Thursday, September 28, 2017


This is along the same theme as the last post. No, not red t-shirts on teen boys. Last Christmas I asked what my niece might like that's handcrafted. Her mom suggested a poncho, perhaps in black. Not too fancy, but not too casual.

Christmas  came, and I was so busy with custom orders and life I didn't get to it. I thought I would do it for her birthday in late May. Again, I was quite busy. I did some swatching though, but her birthday passed. We were all going to a cottage at the end of July, so I thought maybe it could be a little thank you gift for inviting us.

I got to swatching. I knew she wanted it lightweight, but warm. I had only my SK155 out. I could have turned the table around and got the Memomatic 327 out, but that seemed like too much work. I pulled some black "Peruvian Baby Lace Merino" (from back in the day they had a website and yarns to rival KnitPicks). One and two strands felt too fine. Three strands felt too thick. I explored punch lace, but only one card of the basic SK155 set works for punch thread (aka thread lace). Then I was at Michaels' for something else and found this black velvety chenille called Loops & Thread "Shellie". This would be perfect together. The chenille for the bulk and texture, and the Baby Lace for the warmth. I swatched some more.

Suddenly, my machine wasn't working right. WTF. Everything was set right.  I checked every last detail of the settings. It all looked right underneath the carriage too. It worked from left to right, but not right to left. Then the stitch selector jammed again and I knew I had to take it apart.

I couldn't see anything immediately, but then felt a thunk and it released, and I knew what had finally happened.

 The left lower J pusher has snapped off. It's what gave me so much trouble before. It controls the tuck setting, going right to left. It had gotten bent and I straightened it, but I knew metal fatigue would happen at some point.
Can you see it better when I hold the upper lever out of the way? I did find the tiny piece, but I doubt it could be welded back on. Oh well, I can still tuck left to right!

I decided on one strand Baby Lace and one strand Shellie. And, the one card that would work on the SK155. By now, I was really wishing I had just got the 327 out.

The actual knitting is pretty easy, though of course, I had those days where yarn got tangled, caught in brushes, broke unexpectedly, etc. But it got done, and I sewed it together. I made it as a long rectangle, then pulled one end around to the side perpendicular to the other end, and sewed it together. This creates a loop with a pointed section. So it can be worn many ways. I left the working in the ends and the crochet borders until we were at the cottage. I had to block it still. There was an iron at the cottage, and an ironing board. I didn't want to lug that down to my room, so I steamed it on my floor! It worked. I didn't get any good photos, but Megan is interested in photos, so I sent her and Nya off to get photos and I told her to get  some detailed shots too.

 She's wearing a shirt with planets on underneath. Creates an interesting effect.

I did a simple scallop around the edge, after two rows of HDC (I think), in just the Shellie.

Maybe it's something about the Mainwaring family that makes them make these faces when I take photos of them in my handmades?

Yarn In: 2242gr
Yarn Out:  125gr + 2916gr=3041gr
Balance: 799gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $57.30/271 days = $0.21 per day 

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