Thursday, January 27, 2011

Making time and space for Machine Knitting

    Repairing a thoughtless error in my calculations on a knitting pattern this afternoon, I noticed I was neither hunched over nor hurried as I sat at the knitting machine.
     The greyish light of the winter afternoon rested softly on the needle bed and I felt happily contented, mistakes and all, and wondered why I had waited so long to set up the knitting machine this winter right in front of the living room window.
     Since fall, it had nagged at me, this desire to move the knitting machine to somewhere warmer, but not in the way. This house is too small for both of those criteria to be met, so I finally decided that "in the way" is not so bad, after all.
     In the summer, the knitting machine resides in the office, which is actually a poorly insulated enclosed portion of the original back porch. I can bundle up and assemble spindolyns or pack orders, but I simply can not abide being cold while knitting. It is somehow counterintuitive, and I operate on a 50/50 mix of intuition and logic. This winter has defied both of those, averaging way below normal in temperature and above normal in gloom. I have been doing more spinning and handknitting and just plain missing my knitting machine.
    So now, it is finally crammed into the living room, with 3 warming dogs, two cats, JB and his music studio, the wood stove, the tv, the stereo, the books, 3 computers and so on. Funny thing how that kind of winter intimacy either makes you want to kill someone, or drives you into a personal space that is actually more productive. The latter is working for me, with the mk right there at the window, every time I look out the front window to check on the sheep and goats in the pasture or the birds at the feeder, I sit down and knit a few rows (or more) the same way one might casually pick up their hand knitting.
      I was originally worried that the sun coming in the window would be a problem........ha. what sun?

What is funny about this photo? I am repairing my mis-calcuation by adding more on to the knitting on the machine, by knitting it on by hand. When the table and the chair are nice heights to each other, this is as comfortable as lounging at the kitchen table reading seed catalogues and knitting.knitting machine knitting.jpg

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The shoemakers wife~the sockmakers husband

       As an old school feminist, the terms "husband and wife" leave me a little uneasy, but hey, when you are searching for a title, sometimes you have to stretch.
      But the point is still valid, even if convoluted. In this household, we are experiencing a serious sock deficit. ( insert horrified soap opera music here)
       Some winters in sunny Tennessee, just a few pairs of warm wool "home knit" (hand or machine) socks will get you through...this winter has been a frigid exception. Need---more---socks! feet are cold, socks are dirty.
        Will get on to that, as soon as I get these current spindolyn orders done, locate some more hay for the sheep and goats, find some dry firewood,etc, but in the meantime, will share some photos of socks that were kindly forwarded to me from a customer, Kay, (EarthKat) Thanks Kay for sharing!

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Great job! her first Machine knit socks. The colors really move me.
She knit them using the pattern in my book Sock Options for Machine Knitters, and wrote some nice and head swelling stuff about trying other patterns and really liking the book but (blushing) I wont go in to that, other than to say it really makes me happy to think of happy feet,and inspires me to get cracking on some socks for my poor cold feet.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Melting snow and the warmth of human kindness

It has been a “hard times” winter for a lot of people. Around here, we have burnt up a winters worth of firewood and e’t up a winters worth of hay, and it is only the middle of January. A body could get right down and discouraged having to rub their hands together just to keep them warm enough to knit or make spindles, but you can tell that the days are getting longer…like right now, it is already 4:30 pm, and I still have enough light yet to finish this post, put on my snow boots and go bring in some more firewood.
There just has been a terrbile lovely sprinkling of human kindness down on me of late, customers saying nice things about the spindolyn, sending me wonderful photos of their spinning in progress on their spindolyn, or their knitted sock accomplishments from a pattern in the Sock Options for Machine Knitters, or making good marketing suggestions, and even sending  winter soup recipes! When you’re kinda fighting the winter blues, you just can’t ask for nicer niceness than that!
Mono commented on my last post about enjoying her spindolyn, which after receiving she quickly spun up some lovely fiber and posted it on her blog, which is a very busy and fun fiber blog to visit. Now here is a strange coincedence…about the time she had placed her order, and I was working on making her spindolyn, I was actually knitting a hat from one of her patterns from ravelry (which you can also find one her blog) “Tempos Headcoat” (can you hear the spooky music?)

Here is another pic of my shop (in the foreground) looks cold,doesn't it? you can't imagine   ; )