Thursday, October 15, 2020

Time To Play - My Day Off Was A Lot of Fun

I got an early start today, not that I wanted to be running an hour ahead of schedule, but I happened to awaken 45 minutes early and it wasn't worth going back to sleep for such a short amount of time. I'll be dragging by my Sunday catch-up sleep, but it goes that way sometimes. 

I needed a day where I could spend a few hours playing 
with my knitting machine. I'd been studying on-line 
classes for much of the previous week, and wanted to get 
some hands-on practice. I even set it up correctly 
without reference to the manual! Baby steps - LOL. 

Yesterday, being my "day off" should have been focused around continuing to clean Sewing Cabinet #3, but instead, I indulged in a day of play (between some general housecleaning and the usual several loads of laundry, the grocery shopping, and a few other errands). As soon as I could, I pulled my knitting machine box out of Sewing Cabinet #1 and opened the box. Before long, I had it set up again on the table I've chosen to use for the time being, and I was reaching into my bag of wound yarns for the pink/salmon colored yarn I had chosen for my "practice" yarn. I settled down with the manual and began working through it. 

I purchased the pattern to make this carrying 
case for my knitting machine last week. I went 
on an Etsy hunt for appropriate fabrics yesterday 
and got those ordered. It'll be nice - wine colored 
fabric with golden strapping and a nice sturdy 
lining of blackout curtain lining material. 

The various classes I've watched on Craftsy and other websites have all recommended working through the manual as the best way to get used to the quirks of individual machines, and I was determined to do this. I'm bringing the swatches I knitted to the shop with me so that I can wash and block them, then I'll photo them and share with you, but I'm really happy. By the end of my time frame, I had managed to cast on, move stitches for eyelets, do slip stitch and create ribbing. I had a blast! I decided to pull the machine down when I got to two-colored knitting - I was running a bit tight on time and didn't want to rush through this since Fair Isle is one of the main techniques I really want to do on the machine. 

I'm taking full advantage of my reduced membership 
fee for Craftsy. There are some links that don't work 
yet, but there's still a lot of information on there that's 
helpful, and some great patterns and ideas. 

I feel much more confident than I did last week, though. I think I'm starting to understand what the machine can do, and I did a lot of rows of knitting in the time I could maybe have accomplished less than ten rows by hand. I can hardly wait to actually make something cool. I want next week to arrive already so that I can play some more. LOL 

Another resource I've been using a lot is "Knit it Now", a 
store that specializes in knitting machines and how to 
use them. I really like their instructor, and their classes 
are excellent. I'm seriously considering a membership 
in them, although it is NOT inexpensive. They have 
weekly classes and what I've been able to see, they 
are really comprehensive and they have a large back 
library of episodes. 

I also found a pattern for a case for my machine, designed by one of the knitting teachers I've really enjoyed. I purchased the pattern (very inexpensive) and then hit Etsy for the various fabrics needed to make it. I've got everything ordered and coming in now - a nice dark wine colored light canvas exterior with blackout curtain lining, golden yellow mesh strapping and some fusible velcro. I'll read through the pattern carefully today and start making the pattern pieces from the brown paper rolls I have to wrap artwork into. I'd like to get PIP (I've named my machine PIP - Pretty In Pink) into a carrier - I think it would be better than the box in the long run. 

A lot of their intro courses are no charge, and 
I've been taking advantage of that, but the 
more advanced classes and on-line classes 
are pay. Their students are from around the 
world and I love the instructor. 

So ... that's my story and I'm sticking to it - LOL. I think I'll look through some more pages of cowls in Ravelry. I chose several the other day at the shop - all free of charge. They'll make some good, smaller projects to get my practice in with PIP. I was so wrapped up in knitting, I didn't even weave a single row on my loom! I might be early enough this morning, though, to squeeze one or even two rows in before I make breakfast. So ... have an excellent day, be kind, stay safe, and please wear your mask. I'll be back tomorrow. 

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