Monthly Archives: October 2015

Knitting Machine

I am almost done with my blanket. I hate weaving in ends are there are soo many. This project make me start thinking about knitting machines. I was intrigued by the Addi circular knitting machines, but they are a bit out of my price range right now. I found a review on Ravelry of some toy knitting machines, so I bought myself one.

Knitting Machine Singer

It’s a NKOK singer knitting machine. The retails seems to fluctuate, I paid about $25 on amazon a few weeks ago. It works better than I though it would but I had really low expectations. The Addi machines are about $200 and this was a fraction of the price so I had a fraction of the expectation. I’ve done some experiments with it and I don’t recommend buying for kids. It’s pretty frustrating to use. If you go too fast or the yarn was not tensioned properly It dropped a lot of stitches. I got the best results with sport weight yarns.

I didn’t find the output that useful either.

KM tube

It makes tubes that are about 2.5 inches wide. I guess I could make leg warmers for toddlers.

KM flat

It also makes flat panels that are about 4.25 inches wide. But it’s stockinette stitch which curls at the edge. I could make a bunch of strips and sew them together, but I am pretty unlikely to do so.

I think it would be handy to make sock blanks with. If I ever wanted to make sock blanks..

Temperatures scarf- September

September scarf segment brings back the return of blue:

Sept 2015

Colors used:

Blue (40-49) – 2 days
Light Green (50-59) – 13 days
Dark Green (60-69) – 12 days
Yellow (70-71) – 3 days

I only have 4.7 grams of dark green left (enough for 2 or 3 days). Unless fall is unseasonably warm I should make it. The lows for October so far have been in the 30’s – 50’s so far.

In addition to getting to shoot with a 5D (soo much fun) I’ve been playing around with a Canon 40D. It’s not full frame but it’s a bit nicer than my usual camera 9 year old Canon 350XT. The 40D and 5D had very simular dials and setting and are a lot easier to use. Compared to my 350XT the 40D focuses  faster, has a better image quality, and the two dials make it a lot easier to use. I think the weather sealing on the 40D is also a lot better, but it’s not my camera so I’m not going to test that.

I took this picture with the 40D and 50mm 1.4:Baby goat

Look at that nose! I always feel a little weird taking pictures of stranger’s kids, but mama goat didn’t mind.

Rhinebeck, Revisited

The Rhinebeck sweater was a bust but the festival itself was super fun. I got some yarns, some fiber, some notions, a bottle of spiced wine, and petted some alpacas.

One of the many events was a sheep to shawl competition. Six teams started with a warped loom and a washed fleece. They then had to card the fiber, spin it, ply it than weave it into a shawl. The teams all had themes – I really liked Wizard of Oz and Men at Work the best.Sheep to Shawl Oz

Sheep to Shawl men at work

The weather was perfect on Saturday but a chilly on Sunday. We got some snow but the fairgrounds was still beautiful.


I don’t know these ladies but I was playing around with my friend’s camera at this point. I liked the pom poms on theirs hats and the classic simplicity of the camel colored shawl. Fall Friends

When I said I got to play with my friend’s camera did I mention it was a 5D? It was soo much fun to shoot with. The crop factor on my rebel drives me batty so not dealing with it made shooting a lot less frustrating. I like low light, wide angles, and blown out backgrounds. It was also a lot easier to shoot the animals in the barns when the 50mm behaves like a 50mm.

Baa raffeNo fiber fest is complete without side-eye from a giraffe-sheep.


Smelly SheepyAlso side-eye from a goat.


Sleepy SheepiesThey were napping, but probably giving me side-eye in their dreams.

This was my second Rhinebeck. I had a ton of fun but it’s not going to be a festival I attend every year. The crowds are soo over whelming and there are much closer fiber festivals. Rhinebeck does attract bigger vendors and vendors from outside of the Northeast but it is extremely crowded and can be difficult to shop and to talk to many of the vendors. At one point I waited in line for about 20 minutes trying to buy something.

Rhinebeck Vest

The New York Sheep and Wool (NYS&W) festival is one of the largest fiber fest in the US. There are a lot of knitting, spinning, weaving, and livestock vendors and classes. The event also hosts sheep dog trials and other craft and livestock competitions. NYS&W is held at the Duchess County fairgrounds in Rhinebeck NY so attendees and fiber enthusiasts usually refer to it simply as Rhinebeck. The event takes place in October (prime knit wear season) and a phenomena called the “Rhinebeck sweater” has emerged. The Yarn Harlot talks about on her blog, but the basic idea is creating a new sweater to wear to the event.

There is a very slight competitiveness to it – many crafters will make a garment that showcases their abilities. Like crazy color work or cables. I think the phenomena is more about collective identity than it is a competition. Wearing a handmade sweater demonstrates membership in the fiber arts community. That said, membership to the group will not be revoked if one does not wear a hand made sweater to the event. I went a few years ago and I don’t think I wore any hand knits.

I will be attending Rhinebeck again this year and I am not immune from this phenomena. I don’t really wear a lot of sweaters so I chose to knit a vest instead. I finished it, but I think it’s going to be too cold to wear it. Yarn is a Noro Shirakaba (silk/cotton/wool blend) in one of my favorite colors (grey). Pattern is Forager from the book Doomsday Knits. I picked this pattern because it reminded me of Mad Max and I liked the asymmetry.

Forager sweater vest

Too bad Mad Max was a post apocalyptic desert wasteland instead of the Northeast at the hight of foliage season. Whoops. Maybe I have enough time to go to Old Navy and buy a sweater. If I swap out the buttons it could maybe pass as a hand knit…