Saturday, 31 December 2005

Tube strike and *that* machine

First things first - did you know the starting salary for trainee tube drivers is more than the average for physics graduates in london? Guys, YOU'RE GETTING ENOUGH MONEY NOW - NO ONE BELIEVES ALL THIS "SAFETY REASONS" BOLLOCKS. At first I was sympathetic. But a strike on new years eve? I don't think so. So my party is ruined. I hope the government do legislate against tube strikes like new york but I know they won't have the balls.

Have been bashing away at the knitting machine again following advice from the newbritknits list. And has it worked? Has it, tubedrivers. Will have one final go tomorrow and then...where's my hammer?

Have spent the day making yet more pompoms for the cat protection league and crafting more of my beady stitch markers. I'll be putting them on ebay again soon so watch this space for new of when they do up. I am pretty chuffed with the star-kittens.
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And these ones with their little glass tails!
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Well, solitary guest (who lives next door) due to arrive in 10 mins so had better clear enough of the pompoms for them to sit down. See you all in 2006!

Friday, 30 December 2005

Machine knitter in distress

I have put the three images in this post as links so you can see them a a better size - I'd have had to shrink them for blogger.

Photo 1 - Initial cause of distress is that I can't get the machine to cast on. I have tried fiddling with the various settings but it just keeps missing loops. What am I doing wrong?

Photo 2 - These are the settings on the carriage. Can't find anywhere that tells me what the letters mean on the dial top right or whether the slider on the right should be on N or H. Also not sure whether the wheels at the bottom of the carriage should be engaged or not. Don't worry about the wool position - I was just moving it out the way to take the pic.

Photo 3 - I don't know what these two sliders are for either.

As you may have gathered I got the machine second hand and without a manual. I have downloaded the free brother 851 manual from online but despite reading and re-reading can't see where I'm going wrong. It is the casting on (or lack of) that is the main issue, obviously! So frustrating as the first time I got it out it worked fine except the knitting got stuck on the sinker posts. That'll no doubt be my next question!
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If anyone can help me please email THANKS x

At last - I'm knitting for cats!

Actually I'm not sure about this claim - does making pom poms count as knitting? I used my pom pom maker that blueadt bought me and that was an SP gift. It all started when I was feeling knitting withdrawal and so bought Jan's Knitting magazine. I don't know why - it's still rubish. There is a pair of shoes that are beyond belief. Anyway, there was an ad in there saying the year of the volunteer had made this month animal month and you could knit cat toys. Off I went to their website. And here is the result:
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I'm using up some leftovers and some dye experiments that frankly went soooooo wrong as I'm guessing the cats won't mind that much.

Yesterday was something of a monumental day for me as I ate only fresh fruit and vegetables ALL day. For example - four clementines for breakfast with almonds and raisons as a snack. Lunch was as pictured:
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Plus a banana and 2 clementines for pudding. OK there's some dip there but I can't eat celery without some form of lubricant. Then roast aubergine for dinner - divine - and stewed apples with honey and raisons. And can you believe I didn't cheat all day? PLUS I went out running in the morning. So fricking healthy.

In between all this I managed to finish the cursed socks. Here is the patch that I knitted in so that they would actually span my unexpectedly plump legs.
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Here is the 'good' side.
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And here they are in all their glory.
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They are terribly soft and comfy to wear - I'm really pleased with them even though I had to do the whole patch thing. Cherry tree hill on 2.75mm needles.

The other thing I finished in the last few days was the mitred square noro thing I started about 2 months ago. I had thought it would be some sort of modular-knit-esque top but I have realised over time that I really don't like noro yarn. I wish I had realised this earlier as it would have saved me some vast amount of wonga. I had all these squares laying about so I sewed them into a tube, knitted a bottom and i-corded the handles. This is it pre-felting...
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I have actually felted it but don't have a pic yet as it's drying so I'll post that tomorrow. It looks pretty effective and I'm thinking it will be a present for Charlie (baby's mother for those of you a post or two behind).

So this means I have two finished WIP in 2 days. Plus the pom poms. And now this leaves me with a leetle problemo. What to do next? I got out the kaffe fasset v-neck yesterday and had a good look at it. The thing is.....I don't like the coloours. Here is a pic from the archives to remind people of it.
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What was I thinking when I chose all those pastels? So now what do I do? I've done a fair bit more of it since this pic but still not half-way. I could possibly stop there and make it into a bag or sachet or small cushion. Pooooooooooooo.

Even setting aside that project I'm wondering what to do next. I'm worried I might have knitting fatigue as I did those socks non-stop over xmas. I'm thinking today I'll have another bash at the knitting machine because that's more of a technical exercise than anything else.

Wednesday, 28 December 2005

Babies and bad knitting

It's been a while but the blogger is back and so here we go. Last Thurs (22nd) was a whopper of a day. Take a look at the cutest baby ever...
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Yes, that is me holding her and what I want to know is, if Charlie gave birth two weeks earlier how come her figure is so much better than mine? I'm sure it can have nothing to do with all the choc I've been scoffing. I held little Yoshimi for about 90 mins and she was amazingly good. And now I am seriously clucky. They loved the little baby clothes I made (fortunately they all fitted) although the hat was a bit big and kept falling off.
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Vitas insisted she war it admiral style! I was absolutely consumed by happiness for the rest of the day and had it stopped there that would have been enough to keep me beaming. BUT. It did not end there.
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I handed Louise her curly whirly in cherry tree hill peacock and she loved it - she thought she'd set me an impossible task when she laughingly asked for one in all those colours and by coincidence was wearing a fab monsoon top (slightly noro-ish in colours I thought) that went with it pretty well. We had a wicked afternoon catching up on girly chat and news before I headed off to meet el daddyo.

Indeed this was finally the night for the huge momentous family dinner. You see Sian and Dad have only made up this year really. Sian hadn't seen Freddie and P since they left nappies. Moira and el americano family hadn't seen Sian since she was about 10 and Moira hadn't seen Freddie and P since they were v young. So....this might give you an idea of how dysfunctional my family is. You could view me as the family uhu, holding things all together. I used to view myself as the family safety net as everyone would sound off to me about everyone else but then I went mad so that was obviously not a good way of viewing things...
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So from front left we have dad, Piers (14 - so hilarious), me, cousin mike (over here for a year so has featured here before), sian, sian's boyf Brown (also called Simon), Poochimus maximus in a rare good mood, Uncle doug and cousin kerry. Freddie and Becky were also there but weren't doing photos. Aunt Moira was taking the pic. It was a really good night - shame these get togethers are so rare. Especially when I hold them up against xmas at Pooch's where we had about 20 family members sitting about at one point who hadn't caught sight of each other since, ooo, at least last Tuesday. Anyway...It is the variety and diversity of the human interaction that makes life so interesting.

Xmas at Pooch's went very well again although I have eaten waaaaaaaaay too much. There is also the issue of the socks. I took my cherry trtee hill from ally pally up to Manchester with me and did some cable toe-up socks on 2-needles. Buggerations though because the leg part is too small. Ah, I can't be bothered to go into it again but I must have had chocolate inhibiting my brain function. Am knitting on a garter st patch which looks rubbish and will serve to remind me of a dumbass thing I once did. No I'm not ripping them. Because afterall then I might forget the lesson.

It would appear I've forgotten to upload the sock picture so here is one of Zoidberg knitting.
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Hope everyone out there had a great xmas xxx am starting my new years resolutions early by organising my stash and collating WIP and UFOs.
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