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Archive for January, 2014

DDI Update at 3 1/2

Posted by --- on Wednesday 22 January, 2014

I’ve just read an old post of mine so decided to do a quick update on DDI.

She was 3 1/2 today and I’m still bescotted with her. She is developing well but I don’t “teach” her things as such. We just bring things into every day situations. She just picks it up when she’s ready. A bit like potty training. I asked her a couple of times if she wanted a potty and she said no. Then one day she got up and said she didn’t want to wear a nappy anymore and never had one on again. She had 2 accidents and never wet the bed at all!

She is now at nursery in a main school every afternoon for 3 hours. As it’s no local and we drive most of the way and walk the rest, it takes me about an hour to get her there – a quarter of an hour drive there, a quarter of an hour walk, and then the same back – repeat to collect her.  It was a nightmare getting her to go as she got extremely distressed when I left and didn’t calm down after half an hour like the say they do. The school decided it best (and I agreed) to start with half hour sessions so she knew I’d be coming back soon. She is still very much a mommy’s girl. She’s also still on the go all the time.  She will only go to sleep on me,usually around 9-10pm, and I then lie her in her own bed. She will wake at some point – sometimes only half an hour after putting her in bed, sometimes several hours later – and either come downstairs crying when she’s realised I’m not in bed, or toddle across the room to climb in bed with me. I am now single (long story) after discovering that DDI had been having an affair since shortly after DDI was born until he was caught when she was 2 1/2. He continued to see the OW for another 6 months and continued with his temper – losing it completely and threatening me on a couple of occasions. On the final one, I asked him to leave. It’s difficult and part of me is even considering a reconciliation but I’m not sure (I suppose that should be another post) Anyway, it means that DDI and I can share a bed without it affecting anyone else.
She is now closer to ES than she was, mainly because I encouraged the relationship when I thought we were reconciling. Also, now he doesn’t have the OW in his life or “working away” all the time, he can spend more time with her. Part of me resents her making a relationship with him after what he’s done as he doesn’t deserve her but she loves him and I wouldn’t deny her that. She still wouldn’t stay with him though and, if I’m honest, I’m relieved. I’d miss her terribly if she wasn’t here.

Back to schooling and after weeks of heartbreaking crying she is loving nursery now and can’t wait to go each day. She is making friends and told me today she’s invited 3 of them to come and live with us! I managed to get her a place in what was the best nursery in the county with outstanding results from Ofsted for many years running. It is over 3 miles away though and out of our catchment area so I think we’d struggle to get a full time school place. Also, its a worry getting her there. Most of the time I have the car but for the first time in the 4 years I’ve had it, it’s really let me down this year. It’s had to have new disc brakes and pads, new tyres, handbrake, alternator, battery and spent several weeks off the road with a parasitic drain problem which cost a fortune in auto electrician and garage charges. It means I worry now about transport and have to think how I’d manage with it for the next 9 years. So I’ve put her current school down as second choice to a local school that isn’t as good as far as I can tell but within walking distance.

She will love that I hope as she likes being outside. She loves to walk (half of the reason we park and walk to nursery as well as avoiding hte parking chaos that happens close to the school) and run. She often runs most of the way back to the car each day. She likes the things I do – gardening etc – and when I was setting up the brother today asked if she could have a knitting machine for christmas! She loves her food too but I still struggle to get her to drink. She doesn’t breast feed anymore but that was somehting I struggled to stop. I felt guilty stopping her but she was still having a night feed after she’d turned 3. I ended up refusing her and saying she was too big. She did cry a bit but I started taking a bottle of water to bed and offered that instead. I told her we’d still cuddle but not have any mommy milk and she only took a few nights to accept though she would try to sneak a boob if she thought i was asleep or turn to nuzzle if she was half asleep. I miss it in some ways but am glad its finished.

Oh oh. I hear footsteps upstairs. time to get up before the tears start…

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Oh Brother

Posted by --- on Wednesday 22 January, 2014

So I finally found time last night to try to set up the Brother we fetched on friday. To be honest, looking at it properly in the light of my kitchen, I’m disappointed with how much it cost. I’m watching one on ebay at the moment that is closer, has the knit radar plus all the accessories and the ribber and it’s still less than I paid. I’ll try to remember to update with the final price.

