Thursday, April 26, 2007

Food Porn

I subscribe to the Chocolatier magazine. It publishes only 4 issues a year, but the photo's are just beautiful and they even include recipes.

Well, M found the latest issue and started flipping through it. She is SO my girl. Oooh's and Ahh's abound with each flip of the magazine page.

"Let's make this one, mama!"

"Oh, and this one looks REALLY good."

J jokingly said that M's found Mom's food porn stash.

He is so right.

Book Review: Friday Night Knitting Club

I read, too, so I'll try to occasionally write about the books I've been reading.

Which brings me to the latest: Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs.

I got suckered in to reading this book for two reasons: 1) it's ostensibly about knitting. 2) Julia Roberts has signed on to be the main character for an upcoming movie.

(I'm a sucker for all things Julia. It's absolutely unreasonable and I have no idea why.)

So I searched my local library's on-line catalogue and find that it's just about to be available. I stick my name on the waiting list and get a call the next day. I pick it up and find that the library has ordered the large print version. I hate reading large print books. I have to hold the book out at arms length to be able to read it.

So, I already start out with a bad attitude towards this book.

Then I start reading and, OMG, the character development is just awful. You know the type of book where each character is a specific stereotype, but the story line is that they really aren't that stereotype? Predictable, predictable, - ugh, did I say predicable?

I hate predictable books. I find them a huge waste of time. But if I start a book, I tend to finish them because I like to give the author the benefit of the doubt.

Well, folks, FNKC is a big huge waste of time. Wait for the movie because you won't miss a thing.

Warning: Spoilers.

Stuff I wish the author expounded on or hated that she went in the direction that she did.

The main character goes to Ireland to visit her grandmother. There's a yarn shop there. Do we get to go and meet the Irish knitting folks? Nope. There's just a mention about the shop and you keep thinking that you're going to get to visit. But nope. The author decided to focus more on the racial differences between the main character and her daughter than with the wonderful world of knitting.

The dresses that the main character makes for her former best friend was supposed to elevate her to becoming a fabulous couture designer. Did it? Nope.

Bleh, bleh, bleh.


Pattern: Satchel [Smaller Striped Version] from Knitty, Camelia Flower from Noni
Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes, Daffodil (23436) & Sapphire Heather (23899)

Needles: US Size 13
I used a magnetic snap (I bought it at Hobby Lobby. Joanns and Michaels don't carry them any more). In the past, I sewed a piece of fabric onto the bag and connected the clasp to the fabric, not the bag. This time I cut the felted wool (which is scary) and covered the back with the flower and the lining.

I also folded a plastic needlepoint canvas and put it in between the liner and the purse. It keeps sharp objects from poking through the felted bag.This is the pocket. I put it on the back of the satchel. It's large enough to hold a small cell phone.Things I'd do differently:

  • I'd attach the pocket to the bag before I felted it. I think I'd have to pull it apart before it dried, but I think the pocket would have looked a little better.
  • I would double knit the strap and attach it before I felted the bag.
  • Use colors that are closer together in the color spectrum. It looks like the blue bled into the yellow, but when you look at it closer, the fibers from the blue actually penetrated the yellow. If the colors were closer together, then I think the effect wouldn't be so dramatic.
  • I wouldn't knit a synthetic yarn into the flower. It just didn't felt well and ended up not looking it's best.

Even with all the above points, I do like this bag. The size is right and I wouldn't mind having one of these for myself. This was knit for a charity auction.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Twisted Stitch Baby hat

Pattern: Twisted stitch baby hat on circular needles (it came with my Bluebonnet Knitting Guild (BBKG) charity knits pattern book)
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, #896
Needles: US Size 6
I need to pump up my charity knit numbers. This will be donated to the BBKG. This was the first time I've tried a twisted stitch. I really like knitting with it.

Franny Onsy

Pattern: Berroco's Franny from Booklet #245 - for size 12 months
Yarn: Universal Yarn's Pebbles Color 14 (100% Polymide)
Needles: size 8
This was fairly quick to make, but I'm getting to where I dislike knitting stockinette. The next time I make it, I'll do a couple of things differently:
  1. knit the bottom pieces at the same time (two pieces on needles) and then join to knit in the round until the arms.
  2. put 3 button holes on the left shoulder. The pattern called for only one.
  3. knit with a lighter weight yarn. I think this is going to be a very warm outfit.

