Sunday, 15 November 2015

Machine knitted legwarmers in 4-ply 2x2 rib

I wanted a more reputable pair of legwarmers to wear for the morning walk to the station for my new job, because these ones that I hand-knit in 2009 have become very pilly and sad.  I couldn't find a straightforward pattern on the internet for a machine knit legwarmer in 4-ply acrylic, so I slightly adapted this pattern by Slisen that I found on Google to produce these:

I've literally just sewn these up and they already have a cat hair on them.

Pattern for legwarmers (make two)
- to fit adult woman, knit on Brother 881 standard bed with ribber in acrylic coned 4-ply. Would probably achieve a similar result in sock yarn.

Set machine to knit 2x2 ribbing over 90 stitches and cast on according to your manual's instructions: my manual told me to hang the weighted cast-on comb plus two large weights, knit three circular rows on H pitch with an extra needle at left, then revert to P pitch and transfer the extra stitch to the main bed. Set RC to 000. Knit 175 rows in 2x2 ribbing, ending with carriage on left. Transfer all ribber bed stitches to the corresponding empty needles on main bed. Measure off ball yarn equalling three times the width of the 90 needles in work and break yarn. Remove weights and cast-on comb. Thread double-ended needle and do a sewn 'backstitch' stretchy cast-off through two stitches at a time (so each stitch gets sewn through twice). I found it easier to bring all the needles fully forward and as I finished with each stitch, to push its needle back to NWP and drop the stitch off. Allow the knitting to rest, or wet block and let dry.  Seam with as flat a seam as possible - I couldn't see the stitches well enough in black yarn to try a Bickford seam, so I just did a really tiny mattress stitch seam right into the edge of the knitting and it's fine.


I can show you the results of my previous machine knitting now because the gift has been posted and received.  This is a Baby Romper knit in 4-ply acrylic on my Brother 881 machine, using a pattern from an older issue of Machine Knitting News Baby magazine. It buttons at the shoulders and has picot trim around the cuffs, armholes and neckline. I made a few mistakes as I am still fairly rusty at machine knitting but I'm sure the baby will not be critical  and the mother is lovely :)

A painted lady

Several years ago we had a holiday to San Francisco and really loved it. One of the souvenirs I bought was a HO scale plastic model of the Steiner House, one of the famous Painted Ladies.  This was a kit called 'Homes of Yesterday and Today', No 100-3, by Your Town USA and is in 1:87 scale.  It was very detailed and although blank on the inside, I had a vague idea that I might try to furnish it as a dollshouse.  Well I never did, but the box turned up when we were unpacking my dollshouse collection and DH nobly volunteered to put it together for me as a model.  He has all the skills and tools because his own hobby is military modelling.

He did a fantastic job and I'm really pleased with all the detail on this model. He also painted it apart from I added a bit more colour to the gingerbread decoration. It's a nice reminder of our fun holiday.


This week I finished piecing together my cushion cover. It is supposed to be a 'red' cover but at the moment is looking more 'green'. But it will have a red backing and red piping which will tip the balance more towards red. I designed this on EQ6 and I feel fairly proud of it. Maybe I am getting my quilting mojo back a little.

The pieced cover 19" square unfinished

Basting the quilt for hand quilting

I'm going to hand quilt the cover, and I haven't hand quilted anything for a very long time. I dug out my portable pipe frame, which I last used about twelve years ago, and puzzled out how to put it together so I could use it for basting the quilt.  Since then I've had a few hand quilting sessions in front of Netflix using a smaller portable snap frame, and am gradually remembering key points such as keeping the stitches evenly sized.  It's turning my left index finger and middle finger into a pincushion though, but I'm enjoying it.

I also dug out a kit I bought for last Christmas and didn't make, the Stonehenge Starry Night panel which comes with a battery pack attached to Christmas lights to decorate the tree.  I've pinned it up for machine quilting and since taking this picture I have started to free motion quilt the tree.  I'm not doing the world's greatest job but the busy print hides a lot of sins  :)  I've done the tone-on-tone part of the tree in red thread but I'm picking out the gold 'ornaments' in metallic gold machine embroidery thread. Then I will lightly stipple the background.

Other stuff

This week I finished my Katia Velvet Loop Cowl and have been wearing it round the house, it's very snuggly. It's not really cold enough to wear it outside but our old house can feel cool on damp days. To join the garter stitch rectangle into a tube, instead of casting off I used a crochet hook to draw loops of the knitting yarn through the cast on edge then through a stitch on the needle, to 'crochet off' the seam invisibly.

I've also knit the first of my Lett Lopi Arne and Carlos felted slippers and have started the second one.  Based on my test swatch, I'm knitting a smaller pattern size than my shoe size which hopefully is going to turn out alright. I would hate to have to own up to my s-i-l that the yarn she brought me from Iceland was wasted on slippers that don't fit me. Although perhaps they would fit her.  I've got enough grey yarn left that I can embroidery something on the toe, perhaps a snowflake?

I've progressed on my bobbin lace Christmas Star with a certain amount of 'reverse lacing' due to mistakes.  I'm wondering if I can bear to make another one and then I could give one to the in-laws for Christmas.

I start my new job tomorrow - eek!  I'm trying to remain calm and optimistic, and not worry fruitlessly about my age/health/stamina, mental ability etc. etc.  I don't know Leicester at all so Friday I went up on the train with my new season ticket and conducted a recce.  I was pleasantly surprised: all the shops I might use in London are also represented in Leicester, there was a huge covered market, several fabric and haberdashery stores, lots of period buildings and nice places to eat, and a big new mall.  There is a knitting shop but it's a long way from the station so I didn't get there, and of course there is the fabulous Fabric Guild for warehouse quilting fabrics.  Too far to go on my lunch hour but I could walk there from the station on a day off.  I spent several hours wandering around and it seems like quite a nice place, there is the impression that it is on the rise with lots of refurbished and new buildings.  And best of all, no London crowds or queues.  Wish me luck!


swooze said...

Good luck tomorrow! You'll do great.

Daisy said...

Hope the new job is going well! And thank you for the romper!

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