Monday, 30 August 2010

Two Old Ladies

I think that it would help if I could find the instruction manual to my chunky machine. I hoard everything so the manual must be somewhere but I can lay my hands on everything else except that. On my searches I have come across many machine knitting magazines ranging from 1969 - 1989 and there are some weird and wonderful things in those which makes me wonder why I ever bought them in the first place. I can't think that they were ever fashionable although I did find a nice book of baby clothes for the finer machine.

The Two Old Ladies (myself and the machine) struggled most of yesterday and managed to finally produce a tank top. I felt so stupid when I could not even remember how to cast on! Poor foster baby B is being used as a guinea pig. The tank top came out a bit small. I hand knitted the ribs, as you can see in the second photo, and when I had finished the neckband I realised that it would not go over baby B's head so I opened up the shoulder seam, crocheted a placket, and added two buttons. If it is too small for him then Baby L (now known as Little Legs) will have to grow into it. I wonder if Baby B is now Big Legs?

I actually fell asleep reading the Bible for Machine knitting in bed so how sad is that. Although it refers to a different machine I read up on a lot of techniques. Today I started a cardigan for Big Legs and thought that I would try the mock rib. I will finish this off but I don't think that I like it as much as the hand knitted ribs. It will have to have a hand knitted button and neckband anyway. I couldn't remember what the mock rib looked like and now that I do know I don't think that I will use it again. My fine machine has a ribber attached to that but I never bought a ribber for the chunky machine.

My main problems is getting the size of the garment right. Once I sort that bit out then I will have a pattern for how many stitches and rows etc and will be able to race away making some more. When I used to knit for Ian as a small child I had everything written down and as he grew I just updated my template pattern. The cardigan is looking more like the size of Big Legs as I imagine him but as I haven't seen him for 4 months he may well have grown. I will e mail the finished measurements to Sylvia and ask her to check on his back length and sleeve size before I make any more. I want to get the size right for when the new wool arrives later this week. I am making my mistakes on stash wool.

I don't think that machine knitting will ever take the place of my crocheting. I don't relax when machine knitting whereas I can stretch out in my recliner with my crochet and watch the TV. I will carry on using the machine though when I need something knitting very quickly as the machine does have a very neat tension which is something that I no longer have due to arthritis.

I am going to try to finish off all the pieces of the cardigan and then I can sew it up and finish off the hand ribbing tonight. After that I still have one ball left to crochet into my sweater before I have to abandon it until the extra wool arrives. I am expecting 3 deliveries of wool this week so it will all be exciting stuff.

I was chatting on Facebook to my friend Charlie, who is opening her new wool shop soon. and she has just had her first wool delivery for the shop. I feel so excited for her. I never lost that excited feeling every time the huge bags of wool arrived even though I was the one who had ordered it. Funnily enough Charlie was having problems with her knitting machine yesterday. She is making something far more complicated than I am though. I haven't used my machine for so long that I am starting off slowly with just plain knit for now.

Time for lunch and then back to the machine before I forget what I did to make the back (sound familiar ladies?) I will find a pad and paper and takes some notes as I regularly suffer from brain fade these days. Then I will probably lose the pad. Sigh. Getting old does have it's drawbacks. My brain used to be as sharp as a shiny new tack and now it is more like a blunt rusty nail!


June said...

Lovely little boy's jumpers Jan. The machine is ideal for making clothes for baby boys. You seem to have remembered how to use the machine again now, so much quicker than hand knitting.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog and knitty ramblings on the machine....did you hand knit the rib after you knitted the main body of the tank top or before?

enthusiastic crochetoholic said...

I started knitting the body of the sweater on waste yarn. When I had finished the machine knitting I picked up the stitches and then knitted the ribbing in the opposite direction to the stocking stitch. Once I had picked up the stitches I then carefully unraveled the waste yarn and continued knitting downwards in rib. I used a larger needle to cast off with making sure that the cast off edge was not too tight.