Sunday, June 07, 2009


For anyone who has visited ye olde yarn hut, the shelves of cones in the basement can be intimidating. A lot of the yarn on those cones is too fine for hand knitting and some of it has "mystery" fibre content, but with a little patience you can unearth some treasures. Behold my bounty!
How could I turn down a wee cone of brilliant turquoise? I swear there's gotta be angora in there somewhere (I tried the burn test with inconclusive results).

There's something naturally hairy in there, am I right?

The best part? At $7/lb, this cost me a whopping $3.04. There's bargains in them there cones! It's fingering weight-ish, so I thought I might turn it into something like this.

Just when I thought I'd had my fill of conical yarns, I went bonkers and picked up that cranberry coloured thing in the background. Yup, it's most definitely 100% not wool, but it's a pretty nice synthetic. What am I planning to do with a big honkin' cone of acrylic?

I've decided if I'm to master the art of machine knitting, I'm going to need a project to work on. (I'm more of a product over process knitter, so I'm definitely not going to knit swatches on the machine just for s**ts and giggles.) Have you seen the popular drape-y style cardigans that look like this?

From Sublime Book #605

I've always liked the look of these cardigans but the thought of knitting an enormous rectangle of stockinette stitch had me snoring just thinking about it. The knitting machine however, thrives on miles of stockinette! It also thrives on swatches, which must be knit and washed and blocked and offered up to the gods if you have any hope of turning out a satisfactory project. I set about to swatch, but I knew I'd need to solve a little problem first.

The Bond knitting machine has no device to regulate tension and feed the yarn through (though schmancier machines do). That's fine if you're knitting from a ball of yarn rolling around on the floor, but what about a big 'ole cone? I set up the machine and then went about the task of McGyver-ing up some sort of tension arm/yarn feeder. I gathered items I thought may prove useful:

Alas, they were not.

Then I had a stroke of genius:

Looks like a recording studio, doesn't it?

This isn't the first time my microphone stand helped me out in a knitting crisis. (I'm beginning to think yarn stores should start carrying boom stands.) With the help of my buddy Mr. Mic Stand I easily knit a fine and hearty swatch from my cone.

Is the garden frog smirking? What's his problem?

Look at that perfect stockinette! Look out cones!


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while and absolutely love it! I get so much inspiration from your projects. Great idea with the microphone stand. Alas, in the beginnings of my knitting career, I had my hands on a machine knitter and I had no idea what to do with it or how to use it. I had no one to tell me so I gave it away. Sad day :(

kgirl said...

perfect machine-knit project! I think that's the sort of thing machine knitting was invented for, cos I know if I had to knit that much stocking stitch by hand, I'd be poking my eyes out!

Anonymous said...

OH boy, my boyfriend is going to find some of his mic stands MIA. ASAP. Maybe I can bribe him with some BBQ. Ok. I went there. SIGH.


subliminalrabbit said...

utterly brilliant!

Sel and Poivre said...

Bargain yarn, inventiveness, ingenuity, determination and even a swatch - great post!

Fox said...

Agreed: great post! Super idea for the turquoise yarn..... that is NOT angora, but very nice non-the less.....: ))))

Reckless Glue said...

you are the queen of trying new things!