Monday, 2 February 2015

Where did January go and other things..............

Well January has flown by and here we are in February and I have a new toy..

Back in the summer I acquire a very basic knitting machine with the aim of knitting sock blanks and creating gradient yarns - and it has been very successful





I did this one using three colours and carefully painting and only allowing a small amount of overlap




The only problem, and I am not sure it is a problem, the yarn is kinky from the knitting - but I have looked at some of the gradient yarns on sale and they have the same issue.  As this was a learning exercise I discovered that you really do need to push the dye into the yarn to avoid the dreaded white bits!!

So all good - well not so good, as  when I was knitting this up, Mr S managed to break the carriage handle on the machine - fortunately I was able to finish the knitting by pushing the carriage with my hand.  Mr S says he will make a replacement directly! 

I the meantime I found this bargain on a well known auction site


It is a Knitmaster 323 and it does Fairisle!  After some research I discovered that this was only the second machine by Knitmaster that did automatic colour changes, the first was the 321 and my little beauty is the slightly improved version.

First off it needed a good clean and with a little help from an online video by the answer lady and ask jack.  I took the carriage apart and removed all this and a bit more (but Mr S sneezed and blew some away!)



They soaked the metal parts in some lurid pink cleaning oil, but I used WD40 and a dental pick and soon the bits that should go round were.............  I had posted on Ravelry asking for advice  which is where I got the link to the video and a fellow Raveller came up with the cards (which were missing) and a manual in book form (so much easier than looking at 122 pages on the iPad!

So today I was able to knit the first sample in some bright acrylic yarns a friend gave me when I got the first machine (thanks Emma).


Apart from the gradients - January was a month of colour - fluorescent colours to be more accurate




Seems neons are the latest thing, so I had to try!  Particularly pleased with the pink, yellow and orange, but less happy with the green - need to vary the proportions I think.  These dyes are more intense than the Landscape dyes so I had to absorb the exhaust in some fleece, which were just a bright - so I made these

and this



I don't normally wear hats, but it has been so cold lately that I gave in and made one for those bitter days when you just can't get warm.

Lastly - not a new year resolution, but I resolved to spin at least 15 minutes every day, from 7pm until 7.15pm while listening to The Archers - its surprising how much you get done - currently have 3 bobbins full ready to ply - pics later...............





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