Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Isn't machine knitting fun.... not.

Before I blog, I just have to show you a picture of my nifty new Ipad stand.  All knitters should have one.

This was the end result of a protracted battle between myself and the cat as to whether  my lap was going to be occupied by my Ipad showing my knitting pattern, or by the cat.  She is asleep in the photo and seemed fairly happy with the compromise.

This post started out as a quick blog on Sunday as I was heading over to Needlemum's so my DS could talk to her DS about colleges.  As a thank you, I made her a little project bag from sewing-themed fabric.

However, when I tried to upload my photos, I was informed that I had exceeded my storage space for Blogger.  I suppose it had to happen some day, I've been uploading lots of  large images to three blogs for up to five years now.  So this week I have been investigating options which seem to consist of a) delete past sections of the blog, b) spend hours reducing the size of old images, c) introduce a third party by hosting my images on an alternate free photo site, or d) coughing up the money.  I've decided to go with (d) as I want to preserve my history, I'm too lazy/busy to downsize images (and for dollshouse photos you really need them to be big), and it seems to be introducing more risk to start using another photo site.

Yesterday was my monthly sewing group, and I managed to get together the blocks for my Red and White quilt.  The rows aren't pressed in this picture, nor are the sides trimmed up, but you get the idea. It's a bit busy which makes the stars a bit hard to see, but I was thinking that I could use quilting to emphasise the outlines more.  There will be a narrow red border added.

Yesterday was lesson two in my three-lesson free motion quilting tutorial for the group.  In lesson one, I showed them how to do meandering and asked them all to practice so they would be ready to tackle continuous curve stitching and echo quilting in the next lesson.  Everyone was very enthusiastic.

So were they prepared to move on when the next lesson came along a month later?  We have eight members plus myself:
  • three people couldn't make it for various good reasons
  • one person hadn't practiced at all, and couldn't find her quilting foot for the first 45 minutes.
  • two people had practiced a little, but forgot to bring their extension tables so were having severe difficulties trying to sew smooth curves with no support for their block
  • one person showed up giggling unconcernedly that she had forgotten her machine.  When I suggested she go get it, she said she didn't have any fabric sandwiches to practice on (so not only had she not practiced, she had ignored the comprehensive supply list handout).  She did eventually go home and fetch her machine, but discovered on her return that she had forgotten her foot pedal.
  • The final person is in ill health so hadn't brought any equipment, so she couldn't practice either, but she did at least show a lot of close attention and was going to practice when she got home.
So as you can imagine I was really asking myself why I bother, as I had put a lot of work into lesson planning, demo pieces, hauling extra kit in etc.  For free as well, I might add.  I am trying to view it as community outreach to pensioners.

I have joined a beginner's Pilates class to try to do something about the ever increasing middle-aged bulge, and I needed a yoga mat carry bag.  I put one together after looking at a few ideas on the internet.  It has a handy pocket for sundries, and a cotton webbing strap.

Commuter knitting this week has been the Piper's Journey Shawl - I finished the garter stitch body and started the knitted on lace border.  I knit about 6 inches of the border but decided I didn't like how it was pulling in the tip of the shawl so that the crescent had a blunt tip.  I unravelled and am experimented with short-rowing to create a triangle at the tip that swings around 90 degrees to where I could start the lace border.  Looks good so far.

Home knitting has been some work on the Eyelet Lace Jumper and on the Union Jack bag in intarsia.

If you are wondering about the title to this post, let me show you the current state of my set-in sleeve machine knitted jumper.  I had all the pieces knit, blocked, pressed, and seamed together except joining the sleeves to the body.  Here you are:

Yes, I frogged it.  Because when I tacked the sleeves to the body and tried it on, it looked AWFUL.  Although the knitted pieces were the right size for the Ann Budd pattern in the Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, it turns out that pattern doesn't fit me at all.  Way too baggy in the arms, armhole much too deep, and not at all the fitted jumper I was picturing in my mind.  I toyed with the idea of cut and sewing it all smaller, but the too-deep armholes would have made it all very difficult so in the end I just frogged it.  I didn't even do a very good job on frogging - I unwound everything into a giant skein around a big notepad, but when I took it off of the notepad, it instantly transformed from a fat but neat skein into something that looked like a football made out of a 70s Afro wig.  I had no choice but to dampen it to relax the kinks, which then took forever to dry, and when I gave in and rewound it over the backs of some chairs so that it would dry properly, it took hours to untangle all the knots.  Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Now I have to come up with a new plan.  I might just use the charting device on the machine and knit without a pattern, but at the moment I'm not even sure I like the colour any more.  Bleah.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

ARGH, i didn't know Blogger had an image limit! I usually shrink mine so might be OK for a while yet though...
And I'd love an ipad stand like that!
Good grief, I'd have been tearing my hair out at the group.

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