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HELLO 2017

Thank God 2016 is over!!!!! This last year was one of the most miserable, mind bending years I’ve had to endure for quite some time.  In January of 2016 I was still grieving from my mother’s passing in Aug. 2015 and dealing with the estate until it was closed out in March.  Also, in January I made up my mind to retire.  It was a hard decision because I generally liked my job, but age was catching up with me and I needed to be home to take care of my husband due to his failing health.  So, I retired on March 31st.

The spring was very busy getting the yard work, house work and husband taken care of, I was wondering how I had done it for so many years while working.  May rolled around and I ruptured the disk at L5-S1 mowing the yard.  The pain was unreal, unable to do anything but pace and cry, I wasn’t able to have surgery until July. So my summer was shot to hell too.  By the end of August I was feeling better and able to do a little more. Did some spinning and knitting, my back dictated the amount of time I could sit and work on things.  But, my husband was declining.  He needed to be admitted into the hospital in October for a few days due to coughing up blood.  Our worst fears had come to life, his lung cancer had returned after eight years from initial diagnosis and treatment.  He passed away two days after Thanksgiving.  He was ready, he was so tired of the shortness of breath and being unable to do anything. So we are learning how to keep on going without him.  I’m so thankful for his love, caring and time we had together and the great son we have.  We were married for 30 years, together for 32.

So, December rolled around and I found myself in a daze, Decided to focus on a couple sock machines that I hadn’t work with for a long time.  I got the 1892 Gearhart up and running. This machine took some deep concentration since the cylinder turns instead of the yarn guide. Had to think backwards from the stationary cylinders.  This machine knit a nice pair of socks, forgot to take a picture of the finished pair. I used Regia sock yarn.

1892-a 1892-b

Also, got the 1875 Bickford up and knitting, this is a nice machine. Love the way it knit, as long as I went slow and watched the needles carefully I had very little problem with it. Using the Regia sock yarn I was able to get a nice looking pair of socks made.

bickford-in-use bickford-sock

Well,that’s it for 2016.  Hoping 2017 is a much happier year.

 

 

 

Finally done with a pair of Estonian mittens I started last fall. The pattern is from Piecework Nov/Dec 1999 issue by Nancy Bush. They are called Kalev’s mittens.  I used my own hand spun yarns of  naturally colored mohair (tan) and alpaca ( dark brown), knitted on US size 0 needles. This pair of mittens just took me forever to get completed and I think part of the reason was I just didn’t feel connected to the pattern and I completed just because I started them. My husband loves them so I’m glad I finished them.

EstGlo2016

EstGlo1EstGlo2

For me the Kitchner stitch has always been a challenge so as a reference for myself and maybe help someone else I’ve put together a little tutorial.  I have tried all sorts of ways to setup the live stitches so I could see them better. I have settled on putting the stitches on needles so I could  rid of the waste yarn, one less thing to get in my way when stitching.  After watching many videos and looking at lots of blog sites with instructions, it seems that everyone has their own little twist to the process. But not one could answer my question of “How are the stitches loaded onto the needles so the stitches don’t twist?” So here is my interpretation of the KITCHNER Stitch.

Stitch set-up on needles:

Pick up the leg of the stitch that has an X.

Kitchner Stitch Loading

Kitchner on Needles 2

Terms that I use:

Stitch side terms

Getting Started:

  1. With yarn that is to be used for the sewing, bring up through the first stitch on the lower needle as if to purl. (Purl on)
  2. Then put the yarn through the first stitch on the upper needle as if to knit. (Knit on)

Main sewing:

Lower Needle

1st stitch (Knit Off)

Knit Off lower

2nd stitch  (Purl On)

Kitchner Lower  Purl on

Upper Needle

1st stitch (Purl Off)

Purl Off

2nd stitch (Knit On)

Kitchner Upper  Knit on

Continue this way until last stitch on each needle. Then I usually do the first half of the stitch.  Knit Off and purl into the next  stitch, this stitch has already been knitted. Upper needle purl off and knit into the next stitch, again this stitch has already been knitted. Then push the needle through to the inside if it is a sock or through to the back of the work if it is a scarf or something flat. Weave off the end and trim the working yarn.

Finished seam:

Finished seam

The yarn for this pair of socks was spun from Jacob wool and knit on the LeGare 400 sock knitting machine.

 

 

I was able to get to a couple of events this spring. One was the Federation of Spinners and Weavers meeting  that was held in Cedar Rapids this spring. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. and Mrs.  Rick Reeves, they are very lovely people. I had been having an issue with my 24″ Saxon style wheel not to wanting to wind the yarn up on the bobbing.   I had exhausted my bag of tricks, so I took it along for Rick to look at.  It took a few minutes for him to find the problem and to give me the solution. I followed his advice and the wheel is purring along just fine.  Sorry for the blurry pictures.

Rick Reeves 2015

Rick Reeves with 24in

IMG_20150425_115353_077

Mr. and Mrs. Reeves

I bought a beautiful CVM fleece from this lady, unfortunately I have misplaced her business card. I think she is from around Waterloo.

IMG_20150425_130218_607

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I also had a chance to go to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival in Colfax, IA. A lady I know from work had her alpaca fleece and yarn stand set up.

Lisa B's Alpacas

Lisa and her Mom were manning the stand.

Lisa and Mom

Lisa pulling a batt of Alpaca into roving.

Lisa B IA sheep wool

All in all Margie Meehan organized another great festival.

 

 

 

Spring 2015

I’ve finally got my late winter or early spring hat completed. I haven’t had much time to spend on fun things. We moved my mom into an elderly apartment complex and our son moved into his own place. All of this in late February and March.  So now I’m trying to help my sisters and brother with cleaning out Mom’s house. This has to be done by June 1st.

Back to my hat, I dyed with kool aid, jello and Wilton’s cake dye. I used my own hand spun yarns.

Blue-Royal blue cake dye

Ghoul aid-KA

Red-orange + cherry KA

Yellow-lemon jello

Light orange- peach jello

Green-light tan alpaca + Lemon-lime KA

Natural white

Hat2015

Hat Top 2015

Cat Hat 2 Pixie approved.

Scarf on Maruyama

Wave pattern

Wave pattern

I knit this up using my hand spun camel. I spun this to a sock weight yarn. This yarn has no elasticity. The pattern was hand manipulated and knit to 50 inches and then grafted the ends together to make an infinity scarf. I should have gone to 60 inches so it would have a little more give.

Camel Infinity Scarf

Maruyama MK-70

I had some time to play with the Maruyama knitting machine. I don’t know very much about this machine, just that it was made in Japan.  I really like the feel of the  carriage as it glides over the needles. The machine is a standard gauge (4.5), 200 needle flat bed with the carriage and separate needle selector.

Maruyama KM

The needle selector: Set at 4 and with two passes I was able to get an every other needle placed into D position.

IMGP0138

Set at 4

There was  a very minimal manual pages that had been copied that came with the machine:

Maru Man pg 1

Maru Man pg 2

Maru Man pg 3

Maru Man pg 4

Maru Man pg 5

Maru Man pg 6