Sunday, June 17, 2012

Still knitting!

I know, I've been rather quiet for a while... That does not mean I wasn't knitting, I just didn't have any FOBs to show you. I had a temporary falling out with my Passap, which is getting sorted out with a slow going deep cleaning! I also have been spending a lot of time outside, gardening, painting and reading !

Even if the weather is hot and gorgeous, I've been knitting a very wintery sweater, it's from an old Vogue Knitting issue, the "oversized sweater with set in sleeves and pines, reindeers and house..."

I modified the shape, removed the reindeers and the house. What I loved about the pattern was the night sky and the mountains, so that's what I kept! I made it big so that I can wear layers underneath.

The yarn is Briggs & Little Tuffy
If that sweater doesn't keep me warm, I don't know what will!

That's it for now, I'm off to play outside but don't worry, I still have a few knits on my needles to keep me out of trouble. ;-)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Picking a fight with a machine!

A few months ago, I cleaned my two knitting machines. I didn't take them apart to do a complete clean up, I just removed the needles (and pushers on the Passap), vacuumed everything I could reach, oiled them a bit, replaced the sponge bars on the LK 120 and ribber and called it a day, thinking everything was all right.

Well, it turns out I was wrong! Both machines behaved themselves for a few months, allowing me to knit many afghans, sweaters, scarves etc... But today, out of the blue, one of them went berserk!

Since it was raining, cold and dull, I decided to knit myself a pretty shrug (to go with a new summer dress) on my trusty Passap Pinky.

All went well for the first 10 minutes, I cast on, did a few inches in 1/1 rib, transferred the stitches to knit jersey and went on for 200 rows, increasing every 20 rows. Then, out of nowhere, without any reason, the yarn holder flew out of the lock in the middle of a row! Now, I've been knitting on that machine for nearly 20 years and this is the first time this has happened! I still don't understand how this could even be possible!!!

Since this had caused part of the knitting to fall to the floor and this is a very fine cotton/rayon mix which would take longer to rehang than to reknit, I dusted myself off and cast on once again. That time, the needles (which, as I just told you, had been knitting perfectly for the last 10 minutes) started to drop stitches! I took off the rag my knitting had become, decided to add a few light weights and cast on one more time. I had about half of the shrug done when the yarn got caught in one of the black strippers (another first) and snapped. Once again, everything fell to the floor. In case you wonder, the tension was always the same, the yarn unravelled easily from the cone, everything was exactly the same.

I got up, disgusted, gave the machine a really dirty look and left.

I've been giving this a lot of thought and the only logical explanation I can come up with, is that my machine is still very dirty and maybe slightly misaligned. I have moved it around a lot!

Tomorrow, that bad, bad temperamental Passap is getting a complete spring cleaning! It's going to be taken apart, thoroughly cleaned and readjusted. That should, at least, make me feel a whole lot better! ;-)

Boy, am I ever glad I have Michael Becker's Passap Paramedic book!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A little machine knitting music...

A few posts back, I said I was going to knit a musical themed afghan for my music loving mother. Well, I chose the yarn, chose the colors (black and cream, a lot softer than black and white...) I made it, I also washed it and gave it to her on mother's day. I only forgot to take pictures...

So, today, before taking my mother shopping for summer clothes, I finally remembered I had to bring my camera!!! Duh!!!

Here are a few pictures of the afghan.

The stitch is Fantasy Fair Isle and I found the Iris Bishop pattern in an old Machine Knitting Monthly magazine. Let me tell you, this baby is huge! It's wide enough and long enough to completely cover a double size bed!

My mother loves her surprise gift and that's what really counts! ;-)

And, since this is spring and winter is finally behind us, I thought I'd show you what's going on in my neck of the woods...

The trees now have leaves...

... and flowers...

I love spring!