Monday, June 13, 2011

Mondays are for Black Dots

  • There are only 5 spots left in the fiber of the month club out of the extra spaces I added. I'm only leaving the listing up for 2 more days to give myself time to order the extra fiber. If you would like a space in the club but can't pay right away, please contact me. We might be able to work something out.
  • I feel a lot better than I have the last 3 weeks. Yesterday I rearranged the living room furniture, cleaned the kitchen, made a tasty dinner of turkey meatballs (which take freaking forever to cook, by the way) and lived to tel the tale. Today I managed to get the dyeing started, pack orders, work on a tree sweater (more on that later), go grocery shopping, clear out some old emails and I still have hours left in my day to do absolutely nothing. 
  •  My Amazon subscribe and save orders came today. Every item I ordered was shipped in a different box. In related news, my new mail carrier hates me. So does Mother Earth.
  • Kara gave me an old Ultimate Sweater Machine a few months ago. I finally got it cleaned up and figured out what I was doing wrong. I needed to upgrade a few parts and get some new needles and keyplates, so I bought a new USM kit from JoAnns (with the 50% off coupon it was about the price as the replacement parts. I now have enough needle beds to make a half dozen sock blanks at a time, which I will do as soon as I figure out what the heck I'm doing. 
 Machine knitting is one of those things that looks easy but really really really isn't easy at all and whoever is telling you that is a lying liar who lies. I'm sure I will deny saying the previous sentence once I can machine knit without the stitches leaping dramatically off the needles and making me rip the whole piece out, but in the meantime I'm getting a lot of practice picking up dropped stitches and starting over.

Do you know how to pick up stitches on a USM? You pick them up from behind the fabric and can't see what you're doing. Gotta do it on faith. Also? You have to hang a TON of weight on the fabric to keep it from jumping off the needle beds. As I tweeted earlier today, "Machine knitting can be summed up so far as: *cast on, knit, drop stitches, fix stitches, drop stitches, fix, drop all the stitches on the floor. Repeat from *" I've got 4 weights hanging from the bed and it isn't enough! Luckily I've got a cat who is willing to volunteer to hang off the knitted fabric. Helpful cat is helpful.
The knitting machine and a long, holey rectangle hanging from it.
  •  I volunteered to knit a sweater for a tree at the Strange Folk Festival (see here to knit your own limb coozie). I decided this project will be perfect to help me learn how to use the USM. I hope the trees (and organizers!) don't mind a few holes.  


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