Hope each of you are having a good start to the New Year. I'm reading so many blogs where bloggers are publically stating their resolutions. No new yarn, 11 in 2011, lose weight, exercise. I don't normally do resolutions. Or at least not absolutes.
I'm going to cut down on yarn purchases because I've started putting my stash into Ravelry. I'm about halfway through. While it's modest compared to lots of others, it makes me uncomfortable having so much stuff just sitting there. I also have it sitting out so I can see it. I should be doing something with it. And because I spin I make my own yarn. I'm learning to make yarn I can use not just yarn.
Last year this time I just wanted to do more. Since I injured my arms in May that's been difficult. This year I've written specific goals that I hope will get me there.
I've also started my Christmas list for 2011. There are several handmade items on the list so keeping the list front and center will hopefully keep me focused.
One thing I really want to do this year is more volunteer work. My youngest niece has decided that she's going to do her "own thing" regardless of what anyone else says. As a family we're working together to try to keep her on track. I'm going to be working at her school one day a week. Tomorrow I'll fill out the paperwork and get fingerprinted so I can volunteer in the city school system. Having her act out really caught us all as a surprise and this will be the most important thing I do this year. I'm thinking about teaching her to knit and we'll do scarves for the red scarf project. Have any of you done anything like this? Any other ideas?
Now for something completely different. Last year I bought a Bond knitting machine. I liked it but found it frustrating to use. It was definitely operator error. Because the machine is the most basic, stitches other than stockinette had to be done by hand. Since the movements are small and tight, it really hurt, much more than working with the the larger needles I used last week. I started looking for another machine, but wanted to do it as inexpensively as possible (as usual!). I looked at EBay but even the most inexpensive machine became expensive after shipping was added. Last Saturday, I answered an ad in Craigslist. For $100 I got everything in this picture. A family 40 minutes away was clearing out Grandmas' stash and had no idea what they had. Although to be fair, I didn't either. It had been stored for a while and there was no guarantee it was complete or that it would even work. I figured that at worst I would part it out and resell it on EBay.
I've been going through this pile since Saturday and there are two complete machines. One is a Brother 930e with the knit tracer. I sent an email thanking them for the machines and said if they found any more pieces to the machines, I'd be interested in buying them. They contacted me yesterday and I bought a garter carriage and cover for an additional $10. I have no idea how the knit tracer and garter carriage are used.
There's also a Toyota 901 and a 501 ribber. There are so many attachments to this machine, I'll be this time next year figuring it out.
I'm going to concentrate on learning the Brother since it appears less intimidating. I didn't get any manuals but I found them at a Mennonite run shop yesterday. Everyone on Ravelry tells me I got a great deal but it's overwhelming. At this point I have no idea if I'll keep them both.
The Bond did teach me that machine knitting is a completely different skill from hand knitting. It has it's own language and techniques. If keeping your brain active wards off Alzheimer's, I'm in good shape.