFab house has three boys, pets and a husband who disappears with little notice. It’s not always clean, it is definitely a bit hairy and most of all it is noisy. The idea behind making my little corner in the garage is that I need space. Space for knitting machines, yarn, and a place to teach what I know.