I also would like to embellish this, but because the recipient decided to find out the sex of her baby when it's born, well, I'm stuck with making generic baby stuff.

Garter Scarf

Here's a scarf I made from some stash yarn
Pattern: It's a simple 15 stitch garter
Yarn: Berroco's Hush (Goodnight Moon #6303) - 3 skeins
Needles: US Size 9
This scarf is going to one of M's teachers for an end of year gift.

I like how it looks.

Monday, April 23, 2007

CSM status

I have to find a better umbrella or a way to keep the yarn attached to the weight below the knitting. When I use the umbrella that comes with the machine, the yarn where it gets pulled away from the hooks does not knit. Then I also have some needles where the latches have been damaged. So, I'm encouraged. I used an onion bag and that was how I found out that I had some bad needles.

It's coming. No socks yet, but it'll happen!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Getting closer to figuring this out

There are two reasons why the needles aren't catching the yarn on my CSM:
First, I changed directions with the needles still engaged (bad!). I now understand that I have to lift needles up so I can allow gravity to move the direction of the uplift cams to allow a change of directions of the needles.

So that explains why the needles weren't being lifted. But the yarn carrier was not lined up with where the needle action was occurring.

Second, I had the tension cam adjustment screw located incorrectly. Here's from the manual. Look at the stops (the metal just above the arrow that is pointing to the bottom gear (A). The tension cam adjustment screw is located on the flat side.This is how my machine was set up:

So it was on the wrong side. Here's how I corrected it:

See how the yarn carrier (not installed, but the screw is shown) and the tension cam adjustment screw is now located in between the stops.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cams were in correctly

Okay. I have no idea why the needles aren't raising up. I took the cylinder off the machine to flip the uplift cams and this is what I saw:
I believe they're installed correctly. Here's a picture of the cams from the handbook (the uplift cams are marked D6 in the diagram):

So why aren't the needles travelling up the uplift cams?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The third shoe dropped

Okay. I wrecked J's car and the window motor on my car stopped working. One of my SnB friends asked what will be the third thing to happen?

It happened on Saturday. While pulling into the parking lot of Curves/Weight Watchers, my car died. I thought it was because I ran out of gas. Four gallons later, the car still didn't start. So I had it towed to the dealership because it's still under warranty (by it's chinny chin chin).

Well, the timing belt broke and the folks said that the damage could be BAD (like replace the whole engine kind of bad). Well, we lucked out and the engine wasn't damaged. The belt was not covered under warranty, but after ducking the engine replacement bullet, paying for a new belt was great - sort of.

A-ha moment

I have been dragging my little CSM machine out occasionally to see if I could get it to work. I use it until I get totally frustrated and put it up again. I have yet to be able to get it to knit.

I felt like the problem was with how I used the set up basket. I got some help from the sock knitter's group and used this photo as a guide. The rubber bands work wonderfully.

Then I made sure that I had proper tension on the umbrella (I had three weights).

The yarn was still not catching. Here's a photo of my cylinder with the needles in it.

Here's a photo of Gay's set up:

>>>>>>Eric from the list properly diagnosed the problem - I put the uplift cams in upside down.<<<<<<<

ETA: Nope. See a later post - I had the put the machine together incorrectly.


I'm actually excited about knowing this. Perhaps I can get my machine to start working!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wedding Gift

Well, I decided to knit from my stash (KFMS) for this gift. So I used Sonata for the hand towel: And some Sugar 'n Cream for the face cloths. (Wine & Potpourri)

I used the Mason Dixon book for the Chevron pattern but I only knitted 14 stripes instead of the called for 24 - mainly because I ran out of yarn. I made up my own "pattern" for the face cloths.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


I was inspired by this bunny I saw on Softies Central . . .Since Jess Hutch's Spherey makes a perfect quick sphere, here's my knitted version:
I knitted it out of Paton's Be Mine yarn. It's so nice and soft.

Thanks goes out to Cindy who mentioned the face was missing a nose. I can't help but feel like he looks more like a dog than a bunny. Perhaps the ears should have been longer and thinner?

Oh, and I now have a favorite fiber fill:

It's light weight and can be shaped well. I really like this stuff better than Poly-fil. I bought this bag at my local Walmart.

My next softie will be a chick that was inspired by the same artist: