Sunday, 9 October 2016

Shetland 2016: Day Two - Barnard Castle and Knitting

This was a rest day, as we did not travel.  Although I am not entirely migraine free I am SO much better, but unfortunately  driving long distances still tends to mess my head up. We hoped that a day off might help. After a leisurely start we parked at the Bowes Museum for morning coffee and cake, it is a good place to park! We then walked into the town, and there was a second hand book shop! And just sitting on the shelf was a pattern book for punchcards for machine knitting ...and I didn't already have it....and it had 968 designs... and it was very cheap! I can't wait to try some of the textures. 
It is Brother pattern book Cassette method for 12 needles. I so want to try these weave and lace ones ( see note below)
So then it was back to the museum and the free wifi so I managed to post about my apple dyed skeins and lovely to see such positive feedback about the Harris Tweed (Meadowsweet coloured ) skirt. Back to the campsite where wonderful fish and chip van comes to the site on a Friday. The fish and chips were delicious. 

During my rest in the afternoon I decided I would make more progress with the Old Shale fingerless gloves. To use all the colours I decided to alternate each with natural and do 3 pattern repeats along the needles and fiddle with garter  and stocking stitch to get the pattern well defined and all the colour changes on right side rows so to speak. Knitting really is good for the brain, getting to the real start of these gloves took a lot of steps. Isn't it strange that non knitters often regard knitting as 'only knitting' when those that knit know it is far more than this. 

Start of the meadowsweet fingerless gloves 

I also decided to knit another bookmark. Rather than the Shetland dyed yarn I did use, I had intended submitting a Norfolk Horn bookmark for the National Exhibition Guild's open section but wasn't happy that I had got the tension right for the pattern I had made up. The 'problem' was the singles yarn was too fine for me and looked spidery- ie not neat. So I decided to double up the yarn and use size 14 rather than size 16 needles. 

Here is a sum for you.... On average it takes 10 minutes to knit one of the motifs, there are 11 motifs. Add to this the time to wash the fleece, spin it superfine and ply it. Then wash and block the bookmark and press it. Multiply this by more than the minimum wage.... as all this is skilled. Result I am happy to give the bookmarks to special friends, 
Does £50 sound expensive- but that is not an unreasonable cost ! Image later when I finish it. 

It's been nice to have a rest day, I have had quality knitting time. 

Note: Thanks to Jane ( needles of steel) machine knitting enthusiasts might like to know that the cassette system was introduced in 1971 , 45 years ago! 

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