Anyway, this machine… The listing said it had rusted on the catch that holds the cast on comb – which she pointed out when we arrived late on friday evening after our 4 hour drive. What she didn’t point out, and we were too busy chatting to look (stupid), is that it has also rusted the cast on comb, parts of the machine, and the needles. Non-plussed – I can rust treat it can’t i? – I began setting it up, following the manual (which is a black and white print out off the internet with pages upside down interspersed with those the right way up) I managed to get to page 13 where it tells you about the buttons on the carriage. I tried to press them in and the tuck and skip stitch buttons worked, but were stiff and sometimes wouldn’t stay in, but the centre fairisle and lace buttons wouldn’t press in at all. I managed to get in contact with the seller who was helpful on the phone and offered to repair it if I return it to her. We agreed to do that (she would refund the postage) but this morning she rang and suggested I mix methelated spirit (meths) with the machine oil that came with it and brush it over the cams to try to free it. I spent over an hour doing that without any effect. Then I searched the internet for a way to dismantle and clean it as I had done for the passap. The internet didn’t disappoint and sent me in the direction of the answer lady, Kathryn, and her husband, Jack. They have a video showing how to dismantle it. I then spent another hour trying to clean and free the buttons. In the end ES arrived and he had a go too. We managed to get it free and then I carried on scrubbing the meths mix over it while pressing the buttons. In the end after around 3 hours on and off of soaking, scrubbing, and pressing, the buttons were fairly free but still sticking occasionally so I decided to give it a bath in mystery oil (MMO) Jack had recommended in another video. The carriage is quite big and I struggled to find a container big enough and then the container I ended up with was so big i didn’t have enough MMO to bathe the carriage so had to keep scooping it over. I left it in the MMO for a couple of hours occasionally brushing it over the mechanism and pressing the buttons. It ended up that it was working most of the time but the buttons wouldn’t return to start position. I decided to drain it and dry it and send it to the seller to have a look. I cleaned the carriage off again with meth & oil mix and left it to dry off. Then I started putting it back together. It was then it hit me. The plastic buttons have a spring on (you know where I’m going with this…) which, when in place, put pressure against the carriage to assist the button to return to it’s starting position! I’ve reassembled the carriage and so far, fingers crossed, it seems to be working! As soon as it’s dried completely I’ll be giving it a whirl.

While I was doing all of this today, I got the KM out and was going to have a go on that. This also needs cleaning up. I’m not surprised as it’s been in the loft (in it’s case in bin liners) for a few years and I haven’t used it since I bought it. It also needs a sponge bar I think (novice talking…) because some of the needles are sitting low down at the butt (technical term 🙂 ) end and don’t have any “bounce” when you push on them so I’ve put it back in it’s case for now.

On a good note, the passap seller refunded me my money! That’s great. When DDI is at school full time I’m hoping to spend more time learning how to use it because at the moment, by the time she is in bed, I haven’t got much enthusiasm to go and start setting it up.

Posted in Brother, Knitmaster, Knitting Machine, Passap | Leave a Comment »

Knitting machine addiction!

Posted by --- on Monday 13 January, 2014

Well I’ve done it again. I’ve still not knit a stitch on a machine but have bought another one and am on par with this lady except she can knit! And again, it’s miles away. Over 150 miles away in Norfolk! Actually it’s in Essex but the seller will take it to Norfolk so that it’s a little closer to me. This machine was also expensive (£307) compared to the others but my reason for buying it is this: it will enable me to use up my stash! That’s the theory.

Now as you know, I have no idea about machine knitting and I’m rubbish at hand knitting but I can’t resist cheap yarn. As I’m rubbish at both  I find myself buying this cheap yarn and not knowing anything about it! Stupid I know. As I’d bought the pfaff, I bought a lot of yarn off ebay to use with it but it has no labels and I don’t know what it is. All I know is that it’s thin – very thin – some of it is like embroidery cotton. Without knowing the weight I don’t know how to set up the pfaff and I dont know if the machine is jamming because there is a fault, the tension arms aren’t working right, the locks aren’t working right, I’ve put it back together wrong or I’ve set the stitch length wrong. I am probably over-thinking it and making it complicated but I’m nervous.

The machine I’ve bought is a brother KH260 which is a chunky machine and can knit anything from DK upwards. That is something that I do have and tons of it! So I have no excuse not to have a go at using it. We will be driving down to collect the machine on friday night. I have no idea where I’ll put it as I live in a tiny council house which has the passap set up in the only free space I have – at the end of my bed – but I’m hoping its more like the knitmaster and a little more portable than the pfaff.  I’m also hoping it’s easier to use than the pfaff, which I still haven’t tried.  I’ve joined several groups including the passap group on Ravelry and when I read about it, it seems the passaps are very temperamental and even experienced machine knitters struggle.

