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Archive for August 1st, 2003

Fun with Yarn

Friday, August 1st, 2003

USM BoxWell, I’m just having a ball with yarn today! I’ve been working with the Ultimate Sweater Machine for a bunch of hours and it’s great fun. I tried the sportweight turquoise and yellow and made a striped rectangle that I think will make a wonderful pillow. It sure looks bigger on the machine, stretched with a weight, than it does off the machine! Not to worry, it’s a pillow, right? Nobody to fit here, but it was surprising how much it shrunk when unstretched.

You know, this thing eats up yarn fast! Either I’ll be pleased with the reduction in my stash… or I’ll be buying way too much yarn to feed the little plastic gizmo that knits for me…. sounds like a fairy tale… the machine starts knitting on its own, it won’t stop until the heroine gets a kiss from the prince or something. And the kiss must happen before the stash is totally used up! I could write a book, but I won’t. At least, not that one!

Tomorrow morning I go to Ann Arbor to meet Jillian and Amy (and hopefully Carla?) for a short intro to crochet class at Knit a Round. (I was hoping Tony would join me but he hasn’t returned my calls yet… he still has a chance to catch me first thing though.)

We are going to meet at a coffee shop near the store before it opens, so we can do fiber-talk before we need to be on topic at the class. Jillian writes that she feels sorry for the teacher. I understand! We can be chatty but we do have enthusiasm… and Knit A Round has these really beautiful bright colored plastic crochet hooks that Tony tried to talk me into getting last time we were there. Now I have a reason to consider this idea, anyway. They really were beautiful.

Immediately after class, we all run our own ways… Amy is passing through from Toronto to a vacation, Jillian has something else going, and I have to go demo this knitting machine at JoAnn. I think I’m going to like this machine. I mean, I cranked out a lot of fabric in a short time. And it appears that fairisle is not particularly difficult, although I need to go try that for sure before I crash for the night. Ribbing is no big deal and lace is not much hassle (though I am not at all a lace person).

I wonder if I will get my wool long underwear now? Now that I can actually knit something that large in a pretty decent amount of time? This particular machine doesn’t seem to knit down to a fingering weight yarn, only sport, so I can’t use my leftover sockyarn if I do it on the machine. Hmmm, we’ll see.

Four Students!

Friday, August 1st, 2003

Well, I went to JoAnn today and I had 4 students, not two. Good thing I made an extra handout, but we still needed one extra photocopy.

It was great fun! Everyone had a different yarn and we all will see how everyone’s different item works out with the same “game plan” (I hate to call it a pattern because it’s more of a guideline, depending on the gauge of the yarn.

I knew Tina, from the Mid-Michigan Knitters Guild. And Maureen was there, and two friends of Tina’s. Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

And now I was sent home from JoAnn with an Ultimate Sweater Machine (a knitting machine which I believe is the new version of what was once called the Bond). So I get to play with that all night, and I didn’t even have to buy one.

I did work with the machine for an hour and a half or so in the store and I got going OK. Tonight I’ll try more. I’m grateful I’m pretty good at learning new things and working with mechanical gizmos, because now I’m supposed to demonstrate this tomorrow at 1pm. That was the trade for letting me play with the thing all night. We’ll see tomorrow if I think that was a good trade or not!

I hope I look like I know what I’m doing when I get there in the store! Only time will tell.

What I really want to know is, how well will the machine work with yarns I adore, rather than the acrylic worsted weight yarn they sent with the machine? Hmmm… I certainly plan to start with the yarns I was given before I jump in and try mine. But I’m thinking it would be great fun to make a stocking hat in stripes. That seems do-able as a first project… I hope.

I have some turquoise and yellow wool-ease sport with no apparent project, just colors I couldn’t pass by on super-clearance one day. I’ll have to see if the machine will work OK with that thinner yarn. I also want to try some worsted weight Brown Sheep Naturespun, and some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece. This could be great fun!