Sunday, December 6, 2009

Knitting projects

Our friends at Colour it Green Diary were asking to see our knitting projects, but I was embarrassed to show them. Since then we've made progress on our skills. Mostly, this has happened since the semester workload has peaked and so we now have a little free time.

Time to try to make some kind of productive and economic and householding sense from the mountain of our own yarn we have on hand.

This is probably none too soon, because word has gotten out at college that we have yarn, and I've sold quite a few skeins and given quite a few "free samples" away. I can't afford the time to sell too much yarn just yet because I'm required to pay sales tax on yarn and am not yet set up for that extra paperwork.

When we sell food, there's no sales tax.

Aimee's first project is the green hat. It was knitted on a circular knitting ring, and as you can see, came out perfectly. That's typical for my wee wifie, who if she cannot see her way clear to doing a thing 100% right first time, may very well not want to do it at all.

Makes me wonder what she thought she was doing when she married me. She must have realized at the time that perfection in family life would not likely be the result!

The blue hat on the right is my first successful project, knit up on the 80's model "Singer Chunky Knitter" in the other picture. It is not at all perfect, but wearable.

The "Singer Chunky Knitter" machine is the bee's knees, the third one we've tried, and the only one that works with this heavy pure woolen yarn. But it works very well, quite smooth and easy to run, not a lot of pushing effort needed, and very few dropped stitches.

It took quite a bit of effort to even locate this second hand machine, which I found gathering dust at a knitting club in Rockland. It cost $300 and has yet to get anywhere close to paying for itself. But it will. We're at the beginning of the production-organizing process here. I expect we'll turn out many of these hats before we're done.

Guess what everyones getting for Christmas!

In fact, if you were to cost out the economist's "marginal costs" of those two hats at this point, each cost around $500. But the next ones, and the ones after that, will divide and subdivide that number up quite quickly because at this point, with the amount of yarn we have saved, the machines and other equipment on hand, and lots of long winter evenings, each new item just costs its own labor.

Also visible in the picture of the machine is my first attempt at a sweater. This is indeed the project I've been working on since I got the machine, but it's a failure -- doesn't fit at all well, and will probably need to be unraveled. Maybe not. I'm trying to decide if I can afford to keep a sweater with six or seven skeins in it that I can only wear when I'm wearing bib overalls, because without the bibs overalls it looks stupid.

But it is warm, and I do wear bibs a lot, and it even covers my butt!

Oh well. Sweaters will need a bit more practice, I think.

My next project will be a hat for a family member in a different color, but almost identical to the blue one. I'll try not to have any dropped stitches in the next one, and try for tidier seams and nicer sewing.

After a few hats, I might have the courage to try again for a sweater!

Aimee's already knitting me a hat like her green one. Only trouble is, she says I'm not allowed to lose it. I always lose my hats, so I'm not sure if I can afford the trouble that will inevitably come if I wear it and then lose it!

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