Yummy Yarn Goodness

I’ve been asked to post some yummy yarn goodness. Here are some laceweights I picked up recently from Knitpicks. Knitpicks was having a big ol’ sale and I got them cheaper than I usually get my Skacel, and it is far superior yarn! (plus I am getting more yarn for that cheaper price! It rocks!)

I picked up 2 100% Merino laceweights:
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I think I will be using the blue for Secret of the Stole Knit along rather than the taupe Skacel. I’ll save the taupe for a shawl as there is so much of it!
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I also got a variegated yarn, this one is 70% baby alpaca/30% silk:
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And now for my favorite of the group. 100% baby alpaca and soft as soft can be. Also so light!
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What the heck is a blind nut?!? From Nick

Before starting on the arms I wanted to address something I was not thrilled about. The screw that sticks up from the Susan for the arms to attach to. This was going to be permanently in place. Thing is I could see it getting damaged in shipping or storage. Also things like hanks of precious silk yarn could get snagged on it by accident.
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Here’s a mock arm (I will call it mini-arm, BTW, I HATED that movie so much I turned it off after 5 mins and the 50th Ya Baby) screwed down with the thumb screw. It works. But again I’m not thrilled about the screw sticking up after the swift comes apart for storage. Time to come up with something better!
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Enter the all mighty “Blind Nut”. AKA “T-Nut”. These are used profusely in model airplanes for things like engine mounts and hatches. I did a Wikipedia search on “Blind Nut” but nothing came up. So bare down for a play by play on how a blind is installed and used.

BTW there is no entries for “Yawn Swift” on Wikipedia yet. Get working on that Shells!
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1st thing I need to do is make the center hole in the top circle slightly larger to accommodate the blind nut.
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Now the blind nut is inserted from the bottom and the “barbs” hold it in place temporarily.
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Then a screw is put in from the top. This pulls the barbs of the blind nut into the wood as it tightens.
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Now the blind nut is secured permanently in place. Note how the barbs sunk into the wood.
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This allows for an improvised thumbscrew (a screw and wing nut joined together) to be screwed in while the nut stays put.

I guess the term blind nut comes from the fact that you don’t have to mess around with a standard nut on the other side of the wood. Perfect in this case since the bottom will be “sealed off” with the anti-skid material. And it will allow Shells to assemble the swift with nothing more than her fingers… ( *aside from Shells: …which is good, since I am the type that can assemble a vacuum cleaner backwards!* )
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Here’s Mini-Arm all snugged down. Time to start the real arms!!!!!
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Take her for a spin, from Nick

Looks good, but how will it work? Only one way to find out, take it for a spin:

The Susan spins freely and the center screw stays centered as it spins. This means everything lined up well. I let out a huge sigh of relief once I see that!

The arms (big-ass arms, Shells wants this thing to be able to handle a 100″ circumference hank) will attach to that screw. Those get started tomorrow…

Moving right along part II, from Nick

Next it’s time to expand the center hole of the bottom circle. This will be so I can secure a blind nut to the top circle (more on blind nuts later).
For this I break out a drill hole saw. What a fun toy.
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Here’s the center hole cut out. All the access holes are done now. Let’s get this thing together and see what happens.
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It’s kinda hard to tell what’s going on here. But I need to 1st screw the bottom plate of the bearing to the bottom circle. I used long wood screws to line it up with the screw holes in the top. Then I used the calipers to double check that it’s centered. Then it’s the same process as screwing in the top plate, mark holes, drill small pilot holes half way through the wood, screw in the plate.
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With everything upside down on the work bench I can line up the top plate with the screw holes and line up the access holes so I can screw them in from the bottom. Everything lines up freakishly well.
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Normally when I have to screw something down a hole like this it’s a simple matter of rubbing the screwdriver on a magnet (remember 4th grade earth science). Rub a magnet on a piece of metal and it becomes a magnet. This would be great if some genius wasn’t using all stainless steal hardware (hint, magnets don’t adhere to stainless steal). My thinking while buying the hardware was “you never know when Shells could be swifting in the rain“.

So rather than waiting to get to a hardware store for different screws I remembered a trick I read in a magazine a long, long time ago (in a land far, far away). Use a piece of electrical heat shrink tubing to hold the screw to the screwdriver. Then you can start the screw down a hole and pull the tubing off. Lucky for me I had the right size heat shrink handy.
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Here’s a view of the bottom with everything screwed together.
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And the top view.
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The great sweater dissection project, Part I

So, we have previously discussed J’s penchant for brand names. Ralph Lauren hand knit sweaters are a big favorite of his. But he won’t pay full price (be still my beating heart!!!) so we look for deals.

All summer long we have been looking at one Ralph Lauren hand knit sweater. It originally started out at $200 but when we first saw it, was around $150. At that price I was sure he wouldn’t buy it. He decided to watch the sweater. A few weeks later it went down to $50, and he contemplated buying it. Lovely black, white, and red colorwork (insert joke here) but I couldn’t get past the neckline. He agreed. I don’t know what it was about this neckline, if it was just too much for the sweater as a whole, or too feminine for a men’s sweater, or what, but I just didn’t like it. He agreed. I asked him if he would wear it with that neckline. He said that he probably would not. A few weeks later it was still $50 but we could take an additional 10% off. We discussed it again. We decided no, neckline issues. He said, “If it gets down to $35, I will buy it.” Which made sense. 100% lambs wool, it was very soft, and the colorwork really was nice.

Fast forward to this weekend. Where we stumbled across the sweater for $34. So we again had the neckline discussion. Nope, he still wouldn’t wear it with that neckline. I told him that it isn’t a deal if you won’t wear it. Then I had a brilliant idea. I mean, I am a knitter right? So why wouldn’t I change the neckline if I didn’t like it? What was I thinking? At $34 for 100% lambswool, I could recycle it and make it into something else. It ends up being too good a deal to pass up. So I look at the neckline and decide that, indeed, I would be perfectly capable of taking it apart and reworking it.

So begins the great sweater dissection project!

Original sweater:
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You can see that the neckline is funky. Maybe on a plain sweater it would work. But for a guy, it is still iffy if you ask me. There were also buttons, which added to the melodrama. It is just too much!

So plan is to unravel the neckline and use that yarn to make it into a plain turtle neck. 2×2 rib. In addition to that, to follow the cuffs and bottom of the sweater, I will do 6 rows of garter stitch before I start the 2×2 rib.

So begins the unraveling. It went smoothly for the most part. I had to do it in 3 parts as the split had a knitted border on both the front and back. Best part? I have 5 new buttons to use on some other project. How nice or Ralph to provide me with extra!

Here is what I had left over:
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I suspect I will need to skein that yarn and wash it. It is awfully kinked. Get on that yarn swift Nick!

In the end, I only had a few stitches to pick up at the front of the sweater, the rest of it was already bound off.
It looks better already if you ask me!
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Chameleon Colorworks update

Well I do need to post an update on the Chameleon Colorworks sockclub fiasco.

The shop owner assured me last week that she sent both September and October kits in the mail. She said that the post office doesn’t seem to like my work address. That could be, it has happened with various sellers at amazon.com as well.

Today I got my September kit. No sign of October kit all day. Maybe tomorrow. The yarn, to her credit, is really quite pretty and I was pleased with the sock pattern as well. Very cute, I will enjoy making them. Unfortunately the whole thing has left a bad taste and I will not be continuing, especially since the price has gone up.
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Pretty yarn, one cannot deny. What a series of unfortunate events. I am a bit sad over the whole thing, sort of like a potential relationship which sadly went awry before it really began. Weird.