Monday, March 17, 2008

Almost a Sock! (or what I did this weekend)

The weekend was full of lots of fun things - along with other errands, I picked up my 2 felted bags from the seamstress that lined them for me - I don't love this first one - it's too thin (I used one strand of yarn instead of two) and the strap is too thin - I still like the colors, and I like my little vintage patch I had her put on for me - lessons learned on this one - when trying to felt a bag, make sure you either do a test swatch of felting or use 2 strands of yarn... it makes for a more substantial fabric!

The second bag I did turned out much better - 2 strands together - beautiful colors - grey, green, black - and it holds some memories for me - I worked on this bag in February, 2007 when I attended my dad's funeral - I sat at the viewing for an hour or so and just knitted with him - life is short - and I think that objects hold memory for us - that as time goes by, this bag became more than just a bag; it became an object that marked the passing of my father.

Anyway, I had it lined and put a fun zipper in it:

inside the pocket is a brown/orange fabric lining - I also supplied wider strap for the handle for this bag - I know how to tie the strap to connect it to the 2 "D" rings on the right side, but I haven't figured out how to attach the rest of the strap to itself... if anyone has bright ideas, I'd love to hear them. My latest thought was to add some snaps up the side - to allow for adjustment... BTW- the label was given to me by a friend for Christmas - I think they actually came from Connecticut, and they are woven across the pond in England! Here's the website... and I love them very much!

The other fun thing I was doing this weekend was trying to get the parts together for my antique circular sock knitting machine - there were some missing pieces to the puzzle, as it were, and I needed these items to make my next attempt.

I found these bath scrubbie buff puff thingys at the $0.99 store - 4 for $0.99 (go figure)- I bought a 4 bags of them - I had heard from another sock knitting machine person that they can be taken apart and the mesh was a tube that could be used to start a sock on the CSM! A quick untie (literally took about 5 seconds; I was surprised how quickly they come apart) , and voila:

like 6' or so of beautiful mesh tube! This is a glorious find! Using this net makes starting a breeze - it's also possible to use onion sacks, but I prefer this because it's even the right size for the setup! After I had my netting for the set up basket, I still needed heel forks - so I bought some forks, some weights, and some key chain rings, and after some rummaging in the garage came up with these:

yes, I made 'em! I think I want the weights to be heavier, but they worked pretty well. So now, armed with everything I needed, I sat down in the messy garage and started to work on my sock. Gregg was organizing the garage and keeping me company while I studied and tried to make my Legare 400 do what I wanted it to do... for about an hour or so. I am pretty proud of how far I got, but I kept dropping stitches and the sock was messing up - It was a lot of fun though... and while it's a challenge still, I'm determined to make this thing work!

I tried really hard to finish the sock - holes, dropped stitches and all - and I was able to "fake" my way all the way to the toe before the sock was messed up to the point that I couldn't continue - I documented my attempt before tossing it out:

not bad for the "almost" first sock! I'm doing a 3x1 "mock" rib because I haven't figured out how to make the ribber work quite yet... I think that my first goal is to get a sock complete before moving on to other complications! I will say that this sock was too "loose" for my taste - I like a sock that hugs my leg more... But... can I just say, even though it ended up practice and garbage, for all the sock knitters out there... I did this much in an hour! eek! - using the old machines in no way replaces hand knitting, but it's a beautiful compromise! I can't wait to get good at this so I can use some fancy yarns! - someday in the future, I may try hand knitting socks again - but I believe the machine has spoiled me...
Oh! The only other thing that happened this weekend was Winky got her haircut... poor Winky! :) she's so skinny now!! She loves this blanket - it's so soft and cushy -


Camping Jason said...

Kyle, you should check out Doug's blog here for some sock machine inspiration.

loopykd said...

Kyle I have to know where you got those Handknit by Kyle tags. I have been looking for those and I can't find them. I love your felted bags. I have struggled with straps for bags as well.

Dave Daniels said...

Yeah, WHERE did you get those labels? I've been wanting those for my hand sewn bags, and have searched all over for them.
And, if you have ANY questions about your CSM, give a shout. (Don't even try using the ribber yet, it'll be your downfall. I know from experience.)
But, those LABELS????? Please share.

Linda said...

Wow! What a great first try! Congratulations on getting the machine running - several of the ladies at my knitting circle have these things and they are apparently addicting, so watch out!

And what have you done to that poor cat? lol!!

Soxophone Player said...

That's an amazing first effort on the sock machine. Well, before long your DPNs will be relegated to picking your teeth...

Anonymous said...

Go Kyle! Don't you love those scrubbies?? My Legare 400 loves weight, I found I had to actually add another sinker to the weights I already had, voila! problem fixed. No more dropped stitches!
Love both the bags. Kathy-Kansas City