I got a knitting machine

Instructions: Take title of this post and sing repeatedly to the tune of ‘Silver Machine‘ by Hawkwind.

Seriously though. the industrial revolution has just arrived at the CraftShack (two hundred years late, but better than never, and in any case they never had much in the way of Internet services back in the 1790s 🙂 ) Yes, Shana has acquired a Knitmaster knitting machine. It will be tested and put through its paces hopefully later this week. Should I consider my role as a part-time dilettante knitter under threat? I don’t know. I doubt though whether the Knitmaster will ever manage to be such a grumbler as I (I think I’ve dropped a stitch about five rows back, can you help? or Oh no, I’ve miscounted this row of eight, or Can you help me to untangle this yarn barf?) No, I reckon the Knitmaster has its work cut out if it wants to be even half as good as a real human knitter 🙂

Enough from me though. I’ll let Shana report further when there’s something to report.


Attention all braiders. You don’t exist!

Knit if you want. Crochet if you must. But don’t talk to me about braiding. Because I found out recently that there is actually no such thing as a braider!

The shock came when we were watching Countdown on Friday 10 November. For those who have never seen it (ie, about two hundred thousand Americans for a start 🙂 ) contestants have to get the longest word possible from a selection of nine letters. Winners stand to take home the grand prize of…a teapot.

Anyway, one hapless anagrammer suggested the word ‘braider’ and was promptly informed by the venerable Susie Dent of the Oxford English Dictionary (an excuse for a lexicon if ever there was one 🙂 ) that ‘braider’ was not a valid word.

So if you are (or think you are a) a braider, sorry but your time is up. Prepare to live the rest of your days in an existential quandary.

Or alternatively, take up knitting instead. You know you want to.

The fine art of knitting

Knitting. It’s not just a skill: it’s an art. But what happens if you are one of those multi-creative types who just can’t make up their mind whether to craft a beautiful sweater or churn out a few watercolours?

As you may have guessed, I have the perfect solution.

With a smattering of primary colours on standby (or in my case a few tubes of dried-up gouache) and your favourite plastic palette, you can safely grab a ball of artistic chunky acrylic and a couple of art brushes and start knitting away, safe in the knowledge that you can frog your boring yarn project whenever the call of the post-Impressionists reaches your artistic ear.

I did a few rows of what I have dubbed ‘artist’s two-by-two rib’ before I realised I was destined to be the next Monet. Being a typical artistic rebel I used two different brush sizes: number five and number three. Is that radical or what! 🙂

Waffle Scarf

Not sure if she was inspired by my incessant verbal waffling. (Unlikely 🙂  )  Or by my enjoyment of toasted waffles for breakfast. But whatever the reason, Shana recently treated me to not one, not two, but three whole 50g balls of Sirdar ‘Husky’ Super Chunky waffle yarn. Shana thought the white flecks were little pieces of marshmallow, but perhaps she was feeling hungry when she looked at the yarn. Like the starving character played by Charlie Chaplin in silent classic ‘The Gold Rush’ when he ate his own boots, sometimes almost anything can look like food. But if I find Shana eating my most recent project, I shall take immediate umbrage. Marshmallows indeed!

Anyway, as it was proper man-sized yarn I could hardly knit little pieces of chunky lace patterns, could I? So I did what any super chunky yarn is meant for: I knitted a scarf. I did it (in proper fisherman’s rib stitch, no less) using a pair of 150mm wooden needles. Did I say 150mm? Well that must be either a typo or a telegraph pole. Figure that out for yourself (consider it a bonus Craftshack puzzle, why not?).

For stats obsessives, I just measured the scarf and it is easily eight feet long. And if Shana helps me put it on and stands of one end of it,  she can probably get it quite tight too. That should keep me warm when the Arctic blasts arrive 🙂