Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ends and starts

Today's post is about ending and starting, both take time. In my mind both are quick, sudden even, start, stop. When its done ... well its done, its all over and finished, and when I want to start .. well I want to start now, and so its started. But in real life (as opposed to in my cluttered, questioning and often muddled mind) starts and ends are never that simple, never that contained, they always take longer.

Hemlock Ring baby blanket is near done, well it seems near done, but yet it is not finished. I've worked steadily on this since the last post ... knitting and knitting and knitting. 3 pattern rounds before the end I finished a ball of dark grey gotland ... and decided to start the blue border. I've no idea how this will look but it seems attractive. The blanket this is destined for is a boy .. so blue with the grey is an entirely conventional choice. I dithered over the cast off edge, and last night tried I-cord on needles one size bigger, frogged that and then tried I-cord on neeldes 2 sizes bigger, before ripping that and using the edge as written in the original pattern. JF wrote an alternaltive, with a crochet chain .... but I think for a boy I wanted a thicker edge than the single chain gave. The I-cord looked ok, but was not right, I worried it would not stretch enough when I blocked the blanket severly - and this is a blanket that does need a severe blocking.

This is the rippled and crumpled blanket now ...
(Is it just me or are there always a hint of a face with eyes in this blanket when I take photos of it, like last time ? )
I have my fingers crossed that after a warm soak and a severe blocking it will be submissive and docile and flat and attractive. This is where the project ending takes time, the last few rounds of knitting seemed slower than all the other rounds, and then casting off the first petal three different times, i-cord twice, before deciding to use the pattern as written .. all of that pretty much took an evening. Today only one more of the 8 petals has been cast off .. I've got 6 petals to go. My guess is it will be the end of the week before I'm weaving in ends and blocking this baby blanket.

Today I didn't knit, instead I spent some time with the lathe, my lathe. Recently my Dad arrived for a visit with a bench grinder, and so now that I can sharpen tools there was no reason not to start. I sorted out a chair leg from a bundle of scrap timber in the corner, Bear saves everything, really he does - some times it is clutter, other times it is useful. Then there was the act of starting, getting the drive belt on, the square wood properly secured and centered in the 3 jaw chuck, and setting it up ... and then learning how tight and at what angle and length every adjustable bit needed to be to work best. All that took several hours ... a lot of that was experience learning, and lack of a well stocked workshop. I understand most turners would plane the corners off the table leg .. me I turned them off. We don't have a plane set up ready to go, or a vice, and that way I got more lathe time, and more learning. Still progress ... I'm half way down the leg, and half of it is round. Oh -- its going to be a nostephinne ... if it all goes as planned or wood dust if not.

At the end -- I had black mechanics hands just like my Dad! Well not quite as black, and not as beaten up as his mechanics hands .. but I am wondering if this is going to be a hobby compatible with knitting, where smooth snag free hands make for an easier knitting experience. I have a list of things to buy, a face shield to replace the safety glasses, some more HHS tool steel, some grinding paste, and probably a dust mask, and barrier cream. Is it as odd for you to go from a lace edging and blocking discussion to blackened hands and the shopping list for running a lathe all in the same post as it is for me to write it?

And the other knit projects? Well Frankensocks has been frogged and rewound ... awaiting reknitting in another size. I still want to knit Frankensocks .. but I'm still a dither over the multiple sizes and guage mismatch.
Mojo goes well, but only had an hour of my knit time this week, so has not grown much. Mojo went to Poppy's end of term ballet class, the one parents are invited to sit and watch at. Mojo will be my traveling project this week, we are off to Te Anau to see the glow worms ... we tried this last year .. but they were closed when we arrived. Perhaps we will have more luck this year? I'm leaving the wood in the lathe and plan to work more on that this week (I'm on leave for a week), and will finish Hemlock ring and block it when I return.

Take care


Trisha said...

What kind of lathe do you have? I am looking to buy one for my husband for Christmas. Yours looks like a nice size!

KathyR said...

Your Hemlock blanket is looking good - it will be great to see it again once it is finished and blocked.

The change of subjects between knitting and lathe work may seem a little unusual but not to me - I have been thinking lately of going to Polytech night classes in furniture making. I did it about 20 years ago, too, so I'm sure I would cope. I've been looking at the latest Freedom Furniture catalogue - I like the furniture, not the prices! Not sure yet, though.

Enjoy Te Anau! You may even run into my sister who is down there at the moment with her photography class.

Knitting Linguist said...

Hooray for glowworms; I will send uncracked-ceiling thoughts your way :) I'm very interested in the wood-working; I can't wait to see how this turns out, although I can see how you'd worry about knitting compatibility issues. On the other hand, you'll never want for spindles, knitting needles, or spinning wheel parts.

Stell said...

Trisha I've got a metal work lathe, its got a swing of about 6.5" and a bed about 36" long. Its ok for small things, scoops, drop spindles, spinning wheel bobbins and nostepinnes - but turning bowls and larger things would need a much bigger lathe. Metal work lathes have all sorts of controls that wood working lathes don't have and are more expensive - but are said to be build more accurately. Check out what your husband wants to turn - he might prefer a larger simpler woodworking on and it would cost less and let him do all he wants to do. Stella