And on a plus note, the seller of the pfaff has messaged me and says they will be refunding me the money I paid for it! I’m not convinced they will but it will be lovely if they do.

Posted in Brother, Knitting, Knitting Machine | Leave a Comment »

Knitting machines intro…

Posted by --- on Sunday 12 January, 2014

Several years ago, I bought a knitmaster off ebay. I’m an average hand  knitter but I get frustrated as I’m so slow. I thought the knitmaster (KM) would be my answer. It came with loads of accessories (which I intend to list) but never knit a stitch and put it in the loft. I’ve been thinking lately about digging it back out and started researching on the web – fatal. Everyone seems to think that Passap/Pfaff machines are the bee’s knees so I had to have one. I bid on one on ebay and got it for £70! The problem was that it was over 2 hours away (add £30 fuel) and DDI was still quite poorly but ES offered to collect it. When it got here I couldn’t wait to have a look but it wasn’t like the KM, it was big and heavy. It was also packed in a battered box and full of tissue. When DDI had gone to bed and ES had gone home I started unpacking it. I know nothing about these (or knitting machines in general) and it came with no books but even I can see when something is wrong. It looked like the box had been kicked around. It was torn and ripped with parts missing and only tape holding it together. The machine inside was battered and scratched too. The tissue paper that someone had carefully wrapped it in was torn off leaving the machine open and enabling parts to fall out of the box. The deco unit was bent and cracked, cast on combs (?) were folded in half. Everything was dirty  but the main problem was that the colour changer was broken with springs missing so I wouldn’t be able to use it, and therefore couldn’t use the machine. I was gutted. I pushed everything back in the box on the side in the kitchen, poured a snowball and logged into runescape (not that I have a clue what to do on there but that’s another post!).

I looked up passaps on the web and found a video on how to set it up (which I have since edited, adding titles and time frames to enable skipping to the part that interests you) and decided to set it up to see what else might be missing. I also found the manual which I printed off. It took a couple of hours with distractions from DDI but I set it up. There was a tension mast missing, the one that remained was bent, the cups had been forced together, gone brittle and split, the colour changer broke, tools were missing (bodkin, transfer tools,) the orange tool had the tip snapped off, the main deco unit, as I said earlier, was bent (how would you do that?!) and broken, and the U70 linker that came with it had rusted completely too.

I contacted the seller and said I wasn’t happy but haven’t heard anything since. In the meantime another seller listed a lot of parts which included the colour changer! I was very tempted but the parts were a buy it now listed for £72. Plus they were located 3 and a half hours away – another £45 fuel! ES pointed out that I might be able to sell some of the parts and with the colour changer and other parts I could use the passap. So off we went to collect those and as soon as I could, I replaced the colour changer. In the spares was also a couple of transfer tools and another deco as well as some old brother parts.

I’d been on a couple of yahoo forums and told them about the machine and was trying to get a link to some videos that had been posted. It turned out  that there was a lot of concern over copyright, which I can understand, and I never got to see them but it introduced me to a couple of very nice ladies who email me and one of which I am now quite friendly with and she has sent me some new locks! I’ve also bought a small course on using the passap.

I also found knitsings website which is full of useful information about knitting machines but has a particularly good article on cleaning the passap so I figured I had nothing to lose and began stripping it down to clean it. It was in a mess with what felt like sand in the needle beds and the old oil sticking parts solidly together. It also had missing needles, a few missing washers on the rails, a missing extended nut off one end to fit the deco extension bed – which I still need if anyone knows where I can get one – and missing shims from in between the needle channels. It took me a week but I have stripped it completely, cleaned and rebuilt it. It wasn’t as hard as I’d anticipated but was a long tedious job cleaning hundreds of fiddly parts. While I was doing it I was still scanning ebay (I could spend a fortune!) and found some deco cards. I messaged the lady and asked if she would wait and send a combined invoice if I bid on more of her cards. She said she would and we started chatting via messages. I told her about the state of the machine and she told me she’d bought an E600 – lovely machine! Anyway, when she sent me the deco cards, they arrived with some spare needles, a bodkin and an orange, well red, tool! I think I now have everything I need, except time, to make a start on learning how to knit on this wonderful machine!

Posted in Knitmaster, Knitting Machine, Passap | Leave a Comment »